Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year! And a new use for Hwy 61

2009 has already struck in some parts of the world. In Minnesota they are still counting and re-counting votes. Al Franken is leading by 50 votes. We like our media celebrities in Minnesota--remember Jesse Ventura? California has a thing for celebrities too, apparently.

Update: The famous Highway 61--now a runway. An airplane made an emergency landing on the Highway 61 expressway. “The engine ate itself for breakfast. That doesn’t happen often.” said the vice president of business admin for Cirrus. The engine apparently threw a rod shortly after takeoff, causing the aircraft to lose power and need to make an emergency landing.

And if that wasn't odd enough, after the plane landed on the highway--the passing traffic started honking at them! Ha ha, wish I had been there to see (and hear) that!

Oh well. 2009 is going to be a super-duper, fantastic, fabulous, wonderful and GREAT year! Happy New Year to you!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

New music love: Ghostland Observatory. I love, love, LOVE them!
The vocals remind me a bit of The Cure, but the sound is unique and can't really be categorized, Techno-Rock is probably the closest.

Some of their songs:
Move With Your Lover
Sad Sad City
  • Rich Man

  • But I like nearly everything of theirs that I've heard.

    You have the right to remain MERRY!

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    Friday, December 19, 2008

    Once bitten, twice snowed on

    It's snowing out again. The weather has been alternating between 20's and 30's below--and that's actually temperature NOT windchill which would sound even worse--and snow. The temps have been too cold to use road salt and so they've been only using sand. Sand on the roads is certainly better than nothing but it makes a slippery, slushy roadway. The city where I live is flat, and a driver just needs to remember to start braking long before they actually need to stop. But the neighboring city is hilly and the slippery roads are quite dangerous there.

    I haven't written much about the particulars of my new job. There are many interesting stories, but they aren't MY stories and are confidential, so not appropriate blog-fodder. But last night as a visitation was ending, I needed to bring the children down the long halls out to the foster parent's vehicle. One child took my hand, and I was pleased and relieved as we aren't allowed to carry them or hold their hands against their will. We were all dressed for outdoors. I was wearing thick leather gloves--and good thing that I was! The child bit into the fleshy part of my thumb where it joins my hand like she was biting into an apple. She hung on until I looked her sternly in the eye and said, "No, stop that." a whole lot calmer than I felt! They were the last family in the Center and I was supposed to leave at when the visit was over as the Center isn't in the best of neighborhoods. But my hand was throbbing so I went back into the bathroom. There was a dime-sized open wound, surrounded by bright orange and purple bruising. I ran warm water and soap from the dispenser over my hand until it quit throbbing, then put the glove back on to drive home.

    As I was driving down the slick, slippery hill and the car wasn't stopping at intersections in the manner I would have liked, a child's verse was in my head:

    Child bite, child bite
    Last family I see tonight
    I wish I may
    I wish I might
    Avoid further injury tonight.

    I got home OK and put honey on the wound. Today it is much better and barely painful. Long ago as a meter reader I received dog bites fairly often. Those wounds would be painful for days because I hadn't given them first aid right away with warm water and soap. Also didn't know about the curative powers of honey!

    The question of today is: How's your work going lately?

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    Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    The Annual Christmas Letter

    The Annual Christmas Letter

    Greetings to Family and Friends,

    Hope this letter finds you and your loved ones in peace and joy. It’s been quite the year around here. In fact “here” was very nearly “where?” Many of you know that and have assisted in various and much appreciated ways. I will try to condense the year into a sort of ‘Reader’s Digest” version, yet even so, I’d like to offer my apologies in advance for such a long, rambling letter. Hope I put enough postage on the envelope to get it to you.

    January was the start of the year and also of my job hunt. Work was stressful and ominous things were happening. Little did I realize that being out of work also could be quite stressful. I have to brag a bit and tell you that I was one of a “final four” out of 60 candidates to get a good job. No, I didn’t get the job, but on January 10th a wonderful thing happened: my Grandson was born. I was the first non-medical person to see him. I’m not being biased at all when I tell you that he is the cutest baby who was ever born! Those of you who have seen him will have to agree.

    In February I was injured at work and had a doctor-ordered five week vacation. The bosses at work didn’t like that much and were pretty mean to me when I returned. But I didn’t have to suffer long, they soon fired me and I was home for another vacation.

    Summer went by quickly, with moving Mom to Assisted Care, cleaning out her two-bedroom apartment, finding places for her things and all. Big Brother and his family helped a lot, as did many of my friends, thank you! There was a temporary, minor glitch when Mom forgot she had chosen to live in her new digs and called Younger Brother (from out of state) to rescue her. All was soon straightened out. But only after he had driven through three states in a hurry to see her and make sure she was OK. Mom was living more or less happily in her one-room quarters and had forgotten that she had called him so desperately.

    The parents of Cutest Baby received a low-mileage car when Mom “decided” not to drive (yikes!) any more. They came up with Cutest Baby to attend the annual and really fun Blues Fest. They stayed at my house for a week and then drove their new car back home. I was glad they had a place to stay while they were visiting, and that I had a place to stay, too. Keeping up with the Jones’ can be a bad thing when it means not being able to make the mortgage payment, like so many other people. What a copy cat I am! An interesting and curious fact that you may not know (I didn’t) is that when fired, a person doesn’t receive Unemployment Compensation. I utilized my time off with lots of writing and soon Worker’s Compensation agreed to pay 2/3 my former wage, drawn on former employer’s account, ho ho ho!

    The Worker’s Comp people are sociable and they stop in often and delight in spontaneous visits with me. These are not merely meet-and-greet but long, serious conversations for two and a half hours. They are big on communication and encourage me to do more writing—of everything I do during the week days. They don’t just skim over my writing either, which is most flattering. They read every bit carefully and ask me a lot of personal questions about it. They are so fond of me that they have demanded that I stay in a 50-mile radius, so they will not have to miss the joy of spontaneous visits at my home. So I’m getting a lot of attention, as well as some money from them.

    Well, until I got a part-time job. Now it’s been five weeks since I’ve received a WC check and the earned income from my new job doesn’t pay the bills. But the Worker’s Comp people are still really chummy and encourage me to keep up my daily writing. It’s good to have people who care about you.

    The new job is really interesting with two bosses each telling me different things, being on call 24/7 and dealing with dysfunctional families. I’m trying to obtain more (paid) work hours from my new employer. But they appear to believe in the virtue of sharing, as they keep hiring on more people. I have gotten to know several other employers too, in special little intimate meetings, but so far no one else has hired me yet. Instead I have received the employer version of a “Dear John” letter, telling me that they liked someone else better, sniff. Well, “Boo” to them and their little job too.

    On a brighter note, I have to tell you that I’m simply thrilled with the November election—because Mom received an ID card from her new state in time for her to vote! It only took me a couple of days, some phone calls and driving around, too. Those guys at the DMV who said they couldn’t give her one because of the terrorists had better be sorry now! OK, I suppose I shouldn’t really threaten them, even on paper….

    This has been quite the year for vacations! I took yet another vacation, camping in my sleeping bag without even leaving home! I greedily took two vacations of four days each, with less than a week between them. I’m wondering if I could market that concept of “stay at home camping” as a boon to people without a lot of money? This type of vacation actually SAVES money because there’s no heating cost for the duration of it. Well, not if you do it the way I did (not recommended) as the repair bills will cost nearly as much as a “normal” camping vacation. But it may have some marketing potential, don’t you think?

    For Christmas I had the desperate inspired idea of making coffee and tea mixes and giving them out as gifts. Oops, sorry but that was kind of a spoiler! Well, you won’t know which mix your family will get, coffee or tea, so it will still be a surprise, right?

    Well, it’s time to close down this year. Whew, I have to say that I’m not sorry to see it end. Here’s hoping that 2009 will be a much better year for us all! How could it not?

    Love, PBS

    I stole this idea from Violet Thanks! But really wouldn’t SEND this letter, even though I love getting Annual Christmas Letters from friends and family. It’s a great way to catch up with people that you don’t see much, or at all, during the year. I think this would make a great meme. Any meme-rs for an Annual Christmas Letter?

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    Monday, December 15, 2008

    Winter has arrived at the home of the champions

    "Winter has arrived with a vengeance." the local newspaper reports. We received our first blizzard of the 2008-09 winter season. This included:

    "The city is advising no travel," according to Amy Norris, public information coordinator. “The snow plows are on the main roads only,” Norris said, “and with the rate of snow fall and the wind there is a lot of drifting going on, which is making driving very dangerous at this point.”

    The Weather Service reports that travel may become “very dangerous to near impossible” across the region.

    Bus service was stopped at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. “We’ve been hearing from drivers and they say with the blowing snow, it is impossible to see past their windshields,” said general manager Dennis Jensen. Jensen said they tried to give two hours’ notice to riders and that two buses are stuck.

    "On Monday night, temperatures are forecast to fall to near 20 below and near 30 below just to the north." This doesn't even take into account the wind-chill factor.

    "Wind and blowing snow are beginning to hit at full force. Gusts are expected in the 40 to 60 mph range. A gust of 58 mph was reported."

    "Most flights were canceled." (of course-if ground travel isn't advised!)

    All the area schools and many businesses are closed today.

    But on the bright side:

    "University of Minnesota Duluth’s 21-14 mens football victory over Northwest Missouri State on Saturday in Florence, Ala., secured the first NCAA Division II championship in the storied 76-year history of Bulldogs football. The Bulldogs went undefeated 15-0 in the greatest turnaround since Division II starting keeping track of the statistic in 1996." I graduated from that school so this is my team!!!! (Even though I haven't really followed them.) Yay for us, we're champions!

    And then yesterday I stayed home and made bread and a casserole. Mmmm, nice hot food to eat! At least we still have electric power--unlike unlucky people on the eastern coast. Today I'm doing the laundry and making those coffee and tea mixes for Christmas gifts.

    Have you finished your Christmas shopping and preparation yet?

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    Thursday, December 11, 2008

    Paying the taxes

    Tax Bill

    Dear Internal Revenue Service:

    Enclosed you will find my 2005 tax return showing that I owe $3,407.00 in taxes. Please note the attached article from the USA Today newspaper, dated 12 November, wherein you will see the Pentagon (Department of Defense) is paying $171.50 per hammer and NASA has paid $600.00 per toilet seat.

    I am enclosing four (4) toilet seats (valued @ $2,400) and six (6) hammers valued @ $1,029), which I secured at Home Depot, bringing my total remittance to $3,429.00.

    Please apply the overpayment of $22.00 to the "Presidential Election Fund," as noted on my return. You can do this inexpensively by sending them one (1) 1.5 " Phillips Head screw (see aforementioned article from USA Today newspaper detailing how H.U.D. pays $22.00 each for 1.5" Phillips Head Screws). One screw is enclosed for your convenience.

    It has been a pleasure to pay my tax bill this year, and I look forward to paying it again next year.


    A Satisfied Taxpayer


    Friday, December 05, 2008

    Find out what Barack Obama can do for you!

    Did you know that:
    Barack Obama left a comment on your blog?

    Check it out at:
  • What Barack Obama can do for you!

  • (click on the words to change the saying!)


    Monday, December 01, 2008

    History's Greatest Conspiracy Theories

    These are from the Telegraph. And you can see by the numbers in front that they listed at least 30 of them!

    30. Chemtrails - Chemtrail conspiracy theorists believe that some contrails, which consist of ice crystals or water vapor condensed behind aircraft, actually result from chemicals or biological agents being deliberately sprayed at high altitude for some undisclosed purpose. The staple of right-wing radio shows in the US, there is fevered speculation that the chemicals being sprayed are part of a wider plot that involves the so-called New World Order and is being directed by shadowy forces within the government. The existence of chemtrails has been repeatedly denied by federal agencies and scientists.

    29. Global warming is a hoax - Some climate change doubters believe that man-made global warming is a conspiracy designed to soften up the world's population to higher taxation, controls on lifestyle and more authoritarian government. These sceptics cite a fall in global temperatures since last year and a levelling off in the rise in temperature since 1998 as evidence.

    28. The Aids virus was created in a laboratory - Based on the theories of Dr William Campbell Douglass, many believe that that HIV was genetically engineered in 1974 by the World Health Organisation. Dr Douglass believed that it was a cold-blooded attempt to create a killer virus which was then used in a successful experiment in Africa. Others have claimed that it was created by the CIA or the KGB as a means to reduce world population.

    27. HAARP - More than 200 miles east of Anchorage, Alaska, is the Pentagon's High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program, officially an enormous experiment to heat the ionosphere with radio waves. But conspiracy theorists believe the project is a weapon to bring down aircraft and missiles by lifting sections of the atmosphere, cause earthquakes or even a huge weather modification machine.

    26. Plastic coffins and concentration camps - Just outside Atlanta, Georgia, beside a major road are approximately 500,000 plastic coffins. Stacked neatly and in full view, the coffins are allegedly owned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema). Conspiracy theorists believe that Fema has also set up several concentration camps in the US in preparation for the imposition of a state of martial law and the killing of millions of Americans. They suggest that the financial crisis will be used to justify the imposition of a police state.

    25. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami - A popular theory in the Muslim world is that the tsunami could have been caused by an Indian nuclear experiment in which Israeli and American nuclear experts participated. Several newspapers in Egypt and the Middle East alleged that India, in its heated nuclear race with Pakistan, has acquired sophisticated nuclear technology from the US and Israel, both of which "showed readiness to co-operate with India in experiments to exterminate humankind," beginning with the heavily populated Muslim regions of southeast Asia, where the bulk of casualties took place.

    24. Fluoridation - Fluoride is commonly added to drinking water as a way to reduce tooth decay. However, there has been some evidence that there could be some harmful side effects from fluoride and conspiracy theorists believe that this information is known and recognised by those responsible for adding the fluoride, but that they continue the practice regardless. Drug companies have been targeted as possible beneficiaries, as they will profit from a population with ill-health. Another motive is that fluoride lowers mental abilities thereby "dumbing down" the entire population.

    I remember the Fluoride debate from my childhood. Since we lived in the country, we didn't have fluoridated water. Instead we had lots of lots of cavities and dental work! Which is your favorite C.Theory?

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