Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

The goblins will get ya if ya don't watch out!!

The Skeleton Dance (1929), a Silly Symphonies Cartoon

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Last Friday I looked out the front window when I hear the dogs barking and found Duke running back and forth along the fence with a basset hound doing the same thing on the sidewalk side. I recognized the basset hound as one belonging to a family who lived a block and a half to the North of me and went to the front door and opened it. By then the dogs had tired of the game and the basset was trotting down the sidewalk. I called out, "Copper!"
The dog turned around and started walking back toward my house with his tail wagging. I shut my dogs inside the house and let Copper into the yard. I knew the owner worked at the Police station and would be at work so I called there and asked for her. I was told she was home sick that day. I told the person on the other end of the line that Copper was at my house and he said he would call the owner and let her know her dog was at my house.

After an hour I decided Copper's owner was not able to come get him so I walked him back to his house. When I got there his owner came to to door, looked down at him, and said, "That's not Copper."
I was surprised as the dog had been answering to Copper and looked exactly like Copper. She admitted he resembled Copper but said their Copper was a smaller dog.  In fact, he was in her backyard right then. She then said she thought this basset hound belonged to someone she worked with and that his name was Bobo. I looked down at not-Copper and asked, "Are you Bobo?"
He started wagging his tail.  Confirming that, indeed, he was Bobo, so we said goodbye and walked back to my house.

After putting him back in my yard I called the number I had called earlier. The same person answered the phone and I told them I had Bobo not Copper and he said he would contact Bobo's owner and that the owner should be over shortly to get his dog. Two hours later I still had Bobo and I needed him to go home as I had my dogs quarantined inside my house since he first came in the yard. I was doing this because I wasn't sure how Duke would react to Bobo being on his property. He has been uncharacteristically aggressive toward other dogs ever since he had been attacked by a black lab while we were walking the dogs 2 months ago. I called the owner's work number again and again talked to the same person. After telling him Bobo was still at my house and that I need him to go home now I was told an officer would be there right away.

Thirty minutes later a patrol car rolled up in front of my house while I was outside doing some yard work, Bobo at my side. The office got out of the car, looked at Bobo and said, "That's not Bobo."
I looked down at the dog and said,  "You're not Bobo, are you?"
Not-Bobo started wagging his tail and I finally understood that what his tail wag meant. It said, "I'm anyone you want me to be."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's Raining

-Irma Thomas

It's raining so hard
Looks like it's going to rain all night
And this is the time I'd love to be holding you tight
But I guess I'll have to accept the fact that you are not here
I wish tonight would hurry up and end, my dear

It's raining so hard
It's really coming down
Sittin' by my window watchin' the rain fall to the ground
This is the time I'd love to be holding you tight
I guess I'll just go crazy tonight

It's raining so hard
Brings back memories
Of the times when you were here with me
Counting every drop about to blow my top
I wish this rain would hurry up and stop

I've got the blues so bad I can hardly catch my breath
The harder it rains the worst it get
This is the time I'd love to be holding you tight
I guess I'll just go crazy tonight

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dirty Rotten Money

I went up to the little store on the hill Saturday and found a subdued grocery store owner behind the counter.  As I gave him a 20 dollar bill I ask him if everything was all right.  As he handed back my change he said everything was all right, he just hadn't been feeling well the last few days.  Sunday I went to the bigger grocery store on Main Street and as the checker there was handing me back my change she said she wasn't really supposed to be there because she had been sick but they were short handed.

Very early Monday morning I  rolled over in my sleep and then half-awoke when doing so sent the room spinning.  It happened three more time before daybreak.  When I woke up completely my sinuses were stuffed up and my right ear felt full.  I turned my head in that direction and it was as if a giant had grabbed me by my ankles and yanked me up into the air.  Once I got up I went to the couch and stayed there the rest of the day watching TV, drinking liquids and swallowing decongestants.  The intense vertigo I was suffering lessened as the decongestants kicked in but every time I turned my head to the right that giant was there waiting to jerk me upside down. Last night, before I went to sleep,  I told myself not to roll over to my right side as I knew that damn  colossus was standing at the end of my bed waiting for me to do so.

Today I feel better, less vertigo, and I do not really blame the two people in the grocery stores  for me falling ill.  Some times people do have to go to work sick and I live in a small town.   When it comes to illness, living in a small town its like living in a Petri dish.   When a virus is put into a Petri dish it will multiply quickly and spread  across the dish.  When a virus is introduced into a small town it also spreads quickly across the town. The Six Degrees of Separation theory in action.   Nothing you can do about, it's just a fact of life.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Arab Spring

"This just in. Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead."
-Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live

Looks like Muammar Gaddafi is still dead, too.  After 42 years of inflicting untold suffering upon his own people he was shot in the street like a rapid dog.  As usual western society can only see this action from their own  point of view and are calling for an investigation into his death since "proper judicial procedures" were not  followed. Well, Western style proper judicial procedures weren't  followed but I don't know what proper judicial procedure is in Libya when it comes to mass-murdering despots.

What began in Tunisia back in December of 2010 led to the ouster of Tunisian president Zine El Ben Ali and  to the ouster of Egyptian president Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak.  The protests spread into other Middle East and Northern Africa countries leading to some social and/or  political changes in Algeria,  Lebanon,  Jordon,  Sudan, Oman,  Saudi Arabia, Yemen,  Iraq,  Bahrain,  Kuwait,  Morocco, and Syria.  Libya's uprising began in February and ended yesterday with the death of Gaddafi.

But what happens next in these countries? The massacre in Egypt two weeks ago is evidence that just because the head has been chopped off does not mean the snake had died. In Egypt the military that was part of  Mubarak's government is still in place and still had much power.  Iraq has shown that just because a dictator has been overthrown does not mean the fight is over if other radical groups will kill to ensure they are the ones to fill the gap left by the destruction of the previous regime.

The Arab States are slowly moving from dictatorship (some disguised as  monarchies) toward democracy but, as  CNN's Tim Lister writes,  "If the Arab Spring were on a calendar, we would still be in the first week."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Animal Planet

If people were superior to animals, they'd take better care of the world.
-A.A. Milne

A man who kept over 50 exotic animals in a private zoo near the town of Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio, about 60 miles east of the city of Columbus, released them yesterday and then committed suicide. Deputies from the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office started tracking the freed Black bears, Grizzly bears, lions, tigers, cheetahs, and wolves in the rain as dusk approached. Since they did not have tranquilizer guns and the Sheriff feared the animals would reach more populated areas if not caught before dark, the deputies were told to kill every wild animal they found. Harsh? Maybe, unless you are the unlucky man, woman, or child who stumbled into the path of one of these creatures.

The problem here isn't the deputies killing wild animals roaming  the countryside. The problem is letting a man keep wild animals anywhere near a populated area. The state of Ohio and the federal government have no laws that regulate the kind of operation Terry Thompson had on his farm. Ohio law only regulates native species (Black bears for one.) while the Department of Agriculture rules only cover exhibitors and breeders, and Terry Thompson was neither a exhibitor nor a breeder.

The slaughter of up to 50 animals may not pass unacknowledged in Ohio. State lawmakers are finally serious about implementing laws that close the non-native animals loophole.  I don't think any private individual should own any exotic animal but let's hope one of the requirements of the Ohio state legislature is that all animal owners be mentally stable.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Out Of The Loop

Photo by RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

This image,  taken in Denver's Civic Center Park  near the Greek amphitheater, was in yesterday's Denver Post.  This soon-to-be bride brought her wedding party down to the amphitheater to take photos not knowing Occupy Denver protestors were there.  Or it could be she did not understand that when the police cleared them out of the park early last Friday morning for camping illigally it did not mean they could not gather when it was open during the day.  I love the incongriuity of this situation.

Wait, what is that in the lower left corner?

Monday, October 17, 2011


I hate facebookfacebook's not for me
The drastic changes they have make is why it's not, you see
But I fool  facebook,  I'm there less frequently
A detriment to facebook,  less data mined from me

Friday, October 14, 2011

Healthcare Reform For Beginners

Politicians and pundits will be talking to you as if you have no idea what's in that 1,000 page law. But by watching this you're on your way to being informed.
-Narrator of Health Reform Hits Main Street

Healthcare reform video by  the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation .   It explains the who, what, where, when, and how of the new law in a concise and easy to understand way.

(Via Darlene over at Darlene's Hodgepodge )

Thursday, October 13, 2011

No Men Allowed

Dr Pepper has come up with an advertising campaign for its new diet soda, Dr Pepper 10, that is causing quite a ruckus. Dr. Pepper 10 was created for the male consumer, a group Dr Pepper believes will not drink regular diet soda because they think it is too "girly."  Dr. Pepper has decided the only way to overcome this perceived prejudice is to market Dr. Pepper 10 as a manly, It's Not For Women, soda.

Some people believe this approach is sexist but this commercial reminds me a lot of the Old Spice advertisements which make fun of the fantasy man that women supposedly dream about every night.

If there is any stereotyping going on in commercials aimed at men, this stereotyping is directed right at them.  Below is a collection of commercials from last years Super Bowl. The first one includes a little boy acting like a little boy. The rest contain men acting childishly, immaturely, selfishly, irresponsible, and sometimes down right moronic.

Why aren't men outraged by this view of themselves?   Do they really see themselves as a bunch of idiots? Guys?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy 90th Birthday, Art Clokey!

We've been framed. Never trust animated people.

I don't know, Davey...

Art Clokey was a big influence on my life when I was a little girl  although I did not know it at the time.  He was the man who created two of the most bizarre, sickly sweet children's stop-motion  animation programs of all time, Gumby and Davey and Goliath.   Gumby was broadcast on Denver's KWGN on weekday afternoons while Davey and Goliath was shown on Sunday mornings.

Gumby was a green rectangular-shaped clay boy who friends included other clay figures; a  red horse, Pokey;  a blue mermaid, Goo;  and  a yellow dinosaur, Prickle.  His main enemies were two red-clay boys known as The Blockheads.  The Gumby series came out of  Clokey's 1955 clay animation student film called Gumbasia which, thanks to YouTube, you can watch below.

Film producer Samuel G. Engel saw the film and thought Art Clokey would be the perfect person to create  a new cartoon program for children and in 1956 Gumby was born. Below is an early episode where Gumby first meets his soon to be best friend Pokey.  The Blockhead are also in this one.

In 1958 Franklin Clark Fry, president of  the United Lutheran Church in America, contacted Art Clokey about creating a new cartoon series that would  teach children religious and moral values.   Davey and Goliath, which stared a young boy named Davey and his talking dog Goliath,  went on the air in nineteen sixty-one.  Below is a 1963 episode in which Davey learns forgiveness.

I don't know, I still find both these shows endearingly awkward and goofy.  Thanks for the memories, Art.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Let Me Eat Steak!

Politics had divided the nation, like Gaul, into three parts-- Liberals, Conservatives, and hypocrites.
-Colleen Shannon
(Original quote made about Prohibition by Florence Sabin)

Occupy Wall Street a protest movement that began in New York City has spread across the country . The protest was started by young Americans "who will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%". The top one percent being the rich (i.e. "the job creators" as they are being called by the Republicans), large corporations, and banks. Some people have tried to marginalize the movement so last Wednesday Jon Stewart, on his show The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, took on the hypocrisy of certain news channels, politicians, and political parties.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Parks and Demonstration
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Friday, October 07, 2011


Hair brings one's self-image into focus; it is vanity's proving ground.  Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices. 
-Shana Alexander  (1925 – 2005)

After many years of having short hair I am in the process of growing it longer.  Seven months ago I decided I would grow it out no matter how shapeless and overgrown it looked.   I stayed away from my hairdressing until last month and let me tell you it wasn't easy.  I did do a little home trimming to keep my hair out of my eyes but I ignored the curly  mullet that was growing at the back of my head and I ignored the way my hair poofed out in a frizzy halo that  framed and at the same time hid my face.  Knowing that the mullet was proof of the fact that hair grows more quickly at the base of your skull and knowing that curly/wavy hair has more volume than straight hair and can overwhelm a small head did not make the growing out period any less emotionally painful. Every time I looked at myself in a mirror I had to stifle the urge to run, not walk, to the nearest hair salon to have my hair cut short, short, short. Why do I want my hair longer?  I don't know, it just seems the right time to do it.  I do know that anytime I cut my hair short after having it long usually meant I was ready for some kind of change in my life either emotionally or mentally.  Maybe the same thing is going on now.

The interesting thing about a woman with short hair  is the assumptions others make about her.  One boyfriend was very disappointed with me after I cut my hair saying a woman was sexier with long hair.  A college friend was shocked when I showed up at school with short hair blurting out that now I was old since only old people (i.e. women) wore their hair short.  I've also had people tell me I must be gay since I wore my hair short.  Why is long hair on a man (not the norm) seen as a sign of rebellion while short hair (not the norm) on a women is seen as some sort of defect? * Shana Alexander was right, hair is a tangle of mysterious prejudices.

*I am not saying being gay is a defect, I am saying some people in our society see it as a defect.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Death Notices

1. Sarah Palin's presidential dreams:
"After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decide that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for president of the United States."

My husband's reaction to this news:
"Maybe she just wants to sit on her porch and stare at Russia."

My niece's reaction to this news:
"I like that even God told her not to run for president."

2.Herman Cain's presidential street cred after the politically stupid remarks he made about the Occupy Wall Street protesters:
"I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration. Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself! [...] It is not someone’s fault if they succeeded, it is someone’s fault if they failed."

3. Arthur C. Neilsen Jr. , the man who's market research savvy  influenced the  programing decisions at all the major television networks for 60 years.  The Neilsen Family, a small sampling of television viewers who kept a TV diary that recorded their television watching habits,  was the engine used to used to decide which programs were popular and therefore profitable.

My husband and I were members of the Neilsen Family  in the early 1990's.  By that time the Neilson company had developed a box that electronically kept track of  the times when the television set was actually on.   My faith in the Neilsen system was drastically undercut one day when my husband walked into the living room and found the television set on and only the dog watching it. He called the Neilsen company and asked whether or not he had to record the fact that the dog was watching TV in our TV diary.  The person on the line said yes since we were obligated to write down any program anyone was watching when the TV was on.   Arthur is probably rolling over in his grave after reading this bit of insanity.

4.  Steve Jobs , the face and co-founder of Apple Computers.   A lot of outpouring online about his death.  I was shocked to hear he died since he was only in his mid-fifties but my feelings about his death do not seem to be in line with that of the public. In the future, will he be remembered the way Alexander Graham Bell  is or forgotten the way Philo T. Farnsworth  has been?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


The local  library partnered with the Kansas Humanities Council to bring its programTalk: Talk About Literature In Kansas Book Discussions, to our library last month.  Each month the Council sends our library copies of that month's book and then, after a certain number of weeks, sends a person to lead a discussion about the book we have just finished reading.  Last month the book was English woman Isabella L. Bird's,  A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains.*  The book  is a collection of  letters Isabella wrote to her sister during her 1873 journey to the Eastern slope of the Colorado Rockies.  The book was especially enjoyable for me since she was writing about places I've been to and  about people who's names I mainly know as streets, schools and  buildings in Denver.  

Although, as an uperclass English women, Isabella got to meet some of the more important citizens and figures from Colorado's past,  I was more interested in her stories of the "common" people since their stories make up the real history of Colorado.  Actually, the stories of common people everywhere make up the history of the world. Which brings me to the second book in the series, A Scattered People: An American Family Moves West.**   It begins on the East coast with the family's arrival from England in 1630 and ends in California with the birth of one of their descendants at the beginning of the 20th century.  Imagine my surprise when I read in the introduction that the author believes by telling the story of his family he was telling the story and history of the United States of America.   I think I'm going to like reading this book, too. 

* A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains is online and can be found here.  
** If you want to read A Scattered People you will have to buy it or get it through your own library.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Prohibition Has Made Nothing But Trouble

-Al Capone (1899 – 1947)

Some days, blogging is the last thing I want to do and yesterday turned into one of those days.  I have found other things to fill my time including  watching Ken Burns' new documentary, Prohibition,  on PBS.  Burns does a great job and goes back 100 years to explain just how and why a people would vote for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that created a federal law which banned the manufacturing and sale of intoxicating beverages while at the same ignoring said law.  Burns tells the story of Prohibition by telling the stories of the people involved in creating the law, enforcing the law, breaking the law, and repealing the law.  For more information go to the link below.