Monday, December 31, 2007



But, not the worst either. For example:
  • No one killed themselves in my back yard.
  • None of my dogs died, or even got sick.
  • I wasn't evicted from a crummy apartment.
  • No bill collectors were looking for me.
  • I have a car that works and enough gas to get me places.
  • I have enough food to eat for me and the dogs.
  • I only lost one job this year. Of course, I only had the one to lose, but still better than the year I lost two jobs.

See? Not all bad. Hoping that everyone has a really good 2008! I've got the black-eyed peas soaking, and the champagne chilled.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

December 26th


Two for one sale!

First I put my glass down on the coffee table and FlufferNutter tried to drink out of it. He merely succeeded in knocking it on the floor and spilling it. This is why I use plastic glasses. While I was trying to make myself a new drink, Bentley decided to stick his big head into the refrigerator in an attempt to steal the tenderloin left over from Christmas dinner. He only managed to remove the top from the container, the meat was saved.


Maybe not. I was watching some "workers" from the probation department clean up the sidewalk where the broken TV had been sitting for months. They did a good job-cut down the weeds, trimmed the bushes, generally un-ghettoed the sidewalk. When they got back in the van and drove away I noticed a big ad on the van.


Hey kids! Get a DUI, get a job! (It was an ad to apply to be a Deputy Sheriff, but I still got a kick out of it.)


I used to use Netflix, until they started taking six days to show they had received a DVD back and in the meantime were sending me emails encouraging me to upgrade to a plan with more movies out at a time. I switched to Blockbuster-because for the same price you could have the same amount of DVDs out at a time AND you could get free rentals for each DVD you returned to the store. Then they raised the price for unlimited in-store exchanges per month, but it was still a good deal. Last week I got a notice that they were raising the price AGAIN, this time by 40%. Uh, no thanks. Netflix lowered the price for three movies at a time, so I guess I'll go back to Netflix. Blockbuster was playing the game of starting out too cheap and hoping that people will be too lazy to switch when they jacked up the price by a ridiculous percentage. Or too stupid to know that a 40% increase is uncalled for in any type of business.


Comments on a story about a horse spooked by a musician, so PETA is pushing to ban the horse drawn carriages in NYC:
"Why don't NYC ban the street musicians. They are noisey and disturb the residents and tourists by their panhandling not to mention the noise pollution they cause. If they caused the spooking of the horse, shut them down not the carriages. And tell PETA to go take a Flying F*** at a rolling donut! They are getting ridiculous! Take Avila with them!"
"We travel to NYC every year and have finally stopped taking the carriage rides through a small portion of Central Park. The hores are great, but the carriage drivers have gotten positively surly." Did this person misspell "whores"?

From a moron who doesn't recognize sarcasm (in response to a comment that suggested banning hoodies because a rapist was described as wearing one):
"What good is it going to do if normal cizitens can't wear hoodies... Hoodies are not the problem here it's thesse punks,who think that they won't be caught and even when they do catch thesse creaps the penalty for rape is only like two years enless they used a weapon. Take away hoodies what will it be next ( beenies and baseball caps). Women need to take self defension course's plan and simple..."


Thursday, December 20, 2007

December 20th


I'm in the middle of watching the BBC series Planet Earth. It's okay, worth the price of the rental. Very good cinematography, the scenery shots are awesome, the animal segments are entertaining and enlightening.

One episode was simply titled Caves. It's misnamed. It should have been called Bat Shit and Bird Spit. It has a whole sequence with a humongous mound of what they delicately refer to as “bat droppings” which is covered with cockroaches that are dining on the guano. Come on! It's bat shit, smothered in bugs. I need to know about this because...? And, does this give us some sort of insight into the origin of the phrase “bat shit crazy”?

And then they had a bit about cave swifts, and the delicate little nests they make on the cave walls. It turns out that their nests are the main ingredient in Bird's nest soup and they are made of bird spit.

I guess after learning this I should be very thankful that I've never eaten bird's nest soup. I always thought that it was made with noodles that looked like a bird's nest or something. I never imagined that it was made from solidified bird saliva.


I hear that it's quite trendy to have a web site for your wedding. The proposal, the planning, pictures of the big day, etc. can all be put on the Internet for the whole world to see, even people who don't know you. Although I don't know why people who don't know you would be at all interested in viewing your on line wedding album. Well, unless it's like the one that a friend sent me the link to. It was quite amusing. The joining of people so obviously in love with themselves that it's hard to imagine that they truly loved each other, although narcissism can be a shared tie that binds I suppose. The usual drivel-photos, gift suggestions (bottles of wine that STARTED at $40 each), tales of how they met. And a page to thank people. Some of them I understood-the person who introduced them, the wedding planner, their deceased fathers. And, their “colon health” provider. Perhaps a really good BM every morning is the secret to a good marriage.


Meet Donner. Or Jessie. I guess he has two names. I was told to name him so I picked Donner. Then it turns out that he was already on the website as Jessie. I guess it doesn't really matter, the new owners will name him whatever they want to. Although, I think that Donner is a much better name than Jessie. I just call him FlufferNutter anyway.

Monday, December 17, 2007

December 17th



Maybe I'm just being cynical, but while I'm sure that this show started out with good intentions-helping people who through no fault of their own were living in unsafe or unhealthy homes and were unselfish in giving to others themselves-most of the families lately seem to me to be sort of phony. “Let me make up a really pitiful story and see if I can get ABC to build me a really nice house.” The women who do the phony weeping while telling their poor-poor-pitiful-me stories really get under my skin. “We bought this fixer upper house knowing that it had problems and now it's making my kid sick and you need to help us.” Give me a break!

Maybe I could tell ABC a story about how miserable my life is because I was a loyal mortgage worker for 30 years and now I'm unemployed and my roof leaks and my dog is sick and get a fancy new house too. With a luxury dog condo for the pupsters. Oh yeah, and my butt is sore because, well, see the next paragraph.


I went into Big Lots to see if they had any CD cases-when they have them they're about half the price of the ones at Frye's. They didn't, and I resisted the urge to buy cheap Christmas decorations and half price scented candles and was on my way out when I slipped on something spilled on the floor. Fell down, went boom! I'm such a dork! I could have been hurt and sued Big Lots and not had to worry about getting a job or cared whether Congress does something to help out the workers who weren't the cause of the problem with the loan business but are the ones suffering. But, I got up, said I was fine and left.

I'm just kidding. I would never claim to be hurt if I wasn't. But, it would be nice to be worry free for a while. And, my butt is a little sore.


Quickly! Go check your spice cupboard. Do you have nutmeg from Schilling that's either in the square metal container or the bottle and the label identifies it as coming from Baltimore, MD? If you do that stuff is AT LEAST 15 years old! (This is true of any Schilling spices, but our topic today is nutmeg.) Do you know WHY you have 15-year-old nutmeg in your cupboard? Because ground, stale nutmeg doesn't taste like anything. You can sprinkle it all you want to on top of your eggnog, but all it's going to do is make little nutmeg colored specks. My kitchen hero Rachael Ray keeps talking about whole nutmeg, and she uses a little hand held grater that only has fine holes to grate just the amount she needs. I have one of those. They were once only available at the high-end stores that cater to cooking snobs, but now you can find them at the 99¢ store sometimes. I think I got mine at Big Lots. As far as I'm concerned, you cannot have too many cooking utensils. Anyway, I decided to toss the ancient, tasteless ground stuff in the bottle and found some whole nutmegs in the Hispanic spice section of the store. (Schilling still only makes the ground stuff.) You know what? Freshly grated nutmeg actually has a flavor! And, it goes really well sprinkled on some brandy and eggnog.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Quit Meter

One year, 3 hours, 31 minutes and 24 seconds. 7302 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,424.07. Life saved: 3 weeks, 4 days, 8 hours, 30 minutes.

Friday, December 14, 2007

December 14th



Someone parked a boat on a street in my neighborhood. I say “parked”, but it was probably something closer to abandoned-it sat there for a couple of months. This was a good sized boat on a trailer. I guess someone complained because this morning a deputy sheriff was out there having it towed away. Now I can only hope that the county will come around and put notices on all of the RVs parked in the same spots on the street for months(they're only allowed to park for 24 hours), and the big rigs using the street for overnight parking instead of paying for commercial spaces, and the morons that park their cars on their lawns. And maybe pick up the broken TV that's been sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. Oh, and do something about the “tweaker house” with the RV parked in the front yard and the lovely plastic tarp “fencing”.



There are still no jobs being advertised in the mortgage business for support staff, and I know that people are still losing jobs. Congress hasn't done anything to extend unemployment benefits, they apparently think that we won't look for jobs if we keep getting a fraction of our former pay each week for doing nothing. Yeah, right. I really enjoy not buying anything new, and worrying about the utility bill every time I turn my heater on.

Recently I saw this in a job listing: “experience in Mortgage or Real Estate business DOES NOT meet requirement---PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND WITHOUT THIS EXPERIENCE”

Besides the irony of sending me this as a result of my search for Mortgage Loan Processor positions, it shows what we are up against. People aren't going to readily hire mortgage professionals to work in another field, especially for lower pay. (That particular job's top pay range was $8,000 less than I made in my last job.) Would you? Even though we could do those jobs (office experience is office experience after all) employers are fearful that if the mortgage jobs come back we'll go back too. And, if the only jobs that we can find pay a lot less than we can earn in the field that we're experienced in, we will go back when (or if) we can. I've sent out my resume for lots of jobs that I know I could do, and I haven't received even ONE response. So, do me a favor. Write your congress persons and ask that they do something to extend unemployment benefits for the 50,000+ out of work mortgage people! Or, give me a job.


Jalapeño peppers from the stupor-markets have been getting milder-dumbed down to suit the tastes of Whitebread America. “We want salsa, but we don't like it hot.” So, I usually use serranos instead. But, I had those jalapeños that I got at the little market up the hill and put one into a pot of chicken, rice and veggies. Yowza! Even for me, the person who likes hot peppers in almost everything, that sucker was HOT. I had to eat my dinner with a tissue in one hand to blow my nose and wipe my eyes. I will remember in the future that the jalapeños from the Hispanic market are what they should be-hot!


Channel 10:

From a story about neighborhood density: “Units are tighter and crowder.”

“The giving needs to continue year around.” As do your remedial English lessons apparently.

“'s board of advisory...”

From an ad for a drug for bladder control:

“It's hard to always do things spur of the moment.” You guys PAID someone to create this ad for you? You got pissed on.

From another “blog of note:
“...all parties interested in applying for a staph position.” A job as flesh eating bacteria? How odd. (To be fair, I hope that the spelling of this was meant as a joke. It's from a blog for a university band. I hope that the band geeks are smarter than the average public-school educated morons.)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

December 6th


When I lived in Hollywood I had a friend who owned a rather strange business. They would take a bus and park in front of the Chinese Theater and recruit people to go see tapings of TV shows. They would get paid by how many bodies they would deliver. Those of us who lived there wouldn't volunteer to be among them. We knew the routine-you were herded in, sat down, locked in until it was over. You must applaud NOW! You must laugh NOW! I did one time go to a taping of Fernwood 2 Night, which was entertaining, but for the most part I wasn't part of any “live audience” that everything seemed to be filmed in front of.

BUT, now they give you things for being part of the herd and getting locked in. I want a $500 gift certificate! I want the all-in-one printer/fax/scanner! I want those gold earrings! Makes me wish I lived close to the studios again. Well, only for a moment. Then I remember how horrid the traffic was the last time I was in L.A., and that I was screaming in my car “How can people live here?” I don't think that there are enough audience gifts in all of Los Angeles to make me want to live there again. But, if I ever go back to New York I want tickets to see The View. They give out really good stuff! And, they tell you things like how Whoopi Goldberg got her nickname. (It has to do with farts. Really.)


I sometimes go to a little grocery store up the hill. It caters to Hispanic customers, but has good produce and interesting meat items. When I check out with things like pork tongue, beef kidney and chicken feet I'm sure they wonder what this white girl is going to do with it all. (It's for the dogs. Really.) Monday I ran up there to get some chicken leg quarters for the dogs-they have 10 lb. bags that have true quarters-leg, thigh and half of the back. For myself I grabbed some tomatoes, celery and jalapeños, and looked for some Swiss cheese. I have some ham, and I thought that I would like a ham and Swiss on a gluten-free organic corn thin. No Swiss cheese! There was cheddar, jack, pepper jack, all sorts of Mexican cheese, even Velveeta and American faux cheese slices, but no Swiss. I guess Swiss cheese doesn't go well in a taco. Maybe I'll create a ham and Swiss enchilada recipe.


I was on my way back from the store and a bunch of rude morons had the entire street blocked with a moving truck. I wouldn't have minded if they had left enough room to squeeze around, but they didn't, so I honked. No body appeared, I honked again. Still no one, I honked again. Four men came out of the back of the truck, and stood there and looked at me. I rolled down the window and said “There's no room to get around.” The fat one yelled “We know.” Okay, you rude, fat, moron. If you KNOW the street is blocked why did you do it? Then he yelled “There's other streets.” Let me get this straight. You expect me to turn around and drive around the block to get to my house which is two houses up the street because you think that you have the right to block the whole street? Yeah. Right.

They moved it.

They probably think I'm a bitch, but I'd rather be a bitch than a fat, rude moron.


I've griped before about moron telemarketers who either flagrantly violate the “do not call” list, really stretch the rules for allowed calls, break the law altogether by using recorded messages, or ignore requests to not call again. I've tried all sorts of things-not answering My phone until people talk to the phone machine, or if I can tell the call was made by an automatic dialer I ask the caller to hold on and I never come back, etc. I've had enough! I'm reporting all these morons to the FCC. It's pretty easy to do-they have a website.

FCC Complaints

It probably won't make all the rotten telemarketers go away, but it makes me feel better.


"Surprosed? then why are they paid so much to be wrong? theymust be related to chris rock" Somewhere there's a joke about being dumber than a box of rocks here.

Friday, November 30, 2007

November 30th


It's been raining all day and my stupid dogs won't go outside. I swear these dogs would rather hold it for 24 hours than get their little feet wet. But, they have no problem getting into the pond up to their chests. Silly beasts!

A good day to eat some soup-and I just happen to have a batch of really good homemade potato leek soup. I started with about a half a pound of bacon, cut into inch long pieces. Into the big dutch oven went a half stick of butter and the bacon, which I cooked until done. (Not crisp, but only because I don't like crisp bacon. Cook it the way you like it.) I removed the bacon and put in a couple of chopped hot peppers, some grated garlic and two leeks cut in half lengthwise and then sliced thin. (Soak the leeks in water to cover first to get out the dirt that hides inside.) Cook that until the leeks are soft, then put in potatoes cut into chunks. I used five small red ones, and I didn't peel them, but you can. Put the bacon back in, and add enough chicken stock to cover it all and some seasoning. I used a bay leaf and some organic salt free seasoning mix from CostCo, freshly grated sea salt and black pepper. Simmer until the potatoes are done. I mash them up a little to thicken the soup. Then I put in a cup and a half of half and half. When that got warm again I added about a cup of grated cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese melts, and enjoy your soup.


I enter contests. I buy lottery tickets. I dream of what I will do with the absurd amount of money I'll have when I win.

I don't win. Anything. Ever. I have the worst contest luck in the world. If I bought every ticket for a raffle I still wouldn't win.

Actually, I take that back. I won $10 in an online contest once.

The check bounced.

GSD Breeder who needs to hire a proof reader

Actual excerpts from their site:

Here at Diamond R Farm, We are producing sound stock for the Public, whether it be a reliable Paso Fino Horse or a Working German Shepherd. We have a small farm in the foothills of East Tennessee that we are bringing up-to-date.We just completed our ten stall barn and we are in the process of building a kennel to house at least eight dogs. Our goal is to breed and sell quality Paso Fino horses and Working German Shepherds that exceeds the Standards. Right now we have Seven Paso Fino horses,Two Stallions, Two Mares and 2 Fillys and a Colt.We have seven adult German Shepherds for Breeding and Stud Service, and they have thier Hips Guaranteed thru the Orthropedic Foundation for Animals against hip dysplasia. As time goes by we will be purchasing more quality Dogs and Horses for Breeding Purposes.

If any breed of dog is most deserving of the title Noble with Natural Beauty then that dog is the German Shepherd. They are a dog with elegant yet flowing lines, glamorous to behold, with a shining coat, erect ears, and an intelligent expression that will command attention wherever they are seen. Their eyes indicate the love and affection they have for those who care for them and their sweeping tail will show their mood whether it be gay or sad. They love human companionship and will respond to his owner’s mood whether this be lying quietly by his side or romping across the fields. Indeed, at all times, his one desire is to be with you and to please you! They have a keen sense of humor and enjoys playful games yet, in defense of those they love, can become a frightening adversary that one would be well advised to keep clear of. They can fit into a apartment or a mansion as the need may be, for they are happy wherever you are happy. In bringing a German Shepherd into your home, you are making an addition to your family and they will quickly feel a part of it. Your house, your garden, your possessions and in fact all that you own will from then on be in his special care. He needs your love, but he needs also correct attention to his grooming, exercise, food and general welfare. Given these, your German Shepherd will devote his very life to you and you will be the richer for this and for the companionship and love you, and your family will all share.

I don't know where to start with this, I can find something wrong in almost every sentence. I doubt I would buy a puppy from them though. To be fair, I wouldn't buy a puppy from anyone unless I found a breeder with a fourth or fifth generation raw fed and non-vaccinated coated GSD. But, if they were selling something I was interested in buying I'd be inclined to look elsewhere.


“A spark from one of your equipments...”
Yes, my equipments often get a bit sparky.


They arrived, they fit. All is well. For now. Almost time to start the process of trying to get the correct gift all over again.


Monday, November 26, 2007

November 26th


Since my mother chose to move to Missouri and my sister chose to move to some frozen northern place, the only family member living close to me is my brother. He's not really into doing holiday dinners, and I feel no obligation to go visit family members who moved away from home in order to fulfill some Rockwellian holiday fantasies. I was invited to join my best-friend-from-high-school (who for the rest of this story will be BFFHS) for Thanksgiving dinner. She couldn't decide whether to take her mother (this is the friend whose mother had a stroke, and is pretty much paralyzed) down to the VFW for a $5 Thanksgiving dinner or to cook a dinner at home. I said that if she chose to cook at home I would help. Apparently that tipped the scale towards dinner at home. I volunteered to do garlic/rosemary potatoes and green beans with bacon. And, since I had a large quantity of the favored type of brown rice on hand I was asked to cook up two cups of rice for the dressing. (It's nice that neither one of us can consume wheat. She's allergic, suffers from typical allergy reactions, and I can't digest it.) BFFHS kept calling it stuffing, but she doesn't stuff the turkey with it. If it doesn't stuff something, it isn't stuffing.

When I arrived BFFHS was rummaging around in her car. Now, I would like for you to imagine the most disorganized handbag you have ever seen. Magnify it to the size of a Toyota Camry, and put it on four wheels. This is the state of BFFHS' car. She was looking for the oven knob. Why was the oven knob in the car to begin with? Because it has no numbers on it, and BFFHS had been trying to find a replacement knob with numbers. The reason that BFFHS wanted to find the knob at that particular moment? Apparently the oven thermometer was showing that the oven temperature was 500º and they weren't having any luck adjusting the temperature by turning the stem with pliers. Okay, just how will the knob make a difference, if turning the stem with pliers (which does the same exact thing as turning the stem with a knob attached) isn't doing anything? The knob was not found in the giant four-wheeled pocketbook, so BFFHS couldn't test her theory that the knob would fix that problem. She then determined that the oven thermometer must be malfunctioning, since the temperature didn't go up or down no matter which way the stem was turned. So, she removed the thermometer. Out of the oven, it showed a lower temperature. The oven thermometer was not broken. It was pretty obvious to me that the thermostat in the oven was the problem-the oven didn't know when to turn itself off in order to avoid getting too hot. This was not a theory that was welcomed or even considered as a possibility by BFFHS, so at least two hours were spent “adjusting” the oven with pliers. It didn't matter where the thing was turned-within 10 minutes the temperature was back up to 500º. So, I kept turning the oven off until it got to 300º and turning it off when it got to 400º. BFFHS began predicting that the turkey would be horrid, burnt, not cooked through, just plain old ruined. It wasn't any of those things. It was pretty good. The rest of the dinner was also tasty-much better than the pedestrian fare we would have gotten down at the VFW (although, dinner with old veterans who enjoy their cocktails can be entertaining enough to make up for bland food).

When I told BFFHS that I was going to tell the tale of her war with the oven on my blog she said “It's a good thing nobody reads your blog”. That is not true. Some people read my blog. One or two anyway.


I recently needed (wanted?) some jars with lids for a craft project, and thought that good old Mason Jars would be just the thing. Cheap, and you can find them everywhere. You know, at the grocery store high up on the shelf above the pectin and the household wax, or way over in a back corner somewhere-but they always have jars, right? Not any more! I tried two grocery stores. They still carry pectin, and the wax for putting on top of jelly, but no jars. I went to Walmart, figuring that they would still cater somewhat to the uber-domestic types. No jars. I went to Target. No jars. Doesn't anyone still grow vegetables and can them? Doesn't anyone make jam to give as presents to people who will never use it and finally toss out the old dusty jars in ten years? Isn't anyone preparing for the upcoming disaster? I guess not here in Southern California. I had to order some on line. I'll bet the General Store up in Julian would have them, they have everything you would need to live off the land in a log cabin. Should have thought of that-a drive to the mountains would be fun. Not cost efficient I'm sure-the shipping charge for the jars is probably less than the gas would cost for a little day trip.


“The October wildlife fires.” I have images of flaming lions and tigers and bears. Oh my.

Friday, November 23, 2007

November 23rd


For a short time after I decided that I didn't want to grow up to be a biologist, I was an art major in college. I quit because I got tired of starving, and I really had no clear idea of how I was going to make a living with an art degree. My emphasis was ceramics, but we had to take classes in other stuff. Like painting. I am not a painter, but I figured I'd give it a try. During the first class the teacher (who had sympathy for poor students) told us that we could paint on paper-plain old butcher paper coated with gesso on both sides made a satisfactory painting surface.

The first class assignment: “Paint something.”

I went to the painting classroom one afternoon, armed with a roll of butcher paper, paintbrushes, a jar of gesso and five tubes of acrylic paint (white, black, red, yellow and blue). I grabbed one of those rolling bulletin board things, and tried to decide just what “something” I was going to paint. My first step was to take a piece of paper and rip the edges. Why? I decided that if I was going to paint on paper I would make it look like paper. I then did the same thing to another piece of paper. Since I had no clue what I was going to do it seemed prudent to have a back up piece of paper prepared for the very real possibility that my first (and perhaps second, third and fourth) attempt at painting “something” would end up in the trash. I stuck the two pieces of paper on the rolling bulletin board with thumbtacks, and proceeded to coat one side with gesso. I thought they were dry enough to turn over, so I flipped them and again stuck them to the bulletin board. I was wrong, they weren't dry, and they stuck to the bulletin board. Undaunted, I coated one with gesso. Then I wondered what it would look like if I put some blue paint in the gesso, so I did that and coated the other one. That looked good, so I went back and coated over the white gesso with the blue.

I now had two pieces of paper with ripped edges, stuck to the wall, with blue gesso dripping off of them. One with white peeking through the blue, one with brown. I sat down to try to think of “something” to paint on my prepared pieces of paper, and then I heard a voice behind me.

“Don't touch it! It's perfect.”

It was the professor. He proceeded to tell me how he liked my perspective of art being a part of its surroundings, blah, blah, blah. Okaaaaaay, no problem. Glad you like it. I spent the rest of the quarter ripping up paper and painting it different colors. I got an A.

So, I guess art is anything that the beholder believes is art. For instance, today at the store I saw a truck with a camper shell, that had hardened paint brushes sticking up all over it.

Interesting, but is it art?

It is now.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

November 18th


I'm not fond of the ritual of Christmas presents. For so many years I would really try to buy people things that they actually wanted and would use, but rarely got it right. Nine times out of ten the presents I got in return were things that were completely useless to me. I know, we're supposed to be grateful for the thought, not the things, but I don't go out and spend money on things that I'll never use (well, not intentionally, but there are time that I make a mistake), so it just bothers me that I feel that I MUST spend money on other people and I get useless crap in return. With some people that I deal with at holiday time gift giving is NOT an option-it is required. The consequence of not giving gifts is not pretty.

It may seem shallow, but I now make a wish list at Amazon. And, I request that people I need to buy gifts for do the same. Yes, it would be nice to use what I know about someone and pick something out and have it be appreciated, but that just doesn't happen in my family. The Mother has voiced her displeasure with almost everything I've ever bought her that wasn't something she specifically requested.

My brother and I have reached an understanding. We have opted out of the Christmas-Gift-Must-Participate madness. We're both much happier about it. But, that brings me to the saga of the Christmas Boots.

Two years ago The Sister requested “fake Ugg boots”. Now, I didn't interpret this as meaning “boots that look just like the original Uggs, but don't cost over $100”. I thought she just wanted some warm, shearling boots. I had just bought a really cute pair of boots that didn't look anything like Uggs, but were made with sheepskin and had a nice sole, and I thought she might like them too. I sent her the link so she could look at them. She said they were fine. But by the time she responded and I went to buy them, they were sold out. So, I searched for a couple of hours and found a similar pair. Sent her THAT link. Same thing. She said they were fine, but it had taken her so long to respond that THOSE were sold out. At least, they were sold out at the Target on line store. I ran over to the Target near work on my lunch hour, and went through every pair of boots on the shelf. I found the last pair they had in her requested size. Bought them, and did an on line postage thing with USPS to send them Priority Mail. Apparently, paying for PM doesn't guarantee that anything will actually be SENT that way. The package took over two weeks to get there, and TS's feelings were hurt because she didn't have a present to open on Christmas. Then when the boots finally arrived they were too small. Obviously, Christmas #1 didn't turn out too well.

So, on to Christmas #2. That year TS was going to be at TM's house. She hadn't put anything on her wish list, too busy, limited internet access, etc. Now TM stepped into the fray over the boots, and berated me because I hadn't listened to TS about what she wanted. “She wanted slippers.” Slippers? She said boots, but whatever. Remembering how important it was for TS to have something to open on Christmas I again searched for hours and found some nice and affordable shearling slippers. Told TM that I would be having the package shipped to her house so that TS would have a gift there. TM received the package, opened it and put the slippers in her closet because she completely forgot that I told her the slippers were for TS, and they didn't fit her. When the mix up was discovered the slippers were wrapped to be opened on Christmas, but they “didn't fit right”, and weren't what she wanted. She wanted BOOTS that looked like the good old original Uggs. Dear Mother; Ugg boots are NOT slippers.

By this time it was too late to even buy the nice fake Uggs that they sell at CostCo. So, I told TS to find what she wanted on line, send me the link and I would buy them and would keep the slippers myself. I really like those slippers. Anyway, also by this time TS was headed out of the country to go work on a yacht or something, so I told her that I would have the boots shipped to me and would leave them at our brother's house, because she always goes there when she comes to town even when she's short on time. I thought that the matter of The Boots was closed. I was wrong. In October I got an email from TS asking if I was going to do anything about replacing the slippers. Both siblings had forgotten that a new pair of boots was in the closet in the spare room. He finally found them, but by then TS was back in the Caribbean for work. She breezed through town last week, and I assumed that she had picked up the boots and finally all would be right with the world. Wrong again. The boots (in the size she requested) were once again TOO SMALL. You know, I used to always wear a size 7 shoe, but now I wear an 8. Feet sometimes get bigger, it happens. Of course, by the time I found this out TS was back in the frozen place she chooses to live, and her feet were cold. It just so happened that earlier that day I had bought a pair of baby blue fake Uggs for $10 at the store where CostCo sells off things cheap. Things that have no boxes, left over one-offs, etc. They were a size bigger than TS has been requesting, because that's the only size they had. Will baby blue be okay? Yes? So, I paid for priority mail, AGAIN, and sent off my new baby blue boots.

I have now spent so much money buying her boots that I should have just bought real Uggs in the first place. If these don't work, I don't want to hear about it. “La la la la la, I can't hear you.”


100 Boots Facing the Sea 1971-73 Silver gelatin print8 x 10 inches

Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York
Del Mar, California February 9, 1971 2:00 p.m. (mailed: March 15, 1971)

I took an art class from Eleanor. She is a very interesting woman, and I mean that in a good way. I actually received this postcard in the mail from her. I wish I hadn't lost it. The price of being young and stupid. If you want to see more of the adventures of the 100 boots: PBS Series

There was also a book: 100 Boots Book at Amazon (Yeah, I put it on my wish list.)


...without a word from the morons.

I've commented before that the "blogs of note" as designated by often aren't really noteworthy. Here's a few bits from a noted blog:

“First Sony in all their wisdom decided that the PS3 was too good and down graded there console and in doing that took away the ability to emulate PS2 games, they have also dropped 2 USB ports, the multi car reader and the HD is 20GB smaller.”

And: “This quote baffles me a bit as sure you can upgrade the USB and card reader with extra hardware, and you can also upgrade the HD, but I am sure that opening the device would void the warranty Mr Ephraim and if dust is a warranty voider then I would hate to see what using none Sony peripherals does to your warranty. It is looking that the only people who will be able to use there warranty is people who never take there PS3 out of the box.”

Obviously, good grammar is not one of the things they take into consideration when they choose blogs to spotlight.

From frequent contributor Channel 10:

Even the not-a-moron weather person isn't immune: Talking about what could happen if your neighbor doesn't trim a tree and it falls on your stuff: “That person could be negligible.” I sometimes feel negligible myself.

From a “digital reporter” (What are those? Apparently, morons with digital cameras.) Talking about a recreational basketball team, except he pronounced it “re-creational.” Do you have any clue what you're reading?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

November 15th


Why do we spend so much time, energy and emotions rescuing dogs? Some of the canines we help are just good dogs who end up in high kill shelters and need a little more time to find the right human, so we take them in and introduce them to the public. Some dogs were owned by morons who got rid of them when they grew out of the puppy stage, and got bigger than a chihuahua. Or worse, by people who thought of them as disposable assets and dumped them when they "had" to move, or had a baby, or whatever feeble excuse they could come up with to get rid of a dog because owning it became a tiny bit inconvenient.

And, then, there are dogs like Faith. Take a look at this, and you'll understand the real reason we do this.

Faith's Story

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

November 13th


I don't get a lot of comments on my blog. Maybe because I don't get a lot of readers. Or maybe those that do read are afraid that I'll pick apart their grammar. Here's my promise to any future people who leave comments: If you're nice you can make as many grammatical errors as you want and I'll ignore them. If you're not you'd better be pretty much perfect in your use of the language, or else I'm going to make fun of you. Like this message from the little weasel who commented on yesterday's blog entry:

“it says a lot about someones personality when they are willing to unconsentually cut off over 20,000 nerve endings from another persons body because they didn't find it attractive.”
Maybe Joel needs a new keyboard, it appears that his shift key is broken. And, this is the result of trying to find “unconsentually” in the dictionary:

Sorry, we have no matches for unconsentually.
Did you mean unconcernedly?

I think he meant “without consent”, but since he's a moron, who knows.

He may not be done, you can go look at the comments to see his continued ranting.

Monday, November 12, 2007

November 12th


My sister is in town, and we were trying to get together to do something. As usual she has too much to do and too little time, so I was going to go with her to her dentist appointment down in Tijuana and maybe get some lunch and a margarita. Or two. Then I remembered something about new requirements for crossing the border, so I looked it up. Good thing. I don't have a passport OR a copy of my birth certificate. I could have stopped at the county recorder's office on the way, except that it's Veteran's Day and they're closed. Would not have been fun being stuck in Mexico.

Back in the old days (as in before 9/11) you would drive up to the border, the agent would stick his head in the car and make everyone say where they were born. If you had an accent you'd better have papers proving you could be here. One time back in the 70's some friends and I went down for a night of drinking. On the way back towards the border my friend's cute little Colombian boyfriend informed us that he didn't have his documentation permitting him to be in the U.S. with him. Uh, dude! Why didn't you mention this BEFORE we got to the wrong side of the border? The guy who drove was also a foreigner, here with a visa as a visiting professor. So, we pull up to the border with us all having visions of going to jail for smuggling this immigrant, the guard asked "Are you all Americans?" The driver replied "No, I am Italian", and pulled out his passport and visa. The guard checked his papers, never asked the rest of us anything, and off we went.


Why do I keep watching Channel 10 news, since their mangling of the language seems to upset me so much? Because, they give me so much material. The latest from JQ: “It's going to be a little bit of a while.” And “moving into Saturday's forecast.”

This one from Good Morning America: “New ways to have your identity theft stolen.”

From something on TV about a fancy bakery: “Everything we made is of the highest ingredients.” How do you get your ingredients high? I've never seen flour smoking pot.


Last night's episode of Desperate Housewives had Bree and Orson disagreeing over whether or not to circumcise the baby they are passing off as their son. I agree with Bree. Uncircumcised penises are “unsightly”. Her word. I would have said “fugly.”

Saturday, November 10, 2007

November 10th

Proof that our public employees "grad-eated" from public school.
Is otherside the killing of an other? And if so, shouldn't it be spelled othercide?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

November 8th


The source of the feathers from yesterday was apparently a white pigeon, it was hanging around my front yard this afternoon. Someones racing pigeon at that, it has a band with a registration number. I couldn't get close enough to see the whole thing, and now he (how do you tell the sex of a pigeon?) has taken off to parts unknown.

It probably belongs to the guy across the street, he has a flock of pigeons that he lets out to fly. I hope he made it safely home.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

November 7th


My neighbor across the street no longer has a car. I guess it broke down, and she either doesn't have money to fix it or buy a new one, or is just too stupid to figure out how to solve the problem. You'll see what I mean in a moment.

I gave her a ride down to the store one day. I wasn't busy, it's not far, no problem. Then about a week later she asked if I would go down and get her some beer and cigarettes because she was taking care of her mother and couldn't leave. I did, but now there's a small problem. Her beer and cigarettes cost $1 more than she gave me. I told her that when I got back. Now, $1 isn't going to break me, but I won't keep doing favors for people who don't pay me back what they owe me, whether it's $1 or $100. Yesterday she knocked on my door and asked if I was going anywhere. I was, to the grocery store. She asked if I would take her to the bank, 15 miles in the opposite direction. “No.” I mentioned the $1 (which is the end of favors as far as I'm concerned-if I have to ask you for what you owe me it's done, over, finished) and she said “I don't have any money.” Then, she got pushy about the ride, I said “NO” again, and she said “I'll give you money for gas.” “You said you don't have any money.” “I have $2.”

Okay. Not only are you obnoxious, won't take "no" for an answer and don't pay people back what you owe them, you're a liar too. And, so stupid that you'll contradict your lie in the next sentence. I am so done with you.


The thing about wheat is that it's cheap, plentiful and fills people up, so people tend to eat a lot of it. Unfortunately, humans didn't evolve to properly digest it. There are many people who can't eat gluten, like me. I think I just have post-menopausal gluten intolerance because I can eat small amounts without consequence, but why do it when I know it's not good for me? I miss crusty sourdough bread though. And pasta. Hint-don't even bother with the fake pasta made with rice four. Might as well put sauce on wallpaper paste. If you can find them, noodles and pasta made from quinoa are quite good.

I found an idea for something better, and healthier. Noodles made from zucchini! Trim off the ends and peel a zucchini, then use the peeler to cut noodle sized strips, discard the inner part with the seeds (or puree it in the food processor and use in the sauce). Put them in a strainer, toss with salt and let sit for half an hour or so. You can either eat them raw or warm them up just a bit by blanching in boiling water for about 60 seconds, then drain. I made this with a raw sauce-a cut up tomato, two grated cloves of garlic, about a tablespoon of fresh basil with some olive oil poured over it and left to sit until the tomato juice is all mixed in with the oil. Then toss with the noodles and top with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. For one serving I used one squash and one tomato, so figure one of each per person. This is where that crusty bread would be a good addition, but even without bread it's a tasty meal.


Example: A message came thorough one of my email lists asking me to click on a link and put myself on some one's birthday calendar. I have no idea who that person is, so I deleted it. Maybe I should have put some random name and birthday in there. If you're going to be a moron and send this to a big email list then you deserve to get some really strange entries.

Oooh. I could enter the names and birth dates of famous dead people, that would keep her guessing.


Earlier today my dogs were going berserk-barking at what seemed to be an invisible intruder. I couldn't see anything worthy of making a fuss over out the window in the door. However, when I went outside I saw the evidence of what they were so worked up about.

Obviously, a vicious feline on the loose! I didn't see any blood or body parts, so maybe the bird got away.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

November 6th


Monday, November 5, 2007

November 5th


First of all, let me just tell you that I hate standard time. I remember fondly 1973, the year we stayed on DST all year. It was abandoned because children were waiting for their school buses in the dark. That's a no-brainer folks, school starts too early anyway. They did a study in one school district where they started school an hour later and test scores went up dramatically. But, as much as I would like to, I can't live my life on my own time and I don't rule the world, so I reset my watch. I decided to make sure that it was accurate so I dialed the old standby 853-1212 to hear the correct time. Imagine my shock when I heard this: “Effective September 19 2007 the time announcement information service has been discontinued.”

WHAT? She's always been there. The lady with the well modulated voice telling me what time it will be at the tone. What happened to her? Did she retire? Did she die? I know you can get the correct time from the internet, but it's just not the same as the Time Lady's soothing voice, reassuring me that my watch is set correctly, that I will make it to my appointment on time, that it's 7 o'clock and all is well. So, I guess I will have to bookmark this: Poor substitute for the Time Lady


You hate it when people tell you to lighten up? I hate it when people can't tell when something I say is meant to be humorous and jump all over me, so we're even. By the way, LIGHTEN UP!

Yes, I do feel better now. Thank you.


Why so many people cannot formulate a proper sentence these days. This is from a teacher who was interviewed on Good Morning America:

“I don't wear nothing fancy.”

Saturday, November 3, 2007

November 3rd



When I was a child I remember that my mother would save old toothbrushes to use for scrubbing things, like the gunk that builds up around the base of the kitchen faucet. I just retired a toothbrush, (might as well use a new one, I bought a pack of 2,000 toothbrushes at CostCo) and felt that I needed to save it. You know the routine: save it in the junk drawer, and use it to scrub some nasty little spot that will only come clean when scoured with a used toothbrush.

Who am I trying to kid? First of all, I will most likely not remember that I even HAVE a toothbrush in the junk drawer. Secondly, if I do think of it the chances of finding it in that drawer are extremely slim. And most importantly, there's an even slimmer chance of me ever scrubbing anything with a toothbrush to begin with. Dirt in a crack? Who cares? It's in a crack and I can't see it in there.

I saved the toothbrush anyway, because some warped part of my psyche is convinced that the moment I throw it away I will have a compelling need for a used toothbrush.


You do NOT “take a breathe”. You take a BREATH. In order to breathe you take breaths.

If you are getting money back because you overpaid your taxes you are NOT “getting a tax return”. You FILE a tax return, you GET a tax refund.

There's no such thing as a “wheel barrel.” If you need to move things around in your garden you use a wheelbarrow.

Learn the difference!


My favorite Channel 10 moron, JQ: “turn your clocks one hour behind.”
You want me to stand behind something and turn my clock for an hour?

From a commercial: “He's eating healthy.” I didn't know that healthy was edible. Do you cook it, or eat it raw?

And, another strange entry from the comment section of the online newspaper, to which I can only say "HUH?"

Just goes to show you how retarded our system is...what gives me the right to claim ownership over what has been here for billions of years before I was even born, and will continue to be here for billions of years after I've died? And then, we convince ourselves that we have a right to "maximize" the income from our brazen claim of ownership! Chutzpah...that's what Americans have...a whole lot of CHUTZPAH!!!!!! Imagine the so-called "travesty" were people ONLY losing their homes, and not the acre-or-so of goodness they have dedicated themselves to desecrating in the first place. If you didn't own it, you wouldn't have landscaped it with Eucalyptus trees, palm trees, and Bermuda grass...since you did those things anyways, were you assuming that "your" land didn't "want" to burn? Did you learn a lesson? Probably not!
Has anyone considered that nature has had enough of us
destroying it, under the mistaken premise that it is OUR possession? Has anyone wondered what might happen if she tried to get even?
BTW...warming cause melting, and the Anza-Borrego desert is
below sea level. No more ice caps means no more desert, and Baja California becomes a bigger peninsula! An ocean on the desert means no more Santa Ana wind phenomena. No more Santa Ana means no more fires quite like these. But we can't
expect scientists to think rationally like that...nah!
And, thanks to SL for these little tidbits:

My poodle does the same thing, taught it was strange, but this is a plaything he just does, I did ask my vet he said it is not a seizure, I do havea Chinese Crested who is on meds for seizures and her body gets stiff and she starts staggering back woods.

I have six-year Pom dog. His voice is very soar. It's difficult for him to bark (Although he always forces himselftodo it). Any tips to cure soar voice? I want to try natural things, not meds. Does soar voice indicate severe disease? Also, any tips to give meds to him? He hates to have meds. He doesn't have favorite
food. He may like something but will get boaring on it and doesn't want to eat it anymore.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October 31st


I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I've given up on treating little ghosts and goblins. In the neighborhood I used to live in I was totally blindsided the first Halloween by the sheer numbers of kids seeking goodies. I bought six bags of little candy bars and had to lock the door, turn out the lights and hide in the bedroom at 6:30 because we ran out. (The one little brat that helped himself to a whole handful of candy didn't help the situation.) I soon figured out that 99% of those children didn't live in the neighborhood. Well, I figured it out after I saw vans pull up to the corner and 15 kids pile out. So, for the rest of the time I lived there I bought huge bags of cheap candy, and a few bags of candy bars that I gave to the kids that I knew lived there. I couldn't afford candy bars for 300 kids. Especially not for beggar carpetbaggers.

When I moved here the first year I bought a bunch of candy, carved a pumpkin, locked up the dog and ended up taking most of the candy to work. The next year there were fewer kids, even fewer the next. It's not worth dealing with the dogs going berserk every time someone knocks at the door for five kids, so I just don't bother. I have a feeling that most of the kids here are going somewhere else-in vans.

So, I will keep the lights out on the front side of the house, and watch Pushing Daisies and Private Practice in the bedroom. The dogs will be out in the garage barking their fool heads off.


SABRINA? How in the world did Sabrina not get more votes than Jane or Marie? She's a much better dancer (although at this point they're all good, the bad dancers got booted off early this time, for a change.) I think that people felt that Sabrina was a shoo-in, so they voted for their favorite not-so-good dancer. Well if that's the case, it backfired big time! And half of this is a popularity contest, and maybe her fan base isn't the type to watch DWTS. I honestly thought that the final two would be Sabrina and Helio. I'm glad I didn't put money on that.


About Channel 10 getting their grammar act together. From a story about a teacher who died in the fire: “fellow colleagues”
That's like saying "fellow fellow teachers". Moron.

And, JQ is still being stupid: "Looking at a little bit of windfall.” Unfortunately, he wasn't talking about a windfall, which I would like to look at, but the weather. It would be interesting to see wind fall, is that what happens after it gets wind whipped?


Check out your past life here:

Here's my past life diagnosis:

I don't know how you feel about it, but you were male in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere in the territory of modern Ireland around the year 925. Your profession was that of a seaman, cook or carpenter.

Your brief psychological profile in your past life: Bohemian personality, mysterious, highly gifted, capable to understand ancient books. With a magician's abilities, you could have been a servant of dark forces.

The lesson that your last past life brought to your present incarnation: Your task is to learn, to love and to trust the universe. You are bound to think, study, reflect, and to develop inner wisdom.

Do you remember now? No.

Monday, October 29, 2007

October 29th


Those big black birds that are found all over the county. I'm not sure what they are-ravens I think. Maybe they're crows. Whatever. Big, black birds that make really loud squawking noises. Every evening just before the sun goes down they all fly somewhere to the southwest. Where are they going, and what do they do when they get there? Have a big raven slumber party? Play poker and drink beer until the sun comes up and then fly back to their regular hanging out spots?

We don't have Blue Jays here, we have Scrub Jays. Don't ask me what the difference is. They're blue and they're jays, I guess they live in scrub. They love peanuts. I swear they can smell them. I put some out now and then and they come take them all. I think they hide them to eat later because they don't rest until they've gotten all the peanuts. They are quite fearless when peanuts are involved. My brother has some jays at his house that will come take peanuts from his hand.


Channel 10 I mean. I don't know if I haven't been paying attention or if they are actually being mindful of the proper use of the English language, but I have no new boo-boos from them.

Here's one from Wikipedia though:

Centuries of breeding the dogs to be gentile with lambs but fiercely protective of their flock has created a breed that will bond to families and show a calm, intelligent disposition. Do livestock guardian dogs really care if the flock is Jewish? How can they tell? Circumcised rams?


Fair warning: do not go and check out the "Best of Craig's List" unless you have a lot of time to spend. Some of the posts are vile, but most of them are funny. Like this one:
The Cat Vs. the Sports Car

Saturday, October 27, 2007

October 27th



The governor and an army of politicans are the headliners for “Disaster Tour 2007.” They’ve found something in our devastated community that has value for them. San Diego is a successful disaster—if there is such a thing. Politicians of all stripes are acting like this is a victory tour and not the loss of a lifetime of labor and love for many San Diegans. And then there's the appearance of the great Decider, who will be part of the parade arriving in San Diego for his photo op.

Where better to see a disaster than in San Diego, with a football stadium full of clean, well-scrubbed evacuees to show how well things went. Community leaders are lining up to crow about how the system “worked”. It's a place for the politicos to point to with pride. I wouldn’t be surprised if the tourism industry doesn’t cook up some ad campaign.

Excuse my cynicsm but these characters are BLOWING SMOKE. Where do some politicans and the national media get off in making us some sort of poster child for disasters anyway? Let me clue you in, not everything went right. Homes burned down. Lives were ruined. Our citizens, our firefighters and
our police and sheriffs personnel were the heroes, not the polticians taking this opportunity to lay claim to MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. No way. The government agencies in our community FAILED. What better proof then that dry brush that fueled the fires that ripped through our communities?This is not the first major fire but one in a series to hit our region. Who is kidding who here?

This was a failure of our leaders to provide the basic protection
we pay for as citizens. To make us safe. And when a serious question is asked, it’s ignored. That’s why I am angry when the governor ducks a question from ABC reporter Claire Shipman asking him about the lack of firefighting aircraft to help battle the Southern California fires early on. “Everything is good," he
told her. She was just trying to stir things up, he said. Everything is good.”Everything is not good, Mr. Governor. As we all will find as this story unwinds over the next few months. It will be a chance for all of us to demand that our leaders finally do what we pay them to do. What we elected them to do.

What’s also upsetting is how the national media are now comparing us to Katrina victims. Hello, our shopping centers are still open, our water still works, we can still watch the World Series. Before the media and the polticians get too smug about this “successful disaster” they need to stop and think about how things would be different if it had been a wide-scale
earthquake. I guarantee you one thing, if it had been an earthquake, the politicans wouldn’t be in such a hurry to catch a flight to San Diego.

I'm not surprised that this grammatically challenged rant is posted on the Channel 10 web page. Can someone please hire an editor for this guy? (His title unfortunately appears to be "Managing Editor". No wonder the on-air staff has a problem with basic grammar.) This was an exercise in how many different ways you can misspell politician. And, what the heck does he mean by “the great Decider”? Decider? That's a new one on me. I will assume that he's referring to GWB, but I have no idea why he gives him that nickname. Is being a "decider" a bad thing? I would think that someone unable to make a decision would be less desirable as a President. "The Great Waffler" as a nickname wouldn't inspire confidence. Neither would "The Great Flip-Flop", although that might make a good public art sculpture at the beach.

And, he hasn't done much research into the history of disasters. Presidents come flocking to earthquakes too. Flood, hurricane, earthquake, tornado-disasters happen and Presidents flock. The precedent has been set. Go tour the site, or we will call you uncaring and callous. Tour the site, and we will call you an opportunist.

Friday, October 26, 2007

October 26th


This is a long standing distrust, dating back to when a friend of mine who had been wounded in the Vietnam War told me about the Red Cross selling candy bars to hospitalized service men, and on the wrappers it said that the candy had been donated. Did the donors know that the RC was going to sell those candy bars to the wounded? I doubt it.

Near San Diego there was a fire in Alpine about seven years ago. The Red Cross actively solicited donations for the victims, collected over $400,000, and spent $50,000 on actual relief.
Story about Alpine fire and the RC
Another Story

There were problems with donations collected after 9/11 also.
RC and 9/11
Google “American Red Cross & scandal” and you will get over 100,000 hits.

Now, another disaster, and here comes the RC again. This time Channel 10 spent a whole day pleading for donations. I was concerned that what the RC actually does and doesn't do wasn't being disclosed, so I sent this email to the reporter who was doing the on-air soliciting:

I'm a bit concerned about your Wildfire Relief campaign and donations to the Red Cross. You said on the air that the donations would be used to help the "uninsured and the under insured", implying that they would help people rebuild. From what I know about the Red Cross (and have heard from their leadership) this is NOT what the Red Cross does. I would really like to have this issue addressed, and perhaps have a spokesperson from the Red Cross actually say that these donations will be used to assist in rebuilding. Otherwise I fear that we will have a repeat of the situation that occurred after the fire in Alpine years ago when $400,000 was donated but less than $100,000 was actually given to victims of that fire.

I got this reply:

Thanks for your e-mail. I did interview the Red Cross CEO. He told me the monies go to helping people rebuild their lives but not their homes. They do help with housing while the rebuilding goes on. No money goes to the running of the Red
Cross. From what I understand, once Jerry Sanders and Ronnie Froeman took over the local office they really turned things, including the accounting practices, around.

I hope this helps explain what they do. I'm glad you brought this to my attention so now I also have a much clearer picture of the scope of what the Red Cross does.

Great! YOU have a clearer picture, but since you haven't said anything on the air do the people who are donating all that money have a clue that NONE of these funds will do anything to rebuild lost homes? And, just exactly what do they mean by “rebuild their lives” if it doesn't include assisting in rebuilding homes? Doesn't Channel 10, if they are soliciting donations, have an obligation to inform potential donors exactly what their money will and will not do, especially in light of the fact that they spent a lot of time in the past few days warning people about charity scams? If people are misled about what their donations are actually going to be used for isn't that just another scam?

If I were an investigative reporter I'd be taking a good look at Channel 10 and the soliciting of donations. I'd find people who donated and ask them if they were aware that their donations would not be going to help rebuild homes. I'm pretty sure that I would find a lot of people were misled by the on-air pleas.


My favorite Channel 10 boo-boo from yesterday: The field reporter who kept telling us, over and over, that people were “fustrated” at not being able to return to their homes in Ramona. It was quite frustrating listening to her.

And, a little news bit that made me smile:

Ramona residents can pick up bottled water at the Ramona rodeo grounds between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The rodeo grounds are located at 421 Aqua Lane. A perfect place to pick up water, Aqua Lane.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

October 25th


I always notice when events fade from news reporting. From Sunday until late Tuesday night the local channels were covering the fires all the time. Luckily the ABC affiliate here (yes, that would be Channel 10) had the network programming on an alternate channel because I would have been pissed off if I had missed Dancing With the Stars. Gradually they have been cutting the hours spent covering the fires. Eventually there will be no mention of it, except for maybe a follow up story, and reminders on the anniversary dates.

I have been giving the reporters a break from snarky comments about their use of the language. It's tough to be coherent when reporting by the seat of your pants. That said, if anyone from Channel 10 is paying attention, they need to keep Juliette Vara. She's their most articulate field reporter in my opinion. Maybe they should make her an anchor. The female anchor on the mid-day news yesterday made this brilliant statement about a place where many homes were burned: “One of the areas very hardly hit...” I will hit you very hardly for that. And from the evening anchor: “Look at those wind whipped winds.”

Yesterday one of the moron field reporters was at Qualcomm Stadium and she reported that INS agents had arrested illegal immigrants, and said that now everyone was afraid. She implied that the agents were horrid, cruel and callous for using the disaster to seek out and arrest poor-innocent-undocumented-workers-who-are-here-to-do-work-that-US-citizens-won't-do. She didn't bother to report the actual story. So, since the local news only wants to focus on the sensational side, here's the rest of the story: (from the Wildfire blog.)

Illegal immigrants arrested for stealing relief supplies
Posted @ 4:27 PM
Six illegal immigrants who were stealing relief supplies from Qualcomm Stadium were arrested by Border Patrol agents after San Diego police stopped them Wednesday morning. A woman who had been evacuated to the stadium told officers she saw the group load up two pickup trucks and a car with cots and other supplies, leave and then return, said police Sgt. Jesse Cesena. When officers stopped them, a member of the group said they were being paid to take things of value from the stadium."They were stealing a lot of stuff," Cesena said. "We took the stuff back and we escorted them out. They were stealing from the people in need." Because some members of the group spoke Spanish, officers called Border Patrol agents at the stadium for relief efforts, who then determined the thieves were in the country illegally and arrested them. The Border Patrol agents are among 100 that the federal agency has been providing for relief efforts, said agency spokesman Matthew Johnson. He said the agents are not looking for illegal immigrants among people seeking refuge at the stadium."We're not out there doing immigration stuff in the middle of a disaster," he said. "However, we still enforce the laws."-- Onell R. Soto


I personally don't like to see the President visiting a disaster site. It sucks resources away from places they could be put to better use. The police, the media, other elected officials are all used to protect and kiss the butt of the visiting dignitary. The problem is if the President doesn't visit, and doesn't do it right away, he/she will be accused of not caring about the poor suffering people. When they do visit they are accused of using the disaster as a photo-op. Who started this ridiculous practice? I think they should send money, and just stay out of the way of people doing the real work.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Want to help?

When there is a big disaster lots of people want to help. I would like to ask that you consider donating to our dog rescue. I can say that there will be no people in the immediate future without food, shelter and clothing, but there will be animals in danger of being put to death because shelters will be over crowded. We have already had a request from a shelter to take some dogs because they have 3-4 dogs in runs designed for one. And it will get worse. Besides the many animals who will be picked up running loose because their humans didn't take them when they evacuated, many pets will be dumped at shelters because people who are displaced won't take the extra effort to find a place to live where they can keep their pets. We will help as many animals as we can, but we can't do it without money.
Coastal German Shepherd Rescue-donate here!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fire Update #2

I think my area is safe. I still see smoke, but it's just a general haze, no concentrated billows like I saw earlier today.

The local paper has a blog that is kept updated for anyone who is looking for more information about the situation in San Diego:
Fire Blog

Some areas are still burning and there have been some new evacuations. I haven't unpacked the grab-it-and-go box or brought the cooler with the dog meat back inside. I'm afraid that if I do I'll need it, with fires like this things can change quickly. Last night for instance. I had been watching the hills and the smoke had died down and I thought there was nothing to worry about. I wandered outside an hour later and saw what you see in the picture I posted earlier. Too soon to relax, but things are looking better at my house.

Fire Update

Still here. They haven't asked us to leave yet, but it was a little scary last night when I could see this from my back yard.

Monday, October 22, 2007

October 22nd

NANCEE E. LEWIS / Union-Tribune
Sunday, Oct. 21: This is the scene near Cotera Via street, near Barrett Junction, just off the 94 as the Harris Fire headed west from its starting point of Potrero.


Wildfires. Again. Feels the same as it did four years ago when 3000 or so homes were lost in the Ceder and Paradise fires. I've been watching news coverage all day and keeping an eye on the smoke from my backyard. The sunlight is a strange color and the wind is howling. My neighbor has one of those whirly thingies on his roof but it needs some WD-40, the squeaking adds to the spookiness.

Fortunately I'm not in the path of either of the large fires, for now at least. I hooked extra dog leashes in the car just in case the canines and I have to get out, and there's some things packed up to make them easier to grab. I've lit some candles because the power went out briefly a while ago and I can never remember where the flashlights are. Maybe I should eat the ice cream. You know, just in case the power goes out. It would be a shame to waste ice cream.

So far I'm okay here. I'll update this if anything changes.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

October 20th


Tilly is my long-term foster dog. She's been here almost a year, ever since we were asked to rescue her by the county shelter. She had been picked up as a stray with six puppies. The pups were taken by a local humane society, but Tilly was left behind to face death in the shelter. (I use the word “humane” lightly here, and only because it's part of their name. They quite loudly tout themselves as a no-kill organization, but don't bother to mention that they don't take any dog that might need some rehabilitation. They jump all over puppies in the shelters because they can get money for them. They're nothing more than a resale pet boutique, in my opinion.) Tilly was deemed not adoptable because she was extremely timid. She moved away from any human contact, and seemed really depressed. Her only chance to avoid being killed in the shelter was for a rescue to take her, so we did.

It's been a long journey of baby steps for this pretty girl. A shelter worker and I had to carry her to my car the day I pulled her, she was too terrified to even walk on a leash. Once here I put her in a big crate, and she wouldn't come out on her own. I had to put a leash on her to get her to go outside to potty. The first few times I took her to adoption events I had to lift her up into the car, she was too scared to get in on her own, and once inside the car she would poop. Finally she would jump in if I got in first. A few more trips and she finally would get in the car on her own, and now she likes to look out the window during the ride. After a few months she moved out of the crate and took up residence under a desk. Then she started going to the door to be let out to potty, but would only go out if I went out first. Now she will go out on her own, and will come back inside when I call her. She will finally take food from my hand, and likes to lay by the side of the couch in the living room if I'm watching TV. She will nuzzle my hand, and even lick it, but still moves away if I try to pet her. Many people have been interested in adopting her, but in the end they weren't prepared to give her the time she still needs to become a good pet. She can have all the time she needs right here. Baby steps for my Tilly-Vanilly.


From ABC News-not just the local yokels: “Two lanes will be opened, and that's a sigh of relief.” No. That's good news, which may cause people to heave a sigh of relief.

The local moron Jimmy Q was not to be outdone: “How long will it last for?”

From my other major source of amusement at Channel 10: “You won't get a glass of water unless you request for one.” (She said this exact thing three times. She obviously thinks that this is the right way to say it.)

And, from one of the moron anchor persons: “Purse sized dogs are popular among pet celebrity owners.” Lassie's owner prefers a purse sized dog? Does Lassie know this?

From a commercial: “Scan was the only one that really came out to the house....” The rest of them faked coming?

From a commercial from a company that makes toys that are supposed to teach things to children: “Boys are built different.” I hope that language isn't part of what they teach.

The company I used to work for made the imploded list:

Valley Vista Mortgage goes under-complete with apostrophe abuse!