Monday, March 31, 2008

Life Happens

Hello all, as you probably figured out I have been taking a bit of a break with the Crusader Rabbit story playing for the last eighteen days. The reason for the CR story was that my husband and I had planned to visits friends in Albuquerque during that time period and I knew I would not have time to keep up my blog.

As I said that was the plan but life got in the way. A couple of days before we planned to leave for Albuquerque my father-in-law called to tell us he was going into the hospital for 24 hours. About five days before he had banged the back of his right heel against a sidewalk curbing and torn his Achilles tendon. The doctors decided that surgery was required.

Unfortunately there were problems and he ended up staying in the hospital longer than planned. We cancelled our plans to go to Albuquerque and instead my husband went up to be with and help out his father. After about five days my father-in-law was transferred from the hospital where he had his surgery to a rehabilitation hospital. He is still there today and, although he had a rough time for awhile, he is getting better, just not as fast as was expected. He is expected to go home around April the fourth but again that depends on certain things so we are all up in the air right now.

Anyway, this is just to let you know I am back and will be writing again, just how much I am not sure at this point.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Crusader Rabbit (Episode 11)

FYI: Big game hunter Frank Sawbuck is based on a real big game hunter named Frank Buck.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Crusader Rabbit (Episode 8)

First day of Spring and I'm also happy to report that this is officially my one-thousandth post. My, my.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Peep Show

For your pre-Easter enjoyment. Peeps just want to have fun.

Contest winners here.

Crusader Rabbit (Episode 7)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Crusader Rabbit (Episode 3)

(No episode 2 available but I don't think you will miss that much.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Crusader Rabbit (Episode One)

Crusader vs. the State of Texas

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fan Mail From Some Flounder?

-Bullwinkle J. Moose

I have been reading The Moose That Roared: The Story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel, and a Talking Moose by Keith (no relation to Bill) Scott. The book tells the history of the Jay Ward animation studios where cult icons Rocky and Bullwinkle were born.

The story of Rocky and Bullwinkle's birth is interesting but what I found just as interesting is the fact if it wasn't for Jay Ward and Bill Scott we would not have Yogi Bear, Jonny Quest, Scooby-Do, South Park or any of the other TV cartoon characters we've grown up with. Back in 1949 Jay Ward Studios produced the first cartoon made especially for the new medium of television in a style now know as limited animation. Limited animation was a cheaper way to produce cartoons since it required less drawings. Limited animation is Disney's animation style stripped down to the basics.

The cartoon that Jay Ward produced was called Crusader Rabbit and the little rabbit who could became a hit. I have seen episodes of the first Crusader Rabbit show and although the program is very primitive, and sometimes way too cutesy, you can see flashes of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show that would be made ten years down the road. Fun read.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why Are Gas Prices Rising?

The cost of the war, has led to inflation, causing a drop in the value of the dollar, helping to push the cost of crude oil up, leading to higher gas prices.

This is not the only reason gas prices are rising. Shall we talk about the obscene profits made by oil companies? Three of the biggest American companies, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips made about $10 million an hour during their last reporting period. Ten million dollars an hour! Of course that is only five million dollars an hour in real money.

When are people going to wake-up?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gratitude Makes Sense Of Our Past,

brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

I watched the movie Amistad (1997) the other morning. Amistad is based on the true story of the uprising of kidnapped Africans aboard the Spanish slave ship Amistad in the early 1800's. After the men took over the ship they ordered their former captors to sail back to their home country. Instead they ended up off the coast of the United States where they were recaptured and put in prison. Spain demanded the return of the men, who they considered property, under the conditions of a commercial treaty between Spain and the United States. A series of trials based on the argument that the Africans were not property but free men ended when the US Supreme Court ruled in their favor. The men were then allowed to return to their home country in Africa.

The revolt was led by a man from Sierra Leone know as Joseph Cinque. At one point in the movie Cinque is speaking with John Quincy Adams, former U.S. president and the man who would be arguing his case to the Supreme Court, and tells him that he, Cinque, would not be going into the courtroom alone because his ancestors would be there with him. Then he continues:

"I will call into the past, far back to the beginning of time, and beg them to come and help me at the judgement. I will reach back and draw them into me. And they must come, for at this moment I am the whole reason they have existed at all."

And at that moment I realized I owed my own ancestors so much. All that they had lived through had made my life possible; every bad thing, every good thing, every wrong decision, every right decision, every moment of shame, every moment of grace, every moment of grief, and every moment of joy.

All for me.

And in return all I can do now is acknowledge this and offer a humble thank you.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Time Marches On

Is it just me or does it seem time is zipping by today?

Friday, March 07, 2008

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

Ever since we redid the bathroom I have been thinking about redoing the kitchen. The cabinets are in rough shape cosmetically, the counter top wore, and someone before us put up a dropped ceiling that is about eight feet above the floor. One day I climb up to see what was above this fake ceiling and found an extra two feet of space. I could not believe someone would put this up as it traps the heat from the stove well enough to raise the temperature in the kitchen at least twenty degrees at about face level. The main source of light in the kitchen consists of three old fashion fluorescent light bulbs hidden in one of the ceiling panels. I hate them because sometimes they make me feel slightly nauseated.

My first plan was to at least paint the cabinets white and get more light into the kitchen but I never got around to doing it. I am glad I didn't because the laminate is peeling off the fiberboard base now. That would have been wonderful under a layer of paint. My new plan is to entirely redo the kitchen- new cabinets, counter top, ceiling, and lights. The only stumbling block is my husband. He was resistant to redoing the bathroom because he could not visualize just what I wanted to do. He also could not see the reason why we needed to do it at all since everything was working fine just the way it was at that point. Once we were finished he changed his mind.

So, we were driving back to town after running the dogs two weeks ago when I finally decide to bring up what I was thinking.

Me: "I was thinking it would be better to replace the kitchen cabinets than to paint them."

Him: "I was thinking the same thing. We should also replace the counter top."

I almost fell out of the truck. Not only are we getting new cabinets and a counter top we are taking out that ugly ceiling and replacing the lighting. Of course if we are getting a new counter top we need a new sink and back splash. My husband just doesn't know it yet.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Looking At The Past

The other night my husband pulled a box out of storage that contained memories of his childhood. Inside the box were school class photos, school report cards, news clipping from a small town newspaper in Texas that included photos of him and his parents, school essays and art work. Also inside the box was this circa 1920's souvenir postcard from the Cave Of The Winds.

Those swastikas jump out at you don't they? The swastika was and still is a religious and spiritual symbol in many cultures. It was also a good luck charm for early aviators. A swastika is painted on the inside of the nose cone of the Spirit of St. Louis. Thanks to Adolph Hitler most people in western society associate the swastika with Nazism and consider it evil and offensive. At the Lucky Mojo page about the swastika the author writes:

Some people believe that the display of any sort of swastika should be forbidden because it is offensive to Jews. From first-hand experience, i can assure you that dozens of elderly German Jews i personally know who lived through or escaped the holocaust, were and are well aware that the swastika pre-dated the Nazis and do not consider it a Nazi symbol. One thing most of them have learned -- and have taught to me -- is that RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE is a key to preventing future holocausts. Therefore they honour and respect the religious iconography of others. including the Jains and the Hindus, who revere the swastika as a symbol of a symbol of long life, good health, and good luck, and the special symbol of the Hindu elephant headed god Ganesh. My own mother, a Jew raised in Germany in the early 20th century, tells me that her family's sun-porch had an inlaid tile design of swastikas on the floor -- and her mother once told her it was "wrong" of Hitler to use the symbol as a political emblem. The swastikas were still there on the floor when she and her family fled Germany to escape.
-Cat Yronwode

Maybe it is time to look at the swastika in a new light or in a centuries-old light and see it as the symbol of long life, good health, and good luck that it is meant to represent instead of the political emblem of a mass-murdering madman. Then again, maybe it is still too soon to do so.

More photos of swastikas from around the world at Reclaim The Swastika.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Half the game is mental; the other half is being mental.
Jim McKenny

My husband and I watched Slap Shot,which I consider one of the best sports movies ever, the other night. That I think this would be surprising to most people who know me since I am not a hockey fan. I mean, what can you say about a sport that gives a two minute time-out to a player who has just committed assault and battery? That's the kind of punishment you give to a small child who is throwing a temper tantrum. Mugging other people as sport? Sorry, don't get it.

Now, I have see Slap Shot before and enjoy the comedy and satire in this movie but this time I noticed something else. It was a scene where the camera was on the ice moving backward as it focused on a player as he weaved through other players toward his opponent's goal while guarding the puck with his stick. At that instant I saw the beauty of motion that is hidden in the game. It took my breath away. I knew that if the sport wasn't so violent I could learn to love it but for that to happen something would have to change. Something would have to be done to make it less violent but what?

The time outs. Since the sport is using a child's form of punishment let's hand out the punishments the way we do with children. When a child is given a time out the length of said time out is decided by the age of the child- one minute of time out for each year. So, a two year old gets a two minute time out, a three year old a three minute time out, and so on.

So here is the new rule. Penalty time outs will now be based on the age of the player. Eighteen year olds get an eighteen minute time out, twenty-two year olds get a twenty-two minute time out, and so on. Make the time fit the crime and the age and supposed maturity of the player.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Junk Mail And Junk Phone Calls

I have gotten into the habit of sending any junk mail I receive back to the sender using the postage paid-self addressed envelopes they so kindly provide for this. I of course tear off anything that has my name and address on it first. I have reached the point where I am tempted to duct tape these postage paid-self addressed envelopes onto bricks but fortunately for these companies I never seem to have a brick with me when I go pick up the mail.

If junk mail isn't annoying enough we also have junk phone calls. Those, when we hear the beginning of the spiel, we just hang up on. But there is something more insidious out there now, automatic computer calls. You can tell if you got one of those when you pick up the phone and think no one is there. Sometimes, if you stay on the phone long enough, a person will finally answer. That I hate the most. They dare to call me and then put me on hold so they don't waste their valuable time just in case I'm not home? Those don't even get a polite no thank you from me before I hang up.

Now I've found out that those "no one there" phone calls do more than just call you. They also let telemarketers record what time you are home if you pick up the phone. Then some other night, when the telemarketers have the time to do so, they will call you back at the same time the computer called you before. How is that for some chutzpah? Fortunately for you I have learned of a way to short circuit this. Supposedly if you start punching the pound key quickly six or seven times when you realize no one is there it will confuse the computer causing it to delete your phone number. I have not tried this yet so I am not sure this will work but it is worth a try.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Memories, Of The Way You Were

Just got back from Denver where we celebrated this little girl (giving her elephant a bath) turning eighteen.

A good time was had by all.