Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A quick Google search brought up this information and something to think about.
Hauula, HI, population 3,651, is located in Hawaii's Honolulu county.

At least 3,651 members of the U.S. military have died since the start of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

If the entire population of a city in Hawaii were killed, would the American people and its President take notice?
Man, it's hard to keep track of all the shenanigans going on at the White House, isn't it? It seems that every time I check out Politico.com or Talking Points Memo or the Huffington Post there's something else to get outraged about. At least listening to Stephanie Miller in the morning on my way to work I can laugh about some of it. Of course, then I listen to Randi Rhodes at noon time and get all upset again!

You can't even get a rest listening to the sports talk shows, since they seem to be talking about whether Barry Bonds deserves the Home Run record, Michael Vick's possibly involved in dog fighting or NBA referee Tim Donaghy's betting habit.

Between all that it seems that a good portion of the Southland is either already burning or under a 'red flag warning', since we are having a terrible drought with no end in sight.

I'm also in agreement with Mark Evanier that there is something sinister about those huge crows that congregate in the arroyo every night.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Donna and I, thanks to Michael, were actually able to move everything over the weekend. It was only down the hall, but still lots of things had to be packed and unpacked. I spent this morning reshelving the bookcase and checking some of the comic boxes. My Flaming Carrot, Lobo the Duck action figures and Cheesy Poofs box are back to being properly displayed.

Since the comics were quickly packed I have to spend one of these weekends cataloging exactly what I have left. Even four long boxes of miscellaneous books might take more than a few hours.
I know I generally talk about comics over at Shot's Shack, but does anybody reading this know of a free comic database I could use?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

While I'm here blogging at work a number of current and former members of Capa-Alpha (the oldest continuing comics apa) are meeting at the San Diego Comicon. Today is the annual K-a breakfast, which I would love to be attending. Sadly, I won't even be heading down tomorrow, but will be finishing up our move in Ladera Ranch.

I hope that everybody who is down in SD and possibly reading this will extend my best wishes to the fanboys & gals. Maybe next year!
I'm looking forward to reading some of the blogs and other posting about the con later today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

According to the two doctors I spoke to yesterday, the 'floater' I have is due to a partial Vitreous Detachment. There is nothing they can or will do unless the problem grows worse. I have been told that eventually (*sigh*) my brain will "not see" the floater although it will still be visible during an eye exam.

This doesn't make me feel any better about the situation, especially since they tell me that it may grow worse.

I've been told of the 'warning signs' and that an operation would be necessary should complete detachment begin to occur.

By the way, I hope nobody is creeped out by the eye ball. You should have seen some of the photographs the doctors showed me!! :-(

Monday, July 23, 2007

Never take your vision for granted! That's my message for today.

I'm having trouble seeing the screen so I'm going to make this short. I have been having a problem with the vision in my right eye since Saturday, following an appointment with an eye doctor. Something happened and we haven't figured out quite what.

I am going back tomorrow and hopefully the doctor can find the problem. We'll work from there and hope that worst case (involving eye surgery) doesn't come to pass.

Friday, July 20, 2007

If there was any lingering doubt that this Administration has contempt for not only Congress but the American public this week should have put those doubts to rest.

It is obvious, one would hope, that His Smugness has no intention of ending the current disaster which is Iraq. Word is out that September is 'too soon' and that November might be more reasonable. The White House does not have to consider requests or subpoenas from Congress, once the President declares "executive privilege." It's Hillary Clinton, the Democratic congress and anti-war protesters who are giving comfort to our enemies and making it impossible for our troops to succeed.

Nothing is going to change until January of 2009, and I don't think we should expect it to. It wouldn't even matter if every single Republican on the Hill finally got the balls to stand up to this President, he has already shown he doesn't care.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Once again the Republicans have demonstrated their fear of having to go on record "For or Against" a measure to bring our troops home. What is it about a straight 'up or down' vote that scares them?
My guess would be that if things continue to go bad into next year (which seems highly likely) GOP incumbents can distance themselves from the Prez claiming they would have voted to end this whole thing but weren't allowed to, or some such crap. Meanwhile, every week we have more of our uniformed men & women being killed, wounded and maimed. Way to support them!

Anyway, a check over at TPM, Politico or any of the other news/political sites over will bring you to much more reasoned and better written commentary than I could attempt here.

FYI: I've been posting much more frequently over at SHOT'S SHACK than I have here, so I invite folks who want to see what I've been reading and watching lately to check out my other blog. You'll also find links to sites dealing with film, comics, movies and other time-wasting topics.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Here's two more shots of some of the action that took place yesteday behind Heritage Park. I took some photos with my digital camera, but these and the previous two are from the OC Register. You see one of the larger deer which are in the area, but you miss the dozens of rabbits and other smaller creatures which probably headed south from where the fires and equipment were located.

Donna and I had a not very pleasant surprise yesterday. As we were returning home from my doctor's appointment (with the doctor for whom she works) we spotted several helicopters, with what appeared to be hoses attached to the undercarriage. They seemed to be heading into the arroyo and returning frequently, which indicated some emergency situation.
When we go to the bridge over the arroyo, which connects Mission Viejo to the town of Ladera Ranch, we had our worst fears confirmed. Directly behind the complex the trees and shrubs were burning. Because of the firefighting apparatus we couldn't get to the back of the building, but we were able to get to our apartment. It was pretty scary for the next couple of hours as dozens of firefighters and the two copters poured water and chemicals on several fires spread over a dozen acres.

Talking to our neighbors we found that the fires were reported at around 2:30pm, which meant that they had been going for three hours by the time we arrived. It was several more hours before the majority of the equipment and personnel departed. At least three trucks remained in the area overnight, and you could see the flashlights or helmet lights going back & forth until early this morning. When I left for work at 8:00am two trucks were still there.

This is the second time that the fires have threatened the complex since we've been here. It's almost funny that it was earthquakes I feared prior to our move. Now I have two things to worry about!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

(Results of Pew Research Center poll: 3/26/07)

The item below comes from the Talking Points Memo (TPM) "Happy Hour Roundup":

House Passes Iraq Withdrawal Bill — Only Four Republicans Defect The House just passed a bill sponsored by Dem Rep. Ike Skelton that would force redeployment of U.S. troops to begin within 120 days and complete redeployment by April 1, 2008. While the vote was good news for Dems in that it garnered more supporters than previous measures — it passed 223-201 — an astonishingly low number of four Republicans defected to support it. It's unclear whether a similar measure will be taken up by the Senate. --gs

I know I made a comment half-jokingly in my previous post about Republican Congress folk being afraid of ruffling Rove's feathers, but exactly how out of step with the American electorate are these people?

When a majority of voters express dissatisfaction with the current strategy and many of those want us out (if not immediately, at least in the next year) how can their elected representatives block every attempt to give them what they want? Is this "supporting the troops" by any stretch of the imagination?

Just a couple of quick comments about political events and major new stories.

I find it interesting, if not amusing, that Michael Chertoff’ “gut feeling” of a terrorist attack this summer comes just before the report on benchmarks in Iraq. In fact, I was listening to Chertoff being interviewed this morning on the Today Show and not a half hour later (Pacific Time) NBC broke in with the President’s news conference on the report. We’ve gone through this before when poll numbers are bad or there is some story the Administration wants to distract the media from covering. “It’s Al Queda!”

I expect the White House and their lackeys to spin the report one way, while reality appears a bit different. I also don’t believe that much of anything is going to change until September when a few more Republicans might decide to jump ship. Even then I think that Rove and his ops still have enough leverage with the RNC to keep some of the more borderline Congress folks in check.

Looks to be another good day to keep tabs on TPM and the other political sites.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I think it's political junkies like us that are the ones fascinated with the '08 elections at this point. Despite the stories on the national evening news and articles in all the papers about the Democratic and Republican candidates, I really don't think the average citizen is paying close attention.

I seem to recall that is used to be 'common knowledge' that the public really didn't start paying attention to the elections until after the World Series. What was meant of course was the Series of that particular year, not the one previous. Hell, the All-Star game is on tonight (Go AL!!) and already you have various talking-heads acting as if the nominations are all but set in stone.

Me? I might vote for Ralph Nader again, just like back 2000. I didn't blame myself (or him) for the eventual Bush victory and I won't blame myself when Fred Thompson wins next year.
I don't know why it bothers me, but I was glancing at my Blogger Profile earlier. Why is it necessary to put in things like Astrological Sign and Birth Year? I don't appear to have the option of removing them unless, apparently, I remove mention of my birthday totally.

As somebody who doesn't believe in astrology, or much of anything to be honest, it just seems to promote something I find silly, if not offensive to my general outlook.

You can tell that I woke up in 'one of those moods' today, can't you?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Donna and I goofed off on Saturday, driving up to San Manuel Bingo & Casino for the day. We always meet nice folks there, but this past Saturday was super crowded. Usually there is a decent crowd, but this time the Bingo hall was packed. I think was a combination of the coupons for $25 slot play which had been mailed out to folks, plus the whole 07/07/07 thing.

Sunday was just the opposite, with the two of us doing a lot of cleaning. We're trying to keep ahead in preparation for our move to a two-bedroom the middle of August.

I also spent a couple of hours talking to both my sisters and my best friend, Gerry. Great to catch up on things back in Connecticut. Got a combination of good news and bad news, but it's personal, so I'm not saying anything. Still it does give you pause to think about how things can be going fine one day and turn the next. We're keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for the best for somebody I've known for a very long time.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Weeks ago I recommended and added a link to Michelle Ray's Appalachian Trail hiking journal. We used to work together in Forest Hills and even then she used to pop off almost every weekend to 'section or day' hike. Early on I half jokingly told her that she should write a book about her journey.

Looks like I wasn't the only one, since I learned today that my former fellow librarian will be writing a non-fiction book on the AT. She and her editor are hoping for a '09 publishing date.

If you haven't been reading Bird Leg's journal you owe yourself a treat. She's got almost a thousand miles left to go, but I don't think any of us doubt she'll make it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hope everyone had a safe and relaxing July 4th yesterday. Personally, it felt more like a Sunday all day and I had to remind myself that I had to set the alarm to get up, since I work late on Mondays.

Donna and I spent the morning not really doing much of anything, except laundry. Later we grabbed lunch at El Polo Loco (one of our favorite 'fast food' places, with great chicken dishes) and I picked up some rice bread at Trader Joe's. We then spend the afternoon shopping for living room furniture, in preparation for our move (possibly later this month) to a two bedroom apartment. We didn't buy anything, but have a better idea now of what we want to get (color, style, etc.).

Finally, last night we watched several fireworks displays from our patio. We were able to see three different places from our location, which was kind of cool, since we were really disappointed in the Pasadena coverage on Channel 9 out here. Almost a third of the screen had the station logo and other stuff in three of the four corners, plus along the bottom. In addition the special logo for "Fourth of July Fireworks" actually had exploding bursts every thirty seconds which overwhelmed the real fireworks they were showing. They also were broadcasting the music and 'narrator' very softly for the first ten minutes or so, which was nearly inaudible.

I haven't had a chance to read or listen to any of the news/political blogs so I'll refrain from commenting. I'm sure that there will be something to tick me off.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

After seeing Elayne post her Simpson Avatar, how could I resist.

That's Shotsie over there. Sadly, he actually has more hair than I do.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Had to post today's SHELDON strip for two women who know sadly that that IS me in the strip.

I for one was overjoyed to hear that Scooter will NOT be going to jail. I mean he's only a kid trying to help the other Muppets put on a show and...what? It's not THAT Scooter? Never mind!

So, lying to a Grand Jury and obstructing justice is deserving of a commutation of sentence? I'll have to keep that in mind.

Lots of the same folks who were damning Paris Hilton and saying she deserved to sit in jail, are cheering Scooter Libby being able to celebrate Independence Day with his family. This White House has sure shown us that it has brought honor and respectability back, hasn't it?

Everybody else has written far better than I ever could on both sides of this issue, so I just wanted to have a moment of silliness.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Donna and Kristina are heading back from Las Vegas later today. Donna says the Celene Dion concert was maybe the best one she has ever seen and the both had a good time. I don't want to know how much either spent in the casino but they did rack up enough comps for room service dinner and breakfast, plus matching Ceasar's bath towels to take home. I felt guilty getting a large popcorn at the movies!!

Speaking of which I'm going to try to post some reviews of the movies I saw plus what I caught on the tube. However, I do want to take a moment to recommend ROBOT CHICKEN, over on Cartoon Networks "Adult Swim", if you haven't seen it. Seth Green & company are brilliant.