Today’s The Big Day

Posted On April 27, 2008

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I’m going to cut the grass. Unless it rains before I get dressed. First time this season. So that means drag out the old lawnmower, see if I have any gas, see if it will start without too much cursing.

The grass is sufficiently high now….. the neighbors have had plenty of time to talk about it.  That’s what’s great about the suburbs.  They are wondering if I’m ever going to cut the grass…I’m wondering why that door across the street is now green. Seems to be a bit bright for the house. Are they selling it? Or is someone FINALLY moving in? Maybe while I’m outside, I’ll find out.

It’s cool enough outside I won’t pass out from the heat…that will be next week.

Can’t wait to get out there!!!

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Playing The Gas Tank Lottery

Posted On April 24, 2008

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On the way to work I pass several gas stations. When I’m getting close to needing gas, I try to guess which one is going to be cheapest. It varies. Most of the time, I wait too long and the price goes up, or I don’t buy from the cheapest one and I am forced to buy from the higher one as I’m now running on empty.

I noticed gas often goes up on Wednesday. The gas station by my house was cheapest yesterday, but I was too tired to stop. So I bought the same price gas this morning at the same station…..and for once… I beat the increase. It was 16 cents higher by the end of the day. Even though I only needed about 5 gallons to fill up, so the total savings was less than dollar….it was like winning a round for a change.

The Old Girl Did It!!!!

You go girl! Reporters and political “experts” keep asking Hillary when she’s going to drop out. Why the heck should she???? Look at Pennsylvania.

Asking her to drop out before the convention is the same as declaring a winner on election day as soon as the polls close on the East Coast. What about the rest of the voters? Don’t they count?

I don’t care if Hillary Clinton loses the rest of the presidential primaries…she should hang in there until the convention. No regrets.

What do you tell your kids when their baseball team keeps losing? Or when they struggle with math? Or when your homely daughter or geeky son is having trouble socially?

You tell them:

Hang in there!

Go for it!

Don’t listen to what everybody else says!

Do what you want to do. Be your own person.

You can be anybody you want to be.

Give it a try.

Don’t lose sight of your goals.

Hillary has wanted this for a long time. This is her big chance. Keep the faith. You won in Pennsylvania!!!

 

Little Cult On The Prairie

Sometimes two centuries collide. Twenty-first century laws and technology are clashing with a religious sect in Eldorado, Texas where the women wear 19th century style dresses.

Texas government officials are investigating allegations of sexual abuse of the female children at the Yearn for Zion Ranch. They are looking for evidence that young girls are forced to marry men who practice polygamy in the name of faith.

The mothers have been appearing on the news wearing solid colored, long prairie-style dresses. They grow their hair long, then artfully pin it up on their head. In television interviews, the women sound like zombies trained to keep the group’s secrets. Now the zombie men are coming out to meet the cameras, and they are just as evasive, talking in circles when asked if young child brides are marrying grown men. (Bring ’em young, so to speak.)

This religious sect is described as an offshoot of the Mormon church.

Joseph Smith created the Church of Jesus Christ Later-Day Saints from a book he wrote based on what he said were a couple of encounters with some visions in the woods and a couple of gold tablets he found. Smith’s book re-located the Garden of Eden to Missouri, wove in some other Biblical references, and anointed the Native American Indians as God’s chosen people….ie, he said they were descendants of some Israelites who had moved to America in 600 B.C.

Along the way, Smith added “group marriage” to his religious teachings….group as in many wives for one man. Another church prophet, Brigham Young, reportedly resisted the idea of polygamy at first, but came to embrace it….and his 20 wives.

Some people didn’t like Smith and his new religion. In 1844, he was murdered. In 1847 Young and his followers moved west to get away from some unfriendly neighbors they met in a couple of towns in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri. Young settled in Utah and others ended up California. The more conservative members of Young’s group of Mormons stayed in the Midwest.

With his practice of polygamy, I guess this makes Brigham Young and the Mormons early West Coast liberals. Young was eventually the governor of the Utah territory.

So you see, the Texas group and the Mormon church in its various versions are distant cousins. A “cult once-removed” so to speak.

There are a few differences between Smith and Young and today’s news-making polygamist leader of the Texas sect, Warren Jeffs. Smith and Young didn’t have income tax laws to take advantage of and their children didn’t collect government aid, as has been alleged with regards to Jeffs. Jeffs is currently in jail as an accomplice to rape for forcing an underage girl to marry.

Here’s what I would like to know. Why does everybody – including the kids — in this group need a cell phone? The girls are running around in outdated garb on a guarded compound, living what looks like a communal life, where the kids are safe from drugs and bad people are supposedly locked out….. yet each kid apparently has a cell phone. What ring tone do you think they download? Home on the Range? Buffalo Gals (Won’t you come out tonight?)

Here’s another observation. Texas officials are running DNA tests on 400 or so kids to determine who their fathers are. A pretty major undertaking. One of the ladies being interviewed explained there is confusion with the kids many last names because some of the women “went with one man to another.” Interesting. Apparently “divorce,” or at least changing spouses/partners is also a part of this group’s behavior.

It’s ironic that we hear of cases of rapes going unsolved because law enforcement officials don’t always have enough funds to test crime samples for DNA evidence. We also hear stories of innocent men and women being released from jail after several years when a DNA test is finally administered after much wrangling in the courts and with the help of persistent attorneys.

I do think these kids should be tested. I also hope if the women are collecting government assistance, that the state of Texas applies its child support laws to the fathers of these children and seizes their assets to pay for their support and counseling.

Earthquake!!! In the Midwest

This morning’s early morning earthquake woke me up. It sounded like really heavy, weird hail running up and down my gutters.  The windows were rattling as it shook me out of deep sleep. I thought, “What the heck is that?” I didn’t think about it being an earthquake….it didn’t register “earthquake” on my sleepy brain.

I fell back asleep.

When I woke up again two hours later, I was feeling really groggy, but forced myself to switch on the TV.

Earthquake!!!!!!!! 5.2 . ….So that’s what that was…..in the Illinois Basin-Ozark Dome region.

Will there be aftershocks? I hope I am awake.

The Grassy Knoll: Tales From My Backyard

Yesterday I got my first whiff of fresh cut grass. It really smelled good after such a long, long winter. And, I wasn’t the one doing the work. Heck, it wasn’t even my backyard.

The Domestic Goddess frequently writes about her backyard, so I have stolen her idea and I’m writing about my own backyard. Apparently we have something in common as when it rains, we both have puddles in our backyards. This spring it’s been more like a swamp in mine.

Backyard experts will tell you that every fall you’re supposed to rake and bag up the leaves that fall in your yard. “If you don’t rake them up, you won’t have grass next year.” Yea, yea, yea….I could be so lucky as to not have to cut grass when it’s 103 degrees in the shade.

Some years I actually to go out about the second weekend in November and mulch the leaves with the mower and bag up the leftover leaf crumbles that don’t quite blend into the grass. And that’s it. A couple of hours and I’ve had my fill of yardwork for the year. I’d rather shovel snow in the winter than cut grass in the humidity.

Other years, I wait too long and the first snow or heavy rain comes along in November, and woops!!! ….. it’s too late to touch the leaves. Oh, well. I don’t loose any sleep over it.

I know people who will work in the yard in the middle of January if we have just one somewhat nice day. Not me. Yard work doesn’t begin until after April 15th. So today I’ peaked out my kitchen window to see how soon I need to start cutting and yes, there are still SOME leaves left from last fall… but for the most part….it’s all GREEN with grass that is already getting tall. Must have been all that great rain we’ve had.

No, I did not touch the leaves last fall. And yes, I have grass.

Reminds me of the second summer in this house when I had an aging evergreen tree removed from the front yard. The lower branches were resting on the grass, it had two trunks, leaned over to the side, etc. I was told my an arborist to either take the tree down or leave it alone….that it really shouldn’t be trimmed.

Since the tree was so shabby looking, I had it cut down in the fall. The old guy across the street promptly came over to let me know that I would never have grass growing in the 12 foot diameter of brown dirt left behind because it was an evergreen, blah, blah, blah. Somebody else in the neighborhood (or somewhere on the planet) took down an evergreen two decades before and still had a bare lawn, yada, yada, yada.

I guess I was supposed to freak out or something. I smiled and said I wasn’t too worried about it. “Less grass to cut next summer.”

The following spring, I barely scratched the surface of the dry ground with a rake and threw out some Scott’s PatchMaster seed, fertilizer, mulch mix….so now I had a great big BLUE spot in my front yard. Then I watered the big blue spot more or less according to the package directions.

Before I knew it, the Big Brown Bare Spot was just a memory. I had grass. And plenty of it.

Ha, ha, ha.

Maybe I should call myself the Green Goddess….but I think that’s a salad dressing.

For more backyard fun, check out http://thedomesticgoddess.wordpress.com/

Today’s Blog Entry

The technology experts say the more often you write in your  blogs, the higher ranking you will get on google or other search engines,  and the more people will read your blog. Or something like that.

So this is my entry for the day….just to keep up the momentum.

Here’s something to ponder: Do you think more people care about American Idol or the American Presidential Election?

April 15th Brings Visitors to Blog

My blog stats show lots of people are stopping by to see my entry on  my recent online search for a U.S. mailbox. After a reader left three links to non-U.S. Postal Service websites…I checked out one and compared the hours posted and the location to the one I found on my own. The information on the website matched the pick-up times on the mailbox itself, so I would assume it is accurate for others as well.

Here it is:

http://www.payphone-project.com/mailboxes/

 

Is The Monster Dead?

I used to love the job hunting website monster.com. Not anymore.

The site is always slow and I don’t get all of the job alerts I signed up for. I’ve checked my settings a couple of times, but nothing has improved. I’ve later stumbled across jobs that should have been sent to me in my daily alert.

It seem like the more job hunting websites there are, the worse they all function. And lots of them seem to be siblings of other sites. The name is changed, but the information/listings appear to be the same.

Searching for specific types of jobs can be a painful lesson in patience on many of these sites.

Technology is great when it works….frustrating when it stumbles.

Confessions of a Thief

I admit it…I’m a thief. A petty criminal. And since I have committed the same crimes over the course of several years, I guess that makes me a serial criminal.

I’ll explain.

Whenever I go to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, which is about twice a year, I always order some pancakes. When the waitperson brings them, they are accompanied by a little 1.7 oz bottle of syrup. I always tell the waitress I need more syrup, so I get another bottle. If someone else at the table also has pancakes, I ask for extra syrup for them.

Then I take the extra bottles home. I know I can probably buy a big bottle in the gift shop, but that’s not the point. This is more fun.It’s like I’m getting away with something, although I’m sure people do this all the time. As long as I give a good tip, I don’t think anybody is getting hurt. And it’s only twice a year.

The other thing I do is every year I go to this show held at a convention center..and I get in without paying. The first time I did it I had walked into a side door just to get out of the rain, and I found myself smack dab in the middle of one of the exhibit areas. So I decided to see what would happen if I just boldly walked into the other halls without a ticket.

Guess what….nobody stopped me. I don’t run in real quick. I casually walk in, kind of stop and decide which aisle I want to go down, and I’m in free. I figure if I just saunter in, I look less suspicious. So now I like to do this every year.

You see, it’s a woman’s show, and by the last day, the organizers are all tired. The exhibit hall entry doors are now manned by males who look like bored husbands and teenage sons who have been coerced into the job. They may glance my way, but they don’t leave their chairs. It cracks me up. I guess if they had a remote control they could press and somehow reel me over to their guard chair, they might take a more active role in their assignment. But they don’t, so I do.

I usually buy several items from the vendors, and I buy lunch, so it’s not like I don’t contribute anything to the success of the event. Some women attend the event for several days, so I could obtain a bootleg ticket from one of them, but it’s not necessary.

The rest of the year I’m pretty law-abiding. Except for exceeding the speed limit here and there. And I think I have a may have some post-it notes from a former employer. But other than that….

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