Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Last Night on TV

I actually watched a Presidential speech all the way through--about the first time that's happened in, oh, about eight years or so. Our last President's speeches made my spleen hurt after the first five or six minutes. Even the neo-con scree-merchants (Limbaugh, Hannity and their ilk) admit that President Obama can give a good speech, better than just about anyone in recent memory, even if they don't like his ideas too much.

Of course, there were those moments--like when the President said that Americans "invented" the automobile, something which gave all the scree-merchants something to cackle about, that the "Anointed One" made a mistake. Sure, Americans didn't invent the automobile, but we sure made it practical and developed the system of mass-production that made them affordable, so he wasn't too far off. I could have done without all of the jumping up and down of the Speaker of the House like a jack-in-the-box every few seconds.

Over the whole, however, the President did a good job pushing his policies and explaining the need for the Stimulus package. It didn't help that the President said that the spending would be "transparent" and that there would be no "earmarks" and that today it was pointed out that there were, in fact, lots 'o earmarks, probably in the eight billion dollar range, a small percentage of the total bill, of course, but enough to give the scree-merchants something to talk about today.

Then there was the Big Elephant "response", such as it was, by their new up-and-coming "star", Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Why is Jindal the up-and-commer? Because most everyone else has flamed out. The Governor of Alaska has retreated to her wintry home to lick her wounds, pay a $7,000.00 settlement of an ethics complaint regarding her kids traveling on the public's tax dollar (how mavericky of her!) and make a "documentary" about how she's really not nearly as stupid as the "mainstream media" supposedly portrayed her during the campaign and, had McCain's people not "muzzled" her, things really would have been different. Rev. Huckabee's got his own talk show now and McCain is back being the grouchy old guy he always wanted to be. Nope, the Big Elephants are trying really hard to be relevant and with it, I mean, hip, I mean...well, I don't have any idea what I mean and neither do they. Their new black head of the RNC, Steele, talked the other day about the Big Elephants getting into the "hip-hop" market somehow--I doubt he's ever used the phrase before, since it was quite obvious that the hip-hop community was probably laughing its collective derriere off when they heard it.

Nope, Jindal is the Next Reagan, to hear Hannity and Limbaugh drooling over him during their radio shows today, notwithstanding the almost universal panning of Jindal's speech, even by those who like the guy. He obviously thought the President was going to do a "malaise" speech, as he alluded to such, but Obama blindsided him with a FDR-style Fireside chat in front of the Joint Session. Jindal really hit a low point when whining about how effective "Government" is by talking about Louisiana's experience with Katrina. Rachel Maddow on MSNBC literally was struck dumb by it, since he was as much admitting that his own former President and his policies were absolutely incompetent. Yup, no one knows incompetence like a Republican, especially when he's looking at his own party.

Of course, the scree-merchants all complained about how their new favorite was being mistreated by the media and how he really did a great job get the picture. Look, I realize they hate the President, especially now that they and the Big Elephants are essentially irrelevant, but the amount of fertilizer they're shoveling to make Gov. Jindal look good is absolutely incredible. Get used to it, it'll be going on for the next four years.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tonight on TV

It's the President's big address on national TV tonight and, quite frankly, I wouldn't blame him if he looked straight into the eyes of the joint session of Congress and told them where they could put all their whiny complaints and petty bickering. Then he'd turn around and belt Pelosi, kick Reid where it hurts and then go out into the aisles, find Boehner and do the airplane spin with him, throwing him into the Republican side of the room.

Really, he's been on the job for about a month and he's gotten little cooperation from the Right, but not a whole lot more from his supposed allies on the Left, since they've seen fit to load up the Stimulus Package with fodder for Limbaugh and Hannity. Of course, those two bozos, with the rest of the lunatic fringe on the Right, would have been whining even if the President had cut back every single entitlement program to nothing, cut taxes on the rich so that only the lower and middle classes ever paid anything and dropped nukes on both Tehran and Pyongyang.

It's hard to tell if anything is going to go right for us as a country anytime soon, but give the guy a chance, will ya? Lefties are saying the President isn't spending enough, Righties are complaining that he's spending too much and the folks in the Middle are simply trying to keep everyone happy long enough to let the ink dry.

Oh well; I've got to go get some groceries for the Blue clan. They'll probably include some snacks to munch on for the fun part of the evening; channel surfing MSNBC and Fox for the post-game commentary. MSNBC will probably take the Prez's side and Fox will show more clips from Gov. Jindal's response than they do of Obama since, according to one commenator, this is Jindal's "coming out party"--though wouldn't it be funny if he really did "come out"? If Jindal did that as a joke, half of the GOP would probably drop dead of apoplexy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Random Thoughts on Oscar

I'm sitting here watching the Oscars, giving rise to some random thoughts:

1. Americans are getting their butts kicked by them dadgum Furriners in a lot of categories; why, even the host, Hugh Jackman, is an Aussie! Actually, this is probably a good thing, since most of our native stuff seems to be ripoffs of old movies and TV shows, while our foreign friends seem to be thinking broadly and creatively.

2. When these folks get up on the stage or during their interviews on the Red Carpet, they all seem to be rather normal, except for all the legions of screaming fans, the borrowed jewelry and clothing and, of course, the free swag they get that amounts to the annual GDP of some Third World countries.

3. So many movies are dependant on makeup, set design or special effects instead of good writing and acting.

4. I'm not all that keen on the SemiCircle of Five method of giving acting awards. It's rather pretentious and sounds like something from a rather pitiful Sci-Fi Channel made for TV movie about a little kid getting an award from a circle of alien elders.

5. I did like Ben Stiller doing his Joaquin Phoenix impression.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What Is It With Cats, Anyway?

Someone once described Man's relationship with dogs as a friendship, as we needed dogs as hunting partners (and the occasional shish-ke-bab) and they needed us as protectors; our relationship with cats, however, was a bit more one sided, like the cats deigned to be associated with us on a day-to-day basis.

Each cat seems to interpret their contract with humans differently. I had a big orange Persian growing up that just walked in the back door of my home when my father was coming in from bowling one night and just decided to stay. Tiger, as my mother called him (I preferred Fritz, after the X-rated cartoon cat) liked to sit in a dining room chair under cover and whip out a razor-packed paw on the unsuspecting bypassing pedestrian. He'd jump up into my bed at night to sleep with me--this in an un-air conditioned house in Sarasota, FL during the summer. It was rather like having a furry heating pad with me during the 90+ degree, 100% humidity nights. Persians, of course, shed their weight fur just about every day--did I mention that I'm allergic to cat dander?--making everything in the house both furry and sneeze-inducing. If I rubbed my eyes after petting Tiger/Fritz, I'd swell up like a prize-fighter after going the distance with Ali.
I even accidentally ran the poor cat over one day when I was going to my job at a movie theatre; Tiger/Fritz had gotten in the bad habit of sleeping under the back tire of our Pontiac and I backed over the poor thing one night when I didnt' see him. He survived, fortunately, though he always seemed to hold it against me after that.

Cats seem to also realize who doesn't like them and immediately make a beeline to torture them. My grandmother hated cats. She was with us one Thanksgiving and, in a livingroom full of cat lovers, Tiger/Fritz made a beeline for her on the couch and started rubbing up against her leg. She looked down at him with a look of pure disgust, but since Tiger/Fritz was about half her size, what was she going to do?

We were "given" a cat about fifteen years ago. Kitty, who also goes by the name of Stinker, was in a box on our porch one morning when I went out to get the newspaper. There was a note attached indicating that some poor family just couldn't afford to raise her and that they'd been "watching" us for a while and had concluded that we were "kind people" who would give her a good home. Now, being stalked by someone as the subject of an involuntary cat adoption isn't high on my list of life goals, but we couldn't just toss her into the then-empty back lot for her to become a feral kitty, so we kept the poor waif.

Now, Kitty had managed to make it appear that she's finally accepted us under certain conditions: we have to make sure that there is always plenty of "wet" food whenever she wants it, the kitty litter cannot be allowed to get too nasty and there'd better be a lap available when she wants it. Of course, your petting cannot be too affectionate, as Kitty tends to decide on a whim to take a bite and a swipe out of you without any warning, stalking off with an angry look in her eyes. She's never really forgiven us for bringing our border collie mix, Emily, home one day from a rescue society sale; she took one sniff and did her best "Bride of Frankenstein" hiss and stalked off.

At least we seem to have it better than my wife's youngest sister's family. They've got a huge black cat that's a pint-sized panther. I've only seen Midnight in passing (and I do mean passing--he runs off whenever anyone not in the family comes into a room), but my wife tells me that he likes to come into my sister-in-law's bedroom, hop up into the bed and walk around making trilling noises, but that if they are very, very quiet, he'll leave them in peace.

Kitty, on the other hand, has abandoned the idea of sleeping with us (probably because Emily sleeps in our room and likes to exercise her herding instinct), but will sit outside our door at 4 or 5 in the morning, either yowling for food or, even worse, scratching lightly on the door to tell me that it's her feeding time. Of course, my wife never hears any of this, which I suppose is her revenge for breast-feeding our two girls all those years ago.

Anyway, cats have made it pretty evident that they want us to need them but that they don't want to seem to needy--except, of course, when a lap is empty.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Will The Last One To Leave Please Turn Off The Lights?

Watching the news, right, left or middle of the road, is getting downright depressing these days. Nothing, but nothing seems to be going right for the home team anymore. Iraq is just a powderkeg with a very long fuse, timed to go off right after we take the last train out; Afghanistan is a powderkeg with a much shorter fuse; Pakistan is just about the same, but with nukes; the economy has already gone down the toilet and is headed for the sewage treatment plant and a new season of NY Housewives started up on Bravo.

I'm still trying to figure out how it all went so wrong, so fast. There's plenty of blame to go around to all the parties, but just like Pogo, we have met the enemy and he is us. At some point, I suppose, it'll turn around, but just when and how many people will be hurt is still to be determined. It's bad when GM wants a pile of money from the taxpayers AND is still going to fire a bunch of workers, which seems to be rather contradictory. Beats me what the answer is.

Now, don't get me wrong; I'm in pretty good shape, at least for now. Old Blue is 2.7 years away from technical retirement, 7.7 away from real retirement (assuming, of course, that the State's Pension fund wasn't all invested in Bernie Madoff and this Stanford guy out of Texas). I worry more about my daughters and their futures, but there isn't much I can do about that except to teach them about good money management (excuse me for a minute---I had to pick myself off the floor after laughing for a while) and maybe get them both AK-47s for personal protection like the NRA keeps telling us we need.

Somethin's gotta change.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Global Threat of DIY

Yes, there's yet another danger out there, one that threatens everyone of us, particularly married men. I speak, of course, of the sirens' lure of DIY, otherwise known as "Do It Yourself".

DIY sounds so seductive; save money, show the little woman in your life how much of a man you are by DOING IT YOURSELF! No plumbers with sagging jeans showing you parts of their rearward anatomy that you could easily have done without and will now never forget; no "handymen" promising to do the job for something only slightly less than the GDP of some small 3rd-world country. You yourself can do it, says the sultry voice sotto voce, and afterwards you will bask in the glow of the admiration of your spouse, your children, your extended family and those neighbors who called in some lamebrain to complete a project that you could easily handle if you weren't busy saving the world (or working at your day job).

Well, I'm here to tell you that, unless you are that rare being who actually CAN do it yourself, save yourself time, money, sore muscles and the scorn of all who know you by letting someone who knows what they are doing, who do it for a living, do what you foolishly thought you could do on your own. You'll keep your sanity and possibly your health--though your wallet will suffer somewhat.

I know of what I speak. A couple of years ago I managed to fall off a ladder in my backyard doing something to my roof and managed to bruise both my body and my pschye, barely setting foot on a ladder since. When we had some cherry trees taken out a while back, I asked the tree service to cut the trunks into "manageable" sections for me to split and saw for firewood later; they are still sitting in my back yard, mocking me even as we speak.

This weekend I spent trying to put together a media cart for my daughter. It looked reasonable enough and I fell prey to the sirens' voice again; Sure, you can save yourself the $50.00 it would cost to have someone else put it together, but YOU ARE A MAN! YOU have been given hands and have bought TOOLS over the years! Put them to good use!

Oh yes, I have finally prevailed, but at what cost? I've got a headache, my back hurts and I hope I haven't put something together that'll fall apart at the first bit of stress put upon it (like a DVD in a DVD player, for example). I thought I had learned my lesson from this last couple of weeks where we paid out good money to have professionals install our flooring and new toilets and marveled at the good job they did and how we didn't have to spend weeks or possibly months trying to duplicate what they did in less than a fortnight. But NOOOOOO, I had to save a little money, so I also now have a bookcase to put together (which I lead Mrs. Blue to think would be done by the time she got back tonight from an out of town funeral, but it ain't happening), which will have to be done over the next week or so.

Learn, oh foolish ones, from my example.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Loggerheads Over Lincoln

It's the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest, if not the greatest President in American history. He is as much myth as man any more because of all that he accomplished and, I suppose fortunately for his posterity, his death before the problems of the post-Civil War period could become manifest.

There are times I wonder what old Abe would think if he could come back for a day in the present and look around at all he managed to save; would he recognize any of it or think that his personal sacrifices had been worth it? Would he look at the descendants of his Party, the Big Elephants, and wonder what in the world happened, how his ideals became the narrow-minded meanness of the present, the hateful biting of the hand of the Current Resident who has reached out to them.

Don't get me wrong; I know enough about history to know that Abe wasn't a saint. He famously suspended the right of Habeas Corpus during the Civil War, supressed dissent and used force to enforce the draft. His racial views would not be politically correct now, though they did apparently change and evolve as the war progressed. Still, few Presidents in our history have managed to inspire us as Lincoln did in his short time as the national leader. I'm hopeful that our current President can manage to inspire us in these tough times. He's not a saint, but then neither was Ronald Reagan, the current Republican saint, and Obama is going to be dealing with a lot more trouble than Reagan ever did, so his inspiring oratory will be needed more than ever.

I just wish the Big Elephants and their mouthpieces in the right-wing media would back off a bit and remember that they are NOT the only patriots, NOT the only Americans. They lost an election but NOT their responsibility to make this country work the way the Framers of the Constitution intended. Will the bigger minds, the better angels of their nature, elevate the debate from the Right? I doubt it, but maybe they'll surprise us all when the shit begins to hit the fan.

Dead Party Walking

While driving home to have some lunch, I tuned into our local conservative talk radio station (which would be a good substitute for a pair of paddles hooked up to a car battery in case my heart ever stopped) and listened for a couple of minutes to Glenn Beck, lately of CNN, now of Fox and his own radio show every day.

Now Beck seems to be a fairly nice guy, though the former DJ/drug abuser and/or alcoholic/Mormon convert's politics and logic escape me. He was going on and on about how the Big Elephants are going to "stay the course" against the Democratic masses over the next 12-24 months and then have to "clean up their own act and throw out the bums" from the party who apparently caused their recent troubles (I guess he's talking about the big spenders and "moderates" who snuggled up to the Dems too closely over the years, though he COULD have been talking about the crooks, the corrupt ones or the out-and-out racists who seem to still populate their ranks here and there). Then he had to go and start ranting about how if only the Republican party would get "back" to it's "conservative principles" and elect ONLY those to office who will stick with that version of their ideological purity, that they'll finally convince the vast majority of Americans to vote their way next time and bring about a new version of the old America, originally envisioned by those God-fearing Framers of the Constitution.

Which, of course, is a bunch of hogwash. The Framers could barely stand each other as it was, but at least they knew how to compromise and make deals, which is what got us the Constitution that we have, which was their real genius, NOT the made up, so-called "Christian" America that Beck, Hannity, Coulter, Limbaugh and the other neo-con radio show jocks seem to think they created. It's strange to me that the Big Elephants keep thinking that if they'll only purge their ranks of the less-than-pure ideologically, they'll win all the elections; it's rather like the old Communist version of the New Man. Once all the old capitalistic urges were purged out, the New Man would be a Communist like Karl Marx envisioned--pure of heart, willing to share his all with his comrades on the commune, not having any impure motives or thoughts.

But human nature, being what it is, keeps getting in the way. Being responsible, self-reliant and paying your own way would be nice, but it isn't the way things have ever worked in this country. We'll always have those who cannot do for themselves, many times through no fault of their own, and we'll always have the venal and cruel, who are out only for themselves, who need to have someone riding heard on them to keep them bottled up so they won't hurt the society as a whole. Beck and the neo-con's faulty logic is that they can create the New Conservative Man and take over everything, when their own lives and greed show clearly that they'll never do it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where's a Techie When You Need One?

It's gotta be something related to age.

I've found that, the older I get, the less inclined I am to remember how to plug in the wires and fiddle with the do-dads that make the bright and shiny things in my house whirr and buzz and show the pretty pictures. After getting our flooring redone last week, I had to put back together stuff like my bright-and-shiny new Sony 52" juice-sucking behemoth (not hard, since I made NOTES about where all the plugs for the Blu-Ray and Home Theatre went) and my Dell desktop (which I did NOT make notes about or, as I should've done, taken a digital picture of the backside--the CPU, not mine--for a visual representation), so now my Dell's sound is inexplicably out, leaving Bigger Blue to complain to me nightly about it, since she cannot listen to Rhapsody while reading fan fiction for hours on end instead of working a part-time job or, heaven forbid, study, study, study for college. I tried again at lunch today to figure the sucker out and still can't come up with a solution, which means NOW I have to actually find the original instructions (buried somewhere in the Goodwill-dropoff-style-piles we have scattered in and about here and there) and READ them, then get on my back under the makeshift computer table we have, down amongst the tumbleweeds of dog hair, kitty fur and dust that's been making me sneeze a lot lately.

I used to really enjoy technology. It is still fun to LOOK at the bright and shiny buttons and lights, but trying to figure out how to set them all up is a royal pain. I had to have the Sony installed by the Geek Squad guys because the very thought of trying to put wires here and there started giving me the vapors, as they used to say many years ago.

Too many options, too many labels and too many doohickeys to keep up with. Pretty soon, I'll be back to wanting to write everything on paper and use snail mail to keep up with the increasingly small circle of folks I keep up with (sorta-kinda). It'll just be too much trouble to keep up with the pressing of buttons. Think I'll order myself a Jitterbug cellphone and curl up in my Snuglie on the couch.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


According to the latest news hot off the Internet, the President's stimulus package bill was passed by the Senate with a better-than-60-vote majority, meaning the Big Elephants can't do anything about it.

Of course, now all the NCYMs (Neo-Con Yahoo Mouthpieces) like Hannity and Limbaugh will probably start complaining about nothing is working the day after tomorrow and how their beloved tax-cuts woulda, shoulda and coulda been much, much better. Given that the Big Elephants had their chances since the Reagan days to make that work AND they blew a balanced budget AND a budget surplus after the Clinton days, I don't think they've got much traction anymore.

It sure won't stop 'em from whining about it, however.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Bailout Fatigue

One good thing about having been off for a week and a half getting my flooring redone is that I'm without a TV at the office and unable to watch the news shows (there being a dearth of anything else worth watching during the daytime) and having to listen to talking heads go on and on about the Economic Stimulus Package (the ESP, for short). It's getting uglier by the minute, at least according to the talking heads on all the various channels.

I'm just a poorly paid prosecutor, so I really don't understand all this mess other than it seems the Dems want to spend lots of money we don't really have and the Big Elephants would rather see rioting in the streets and the collapse of our economy rather than see Obama "win" one. It's gotten so bad that Andy Card, W's former Chief of Staff, was whining on Fox News about how shameful it is that Obama (gasp!) ISN'T WEARING A JACKET IN THE OVAL OFFICE! A sure sign of the decline of our society; terrorists and Vlad Putin saw that and, I'm sure, have been emboldened to test our young President even further.

While I don't necessarily like ALL the pork that the House Dems put into the ESP, I think Obama was right the other day to rather laughingly say, "You know, it IS a stimulus package; you HAVE to spend money to have a stimulus, don't you?". Lord knows we've got enough crappy roads and bridges, enough lousy schools and other programs that have been laid waste these last eight years, to warrant the spending on them to help things out a bit. The Big Elephant answer is, of course, to cut taxes, cut taxes and, yes, cut taxes. That'll get things moving...oh, wait...that's what they've been doing over the last few years which didn't exactly help our infrastructure much, isn't it?

I think any tax cuts or rebates will simply be put into savings and not spent on fripperies like new kitchens and flooring (as I've been doing lately) to help the economy. The high end of the tax base needs another tax cut like I need another chin and the middle to lower end of the base need something more than a cut--they need jobs and cannot wait for the Big Elephant dream of everything trickling down to help them.

Me? I've done my part to stimulate the economy; I'm waiting for everyone else to get off their butts.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Well, we've just spent the last week and a half getting new floors installed in the abode of the Blues. I've lost count of how many times I moved various piles from one room to another, from one side of a room to another and from the house to the storage shed. Everything in the house has been covered at one time or another with a fine white (and probably carcinogenic) powder from the guys making wavy things flatter and solid things not so solid so that wood and ceramic products could fit under them. So, now the floors look absolutely wonderful; it's the rest of the place that now looks like a drop-off for Goodwill.

We are trying to sort through all the stuff we've accumulated over the last twenty-five years of happy married life. It really is amazing to pick up the odd magazine, clipping, Christmas card or warranty for a long-gone piece of electronics and say to yourself, "Just why the hell am I keeping this? What ever possessed me to put this on a pile of similar crap and never look at any of it again until today?". So, we are trying to donate what can be donated, recycle what can be recycled and shit-can the shit-cannable as fast as possible. It'll still be a month before the place is worth inviting the relatives over to see.

Meanwhile, I'm at work, trying to keep my job until the Day--retirement, that is (as Foghorn Leghorn would put it). With about 700,000 of my fellow Americans out of work, I'd like to keep me from becoming one of their number anytime soon, particularly since it'll take until my retirement possibly to save up what I've had to take out of saving to pay for all the recent renovations. Being off for a week and a half, however, has given me the time to catch up on the various episodes of a show on HGTV about bathroom renovations, none of which, as I can tell, cost less than $19,000.00 and most in the $25,000.00 range; given that we've renovated our kitchen, all of our flooring and got a couple of new toilets (guaranteed to flush a "pail of golfballs") in the bargain for less than it took those poor saps on TV to renovate ONE bathroom (at least they can probably use their new toilets to entertain and amuse their guests by flushing a pail of golfballs), I'm pretty satisfied, all in all.

It's back to work in a couple of days, however, so it's a dull Saturday night for ole Blue. Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Good Times

Well, it's REALLY been a long time since I last posted. Since then we've had the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression (and might end up surpassing it) and elected a new President (I don't care WHAT Rush Limbaugh says--ANYONE would have been better than W, possibly even the reincarnation of Millard Fillmore). Lots of other stuff has happened in our lives here in the Center of the Known Universe, most of which would pass as significant events in the lives of mere mortals but are actually rather mundane in ours.

Let's see--we vacationed on the West Coast this past summer, flying out of Atlanta to Seattle, where we stayed a week in the Pacific Northwest's glorious greyness (ONE clear day out of a week, don'tcha know) with a side trip to Vancouver, BC. We then drove down to see Mount St. Helens (well, at least the clouds covering Mount St. Helens), drove down the Pacific Highway through Oregon and Northern California to San Francisco, where we collectively improved our cardiovascular systems by walking up and down the hills of that fair city. Lots 'o fun was had by all.

I had all sorts of excitement watching my savings and investments drop like the proverbial lead ballon over the last year or so because of the absolute greed of a few folks who really didn't need the extra money. Looks like Big Blue will be having to work all the way through to his 30 years for his pension (assuming the State didn't invest it all in the derivatives market) and then five more years to earn a bit more in the "get of of Dodge" retirement plan our fair State offers its massively underpaid employees. There's been a big hue and cry here about those folks who have "double-dipped" (that is, they've technically retired under our "get out of Dodge" system, waited a month, went back to their old job at probably their old pay, but with a huge lump sum deposited to their retirement account AND getting monthly retirement benefits given them). All the outraged citizenry complained to the local newspaper, but it took a fairly Republican-leaning local columnist to remind them that (a) the Legislature set this program up and (b) the so-called "double-dippers" (including a number of folks I work with) are getting paid to do the job the same as anyone else, just getting the money that they are legally entitled to. Oh well, it's probably screwed it up for the rest of us in the future, so I wasn't exactly planning to do it myself anyway.

Besides, the longer I'm at my job, the more likely it is that I don't want to stay any longer than the 7.7 years I have left to get my full benefits. I've brought in a LOT of money to my home state doing what I do, but not exactly getting rewarded in kind (and probably couldn't be anyway) and the stress level is getting a lot higher because of certain decisions being made that I don't have any control over. Gonna be LOTS of fun over the next few years and I'll be happy to be gone, I suspect.

We got our kitchen redone (refaced cabinets, new countertops) and this week we're getting the floors redone throughout the entire house, tile and wood. It's gonna be hell moving everything around, but hopefully it'll be worth it. It had to be done, I keep telling myself, it had to be done. The trouble is, there's all sorts of OTHER things that need to be done too, but we'll probably have to put those off in these tough economic times. At least we've gotten a couple of new toilets in the deal, both of which promise that we'll be able to flush "a bucket of golf balls", NOT that I'm planning on putting my gastrointestinal system through something like that anytime soon, but it's good to know that, should I so chose, our toilet will be able to handle the load.

Littlest Blue is still riding herd on the inhabitants of her "residence hall" at the local University as an RA, getting paid for the experience. She told us about the suicide of a student at a neighboring residence hall (they really don't like the term "dorm" anymore, though I certainly don't understand why) last week. It sounded like he was having problems when he transferred here recently and being away from friends and family here in our fair burg probably didn't help.

Bigger Blue is still at the local community college. She did well last semester, which is always helpful. She spends way too much time reading "fan fiction" on the computer, but as long as she's doing better in her grades, I can't complain too much.

Mrs. Blue is still in her job, still as beautiful as ever and worrying about me and my occasional stress-induced ranting. Can't say as I blame her.

Since my last posts I've discovered a couple of good sci-fi authors, Jack Campbell (a nom-de-plume) and his Black Jack Geary series and John Scalzi (Old Man's War series, Agent to the Stars, his Whatever blog, etc.). I read Scalzi's blog as much to enjoy the occasional troll (a dimwit who likes to just irritate everyone for no readily ascertainable reason other than that they are a dimwit) who comments to Scalzi's positions on things. Someone today decided to get mad simply because Scalzi asked her a couple of times to put her website URL in the proper place in the comment section and she refused, essentially because she wanted to advertise her blog.

Now, I would like someone to read this mess of a blog I publish and today's blog was inspired by my going to the site and noticing that someone actually read my last entry (way back when) and wanted to know why I wasn't updating more). You cannot imagine how that gladdened the cockles of my heart (whatever the HELL those are!). I write, of course, more for myself than anyone else, so folks NOT reading doesn't necessarily bother me, but folks who DO read it are my heros, even if you think I'm a loon.

I'll try to post more often, at least when I have something to say and can remember my Blogspot login name and password. Any comments are appreciated (well, maybe those from trolls not so much...).