Saturday, May 31, 2008

This is pretty cool!!

AUSTIN, Texas -- Bonnie Richardson ran. She threw. She jumped.

And when it was time to hand out the team trophies, Richardson accepted the 1A team championship for Rochelle High School -- by herself.

Richardson accepted the state team track title by herself. Bonnie Richardson of Rochelle High School scored 42 team points to win the Texas 1A track title.

Richardson was the only Rochelle athlete to qualify for the state meet and stunningly won the team title. University Interscholastic League officials said it was the first time they can remember a single athlete winning a girls' team title.

It's happened before on the boys' side, but not since former Baylor Bear and Pittsburgh Steeler Frank Pollard did it for Meridian High School in the 1970s, said UIL Athletics Director Charles Breithaupt.

"This totally blows me away," the freckle-faced Richardson said while holding the trophy with a gold medal draped on her neck. "This is amazing. I had no idea it was even possible."

Richardson's title march began with field events on Friday when she won the high jump (5 feet, 5 inches), placed second in the long jump (18-7) and was third in the discus (121-0).

On Saturday, she won the 200 meters in 25.03 seconds and nearly pulled off a huge upset in the 100 before finishing second (12.19) to defending champion Kendra Coleman of Santa Anna. Richardson, a junior, earned a total of 42 team points to edge team runner-up Chilton (36).

Saturday Odd and Ends

After spending a great afternoon with my friend Jack at lunch at Victoria Gardens, I stopped for gas for my cruiser. $4.11 a gallon!!! $60 to fill her up!!!

Friday Jack and I drove to San Diego and wondered around the USS Midway aircraft carrier. Not only can you walk through three decks of the ship, but there were about a dozen aircraft displayed in the hanger deck and on the flight deck. The tour provides headsets and players that offer information on the various areas of the ship and there were also guides stationed at different locations who actually served on the ship to answer questions and offer additional information. Afterwards we walked over to SeaPort Village and shared a Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza. It was a beautiful day in San Diego and a wonderful experience going through the USS Midway.

Friday evening Karen and I attended out first Rancho Cucamonga Quakes game of the year. It's always enjoyable going to see the Quakes. The stadium is always clean and well run. This year they've added a wider variety of food and snacks. We got to see about 15 minutes of fireworks afterward, which is always a plus. Oh, they lost the game 11-3.
This week Karen planted a few new plants in the pots on our front porch. She has the green thumb in the family. I'm lucky to get crab grass to grow. She also gets much more enjoyment out of it than I do. Pretty eh? The flowers are too!!!

Actual headlines

Go figure

Have you seen this suspect?

Say what?

Good fiscal planning

Ya, so?

Excellent paint job

Transparent governing

A no-brainer?


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cartoonests respond to McClellan's book

Harvey Korman - Dead at 81

LOS ANGELES - Harvey Korman, the tall, versatile comedian who won four Emmys for his outrageously funny contributions to “The Carol Burnett Show” and played a conniving politician to hilarious effect in “Blazing Saddles,” died Thursday. He was 81.

Korman died at UCLA Medical Center after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm four months ago, his family said. He had undergone several major operations.

Happy Birthday Annette Bening

Happy birthday wishes go out today to one of my favorite actresses, Annette Bening. Born in Topeka, Kansas, Annette Francine Bening turns 50 years old today. Annette moved to San Diego, Ca. with her family when she was young and worked on a charter boat as a cook. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in theatre arts.

Annette has won one Golden Globe award, one British Academy of Film and Television Arts award, and one Screen Actors Guild award. She has also been nominated for five Golden Glove awards, three Academy Awards, and one Emmy.

I confess I haven't seen all of her movies, but I really enjoyed her in The American President with Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen and Michael J. Fox. This photo is from a scene where she is getting to go to bed with the president, played by Michael Douglas.

I also enjoyed her in this movie, "Open Range", with Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall. She ends up hooking up with Kevin Costner at the end.

She's married to sort of a famous guy, you may have heard of him, Warren Beatty. The met while filming the movie "Bugsy" and married in 1992. They have four children together, three daughters and a son. So Happy Birthday Annette Bening!!!

I am not only a pacifist, but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.

Albert Einstein.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Deja vu all over again??

The provision of the Constitution giving the war-making power to Congress, was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons: Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us." --- Congressman Abraham Lincoln

This argument was made by Abraham Lincoln before the Mexican - American War in 1846. It was thought that President Polk had instigated a war against Mexico without provocation and under false pretenses. President Polk declared war against Mexico under the understanding that the United States was protecting it's borders in Texas after a small band of Mexican army men attacked a United States military patrol on U.S. soil. (Shades of Vietnam??) Opposition to the war felt that the war was declared to take land from Mexico that the U.S. felt should be theirs and in doing so open the area up to slavery.

President Polk thought it would be a quick and easy engagement. (Sound familiar??) The war ended up lasting one year and nine months and costing 13,000 American lives and over $100,000. A lot of money in those days.

After the war, Ulysses S. Grant was quoted as saying, "I had very strong opinions on the subject. I do not think there was ever a more wicked war than that waged by the United States on Mexico. I had a horror of the Mexican War, and I have always believed that it was on our part most unjust. The wickedness was not in the way our soldiers conducted it, but in the conduct of our government in declaring it. We had no claim on Mexico. Texas had no claim beyond the Nueces River, and yet we pushed on to the Rio Grande and crossed it. I am always ashamed of my country when I think of that invasion."

Why does history continue to repeat itself? Here we are again invading a weaker country, under false pretenses, to gain what is not rightfully ours; oil. And the costs will be staggering, not only in the loss of lives, but also monetarily and loss of global respect. It's Deja vu all over again.


Resistance and Revolution
By David Swanson

Mexican American War

U.S.:Mexican War

What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception
By Scott McClellan

Author and former press secretary Scott McClellan served President Bush for more than seven years. In his new book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," McClellan offers his candid perspective on Bush and events like the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina.

The publishing of this book, due out June 1st, has caused quite an uproar in the Bush administration. In excerpts from the books preface, McClellan first held President Bush in high esteem. McClellan wrote, " He (Bush) is a man of personal charm, wit, and enormous political skill. Like many other people, I was inspired to follow him by his disarming personality and by his record as a popular, bipartisan governor who set a constructive tone and got things done for the people. We all hoped and believed he could do the same for the nation."

McClellan goes on to say, "It was the decision to go to war in Iraq that pushed Bush’s presidency off course. It was a fateful misstep based on a confluence of events (the shock of 9/11 and our surprisingly — and deceptively — quick initial military success in Afghanistan), human nature (ambition, certitude, and self-deceit), and a divinely inspired passion (President Bush’s deeply held belief that all people have a God-given right to live in freedom)."

Reaction to the book by the Bush administration all seem to say that McClellan is a disgruntled former employee and they are "puzzled and bewildered" by the contents of the book. If three people from the administration, including President Bush, use the same catch phrase, it makes one wonder if the Bush administration hasn't circled the wagon and come up with a collective response for damage control. I look forward to sipping a mocha frappacino and reading the entire book.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I didn't know that!!!

Memorial Day is not actually a day to pray for U.S. troops who died in action but rather a day set aside by Congress to pray for peace. The 1950 Joint Resolution of Congress which created Memorial Day says: "Requesting the President to issue a proclamation designating May 30, Memorial Day, as a day for a Nation-wide prayer for peace." (64 Stat.158).

I guess this has been lost in the translation over the years. No surprise really as the United States has the largest and most aggressive standing military in the world. According to an article on "" by Bill Quigley, the U.S. spends over $600 billion annually on our military, more than the rest of the world combined. China, our nearest competitor, spends about one-tenth of what we spend. The U.S. also sells more weapons to other countries than any other nation in the world.

The article goes on to say that the U.S. has about 700 military bases in 130 countries world-wide and another 6000 bases in the US and our territories. The Department of Defense (DOD) reports nearly 1.4 million active duty military personnel today. Over a quarter of a million are in other countries from Iraq and Afghanistan to Europe, North Africa, South Asia and the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The DOD also employs more than 700,000 civilian employees.

The US has used its armed forces abroad over 230 times according to researchers at the Department of the Navy Historical Center. Their publications list over 60 military efforts outside the U.S. since World War II.

It doesn't appear that the United States will be getting out of the military business anytime soon. Food for thought really. See you next Memorial Day when we will morn the lose of several hundred more military personal.

Indy's at it again!!

The new Indiana Jones movie, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (boy that's a mouthful) is estimated to have made $311 million over the long Memorial weekend nationwide according to MSNBC. People magazine didn't rate it very high, but both my sons say it was a great movie. I'll have to go see it after the first couple of weeks rush.

Happy Birthday Stevie Nicks

Yesterday, May 26th, was the birthday of one of my favorite recording artists, Stevie Nicks. Stevie Nicks turned 60 years old.

Stevie Nicks was born Stephanie Lynn Nicks in Phoenix, Arizona. She picked up the name Stevie because as s child she couldn't pronounce Stephanie correctly.

Stevie Nicks came to fame as one of two female singers with the British group Fleetwood Mac. The other being Christy McVie. She has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards and she and Fleetwood Mac won the Grammy Award in 1977 for their album, "Rumours". Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. She has also had a successful solo recording career.

It was rumored that Stevie Nicks was a witch, although she denies any such thing. Her hit song, "Rhiannon" is said to have been named after a character in a book she read about a Welsh witch and her music is copyrighted under the name "Welsh Witch Music." Hmm?? Can't tell from the large photo above!!

She is known on stage for her deep sultry voice, her variety of hats and cashmere boots, and her swirling around in circles when she sings. Happy Birthday Steve!!

Recently Passed Over

Saturday Dick Martin passed away from respiratory complications. He was 86 years old. Dick Martin, shown on the right, was the partner of Dan Rowan. They were probably most famous for the weekly comedy show, "Rowan and Martin's Laugh In."

The show ran from 1968 to 1973 and featured such stars as Goldie Hawn, Arte Johnson, Lilly Tomlin, and Flip Wilson, and made famous the lines, "you bet your bippy", Verry Eeenteresting", and "sock it to me baby", among others.

Each show started out with a short dialogue between Dan Rowan, the straight man, and Dick Martin, the dumb one. It was a great show and Rowan and Martin were very funny.
I just learned this morning that my friend Jim Witt is off on a cross country road trip. Jim is retired from the same nut house that I retired from and enjoying his retirement. Unlike me, Jim is on his road trip on a motorcycle, which will make it a bit more arduous and subject to the unpredictable weather across the country. I understand he is traveling alone and plans to be gone up to two months. He wants to hit Boston, and New York City, before heading down the east coast to Florida. He has started a blog and you can read about his trip at

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

A day set aside to morn the lose of our men and women in the armed forces.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dear Karen,


Happy Birthday

Saturday was the birthday of Bob Dylan, AKA Robert Allen Zimmerman. Born in my place of birth, Duluth, Minnesota, Dylan turned 67 years old. When I was in Hibbing, Minnesota last week, they were planning a big festival for Bob Dylan. Dylan of course was a singer, song writer who helped fire up the anti-war protests of the Vietnam War in the 60's

Happy Birthday wishes go out to Karen Valentine who turned 61 years old. Karen was born in Sebastopol, California. She is probably best known for her role at teacher Alice Johnson in the serial, "Room 222."

Happy Birthday wishes also go out today to Anne Heche who turned 39 years old. Anne was born in Aurora, Ohio. She has had many starring roles, but is probably best known as the ex- girlfriend of Ellen DeGeneres.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Today I learned why riding a bike can be such great exercise. I rode my bike from my house to a local park, a distance of about 5 miles. I spent some time in the park doing some stretching and yoga. I went to get on my bike for the ride home only to find my front tire was flat. As I examined the flat tire, I found what we used to call as kids a bullhead sticker. It's a sticker I'm sure you are all familiar with, it has three points to it. So, I called Karen's cell phone and the home phone only to get no answer. After walking about a half mile, Karen called me back and came and picked me up. So if you can't get enough exercise riding, there is always the chance you may get some walking in as well.

I had heard more experienced riders talking about going on rides and getting several flat tires and fixing them on the road. So today I invested in a small tire pump, a couple of extra inner tubes, and a patch kit. The inner tubes I bought are made to reseal. Live and learn I always say.