Friday, September 26, 2008

Quote of the Day

This is one of the marks of educated persons: the ability to entertain many ideas without assuming that means they need to invite them to take up permanent residence in their minds. Another mark: the willingness to serve eviction papers to resident ideas - even long-time ones - when it becomes clear that they're damaging the property, can't get along with the law-abiding neighbors, or are otherwise behaving badly.

Andrew Cambell

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Rudyard Kipling

Knitting Sticks: 4

I have a "Classics Challenge" book list that I keep in my books database. Whenever I come across a book that is considered a classic it goes on that list, after some consideration as to whether I want to read it or not. Kim happened to be one of the books on the list.

I have to say right off the bat that I very much enjoyed the book. It seemed a tad slow starting but I kept at it and was rewarded for my patience. Basically it is the story of Kimball O'Hara, the son of an Irish soldier who grows up in India. His mother dies when he is born and his father dies when he is a young boy and he is ultimately left in the care of an Indian shop keeper of dubious character. He essential grows up as an Indian boy until the age of 13 when he steps onto his road of destiny and his ultimate participation in "The Great Game".

I have to ask myself if my view of the book and my enjoyment of it would be different if I hadn't spent a short amount of time in India. There were times when I was reading that I could see and smell and taste India. The overnight train crowded with people (we took one from Salem to Chennai, the only non-Indians on a train with 2000 people), the train platform crowded with sleeping figures, the clink of many bracelets on the arms of women, the sounds coming from the street, the descriptions of the land. I was right back there.

I can well understand why this book would have appealed to young men around the time that it was written, 1901. It is full of adventure, mischief, danger, freedom from responsibility, great deeds, honor and brotherly love. All those things that seemed to appeal to young men in the days when they weren't consumed with being "cool" or playing their video games. Oops, sorry for the rant there.

Anyways, I liked the book and it may require a second read at some point in the future. India is a land that is very modern in many ways but also unchanged from the last centuries. This would actually be a good book to read before going again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Turkey Axis of Evil

President Bush may have named Iran/Iraq/North Korea the Axis of Evil but he never met these lovely ladies.

We have our own personal Axis of Evil here in my neighborhood and it is comprised of these three turkeys. We have a lot of turkeys in our neighborhood but these three seem to have a screw or three loose. Normally wild turkeys very cautious birds and will fly or run at the first sign of danger. They scurry across the road and into the trees. At least normal wild turkeys do. But nooooooo, not these ladies.

We first encountered these "lovely" specimens on a walk one fine morning. Ashley and I saw them up ahead as they were crossing the road. We assumed that they would quickly melt into the woods. We were wrong. They spotted us and came towards us clucking and making other noises and generally trying to mix it up with us. These are really ugly birds close up let me tell you and we were close. I could have easily grabbed one if I wanted to. I resisted the urge. They were circling us like we were prey and even when we made "shooing" noises they didn't retreat very far. They moved off to the side of the road and followed us as we walked down the street. You want a piece of me, turkey! Come on, come on, I can take you.

Dan and I encountered them again last Sunday morning when they came right up to the car as we stopped to look at them.

Then this morning there they were again in the front yard. I went out to take some pictures of them and they didn't run, they came towards me making all those rude noises and trying to mix it up with me again. So what did I do, why I took pictures of course. They did finally go into the woods but only after I ran at them waving my arms. Thankfully no one saw me do it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Today is the 25th anniversary of the day that I met my wonderful husband Dan. We were set up on a blind date by my aunt and uncle. Good job Dean and Jane!

We will celebrate our 24th anniversary next May and even though there have been some rough times in those past years I wouldn't change a thing. I love you more now than I did when we said "I do".

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Grab a Kleenex

This comes to you from HeroBox, an organization that sends custom care packages to American soldiers around the world. Get some kleenex before you read it, you will need it.

Someone forwarded this us and we just had to post it. Please share your stories with us; the soldiers love to read about their fellow Heroes.

Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together. After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home.

No, he responded.

Heading out I asked?

No. I'm escorting a soldier home.

Going to pick him up?

No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq. I'm taking him home to his family.

The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do.

Upon landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign."

Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Children don't know how to play

An article in the New York Times has gotten me to thinking. A scary thought I know, and even scary that I read the NYTimes but it is what it is. The article, found here, talked about how kids in Houston were finding idle time hard to fill without the benefit of electricity to run their TV's, Wii's, computers and all the other electronic stuff that filled their hours when not in school. All I could think when I read that was, "How sad."

How sad that they don't know about all the fun that can be had by playing in the dirt or being outside or reading a book or just walking the neighborhood. Well, in some of those neighborhoods that might not be safe but you get my meaning.

This is often a topic of discussion with my daughters (who are almost all adults now). We have never owned a video game like Nintendo, Xbox or Wii. That was a purposeful decision on the part of us parental units. It just didn't seem like they needed any more excuses to sit around and look at a screen of some kind. They were on the computer at certain times and they had an hour of TV a day. Kids are ingenious at stretching that TV thing. They would watch their chosen program and then "conveniently" hang around in the family room doing homework while another sister watched their program. I don't think so buddy! The only reason we ever got them Gameboys was because we were going to Mexico and they needed something to do on the plane. And no we won't talk about the fact that I also have a Gameboy. That is SO not important to this discussion so just drop it.

At any rate, because the girls didn't have the chance to sit in front of the TV or computer for long periods of time they developed skills that these kids seem to, sadly, be lacking. I was constantly amazed at the things that the girls found to do outside. It did strike some fear into my heart when they came in to the house to ask for a hammer and some nails but, once I figured out that they weren't trying to crucify their younger sister then I gave them the requested items. They were building a club house out of various scavenged pieces of wood and the remnants of an old plastic play house. Inventive. Then there was the time that they figured out how to make darts with straws and toothpicks. If they didn't have school they played outside in the yard or read a book or did whatever. But they developed their ability to be creative and fill their time.

You know what it is, it is easier for the parents to plop the children down in front of some electronic babysitter. It is time consuming to find things for your kids to do. It mess with your schedule, it makes you crazy. Yes you can have the glue and consturction paper, no you can't paint in your room, no the frog can't live under your bed, yes you can make cookies, sure you can have an old spoon to dig a hole in the back yard to "plant a garden". All those things require the imput of a parent. Yes that means you. But it is so worth it.

OK, I will be done with the rant now. I just think that it is sad that these children have lost the essence of what makes a childhood so much fun. It is the playing all day, coming in all dirty and tired for dinner, a bath, a story and then bed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

This comes from my mother. Consider it your humor for the day

Why did the chicken cross the road?
  1. BARACK OBAMA: The Chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!
  2. JOHN MCCAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the Chickens on the other side of the road.
  3. Hillary Clinton: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure - right from Day One! - that every chicken is this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.
  4. GEORGE W. Bush: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
  5. DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?
  6. COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.
  7. BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of crossing?
  8. AL GORE: I invented the chicken.
  9. JOHN KERRY: ALthough I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.
  10. AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.
  11. ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
  12. NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he is GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
  13. PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American
  14. MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.
  15. DR. SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.
  16. ERNEST HEMINGWAY: to die in the rain, alone
  17. GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chiken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
  18. BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heartwarming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish it's lifelong dream.
  19. ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road
  20. JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.
  21. BILL GATES: I have just release eChicken2008, which will not only corss roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra....*&!*&*!^^^**(@&......reboot.
  22. ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
  23. COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Work in Progress

Someday this pile of yarn

Will look like this.

But until then I look like this.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day of Remembrance

Memory is a funny thing. It becomes clouded as time goes by, things didn't happen as you think you remember. The faces of family and friends stay the same even though they age in real life. The memories of the houses that you grew up in are distorted by the fact that you were little. The house seemed so big but in reality you were actually so small. Places, people, events are all a tad hazy.

But there are events that remain stark and clear throughout your life. Events that are so out of the realm of your ordinary day that the reality of what happened is remember clearly and without distortion in the years to come. I was too young to clearly remember JFK's assassination, though I have vague memories of watching his funeral though I was only 3. I was too young to understand the import of the death of MLK or the landing on the moon. My stark and clear memory is 9/11.

These collective memories should be remembered. We need to think on them periodically, but not constantly. To view them critically for the lessons that can be gleaned from them. But we must remember them. To dismiss them and go on with our lives, never thinking about what happened is to dismiss what makes us the people that we are both on a personal and national level.

Every year on this date I re-read what I wrote on that Tuesday. It is my way to remember. To remember the feelings of that day, to honor those who died in the WTC and on the planes. To honor those individuals civilian, firefighter and police who gave their lives to help others. I re-read to honor my friend George, who was in the WTC that day and looked up to see the plane coming at him and lived to tell, in his quiet Irish brogue, what happened that day. I re-read to remember. This is what I wrote that day:

-Beautiful morning, not a cloud in the sky, Ash and I out to swim as usual, did 30 minutes of laps.
- Oh God, I know that all things are in your hands but sometimes it is hard to remember this. A day that started out so similar to any other day. Heather was calling as we walked in the door. I started to sing "Happy Birthday" to her and she said, "Shut up, shut up! You have to turn on the TV right now. There has been a plane that crashed into the World Trade Center in NYC!" Greeted by horror. As I watched the TV, to my horror ANOTHER plane appeared and crashed into the second tower! It appears that one of the planes originated in Boston and the other from Newark or so they are saying. Then, when we were still taking this in came word that a THIRD plane had hit the Pentagon. THE PENTAGON. Both towers of WTC eventually collapsed. Horror, horror. Both towers completely gone. How can that be? When the towers finally collapsed there were many people still inside both buildings. It is still not known how many are dead. Since there was no elecricity in the buildings peopel were having to go down the stairs. Mom Q called to say that Laura and Bjorn are both safe. Bjorn had not left for work yet and his office is no longer in the WTC but that was where he was going to be later in the morning for a meeting.
- death toll still unknow by evening. Spent all day watching the TV. Ash did no school work today, how could we. Meg called from school very upset and wanting to know if Bjorn was OK. 267 people lost on the 4 planes. That alone is staggering but to think that 4000 people may have died in the WTC is more than my mind can comprehend. We have been so compacent in this country. So sheltered. We always assume that these things won't happen here. We are wrong.
- The sky is silent because all planes in the US are now on the ground. That is mind boggling in itself. The talk is that they will remain on the ground until atleast noon tomorrow.
- President Bush spoke in the evening. He stated that we (the US) will not make any distincitons between the terrorists who have done this and the counties that harbor them. Good.
- Life can never be the same.

Happy Birthday to some of my favorite cousins

I just wanted to say a gigantic

Happy Birthday!

to two of my favorite cousins.....Heather and Amanda.

Hope that the day is excellent for you. I miss you both.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The County Fair

We love the Geauga County Fair. It is one of our longstanding family traditions that every Labor Day we trek out to the fair grounds to take in the sights and sounds and smells. The gigantic pumpkins and baked goods and 4H barn and horse judging and EATING and watching the people ride the rides and all the people and how interesting they are. We love the fair.

This year was no different. We had a beautiful day to wander the grounds and take in everything. So much fun.

And so the eating begins. SURE we go to the fair to see all the animals and the 4H crafts. Yea, yea that's right. OK, OK I will confess. we go to eat. We go to eat the apple fritters, the elephant ears, the onion rings, the gyros, the corn dogs, the cinnamon pecans from the vendor at the back of the fair grounds, the 4H milk shake and whatever else takes our fancy.

We started with these apple fritters. They were excellent. Take my word for it.

I don't know why but I take a picture of the cow butts every year. Perhaps therapy is in my future?
I love the cow barn. I love the smell in that place, almost as much as I love the smell in the horse barns. I love their placidity and everything about them...... especially hamburgers and steak and milk which leads to ice cream. Yum

Doesn't this fellow look like he is supremely happy. Little does he know what is going to happen. Cue sinister music and the voice over. Yes folks, this pig may think that he is living the "life of Riley" sleeping in his pen with that nice clean straw, having all these people looking at his immense girth and smelling his rather pungent odor. But.....can you say BACON!, PORK CHOPS!, PORK LOIN!, RIBS! Shhhhhh, don't let him know. What he doesn't know will be yummy for us. Sorry I am a confirmed carnivore.

And we end the day with more greasy food, the best onion rings in the world. I didn't take a picture of the 4H milkshake that we always get before we leave. I was too busy consuming it as we walked through the last of the buildings where the Photo contest winners are displayed. That is always one of my favorite places, obviously

Truths about Cats

This is what cats are supposed to do. They are supposed to hunt down those little critters that invade your house. Yes, I know I live in the woods and that with woods come mice. I can live with it.

But this is what my cats are USUALLY doing. No chasing of mice in sight. Just sleeping. Perhaps they are building up their strength for the next hunt.......Nahhhhhhh.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Zac Sunderland

I don't remember where I first encountered Zac Sunderland and his amazing trip, which he is still on. It has been an emotional journey and I don't even know the young man or his family.

Zac is a 16 year old American who is currently attempting to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe ALONE by yacht. Yup the age is correct, he is only 16. I follow his blog and his journey and it is well worth a stop over there. I can't imagine the courage of his parents in not only letting him do this but in encouraging him! My girls will tell you that I tend to panic when they haven't called in on time or are late getting back. Imagine if your 16 year old was just about to sail through the Strait of Torres and you can't raise him on the SAT phone!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Republican National Convention, Part 2

Here I am again with my thoughts on last night's Republican national Convention.

What can I say about Sarah Palin but WOW. When I was originally thinking about this post I was going to sturcture it like I did for Day 1. I was going to talk about Mitt, Mike and Rudy and what they said. Believe me they had some excellent things to say. Romney's comment, "It is time to stop dependence on government and fight it like the poison that it is" was striking. Mike Huckabee's thanking of the MSM for unifying the Republican Party around McCain/Palin was hilarious. Calling BO's tour of Europe "Obama's Excellent European Adventure" was wonderful. And then we came to Rudy Guliani who is like no other when he is on the attack. Those teeth, that laugh!

As usual Rudy hits it on the head:
to those who still feel torn about who to vote for in this election. I have something that might help you. Imagine you are hiring someone to do a job, a job that relates to the safety of you and your family. Imagine you have two job applicants, both honorable men. On the one hand you have a man who has devoted his life to the service of his country. He has passed every test. Even his adversaries acknowledge that John McCain is a true American hero. He has sacrificed for this country as few do. America comes first with John McCain. He has proved his commitment with his blood.

On the other hand you have a resume for a gifted man with an Ivy League education. He worked as a "community organizer". He immersed himself in Chicago machine politics. then he ran for the state legislature and got elected, and 130 times he couldn't make a decision. He couldn't decide whether to vote yes or was too tough! He voted "present". For the President of the United States it isn't good enough to be "present", you have to make a decision. A few years later he ran for Senate. He spent his time as a "celebrity" senator, sponsoring no legislation. He has never run a city, he has never run a state, he has never run a military unit, he has never had to lead people in a crisis. Barak Obama has never led anything, nothing, NADA. The choice in this election calls for substance over celebrity. This is no time for on the job training. No one can look at John McCain and say he isn't ready to be Commander in Chief.

I was already pumped and then came Sarah Palin. She is what the Liberals and those on the Left fear the most and understand the least; a self made woman who holds her office totally due to her own merits and not because of who her husband is (not to take anything away from Hillary's many accomplishments or for that matter Elizabeth Dole). Articulate, well informed, competent, in a job that she has earned on her own merits, in a successful 20 year marriage with a man who obviously adores her and is proud of her, with a family that is reflective of the majority of us and who is a Conservative Republican. Who couldn't have been moved by seeing her 6 year old daughter Piper holding her little brother Trig and as the world watched, kissing his face and then licking her whole hand and smoothing down his hair. Or Gov Palin's 17 y.o. daughter who sat there, very composed, with her fiance by her side, quietly holding his hand. Yes we all know that Bristol Palin is pregnant and isn't yet married but the Liberal Left would expect us to throw them under the bus for this rather than praising the Palin family for again choosing life and showing unconditional love for their child. Sarah Palin is a strong woman who is living the dream and doing the things that for the last 30 years the Feminists have been telling us we can do. We are supposed to be able to hold a job, have kids, have a successful marriage and be good at all of them. Hmmmmmm. Perhaps that was only if we were voting Democratic. I guess Sarah Palin and I must have missed the memo on that one.

Getting back to the matter at hand, The Speech. Gov. Palin had to give the speech of her life and she did so. I have heard it bandied about that she didn't write the speech, that she was only "parroting" someone else's words. Well of course she had someone's help in writing that speech you moron, all politicians do. Do you thin that BO spoke his won words last week at Barakopolis? My guess is that what we heard last night was written with the help of someone but was totally reflective of who Sarah Palin is. Another little tidbit is that there were teleprompter problems and that she did a great portion fo the speech from memory, ad lib and notes. I couldn't tell that, could you?

Let's think about what a VP nominee is supposed to do, at least in my opinon. They are supposed to reflect the Presidential nominee. Their job is to reflext what the Presidentila nominee is telling us that he or she (someday) will do once they are in the White House. The VP nominee is the Moon to the Presidential nominee's Sun to use a really stupid analogy. To use another phrase, the VP candidate is the "attack dog" for the President. Hmmmmmm. What was it that Sarah Palin said about being a Hockey Mom? Oh yes I remember, "Do you know what the differnece is between a Hockey Mom and a pit bull......lipstick." Sarah Palin did just what the VP nominee is supposed to do, she reflected who John McCain is, how much he has sacrificed for this country and what they paln to do WHEN they are elected in November. She know her stuff on energy policy and isn't afraid to say that we need to drill now. To quote Rudy, "Drill baby drill!"

Not that I had any doubts before but I think that Sarah Palin has no problem getting into a fight if she has to. She most likely will do it with a smile and with lipstick and high heels but make no mistake, she will take it to you if need be. A woman who took on her own party to win the Governorship and who took on the corrupt Republican machine once there is a woman without fear. A woman who continued with her fifth pregnancy despite knowing that her baby would have Down's Syndrome is a courageous woman. This is a woman that I will be voting for without hesitation and with pride.

There were so many good quotes from her speech that I don't think I can pick out my favorite. Well, maybe I can:
I guess a small town mayor is sort of like "community organizer", except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talke about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening. We also tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored tow memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate.

This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his won campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed, when the roar of the crowd fades away, when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled bact to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan? The answer is to make government bigger...take more of your money...give you more orders from Washington...and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world.
Since the announcement last week of Sarah Palin as the VP nominee the MSM has subjected her to the most vitriolic, misogynistic, over the top witch hunt that I have ever seen. With this speech she proved that she can take it and give it right back. Rather than doing an "Eagleberger" on her, they strengthened her commitment to this fight and the commitment of those of us out in "fly over country" who see in Sarah Palin our own lives and the every day issues that we deal with.

I am reminded of the quote by Isoroku Yamamoto, the author and executor of the attack on Pearl Harbor:
I fear that all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.

Amen to that

Wait for it

My take on last night's RNC will be arriving later. I have to digest the notes that I took and do some journaling to get the old thoughts together. Until I can do that, here are several other things for you to read. Thanks to the incomparable Michelle Malkin for these. I don't always agree with her but she makes me think.

The Beltway Boys
I Will Vote For Sarah Palin

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Republican National Convention, Part 1

Well, I watched the second night of the Republican National Convention and now you will be subjected to my thoughts. You will most likely get one of these for each night of viewing so be prepared. This may be rather long so bear with me.

First off let me suggest that if you want to get the pure flavor of the Convention, without all the talking heads and endless commentary then you need to watch the Convention on CSPAN There are no commercials, there are no talking heads giving you pithy little comment and talking over the people on the floor. This is the only way to go. If you watch on CSPAN you will have to make your way through the less than polished speeches but you will also be able to see some gems. It was very moving to hear the speech given by the man (whose name I didn't catch) who adopted one of the little girls that Cindy McCain brought back from Bangledesh when the McCain's adopted their daughter. If you watched CNN, MSNBC or FOX you didn't see it. You also didn't see the acknowledgement of the 23 former POWs who had been in the Hanoi Hilton with John McCain or the 5 Medal of Honor recipients who were in attendance. You also did not see the moving tribute to MOH recipient Michael A. Mosoor who, in September of 2006, gave the last ful measure of devotion so that other Marines could live.

Another general observation: John McCain has a wealth of ordinary men and women who are willing and eager to stand up and tell the American public what kind of man John McCain is. The men who served with him, the people that he has interacted with in his long career in the military and in Washington. Ordinary people like you and I who know him and can tell you that he is exactly as you see him. Who has Barak Obama had to do that job? Who has stepped up to tell us what BO is really like? Dick Durbin? Give me a break. Anyone from his "Community Organizer" days? Nope. By the way, what the heck is a community organizer anyway?

Now, on to what I thought about the speeches themselves.
1. President Bush
He was good as usual. Humorous, serious, to the point. He communicated what he needed to, that John McCain is his own man and not another George Bush. That McCain has often gone against the establishment and President Bush and that he does what is right.

This was the "money quote"
If the Hanoi Hilton couldn't break John McCain's resolve to do what is best for America, the Angry Left NEVER will

2. Fred Thompson
He hit it OUT OF THE PARK!!!! I have always like Fred Thompson and I think if he had shown this same sort of enthusiasm on the campaign trail then he might have done better. Rather than flounder around with my own words I think that John Hinderaker of Powerline said it best, "Fred Thompson told John McCain's story the way McCain won't tell it himself: His early days as a rebel; his almost unimaginable heroism as a POW, and his principled career in Washington."
Senator Thompson was humorous, eloquent, and hard hitting. I think that the McCain camp should designate him their "Official Attack Dog" forthe last 60 days of the campaign. Release the hounds!!!!!

Just a smattering of my favorite lines from his speech. It is well worth going over to YouTube and looking at the speech in total. I won't post the videos here because you do have to do some of the work on your own!

Speaking about Sarah Palin:
A courageous, successful reformer who is not afreaid to take on the establishment and win. She has run a municipality and she has runa a state and I think I can say without fear of contradiciton that she is the only nominee of either party who knows how to properly field dress a moose. When she and John McCain get to Washington, they aren't going to care how much the alligatore get irritated, they're going to drain the swamp.
The heart of the matter on abortion
We need a president who doesn't think the protection of the unborn or a newborn is above his pay grade!
His jab on Obama's proposal to only tax the wealthies and businesses was excellent
We need a President who understands that you don't make citizens prosperous by making Washington richer, and you don'tlift an economic downturn by imposing one of the largest tax increases in American history.

Now our opponents tell you not to worry about their tax increases. They tell you they are not going to tax your family.

No, they're just going to tax "businesses"! SO unless you buy something from a "business", like groceries or clothes or gasoline....or unless you get a paycheck from a big or a small businees, don't's not going to affect you.

They say they are not going to take any water out of your side of the bucket, just the "other" side of the bucket!
And in the end it really comes down to this:
Two questions we won't ever have to ask ourselves about this man. 1. Who is this man? and 2. Can we trust this man with the presidency?
3. Joe Lieberman
I have liked Joe Lieberman for a long time. I admire his stance on the war in Iraq, on national security and on Israel. He is a man you is courageous and that was shown last night when he spoke in front of the Republican National Convention. The political impact that this will have on him will be enormous I am sure. The Democrats will make him pay. However, he is a man who acts with the courage of his convictions and that showed through in this speech. When you remember that just eight years ago HE was the Democratic nominee for VP then the speech is all that more remarkable.

I think this summed his speech up fairly accurately
I'm here tonight for a simple reason: John McCain is the best choice to bring the country together and lead America forward. And I'm here because John McCain's full life testifies to a great truth: Being a Democrat or a Republican is important. But it is not more important than being an American
Way to go Joe.

So, tonight it is on to Sarah Palin. I can hardly wait.

Cartoon of the Day

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Funniest Cat Video You Will Ever See

This is just the best way to start your day, with a little laughter.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Won't You Be My Neighbor

Oh I am so sad. I came across this article this morning telling us that PBS has cancelled "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood". What do they think they are doing?!?

We never missed watching Mr. Rogers when the girls were growing up. It was one of the few shows that they were allowed to watch on the TV. We were big on watching videos (they had seen A LOT of MGM musicals by the time they were ready to start going to school) but not big on regular TV programs. However, Mr. Rogers was the exception.

We would wait eagerly for that familiar piano music and that not particularly strong voice telling us that it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood and asking if we wouldn't like to be his neighbor. Oh! I would, I would! What color sweater would he have on that day? Would it be a button up sweater that told you that this was an older episode or would the sweater have a zipper. If it was a button up sweater would he get all the buttons "buttoned" correctly. We loved the episode where he didn't get them all correctly buttoned but didn't realize it at first. It just made him all the more human and down to earth. What would we be doing today? Who would we be meeting? We never knew what would be happening but we could be assured that it would be interesting, educational and gentle in the way that only Mr. Rogers could make it.

I have been using the royal "we" because my daughters weren't the only ones looking forward to Mr. Rogers every day. I watched as well. Who couldn't love all the characters that we would meet on a regular basis. There was the genial mailman, Mr.McFeeley, who had the worst wig in the world and was always bringing Mr. Rogers a video tape to watch or some other unusual item. We loved those video tapes because that meant that we would be learning about how something was made. Over the years we learned about crayons, graham crackers, dolls, toy hobby horses, pencils and so many other things.

Then there was the Chef Brokett, with his raspy voice and chef toque, who taught us how to prepare healthy (and often rather unappealing) snacks for us "kids" to eat. He seemed to be very taken with recipes that had peanut butter in them or so I remember. Also, there were lots of things with raisins.

Or perhaps we would go over to the shop of Handy Man Negri where, contrary to what his name suggested, we would learn about different musical instruments not how to fix a leaky toilet (although who knows, we might have learned how to do that as well).

There was always a visit to the "Land of Make-believe" where we would see King Friday XIII, Queen Sara Saturday, Prince Tuesday, Daniel Striped Tiger (who lived in a clock), Lady Aberlin (one of the few real people), X the Owl, Henrietta Pussycat, and my personal favorite Lady Elaine Fairchild who didn't take any guff from anyone. You just sort of got caught up in the lives of these make believe characters, most of whom were voiced by Mr. Rogers himself. We loved when there would be an "opera" performed by the people in The Land of Make-believe. There would be a multiple show buildup to the actual "performance" and then the big day would arrive and the entire show would be taken up with the "opera" often involving this fellow named John Reardon who I think was actually a professional singer. Our favorite opera was "Spoon Mountain".

Oh the memories. I will even admit that I would occasionally watch Mr. Rogers Neighborhood on my own, long after all the girls had gone off to school. He was my neighbor after all and don't you like to spend time with genial neighbors?

I am so sad to think of all the children who will miss his gentle smile and voice and will not know the magic that was Mr. Fred Rogers. If it is possible to get the episodes on DVD (and I have to think that it is) then my grandchildren, whenever they arrive, will be getting these that is for darn sure. And I will be watching with them.