Monday, September 29, 2008

Women on Women

I feel sorry for Sarah Palin. I can commiserate with her.
Women in the public eye get accused of so many things, and the minute it leaves someone's mouth, it's true.

Ted Kennedy could have a cute young thing at his side, and even drown her, and men everywhere applauded that nasty, womanizing creature as being virile, hard-drinking, hard-living, and popular with the ladies. But let a WOMAN be a 'cougar', go after younger men, and have numerous affairs, and she's a slut. And even if she doesn't, she'll be accused of it... by other women. No applause. No "you GO grrrl!" Nope. Lies become fact with just a whisper and a raised eyebrow.

The "strong woman" factor is exactly what the political pundits aren't counting on. Women in public life of any sort, who have been accused of having numerous affairs, or of being gay, or both, will rally to her more and more as the snide and vicious comments pile up. You see, we know what it's like to live a life above reproach, and to go after what we want with an eye on our goal, and yes to occasionally use our femininity to get what we want. Not crossing the line - ever. But a smile or a hug at the appropriate time could get us closer to our goal, so we'd use it, you betcherass. And get accused of much more. Friendships, even lifelong friendships, are suspect. Mutual goals? No such thing - they must be getting it on under the sheets. A "REAL" man putting up with a strong woman, living with her, loving her? Couldn't happen. It's all about the sex. Couldn't be anything else.

I will never - no never - forget the day I was kissing my hubby goodbye in public. A woman (a well-known town gossip) I had known for 20 years drove by with another woman who called herself my 'friend'. The first woman shrieked at me, "stop kissing that man in public!" Hubby had to show her his driver's license to prove to her he was my husband. My 'friend' had obviously never told this gossip that I was married. The gossip's complete shock at seeing my hubby's license told me everything I needed to know - both about her and about my self-proclaimed 'friend'. For 20 years the gossip had assumed I was a single mom - and my 'friend' had never told her any different. So I smiled sweetly at both of them and said, "Guess that ruins a lot of the gossip around here, doesn't it?"


If I had done half of what I had been accused of over the years, I would either have been disease-ridden or the richest woman in town. Why is it so hard for other women to believe that a forceful, aggressive woman can actually be a loving wife and mother? I had cared for some other peoples' children so that even today they still call me "Mom". I took care of the sick and hurt, and succored the poor, and still loved to cook and bake and 'be a mom'. To have Dems question Sarah Palin's ability to run a country and a household, or her fidelity, or her style and substance, smacks severely of the gossip in her incredulity of "You're MARRIED?" and the reduction of intelligent, multi-faceted individuals to two-dimensional, small-minded, and mean, cruel, self-seeking people. And yet the Democrats insist that they are the party for women, the Party that supports women's equality, women's abilities, women's rights.

Well, not this woman. Hurray for Palin - and the more the Democrats act like snide and sneaky gossips, tooling around in their cars and making snide and superficial judgements on surface determinations, the more they expose themselves for exactly who and what they are. And women who have suffered for years, even decades, under gossips and their non-supportive, backstabbing 'friends' might just have the last laugh on all of them. Whatever else Sarah Palin is, she - thanks to the snide comments - is coming out far cleaner, far more competent, and far more adjusted to reality than her detractors.

And that is probably what pisses them off the most. By simply and openly being who and what she is, their own insecurities, their own small-mindednesses, are showing them for what they truly are. And every woman who has ever been or had to be strong, forceful, and determined is, openly or secretly, rooting for her.

SCHMACK 'em once for me, Sarah! And for all of us...

And if they can't disrespect you on a personal level, gee, I guess they'll have to do it on a professional one... which these sneaks and gossips will never learn to do.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Homecoming Friday Updated, wth pics!

Today is Homecoming for the local High School. Actually, it's been an all-week event, and the culmination is today. At 11 AM there is a town parade, led of course by a very hyper-rhythmic school band.
Then there is a town picnic sponsored by the Booster Club; a real social event, $3 for grilled ribs and brats, and potato salad and a drink. Then the game, at 1 PM, and later this evening, the Homecoming Dance that the whole town attends.
Referee Ballet? Who knew?

The winning touchdown, with 40 sec left - final score, 32-30, Cowboys over Longhorns. Go Cowboys!! Go Black!

Yup, I live in a Football Town. Actually I live in a Football State, now - as well as a community that believes in group get-togethers. Pinochle, poker, and bridge nights are Wednesdays at the local Bar and Grill - good food and lots of fun, and they don't play for matches. A good sense of humor. Did I tell you the one about the nervous female pilot who was told to talk to her instructor to relieve her anxety? She asked him why deer pooped pellets, cows pooped disks, and horses pooped chunks, when they all ate the same thing. He said he didn't know, and she replied, "Hell, I can't talk to you - you don't know $hit!" They talk about using caps and dynamite to blow up buildings and blow out land for cellars here as a matter of course. Totally different world - no paranoia about potential terrorists, a lot of good fun, and some seriously crazy folk here. The kids all carry guns - they compete in shooting matches. No one brags about hunting, but everyone does it. (This year with every buck tag a free doe tag is issued, get em while they're fat.) Fun people.

We've been listening to the band practice all week, and the pep rallies yesterday were 'way cool. The horses in our pasture line up near the fence to watch and listen, heads up, ears cocked forward, as the band marches by. Seems like everyone wants to be a part of the excitement!

Yup, this weekend looks to be pretty awesome again. Not for us the fighting to get in the door at some overtouted overblown concert - the casino 40 miles from here puts on concerts regularly, with names like The Oakridge Boys or Clint Black, but they are never crowded. No trying the latest sushi place or Mexican or Chinese place - homegrown beef and pork is good enough.
Saturday night for our anniversary we'll just go down to the Hub and have steak dinners and drinks with friends. Then back to the farm, the peace and quiet, listening to the crickets chirp and the coyotes howl.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Who Pays?

The other day I got an email from my 'almost DOL' - the lovely girl who lives with my middle son. She really is lovely, and the best part is that she has no idea; she works hard and is so good for my son. The only problem is that she is supporting Obama. She sent me the computer-generated link to Obama's video and his economic plan.

Well, out of respect for her I watched the video. Then I went further - and examined Obama's plan. Good. Lord.

Now let me make this point - neither Obama nor McCain have studied economics. They are both in-line Party men, and think that the cure for too much government is - more government. The litmus test for ANY government proposal is - who is going to pay for it? Because the FedGov may print more money than we have gold, but that doesn't mean that we have limitless money available - what that means is that every extra hundred, thousand, or billion they print devalues every dollar all around the world.

But Obama's plan calls for increased government involvement in business - as in they are going to require that all of the American gas companies 'give' $1,000 to every family "out of their profits". Uh-hunh. Yet there is NO call in the 'drill and skim' plan for - more refineries. Anyone who knows anything at ALL about the oil in America knows that no matter how much we pump and drill, Congress has limited the number of oil refineries that can be built. This means that either the oil sits in pipelines, in tanks, or on ships, waiting to be refined, with a huge backlog - or it has to be shipped overseas (where there are no refinery restrictions) to be processed, and then either traded for refined oil or shipped back. Either way, the costs are huge. Until Congress relieves this governmentally-instituted backlog, gas prices will climb - and neither candidate will admit it. So who will pay for that $1000 check? You and I will - at the gas pumps.

Obama says that he will create thousands of new jobs in the 'alternative energy' field. Let me tell you how he and Congress are already doing this. They have instituted a 'green credit' plan (this is not unlike the ones in other countries). Sound good? Let me tell you how it REALLY works. I and my neighbors practice organic and responsible growing and grazing practices; many practice no-till planting or rotational grazing. This makes sense; it does not damage the soil or deplete the grasses and cause soil erosion. However, a 'green credit' brokerage company can come out to my acreage and certify me. They pay me $500 to $5000 a year to 'stay green'. Companies that need 'green credits' pay money to the brokerage company per credit. They get credits for every acre that is under someone else's organic production. Now who do you think is paying for this falsification of 'green credit'? The consumers who buy the company's products! More - all of the new technologies like wind and solar power are being subsidized to the already-established power companies to develop - and we're talking not hundreds of thousands of dollars, but millions! Millions to buy the 'wind rights' over a farmer's property, millions for the production/erection/hookup of the turbines or collectors to the grid. Who is REALLY paying for all of this invention and creation? The American taxpayer.

Oh, there's more, a lot more - and every single 'tax break' or 'rebate' or increase in bureaucratic oversight that Obama's plan indicates will cost taxpayers more money, either on their taxes paying for bailouts and increased bureaucracies, or at their continuously ringing cash registers. More roads, railroads, and airports? Who's going to pay for that, when it costs $1 million to build a single mile of roadway, and $10 million startup (not continuing) fundage for an airport the size of Hilton Head's?

Again, that's not to say that McCain has any other feasible plan, such as reversing the $70 billion dollar trade deficit with China by eliminating the shipping of all of our manufacturing jobs overseas, cutting out all of the trade agreements that deplete our internal cash flow and send our money overseas to buy more and more 'planned obsolescent' goods. But still - neither one is telling America the truth, that they need to hear - because the one candidate who actually DID tell the truth about the economy, and continues to do so, was dissed into oblivion by the hopeful masses and mouth-breathing media alike. And the truth is simply this - that as long as Congress continues to handicap business, blame it for all of the evils in the world, and take its money away to hand to the eager grasping public who think that they 'deserve' it, and then paying taxpayer dollars to bail them out over and over again, we will continue to fall into this sinkhole of fiscal disaster.

I'm through with being Cassandra, telling people truths that they don't want to hear, while they scurry to this side or that, looking for someone to hold their collective hands and tell them that life is fair, that government is the cure-all, and that their friends in government will protect them. They want to be told that Congress is in it's heaven, and all is right with the world - go watch Survivor or American Idol and believe, believe. Good children. Stupid children. I've had enough of soft, assauging, spiritually uplifting, comforting lies - when will YOU? And the answer is, of course, never. Yawn. Go play. Go believe. Go emote.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Getting Stronger by Inches

Today has started to be a busy day... The wild turkey flock was in the back garden until the stray came around to chase them; then they flew up in the trees next to my BR window.

Yesterday I finally finished painting the house's red trim in front, so I started the sprinklers this AM (been pretty dry all week).
Then it was time to feed the horses. Snip (L behind Willie) has a raw spot on his cheek from where his halter was too tight; we treated that. Willie (L) is putting
on weight at last, while Lake (R) is pouting as usual, because she is not the sole recipient of our attention.
By this time it was 8 AM, so we started working on the stovepipe for the woodstove. It wasn't sealed on the roof correctly, and so we have to reseal it - but that's not the worst part. Down below it leaks right onto the stove, and it has rusted out the bottom pipe that goes into the stove. So we had to change it out. That was a real drag. We found a bird's nest in the flue!
I've toted the paint up to my bedroom and will be going out there to paint my window frame after I make lunch.
You know, it takes a lot of effort every day, 6 AM til 11 PM, getting things in order. We are constantly busy - after all, this house wasn't lived in for almost two years, and a lot of things were let go for a lot longer than that. When I first started, I felt so enervated, so exhausted all of the time. My knees hurt, back hurt, head hurt. Some days you could hear my knees like old rusty hinges, creaking and groaning.
But steady exercise and a reintroduction of healthy, not fast, food, has made my body start to repair itself. I don't make my own bread or cook my meals from scratch because I like to (although I do) or because I have to (even tho there is no "fast food" for 40 miles) I do it because we wanted, needed a simpler and better lifestyle. Slowly the pure water is washing out the residual poisons from our systems. We can feel it! The vegies and the real, fresh, local meat are strengthening us.
No I don't think I'll ever be as young and strong as I used to be. But slowly, the days dawn and I look forward to getting up and going and doing and fixing, creating and growing things. I can't wait to get out of bed in the morning. My life isn't getting any easier - but it sure is getting better.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gold and Silver, Silver and Gold

I've got friends who started buying gold and silver 10 years ago. They are as adamant as JP Morgan, who said, "Gold is money. Nothing else."

I watched the "gold rush" in the 80's, when my friends were in a panic, 'getting in' on the gold rush then, buying Krugerrands left and right, bragging about their rapidly increasing wealth, rubbing it into the faces of those who weren't 'smart enough' to get in on the Gold Rush. Three years later I lost a friend when the price of gold had dropped into the basement, and I teasingly asked, "So, Ken, how's yer Krugerrands?" Ouch. It was wrong, even mean, but it still was fun.

I have friends who are buying silver bars, small ones, two a week, standing order, comes right out of their paychecks. They have stashes of them everywhere. They buy the small ones because, they say, they want to be able to buy groceries and have the grocer able to make change - or, if he can't, at least they won't lose much. Friends who are buying jewels, stashing them away, in ornate settings of gold. They believe the combination will help save them, too. I won't even respect the people who are buying worthless scraps of paper; "gold certificates". Sure, they are increasing in value right along with the gold - for now. But what were greenbacks, the old 'In God We Trust" dollars, but once-upon-a-time gold certificates? Who is going to make the ultimate decision as to whether or not they are valuable or worthless? Not the folks buying them.

Maybe it's the Irish in me. I just don't get it. Know what I believe in? Food. The ability to raise one's own from seed, from chicks, from heifers and sows and nannies. Say you've got a gold or silver bar. Say I've got a chicken yard. You're hungry. I'm not. Can you eat that gold bar or Krugerrand or necklace? Nope. Can you trade me? Yup - but I set the price. Law of supply and demand. If I don't want to trade, I'll still eat. And because I know how to preserve food, I can eat in the dead of winter right thru til the next harvest, the next birthing, the next hatching. If you sit on your gold and silver, what will happen to it? Will it hatch out tiny gold bars? If you keep it in a nice barn or pasture, will it give birth to cute little baby toe-rings?

I will of course have bills to pay, so I will be able to trade the necessities of life for the necessities of life. But gold? Silver? that's for people who can't produce. Of course, that's just my Irish coming thru.

What if gold and silver become illegal to have and hold again? Do you think the same could happen to gardeners or animal husbanders? Yes, I realize many local governments have made it illegal to have a garden or a chicken, much less a cow or pig, in their jurisdictions. But as long as one is deep in the country, and gets grandfathered in, getting one's productivity banned is far less likely than having one's gold or silver confiscated.

More - not too many folks will steal something that they have to work to make produce - but they will steal gold and silver. What will happen to my friend with the storage unit full of silver bars, or the one with the safe full of jewelry? What will happen when they take out these things and try to use them?

No, if they really believe that things will get that bad, then they have to know that whenever you have more than everyone else, then everyone else will want to take it away from you. Flashing gold or silver around a supermarket full of struggling folks - maybe not a good idea.

See, that's the thing we have forgotten most in our service-economy mindset - when people need things, they don't look to the drones, the salespeople, the middleman, or the guy with the most gold - they look to the producers. Maybe that's why corporations are buying up ranches and farms out West. You might want to think about that. Which folks are going to be the producers, and which the drones who need?
"Silver and gold
silver and gold
Mean so much more when I see
Silver and gold decorations
on every Christmas tree." (with apologies to Burl Ives for my lousy voice)

Pretty, and bottom line pretty useless, if you ask me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A guest blog

Rebekah Sutherland is a very close friend of mine. With a Ph.D in Education and a Master's in Science, she is well-educated. Our discussions in person and in emails about politics, economics and the poisoning of our water with tritium are always spirited, and she always has documented evidence in her hands to back up her contentions. She is passionate about what happens in the world around her - passionate, literate, and outspoken, which frightens some folks. She sent me this today. Thought you might like to read it.

Rhetoric vs Reality - Financial meltdown ignored
This morning news arrived that AIG is bailed out by the Federal government. Yesterday Leheman Brothers declared bankruptcy because it was refused assistance by the government.
Leheman was a company involved in risk via stock investments.
AIG is a company involved in risk via insurance policies.

Hmm. All companies are equal, but some are more equal than others.
Americans have become desensitized by watching several years of reality TV. They have lost their perspective about reality. They are mentally numb and it is not an accident.

If the recent financial failures had occurred in the 1940s, this nation would have been pouring into the banks demanding withdrawal of all bank accounts. They would have seized control of their local city councils and county councils. They would demand representation by Congress. There would be real political heat burning the toes of those in control.

Today, the people yawn at the recent news. After all, they think, the government always recovers. Right? In the end, everything will turnout okay. That is what happens on reality TV. It does not affect American lives. It is a mirage. It is pretend. One does not shoot the television when the bad guy comes on the scene. Right?

Very shortly, the focus of all that is happening in the financial sector will turn toward those with credit card debt. Student loans, credit card balances, etc. will be called into question and payment will be demanded.

What will happen? Americans will find themselves face-to-face with a financial controller that demands payment. No longer will rhetoric be ignored . . . reality will focus on the balance sheets of individuals.

Americans will cry . . . and the Federal government will be in very tight control over the banks and lending institutions by that time. The plan also includes smashing silver and gold as a means of exchange. We will be paperless . . . and nothing else will be allowed. It will be made illegal.
Make your prediction. What will be in your wallet on that day?

In reality, there are only two parties. No third parties really exist. One party offers Communism. It is in the party Platform. Read it. The other party offers Fascism. Observe the voting behavior and you will see the pattern. America will vote for one or the other. There is no moral option, because those votes will not count . . . the computer will do the dirty work; heretofore, that nasty chore was done by the vote counters.

Time to change the American perception. This is not a drill. It is real. [End]

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mr Potter Wasn't All Bad

I had a standing loan with WaMu for about 10 years. They put our daughter thru college, and helped us pay for things when DH got injured. WaMu was probably the best group I had ever worked with as far as responsive and helpful loan companies.

It all started with a chair for DH's birthday. Most furniture companies don't finance purchases, they farm them out, and we were farmed out to WaMu. We got the loan without a problem, but th furniture company refused to come up with the chair. We went round and round with them for 6 weeks. I finally went down to the WaMu office and spoke to Carol, the loan officer. Within 48 hours, all of our money was repaid and we went elsewhere to buy the chair, with WaMu's hearty agreement. The furniture company went bankrupt, but we hung with WaMu, expanding a $600 loan over time to $4000. We made payments and they made loans; it was simple and direct, the people were friendly and understood money. When we finally paid them out last year, 2 years after our daughter's graduation, it was like we were losing old friends.

We've been customers of BOA for over 27 years, if you count the buyouts of the banks we belonged to - C&S, etc, that gradually became a part of the BOA chain. (New tellers were always stunned to see all of the leading zeros at the start of our account numbers - "Wow, this is a really old account!") They finally acquiesced to refinancing our home 5 years ago, during the big rush, which lowered our payments and put some money in the account for us. BOA even took up our car loans, and were persnickety about on-time payments - not friends, like WaMu, but professionals who sent reminder letters out 10 days ahead of time. Dealing with them was not as friendly as WaMu, but they were far more knowledgeable about money matters, and when DH was hurt, found ways to keep our accounts current. We were quite happy to pay them off and own our cars. They didn't aggravate us or anything - it was just a joy to own our things. Unlike some banks and loan institutions, BOA doesn't charge for an early payoff.

We got used to the professionalism at BOA and were sorry to have to change for our operations out West, but the closest BOA is 600 miles from us. We still keep three accounts open with them, one a small-limit credit card. While the bank here is as friendly and fun as the WaMu folk, they lack the financial grasp of products and their uses as had the folks at BOA. Now I watch BOA use their market savvy once again, to buy out Merrill. (I sneer quietly - Merrill and I had a falling out 20 years ago, and I have watched their young-pup money-grubbing antics, and their wild-eyed enthusiasm for questionable market deals, all this time, waiting for the axe to fall.)

BOA reminds me of Mr Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life" - good market savvy, and following the aphorism, "Don't buy until blood is running in the streets". You may not have liked Mr Potter, or indeed BOA, but their financial savvy cannot be denied; they'd rather deal in money than in confiscated property, etc. And being a customer of theirs for so many years, being able to compare them with other banks and loan institutions, one can see how and why things are happening the way that they are. Unfortunately for those of a Kenyesian mindset, those who base their market dealings on steadily increasing returns rather than friendship - in spite of all of the happy happy joy joy friendly helpful fantasies of the George Baileys of this world - are the ones who survive, even prosper, in fiscal crises.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Smoker and an Oyster Evening

Well, it's true - my friends all know I won't touch an oyster, for reasons I've stated. Except that, last March on a dare from my dear daughter, I ordered a plate of Rocky Mountain Oysters. Know what? They're GOOD - like breaded and deepfried steak fries. Yummers. They are a delicacy here, and are served at every bar-b-q. If you get the chance, I highly recommend that you try them... they're worth the sideways looks and chuckles.

So tonight was the fire department "smoker" - a bar-b-q, poker and blackjack and craps night, too. Oh, you mean they gamble here, too? You betcha. No sanctimonious blue laws or politicians here. Beer poured from four taps, everyone was drinking and gambling and having a great time, talking and socializing. Since tomorrow is "Friend Day" at the Methodist church, three different ladies at three different times came up and asked us to go with them, too.

Church ladies? Drinking?? Gambling?? OMG! Yup, Catholics, Methodists, Episcopalians all under one roof, helping the Fire Department raise money. No one with their nose stuck up in the air, or whispering behind their hands. Everyone cheering the Nebraska Huskers on to their win.

Since the bar and grill is next door to the fire department, and my friend owns it, I went over there and hung out for an hour, too; watching the game and talking about yesterday's high school football game. Football, liquor, socializing, and non-judgemental folk out having a good time and enjoying each other's company. They even raffled off a poker table!
the poker table

Gee, why'd I move? Let me think a minute... musta been the Rocky Mountain Oysters, or simply, 'the nuts'. Yeah, right, that's it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Liberal or Conservative?

A good friend of mine is mostly liberal, and can't understand why I am a "conservative". I take in strays, I grow my own food, I hate Corporate Welfare as much as social Welfare, I am opposed to a war that kills our young men and women while the rest of us simply go to the mall and pretend that the war doesn't touch us at all. My friend knows that I know that the recruitment of Palin to the McCain campaign was a political tactic worthy of Lee Atwater, nothing more, and that I agree that Palin is a "stalking horse" - the horse used by hunters to preceed them into a herd of deer, hiding behind the horse til they get close enough to slaughter. I don't trust or like McCain. But then again, I don't trust or like Obama. I really despise Biden - so far left of center that he does not even register in peripheral political vision.

The point is, I guess, is my political philosophy is laissez-faire - leave things alone. Government intervention in anything is pretty much a guarantee that something will get screwed up. Too many politicians don't read what is put before them - they depend on their friends or their lobbyists to translate for them and tell them how to vote. They have little to no grasp of what life in the real world is like. They run their lives on getting the vote - not on getting the facts. That goes for all parties and all adherents to parties.

I was a Libertarian for 12 years, and rose rapidly in that party's ranks - but still, their failings are that they know what they want, they simply do not know how to get it, and whine and stomp their feet because they can't. They are as ignorant in the difference in what 'should' be and what 'is' as is a five year old. They will never accomplish anything political, simply because they would rather scream - "That's not how it is supposed to be!" than to figure out ways to change things to what they are supposed to be. They will even ridicule folks who show them how to change things and make a difference - because then they fall back on - "that's too hard; we are educational and Constitutional, not political". A political party that refuses to use the political process to make things happen is useless, a mere soapbox for the frustrated. They would rather say, "I TOLD you so!" and be right, than to make things right.

Back to liberal vs conservative - I simply want the right to make my own choices. If I take in another stray, I want the right to do so - or to choose not to. If I grow my own food organically, I want it to be my choice how it is done, not someone else's. If I make a choice, then I want the right to rise or fall on the merits of that choice - be it a lifestyle choice, a financial choice, or a future-determinate choice, without government involvement or supervision. I don't like bailing out with my hard-earned cash the Savings and Loans, Corporations, Welfare mommies, the idiots who got caught buying more homes than they could afford, or the idiots who are now running up billions of dollars in credit, from the White House to the house down the street, or other countries that have gold in their ambassadors' pockets and a lack of food in their natives' homes. I have the right to rise or fall on my own merits - and so do they. People - all people - should pay their own way. The world owes no one anything for simply existing.

So I am a 'conservative' because I don't feel that government is the answer to all of the country's, or the world's, problems. Unfortunately, most 'compassionate conservatives' and those who use all the other cowardly, half-way appellations and excuses for voting to give more of my money away, don't have the courage to say these things, especially when they are in office or running for higher office. I have found that most people really do want a nanny government, a birth-to-death babysitter that doesn't allow them to fail - or, ultimately, succeed; that treats them as helpless and stupid children, and makes excuses for them when they fall out of their cribs. But that doesn't mean that I do. Their pathetic whiny helplessness is not mine. So as much as I despise McCain - and yes, the manipulation of Palin into the mix - I despise the Obama/Biden camp still more. Both the same bodies, hearts, and souls of the two-headed chimera of nanny government that will swallow us, pocketbooks, flesh, bones, regulations, and all.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gimme it! It's MINE! (update)

You know, in real life I am a pretty calm and reasonable person, usually happy and cheerful.

The first time FedEx messed up my delivery at 'the new place', I was understanding. All I did was send a nice email to the office, saying that I understood that there were two families with our last name in our new, tiny town, and that maybe the delivery person should read the ADDRESS instead of the name and assume...

But today I got pissed. I've been waiting for something for three weeks, and it finally got shipped out Friday. Whoo hoo!!! FedEx has a cool tracking system so you can see where your package gets scanned in, then out, every step of the way. So I watched it off and on all weekend. This morning it said that it was "on the truck for delivery". So I opened the front door, and busied myself slicing and dehydrating tomatoes, cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, mopping the floors, all within hailing distance from the door. Finally about 3 PM I thought, better check the status, it isn't here.

There on the tracking log it read - "package delivered, put at side door, no signature required".
WTF? Did s/he walk up while I was walking the dogs (even tho I kept the front of the house and the road in view)? I went to the side door - actually the BACK door, but since it is close to the side driveway, maybe... Nope, no package. I went to the verandah on the other side of the house... nope, no package. I went to the front door. Nothing. So I called them and told them. Of course they didn't have a clue where I was, so they are going to send out a note to the FedEx contractor for this area.

Meanwhile, there are supposed to be thunderstorms tomorrow morning, and my package is either at someone's door and they didn't see it/don't use that door, or at a vacant house somewhere (there are a couple here), or - who knows where, with the possibility of getting soaked. The nice thing about this place is that if someone DID come home and see a package that wasn't theirs, they would drop by and deliver it, or at least call. No calls, no visitors.

I guess what really pisses me off is that when we bought this place, one of the first things we did was to get some LARGE house numbers, paint them bright red and white (goes with the house) and put them right on the front proch. You can see them from the road. The houses are numbered sequentially all through the town - and the town only has 10 streets. So it is really really hard to miss an address. Part of what pisses me off, too, is that UPS can find my house, no problem, every time. It isn't like I only order stuff to be delivered once in a blue moon - I am a regular customer of a couple of places. Still another part that chews at me is that I had things to do today, like go pick up a prescription, that I forewent to be home for a nonexistent delivery.

So tomorrow morning some delivery person is going to get a nasty note about their incompetence, and we'll see what happens then. If wherever they left the package has residents who work all day, and who simply took the box inside without looking at it, how will the FedEx person get it back if they are at work again tomorrow?

Meanwhile, somewhere out there, is a very big box with some stuff in it, out in the dark, alone and cold and with rain threatening... and my name on it. And the FedEx courier is sitting somewhere warm and dry, actually thinking that s/he earned his/her paycheck today.

UPdate: well, got a call this AM from the local FedEx guy, trying to locate the package. I told him that I stayed home yesterday and I HAD to go 40 miles to the pharmacy today to get a prescription. Sure enough, he called back in an hour and offered to leave the 'found' pkg at the pharmacy for me. (They are really nice folks there.) This tells me that the pkg never left that town (the county seat) at all - because no one would make an 80 mile round trip to find a package, when they could just take it over to the right house in the same town.

I know what it was, of course. People in my little town are not expected to have enough Internet access or savvy to check up on things like that. Someone got lazy, didn't want to make that long drive for one package, got caught and had to cover their ass really fast.

Don't ever lie to me. Ever. It pisses me off, and some way, some how, thru me or thru karma, it will come back to haunt. If the guy had simply waited and delivered it today, that would have been fine. If he had called and asked if he could meet me in town initially, that would have been fine too. But to put on the log that the package had been delivered when it wasn't - THAT was a blatant lie, and a result of sheer laziness. I really hate that. When you are hired to do a job, you do the job, no matter what a pain in the butt it happens to be.

Monday, September 8, 2008

September 8 on the Farm

Yes, it is coming on to autumn quickly here...

Not much else to say, is there?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Brief Relapse

Well, here it is - A journalist, taping a protest, shot at with rubber bullets and flash grenades by the police - not in Iraq, not in China, but in St Paul, MN at the Republican Convention.
Mass arrest of journalists at RNC

Of course the Democrats are going to scream that it is all a Republican plot, that it is all a show of their evil power. They don't know that 260 delegates inside the convention - good, stout Republican delegates - were detained as well, stripped of all brochures and signs and paraphernalia that supported a candidate other than McCain. Five will get you ten that the same thing happened at the Democratic Convention - a show of unity, a show of togetherness, a show of solidarity, demanded, emphasized, and enforced.

In other blogs this morning, folks are lamenting the downfall of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, saying it has been happening since 2007; lamenting the collapse of the retirement investment funds. 2007? 2007? Where have people been the last 20 years? The artificial, on-paper recovery has been a farce since the 1980's, when dot-coms and Savings and Loans were allowed to fleece the market by government sanction. The artificial growth period was enhanced by the "Out of money? Why we'll just print more!" attitude of the Federal Reserve. When your money is based on a Ponzi scheme of fiat money, it will lose value, and so will everything you buy with it - no matter how many investments you make or how you make them.

And do you know why I don't bother to write political commentary any more? Because there's no point. Folks are more interested in who Paris is sleeping with or who Britney is screaming at now. People will believe what ever they choose; telling them different only makes them want to scream insults, accusations, or vituperations. They don't read, they argue. Alan Greenspan's book is not on their shelves; neither are Milton Friedman's. They read a 250 word blog and think that they know all there is to know about a topic; don't research, don't educate, don't delve into the whys and wherefores. After all, Headline News and text messages tell them all they need to know, why bother?

Sorry. I guess what pissed me off the most was the lament of the journalist who wrote the above story link... His total shock at what had happened, his total disbelief that such a thing could happen in America of all places. Yup, well, I've been seeing it and commenting on it for 20 years, and no one believed me then. No one will believe this now. It will be swept under the rug like everything else; people quietly apologised to or paid off with non-disclosure riders. Keep your mouths shut. Everything is FINE. Dissent with the status quo is unhealthy - whether it is the status quo of the Republicans, the Democrats, or even the Libertarians. Not to mention a monumental waste of time.

OK I'm done. Next blogs will be a return to the pastoral, back to the social commentary again. Pardon my rant - I just get aggravated every once in a while. People who suddenly discover that they've been wearing blinders all of their lives, who gasp in horror at something that has been going on for decades right under their noses, stories and tales that they sarcastically dismissed as being circulated by Conspiracy Theorists and loonies, just irk me a little. Make more room in the fallout shelter and the loony bin - here comes another handful of wide eyed, stunned believers.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I Have a Little Colt

Yup, there he is, in my pasture. His name is Pretty Boy.

Well, really, he isn't mine. I'm renting my pasture out for two months to a teenager who has three horses - Willie, a 16 yOA gelding, Snip, a 6 YOA gelding, and Pretty Boy, who's a year and a half. Pretty Boy is a paint 'stang, bought off of the Indian reservation. The young lady who owns these horses wants to lean how to break them. So far she has been unsuccessful, but you have to admire her persistence. Snip doesn't like anyone on him, and bucks. Sometimes you can ride him for an hour - but then he'll buck you off. Willie is too old; he'd make a great child's horse, but hasn't been well cared for and needs fattening. And of course Pretty Boy is too young.

Well today the power went out because the pole near the high school caught fire. I was glad that my pickling and baking were done for the week! I heard Pretty Boy neighing in the pasture; apparently his high youthful spirits had pissed off Snip, and Snip was chasing him. So I walked over to the fence. Snip turned away and started munching. Pretty Boy came over to me for comfort. I stood there for over an hour, scratching him, talking to him, while he nuzzled me and whiffed and sniffed my neck, my hair, my arms. I stood there and gently whispered to him.

Yes, many years ago, I use to have an affinity for animals. When I was still a child, I found an injured full grown possum once in the woods, picked him up and carried him home. He had gotten ahold of a sardine can and licked and licked, and started his tongue to bleeding, and kept licking... I gave him some water to drink, and an old towel to lie on, and just sat next to him and whispered. After about three hours he got up, gave me a look, and wandered back across the street into the woods. Mother was hysterical - a WILD ANIMAL!!! With SHARP TEETH!!! Next to my neck!!!

I cared for my friends' horses at different times, and they would stand still when they were injured and needed medical care to let me treat them. I didn't like to "break" horses, I 'gentled' them. The training takes a lot longer and a lot more attention, but it lasts longer. I was pretty good with most critters. Maybe that's why I enjoyed being an EMT so much - my patients trusted me to take care of them, too; and with a little comforting and soft words they would let me treat them or their children when no one else could.

Nowadays it is a big deal to be a "horse whisperer". But anyone can do it - anyone who simply lets themselves go, who doesn't think about the future or the past, who just responds to and treats the 'now'.

I am just glad Pretty Boy and I understand each other now.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Grumbling against God

God, I told you what I wanted and why I moved here. I thought we had a deal.... I would finally get to do exactly what I wanted with my life, and stop being responsible for trying to explain to, help with, other people the common sense ways of doing things.

Oh, hello, dear reader - you caught me in a sort of prayer... well, my ongoing discussion/rant with God.

Last night a friend invited me to a meeting to help them do something for a CDBG grant. Well, since I am new here, I spent the first 40 minutes just sitting in the small group, listening to them debate. Then one of the out-of-towners asked my opinion. Those who know me well know that I should NEVER be asked for my opinion. Because, well, I'll give it.

So I told them exactly what had been done to get the exact results they wanted, how to do it, how much time they would need. One guy there (there's always one) was bitterly critical and sarcastic - you know the type, "This is the way we've always done it, why should we do it any differently?" I explained that if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.

By the end of the meeting, I had been offered a job helping them. Yes, a real paying job, not a volunteer savant/public servant/public scapegoat. They actually PAY for what they get here, don't expect it to be handed to them on a silver platter so that they can pick it over and whine about it for free.

ARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH. This is NOT what I want. I was invited to the meeting by my friend so that they could have the benefit of my knowledge and experience, and use it for their own ends. Good ends, too - they need some roads paved, a fire truck, a community center, a furnace for the library. I explained leveraging funds, talked about other resources, talked about how to make money work for them, how to use in-kind services, how to get private money, how to combine communication and information resources. I was there just to share knowledge and experiences that could help my new community, nothing more.

I am going to finish my pickles and bake some bread today, then go outside and chop up some more wood for the stove for winter. I have to dig my winter onion patch and work on the compost pile. THIS is what I want - nothing more. DAMMIT.

God, if you sent me here to do this AGAIN - in a place where people can actually think, are educated, are responsible and responsive, and can reason effectively; a place where people don't whine 'mememe' constantly with their hands out - I am going to be permanently pissed. Have a pickle and lighten up on me, willya?

This is how it always starts; first, a favor for a friend, then... embroilment. Argh. Not. Again.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Run!! Run!!! Everybody RUN!

Yawn. Another Weather Channel artificially induced hysteria. This is like an ongoing 'sweeps week' for them, so they can sell more pontifical advertising.

Businesses talking about closing Thursday and Friday for Hanna, and people glued to their TVs and radios, watching, waiting, panicking, discussing. Again, yawn. Wassa matter, you never seen rain and wind before? Never seen a flood before? Never seen a tornado before?

There are two choices in any storm - it will either be devastating, or it won't. If it is, you could lose your business, or it could be severely damaged; you could lose your house, or it will be severely damaged. Either way you will have to deal with insurance companies, FEMA, and all levels of governments' competence or incompetence. You will be frustrated and aggravated. But - you will deal.

You have two personal choices to make - to leave or to stay. Leaving means it may cost you a lot of money, time, and aggravation for absolutely no reason at all. Staying means it may cost you a lot of money, time, and aggravation, for absolutely no reason at all. Your choice. Either way, you will deal.

I watched the weather channel coverage of Gustav, and all I could think about was my friend Obnoxious Wit's "Hurricane damage" of his patio chair turned over. The folks at the weather channel make their living inciting hysteria and fear, usually for no reason - no matter how far down the cameraman kneels, that water ain't deep. A single piece of unsecured guttering in the middle of the road isn't "storm damage", it's rusted screws that gave way in the wind. A torn ad banner isn't storm damage, it's bad planning. When they show "massive flooding and storm surge" and people who have BEEN there know that it does that repeatedly in a heavy dew at high tide, they show themselves for exactly what they are - incompetent fear-mongerers.

However, if you see Jim Cantore, make sure he gets a shot of your "flooding" and "storm damage". After all, the insurance company has to believe you somehow... what better way than to be featured on national television? Wear your ripped shirt and jeans, and carry a chainsaw, it'll be more believable. Take the jonboat off of the trailer and drag it from the street into your front yard, leaving a muddy gouge. THAT oughtta wow 'em. It's all a play, and you get to be the extras on a very small, brief stage. Have fun.