Saturday, January 31, 2009

A statue built for Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who hurled his shoes at former U.S. president George Bush, is seen in Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) Baghdad, January 27, 2009.

Glenn Beck, described on Wikipedia as an "American radio and television host, author, and conservative political commentator," apparently doesn't like us. Yesterday he went on a rant on his show on FOXnews that included the following statements;

California today, they voted against offshore drilling. Not on their land, or their shore, no. They also voted last week to raise emissions standards because it's too smoggy there and they care about the trees. Also, uh, in the stimulus, we found out today, it appears as though Hollywood can get a, um, bailout, from you and me, because nobody's going to see their movies. Hmmph! You'd think maybe they should just make better movies, and then we'd all go. But no no, let's bail them all out.

The Civil War taught us that, apparently, U.S. states can't secede from the Union. I'd like to test that one again maybe sometime. But what I'd like to know is if the Union has the right to kick out states. Because if so, I'd like to take a star right out of our flag, and California is it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Rick Warren Legacy

Saddlebacking: sad•dle•back•ing \ˈsa-dəl-ˈba-kiŋ\ vb [fr. Saddleback Church] (2009): the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities

Thursday, January 29, 2009

CBS is reporting this morning that the mother of the octuplets born this month in Los Angeles County has six other children, four older daughters and two older sons, including a set of twins.

The mother currently lives in a three bedroom house with her parents.

Under current state law, women in South Carolina wanting to obtain an abortion must first submit to an ultrasound exam. Women must then sign a form stating that they either viewed the ultrasound screen during the test or a printed photograph from the ultrasound. Then they must wait an hour to reflect on their decision to have an abortion and read brochures on fetal development and abortion alternatives.

Under an amendment to the law proposed by Rep. Greg Delleney, the waiting time would be increased to 24 hours. Rep. Delleney said, "I'm trying to give the chance for a child waiting to be born to have a birthday."

Doesn't it seem logical to believe that the woman wanting an abortion has already had some time to mull over this decision? I'd be interested in knowing if the waiting period already in place has caused a significant number of women to change their mind. Sounds more like an effort to make having an abortion harder to get.

Every where you look there are stories of massive lay offs. None is more alarming to me than this one.

Starbucks Corp said Wednesday that it would cut as many as 6,700 jobs as it closes more than 300 stores and eliminates more positions at it's corporate headquarters.

I better go get a frappicinno!!!

I'm home!!! It's always great to take off on a road trip, and always even greater to be back home. I got home Wednesday evening about 4:30 pm.

Had a great trip. Got my sisters moved into their new apartment. Got to see my dad a couple of times. Saw some beautiful country.

Had great weather the whole trip. Not a drop of rain or snow. Priceless!!
Happy birthday wishes go out to Judy Norton, aka Mary Ellen Walton, who turns 51 years old today. Mary Norton was born in Santa Monica, Ca. Mary is married to writer/producer Randy Apostle and has a son named Devin.

Mary Norton started her acting career as "Mary Ellen Walton" on the series "The Walton's". She was in 209 episodes from 1972 thru 1981. During the series her character was married, had a son, lost her husband, and remarried.

I real life she married during the series and became known as Judy Norton-Taylor. After the series she couldn't get work because she was type-cast as a "goodie-two-shoes" so she posed nude for the August 1989 issue of "Playboy" magazine .

Today Judy and her husband run a chain of dinner theatres called "Celebrations and Jubilations" in Canada. Judy also continues to act and direct.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Started home from Washington this morning about 8:30 am. It was clear as a bell and colder than a mother-in-law's kiss. As you can see, it was 17 degrees.

There was a thin layer of ice on my car.

Ran into a little traffic going thru Seattle, but for the most part it was smooth sailing south around the Sound and west to the coast.

It was beautiful at the beach, but 39 degrees.

Tonight I'm spending the night in Florence, Oregon at the Lighthouse Inn. It is a rather old fashioned motel with a wall heater and an actual key to the room. I stayed here last August with Corey.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Miss America 2009

Miss Indiana, Katie Stam, was crowned Miss America Saturday night at the Planet Hollywood Casino and Resort in Las Vegas. Katie is a 22 year old student at the University of Indianapolis where she is studying communications.

Katie won the swimsuit competition

Happy Birthday Suzie and Kathy

These are my two younger sisters, Kathy on the left and Suzie on the right. They both celebrate their birthdays on January 23, but are three years apart. We were all too tired to do any celebrating on Friday so we put it off until Saturday.

So, being the older brother, I felt it my responsibility to make sure they had a birthday party. I went to the local Albertsons Market and got a birthday cake. (Chocolate cake and chocolate frosting of course) I went to Target and picked up a few extra items for Kathy as she turned 50 years old this year. I presented here with a bright pink bag, with pink tissue paper, that contained a package of Depends adult diapers, a tube of Preparation H, and a box of hemorrhoid wipes.

We were joined by Kathy's friends Katherine and Lynn and we had pizza and beer and played poker for a couple of hours. A good time was had by all.
After going to the park, Suzie and I went to visit my dad. My dad is 87 years old and lives in an assisted living center here in Bellingham. So every time I make a trip up here I try to see my dad as much as possible.

I guess when you get older and take several different medications your skin gets real thin. His skin is like rice paper. So when he bumps himself he gets skin tears. You can see where his left arm is bandaged from a couple of places where he has torn his skin. Suzie goes by his apartment every other day or so to check or change his bandages and put his medications in one of those dispensers that looks like a calendar.

My dad is still pretty sharp mentally and still cracks a joke from time to time. I just wish he didn't watch that ridiculous Bill O'Reilly Show!!!

On Friday we took a break from moving and took my dad to lunch at a fish place down the street from his building. He still has a good appetite, which I think is a good sign. He still gets out and walks every day and goes to an exercises class at the senior center three times a week.

Lucy came along to keep an eye on things.
So it's time to catch everybody up on whats been going on these last couple of days. Friday morning I was up bright and early and went to my car to find it covered with a thin coat of ice. I had to run the defroster for about 15 minutes to be able to see through the windshield to drive. Oh ya, it was a balmy 26 degrees outside.

I spent the day moving Suzie and Kathy to their new apartment. Their apartment is real nice with two bedrooms and much more room to live in.

Part of the moving included bringing Kathy's scooter over to the new apartment. She has a snow suit she wears while riding to protect her from the wind chill at 25-30 mph.

Saturday morning I took the trailer back to Uhaul. I got out of my car in the Uhaul parking lot and found it covered with patches of ice. It was a bit warmer, and later in the morning, so it was 31 degrees.

Suzie and I took Lucy (their beagle) to the dog park at my favorite place here, Patton Lake. As you can see part of the lake was frozen. Lucy is checking out the ice. Note here stunning coat with hoodie!!!

There were patches of ice everywhere. I found out that if it gets foggy when it's cold the fog will freeze and leave these nice patches of ice everywhere.

This is a gated area near the lake where you can let your dog run free and play and romp with other dogs. You (Suzie) just have to try to clean up the dog poop after your own dog. They provide little plastic bags for the chore.

Wardrobe malfunction!!

I have often wondered how these women keep themselves in those tiny costumes while skating. Well, I guess this photo is proof that it's not always the case.

This is an actual photograph of Russian figure skater Ekaterina Rubleva skating at the European Figure Skating Championships last Monday in Helsinki Finland.

The article went on to say that their titillating performance only got them into 12th place.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day Three

I left my sister-in-law's house Thursday morning about 8:30am.

It was a bit on the chilly outside!!

Being in the North/West means seeing lots of logging trucks.

Crossed over the Columbia River into Washington State.

Gretchen found me a Starbucks!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This photo is a little blurry, but I wanted to check in and let you know that I am still alive and kickin'. I am spending the night in Williams, Ca., which is about 60 miles north of Sacramento.

Not much of note occurred on my trip. Just chuggin' along at about 62 mph with all the trucks in the slow lane.
Mr. President

Happy trails to you ...

Beer sales are known for being recession-resistant, but that isn't looking to be the case this time around. The London-based brewer behind the Miller brand recently reported that its shipments dropped unexpectedly in the third quarter. MillerCoors said its premium light brand volumes were down 2.4%. MillerLite sales were down 7.5%

Not surprisingly, the weakness in sales is being driven by smaller orders at restaurants and bars, which are anything but recession-proof. But it seems that some people are opting out on beer entirely instead of heading to the liquor store to take home a case of Keystone Light.

Beer sales normally grow at about 1% per year. In 2008 they only grew by half that amount, and it could get worse in 2009.

I think I need a beer!!!