Friday, December 29, 2006

Here's Donna's Christmas Village up on the entertainment unit. Actually, there were a few more pieces we couldn't fit, plus the 'skating ring' set.

If you go over to Shot's Shack you'll see a few more Christmas pictures there.

Not only Friday Cat Blogging (tm) but Pug blogging as well.

That's Chops, Marissa's dog checking me out; Wilber, Kristina's gift guard-cat; and Babie (who shares the apartment with Donna and me) with her new catnip mouse (a Christmas gift from her Dad).

These were all taken on Christmas day.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I was sorry to learn of the passing of former President Gerald Ford when I woke up this morning. Even though I certainly didn't agree with all of his decisions, I honestly believe that he made them with only the best interests of the country, as he saw them, in mind. The pardon of Nixon obviously will always the major thing for which he will be remembered.

Donna and I send our deepest sympathy to his wife and family on this sad occasion.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Just a quick note this beautiful morn to wish one and all a very, Happy Holiday & Merry Christmas!

Hope you get to spend the day with family and/or friends, doing whatever your heart desires. Mind the 'nog and don't get behind the reins of your sleigh if you've had a bit too much Christmas Cheer!

Friday, December 22, 2006

It's hard to believe that in a month I'll be celebrating four years of doing this blog. In the next few weeks I plan on trying to make a few changes in its appearance and content. I also hope to get back to posting on a more regular basis, even if only a few lines several days a week. I've been told by several folks that they keep track of me (and Donna, of course) via the blog. I'm a notoriously bad correspondent!

I may also change a couple of things at Shot's Shack, but only in regards to the links. Several are outdated and haven't changed since I originally linked to them. I may even add one or two.

Since I don't post as frequently as before, I sometimes feel that talking about a certain political or social event is a waste of time. Generally, a couple of days have already passed since it was in the news or I've already seen a dozen other bloggers saying pretty much what I would (although in a much more intelligent and knowledgeable manner).

That being said, I believe that we may be seeing some radical changes taking place in Iraq in the New Year. I don't know exactly what, but the events of the last few months seem to be leading up to something major. I would not rule out a coup or at least a major change in the Iraqi government, as it is now configured. I have to admit that I don't know how an increase of American troops into the country would effect things, for better or worse. I also have to state that I don't know how I feel about that.

You could make the case that putting more troops into Baghdad, even temporarily, might aid in keep those already there safer. However, what then?

I don't know that an rapid withdrawal is the best answer, since it would cause a horrible situation for any coalition troops or Iraqi citizens who worked with/for our forces left behind. Those of a certain age will well remember the footage of the our final days in Vietnam, with troops and civilians all trying to get on the last few planes & helicopters.

That being said, I think that it's time to gradually begin redeploying both American and allied units. Certain areas in Iraq are beyond the ability of our troops to keep secure. Week-long sweeps, followed by withdrawal have proven ineffective as various factions simply move back in. It might be that all we can do is to ensure that the citizens of Baghdad remain safe in their homes from attack. Perhaps, if we can do that things will settle down long enough to allow a further decrease in all non-Iraqi military.

Better minds than mine are working on all this, so I think these will be my final comments on the situation until after the new Congress begins meeting in January.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I've made a few changes to links over on the Left. Don't have anything against those particular folks or organizations but it was getting pretty long. As I haven't had much time lately to keep up with as many blogs I felt cutting down on the links wouldn't hurt anyone. The political blogs are easy to locate either from links from those I kept up or from searching on topics in which you're interested.

For those who may be interested in what I have to say, over at Shot's Shack you can find my latest (and possibly last) book review for the Joe Bob Briggs folks. I explain the reasons over there as well. Plus I've removed the Joe Bob link from here and moved it to Shot's Shack, since that's more popular culture oriented than this one.

By the way, my first day training with Orange County Public Library was pretty easy. The folks there couldn't be nicer, Brian & Roxanne especially. I'll let you know how things progress.

Monday, December 04, 2006

No interviews scheduled yet this week, but I'm having my fingerprints taken this Wednesday as part of the background check for both Orange County & Mission Viejo. I'll also start my training with OCPL next Monday, so that's a positive sign. Also, both the City of Carlsbad & Long Beach have informed me that I've gotten through the first phase and will be considered for full-time positions. Fingers remained crossed, if a bit numb.

One strange thing was that OCPL has you to take an 'oath' when you're hired. You have to swear (or affirm) that you'll uphold the Constitution against the usual suspects. It was like joining the Navy again and something I've never had to do for a civilian job before.

Once again, the fires you've read about are northeast of us and we're in no danger. On the other hand both rattlesnakes and cougars have been sighted in the Ladera Ranch area. Sadly, a coyote was struck and killed by a car about a half mile from here. Personally, all Donna and I have spotted have been the occasional rabbit in the early evenings out back.

Donna and I had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving with Marisa's family up north of here. In fact, rather near the areas now being threatened by the fires. We'll be returning the favor come Christmas with Donna doing the cooking honors at Kristina & Marisa's place.

Sorry, for not being a more regular poster lately. Once I have a job and more regular hours, I'm going to make an attempt to get here at least every few days. Speaking of which, I want to apologize for not keeping up on my blog scanning either. The only ones I seem to get to are by Elayne Riggs and Mark Evanier, plus Tony Isabella sends me his TOTs a few days early.

In case you're wondering, the seismic activity has been increasing the past few weeks. There have even been a couple of 4.0 events here in SoCal, but nothing to shake us out of bed yet. :-)

Seismo says:"Keep a flashlight in your nightstand."