"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring Fever

Now I know why I am seeing more and more of these so-called Amish Barn Stars: It's mating season.

These two were caught in the act this morning . Well, it is spring.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Being different is criminal

As the FLDS drama continues in Texas, it appears that perhaps public opinion is starting to sway toward the religious sect. It is beginning to look like another example of punishing all for the sins of a few. Or punishing the victims instead of the perpetrators.

Removing over 400 children from their families to barracks and on to foster homes, unlike any home-life they have been accustomed, will certainly confuse and possibly permanently harm them. Displacing all of them for the sake of saving a few is not the answer.

Better police investigations and stronger evidence singling out the perpetrators, then removing the alleged perpetrators from the compound would have been a better solution. Children could have stayed with their mothers and innocent fathers would not have a guilty shadow hanging over them.

Just because a group of people look and live differently from "normal" society, does not mean that they are all criminals. Speak to a Catholic priest, a Muslim, or a young black man. Suspicion in this country is rampant and tolerance has a long way to go.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lars and real life

Last night I finally watched Lars and the Real Girl and thoroughly enjoyed this little movie gem. A delusional lonely guy finds love with a sex doll, and his family and entire community go along with it.

Perhaps being from a small community helps one identify with this subject matter. Every town has "local color", but those characters seem to stand out more in little towns and people seem more willing to engage in the farce.

My town had Red, who was certain he owned a Corvette manufacturing plant in Kankakee, IL. People would have long conversations with him about the plant and the cars being produced, and he was eager to discuss his business venture. Of course we all knew there was no business, but we all went along with it because in some way we all loved Red for who he was.

When I lived in a small Alabama town, there was Cliff, a mid-forty-ish man with Down's Syndrome, who loved showing off his endless supply of colorful ties and happily went from store to store with his broom, offering his help to clean. Although not delusional, he had his own quirkiness that was endearing to everyone around him and when he died, there was no other funeral so largely attended.

At least in small town America, those who may be considered weirdos elsewhere, are always surrounded by people who love them for simply who they are.

Helping Hand

Here's another excuse for do-it-yourself-ers. There are some health benefits.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spousal rights

First of all, I must make a disclaimer: I am not supporting any presidential candidate. Period.

Areas of the blogosphere and other media are irate over the fact that Cindy McCain's tax returns were not publicly revealed along with her husband's. "John McCain's lack of transparency is troubling and raises questions about what he's hiding," Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said .

Nevermind the fact that the McCain's hold investments each in their own names and even have a pre-nup agreement regarding their finances. Some groups estimate the McCain's "combined" wealth as $28-100 million. It appears to me that there is no "combined" wealth; it is "his" wealth and "her" wealth, separately. They may be married, but their finances are separate.

Cindy and John McCain's filing status is "married filing separately" and therefore, unlike other candidates who file joint tax returns, Mrs. McCain's tax records are not subject to public scrutiny. She is not running for public office and is not obligated to disclose her finances. The simple truth is that it is none of the public's business what the spouse of a candidate earns or owns. A bad example was set by Theresa Heinz Kerry when she released her private tax returns under political pressure.

Other candidates had the option to file their taxes separately, but apparently chose not to. As a result, the spouse's income on a candidate's joint return become public knowledge when the candidate's tax return is exposed. There is no "lack of transparency" on John McCain's part; his tax return was released as required.

It is surprising to me that antiquated ideas like this still abound in modern American society: that spouses can't/don't have their own investments; that, once married, spouses merge all their income; or even that spouses have the same opinions (political or otherwise).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stop the insanity!

The election campaigns need to end soon. The pollsters are now analyzing voters who bowl (Clinton over Obama) and voters who drink beer (tie). This was featured news on the Today Show this morning.

I am sick and tired of politics and religion in the news. Thank goodness Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 race.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Earthquake Take

Earthquakes are so rare around these parts that everyone is talking about about Friday's event.

At 4:37 am, like most of the area, I was in bed asleep. The loud rumbling woke me and I thought it must be the cats running wildly around the house, but there was no hissing. Then I thought it must be a large truck hauling a trailer over the pot-hole spotted road nearby. When I finally realized what it was, it was over. Thank you, Mother Nature, I was now awake for the rest of the day.

The last large magnitude earthquake I remember was forty years ago when I was a student at the nearby big university. Asleep again, in my dorm room on the 7th floor of Bromley Hall, I awoke to sounds of screaming young women rushing to the stair cases. I could feel the building sway and roll, but again it was all over before I could do anything other than get out of bed.

I enjoy my sleep and don't like being disturbed. I just wish these things would occur at a more convenient time.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Am Not A Speed Reader

I admire readers like A Mom's Life (27 books read so far this year), Misc. & Co. (90 books read last year) and my 96 year old FIL (reads 1-2 books/week).

I am a slow reader. I read each book as if it were a textbook and I'll be quizzed on it later. When I read novels, I am analyzing sentence structures, punctuation, and descriptive language. I cannot speed read a page just to get the gist of the story. The blame can be put upon my elementary teacher that introduced me to diagramming sentences. Oh, how I loved doing that - taking things apart and seeing how single parts work together to form something entirely different. That's me - always curious as to what makes things work.

Add my busy work schedule in the first quarter of the year to the snail's pace reading speed, and I find I've only read a handful of books so far this year:

Gone Baby Gone - Dennis Lehane
Prayers For Rain - Dennis Lehane
Six Easy Pieces - Walter Mosley
Devil In a Blue Dress - Walter Mosley
Thirteen Moons - Charles Frazier
Millionaire Mind - Thomas J Stanley

You probably notice a pattern. For some reason, I don't usually like female authors, although there have been a few exceptions over the years, and I seem to be on a crime novel kick. I have especially been enjoying the Walter Mosley books because of his succinct use of words, yet keeping the reader engaged in the characters and storyline. Next up: Mosley's Cinnamon Kiss.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Book tag

My fellow bloggers must know that I am soooooo busy that they've tagged me for some easy posts. Chambanna Fanna tagged me on this one:

Pick up the nearest book of at least 123 pages.
Open the book to page 123.
Find the 5th sentence.
Post the next 3 sentences.

"I opened the gate and descended the concrete stairs. She met me at the door. Sepia-skinned and big-boned, she had always been my standard for beauty."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's Very Toad in the Freezer

A politician in Australia has proposed a day to hunt and kill cane toads, but only killing them by the humane way of freezing them in citizens' freezers.