Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A California Carol

I only wish something like this would happen! Things look bad here and I don't expect them to get any better.

We already have a 10% cut in the Library budget and we are supposed to plan for further cutbacks. Fingers crossed!

Well, Happy Holidays anyway.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Books = Gifts

They really do, you know!

Of course, my "Fra-gee-lee" (it's Italian)leg lamp Christmas ornament was an amazing birthday present. Thanks, sweetheart!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Down Goes Gov. Blagojevich! Does This Help Obama?

Is this going to allow the GOP to start pushing for investigations like we saw throughout the Clinton administration? At least it is going to give the Right something to talk about for months, using it to get contributions from the base.

By the way, Donna is back home and the doctor told her the biopsies were negative. They found no trace of cancer in her thyroid. Whew!

Also, my doctor tells me that the stress test was good and my heart will keep beating for a while. Just have to watch that cholesterol. hehe

Take care and easy on the eggnog!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Star Wars Vs. Star Trek - DMP Edition HQ

Passing this along for fans of both series. Nicely done!

Dedicated to The Child. :-)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

We had a very, nice Thanksgiving out here. Donna's BFF, Fran, is visting so the three of us had a great dinner, that Donna really went out of way to cook. Fran was good enough to bring us some Italian bread & pastries, which we're still enjoying.

On the positive front, the specialist has told me that I DO NOT have glaucoma, but will have to have my eyes checked again since I do have cataracts beginning in both eyes. My mother had them, as did her mom, so I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise. I'm still awaiting the results of a stress test of my heart, which I'm hoping will show good news as well.

Donna will be going in on Dec. 8th for a thyroidectomy. I'll be taking the day off to be with her that day, but she may have to stay in for up to two days. We have our fingers crossed that all will go well.

Like most folks, we have been watching the ongoing drama in Mumbai the past few days. Interesting to find out who may have been behind it, with the Indian press & public believing it to be 'official' sanctioned by the Pakistani government, despite their denials. Naturally, with the crisis still going and little actual information it didn't take long for U.S. "terrorism experts" to announce that it was obviously the work of Al Qaeda or of individuals with ties to them. I saw one such 'expert' who looked barely old enough to be in grad school. How do you get that kind of gig? Shouldn't you have done something besides attend a few classes taught by somebody else who never did anything of note?

Sorry, this sort of thing just pisses me off. Of course, it's all because of Obama anyway!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


We're still working with my blogs filtered here at work, but for some odd reason they are not during the weekends.

Have a busy month ahead of us out here. We're going to be watching somebody's cat for a week around Thanksgiving and Donna's BFF, Fran, will be coming out to stay with us for a few days. Saying much about either will just get me in trouble, so I'll leave it at that. :-)

Don't have much to say about it, but Donna will be having some surgery in early December. You never know about things like that, as it depends on other tests and how her general health will be at that time. I'll keep you all updated and appreciate the nice, e-mails folks have sent asking about her.

Unfortunately, the fire season seems to be off to a start, with hundreds of acres and dozens of homes already burned. Odd that one of the big fires up Santa Barbara way happened the very, day after the state-wide disaster drill. We are all hoping that we won't see a repeat of last year's dozens of fires, which cost billions that we certainly don't have.

I'm currently taking part in an online class on legal research for librarians. Pretty interesting stuff! Not sure now much use I will get from it in my daily work, but it's good to know that I'll have a list of great sites & resources if I do.

That seems to be it for now! Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alone - Veteran Support - IAVA

I wanted to share this with you, if you haven't had the chance to see it yet. I believe it was on the Rachel Maddow program that I first saw it. Then a link was sent via the IAVA newsletter, to which I subscribe.

Donna and I both had doctors appointments on Tuesday, so we didn't have the opportunity to attend any Veteran's Day events. I did watch some of the ceremonies on television.

Donna is doing a bit better, with her foot healing. It looks as if she may be taking a leave of absence from work, so that she can take care of some other health issues. That includes a possible surgery in early December. I'll have more on that when I know more.

Still miss reading and posting on Blogger, but it's still blocked on my office computer. Posting these videos gives me a chance to sort of work around that.

For the next two days, here in SoCal there will be a disaster drill taking place, called the Big Shakeout. All city agencies and many state departments will be taking part in a simulated response to a massive quake. You'll probably see something about it on some of the national news shows.

Take care! I'm thinking of you all.

Monday, November 03, 2008

No on 8 PSA: CONSTITUTION

Donna and I spent a couple of hours yesterday holding up signs and waving to traffic in Mission Viejo. Along with The Child and dozens of other folks we were hoping to bring attention to Prop. 8 here in California.

No on 8! Equality for all!!

Think about the issues and the candidates you are going to support. If you haven't already please get out tomorrow and vote!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


It actually does, no matter what some in the Blogosphere would have you believe. Is the Democratic candidate my first choice of those who initially ran? No, he actually came in fourth, but he was the best choice I had by the time the primaries came around to California. I've grown to have more respect for Obama and certainly feel that he will actually try to make things a little better for the average American.

The McCain campaign has been going downhill from the beginning. Any respect I had for the Old Man is completely gone at this point. The Palin choice certainly didn't help matters in my mind, or apparently in the mind of a great number of his fellow Republicans.

Wow, I can't ever remember so many people publically declaring themselves for the candidate of the other party. Sure, you'd get somebody like Zell Miller (back in 2004) or Joe Lieberman (this year), who unhappy with the Democratic nominee would turncoat and speak before the Republican Convention. This year, especially in the past month, it seems that every news cycle has another well known conservative/Republican politician coming out for Obama.

In case you're wondering, the new filter system at the library appears to allow me to post only on weekends. Don't ask why? I'll continue to try and get here during the week, either by posting videos with commentary or jump on a public terminal during lunch. Still unsure if I want to create a seperate website or see if another posting service can get around the filter.

Anyway, have a nice weekend and be sure to vote this Tuesday, if you haven't already!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Elvira - Haunted House music video

Since I might not have a chance to blog tomorrow...Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama or McCain- Why You Should Vote

I wish I was able to access Blogger from work, but it's still blocked. Felt this video was pretty effective, so it was worth passing along.

Just so you know everything is going smoothly out here. I'm heading to the eye doctor for a checkup and new glasses this Friday.

Friday, October 24, 2008

October 24, 2008: The Day in More Than 100 Seconds

Certainly a bit more than 100 Seconds, but I really want to recommend TPM. They and the Huffington Post are keeping me sane out here.

We're still blocked at work and I'm going to have to figure out something. Might be time to find out something other than Blogger if this keeps up.

Take care, have a good weekend and vote early if you can!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Britney and McCain in 2008

Well, yeah...who wouldn't??

The Library has decided to block (AGAIN!!) Blogger, so I won't be posting much. I have to log on when I'm on break, so it means trying to find a public computer along with everybody else.

I'll try to stay in touch, here and at Shot's Shack, but far less often.

By the way, Donna is feeling a bit better, but still not completely over her cold. I seem to be on the verge of catching one, starting with a scratchy throat. Sigh...

Remember, California voters, NO on Propositions 4 & 8, Yes on 2!! My two cents!!

Monday, October 20, 2008


While I seriously doubt that Sarah Palin's appearance on SNL will change the mind of any voter, I'll give her credit for doing the show. I do wonder how her fellow Alaskans will feel about it though?

At this point I think Palin is moving to establish herself for her own reelection campaign in her home state (should she decide to do that) and for 2012, where she will probably run for the top spot. Palin will have four years to campaign for the White House and has already shown that a certain part of the Republican base will align with her. This was McCain's last and best shot, so we can count him out, even if he doesn't decide to retire from public service at the end of his current term. Romney (aka The Anti-Christ), Huckabee and a few others will be maneuvering to become the favorite, knowing that Caribou Barbie will be in competition.

It was good to see Colin Powell come out for Obama, but I don't think anyone truly expected him to back McCain. I think there is just to much difference between the two men on various domestic and international issues. We'll see how the Right plays this, but I think the matter of race will certainly show it's ugly head. As even John McCain's buddy, Tom Brokaw brought it up the folks at Fox will feel that gives them a free pass to go in that direction.

That's it for now, unless something else happens later.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


If you had asked me about a month ago, I would have said (and I believe may have) that I felt John McCain had the election all but sewn up. The Palin choice seemed to have invigorated the campaign and it appeared the PUMA crowd was going to vote for McCain to get even with the Dems for NOT picking Hillary. Who knew that the bottom was going to fall out of the financial system and change the dynamics of the entire campaigns?

It will be interesting to see what happens tonight in the last debate. I'm willing to bet that McCain does bring up Ayres at least once, if not more, since if he does not he is going to be hit by his own backers and the media. It will seem at this point that he doesn't have the courage to confront Obama and "courage" is the last thing he has to run on. It is a no win for McCain now since the polls have shown that the issue only appears relevant to a small portion of his base, which would not have voted for Barack or any Democrat in any case.

This is also why the Republicans & their media tools are pushing the non-story of ACORN and voter fraud. They realize that they may in fact lose, and lose big, but want to dirty the victory before hand. It doesn't surprise me that FOX is running with this, since everything else they have thrown at Obama has not worked. The disappoint is seeing CNN give coverage to the issue, although a network that gives a platform to right-wing dimwad Glenn Beck would probably do anything so as to appear 'objective' on the issue. I expect them to bring in some 'experts' on the side of lynching so as not to offend some in the Republican base. Just my two cents!

On the personal front, Donna is feeling better, although she still has a cough. We're hoping to recover some of the money we put up for the cruise last weekend, and Carnival says they may let us roll some over for a future booking. We'll see how that works out. We're planning ahead for next year when we would like to take a Caribbean or Panama Canal cruise to celebrate our tenth anniversary. Can you believe that??

In case anybody is wondering, we are pretty much between the major fires out here. Actually nearer to the ones which burned thousands of acres in Camp Pendelton south of us. The other fires are pretty far north, but may effect the area where Elayne's brother lives, and may still as far as I know.

Probably have something to say tomorrow about the debate, especially if the Old Man takes a swing at Barack before it ends. :-)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

John McCain's Rage is a National Security Concern

I fully expect that we are going to see McCain lose it one of these days. Something which, in a way would be good for aht public to know about, but something the Senator has so far been able to control.

Monday, October 06, 2008


With the McCain/Palin campaign reaching the desperation phase in this election, they have announced publicly that they are going to 'turn the page' on the financial crisis and begin attacking Obama even more. If you can't get somebody on the issues attack their character, even if you have to make things up and take them out of context.

This video discusses the actual case of the Keating Five, in which John McCain was deeply involved. It's not quite fourteen minutes long, but should deliver enough information for people to make up their minds.

Check it out & pass it on!

Saturday, October 04, 2008



It is not getting much play, except on some 'progressive' radio talk shows, but this article from the Army Times should get you thinking. Why, suddenly, would the Bush administration decide to bring these Army troops home to perform functions normally conducted by National Guard troops?


According to the article:

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

Training for homeland scenarios has already begun at Fort Stewart and includes specialty tasks such as knowing how to use the “jaws of life” to extract a person from a mangled vehicle; extra medical training for a CBRNE incident; and working with U.S. Forestry Service experts on how to go in with chainsaws and cut and clear trees to clear a road or area.

The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

Are we expecting something perhaps at the end of this month or in early November, that might...oh, I don't know...affect elections?

Just wondering.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Well, it seems that Donna may have sleep apnea, but we have to get the results from her doctor. It's pretty apparent that if she suffers from this than I probably do as well, so I guess it's my turn to get tested. Not the first time that the question of my forgetting to breathe has come up.

The Senate is now in the midst of a debate of the current 'bailout' bill. It has been interesting to hear and read the commentary the past couple of days, both pro & con. I was listening to NPR last night and several economists agree (not on the plan, of course) that having everyone call it a 'bailout' doesn't help matters with the general public. It is not an actual bailout, as that is defined or as most of we uninformed understand the term. Unlike many of my fellow bloggers I am not going to pretend to understand the "problem", but my gut feeling is that we might actually be better off allowing some of these banks & business to go belly up. Then again, I think a 'bank holiday' where debts are forgiven or decreased to workable levels might be a good idea. There is a reason that I'm not working in retail as you can tell. :-)

The smart money says that McCain is stuck with Palin, no matter how she does tomorrow evening. I agree with Mark Evanier that it is too late for the Republicans to make a change at this point, especially with some folks already submitting 'absentee ballots' and Early Voting about to take place in some states. We haven't decided whether or not we are going to take advantage of that this year or just wait until Nov. 4th. We probably will since I'm working late and don't have to be in until noon and Donna has that Tuesday off.

Probably more to say about this whole thing later or tomorrow, depending on what happens in D.C. & Wall Street.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Bailout

This pretty much sums up what I'd like to do. Losers!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

John McCain: Yakety Sax Debate Remix

Just because....

Well, I thought that Obama should have come out a bit more forceful on Friday night. I also think that saying that McCain was right or that he was in agreement with the elder Senator didn't do much for him either. Of course, reading the results of several polls taken that night and over the weekend appear to show that many folks think that Obama did a better job than I did.

The Anti-Christ (Mitt Romney for the uninitiated) was on the TODAY show this morning talking about how well John McCain did and that we should not underestimate Sarah Palin. If you saw the opening of this past Saturday's SNL, either on the broadcast, on YouTube or the various news shows that have been using it since, you know the scary thing is that Tina Fey really didn't have to do much of an exaggeration to make Palin look foolish. Clips of the actual interview with Couric show the Alaska governor is truly out of her depth when it comes to any foreign or domestic knowledge. The worst that could happen, I believe, is that Biden will make the woman look so bad that she will actually gain sympathy from those predisposed to like her and allow the McCain camp to regain some of the momentum they seem to have lost in the past couple of weeks.

As of a few minutes ago (11:00 PST) the House has not voted on the 'bailout' plan that was hammered out this weekend. It will be very interesting to see if the true Conservative Republican members of the House prevent its passage. Where do we go from there, no matte how you feel about the plan as it now stands? Should be an interesting week all around.

Monday, September 22, 2008

When even the Wall Street Journal begins questioning Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson you know something is giving off a bad small. Bad enough that Paulson used to be employed by Goldman Sachs (clue #1) but it appears that this whole thing was done pretty quickly over the weekend (clue #2).

Maybe McCain will want to fire Paulson this time? :-)

Speaking of the Old Man, if you are in need of a snicker or two, you might want to check out the video from TPM showing even George Will appearing to turn on Grampy McSame.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


It really does pay to check the links you have on your site every so often. The past week I've found a couple of websites which have stopped updating and one which changed its URL completely. I couldn't figure out why the page would not load from my blog, but would from others. Chalk it up to laziness on my part!

There seems little reason to go off on what has been happening this past week. I'm afraid to see what the statements from my retirement plans will look like when I get the next ones. We're also doing pretty good on keeping our savings down below the $100,000 mark this year, so no problems there. :-)

Interesting that McCain wants his supporters to believe that this is all Obama's fault and that he hasn't done anything with the past eight plus years. He's a maverick! It says so right in his campaign ads and you can't lie in those!!

Hey, and let's not rehash history with that silly Keating Five stuff either! He was a POW when that happened, wasn't he?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

YouTube's Mass Censorship (S1959)

Something to think about knowing that Lieberman has the ear of McCain.

Don't report me!!

I don't even know what to say about the AIG bailout and the whole financial sh*tstorm brewing on Wall Street. Frankly, as The Old Man said a few times, "I don't understand much about Economics." This is way over my head and I'm not too proud to admit it.

I remember taking only two Economics classes in college (Micro & Macro) and don't think I got above a 'B' in either. Also, it took me three colleges and a CLEP exam to get that undergrad degree, so I can sympathize with poor Sarah on going to all those schools.

If you missed McSame on the various news shows the other day, you might want to check out the "Chicken in every pot" video over at TPM. You'll see him repeating the same phrases on each show and sometimes stumbling. Personally, I almost feel sorry for him, since it's obvious that he's uncomfortable and probably doesn't even understand what he's supposed to be saying.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and state for the record that I believe that Senator McCain is beginning to show signs of Senior Dementia. Folks used to joke about Reagan in his second term (and even his first) but I really believe that if this man is elected that for reasons of health or mental disability he will not remain in office for even a single term. Even some Conservative columnists seem to realize what that might mean.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Okay, I've said it before and I'll probably say it again, but in my opinion the election is all but over. John McCain will be the next President of the United States.

Forced to take Palin, against his better judgment I'm sure, he has discovered that she is his only chance to get into the White House. The Old Man wants this so badly that he will lie and distort his record, Palin's and that of Barack Obama. This is a guy who wants to have "President" on his headstone and knows this is his last chance.

If John McCain ever was a "maverick" it must have been sometime between being a member of the Keating Five and 2000. Personally, I think the fable has more to with his friends in the mainstream media than any actual examination of his voting record would demonstrate. His buddies in the Washington press corp still seem unable to reconcile the "Straight Talker" with the guy running for the third Bush term. He was a POW, you know!

I also think a lot of the folks voting for McCain because of Palin are going to be unpleasantly surprised to discover what their policies are when they go into effect.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

John McCain's ads are LIES. Here's the video proof.

This is a dangerous man! He will use any lie, smear or misleading statement to get into office and continue the policies of the Bush administration.


Seven years ago today the World Trade Center building fell into rubble. Thousands of our fellow citizens were killed. The McCain campaign feels the most important thing to discuss is an old joke about putting lipstick on a pig.

It's pretty apparent that America did NOT change that day, at least not for the better.

Spend a moment to remember those who died that day and those Americans, Iraqis and others who have died since in a war we should not be fighting. Meanwhile, those who planned that initial attack may still be living free.

There really is nothing more I can say.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


These are just a few of the hundreds of photos that we took in Alaska. As beautiful as they may be, they can not do justice to the massive size of the glaciers and the wonderful views.

Among these you'll see me at Mendenhal Glacier, Donna & I in Glacier Bay and aboard the train which goes up White Pass into Canada. This was the trail used by the hopeful as they traveled to the gold mines.

I'll try to post some more when I have a chance. But wanted to at least show a few so you'd get some idea of what we experienced.
































































Monday, September 08, 2008


I really had meant to download some photos and talk about the Alaska cruise, but we ended up taking care of some other things this past weekend. Of course, one of those was researching and booking our next cruise for '09. Wanted to plan for our 10th anniversary! LOL!

We also signed a renewal of our lease, so if you plan to visit over the next twelve months I hope you'll be happy on the sofa sleeper with Babie. :-)

I don't even want to talk about the poll that came out today, since it just makes my head hurt and reminds me how dim some of my fellow citizens have become. Of course, the economy is good, most people are working and there are no wars involving American troops of any note, so why shouldn't we want another four years of the same old thing?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Republican Hypocracy Defends Palin

Some fun stuff from THE DAILY SHOW!

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Let me add this article on GOP lies & half-truths from various speeches and interviews.
Hard to believe that it's from the Associated Press and not Slate or Salon!
It is truly amazing how the folks at the major networks will just sit there nodding and never challenge these people.
Okay, WE just might be in trouble here!
By 'we' I mean Progressives/Liberals & just plain old fashioned (pre-Reaganite) Democrats. While on vacation I had a chance to speak to a few folks about the upcoming election and the Left Blogosphere really is out of touch with the mainstream. Of course, most of us were surprised by the outcome in '04, so it shouldn't come as a surprise.

One of my good friends, whose opinion I respect, was a Hillary supporter who found herself 'leaning towards McCain' (to quote her), but was finding him increasingly disturbing. She was beginning to feel that Obama might be a better choice, which certainly made me happy. Then came the announcement by the Old Man, that he was picking Caribou Barbie as his running mate.

Last night I got a call, around midnight her time back east. Her first words to me were "You're in trouble!", after which she started laughing. "She's feisty!" Again her words.

Now, 'feisty' isn't the first thing I look for in a candidate, but I'm stupidly optimistic enough to believe that issues count for something. Again, I'm part of the Left which is out of touch.

We are in deep doo-doo, my friends!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Well, we're back! I can't begin to tell you how wonderful Alaska was. It seemed that everyday we saw something incredible and the photos (well over 300) we took do not do justice to the beauty of the landscape.

Bears, eagles, seals, otters and countless whales! Man, I only wish the digital camera I had could have brought some of that closer. I hope to have some of the shots from College Fjord, Glacier Bay and Mendenhall Glacier up this weekend. We are going through them, since after a while shots of trees and mountains become repetitive, no matter how amazing they were at the time.

We all agree that we'd love to go back one day, not on another cruise but perhaps tour Danali National Park or other areas.

I had originally planned on checking in once or twice, but between eating, drinking, sightseeing and the casino there just wasn't time. :-)

I'll go into more detail in a few days.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

First off, I think Obama made the right choice with Senator Joe Biden as VP. Not my first pick, but probably the safest and the one which will bring him additional support from long-time Dems.

Well, we are all packed up and ready to fly out of John Wayne Airport tomorrow for Vancouver. Then on Monday, sixteen of us (Donna, me, Donna's BFF Fran and a dozen plus of Donna's cousins and assorted spouses & partners) will be boarding the Island Princess for our seven-day Alaska cruise.

I won't promise anything, but I will try to post once or twice during the cruise, just to gloat. We'll probably check our e-mail also, if you really need to get in touch, but we won't be checking in everyday.

We will definitely be taking lots of photos so if I don't get too close to the edge of a glacier I'll post some of those when I get back. Otherwise, check with my next of kin!

Bon voyage for now!!

John McCain in "Missing, Presumed Dead"

I'm shocked at the behavior of both McCain and Kerry (whom I have admired and voted for) in this situation. Both have things to answer for, especially McCain who has been using his POW experience as both excuse and shield.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Boston Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski is recovering from triple bypass surgery today. Growing up in New England, Captain Carl was legendary and one of those players you enjoyed watching. Like the player he was brought in to replace as an outfielder, the amazing Ted Williams, Yaz instantly captured the hearts of Sox fans.

We're thinking of you, Cap!

War Block Breath Spray

If it was only so easy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's sort of funny that, considering what a political junkie I am, I'll be missing the Democratic convention next week.

Actually, it might be kind of pleasant to give myself a break from the whole thing considering how we'll be beat over the head with it from now until early November. At this point I still can't understand why it doesn't look like a landslide for Obama, even though he is 'different' from past Presidents. :-)

We have all the clothes ready to be packed and other things already put away. No doubt, as usual, we have over packed and might not wear everything we bring. A couple of Donna's cousins (with whom we'll be sailing) were shocked to hear that we'll both bringing more then one suitcase. Still, you can never know what might occur so it's better to bring a few more outfits.

I've gone back and forth on which two books I plan on bringing. I have stuff from both San Diego and the ALA convention, plus five more Joe Bob Briggs books to be reviewed. I'll probably finish the paperback of short mystery/suspense stories on the plane ride up, so I'll still need two for the cruise and the trip back.

I'm definitely going to bring "The Powers That Be", the first volume of a new espionage series called Room 59 by Cliff Ryder (and who doesn't believe that to be a pen name). The publisher was at San Diego giving out freebies and I now regret not being as greedy as other folks and grabbing the next two books. I'll just probably blindly pick one of the JBB books and toss it and the Ryder book in my suitcase.
This may not be fascinating to anyone else, but I really don't have anything else on my mind right now.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bush's I.C.E. Unit Kills Again

This is the sort of thing that demands investigation and not a coverup!

Free Tibet

We should not forget what was done and continues to be done in China.

Oh McCain - Extended Director's Cut

Brilliant and I had to share this!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We enjoyed watching the U.S. Women's Softball team win last night. I have to admit that I did feel a little bad for the Venezuelan team. Donna used to be an assistant coach for a girl's team so she was really into it. We're hoping to see some more games, depending on when they are televised.

Still wishing for Mark Phelps to come in second or third in an event. That would be MY Olympic moment this year!

Interesting report I heard on the radio earlier today. It seems the areas set aside as "free speech" zones in Beijing are unusually quiet. Of course, it might be because the authorities have not given anyone the necessary permits which would allow them to gather there. I'm sure G.W. & Company were taking notes for possible copycat action during the GOP convention. Heads up to the Mayor of Minneapolis-St. Paul! Pay close attention.

G.W. is back (unfortunately) and making noises about the events taking place in Georgia. As I said in the last post, there really is nothing we can do about the situation. I hope that the U.N. does take some action (however futile), but don't expect Putin to change his plans even then, being the little Stalin that he has shown himself to be. Time for Rand-McNally to change the maps again, since if he gets away with this I expect Putin to find excuses to go into other former Soviet states to reclaim them.

Apparently the current campaigns of neither Obama or McCain really are as relevant as what did or did not happen in the Edwards & Clinton camps the past six months. Of course, Barack does have a lot of nerve going to some foreign nation like Hawaii for a holiday!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Show of hands: When you heard that Russia had invaded Georgia, your first concern was that the price of peaches was going to go up? Then you realized it was the country and not the state. Thirdly, you knew deep down that you don't care either way? Am I alone in this?

Seriously, if nothing else it proves beyond doubt that the U.S. is pretty much impotent when it comes to international affairs. I'm sure that Putin had a good laugh, probably in G.W.'s face, when Bush said Russia should not invade a sovereign nation. Like everyone else in Beijing, Putin knows that the President is there to suck up to the Chinese, begging them not to foreclose on the U.S. At least not until after the election, when it can be blamed on somebody else. Probably the Democrats and Bill Clinton.

Donna and I have been watching the Olympics on & off all weekend. Taking a break Saturday night for Bingo and yesterday to do some shopping and grab lunch at Mimi's Cafe. As I've mentioned before, I actually prefer the Winter games for enjoyment and action. Not to knock the track & field, swimming, etc.

Anybody else rooting for Michael Phelps NOT to win the gold in each event? Nothing personal against him, but I'd just like all the announcers to shut up. It almost seems like Phelps is the only athlete competing who deserves notice. My hope is that a Silver or Bronze would get NBC to focus on someone else for a change.

Finally, and this holds true for every time gymnastics are televised. How old are these girls? This is especially apparent in the Chinese team, where I don't know if some have even reached puberty yet!! It kind of makes my feel creepy.

Anyway, enjoy the games! Bush seems to be....

Saturday, August 09, 2008


We watched most of the opening ceremony last night while visiting. We also caught some of the 'parade of nations', when we got home, until both of us were falling asleep in our chairs. It certainly was an amazing spectacular, no matter what you might think of the Chinese government or its policies. It is apparent that whomever hosts the next Olympics will not be able to match it in size or scope, even if they go all out using technology.
Found it interesting that Matt Lauer actually spoke on several controversies and political issues as the various countries were announced. As usual, Bob Costas was on hand with lots of information on the various Olympic athletes, both past and present. Neither spent too much time talking over the actual ceremony just to hear themselves talk. The absence of Katie Couric was noted and greatly appreciated by me, at least. Overall it was a good job, although I suppose you could argue with some of the camera shots and angles which didn't aid the viewer.

Of course, I can't let the subject drop without saying a few words about His Smugness and the Mrs. Did he seem especially bored by the event? It appeared as if he was fiddling with his binoculars and twitching his leg quite a bit. As for her, she had the same smile and bored expression in every single shot. It really did seem that neither wanted to even be there, but when you are in debt to somebody you need to pay your respects.

Finally, I'm saddened to hear of the problems in the marriage of John Edwards. It doesn't effect, in my mind, the positions he has taken or the ideas he expressed on the issues in the Presidential campaign. I believe I still would have voted for him, had his name been on the ballot and the scandal erupted earlier. I'm really sorry that the Obama campaign will now have to spend time and effort putting distance between the candidate and his former opponent.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend and whatever Olympic event you care to watch.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

It's hard to believe that our cruise is less then three weeks from today. We haven't even started to get our stuff together, which for Donna is unusual, since she is usually way ahead. Probably come down to pressing our formal wear and making sure we have enough clean casual stuff for the eight days. Big debate about whether or not to pack more then one swimsuit, as we aren't sure if one of the pools is covered or not and you can't predict the weather up in Alaska.


We thought about taking the laptop along, but decided against it. To likely to either get lost, stolen or just sit in the stateroom unused. We are going to get one of the Internet plans that the cruiselines offer, where you pay for a certain amount of online time ahead, with additional cost if you go over. Never hurts to keep in touch, plus I might try to blog just for the novelty of doing so while on vacation.

Since our other camera was taken out by a Jedi in San Diego, we bought a new one (and a tad better while we were at it) this past weekend. We'll be playing with it to make sure we know what we are doing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nothing to add to what I said yesterday about the quake, except that the U.S. Geological Survey now lists it as a 5.4 rather than a 5.8. Trust me, I don't think the .4 makes a hell of a lot of difference when you are in the middle of the damn thing!!

Very little damage and only a few minor injuries were reported. The news shows and sites here on the 'net are filled with video of folks looking around or running for dear life. Do I care that Judge Judy all but stained her gown running for her life or that the male & female bimbos in the Big Brother house got scared? Amusing video in both cases, but hardly news worthy.

The only thing that happened in our apartment was that a card we had on top of the television fell over. Not nearly the mess I feared would confront us when we got home.

We heard from Dan yesterday, who was visiting Disney's California Adventure park. He said they made folks leave the park while they checked the rides and attractions for damage. He had joked over the weekend about wanting to experience a quake, but said he wasn't really serious and was pretty unnerved by the whole thing.

One quick thing on the political front and I know I'm repeating myself. How can the Presidential race still be this close according to polls? Is anybody paying attention to the silly, old man?

The answer is yes! At least from what I gathered over the weekend speaking to a couple of people whom I like and respect. Obama is not to be completely trusted and he is an elitist. Both of these comments from college educated folks with good paying jobs. We better hope that there will be a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, since we might be seeing a President McCain come next January if this keeps up.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Holy crap! We sure felt that one out here.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey there was a 5.8 quake, followed by a 3.4 aftershock. It was about 7 mi. east of Los Angeles near Chino.

We evacuated the Library for a few minutes and then allowed folks to come back in. Naturally, being Californians many didn't want to get up from their computers at all. Of course, it was our fault (pardon the expression) that they lost some time. *sigh*

Except for some books falling from the shelves we have suffered no damage here at the Library.

I couldn't get through to Donna on her cell, but she called me from her office phone and we compared notes. This may explain why neither of us saw Babie almost all morning. A co-worker said her cat had been acting 'hinkey' all day.

I'll let you know more if anything happens.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Lots of strange stuff went on this past weekend in San Diego and I don't know where to start.
I got through the event with the only damage being a twisted ankle and a broken shutter on my digital camera.
The first from trying to climb out of a taxi Friday night with several bags of action figures and a backpack. I was exhausted to begin with and I think it just my lack of coordination that did the trick.
The second thing I owe to a light saber swing from some Jedi. You'd expect that sort of thing from the Seth, but not from Obi Wannabe! Fortunately, the camera still works but I have to be careful not to touch the lens. Donna sees it as an excuse to get a better camera and I have to admit she took the news of the accident better than I feared.
Bottom line is that Dan and I had a good time, both of us getting a lot of stuff. Seeing what Dan picked up made Donna appreciate the fact that I collect comics and very few action figures. It's costing him a couple of hundred dollars to ship his goodies back home to New Jersey. Add to that the several hundred he spent to get the figures and the others he has pre-ordered at the con. (Personally, I would never buy five of the He-Man figures in order to get the one limited edition King Grayskull! Just speaking for myself, of course.)
I'll be talking more about this over at Shot's Shack the next few days and hope to be able to download the far too few photos I took. With the shutter jammed I could only use the camera on Friday.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Between now and Election Day I'm going to be saying this a lot, so bear with me.

How in the Hell can anybody be taking John McCain seriously as a Presidential candidate? Can the polls that show him within a few points of or actually leading Obama among voters actually reflect reality?

I know that Obama is a scary, black guy with a funny name, but even so he certainly should be more acceptable then a senile, old man whose chief claim to fame is something that happened four decades ago. I won't belittle what he went through, but that and getting folks to forget that he was one of the Keating Five (thanks for getting the American tax payer to bail out the S&Ls John!) should not qualify him to sit in the Oval Office, except for coffee.

Adding either the Anti-Christ or The Exorcist as VP, can only add to the guys scary factor, but apparently there are lots of white folks who are okay with that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Morning Jacket - Librarian

Librarian is the name of the album by this group. :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Grampa Abe McCain

Vote for me! I'm old and uuumm...can I have my oatmeal now?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008




Does it even pay at this point to mention the lies and misinformation His Smugness put out this morning? Apparently, he has been planning for this all along and he warned us about the price of oil rising and the like. No surprise to him. Also, it's the fault of Congress (especially those who call themselves Democraticals) that everything isn't working out. Bastards!!

It's all good and we can trust him to have it all fixed before he leaves office. The best thing would be to skip the elections and just hand everything over to John McCain. Why go through the hassle of all that voter fraud, intimidation and another move by the Supreme Court?

Stop whining!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

So can we safely say that the President is a blowhole? Is that still within my First Amendment rights?

Looks like the economy is about to totally go down the toilet and the American taxpayer about to bail out banks and lending institutions that are 'too big to fail' (whatever that is supposed to mean). So naturally, His Smugness has decided to help out his oil buddies and future employers by ending the ban on off-short drilling. Hell, why not? The lame ass seat warmers in Congress, going by the name Democrat, haven't stopped the SOB from doing anything else he wants, so why start at this point?

Yeah, I have a headache and don't feel all that well, why do you ask?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

For some reason I was unable to sign into Blogger Thursday, but I wanted to let you folks know how things turned out.

Donna is home and getting used to her medication. Unfortunately, one of the side-effects is possible dizzy spells, which was also one of the symptoms of her heart ailment. Thanks to the major pharmaceutical companies for doing such a great job!

There are no major problems, but there appears to be a portion of her heart which is not receiving enough blood. This is in the tip of the heart (if you glance at an illustration) and her doctors feel that it is not serious enough at this time to operate or do anything invasive.

They want her to have a 'sleeping test' to monitor her outside the hospital. They believe she may have sleep apnea, but neither of us have seen any indication of that. As someone who was thought to have had that myself I think I'd have noticed after all this time.

She will be going back to work on Monday and we'll be keeping an eye on her, as you can imagine. It was wonderful to receive the phone calls and e-mails asking about her. We gratefully appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Okay, here it is down to the basics.

Donna had not been feeling well and had an appointment to see a cardiologist today. Monday she was tired and her feet were swelling, but we chalked it up to the cruise. Tuesday morning both feet were badly swollen, she had shortness of breath and it appeared that her lips were bluish. She got an immediate appointment with the doctor (one of the perks of working in the medical field where so many doctors know each other) and was told that she had to be admitted to the hospital.

She spent yesterday undergoing different tests on blood, a CAT scan and with various monitors attached. This morning she will be having a 'stress test' and hopefully will be released by this afternoon.

There does seem to be some irregularities with her heart and the diabetes, plus her other meds are making things diagnosis difficult. Sadly she had a bad night, but I guess we expected that given her being wired and unable to shift much in bed.

I'm concerned, but trying not to panic. I love her very much and hoping that everything will work out.

I'll let you know as things progress.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Oh, man! I am so beat....

Donna and I have been up since around 5:15 this morning, since we decided to do the self-check out option. Had to be all packed and ready to leave the ship by 6:30am. Maybe sitting in the casino, gambling and having drinks wasn't the best idea for Sunday night. :-)

While the cruise was fun overall, we've agreed that we won't be doing a July 4th one again. Seems that a third of the passengers were twelve and under, with little parental supervision. Place felt like a Disney cruise sometimes!

The next thing on the agenda (not counting some doctor appointments) is the San Diego ComicCon at the end of the month! I think Donna will be happy to have the place to herself for a few days.

Thursday, July 03, 2008



Donna and I are heading out for a weekend cruise on the Carnival Paradise, so I won't be lurking or posting until next Monday (7/7).

Folks might remember that we took the same ship on the same 3-day package last November with Donna's BFF, Fran. This time out it is just the two of us away for a romantic break from everything. This will get us into practice for the Alaska cruise next month! :-)

Hope that you all have a safe & happy Independence Day weekend. Take a moment to think of the history of this country and the men & women in uniform not able to celebrate with their families.

See you all on Monday!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I had a nice time at the American Library Association annual convention this past Sunday. Ran into a couple folks I know and got all kinds of stuff. I actually had to go out to my car after a couple of hours as my 'goodie' bag was getting heavy, after dropping off all of that I headed back in for another hour or so.

Got to chat with Dave Kellett, who does the SHELDON strip, getting a nice sketch of Arthur in my copy of the 1st SHELDON TPB,"Pure Ducky Goodness". The guys from UNSHELVED seemed busy, so I'll try to catch up with them at San Diego later this month.

Lots of publishers were promoting manga (Viz, TokyoPop, among them) and there were a couple of anime distributors showing off their catalogs. I must have about thirty catalogs from different publishers and I plan to go through them, as well as actually reading some of the manga, comics and prose novels I was handed. I have at least two DVDs and some audio CD samplers that I grabbed.

The biggest prize was totally unexpected and I don't really know if I should mention it, since I don't believe that it was supposed to be a give-away. I'll just say that it sometimes pays to act the total fanboy, which I have down pretty well after all these years. I'll only mention that it includes a PVC figure of one of my favorite comic characters and a reprint of one of his mini-series.

Somewhere on the 'net there are supposed to be photos of me with IRON MAN, a couple of pirates and a pic of me holding a copy of the aforementioned SHELDON TPB. They were all seperate incidents, so as not to confuse you. It's possible that I might also show up in other photos of the Anaheim convention, since there were a lot of exhibitors taking video and digital pictures of the show.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The CS6 Numa Numa Project

This is how I spent almost ten years of my life. Things haven't changed.

FTN!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


How could I not post this? I also heard that there may be a Mr. Peabody & Sherman live-action movie in the making. We'll see!
Talking Points Memo had this article today, with a link to the original Washington Post column from Richard Cohen that explains the 'real' reason that John McCain is getting off easy. Now it all makes perfect sense! Recommended read!!
If you do head over to TPM check out the two items regarding Albania. Coincidence?

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Tribute to George Carlin

Nothing says more about the man than he did in his own words.

Always remember!



I was deeply saddened to learn earlier today of the passing of George Carlin. The man was brilliant and except for his attempts at a sitcom or two, he seemed to succeed at just about everything he did. Writer, actor, comedian.

Like most guys my age, I listened to Carlin's albums over and over until I could do entire bits by memory. Along with those of The Firesign Theatre and Cheech & Chong, the Carlin albums helped to form my adult sense of humor, as the Stooges did that of my youth.

Wherever or whenever you are, Mr. Carlin, I hope you have room for your stuff!

When I get a chance, either here or over at Shot's Shack I'll probably post some video clip in memoriam.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


This should come as no surprise, but here's the article from the New York Times discussing the oil deal being wrapped up in Iraq.

I can't even joke about this and the fact that it is one those great "no bid" contracts makes it even more obvious that this has been one of the goals all along.

Have you no shame, America? Was it worth the over 4,000 U.S. troops that lost their lives? Will cheaper oil make us safer and cheer the families of the dead?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I suppose it should not have been a surprise, but I was disappointed to learn that the New York Mets have fired Willie Randolph as their manager.

There were calls from fans and the NY sports press to let Willie go at the end of last season and the bad early showing of the team increased those calls. Still it seems odd that the Mets ownership would do this after the team won the last two games.

I'm sure this won't be the last we'll see of Mr. Randolph and I would like to see him bounce back, perhaps leading a NL team next season to victory over his former employers.

I also don't expect to see any manager picking up the pieces at this point and do a much better job. We'll see.

While I'm on the topic of baseball. Go Red Sox!!! If they could only play as well on the road as at Fenway there would be no stopping them.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I hope you all enjoyed your Sunday, whether you celebrated Father's Day or not. We relaxed and did some domestic stuff, then ended the day tossing some burgers on the grill. We had spent a couple of hours down at the pool on Saturday evening, but were more in the mood for air conditioning and our recliners last night.

My sympathy goes out to any of you in the mid-west who are having problems with flooding and the weather in general. I see that the mid-Atlantic is going to be hit today or tomorrow and I'm certainly glad to be missing out on that. I'm sure those of you in Iowa and other effected areas are all looking forward to G.W. flying out to tell you how he and Homeland Security are going to help out, now that he is returning from his latest overseas waste of time. Seeing video of the flooded homes and businesses immediately makes one remember New Orleans, but have our fingers crossed that things might go a bit better for you this time around.

I had to pay $4.53 the other day at the pump and I'm afraid to see what it might be Wednesday when I have to refill. Donna and I were laughing at some guy complaining about paying $4.10 somewhere, wishing we were only paying that much! We're already seeing some supermarkets raising the prices on some items, especially California tomatoes which have been declared safe.

As you can see, nothing of note to pass along, but did want to let you know I'm thinking of you!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

John McCain: No, You Can't

I enjoyed this.

I was surprised and saddened to hear the news yesterday of Tim Russert's passing. I had my problems with him at times, but you certainly couldn't argue that Meet The Press was one of those shows that news junkies had to follow. Also, if you watched NBC, MSNBC or even local NBC affiliates you saw Russert discussing the current political stories.

As many of his friends and colleagues said it will be strange not to have around during the rest of the election cycle. They guy sure loved politics.

My condolences to his family, friends and the viewers who enjoyed his broadcasts.

On a personal note, I was surprised to discover that Russert and I were the same age. It was especially strange that I heard the news as I was coming from a visit to my own doctor's office where she scheduled me for tests of my heart. My mother and both paternal grandparents suffered from heart problems and with that kind of history I probably shouldn't take chances.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Not shocking, but still an interesting article in USA TODAY on folks in higher income brackets not paying their fair share. Right! Big surprise, huh?

Since getting told that removing our troops isn't important to John McCain, I guess he'll be focusing on his economic policy plans. A leader for change, for sure!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


It's time to write your Congress person to get behind Dennis Kucinich on the articles of impeachment.

I don't expect anything to come of this, given the cowardice of the Democratic leadership in both Houses. However, I think an e-mail or phone call to your representative might let them know that we are not just a few out of touch Leftists.
So how was your day?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Well, the past weekend was pretty busy.

Saturday we finally got around to putting up the Thomas Kincaid print we bought at auction & had framed. It looks really nice over the loveseat. We also put up a valance over the window to the balconey, something we have talked about since we moved in but put off. Now that we have put the househunting on hold we are doing some rearranging and decorating on the apartment.

We have some more valances to put up in the guest room and I have to decide if I'm going self-frame my Speed Racer poster or have it professionally done. Considering it is signed and the price (don't ask, even at auction!) I might have somebody who knows what they are doing take care of it and not just throw it into something I pick up at Wal-Mart. :-)

Don't think I mentioned it, but our PC monitor went out after barely two years (I do not recommend Acer!), so we went to Circuit City to buy a new one. We got a nice 19" HP flat-screen, which we are happy with so far. Also, Donna got me an early Father's Day present and I returned the favor, for no reason other than we both wanted one, by buying me my first MP3 player. We went with a couple of Sansa products, with FM tuners, since it will be nice to have that as an option. As I learn more about using it I'll let you know what I think. So far, I'm happy with the FM presets, but not sure how I feel about the five 'free' songs that come already installed.

More on all this tech later.

Friday, June 06, 2008


Does it pay to even discuss the events of the past week? I mean the pundits and talking heads have been all over the Clinton/Obama thing since Tuesday night, so I doubt I have anything new or original to say. Not that I’ve let that stop me before. :-)

It bothers me that there are actually websites being set up by supposed Hillary supporters to urge Democrats to vote for John McCain. I know that I’ve said things in the past about not voting for her, but I know that I would NEVER vote for McCain out of spite. The man and his Party represent everything I am against culturally and philosophically. Personally, while some of these people setting up the site might actually be Dems, I think a lot of folks signing up are really Republicans hoping to keep the animosity going through November. They know that only if the Democratic Party splits will McCain win the election.

I also don’t believe the ‘campaign maps’ that the news shows are trotting out. I don’t think that there really is a huge base of support for McCain, even among Republicans. I’m sure there are a great number of people who respect him for what he did and what the media paints him as, but I don’t know that they are all waiting to see him in the White House.
Of course, I was wrong about the last two elections, so….

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Bad commute into work this morning, due to a couple of accidents. First one was on Crown Valley Parkway, which turned a five minute turn-off for gas into about fifteen minutes. Then there was an accident which tied up two lanes on the 5 and backed up everything before the 55 turnoff. I'm glad I tend to leave early everyday since I never know what I'm going to encounter.

By the way, I've all but stopped looking at the price at the pump, since it has passed the $4.13 a gallon mark for Regular. It would take longer to search for cheaper gas than to head to the AM/PM where I usually stop off. It generally has the cheaper gas in the area anyway. Heck, a gallon of gas costs more than a pack of cigarettes, which considering the taxes on that stuff here in California is up around $3.80 a pack. Glad that cigarettes aren't among my current vices!

We rearranged the living room yesterday, so that meant the folks from Cox Communication had to come out and switch on the cable. We used their visit as the final incentive to get a DVR for the one set, but haven't started playing around with it yet. According to them we can record two shows simultaneously, although we can't watch a third one at the same time. When we do start recording we would probably move to the bedroom and watch there. Of course, it is pretty rare when there are more than two shows we watch at the same time. We do like the way the 'guide' appears now, since it allows you to watch the current station while scrolling the upcoming shows. The previous version didn't allow that, so we would usually wait for commercials to check on what we wanted to see next.

Yeah, we do have pretty boring lives, don't we?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Back in my youth I had the opportunity to catch a number of concerts. I’ve talked about some of them before, but the death yesterday of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bo Diddley reminded me of the time I saw him perform.

I was stationed in Norfolk, VA at the time and a few of us decided to take in a ‘rock ‘n’ roll revival’ concert on evening. The headliner was Chuck Berry, along with Bo Diddley, ‘Chubby’ Checker and several singing groups from that era, The Dovells (“Bristol Stomp”) & The Shirelles (“Soldier Boy”).
The show was opened by a local 'fifties' group that played covers of several artists, none of them part of the show. They also played back up for some of the artists later. First The Dovells performed, followed by The Shirelles. Both were excellent, but I don't know enough about either group to be able to tell if how many, if any, of the original members of either was on stage that night. There was no mistaking Chubby Checker when he came out and performed about a half dozen songs. Doing the 'twist' for so many years, he was certainly not 'chubby' by any means and he had the crowd up and moving for his entire set.
A couple of hours before the show one of my friends (Don Ludwick, I believe) and I were sitting in front of the hall trying to decide if we wanted to grab a bit to eat. A black guy, in a wide-brimmed black hat and carrying a guitar case comes over to us and asks if we know how he can get inside. I ask him if he is in the show and he smiles, telling us that he is. We tell him that if he goes around the side of the hall that he’ll see the delivery doors and that they would probably let him in there. He thanked us and went off as we had directed.

By now of course, you know where this is going. As he walks away both of us realize that the guitar case he has is rather oddly shaped. It’s square! At the same instant we both say to each other…”That was Bo Diddley!!” Brush with greatness, indeed.
After Chubby Checker, it was time for Bo Diddley to step on stage. If Don and I had any doubt about the identity of the man before we were not disappointed to have been proven right. Not only did Bo Diddley do his own amazing set, but he later sat in on drums backing Chuck Berry. How can you forget something like that?

Rest in Peace, Ellas Otha Bates. Hey, Bo Diddley!

Monday, June 02, 2008


The big news out here has nothing to do with Presidential politics, Iraq or the economy (except in the local sense), the major story in the newspapers, on radio & television has been the fire at Universal Studios this past weekend.

It was pretty spectacular to wake up yesterday, turn on the news and see aerial shots of the New York City street, King Kong building and assorted sets & film stages going up in smoke. For close to twelve hours firefighters were trying to contain the blaze, keeping if from spreading to other studio buildings and up the hillside to private homes. Fortunately, there were only a few injuries, mostly to firefighters and those non-serious. Considering the amount of flammable material and several explosions that took place it could have been much worse.

Early reports seem to indicate that workmen may have accidentally caused the fire while working on the New York set.

Donna and I have talked about doing the tour, but have never gotten around to doing so. We have both been there in the past, she several times with Kristina and others, and I went with Elayne years ago. We both have found memories of the visits and might finally get around to doing another trip once some of the clean up has taken place.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It was great seeing so many of Donna’s family and friends this past weekend. It was also a good reminder of why we don’t miss Brooklyn as much as you might think.

Don’t get me wrong, there are things we do miss (good pizza, bagels and Italian bread & pastries) but more we don’t (alternate side of the street parking tops the list). It was nice to have a Dunkin’ Donuts only a few blocks away, plus amazing Italian restaurants & pizzerias within walking distance. Except for Tuesday the weather was good, especially on Monday when my brother-in-law Doug had a barbecue in the back yard.

The flight out on U.S. Airways wasn’t all that great, as we hit turbulence over the central states and changing planes in Las Vegas was a pain in the butt. Both there and at JFK (where we flew back from via Jet Blue) are under construction, so we had to take shuttles from one terminal to another. Fortunately, we did have enough time in both cases. The planes were packed both ways, and even First Class on U.S. Airways isn’t what you would think it would be. The extra seat space is nice, but you would expect more than the usual snacks and soft drinks for the price wouldn’t you?

Unless a family emergency, wedding or the like arises I can’t see us flying back in the next couple of years. I do feel guilty that I wasn’t able to see my sisters & friends in Connecticut, but they have open invitations to come out here at any time. We have talked about trying to sail on a cruise together one of these days, but we’ll have to wait and see. Since I have more vacation time than Donna, I might take a few days next year and just fly solo to Connecticut.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We have had some very, heavy rains and flash flooding today. The worst were in the areas still recovering from the wild fires of last year. Fingers crossed this is over by the time I have to drive home!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I've added two new links over on The Left that you might want to check out.

Tabloia! is from web artist and fan, Chris Wisnia and lots of very talented folks. Those include Sergio Aragones, Dick Ayers, Jill Thompson, John Severin, Sam Keith and others. If you miss the old WEEKLY WORLD NEWS, love giant monsters and just want to laugh this is a site you might enjoy.

On the other hand, What's The Harm? is a bit more serious, although they do have a sense of humor. Here you will find links to sites which look critically at pseudo-science, 'alternative medicines' and other things which really might not be as 'harmless' as you might think. Hopefully, you do think?

On the political front, there's not much to say about the results of yesterday's primaries. Neither was a surprise to anyone following the polls and talking heads, with both candidates doing pretty much as expected. Although a couple polls had Hillary doing a bit better in Oregon than she ended up doing. With only three primaries left to go I don't think there is any doubt who will be the nominee in early June.

One interesting thing from last night was Tucker Carlson (on Dan Abrams' After Hours show on MSNBC last night) hinting that there were things about Obama that we don't know yet, but will come out in the Fall. Curious if he has some knowledge or is just trying to help Rush with Operation Chaos.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Donna finalized our plane tickets for this Friday, so all that's left to do is pack. We're flying out of John Wayne Airport on a 'red eye' for JFK. It will be nice to see Donna's family and some friends for a few days before heading back here.

It's weird, as I may have said before. It is still sometimes surprising for me to look around and realize that we are actually living in California. Just a few years ago it was something we talked about doing 'one day' but now we are actually here and just going to New York to visit. I'm happy to see the reservations call for a round-trip. :-)

I have a class in Microsoft Office '07 later today, which I'm not thrilled about. I have a feeling it will just confuse me more than I already am, but it's not like I have a choice. All out computers are being updated in the next few weeks, plus we are planning on upgrading the public PCs later this year. I feel ignorant enough about some of the things folks want to do on the computer without the additional headache of learning a new system. Oh, well!

Probably have a few more comments later tonight, since I'm working.

I was saddened to learn of Ted Kennedy's medical problem. It really doesn't look good, but my fingers are crossed and I'm hoping for the best. I don't believe that he is up for election until 2010, but it would not surprise me to find that his doctors and family may push for him to retire perhaps after the November elections.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I had yesterday off so I used a 'free pass' a friend gave me to catch IRON MAN at the local multi-plex. I'll post a quickie review over on SHOT'S SHACK later today.

Donna & I had to renew our Verizon contract and took the opportunity to get updated phones and new numbers. Up to yesterday we still were using our New York numbers, which was pretty confusing, but not worth the price of changing them over. We now have local phone numbers, so some of you can expect phone calls and others e-mail. If you need my number ASAP drop me an e-mail or call our home phone.

Autism Recovery-A Remarkable Conversation PART 1

The first part of an interview with my friend Dorian Tenore-Bartilucci on autism. Today Dorian is one of most intelligent and witty women you could hope to meet. A wonderful mother and very, talented writer.

The interview should give hope to parents and family members who deal with autistic children.

Good for you, Dorrie!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

G.W. seemed to use his Knesset speech as an opportunity to take a swipe at Obama.

Does the GOP really want to get into painting Obama as anti-Israeli? A glance at his Senatorial voting record would show that is not the case. On the other hand, the Dems might want to discuss the cozy relationship this administration has with Saudi Arabia, including a very large military sale to them. Hardly done to make Israel safer, IMHO.

John McCain vows to get us out of Iraq by 2013, just in time for his second inaugural I guess.

The John Edwards endorsement of Obama is nice and a sucker-punch to Hillary, for sure.

Also on the plus side, the California Supreme Court overturned a ban on gay-marriage here in the state. Of course, this is another issue the GOP can use to raise funds and get out the 'faithful' this election year.

Another swell day in American politics!