Friday, March 31, 2006

Quotable Quotes

"As for as the immigration debate itself, we all know the truth that we suppress and the lies that we voice. Language has been the first casualty of our disingenuousness. 'Illegal alien' is a descriptive, not a racist, term. In contrast, 'undocumented worker' is deliberately misleading, since in most cases documents were never at issue, and not all aliens are workers." -- Victor Davis Hanson

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

One picture ... 10,000 words

Michelle Marquez (left), a student at Lamar Middle School in Irving was criticized for having a U.S. flag during an immigration protest at Kiest Park in Dallas. "My heart is with the Mexican flag and Mexico but I'm standing on American Ground and I'm Mexican-American," she said.

This is the image gracing the front page of my local mullet wrapper today. (Michelle Malkin has others.) The picture and caption (above) is from the Dallas Morning News. The caption from my paper (below) is different:

Michelle Marquez (left), 15, an eighth-grader in Irving, Texas, is taunted [Emphasis -- ed.] by other students for having a U.S. flag during a protest in Dallas. Thousands of youths across the nation protested for a second day against proposed legislation to toughen immigration laws.

I don't know if Michelle and her family are in the U.S. legally. I do have to give her credit, if she is an illegal alien, for carrying the American flag and having the respect to recognize, "I'm standing on American Ground." Brave, too, looking at the expressions of the people "criticizing" her.

It's been obvious from the start that rallies and marches weren't spontaneous, but it's only becoming known now who's actually behind them.

I wonder if Dubya and the Congresscritters pushing their amnesty for illegal aliens immigration reform agendas realize just how much the American public disagrees with them.

Perhaps if they looked at that picture of Michelle they'd understand, because that photograph expresses perfectly what the situation really is.

LATER: More at America In Distress

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Quotable Quotes

"How often have we heard that illegal immigrants "take jobs that Americans will not do"? What is missing in this argument is what is crucial in any economic argument: price.

"Americans will not take many jobs at their current pay levels -- and those pay levels will not rise so long as poverty-stricken immigrants are willing to take those jobs." -- Thomas Sowell


"The willingness of Americans to do a job depends on how much that job pays - and the reason some jobs pay too little to attract native-born Americans is competition from poorly paid immigrants." -- Paul Krugman

(There's something you don't see every day: A conservative and a Lefty Loon agreeing.)

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Monday, March 27, 2006

What's Cooking?

"When the doctor held him upside down by his feet and swatted him on his naked butt, Da Kid didn't cry. He bellowed, "I want two large pizzas, extra cheese . . . "

Twenty-six years later, my 6-foot 4-inch, 170 pound eating machine remains a bottomless pit.

It's not that we didn't have any food in the refrigerator but it was mostly odds and ends. Since Da Kid was going out to eat with friends before eating dinner with Herself's family, and since he didn't have to go to work the next day, Hubby and I had planned on having drive-by Chinese.

That was the plan until the phone rang that night. It was Da Kid asking me to make sure he'd put his uniform in the dryer. (He hadn't.) Instead of being off, he'd gotten a call asking him to cover a shift at another station the next day.

So much for drive-by Chinese.

Once Da Kid finished with that 24-hour shift, he'd be heading straight to his station for his own 24-hour one. Both are one-man stations out in the middle of nowhere and while there's "TV dinners" in the freezer . . . For two days straight?


Fifteen minutes later I had water boiling for pasta and a pan of Chicken Parmesan in the oven.

This is how I did it:

(1) 5" x 9" baking dish. (I think that's the size. I've had them for so long I don't remember.)
(1) Saucepan
(4) 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
(8) Tyson® Breaded Chicken Breast Patties.
(1) 8 oz. package of shredded mozzarella

Oregano, basil, bay leaf and since there wasn't time for the real stuff, garlic powder and onion powder.

I dumped the tomato sauce in the saucepan. While it heated to bubbling (and the oven was preheating to 300 degrees) I added 2 tablespoons each of oregano and basil, 1 bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder. I reduced the heat and let it simmer while . . .

. . . beating apart the frozen mozzarella while trying to find the kitchen scissors to open it and the bag of chicken breast patties, snatched from the big chest freezer in the garage.

I coated the bottom of the baking pan with sauce. After laying the chicken patties . . .


. . . in the pan, I covered them with sauce . . .


. . . and topped it with the shredded mozzarella.


I sprinkled oregano over the cheese, and covered the pan loosely with aluminum foil — slightly peaked like a tent — with openings at each end. (The idea is to reflect the heat back into the pan without burning the chee . . . )


I put the pan — on a cookie sheet to catch any drips — in a 300 degree oven for about 30 minutes. When done, I removed the aluminum foil and let it continue baking for ten minutes more (or so) to brown the cheese.

Meanwhile, I had plenty of time to cook, rinse and drain the pasta.

The pan makes 8 servings for normal people.

I had one serving. Hubby had another.

The other six disappeared the next morning (along with the remaining pasta and sauce) when Da Kid went to work.

(No husbands were harmed in the preparation of this meal. But, it was close.)

LATER: "HEY! Look over there! Is that a giant spider on your wall?"

Nope. It's just the April Fool's Day edition of the Carnival of the Recipes.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

I hate these things!

The Movie Of Your Life Is An Indie Flick

You do things your own way - and it's made for colorful times.

Your life hasn't turned out how anyone expected, thank goodness!

Your best movie matches: Clerks, Garden State, Napoleon Dynamite

(I haven't seen a one of 'em.)

You Are 60% Open Minded

You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.

Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.

But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.

You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.

Via: Paula


Friday, March 24, 2006


Zen Sarcasm

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

5. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

9. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

12. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

13. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

17. Duct tape is like 'The Force.' It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

19. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

20. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

Via: Hey Joe!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Peeve

One of these days I'm going to do it. Don't ask me how but I'll figure it out, somehow. I don't care who they are, I'm going to reach through the receiver and slap ‘em. Or punch ‘em. Or smack ‘em over the head with their telephone until it sinks in.

If you're calling someone and another person answers, IDENTIFY YOURSELF!

The phone rings, you pick up the receiver and the person on the other end says, "Can I talk to (blank)?"

Sometimes it's prefaced with a "Hello" or even a "Hi!" Often not even that. It's straight to "Can I talk to (blank)?"

(I've been known to respond on occasion, "I don't know. Can you?" That, however, is a different issue.)

I spent mumble-something years where part of my job included answering calls or making them, so perhaps it's just me. I know I was danged rough on Da Kid about it when he was young and started using the telephone. At work it was called telephone ettiquette. At home, manners, and those early lessons served him well when he started working.

Is who they are supposed to be a super-secret or something? Or if they tell me who they are, are they afraid I won't let them speak to the person they want to talk to? Or, perhaps, are they're insecure and worry that if they tell me who they are, that I'll tell the person they want to talk to who's calling, and they'll find out that the person they want to talk to doesn't want to talk to them?

(Or maybe after they say their name and I tell it to whomever, and whoever picks up the phone and says, "Hi, (blank)! " like in the movie after their name's been said three times, they're terrified they'll disappear?)

It's not just "kids" but adults, too, and sometimes business calls. To make things even more fun, Hubby and Da Kid have the same first name.

THEM: "Can I talk to (blank)?"

ME: "I have two of them."

THEM: (puzzled) "I need to talk to (blank)."

ME: "Which one?"

THEM: (even more puzzled) "Is this ### - ####?"

ME: "Yes."

THEM: "Can I talk to (blank)?"

ME: "Which one?"

If the caller just told me who the hell they were, I might be able to figure out which one and not have to go through this routine. Of course I could ask and usually do not because I want to but because I have to.

But ya' know, there are times I really get fed up with it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I have a headache . . .

. . . and so do you. It's called IRS.

I do have a real headache, though, my second this week.

The first developed while spending three hours having someone to the damned income tax paperwork for 2005.

I had all the "stuff" together. I'd HAD all the "stuff" together but as I do every year, I kept putting it off because I HATE IT.

I went in a few weeks earlier than I normally do after the call I'd received earlier saying that Saturday would be Customer Appreciation Day. If I went in on Saturday, I'd get a 50 percent discount on their fees. So, in I went.

After all these years I'm known to them. Although the bulk of Hubby's and my return is routine and I always have all the "stuff" with me, the more experienced, far more senior preparers are the ones I see every year because something ALWAYS blows up.

(I feel so speshul.)

This year, they even elevated a required entry on one line to a "Problem 25."

The entire office came to a standstill. The faint-of-heart preparers screamed in terror ("It's a Problem 25!") and hid under the desks. The well-seasoned ones began grabbing books and manuals, discussing — back and forth, forth and back — the difference between what the IRS wrote in that section, and what they really meant based on other, conflicting sectionS of the friggin' tax code.

I went outside and had a couple slices of pepperoni pizza and a Diet Coke. (It was Customer Appreciation Day after all!) When I came back in the neophytes, who'd come out from beneath desks, were once again working on the taxes of the people they'd abandoned, and the older staff was giving each other high-fives because once again they'd figured out (I guess) what the IRS REALLY meant.

Unfortunately, since the result was that the figure now had to be entered on a different line, I couldn't file the return electronically. I had to mail it.

Oh, and send it registered delivery, return receipt requested, to prove I'd submitted the return because of the steadily increasing number of returns IRS claims it never received.

IRS doesn't bother to send out the annual packet of instructions and forms anymore. You know, the one with the envelope and the handy-dandy label with its address on it "for your convenience." And since I haven't had a car (Da Kid borrowed it.) today was the first chance had to go to the post office.

I looked at all the paperwork I'd brought home and on the return, itself, for an address.


There was, however, a 1-800 number. So, I called.

For blab-de-blab-de-blab, press 1 . . .

Then came the Spanish.

I don't know what the hell section I need to speak to. I just want the address to mail this stinkin' return, but I guessed it was 1 so that's what I pushed.

By the time I'd finally drilled three levels further down in the menu and one of the selections was if I needed an address, I was starting to feel like my head was again being squeezed by a vice.

If you are filing Form 1040, press 1. If you are filing Form 1040A, Form 123467, or Form 666, press 2. If you are filing Form . . .

I don't know what number to PUNCH press because I'm no longer sure exactly what the hell form is in the envelope I'D SEALED!

I put the phone down, ripped open the envelope, shuffled through the sheets and picked up the telephone.

Except not being able to see straight because the headache was REALLY starting to gear up, I unfortunately hit the wrong button, terminated the call and had to start in all over again.

Eventually . . .

If you are filing Form 1040, press 1.


If you are filing Form 1040 with Form 34583, press 1. If you are filing FORM 1040 with Form 7734, press 2. If you are filing . . .


Tuesday, March 21, 2006


It's March Madness, and I'm almost there. No, not to any of the basketball games but insane.

If there's one sport I HATE more than baseball it's basketball, especially at this time of year.

After playing for gawd-only-knows-how-many months already, starting at the beginning of the month every year the best 1,374,876 college basketball teams in the nation begin playing elimination rounds. And, every single one of them is televised.

Finally they get down to the FINAL 64 teams, then 32, then the "Sweet 16" and I'm already ready to kill Hubby and Da Kid who have by now watched every single game and now must (MUST!) watch the rest of them to see who'll eventually win the tournament.

Why not just watch the last game? Nah! They gotta watch ‘em all, and they do. Sometimes all at the same time with that multi-screen function! And because Da Kid wasn't able to watch some of the games this weekend, Hubby watched them WHILE recording them in their entirety for Da Kid so that HE can watch them.

I tell you folks, I've been hanging by a thread but received some much needed help yesterday afternoon: football.

I was in the kitchen doing something and not really paying attention to what was on the radio, so I wasn't sure what I'd just heard was what I'd really just heard: Tony Boselli had just signed a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.


If you're not familiar with his name, Tony Boselli was the first player selected in the 1995 football draft. He was the first player ever chosen by the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jags's first, first-round pick draft pick, and his selection was the first (and to date only) time the Jags have had a shot at choosing first in the draft.

Massively built and fast, Boselli was a rock. The foundation upon which the rest of the Jaguars's offensive line was built upon. He played every game full-out and hard. His stats earned him five trips to the Pro Bowl, and talk was that he was destined for another first: The Jaguars's first player inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.

Da Kid and I were in the stadium when the unimaginable happened: After the snap and a typical crash of massive bodies, Tony Boselli didn't get up immediately. Then, he had to be helped off the field.

Boselli's hurt? NO WAY!

That quickly changed to, "Oh shit! Boselli's hurt!!!"

The oatmeal hit the fan when the Jaguars announced the list of players it was exposing to an expansion draft, and Boselli's name was on it. Talk about A LOT of ticked off fans.

Jimmy Smith might have been (and still is) my favorite player, but Boselli's up there, too. Gone was his chance to do what I think so many hoped for that so few football players can do now-a-days: play for one team only until retirement. Boselli added another first to his already impressive record when he was drafted first by the expansion Houston Texans.

But Tony never took the field. He never even practiced with them. The injuries he'd sustained playing as a Jaguar were a lot worse than anyone apparently realized. He flunked the physical and never played football again.

Yesterday, Boselli signed a new contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The contract's duration was one day, during which Tony officially retired from the only professional football team he'd ever played for.

Boselli's next first will be his induction into the team's Ring of Honor.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Oh goody!

Hurricane Cyclone Larry smashed into the Queensland (Austrailia) coast yesterday as a Cat 5. Thousands are homeless and one official describes the damage as their tsunami. The hardest hit areas have already been warned that recovering is going to be a long, slow process. And right behind Larry, is Wati.

Half a world away, but it's another reminder that June 1 -- the official start of our hurricane season, not that dates mean much -- isn't that far away.

(No, I haven't started stockpiling canned goods and bottled water, yet. I will as soon as the stores start running real sales like they do every year 'bout this time, not the phony weekly ones.)

I usually don't pay attention to the projections so-called weather experts make about what to expect for the upcoming year. Forecasting the weather, after all, is an <polite cough> "inexact science."

(I look at it differently. It's the only "profession" I know of where people can be so wrong so often, and never get fired.)

A few months back the National Weather Service predicted that this year's hurricane season will be just as bad as last year's. They said that there will be just as many storm systems, named storms and hurricanes including major (Cat 3 and above) ones.

That seems, to me, to be way too early to make that kind of announcement.

Joe Bastardi, Chief Forecaster of the Hurricane Center, has been interviewed by FOXNews several times today.

I don't particularly care for him but it might be because of his excitable delivery, like last year when he started warning days and days ahead that Katrina was going to turn into a real bitch. He also did something few forecasters do: he explained very clearly why.

So after hearing Bastardi today, I went over to AccuWeather and read the full report.

[T]he 2006 tropical storm season will still be more active than normal, but less active than last year, with fewer storms than 2005's record 26 named storms and 14 hurricanes.
Oh goody!

We're still going to have more than "normal," just not as many as last year!

Of interest to me, though, was the prediction that the Northeast is going to get smacked, and smacked hard.

"The Northeast coast is long overdue for a powerful hurricane, and with the weather patterns and hydrology we're seeing in the oceans, the likelihood of a major hurricane making landfall in the Northeast is not a question of if but when."
I grew up up there. One of the reasons I take hurricanes so seriously "down here," is because of the only one I've ever actually been through. "Up there." And, it came through on my danged birthday.

I was young and except for the sound of the wind and endless rain, I don't remember that much of Hurricane Donna, itself. That and running in the candlelight from pot to pot on the floor happily yelling, "Mommy! Daddy! This one's full!" is all I recall of it.

I thought it was a game.

When things finally calmed down and it was finally safe to go out on the roads again, Dad made a point of showing me hurricanes weren't.

He took me down to the boat basin in the town he'd grown up in. Or as close to it as he could get without his brakes giving out because the water was still so deep.

The boats were gone.

Well, not really gone..

Pieces of what I guessed were boats stuck up through the water's surface and all around. The only thing I could tell was definitely some sorta boat, had been driven completely through the second story of somebody's house.

Decades after that, Hurricane Gloria hit.

I was "down here" by then, but my parents were still "up there."

With as bad a things were, neither Donna nor Gloria were "major" hurricanes.

We're used to preparing for them. We know what they can do.

The people up there don't have a clue.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Katrina: Protesting the Response

Forgetting the entire incident from beginning to end had been captured on film, remember when Cindy claimed injury because of police brutality at the hands of the Capitol Police who asked her to leave Dubya's State of the Union address?

Well boys and girls, after laughing her way through an arrest earlier this month, Mama Moonbat is once again claiming police brutality. Her injuries are so severe this time that she's had to cancel a trip to Paris (and other European cities) to participate in Bush- and US-bashing antiwar demonstrations there.

"We had to cancel Cindy's trip because her doctor said she was not fit to travel," said Elsa Rassbach, of American Voices Abroad, one of the groups that organized the trip.
The Crawford Crackpot's injuries will not prevent her from being in New Orleans, though, where she's scheduled to join 300 Bush- and US-bashing protestors on Saturday who are marching (starting today) 140 miles to New Orleans to voice their opposition to the war in Iraq and protest the government's response to Katrina.

For some strange reason, I doubt any of them are going to mention Cindy's.

Image via Sacred Cowburgers

LATER (March 17, 2006):

Seawitch reporting here from Mississippi on the progress of the "marchers" Cindy is scheduled to meet up with on Saturday, notes:

The Veterans for Peace who organized the Veterans March to New Orleans were very lost and late. They arrived 30 minutes after the scheduled time in their buses. Notice I said buses. Didn't see too much marching and they failed to make their promised speeches at the ruins of Long Beach City Hall.
She also brought her camera.

Quotable Quotes

"[T]he foreign media [in Iraq] have become a destructive factor, extrapolating daily crises from minor incidents. Part of this is ignorance. Some of it is willful. None of it is helpful." -- Ralph Peters

(Read ... it ... all!)


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Letter writing request

The loss of a child and their home vandalized, the parents of SGT Rickey Jones was also facing the loathsome antics of the First Church of Inbred Whackjobs who had announced that they were going to disrupt the funeral. (Linda updates with an email she received from a student who attends the high school SGT. Jones graduated from.)

It took me a minute to connect the dots when I read the email Linda sent and clicked on the link she included.

From it:

I am trying to help organize a letter writing campaign to the family of SGT Rickey Jones. As you may have read earlier, their home was vandalized by idiots who wouldn’t understand patriotism if it flew a plane through their bedroom window.
If you can help, please do.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ith thith . . .

. . . a treat I thee before my eyeth?

Come! Let me crunth thee!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Picture this?

Via: Curmudgeonly & Skeptical


Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Da Kid's working a double shift: 24 hours at one one-man station; the next 24 at his own.

Herself and I took a ride out to his regular station today. She'd been there once before when coming back with her father, "The Mayor," from . . . somewhere WAY up there he said, "Let's stop by Da Kid's station!"

Since they'd come from a completely different direction and I'd never been there before, that didn't help me any especially since I don't have a clue where anything is out there.

In case I ever had to go out there to pick him up, Da Kid had given me directions and the way I understand them. ("Get on this road and stay on it. Go over the blue bridge. After the blue bridge at the second light . . . ") But still.

Although Herself and I had planned on going out there, Da Kid didn't know we were. We, she and I, figured two back-to-back shifts each in a one-man station out in the boonies? We'll take him some chicken wings from his favorite place. Which is what we got as take-out for him, after we finished eating our own.

(Ooh, they've got good wings.)

That's a neat little station, and it's really not that small. Three bays with room for more and although it's housing only one firefighter per shift now, it's got enough room to sleep four. Eight if they move the weight lifting equipment out of the room it's in into where the storage cabinets are and put another two sets of bunks in there. Good sized common area, too, and the kitchen is . . .

I digress.

While Da Kid is showing me around and explaining this and that (Those are some big-assed trucks!) he's yawning every other sentence. Big yawns because since he left home early Monday morning, he's had maybe two hours of sleep.

The warnings are everywhere. Fire conditions here are HIGH and what started out as a small yard fire — the home owner says he was cutting his grass and his mower must have caused a spark — quickly became a huge one.

Twelve hours with, as Da Kid put it, "everything": woodlands, structural and burning cars. Choppers overhead, HAZMAT on site, fire trucks coming in from everywhere and burning embers flying away in the wind to start still another fire deeper in the woods.

I don't remember whether Da Kid said they were able to save the guy's house, but with something that big I kinda doubt it.

The chicken wings?

Although Da Kid didn't say anything, a mama knows when her boy is happy. So did the woman (who, by the way, took and passed the exam given by the state nursing board last week) he'll be marrying next year.

Did he eat them? No. Not then. Later tonight he said.

I think he's worried if he eats them any sooner, as tired as he is once he has even standing upright, he'll doze off.

Unless there's a call, sleep schedule is from 10 to 6.

May tonight be quiet.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Katrina: The story continues

In the wake of AP's selective release of only portions of the tapes and transcripts they claimed no one had ever seen of the teleconferences held as Katrina gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico before smashing MISSISSIPPI, that the media then warped even more although they'd been released in their entirety months before . . .

<GASP for breath>

. . . on Saturday, March 4 "Chocolate City" Mayor Ray Nagin released the following press release:

The people of New Orleans suffered greatly through the events of Hurricane Katrina, with the impression that America, one of the greatest countries in the world, would come to the rapid rescue of fellow Americans. The passionate cries for help of not only New Orleanians, but our neighbors in surrounding parishes were overlooked.

The tape that has been released regarding the federal response indicated that federal officials had knowledge of the severity that a storm of Katrina's magnitude could cause to the City of New Orleans.

Our neighbors, friends and loved ones have been uprooted from their homes and our lives have been changed forever.

In the days following Katrina, the people of New Orleans at the Convention Center and the Superdome continued to hold on to hope that the federal government would come to their rescue with food, water, medical attention and transportation out of harms way.

It's unfortunate that the federal response did not come in a timely manner regarding the most horrific natural disaster in the history of our country.
Nowhere, of course, does Nagin make mention of the responsibilities he shirked and pointing his finger at the state's Goobernor Blanco, who can't keep her own story straight, only goes so far because when she's not blaming Dubya, she's pointing the finger of blame back at Nagin!

The 2006 Hurricane Season starts in less than three months. It's been predicted that this year will be just as bad as last year, but neither Blanco nor Nagin seem to be doing a darned thing to prepare this year, either. You'd think they'd learn, huh?

Then again, they're really busy people with far more pressing priorities. They need to get re-elected!

When not zipping back and forth from Louisiana to Washington, D.C. for all those danged Katrina hearings so she can tell ANOTHER version of how whut.ever went wrong was somebody else's fault AND anything that went right was completely her doing, she's there to ask for more Federal money 'cause Louisiana's broke. Then when she finally (occasionally) gets back to Louisiana, Goobernor Blanco -- because Louisiana's broke -- has been busily working on the a bare-bones, stripped-down state budget that increases teachers' salaries.

Then, there's "Naggin'" Nagin.

When not zipping back and forth from New Orleans to Washington, D.C. for all those danged Katrina hearings so he can tell ANOTHER version of how whut.ever went wrong was somebody else's fault AND anything that went right was completely his doing, he's there to ask for more Federal money 'cause New Orleans AND Louisiana are broke. And up for re-election NEXT MONTH, he's hot on the campaign trail.

Not in New Orleans, silly! In Houston, Texas, where the "Chocolate City" mayor is courting the black vote.

(While there, I wonder Nagin'll get a chance to stop by the Texas home he bought for his wife and kids while New Orleans was still under water.)

As the black (absolutely no pun or decisiveness intended) comedy continues, it's time (looking at my blog's name) for a cool change.

Instead the endless hyping of what supposedly went wrong, how about some honest, objective analysis of what some of the problems actually were and what went right.

Monday, March 06, 2006

"Riding With Respect"

ANDERSON, Mo. Like silent sentinels, more than 100 bikers stood in the cool, drizzly rain for nearly two hours Saturday to show their respect to a fallen soldier.

Much like a military formation, the motorcyclists trooped up a hill in Anderson toward Ozark Funeral Home to honor Army Pfc. Christopher L. Marion, 20, of Pineville, who died Feb. 22 in Iraq.

Clad mostly in black leather, some carried U.S. flags. Many wore patches and insignia representing years of military service. But, not all were veterans. Nor did any know Marion or his family. -- The Joplin Globe

They're the Patriot Guard Riders. Unlike protestors who show up to disrupt a funeral, they're invited to attend . . . by the grieving family.

I first became aware of the organization last December because of this entry at Michelle Malkin's blog. After going through their site, I emailed two friends I thought might find the information interesting.

Apparently so. They joined.

Although the Patriot Guard hasn't been around long, they've already made quite an impact. (One example is mentioned in the above article: After announcing that they were going to this funeral to pull their usual crap, no one from the First Church of Inbred Whackjobs showed up.) They're now in the in the news on a more regular basis, too. As the word has gotten out about them, they're receiving more requests.

But as ABFreedom points to, other lunatics are out there disrupting military funerals or threatening to, and not everyone has heard of the Patriot Guard.

Once you've gone through their site if you know anyone who might be interested, please send 'em the link.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


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

Bill Quick is also dog blogging, adding a new "snap" showing, once again, who's REALLY in charge.

Mark, who lost Bart this week, blogging about Molly, Bart's much younger "sister" also said:

I heard that a dog's soul is out there waiting to return to those who loved him in a new form. If that is truly the case, I'll know when the time is right.

And if that's just a myth, I'll wait and let a dog choose me again, the way Bart did.
I started replying at Mark's but realized I was already going way too long and I hadn't even started. So, Mark ...

Satan, my Dobie of long ago, never understood that because he was a Doberman Pinscher, some people automatically assumed he was a vicious killer beast. Heck, I don't think Satan even knew he was a dog.

By my side for eleven years through ups and downs, good times and some really bad ones, I'd taught him to do all kinds of tricks. Not that I knew what I was doing but our connection was so complete, it got to the point — I swear — there were times he'd do something before I'd even had a chance to give him the voice command or hand signal. I'd just started thinking about it and . . .

I got home from work one afternoon to find Satan sick. The diagnosis: kidney stones. Doc could operate but X-rays showed others had already formed elsewhere and once they moved maybe in a week or so, Satan would be right back where he was. And two back-to-back major surgeries on a dog his age . . .

That was the first time I realized how much love can hurt, and how much pain making the right decision can cause.

We still had Beau and Cocoa. It's not that they didn't love me or I didn't love them, but we didn't "belong" the way Satan and I always had.

Six months later I pulled into the driveway, Da Kid yammering away in the passenger seat, after his T-ball practice that day. It's late in the afternoon. Early evening? The sun is just starting to dip behind the roof of the church next door as I opened the car door, started to get out . . . and froze.

Just outside the fence, standing in silhouette against the sun's fading glow, is Satan.

I know this dog. I know the way he stands. The way he moves. The angle he cocks his head in when he's looking at something. And I know he's looking at me.

I hear Da Kid get out of the car. He runs around the front of the car to where I'm standing. He squeals, "Look Mommy! It's Satan!"

The silhouette began to move along the fence and . . . slowly it stopped looking like him.

Dobies and Labrador retrievers don't look anything alike, and this one was a walking wreck.

It was starved down and mange-ridden with bloody, scabby skin and little patches of tar-matted hair instead of a coat, trailing a broken rope knotted around its neck so tightly it's cut the bare skin completely around.

When Hubby, who'd pulled up in back of me, went out to the road the dog fell, then when on its back offering its belly.

What are you gonna do.

We brought the dog in the yard and gave it food and water. He let us cut the rope off, and Hubby announced that it looked like I had a new dog.

"No, it's not staying."

I checked up and down the road for a couple of days. Everywhere around. No one was missing a dog or knew of anyone who was, and no one wanted one, either.

A couple of meals, and finally I broke down and gave it a bath because I knew no one was going to want a dog that looked this bad.

That night Hubby said I'd just confirmed that THIS dog wasn't leaving.

"If you bathe a dog, we both know it's staying."

"No, he's not staying! Lucky son of a bitch, though, walking up just as we were pulling in."

"And now you've just named him, too."

There was something else, too, I'd felt from the start. A strange sensation that somehow I knew the dog. From . . . somewhere. I pushed it away. I buried it.

I couldn't ignore it any longer a few nights later, when one helluva storm came in. Thunder, lightening, wind and heavy rain. So, I let him in.

The dog walks right over to where Satan's bowls had been for so many years until six months before, and stares at the empty space. Then he looks at me, then back to where the bowls used to be.

Nah! That's crazy and I'm not.

Except when I went to bed that night, Lucky put his head along side my pillow for a minute . . . the way Satan had always done, just before he curled up and went to sleep in the corner Satan had always slept in.

He also knew every single one of Satan's tricks, answering my oddball voice commands and hand signals without hesitation.

Okay, maybe I am crazy. If I am, fine. So is Hubby.

About two weeks after Lucky showed up, Hubby grabbed his face and went eye to eye with him:

"You couldn't stand being gone, could you. You came back."

Do dog's souls wander around waiting to come back to the people they love? I don't know, but I think so although not in all cases.

From whatever the other side is, some recognize that the hole they left in their person's heart hasn't been healed by time. That while they were here, they were able to help their person through rough times, and seeing the rough times they're facing now they know THEY aren't there anymore to help the way they used to.

So, they either come back in another form . . . or grab "someone" already here and say, "Yo! Over there. Yeah, THAT person. This is everything you need to know."

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Look into my eyeth!

Look DEEP into my eyeth.

I am Thwami Thtarbuck.

I know everything.

I thee everything.

Even when my other two eyeth are clothed and I'm thnoring, my third eye thtill thees everything.

(Thut up! That'th NOT a thticker from a banana thtuck on my head. That'th my third eye! THIT! Where wath I?)

You are helpleth.

You can not rethitht.

Feed me treatth.

Lotth and lotth of treatth.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Quotable Quotes

"Western proponents of Kyoto and some of the other loopy NGO-beloved eco-doom-mongering concepts . . . have at least this much in common with psychotic Third World thugocracies: they find it hard to win free elections, they regard transnational bodies as useful for conferring a respect unearned at the ballot box, and they are unduly troubled by the lack of accountability in global institutions." -- Mark Steyn

Via: Instapundit


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Instead of the bed . . .

he knew for so long, tonight Bart is sleeping on one especially soft and fluffy because it's made from a cloud turned inside out.