Monday, January 30, 2006


Random Thoughts

Marriage changes passion. Suddenly you're in bed with a relative.

I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it, so I said "Implants?"

I don't do drugs. I get the same effect just standing up fast.

Sign in a Chinese Pet Store: "Buy one dog, get one flea..."

I got a sweater for Christmas. I really wanted a screamer or a moaner.

I don't approve of political jokes. I've seen too many of them get elected.

There are two sides to every divorce: Yours and Butthead's.

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.

I am a nobody, and nobody is perfect; therefore, I am perfect.

How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?

Isn't having a smoking section in a restaurant like having a peeing section in a swimming pool?

Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked?

Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.

Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants.

Via: Hey Joe!

Sunday, January 29, 2006


You're always interested in trying something different, learning the latest skill, and inventing new ways of doing things. The incredible breadth of your expertise has gained you the reputation for being a "know-it-all." Chances are you would have great success as a computer programmer or software developer. You also have considerable writing talent and may want to try your hand at journalism. Whatever career you choose, it should involve gathering and processing lots of information. Such work greatly appeals to your neat, orderly mind.

You are very physically affectionate, and you need a partner who loves to cuddle as much as you do. Chances are you will enjoy a fulfilling sex life well into your golden years. This will keep you strong, healthy, and vigorous. Later in life, folks may tease you about your youthful exuberance and demand to know your secret. Replying with a mysterious smile will give you a delightful kick. One thing is for sure; you will get better as you grow older. Clever and witty, you like folks with a good sense of humor. Geminis, Leos, Sagittarians, and Capricorns keep you rolling in the aisles. Earth signs are your best bet for romance as these are the only signs that are as sensual and passionate as you. A tender Taurus, virtuous Virgo, or comely Capricorn would make a good mate for you.

Via: East West Horoscope spotted at Mickey's Musings.

What? You didn't know it's the Chinese Lunar New Year? Shame on you. As a matter of fact, it just happens to be The Year of the Dog!

Oh, and the Carnival of the Dogs is up at Mickey's, too.

Okay. I'm a Rabbit Virgo. So if I plug Hubby's birth date in, let's see . . .

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Saturday, January 28, 2006


January 28, 1986 and January 27, 1967

Friday, January 27, 2006

Congratulations Canada!

Your election earlier this week attracted the attention of some of this country's most notable moonbats. Good job!

Writing from within the United States and before your polls even opened, Michael Moore felt compelled to issue a statement on your country's elections. Compelled!

No, he's not a Canadian but what the hell. He's a Lefty Loon which, as we all know, makes him far better suited than you are to decide what's right best for you.

Despite MM's advice, you still elected conservative Stephen Harper as your next Prime Minister.

And now, here comes Al Gore!

ABFreedom points to this article in which Gore accuses big oil of bankrolling Tories.

"The election in Canada was partly about the tar sands projects in Alberta," Gore said Wednesday while attending the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

"And the financial interests behind the tar sands project poured a lot of money and support behind an ultra-conservative leader in order to win the election . . . and to protect their interests."

Same ol' tune for Albert, just a different country. Canada this time.

(Aincha glad he ain't Prez?)

What few people here in the U.S. are aware of or remember not to mention a few who prefer that it not be mentioned at all, is that surprisingly enough Gore knows a little something about the oil industry and political corruption.


Does the name Armand Hammer ring any bells? Maybe Occidental Petroleum?

No, our former VP doesn't have any shares in that company. He just manages his mother's portfolio in which the shares are held.

A stretch? I'd agree, except Fat Albert's father -- Al Gore, Senior -- became a VP with the company and put on its Board shortly after being forced from political office in disgrace. Some corruption thingie. A Senator from Tennessee he'd been. A seat young Albert later filled.

When "Al Senior" died, the shares he owned passed on to his wife, young Albert's mother.

There's so much more I can't begin to do it justice.

But back in January 2000, the Center for Public Integrity most certainly did:

How the Gores, Father and Son, Helped Their Patron Occidental Petroleum.

In October of that year and just before the election Gore LOST, CPI reported Gore was still stonewalling them.

Congratulations Canada.

When our Lefty Loons start taking pot shots at your new government even before it takes office, you're definitely on the right track.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dog Heaven

The first day is the hardest. Then there's the first week. And then comes . . .

No, I'm not used to Tank being gone. It's been a week and it sounds nuts, I know, but I've been catching glimpses of him just out of the corner of my eye. He's not here, I know, but rounding the corner taking dinner dishes to the sink the other night, just for an instant I swear I saw him dancing backwards, ears up and tail wagging, sure that in exchange for his promise that he wouldn't tell anyone, I'd sneak him a little sliver of something I'd left on my plate.

I heard him, too. His feet on the kitchen floor, just like I have for so many years. But he really wasn't there, of course.

Or maybe, just for an instant here and there, he actually has been.

When I took Starbuck out for the second time this morning, I found a box that FedEx had dropped over the fence. The sender, Dr. LaDue. Inside: DOG HEAVEN.

Dogs in Dog Heaven have almost always belonged to somebody on Earth and, of course, the dogs remember this. Heaven is full of memories.

So sometimes an angel will walk a dog back to Earth for a little visit and . . . [w]hen he is satisifed that all is well, the dog will return to Heaven with the angel.
Back to Dog Heaven where their beds are made of fluffy clouds turned inside out and there are endless fields for them to run and play in all day long.

DOG HEAVEN is written for children, but it's also for anyone who's experienced the loss of a very special canine companion. The author's simple art, accompanying her spare words, covers each page from corner to corner.

And where it wouldn't interfere with the text or the images were handwritten notes, sometimes paragraphs, from Dr. LaDue and her staff saying how much they're going to miss Tank, too, and why he was so special to each of them.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Picture this?

Via: Nealz Nuze


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Still stuck on stupid

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee met today in order to get its members some television face time. After all, why should the senators at the Alito hearings bashing Dubya get to hog all the attention.

The committee -- the Homeland Security one -- is conducting an investigation to determine how many ways it can blame Dubya for not only the drowning of New Orleans after Katrina didn't hit "The Chocolate City," but the hurricane itself and the sinking of the Titanic.

The Democrats, who inititally said they'd boycott any investigation NOT conducted by an independent counsel, have so far generated the following headlines today:

White House slowing Katrina inquiry, senators say

W. House accused of foot-dragging in Katrina probe

US forewarned about Katrina

Pre-Katrina warnings not heeded

White House told about Katrina's danger

White House Was Warned About Hurricane Katrina Flooding

Documents Show Govt Forewarned on Katrina

White House got detailed warnings ahead of Katrina
And those are just a few. The links above might work, or they might not. I'm not going to waste my time cleaning them up if they don't. You probably don't want to waste your time on them, anyway.

The headlines alone should be enough of a clue that the articles they link to are all pretty much the same.

They're a trip back in time to the news reports generated by the media for the Democrats in Katrina's immediate aftermath. It's all New Orleans, and all Dubya's fault before, during and after.

The lapses are still reverberating politically; Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4th District, chairman of the House national security subcommittee, said Monday, "Katrina has hurt the president more than anything else that's happened."

Once the magnitude of the tragedy was apparent, Shays said, the president "should have gone to New Orleans and stayed there," talking to people, trying to get help and taking charge of the relief effort.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Picture this?

Via: Curmudgeonly & Skeptical


Friday, January 20, 2006

Goodnight 'Mithter Fluffy'

Unless someone was sick, Tank would only come up on the bed IF forced. He was never comfortable there. It just wasn't his preferred place to be. But, he would come up for a few minutes each night when I went to bed so that I could scritch his ears.

If I started dozing off before HE thought I'd done a satisfactory job, he'd say so by batting my hand around with his nose until it ended on the ear he wanted more attention paid to.

When I'd finally completed my task sufficiently, Tank would plonk his head on my hip or thigh.

"Goodnight, 'Mithter Fluffy'. I'll see you in the morning."

And off he'd go.

We set Tank free late yesterday afternoon.

We made a promise to him that as long as there was a chance we'd fight, but we loved him enough to let him go.

We kept that promise.

Although Tank went into remission in August, he'd never had a hard one. In other words, it was only the chemo keeping his lymphoma at bay. As the chemicals became less effective, his remission began slipping until on Wednesday Dr. LaDue told me he was completely out.

Tank had had a seizure that morning. Instead of going in as we were supposed to for chemo that afternoon, we were there within an hour. That's where Tank had a second seizure, in their parking lot.

Remember that medical drama on television where there's some sort of emergency and you see personnel crash through doors to render assistance? Doctors, assistants, techs and I don't know who the heck else came running, or running as well as some of them could while pushing a rolling stretcher in case it was needed.

When Tank came back around he walked in under his own power, wagging his tail. But he was struggling.

We could go to another protocol but it only had a 60 to 80 percent chance of getting him back into remission, and this one would only last six to eight weeks. Maybe twelve if it worked at all.

Why put him through anything more than he already had been. So that we could have him for a little while longer in exchange for him going through this all over again?

I already knew the answer, but said I had to talk to Hubby and Da Kid. I'd confirm the next day.

Janet, the tech who'd once been able to finally lure Tank away from my side and down the hallway to the treatment area by using McDonald's french fries, was in tears as she helped me get him back in my car and slipped her home phone number into my hand.

Michelle, Tank's "Chicken and Rice" tech, gave me her home phone number, too.

If Tank or I needed anything. "ANYTHING!"

We went ahead with his last dose of chemo under the old protocol anyway, hoping it would give him a little bounce back. Make it easier for him to breathe. Give him a chance to eat so we could give him anything he wanted. Love him and hold him and scritch his ears just a little while longer before we let him go.

It didn't work.

In one day he went from walking to not being able to, and the seizures increased.

I sat on the kitchen floor with Tank most of yesterday as he steadily got worse. He'd lap water and then try to bring it back up. He wouldn't eat anything. Couldn't as the lymph nodes under his neck continued to increase in size. His face had started to swell just like it had last August when all of this started, and it was starting to creep downward into his chest. He didn't want to dirty in the house, though, so he'd try to get up to head for the back door. He couldn't because when he got to his feet, he'd have a seizure.

Tank's bestest buddy in the whole entire world, Starbuck (The Wonderdog), was with us. He didn't know what was happening to his bestest buddy in the whole entire world. All he knew was that Tank was in trouble.

So like with fireworks that Tank was always afraid of, Starbuck laid as close to him as he could. Sometimes licking his face or his ears. Sometimes resting his head on Tank's hip. Sometimes Tank resting his head on Starbuck.

I'd called Dr. LaDue in the morning to let her know that we weren't going to pursue the new protocol. When she called later in the afternoon to see how Tank was doing, I told her we'd made arrangements to take Tank to Dr. "W" that afternoon. She seemed surprised that we were doing it this quickly until I described Tank's condition.

Early on Da Kid (Da Vet Tech) had insisted that when Tank's time came, to make it as easy as he could for him he'd put him down at home himself. We even have the "stuff" in the medicine cabinet. When the time came, however, he knew he just couldn't do it.

Dr. "W" would have come to the house but scheduling problems already an issue before Da Kid left two weeks ago, are now even worse. So after Da Kid went there to take care of all of the required paperwork, Tank got one last wide in da car, this one with his head resting on Da Kid's lap.

"Dr. ‘W' said Dr. LaDue called him yesterday about Tank. Mom, Dr. ‘W' said she broke down in the middle of the call."

Which didn't help matters with me. But I'm not allowed to cry because if I do it will upset Tank who gets really upset if I do so for him I can't. Dammit, not now. I won't.

"Not now," I order myself again. Hell, it had became almost a mantra months ago.

I pull in back, where the staff parks. Hubby pulls up in back of me.

Dr. "W" comes out. Carla, the tech who moved into Da Kid's senior spot when he left, follows.

Da Kid's crying. Hubby, Tank's Chosen-Person-For-Life, is there with him, too.

I know it's the right thing to do. The only thing to do. But I can not watch Tank die. I can't. I just can't.

So as Dr. ‘W' bends down into my car, I begin to walk away stealing one last glance at Tank. And his head is up. He's looking at me. Straight at me.

Hubby may be Tank's C-P-F-L and Da Kid his two-legged brother. It's not that he didn't love me, he did. But I was always his #3 unless he was sick or scared. Then he went back to being what he always really has been: Mama's Baby.

And he was not only sick. He was scared, too. Very scared because something is wrong. Very wrong. Bad wrong. He doesn't know what it is but he knows something has to be ‘cause Da Kid is crying.

Hubby's not doing much better. Carla's crying. And Dr. ‘W' isn't far from it. And they're all around him.

I reach through to scritch his ears and stroke his head. "It's okay, baby. Everything's fine. Mama's still here."

I keep doing that and saying that. He's looking at me. I'm looking at him. Tank's head slowly goes down, then finally relaxes completely. As I pull my hand away, I close his eyes.

Goodnight, Mithter Fluffy. I'll see you on the other side.

LATER (01-22-06):

After saying "Not now!" for months because it would have upset Tank, I no longer had a reason to keep myself from crying. I turned into a complete and total waterworks starting Friday morning when I took Starbuck out.

We'd buried Tank next to Lucky (Son of a Bitch) Lab, his father, the night before, wrapped in his Labrador retriever (it has pictures of Labs on it) blanket and "Daddy's Wobe," the bathrobe of Hubby's that Tank had appropriated years before when it fell off the bed one night to lie upon. We also sent him off — as we always do — with things that were his and his alone: feed bowl (with feed, treats and a couple bottles of water for his journey) and toys.

Tank had gone off his feed for days when Lucky and later Shadow (his brother) "disappeared." He didn't know where they were and kept looking, sure he'd find them. I didn't want to go through the same thing with Starbuck, so I took him out to see Tank one last time, then brought him back in before Hubby and Da Kid folded Tank's blanket closed.

The next morning, Friday morning, Starbuck zoomed out the door to the last place he'd seen Tank but, of course, he wasn't there anymore. So Starbuck started running all over the place, following his nose picking up traces of Tank's scent everywhere but always going back to the last place he'd seen him. Then starting in all over again.

Thar she blows!

Starbuck, who never wants to come back in, beat me to the back door ‘cause that's where his nose had lead him several times so since he couldn't find Tank anywhere outside, he was sure he'd find him inside!

Only one bowl of feed (here they came again) to fix . . . and on and on all day. Those things that are so much a habit you don't think about it until it hits you. There's no reason to do that anymore. Or the normal sounds that seem strangely louder now not because you actually hear them, but their deafening absence.

Yesterday was better. Today? Who knows.

Thank you, all. Not just for replying here but the times many of you did while we were on this journey with words of encouragement, celebration and now . . .

Just thanks.


Promises to keep
Things I've learned along the way
Every day is a good one
Invisible dog food
Week Five
Week Four
Week Three
Week Two -- Part Three.
Week Two -- Part Two (We begin).
Week Two -- Part One.
Week One.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Dance of the Lemons

In New York City, it's "just about impossible" to fire a bad teacher, says Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. The new union contract offers some relief, but it's still about 200 pages of bureaucracy. "We tolerate mediocrity," said Klein, because "people get paid the same, whether they're outstanding, average or way below average."
How "just about" impossible is it to fire a teacher in the NYC school system? In the last four years it was finally able to terminate only two of the 80,000 teachers employed.

Here's just one example from New York City: It took years to fire a teacher who sent sexually oriented e-mails to "Cutie 101," a 16-year-old student. Klein said, "He hasn't taught, but we have had to pay him, because that's what's required under the contract."

Only after six years of litigation were they able to fire him. In the meantime, they paid the teacher more than $300,000.
Things are looking up, though, because when the new contract takes effect it will be easier to terminate teachers who are sex offenders.

Klein said he employs dozens of teachers who he's afraid to let near the kids, so he has them sit in what are called rubber rooms. This year he will spend $20 million dollars to warehouse teachers in five rubber rooms. It's an alternative to firing them.
How do they handle the others? The teachers that can't or won't teach and need to be canned but can't be because it's impossible to fire them?

The principal has two other options: give up and continue to put up with the teacher or, encourage the teacher to transfer to another school.

They even have a name for the latter. It's called the dance of the lemons.

Neal Boortz points to this Special Report from ABC News: Stupid in America (How Lack of Choice Cheats Our Kids Out of a Good Education) and Stossel's reply to some of the hate mail he's received since it aired.

I wonder if any of the mail originated from Florida?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Quotable Quotes

"When you damn someone as a big scary mega-troubling racist misogynist homophobe and he seems to any rational observer perfectly non-scary and non-troubling, eventually you make yourself ridiculous. The boy who cried "Wolf!" at least took the precaution of doing so when there was no alleged predator in view. If he'd stood there crying "Wolf!" while pointing at a hamster, he'd have been led away for counseling. That's the stage the Senate Democrats are at." - Mark Steyn


Sunday, January 15, 2006

I hate these things!

You Are Italian Food

Comforting yet overwhelming.

People love you, but sometimes you're just too much.

Via Texas Fred


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Picture this?

Ed Gamble


Friday, January 13, 2006

Shhhhh! It's a secret!

I’m not talking about something from the leaky CIA, State Department or Pentagon that might embarrass Dubya.

If that were it, we all know it would be the banner story on the first page of most major newspapers and the lead story on many newscasts. Heck, it might even be another 60 Minutes exposé!

No, this is really a secret. Really secret. So secret, no one in the media would dare report on it.

Remember all the news about how bad the economy is doing and how Dubya's tax cuts won't do a thing except deprive the government of its hard-earned money?

The federal government posted the first budget surplus for December in three years as corporate tax payments hit an all-time high, helping offset a record level for spending, the Treasury Department reported Thursday.

More here.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Quotable Quotes

"America seems like a medieval country . . . a Communist country on the educational level, because there's no freedom of choice -- not for parents, not for pupils." -- Kaat Vandensavel, who runs a government school in Belgium

More here.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

You've been scammed

The weather is wonderful and you're about to get on to or off of a major highway. The traffic light ahead changes signaling STOP, and a line of vehicle begins

As you sit there waiting you notice an adult standing there holding a sign that reads, WILL WORK FOR FOOD. If it's a guy it might be, DISABLED VET: WILL WORK FOR FOOD. If a gal is holding the sign, she might have a couple of young kids there with her.

It tugs at your heartstrings. It calls upon your conscience. There but for the grace of God go I.

They're willing to work! He served in the military defending us! And now, they're reduced to begging for food!!!

It could be me standing there! Or my kids!

Drivers motion, open their windows, drop money into the outstretched hand feeling better about themselves after they pull away when the light changes. Even if it's only in some small way they've helped a truly deserving person.

They've also just been scammed.

Have you ever noticed that you never see them working when the weather's bad? Did you ever happen to notice an expensive, late-model vehicle tucked just out of sight sitting there empty?

Unless law enforcement tells them to move along or they'll get busted for loitering, there's really nothing illegal about what these shysters are doing. They're don't threaten and are invariably polite saying "Thank you!" "God bless you!" or some such.

They stand there on the roadsides holding up their advertisement and people just give them money for doing so.

You go to work. So do they, but because they don't have to worry about any of that messy paperwork IRS requires, what they earn is completely tax free. And since there's no paperwork to show they have any income at all, they might even qualify for public assistance.

[B]egging can be lucrative. [Pancoast] claims the family sometimes makes $300 a day asking for money and has made as much as $800. The family also receives $500 a month in food stamps.
More here.

NOTE: Before I retired I spent mumble-something years in and around social services. I've never given any of ‘em a dime. Instead of money, I did give out my business card telling them to call me directly. Rather than trying to get through the always clogged appointment line, I'd get ‘em an "Next Day" appointment with our workfare program.

I never heard from a one of ‘em which really didn't surprise me since as I pulled away, I watched in my rearview mirror as they threw my card on the ground in disgust.

NOTE 2: About the same time local law enforcement developed a much stronger stance in dealing with the "Roadside Advertisers" here after one "Executive" killed another one who'd made the mistake of trespassing on his very lucrative territory.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

They're ba-ack!

On a scale of one to ten with one being horrible and ten best, the weather here yesterday and today rates an eleven. The skies have been clear blue, the temperature in the low 70s with little if any humidity.

That gave me a chance to start trying to clean up the branches and limbs that came down during last week's storms — If there was a futures market for mud I'd be a zillionaire. — and with temperatures between 20 and 50 over the weekend, it was just to danged cold.

Vehicles whiz by my house endlessly now, on what used to be a quiet road out in the boonies. The only thing more numerous than the cars and trucks have been the damned squirrels.

They're everywhere. Hordes of ‘em, and I'm sure they all females, have just dropped another litter and they're all already preggers again.

I never cared one way or the other about squirrels because they had plenty of room to roam. They were periodically bothersome but not constant pests.

Then the developers started knocking down all of the woods.

Last year was pure hell, until a couple of other displaced critters also moved into the neighborhood: Mr. Hawk and his Lady.

I knew they were close but I never did figure out where they had nested. Aside from my gratitude to them for their diet, which definitely brought the squirrel population under control, they were an absolute joy to watch whether flying around my yard or soaring overhead. Then one day I noticed the two weren't alone. Where there had been two floating against the sky, now there were a few more with them. Two, perhaps three? Smaller. A next generation, I thought smiling.


That's when pine in the 200 acres in back of me started going down the roadway, and suddenly the hawks were gone.

At least it wasn't a clear cut back there. They took the mature pine and left the smaller ones to continue growing. For how long, who knows, but now that they don't even have there to live, I guess all of the homeless squirrels came here.

They're everywhere. Into everything, although they haven't gotten into the attic this time.


With the weather as good as it is I was outside working this morning, and over the chitters of the squirrels everywhere I heard rustling in branches close to the ground, about ten feet away from me.

I knew it was another nervy squirrel. Probably two. Maybe three dozen, all pregnant.

A little lady hawk came out to scratch through the manure pile, about six feet away from where I was standing.

She saw me. She knew I was there. She just didn't care.

I assume the Grade A earthworms in the pile were far more interesting to her than a stupid human standing there with a silly grin on her face.

Eventually she flew away but not far, landing on one of the fences.

(It was at this particular moment the squirrels in the trees and everywhere around me became a bit agitated.)

And there she sat, her head corking around.

I went inside to get my camera knowing she'd be gone by the time I got back.

Nope. There she still was.

I took a series of shots slowly moving a step or two closer each time, knowing sooner or she'd fly away if I got too close.

I didn't want to chase her away, but I also kept wondering how close she'd let me come before she did.

When she hopped to the top of the post I backed off, but then with a flap or two of her wings she sailed away.

About 15 feet, onto a branch.

Which is where a male was perched.

He's not big enough to be "Mr. Hawk." That guy was HUGE.

How long this youngster had been there, I dunno. He might have been on that branch all along.

I don't think so, though. He didn't give a hoot about me. He was far more focused on . . .

It was at this particular moment the squirrel collective lost their freakin' minds.

Hello, little hawks. Make yourselves at home. You're more than welcome to stay.

There's always plenty to eat.

Monday, January 09, 2006


This week's Carnival of the Dogs is at Mickey's Musings!

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Girls' night out

I'd seen it several years ago but herself never had. So tonight after we'd gone out to eat, we went to see the Royal Lipizzaner Stallions perform at the Coliseum.

The show was the exact same one I'd seen over a decade before. That's not bad but it's not too good, either, since the entire program consists of horses doing the exact same thing again and again, sometimes alone with the rider standing next to it. Sometimes with a rider on its back. Sometimes two horses, sometimes three, sometimes . . .

I hate to sound callus about it. I'm not. I realize how much training it takes for a horse to perform these maneuvers as well as how much work is involved on the part of each of the riders. I see and recognize the cues they use to signal their mounts and it takes a helluva lot of skill, coordination and athletic ability on the part of all, especially when there are eight horse and rider combinations in a small ring at the same time, performing as a dance unit. But again tonight I found myself concentrating on the . . . uh, the . . . erm, the technicalities rather than the show, itself.

When I'd seen it before I'd gone with a group of other riders, one of whom happened to be the woman many of us had taken or were taking riding lessons from. It was to be expected, I guess, that we were all more focused on things like the riders' seat, leg and heel position and equipment rather than the larger picture, the performances, but whatever chance there might have been disappeared completely when almost as one, many of us gasped, "They're using Wintecs!"

In other words their saddles weren't leather, but synthetics that are cleaned with soap and water, and a hose.

Since Herself isn't particularly horsey, she wouldn't notice these kinds of details. She is however, an RN.

About midway through she leaned over and whispered into my ear, "According to the program, these are Lipizzaner stallions, right?"

"Yeah?" I whispered back.

"Except for one, I don't see any balls on 'em."


Saturday, January 07, 2006

It's an old question

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Wrong question.

The question is which is more important: ensuring that a child receives an education or the public school system, itself.

A third response (They're both equally important.) isn't an option here in Florida thanks to the usual suspects. It doesn't matter to them whether public schools work or not. Maintaining the institution just as it is, is more important than the welfare of the children in it.

It's funny. These are the same people who harp endlessly about how the disadvantaged are used and abused by "the system," who are powerless because of it.

The schools their (fill in the victimhood designation de jour) constituents' children must attend are the pits and the kids stuck in them don't stand a chance. The parent (or parents) are helpless. Thay have no choice except to keep their children in these schools.

Just as a child's education is of minimal importance to them, in truth so is parental choice. It's not right, they say, for these parents — those who want their child to receive an education — to move their child by means of a voucher from a foundered school into one that they've chosen.

I'm not surprised that Florida's (partisan-hack) Supreme Court decided (5 - 2) that the state's voucher system is unconstitutional. I'm also not surprised by some of the statements made by those celebrating it, like this from Escambia School Board member Patty Hightower:
"[Vouchers are] an unfair way to distribute money."
Translation: The hell with the kids. My status and continued funding of my perks are more important.

Or this: [Bugmenot]

Sen. Tony Hill, who once participated in a sit-in in Bush's office to protest the governor's education policies, said Thursday's ruling promotes equality and fairness.
Gag me.

I wonder how much the NEA contributed to your campaign, Tony, or to the state's Democrat party that you receive support from?

I know there are good public school teachers. I also know there are piss-poor ones, too, who thanks to politics and unions, can't be gotten rid of.

Da Kid’s 6th grade English teacher was the last straw and the reason why Hubby and I -- both public school educated decades ago in Yankeeland -- finally gave up, yanked him out of public school and plunked his butt into private.

Da Kid's English teacher taught her classes ONLY in "street" english and couldn’t manage to write even a single note home to us that wasn’t filled with GLARING spelling and grammar errors. (Parent-teacher night was a real hoot when she used and abused big words trying to show parents how ejumicated she was.)

She’d been there for years and for all I know might still be.

Three months after we’d transferred Da Kid into a private school, I got a call from the public school we'd taken him out of asking why he wasn’t in school THAT DAY!

Hubby and I weren't and aren't rich, but we made a choice to get Da Kid the hell out of there and somehow managed to do it.

It wouldn't bother me at all to see some of the tax dollars I'm already paying diverted away from the political cesspool the public education system has become, if it helps another parent get their own kid out of it, too.

Not that those with vested interests in the public school system see it that way, of course.

I wonder where their kids go?

Later: If you've arrived here by way of Wizbang's Carnival of the Trackbacks, let me put on a fresh pot of coffee for you. It'll only take a second.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I can quit any time

I tell you now, dear readers, beware. There is a an insidious addiction among us. One that has gone largely unreported although it has reached epidemic proportions.

For some who have it life has ended. Others manage to cling to some form of the lives that had before they became afflicted. Some, like me, have reoccurring bouts. Even now as I write this, I'm in the middle of another one.

A so-called friend sends an email saying, "Try this link." Or, you might open a magazine or your daily mullet wrapper, and there it is.

It's called Sudoku.

You pick up a pencil the first time and fill in a number or two. Then a few more. And more after that. You screw something up, scream, ball up the puzzle and toss it in the trash swearing you'll never spend another second on this time waster. Ever.

The next day, there's an new one in the paper. You fight but lose the battle, picking up a pencil anyway. You can't help yourself.

You know that there's some sort of method in it. A process. There has to be. There is!

You fill in a number or two. Then a few more. And more after that. You screw something up, scream, ball the puzzle up and toss it in the trash swearing you'll never spend another second on a time waster like this. Ever.

You take your dog to his oncologist. You no longer take a book with you to read while you wait for him. You have Sudoku.

Your family is pounding on the bathroom door screaming they need to go. Who cares. You're sitting on the throne with Sudoku.

If you have already been infected, you know of what I speak. If you don't, I beg of you . . . I beg you, do not Google it.

Some time themselves to see how long it takes to complete one. Some compete against others to see who can finish a puzzle first. Some sites offer freeware so you design your own. One even sells a three-dimension version . . .

I'm not that far gone, thank goodness.

Tomorrow's paper should its once-a-week Level 4. That's the only one I've yet to complete correctly, completely.

Just once. That all I need. Just once. Then, I'll quit.

Yes, I will.

I can quit any time.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Quotable Quotes

"To this day, Democrats can't tell you whether it's a good thing we attacked Iraq. They were against the war in Iraq before they were for it only to be against it again, and now they're probably just waiting to see how things turn out to decide, ultimately, whether they should be for or against it." -- David Limbaugh


Promises to keep

I was expecting it but . . . well, maybe not.

Tank's out of remission. I kinda-sorta thought that might be what's been going on but . . . well, maybe not. Even after all this time I really don't know what I'm doing. Probably never will. Then again I've learned a few things along the way. Some of it I'm aware of. Other things . . .

But since I really don't know what I'm doing I felt fairly confident that I was wrong that the lymph nodes in Tank's neck felt enlarged. I don't have educated fingers and hadn't realized that when I'd give him scritches there now, I'd been unconsciously checking for them. And, they just felt . . . bigger.

He's been acting a little funky, too. Not sick just . . . off. Nothing specific. Just off.

So when I took him in today for his next dose of chemo, I was kinda-sorta expecting it. But maybe not really.

Because of the holidays it's been three weeks since his last, and the last one was Vincristine. Which he's off of for good now. He's had some lymph node re-enlargement after it every single time before, but this is the worst yet. This is also the longest he's gone without any chemo since this all began. So, no more Vincristine. But if "Vink" hasn't been working, then it's really five weeks since he had chemo that does.

So, more refining of Tank's regimen narrowing down what works and what doesn't, and how long each might last.

The hard news today was that while the chemo has beaten back Tank's canine lymphoma, it hasn't beaten it and probably won't. Probably? That's the qualifier Janet used trying to break the news to me as easily as she could.

While Tank's been in remission, he's never been in HARD remission. Meaning it's only the regular chemo that has put and kept him there.

Instead of reaching the end of this regimen and then waiting to see how long before IT reappears — which odds are it would sooner (6 months) or later (18 months) — we now know. There's no free fall waiting until we get slapped upside the head ‘cause "it's back."

No, no really. It's not back. It's here. It's been here. It never left and it ain't leaving. All we can do is fight that bastard until Tank says it's time to stop. And Tank's no where close to telling me that but when he does . . . we'll keep the promise we made to him.

I'm not happy but I can handle this far better than the "free fall" of knowing sooner or later I'm gonna get smacked in the face again. This we can handle. At least that's what I'm telling myself as I remind myself that every day he's happy is a good one.

Meanwhile, I realized this past weekend that while I know how to and have taken the temperature of humans from infant through adult size AND horses, too, while I know what the readings should be I really don't know the right and proper way of shoving a thermometer up a dog's butt.

Not that I may ever have to do it, but now know how to do it.

Janet: Watch. Do this and that and then . . .

Tank: glare

Janet: Now you do it.


Janet: This is where you take Tank's pulse. Do you feel it?

Me: No.

Tank: GLARE . . . oh, okay. Just stay away from my butt.


Things I've learned along the way
Every day is a good one
Invisible dog food
Week Five
Week Four
Week Three
Week Two -- Part Three.
Week Two -- Part Two (We begin).
Week Two -- Part One.
Week One.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Adding insult to injury

Terry's mother has been staying with her oldest son and his family. She left her house, the one in which Terry died, saying she could never live in it again. "Three's enough," she said.

In addition to Terry on Christmas Day, her middle son died in it (cancer) seven years ago and her husband (heart attack) a few years before that.

"The Mayor," her oldest brother (and Herself's father) has been checking on the house daily. Yesterday he discovered a small hole had been broken through one of the windows.

After reaching through the hole to unlock the door, person or persons unknown had emptied the house of food, clothing, the television and anything else they could lay their hands on right down to the paper towels.

Police are investigating.

Later: (01/04/06)

A rather dysfunctional family has lived up the road a piece for ages. The mother's always been a slovenly pill-head drunk. Her now 20ish-year-old son, always slow with other emotional and mental problems, has now also developed a fondness for crack. (He has an older sister who did what she could to keep things under control, until she finally just bailed out years ago by getting married at 16.)

Mama saw "The Mayor" and told him she thought she might have some of Terry's mother's stuff in her house. It was all in her son's room. He went over to take a look.

Not sure how much has already been sold or traded for the next "fix" but, yep.

I hate these things!

You Are 30% Weird

Not enough to scare other people...

But sometimes you scare yourself.


Monday, January 02, 2006

Shhhhh! It's a secret!

Not all Canadians are anti-US nor are they pleased (to put it mildly) with their country’s "LIEbral" government and its politicians.

One is the blogger behind ABFreedom who points to an op-ed, written here in the US, that’s chock full of information you’ve never heard (or read) or will. Here in the good ol’ US of A, <glancing around quickly> it’s secret.

I’m not talking about something from the leaky CIA, State Department or Pentagon that might embarrass Dubya.

If that were it, we all know it would be the banner story on the first page of most major newspapers and the lead story on many newscasts. Heck, it might even be another 60 Minutes exposé!

No, this is really a secret. <glancing around quickly> Really secret. So secret, no one in the media would dare.
Much as an unjustly maligned cowboy on the silver screen inevitably returns with a large posse and truth on his side, our "rogue" nation has slowly but inexorably become the world's leading consensus builder on climate change.

More here.


Sunday, January 01, 2006


This week's Carnival of the Dogs is up at Mickey's Musings.

Elsewhere, Pam is speading the word about the recall of contaminated dog food made by the Diamond Pet Food Company.

Although I feed Purina, the name was familiar but I didn't know why. I do now after checking out the company's list of local suppliers. I have feed, feed / hardware and pet supply businesses around me that sell it.

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