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Thu, Dec 31st - 7:47PM

And Goooooooooood Riddance

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 643
267.8 miles
overcast for the blue moon.

93 recordings of 25 types.  Maybe by next year I'll have seen all the Law and Orders. (There are 49 in the queue right now.)

I've gained +.4 pounds this week, +.8 this month, and lost 5 to 7 pounds (new scale) for the year.

It's so funny, the CacheAdvance question was what do you name your GPS and some people think the namers are nuts. (Ours is HAL, Jr., Junior for short. It says "I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that" far too often.)

I was going to go see Casey, but they have family visiting today so I'll go on Saturday. Whew.

I'm sure glad to be rid of this year. There were good things in our personal lives, the HVAC and the new closet and the new car and our road trip and the trip to Pittsburgh.  However, the government takeover of our lives and the fact that my grandchildren's futures are in doubt trumped everything, spoiled my sleep, gave me new worry lines. I sure hope some of this gets redressed next year. It might: the Rasmussen index is -18: 46/53.

Dave Barry summarizes.  I always enjoy these.

Karl Rove's Resolutions for Washington

Sarah Palin, Man of the Year

Handling Problems the 0bama Way.

Unhealthy Arrogance.

Comment (0)

Thu, Dec 31st - 8:49AM

December 30: Glasses and Plates

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 643
267.8 miles

96 recordings of 28 types.

I slept a full 8 hours. I wake up all sore, though, when I do that.

The glasses saga continues. I have all 4 working pairs of reading glasses, so I've corralled the three I don't like as much on my bed table. Occasionally I'll misplace the favorite pair (yesterday behind the laptop screen... I couldn't find them at all!) This happened last week, Friday or Saturday, and I brought out another pair.  Then I found the faves (in a coat pocket) and the second pair was on the end table, till I babyproofed them away.

Meanwhile, Rich very carefully stashes his in his glasses case. The case goes up when the baby comes over.

Well.  Sunday night he got back from the game and the living room was dark.  The baby was asleep so we thought it'd be OK to turn the light on, and Rich read a bit of the paper.  Then the baby woke up, the light went back off while I held him, and Rich went into the other room.

Monday he was looking for his glasses. They weren't in the case, they weren't on the table, not on the dining room table, not in the kitchen, not in his office, nowhere.  He looked and looked, finally taking out a spare pair. He looked Tuesday, he looked yesterday.  Meanwhile, I lost my favorite pair for a few minutes yesterday till he located them behind the computer. We thought maybe they'd joined their bigger buddy in some Bermuda Triangle for glasses.

Last night I took the second pair in to my bed table when I went to bed, and as I put them down I noticed Rich's glasses!  Apparently I'd taken them in Sunday night when I was going to bed, not even noticing they weren't mine. Whew, that means he doesn't have to go through the trash and the recycling.

Today's saga was with the little bread plates.  When I got the new plates, I got rid of the old earthenware set except for the bread plates. I had had three of them, just the right size for a breakfast pizza or something small. One of them broke fairly soon but we still had 2 till a couple of weeks ago when Rich broke it. This is a size we need, really, so we went to St. Vincent de Paul to find some. I didn't care if they matched, just the size and type (no metal trim to destroy the microwave, for instance.) By wonderful luck, though, Rich discovered the exact pattern, 8 of them.  Two have chips, but who cares. Now we have 9 and so can break them without fear, and I'll bet they'll outlive me now that I've said that. 36 cents apiece.

While there I picked up a Don Camillo book, and then spied a blue ride-on hippo that gobbles up toys. It also converts to a push wagon. At $2.40, Gareth needs this. 

Then we went to look at another thrift store. Nothing there to appeal to Pagan. It's run by Muslims, and while I wish them well, I wonder in the back of my head how much goes off to some terrorist organization.  They didn't get any of my money, anyway.

Then we went to look at the Vietnamese restaurant we'd tried to go to before, and it appears to be closed.  Short run since April.  Around the building from it, however, is Stolichny, a Ukrainean restaurant, which was open, and delicious. I had mushroom soup, which apart from the dumplings is close to the Christmas Eve soup, and cabbage rolls. I asked what the Ukrainean for those was, and indeed it's close to "golumpki", the Polish. Nice place, good food, I want to go back. Maybe next time Pagan comes?

I got a sad but still irritating wrong number: "Dorothy, it's your husband (and then he gave his name, in case she couldn't figure out which one?), I've had my car stolen, come pick me up at Kaiser...." he'd gotten through this spiel a second time by the time I picked up.  Even when I said it was a wrong number, he said what he'd dialed and I told him our number (misdialled one digit) and he just hung up. Obviously upset, who wouldn't be, but maybe he could have realized the answering machine was different? Or he could have apologized? I believe I'm reflexively polite enough to say I'm sorry no matter how upset I am. Oh, well, I wish him well.  

Rasmussen: -16: 47/52.  The shine is off, even with Maureen Dowd. "As the Nation’s Pulse Races, Obama Can’t Seem to Find His." Heck of a job, Barry. Ed comments.

Toby Harnden gives him an F.

4. In his studied desire to be the unBush by responding coolly to events like this, Obama is dangerously close to failing as a leader. Yes, it is good not to shoot from the hip and make broad assertions without the facts. But Obama took three days before speaking to the American people, emerging on Monday in between golf and tennis games in Hawaii to deliver a rather tepid address that significantly underplayed what happened. He described Abdulmutallab as an “isolated extremist” who “allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body” – phrases that indicate a legalistic, downplaying approach that alarms rather than reassures. Today’s words showed a lot more fire and desire to get on top of things – we’ll see whether Obama follows through with action. In the meantime, he went snorkelling.

So it seems this law wouldn't have ruined France's economy quickly enough.

Top 5 signs liberal foreign policy doesn't work.


I mention these not as a preview of the horrors to come but because I've come to the bleak conclusion that U.S.-style "health reform" is going to be far worse.
I believe America's belated embrace of government health care will be far more expensive and disastrous than the Euro-Canadian models. Whatever one's philosophical objection to the Canadian health system, it is, broadly, fair: Unless you are a Cabinet minister or a big-time hockey player, you'll enjoy the same equality of crappiness and universal lack of access that everybody else does.

Elect Ari David to Congress: Obama's lame reaction to the attack. Here's what he could do to impress me. #1 admit he made a mistake and take responsibility #2 Fire Napolitano #3 suspend KSM trial until further notice #4 suspend Guantanamo closure #5 stay in Afghanistan for at least 5 years after 2011 #6 Bomb targets in Yemen #7 start profiling young muslim men at airports -duh

In the 0bamateurism of the year challenge, Ed never got comparing health care to the PO.

Finally, a Grownup in the Oval Office. I like it.

The GOP is dropping the ball on Massachusetts.

Just posted a note about this on Palin’s FB page asking her thoughts on getting involved. Here is what I think: Even if Scott Brown doesn’t stand a chance, make the Democrats WORK for that seat. Make them spend money now that they are going to need next year. Give that pathetic waste of oxygen Harry Reid an ulcer by making him fight to keep TED KENNEDY’S f’n seat! I’m not sure if Reid can turn another shade paler than he is, but it would be fun to see. And hell, maybe, just maybe, we can pick off his #60 rubber stamp vote. On another note, Michael Steele has been a huge disappointment, he needs to go (now) and Sarah Palin needs to replace him.

Kevin71 on December 29, 2009 at 7:48 PM

Why the Democrats will Lose the House in 2010.  But first the GOP has to get its act together.

Dr. Zero:

Freedom is not a gift, or even a prize to be taken in battle. It is a challenge, and it is frightening. Modern Americans are born with the greatest inheritance of freedom enjoyed by any children of mankind, but they don’t guard it jealously. Too many of them view it as a currency to be exchanged for benefits. Freedom implies responsibility, and choice is meaningless without the risk of failure.
Obama’s cherished Indonesian childhood, and the travels through the Muslim world he boasts of, have proven to mean nothing to the forces of Islamic fascism. He should have spent more time learning what his American heritage means to the people dying on the streets of Tehran, and those like them around the world.

Comment (0)

Wed, Dec 30th - 9:24AM

December 29: No Calendar

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 643
267.8 miles

94 recordings of 29 types

Rasmussen: -15: 46/53

I was watching Hoarders, and there was a woman with a gazillion cats and dogs. I was really impressed with the animal control guy: he was gentle and kind and talked about each animal as an individual, and they all got adopted, even the old sick dog.

I went over to Presentation this morning to get a calendar, I hoped. Father H. never let us have one till Epiphany, and I like to get it in order by New Year's Day. So two years ago we had one from Presentation, and this year's came from the Twain Harte church where we went with Monica in August(!). No luck at Presentation today, though.

Yesterday Rich got a copy of the head usher's letter to Father Eduino.  I don't think he'd have written it except for the first item. Apparently someone accused the 9 o'clock crew of stealing from the offering. Sam wanted to confront the accuser rather than have this whispering campaign.  While he was writing, he had other gripes. Now I understand why when I said how much I liked Father E. he was withdrawn.  The other issues are 1)not passing the basket hand-to-hand. It takes longer and it's easier to steal from it. 2)The Offeratory goes up while they're passing the basket, and Sam says people don't feel their contributions are valued. Eh. It does speed things up, and I don't care. 3)Second collections every week.  That's one change Father H. made which was nice, just one second collection a month with the  cause announced. So we'll see what happens with this.

Yeah, I guess St. Philomene is a difficult parish.  I really don't think Fr. H. helped.  Either time he was here: when he threw his tantrum thirty years ago there was a big split.

Scalia was right about releasing Gitmo prisoners.

The national GOP are idiots.  This would automatically stop 0bamacare.

The CA GOP invented this kind of passive gerrymandering. The only way you can contest any seat in this state is if you run on your own using your own money. The GOP could not bother itself to actually fight for anything. Cuts into the cocktail hour. They prefer to just wait for the pendulum to swing back their way and pretend it proves that voters prefer Republicans. Meanwhile, they survive by being Assistant Democrats and hanging out at the 19th hole.

Trifecta's person of the decade. (I agree!)

The Year of Squander.

0bama the arrogant bastard:

when we compare the two Commanders in Chief, there is a stark contrast. While Obama sees America’s military as a “photo op,” Bush saw America’s military as the best of the best. Bush’s private visits, tears, and genuine concern for the wounded and the families of the fallen displays a deep humility born from the weighty responsibility of dealing with a ruthless enemy. His personal concern for all Americans — even those who hated him — compelled him to become personally involved with those charged with our defense. On the other hand, the only people Obama wants to defend himself against are his political enemies.

0bama's Lost Face: (is that possessive or "0bama has"?  Works either way.) J. R. Dunn:

So with Barack Obama, we've reached the point where the leader of record of the most powerful state in history has become a man you can casually stand up.
Wen's behavior should be taken as a rebuke not to the United States so much as to Obama personally.

This only goes to underline the reason why diplomatic protocol exists in the first place -- to exclude through ritual actions all possibilities that error, misunderstanding, or personal pique might interfere with matters of state. Obama has yet to learn this. His insistence on winging it, on reinventing established practice on his own terms, is potentially far more than simply embarrassing. It could be actively dangerous. His refusal to go by the rules may well have cost him the opportunity to pose as Savior of Gaia in Copenhagen. It may cost him -- and the country -- far more at some future time.

Obama Warns Against NWA 253 Backlash, Intolerance (Scrappleface. Another one that sounds real.)
The President could say that he'd slow down on closing Guantanamo: what are the odds, the guy is stubborn and arrogant. 

Kathryn Lopez stray thought: is Fred Armisen that good or is the president beginning to sound like a parody of himself?

Kathryn Lopez why an audio statement?

Gregory Hurst If at first you don't succeed, beat the dead horse severely about the head, neck and shoulders. The semblance of competency is waning.

Angie Sipe TOTUS broke down in Hawaiian humidity. Is it too early to make "phoning it in " jokes?

Ken Green Because he didn't want anyone to see how little he actually cared. Did you hear him? Talk about a bloodless speech! I'm amazed he wasn't more explicit in blaming Bush. He did, of course, get in the dig that the systems that failed have been in place "for years," as if changing the people responsible for RUNNING the systems wouldn't have any effect on whether they were functional or not. What a lamer.

No More Visas for the State Department.

Poor BABY.

The Anchoress:
I suspect that what Obama wanted was to be the King, not the President. The King’s role is largely ceremonial. In time of national tragedy the King goes before the camera and says, “this is very sad.” If he can assign blame on a perceived enemy he does so, and then he steps aside and retires to his amusements while those actually in charge clean up the mess and determine how to prevent future messes. Everyone loves the King, defers to the King, rushes to do for the King, but the King -who tends to get bored and distracted by the dry business of actually governing- is responsible for very little, and most are just as glad of  it.

Comments at this site (Suddenlly 0bama's not so fluent any more):

huxley Says: December 29th, 2009 at 4:40 pm
I was rather shocked at how poorly Obama handled the incident — three days late, no tie, an amateurish, passionless reading of a speech, staring down at his notes on the lectern much of the time.

Hundreds of Americans barely survived the most serious terrorist attack against the US since 9-11 and this is the best Obama can do as Commander-in-Chief?

huxley Says: December 29th, 2009 at 6:37 pm
Occam’s Beard: At this point I don’t think Obama wants a second-term either. Being president is much more than giving speeches and basking in praise.

I’d bet 50-50 odds that he won’t finish this term. I don’t think he has the stamina for it, especially as his polls continue to sink and the adulation is,  like, over baby.

Some inventive nicknames for the Christmas bomber:
Fruit of the Boom Guy.

Liberals Wake Up, 0bamacare Stinks.

Comment (0)

Mon, Dec 28th - 11:22PM

The Cache Thieves

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 643
267.8 miles
cold, rain

91 recordings of 27 types.
Rasmussen: -12: (amazing how he rebounds when he's gone!) 47/52

It's the Feast of the Holy Innocents. They're still being slaughtered, only Herod's name is now Planned Parenthood.

You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.---Saint Quodvultdeus, Bishop:

We had to get a cache for the Days of the Year Challenge, so I ran a query in Orangevale.  We found the first one, a branch hollowed out for the cache, right away.  Then the third one we looked at, Rich got and took it back to the car. Only then, a security guard came out and stood right there. So we went off for another cache, then came back. Nope, she was inside looking out the window. We went after three others, and came back, nope, so we had to bring it back this evening.

We decided not to jump a fence and get a cache. It looked like a good way to get arrested, even assuming we could actually do it. The next one we tried for was a 4-star. We looked and looked. I was already afraid we wouldn't get it, and my posting would be about how we were sure it was there, but we couldn't get it. Well, the owners saw us and stopped by to give hints. Finally, I saw an irregularity in the log fence and touched it... wood covering the cache, held on by magnets. What a magnificent hide! We ended up with 5 finds, 2 no-finds and one we won't try.  Oh, and a cache in the car.

Victor Davis Hansen's predictions.

On Facebook: Jan just discovered her Top Words (this on my status entries. Since I ran this, I haven't used any of them!)

1):today - used 82 times
2):off - used 67 times
3):good - used 46 times
4):last - used 43 times
5):still - used 38 times
6):bed - used 38 times
7):happy - used 36 times
8):too - used 34 times
9):more - used 34 times
10):didnt - used 34 times

Now the system DIDN'T work!

Matt Lauer gets to ask the question that he rightly says is on everyone’s mind: how could Janet Napolitano say that “the system worked” when the only things between the passengers of NW 253 and disaster were the passengers themselves and a faulty detonator? Napolitano says she was taken out of context, and by the way, Bush Bush Bush Bush Bush
The rules on the lists have been in place since 2006. The Obama administration has been in office since January. If the rules on transferring people from watch lists to no-fly lists are a problem, shouldn’t that have been a higher priority than, say, revamping the entire American health-care system or pushing cap-and-trade bills? It seems like a bigger priority than flying to Copenhagen twice and coming home empty-handed both times, once on climate change and once on the Olympics.

I look at the Hot Air pictures and there's only one man without a tie... yep, the President.

Oh, bleck.

Stop Making Sense.

We have farmers in the breadbasket of the country, California's central valley, standing in food lines to get carrots from China... all because of environmentalists.  They keep chipping away at us, eventually we're going to fight back. The next few years are unlikely to be pretty.

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Mon, Dec 28th - 7:40AM

December 27: A Day with Gareth

(I didn't stay caught up for long, did I?)

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 643
267.8 miles
rain, then clear

94 recordings of 30 types.


I was disappointed when Rob decided not to go with Rich to the Niners game (Rich won tickets from Raley's) because I'd been looking forward to babysitting.  Wait, I can babysit anyway! So Rich left about 9:15, and Bernadette came over about 12:15.  Roni and R.J. came by about 1.  R.J. watched the toddler on-the-go for about 5 minutes and wanted to know when he would go down for a nap.  R.J. was also appalled by Brobee... "it's not even cuddly!" I showed them "Yo Gabba Gabba" mostly because when I said what Brobee was, Gareth just lit up. He really really loves that show. R.J. was disappointed, though, that I hadn't turned on the game. Tough.

They left for lunch and to continue their ski trip, and I fed Gareth.  Then we had some quiet time with Yo Gabba Gabba, and he stayed quietly in the playpen for about an hour.  Then it was play, play, snack, play play... dinner was Kid's Beefy Mac and he had about 4 ounces.  He wasn't interested in the beans this time. I changed him and read him a couple of books. (Oh, earlier in the day I had read him "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"... he isn't ready to actually HOLD these books, as they'd come out much the worse for wear, but he really liked the book. Or, maybe, he really liked having the attention.) Then we said prayers and I turned the lights down and cuddled him to sleep.  He conked out about 7 and I put him down, and Rich got home a few minutes later. Rich just can't help it, he's noisy...

So the baby woke at 8 or so. I picked him up to cuddle back to sleep, and realized I'd rather just hold him than bend over the playpen to retrieve him, and Gareth just slumbered away, snoring gently (sweetheart).  Bernadette got here about 9:15 and off they went.  What a great day!

What about the Yemenis at Gitmo?  I fear the priority is to close Gitmo no matter what. I think we're displaying weakness everywhere and therefore are much less safe.

Chuck Norris, Away with the Manger.

I did very poorly on this quiz.

Democrats' Narrative Isn't Selling.

Will 0bama Remain Silent about Iran Protests Again? (In fact, he made time from his busy rounds of golf to make a press release.) Bush would have stood with the dissidents. "[0bama] has no concept of genuine struggle against oppression because he has subscribed to the liberal notion that any inconvenience or insult is oppression. They've made mountains of so many molehills that they don't recognize when they're staring at the Andes."

Comment (0)

Sat, Dec 26th - 9:06PM

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 643
267.8 miles
cold, gray

98 recordings of 36 types.

Thursday we picked up Bernadette and Gareth and took off for San Jose.  On the way I notice a plume of steam from the Campbell's plant, and another one in Elk Grove. (It may be the sewage plant, I can't be sure.) Once we hit I-5, we saw a bunch of sandhill cranes.

Bernadette gave me some dinosaur puppets with the cutest eyes before we left.  Gareth wasn't much interested in playing that. Mostly he looked out the window and took everything in. Of course, about 15 minutes out he fell asleep.

At Monica's we talked, and talked. Charlotte kept protecting things from Gareth, even things like the Little People nativity set. Finally it was time to eat.  Gareth really liked the green beans.  Then we opened presents. I got a coral color hoodie, very pretty: a zucchini daschund (upscale Mr. Potato Head): and wine and food.  Rich got a helicopter remote, to be played indoors.

Then we walked down to see Christmas in the Park.  The big kids went on the rides, and we looked at the trees.  The ball maze at the Tech is always fun, too. 
Back to the house for pie, and then to Church. Monica took off and we lost her, and I remembered the wrong freeway for the church, so we overshot by a few miles, but still got there for the first song. It was dark except for the Christmas trees, then after the first song the lights came on.  The bigger kids went up to the altar for the Christmas story. One little girl knew why we were there: "Baby JESUS!!!" All the children (including Gareth) got a crocheted star ornament.

But at the end it went on and on, and he was getting tired and fussy.  We should have left 5 minutes earlier, but B. and I eventually took him out. The bathroom wasn't a suitable place to change him, so back to the car I went. He started to really cry, because he's had a diaper rash and doesn't like to be changed.  Bernadette was standing in the doorway working with him and I was antsy because there was a car right next to us and I was worried they would want to leave. Once his diaper was changed we went to say goodbye to Roni, then took him back to the car where he continues to scream while we got his clothes changed. I was having trouble getting one arm into the jammies, but finally managed it without breaking the arm!  And the baby was asleep within seconds. Bernadette stayed in the car at Monica's while Rich and I went in for the food and the picture that we hadn't loaded up yet. With a new carseat and an umbrella stroller as well as the Christmas goodies, the car was pretty well stuffed!

And so home. We were here by 10.

Then yesterday I gave Rich his iPod Touch.  He's been griping ever since, though he's discovered some nice things it has.  He also played with his helicopter, and Spooky and Pharaoh, but especially the cat, want to catch it, kill it, and eat it. Cute thing.

Bernarob came over at 3:30. She got us an IKEA cabinet which is to fit in the slot (it's too wide, but maybe we can enlarge the window, or maybe we can just fasten the front parts on the wall... something, anyway. We gave them a bird feeder and 40 pounds of seeds.  This should entertain the baby... I saw lots of birds out there when I was babysitting the other day. We had roast chicken for dinner with leftover pie for dessert. A pleasant day... they left at 7:30.

Gareth kept bringing me Brobee to start, and then when the toy would dance, Gareth did too. I sure hope he'll do that again so I can get a movie!

The Times has a different (and more worthy) Person of the Year.

I dunno, Bush kept us safe.  Just sayin'. Like I said.  I think the government is putting out weakness signals.

Oh, argh,..

2009: The Year of living fecklessly, Krauthammer.

More of the same.  Maybe they'll keep him.

The Senate Postmortem.

0bama treated flight 253 differently from Ft. Hood.

"Frightening new side of Barack 0bama."

Substitute dependence.

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Fri, Dec 25th - 9:58PM

Merry Christmas!

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 643
267.8 miles

95 recordings of 36 types.

Pictures from yesterday:

Genevieve     Lexi     Teddy And none of Charlotte because she decided she was too shy!


Teddy, me, Gareth, Lexi (Alex), Vivi (Genevieve), Rich, Charlotte.

More on yesterday, and today as well, tomorrow!

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Thu, Dec 24th - 7:18AM

Christmas Eve

And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying
"Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
Lk. 2:13-14.

The mileage will go up tomorrow.

I'm .6 pounds up, darn it, and that's before the festivities. My blood pressure is high.

92 recordings of 35 types.

Rasmussen: -16: 44/56.

Classic Christmas Commercials

A Christmas Story.

 Don Surber:

What a snotty White House this has become. Are there no grown-ups on the left? It is like Drew Curtis is running things. Gibbs speaks for the president and evidently the president is a sniveling, snarking, conceited child of 12.

The rest of the world notices this and notes that they can more easily bully and easily deceive juveniles than they could a mature man whose confidence is built on actual accomplishments rather than being pampered all his life by a doting grandmama and college professors.

Miss George Bush yet? Hell, the Scorekeeper even misses Bill Clinton, who at least ran something other than his mouth before becoming president.
Gary Kirk says:
December 23, 2009 at 7:18 PM

Yep, I miss him.

But I miss his mother more.


You Might be a Liberal.

The Little Town that Could. (a good news story.)

Reading: Rousseau and Revolution, What If? edited by Robert Cowley, the Bible (Zachariah), Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, The Christmas Treasury, Common Sense, Glenn Beck, Don Quixote, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, David Elkind, Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, Katherine B. Chauncey.

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Wed, Dec 23rd - 5:29PM

Two Sizes Too Small

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of
eternal light, sun of justice: Come and shine
on those who dwell in darkness
and in the shadow of death!

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 643
262.7 miles
sunshine, cold

97 recordings of 34 types.

The funeral was, as expected, packed. Bill was the model for St. John on our mural. I wonder who the other models were.  This is the mural I just realized has actual constellations on it. The service went well, though they messed up the distribution of Communion. One priest went halfway down the aisle. It would have worked better if he'd gone to the back. Oh, well.

At the reception I saw a number of people I know, of course. This reception wasn't done by our local women, it was catered. Since William Glen, the store, does catering, well it should have been. We went into the gym past two very pretty trees and saw the Christmas card with the whole family. There's a tiny baby that Father Mike said was Bill's delight, he sort of said "OK, now I can go."  We were given glasses of wine, and there were four stations for food: sesame chicken fingers, brie, crackers, meatballs. It was so good. We ran into a geocacher who wanted to know how WE knew Bill (he went to high school with him at La Sierra.) There was also a guy who told me how much I'd helped his daughter in Math. This was what, 25 years ago? I don't remember at all but apparently I turned her around, and this is the second time this family has said that. Born to teach, me.

After we left we picked up the pies for tomorrow and went to find a geocache for today.  We were in the Bel Air lot and I was all ready to go to Raleys for the whipped cream when Rich pointed out how silly that would be.

Christmas used to be fun!  We used to decorate, we used to be making ornaments all year long, we used to have lots of presents. I think as the family moved on, I started to cut back, to pay more attention to the real reason for the season... that's all well and good, but this year it's ridiculous. I was looking at someone's Christmas pictures and comparing it to my minimalist celebration, and it makes me sad.

Then when I was getting the stuff for the CASA kids' families, I'm looking at the price. The grandkids get subscriptions, so their "open me here" present isn't much.  They get so much I don't really want to add to their piles, but I've gotten more and more Scroogelike.

Robert is having some introvert time tomorrow and we're taking Bernadette and Gareth to Monica's. I was a little envious (I get pretty stressed out by all the family and Christmas in the Park, etc.) and said so to Rich, and he said "oh, that's why you've been narky." Here, I thought I was maintaining calm while he tore apart the living room, while he contradicts and interrupts and forgets, while 0bama takes away my country, but no, I'm "narky." What's the point of even trying? I am so depressed. (I can give him "narky"!)

Presents are also difficult. I think I got him something he doesn't know he wants, but this is getting harder and harder. We have everything we want and need.  He couldn't top last year's present to me (an adopted T-Rex bone).

OK, this Christmas is sucky, but I'm starting on the 26th to make next year's wonderful, great like it used to be.

Rasmussen: -18: 45/55

Hidden tax on Over-the-Counter drugs.

Merry Carbonless Christmas!

Are Senate Dems going to jump off the ledge?

Strange frenemies.

Twas the night before 0bamacare...

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Wed, Dec 23rd - 4:23PM

December 22: Busy Evening

O King of all nations and keystone
of the Church: Come and save man,
whom you formed from the dust!

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 643
262.7 miles

*It seems the pagan sacrifices yesterday worked, the sun is alive again. (I jest! I jest!)

101 recordings of 36 types.

Rich had Sharing God's Bounty, the Christmas one, this week, and I wanted to go to a rosary for the founder of William Glen.  So I drove Rich about 4, when people were already parking wrong, and came home via Trader Joe's, where I found some cookie tins for my two most recent CASA kids and families. I called both and said I'll be there next week.  I also picked up the roasting chicken for Friday, since Raley's doesn't usually have them.

Back at home I discovered one of the tins is dinged, even though I'd carefully looked them over at the store. Grumble.

Then over to the Rosary.  I had to park about a block away and as I went to the church some of the people came from Bounty with their packages, so I knew Santa was there. The church was about 2/3 full, pretty amazing. I'll bet it's really crammed tomorrow. They had a slide show of Bill's life. I mostly knew him from his son's raving about him.  Mark was about 8, and I was sub teaching, and he just talked and talked about how wonderful His Father was.  I always thought of that every time I met Bill after that.

We were done about 7:45 so I went over to Bounty.  Rich was eating, but the line
for Santa still wound around the room.  There were enough presents for all. (Even though Loretto closed.) We talked to the guy who's going to the football game with him on Sunday (Robert bowed out). And so home.

Rasmussen: -21: 44/56. I don't think health care is going over all that well.

So much for New Politics, Jennifer Rubin

0bama left behind:

Boy, this “Obama Derangement Syndrome” really has gotten out of hand. Why, just this past week the decreasingly popular president has been called a “bald-faced liar,” “an executive who can’t bring himself to lead,” and even an “Uncle Tom.”

And that’s just by liberals

[In 11 months.  It's "unprecedented"] He's more hated now than Bush was last year.

The Health-Care Backlash :
"The collateral damage to Obama from this bill is enormous. More than any candidate in our lifetime, Obama won based on the aesthetics of politics. It wasn’t because of his record; he barely had one. And it wasn’t because of his command of policy; few people knew what his top three policy priorities were. It was based instead on the sense that he was something novel, the embodiment of a “new politics” – mature, high-minded and gracious, intellectually serious. That was the core of his speeches and his candidacy. In less than a year, that core has been devoured, most of all by this health-care process."



Build-a-Bear has drunk the Global Warming koolaid.

The truths Americans used to hold.

Ben Nelson backpedals
 This guy thought this was politics as usual, that the Medicaid stocking stuffer for Nebraska would cushion the blow of a yes on cloture. Instead it made him look like a bribe-peddler who’d vote for an awful bill and sell out on something as morally grave as abortion in return for a cheap earmark.

0bama the Party Crasher
Mr. Obama did make history at Copenhagen, but not in the way he expected. It says a great deal about American power and prestige when international leaders go to so much trouble to avoid meeting with the president of the United States. The American Century is over.

Midnight Votes, Backroom Deals, and a Death Panel. Sarah Palin told us so. 

Mao on the Christmas Ornaments. I think having Zero on Mt. Rushmore is even worse.

Of COURSE they would select a designer that designs the windows for Barney’s in New York. Of COURSE the community groups would not realize this was inappropriate for the White House tree. It looks to me like the “designers” used Mod Podge or Elmer’s glue to paste pictures amateurishly on regular ornaments. These are the same people of impeccable taste that tell Michelle she looks GOOD in her wide belts and kitten heels.

Comment (0)

Tue, Dec 22nd - 9:15PM

December 21: Solstice

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
Come to save us, Lord our God!

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 643
262.5 miles
rain, wind

108 recordings of 39 types.

On all these pagan holidays I miss Gerhard.

The last couple of days we had a couple of incidents with dreadful noises coming from machinery. The first was our CD changer, which was awful. Finally Rich took it apart and found a broken CD (fortunately not one I love) and now it works again.  Then yesterday I was vacuuming. All of a sudden, a terrible grinding noise.  I turned it off and turned it upside down, and out came two screws and a couple of other pieces of metal, which I carried off to Rich. But the vacuum still made noise, so he came in and took it apart and twirled the brush, couldn't find anything.  But it sounded fine. Once it was back together, I vacuumed again, and SAW a screw get swallowed. It was right where Rich had been working with the vacuum, so it was probably the noisy culprit. Currently, the vacuum sounds fine. I don't have any idea where all this hardware is coming from, probably all the painting and projects.

Pagan came over today and we went to lunch at La Rosa Blanca, yum, and then went to pick up a solstice cache.  We'd passed a thrift shop so he wanted to see it. It's quite pricy, and has a surfeit of apostrophe's [sic]. I did find, however, an expandable wooden trivet that's quite nice.

Change nobody believes in..

This centralized system means above all fewer choices; what works for the political class must work for everyone. With formerly private insurers converted into public utilities, for instance, they'll inevitably be banned from selling products like health savings accounts that encourage more cost-conscious decisions.
Yet some 98% of the total cost comes after 2014—remind us why there must absolutely be a vote this week—and most of the taxes start in 2010. That includes the payroll tax increase for individuals earning more than $200,000 that rose to 0.9 from 0.5 percentage points in Mr. Reid's final machinations. Job creation, here we come.

Rasmussen: -17: 46/53


Never mind the recidivism rate.

Ben Nelson didn't make any friends in Nebraska with his bribe.

Tea Parties, go home.

TEA Parties nation-wide have found that calling, writing, and showing up in person in D.C. has the same impact as a hiccup in a hurricane. After turning out thousands of citizens at rallies, overwhelming the Senate phone lines and crashing Congress’ e-mail system, our elected representatives are poised to enact the greatest expansion of government in history.

Comment (0)

Tue, Dec 22nd - 9:11AM

December 20: Party!

O Key of David, opening the gates of
God's eternal Kingdom: Come
and free the prisoners of darkness!

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 643
262.5 miles
rain, cold

I stagger out first thing in the morning to take my blood pressure. Oh, look, there's something on the floor... This is what I get for starting to clean out the pantry. I did the top shelf and left all the bottles on the table last night.  Spooky, of course, just HAD to get onto the garden window on the side where all the plants are, not on the side where cats are welcome. So he knocked down a Christmas cactus. It fell onto the table where the bottles did their domino act... fortunately, all that fell onto the floor was rice vinegar, which leaked out a bit. Fairly easy to clean.  The plant is OK, too.

103 recordings of 33 types.

Disaster shall befall you
which you cannot allay.
Suddenly there shall come upon you
ruin which you will not expect.
Isaiah 47:11

Sorta fits the health care fiasco. Rasmussen: -15: 46/53

Overreaching leaves 0bama with few friends, Kathleen Parker

things seem to have turned for Obama. Left-leaning Democrats suddenly are wondering: Who is this guy? What happened to the liberal dream-maker who was going to provide health care to every person in the country while hand-feeding grateful polar bears basking on vast expanses of restored sea ice? ...
But the health-care rift is only a symptom of a more serious disease afflicting this administration. It isn't so much hubris, though that is part of the problem. It isn't even narcissism, primarily. Obama's fever is grandiosity -- an inflated self-confidence and a sense of power exceeding one's means. ...
The image that comes to mind is of a dog racing down the beach to chase a flock of seagulls.

The growing sense now is that Obama is desperate -- for any kind of bill. What matters is checking the box next to "health care reform" and declaring some kind of victory.

Dems break it, they own it.

Mr. President, you can't do everything.

I think it's safe to say Roger Kimball is NOT a fan.

I suspect that the “tea parties” of the last several months will look like modest dress rehearsals once people get a handle on what the Obama-Pelosi-Reid triumvirate are attempting to do to us.

Body language :Ann Althouse comments on 0bama's meeting with the Chinese premier.

The look on Wen's face is tight. You could say it's a skeptical look but I think it's more contempt or superiority.

Wen, a much smaller man than Obama, looms over him.

This is not a reassuring photo. The leaders of our friends and rivals are getting to know President Obama. They are not impressed.

I watched  The Man who saved Christmas.  It "takes liberties" with the story of A.C. Gilbert, but still there's history there I didn't know.  There's a museum in Salem Oregon I now want to see.

Tonight we went to the neighbors' party. It was great fun, as usual. When we were singing carols and songs I particularly noticed "Here Comes Santa Claus." Back in Laramie, when I was a kid, this was the theme song for the "talk to Santa" program.  You could tell Santa was talking from the North Pole because of the wind and the static: kids would call in with their lists and Santa asked if they were good or bad. This was about 15 minutes a day during December. I never called in, but it was great to listen to.

Kathryn Lopez: the same fed govt that is shut down monday due to snow from saturday is going to take over health care in america, for the record.

Big Government:
The Grinches further claim Medicare is the epitome of success and cost effectiveness and a program we should all look forward to joining. In fact, one of their “potential” presents, still on the drawing board, is to “allow” everyone 55-64 years of age the “opportunity” to join Medicare.  This is the same Medicare that:

Was established in 1965
Cost $ 3 Billion in 1966
Cost $325 Billion in 2005
Cost $408 Billion in 2009 (12 % increase every year for 43 years)
From 2000-2007 paid DEAD physicians 478,500 claims totaling $92 Million  (U.S. Senate Permanent Committee on Investigation)

Cash for Cloture: 0bamacare Bill is so bad it has to be rammed through in the middle of the night.

Lets face it, this was too valuable to the progressives to fail, a chance to take over every aspect of our lives, to decide who lives and who dies, and the best part for liberals a chance to add over a trillion dollars to our tax burdens.  Where else but in this progressive run America could a tax be put on pacemakers and wheelchairs.

Comment (0)

Mon, Dec 21st - 10:27PM

December 19: Couch Potato Time

O Root of Jesse's stem,
sign of God's love for his people:
Come to save us without delay!

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 643
262.5 miles
cold, gray

105 recordings of 34 types.

Rick Sheridan Feminists, remember saying "keep your laws off my body!" Well, Harry Reid & Barack Obama own your body now.
PS: No mammograms allowed. (via @ExJon)

mcconnell "A bill that was sold as helping a major problem in our nation actually makes the problem worse."

Sierra Faith We are about to stifle innovation in the best health care system on the planet and create yet another entitlement that will bankrupt this country, and what do the Dems do to top it all off?

Force us all to pay for abortions.

"If they were proud of this bill they wouldn't be doing it this way." -- mitch mcconnell

Kathryn Lopez our lives may never be the same but at least jack is back in january?

Rasmussen: -14: 45/53

Oh, great, I spent 1000 shells in Hatchlings on 4 Christmas eggs and I forgot to incubate them.  Now I should get another 1000 together to get them again. I had 250 for one and this time I remembered to hatch it.

The current couch potato list:

18 Kids and Counting
Big Cat Diary: this one I keep erasing.
Brothers and Sisters
Chef Academy: I like Chef Novelli even better than Gordon Ramsay, totally different.
Clash of the Dinosaurs (this one is over)
Cold Case (constantly erasing this one, too.)
Criminal Minds
CSI Miami
Desperate Housewives
Dollhouse One of my favorites.
Flash Forward ditto.
FOX News Sunday
Fringe (which I've only seen a couple of)
Glenn Beck
Grey's Anatomy
Hell's Kitchen (not on at the moment)
In Plain Sight (probably cancelled)
Law & Order (new)
Law & Order (old)
Law & Order: CI
Law & Order: SVU
Leverage I love this one.
Life is worth Living (Bishop Sheen)
Mad Men
Men of a Certain Age (has just started, so far I like it.)
Numb3rs (another one I erase regularly)
(The Amazing Race)
(The Biggest Loser)
The Good Wife
The O'Reilly Factor
Three Rivers ? Is this one still alive?
Top Chef
Trauma ? Cancelled?
Ugly Betty
White Collar ? Cancelled?
(Without a Trace)--just took it off my list.

On Copenhagen:

This is their Hajj.

China snubs 0bama.


Dan Perrin

The world will understand America has changed. Our country is now run by elites who are printing money, debasing our currency to throw at massive new spending and deficit creating programs — and actually believe they are both moral and politically smart. Just 19% of the public believes this plan will not increase the deficit.

Our angry president. Can he save his Presidency

There is nothing in Obama's resume that shows he ever had to hit his own reset button before. He has never had to make highly difficult, greatly consequential decisions that depended on his own personal reservoir of wisdom and experience. The years are long gone when he could have been mentored by people who could have taught him those skills and virtues.

Obama lives at the top of the Washington, D.C. political culture, a town that makes Hollywood look like a Sisters of Compassion convent. As his foundering continues, his staff and advisers will finally realize that, like RMS Titanic 97 years ago, Obama's ship of state has taken on too much water to stay afloat. When that dawns on them, they'll take to the lifeboats to save their own careers. They'll let the captain go down with the ship.

The most important question is how much of American's freedom and prosperity will go down with him.

I've been expecting this since election day.

Its the same thing I saw in college: affirmative action admit cant handle the course load, blames the "system", becomes belligerent.

Obama was elected by the color of his skin.
Fen | 12.19.09 - 12:22 pm


|MikeG is right, it's petulance, pure and simple, child-like and childish. And face it, the man's got issues. Lots and lots of issues.

I started missing Bush approximately 30 seconds after Obama's suit took the oath of office.
SukieTawdry | 12.19.09 - 5:01 pm 

“We’ve just increased substantially the supply of unrepealable, unsustainable entitlements. We’ve also, in my opinion, put ourselves on a road that leads eventually to less healthcare innovation, less healthcare improvement, and more dead people in the long run.” And that’s from an Obama voter.

Soon there may be No Freedom Left in the World. we sit watching a once gloriously designed to be free, and to stand chiefly for freedom, deliberative body debate and deal freedom away for billions of dollars in back room deals schemed up only to appease this or that state, or potential senatorial vote. That is not the freedom of heart, thought and individual sought by hard suffering travelers to our shores hundreds of years ago. It doesn't represent the freedom, transparency and rights of man envisioned by our several Founders over two-hundred years ago.

0bama at the Precipice.  I think we're ALL at the edge of the cliff.

Comment (0)

Sun, Dec 20th - 11:59PM

December 18: Rio Linda Caching

O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
Come to rescue us with your mighty power!

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 635
262.5 miles
cold, gray

I dreamed of Nancy Pelosi last night. Ouch.

108 recordings of 33 types.

Rasmussen: -14: 44/54

Today we went caching in Rio Linda. I picked the area because it's out of our local range (we must find a cache on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of next week) but not too far away, and when I looked at the cache map, there were lots of caches we haven't found.  All the ones we did find in 2005, the last time we cached here, are now gone. I could put 11 caches on the map. 

We took Pharaoh. OUr first 4 caches were along a bike trail.  Then we stopped at a drivein for lunch, then onwards for 5 more caches. We didn't try for two of them, and we had no fail-to-finds. Hooray. I got rid of three TBs and picked up one.

0bama's teleprompter repeats itself.

 Ann Althouse: "And now President Barack Obama is there. He's saying, 'The time for talk is over.' Ironically, he's talking."

In more irony, he had to leave the Global Warming conference early because of snow in D.C.

SOMEONE is doing offshore drilling.  Just not us.

Jack Bauer Interrogates Santa.

Nat Hentoff thinks 0bama is a phony.
"So in answer to your question, I am beginning to think that this guy is a phony. Obama seems to have no firm principles that I can discern that he will adhere to. His only principle is his own aggrandizement. This is a very dangerous mindset for a president to have."

Enough summits, already.

Chaos at Copenhagen: Let it Snow.
'President Obama delivered a stinker of speech — yawn — panned by his former Euro-groupies whose Obama-philia has chilled considerably. Obama managed to cobble a “feeble” agreement that he is, of course, calling “unprecedented.”'

I'm enjoying the "Meet the Natives" series, though I wonder how real it is.  Still, they had these Tanna natives in Peoria!

Comment (0)

Sat, Dec 19th - 6:39PM

December 17: Playing with Gareth

O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
Come to teach us the path of knowledge!

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 635
259.4 miles
cold, damp

103 recordings of 31 types.

Rasmussen: -13: 46/54.

Eric cares about Brok Obama.  Unfortunately, Brok Obama doesn't care about him.

Bernadette had a dental appointment, so I went to play with Gareth. We played with the house, and with the puzzle. He's getting more and more social.  Then we watched a Yo Gabba Gabba (this does appear to be lap time, which we both enjoy) and then I gave him lunch. Mommy got home then.  She showed me how he relates to a Bambi book... he "counts" when it's time, and "thumps" his hand when Thumper comes on. All great pre-reading skills.  Very bright boy and more fun to be with every day.


0bama looks down his nose at everyone. And the metronome from teleprompter to teleprompter is just annoying. Anyway, Scott Ott's summary is a gem.

Democrats want to do away with the Senate. "If it is the intent of the Democrats to get Americans to remove them all in the November 2010 election I'd say keeping Franken front and center is an excellent idea."

Al Gore, Vogon?

And since nobody can stand Gibbs....

Maybe we'll be lucky and they'll stay there.

Comment (0)

Sat, Dec 19th - 6:37PM

December 16: Las Posadas

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 635
259.4 miles
cold, damp

103 recordings of 30 types.

Rasmussen: -12 (guess they agree with the B+): 45/54.

Sarah Palin takes on Ahnold.

When California shows that it has the fiscal responsibility to actually cut its spending and bring its budget into balance while not overburdening its citizens with oppressive taxes and regulation, then perhaps its governor can offer advice on economics and policy.  Until then, Arnold should mind his own store and save his wit for the state legislature.

Tonight we went out to the Retreat House for Las Posadas. We gathered together, then processed behind a little José y María around the outside to various doors where we sang a song in Spanish and English begging to be let in, and they turned us away till the final location.  Then we had food, lots and lots of lovely food. The hot chocolate was real Mexican, not the really sweet kind, and there were empanadas of different sorts and even a sweet tortilla.  I really overate, it was sooooo good. And then we had a piñata.

And when we got home the dog *woof*ed at us from inside the house, which meant the back door had opened.  I went looking for my black cat in the dark... and he came when he was called, right away! Nice kitty!  Whew!

Pittsburgh joined the Code Red group yesterday.

The Worst Run Big City in the World. I know I don't like to visit.

This year's city budget is an astonishing $6.6 billion — more than twice the budget for the entire state of Idaho — for roughly 800,000 residents. Yet despite that stratospheric amount, San Francisco can't point to progress on many of the social issues it spends liberally to tackle — and no one is made to answer when the city comes up short.

Reading: Rousseau and Revolution, What If? edited by Robert Cowley, the Bible (Zachariah), Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, The Christmas Sweater, Glenn Beck, Common Sense, Glenn Beck, Don Quixote, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, David Elkind, Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, Katherine B. Chauncey.

Comment (0)

Fri, Dec 18th - 7:32PM

December 15: Confused Tooth

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 635
259.4 miles
cold, gray

104 recordings of 31 types.

I had the oral surgery 3 months ago and my lip has been numb most of the time since, but the last couple of weeks I've had a terrible toothache in a lower front tooth. Today I went to the dentist. X-rays show nothing, and he looked at them and didn't see any cracks. He tapped on the teeth... nothing really definitive.  However, which I was waiting, I got a clue... I rubbed my chin and my tooth hurt.  We're theorizing that the nerve is growing back, but has some synapses mixed up.  Back at home, I discovered that if I drink something cold, it feels like I've dribbled all over my chin. Lots of odd twinges and pains. (Growth is painful, right?) It's been 3 months. I sometimes regret having it done.

I watched the old silent Ben-Hur. Interesting.

Rich came home from Sharing God's Bounty with a truckload of presents to deliver out in Citrus Heights, so I came along too.  Once we'd off-loaded the car, we went on a bit of a light tour.  We only did Dovewood Court, though, because Rich got turned around and thought he was heading home... I suppose once he got to Folsom he'd have figured it out. 

Dovewood Court is a bit different from the last time we came a couple of years ago.  I was particularly impressed with the guy who did a dancing lights display, in a cage. It must have been a bear to put in with all the wires going higgledy-piggledy all over. This guy has an open garage full with an animated display.  Some of the displays have been enhanced with LEDs. It's the completely different ones that impress me... if you've spent all the money on one theme, you'd think you'd be committed to it forever.

Wizards in Winter. I especially like the tree running around.

Mammoths were alive more recently than thought. Not hard, since "thought" doesn't appear to be alive even yet.

0bamacare is America's Last Chance for Democratic Reform.

NRO’s Jim Geraghty jokes on Twitter that “Today, Obama will tell Senate Democrats this is their last chance to pass legislation opposed by 61 percent of the American people.”

Yah, well, until the next last chance, or the one after that. As long as there is one leftist left standing, they will continue to try to “reform” America into something it is not, and always something less free.

MikeA on December 15, 2009 at 1:44 PM

USA Today poll shows 0bama below 50%. Rasmussen -15: 46/53. Heck of a job, Barack.   It's A strong B+,  or at least,  B-Plus.

0bamateurism of the Day #117:

Obama made the amateurish mistake of letting down his guard while fielding a question from a sympathetic interviewer.  There was nothing wrong with the question, and Oprah seemed a little surprised that Obama took the bait.  It gave him an opportunity to demonstrate a little humility and remind everyone that American voters give him his grades.  Instead, Obama showed the kind of judgment that led him to answer Lynn Sweet’s question about the arrest of Henry Gates, in order to extol himself as a big success while America suffers double-digit unemployment.  And that’s a big fail on anyone’s curve.

Our masters know best.

 Mr. President: rescind this order; reconsider your decision, put the safety and security of the American people ahead of international public opinion. ---Mike Pence

Good statement by Pence. Putting international opinion (of him) ahead of the safety of Americans is exactly what Maobama is doing.

james23 on December 15, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Feminist Law Professors... "From the NYT: You Dumb Women are Opposing the New Mammogram Recommendations Because You Don’t Understand Science or Math"

"Precipice" is a good word: we're about to fall off the cliff.

Never mind that we pay for the building and the staff.

Comment (0)

Thu, Dec 17th - 7:45PM

December 14: Library Day

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 629
259.4 miles
cold, gray

106 recordings of 32 types.

I deleted one of my phone messages, the ones I keep to hear the grandchildren when they were younger.  This one was of Eric, back in the day when he called every month or so. Sulk.

Today was library day with Gareth.  He's growing so fast. There were only two other kids there.  One, close to G's age, was interested in kicking the ball, and Gareth was playing with him. Later, the three of them were at the toy garage and pretty much playing together.  Gareth did push one aside, but it was more getting an obstacle out of his way than a bully move. Bernadette gave the librarian a grocery card to help with the snacks she always provides.

He's giving high-5s and at one point he brought me a book to read to him. At the end of the day Bernadette was sleepy and Gareth was drowsy, so we vegged out in front of Yo Gabba Gabba. Nobody had much of a nap, though I did snatch a couple of cat naps and believe B. did as well. A nice day!

0bama goes from dazzle to drone (Steyn).

Rasmussen: -18: 44/55

Scott Ott OBAMA ON '60 Minutes' last night: "I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street..."
SCOTT OTT NOTES: You should have told them that when they were writing $25,000+ checks to your campaign committees.

Nossir, I don't believe you deserve a B+. And enough of the "inherited" garbage.

Kos has never been right, but I still have a glimmer of hope.

Megan McCardle

At this point it’s hard to see them getting to sixty votes on anything. Frankly, I’m not sure that a majority of legislators want them to get to sixty votes on anything. Every time health care makes the news, its poll numbers drop further, and at 54-38 against, it’s already dangerously close to “Republican landslide if you pass it” territory. Outside of coastal enclaves, Democrats cannot win the next round of elections with no one but their base. And independents, already against the plan, especially hate partisanship. This makes it especially unhealthy to pass a bill they don’t like on a straight party line vote.

La la la....

Reading: Rousseau and Revolution, What If? edited by Robert Cowley, the Bible (Zachariah), Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, The Hallowed Hunt, Lois McMaster Bujold, Common Sense, Glenn Beck, Don Quixote, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, David Elkind, Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, Katherine B. Chauncey.

Comment (0)

Thu, Dec 17th - 3:43PM

December 13: The Blind Side

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 629
259.4 miles
cold, gray

103 recordings of 30 types.

Rasmussen: -19 (!):
The President’s Approval Index rating is -2 among voters under 30 and -29 among senior citizens. From an income perspective, the President’s ratings are weakest among those who earn $40,000 to $100,000 annually.

Rhonda Fergesen Lane: Obama's approval rating is dropping faster than Helen Thomas' chest.

Apparently Fr. Edwino is getting complaints... darn it, people. This is the best pastor we've had for years, let's not chase him off!

Rich finished the painting while I went to see "The Blind Side."  What a wonderful movie!! I had wondered if it was too much of a chick flick for Rich, but he would have liked it too. My favorite part was at the end when the pictures of the real people came in.

The living room looks good.  We moved the furniture back more-or-less where it was, and I can pick it up enough tomorrow to babyproof.

Disdain for the Scientific Method.

A Memo to the Global Warming Cult

One of the worst sins you must answer for is the damage you have done to real science. We have much to learn about the Earth, its ecology, and its climate. We will not enhance our ability to learn those secrets by impoverishing ourselves in fit of primitive superstition and political opportunism. Desperate people don’t do a good job of protecting the environment… it is a job suitable only to vibrant nations of industry and technology. Those of us who still cherish independent thought, and the spirit of scientific inquiry, would like to resume our studies of the universe. It’s difficult to hear the truth whispered in the tides, the breeze, and the solar wind over the hysterical jabbering of fanatics, and the angry demands of greedy politicians.


At this point in time some kind of enormous, devastating event that shatters the Democrat Party to it’s core has to occur, or the entire world will be staring up the Obama’s upturned nostrils 24/7/365 as he arrogantly gloats about winning the Healthcare Reform Bill victory.

Sarah! on Climategate

Ed Morrissey on "incompetence as a theme of the 0bama administrations."

Comment (1)

Wed, Dec 16th - 3:03PM

December 12: A Disappointment

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 629
259.4 miles
cold, cloudy

109 recordings of 30 types.

Rasmussen: -16; 46/53.

Today we went downtown to a funeral. Our own church was busy with Our Lady of Guadalupe festivities.  Rich pointed out to me, in the church, that I actually had met the dead woman, at a fancy sponsor's dinner for Loretto some years ago. The husband was there, but he's got Altheimer's and obviously had no idea what was going on.  Many of the old guard at St. Philomene were there.

Afterwards Rich and I walked down to the Downtown Plaza to look at the decorations.  Boy, it's gloomy, and not just because of the weather. I remember when this mall was upscale and exciting. Most of the stores are gone now, and it's depressing.

Then I had the time wrong for Tuba Christmas, so instead of going out to lunch we decided to go home. Rich was in a big hurry to make his lunch so he took mine out of the microwave without waiting, the plate was hot and he dropped it, breaking the plate (one of our favorites because of its size) and ruining my lunch. He yelled and blamed the plate, which didn't help.

I deleted a program I'd wanted to see.  And then discovered that we'd missed Tuba Christmas because I had the time wrong.  On top of the lost lunch and the yelling and the other stuff, it was just too much. One of those really bad days.

It got a little better later.  We had to go out for some yellow enamel, so we went to the BX, to Home Depot, and to Cost Plus because Rich knew there was basket stuffing there.  Besides the red excelsior there, I also got a stollen. Yummy.

Red excelsior is the new blue spangles. (Our first Christmas I made cards and ornaments with spangles, and the blue spangles stayed with us, turning up here and there through at least 7 moves. I think they're finally gone... but it seems there'll be red excelsior turning up everywhere now.)

Comment (1)

Tue, Dec 15th - 11:30AM

December 11: Hunkering Down

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 629
256.4 miles
cold, rain

108 recordings of 33 types.

Rasmussen: -12; 47/51.

Having been exposed to a semi-sickly baby yesterday, I decided to take pre-emptive action and cocoon in today. Of course, I wound up helping to move furniture so we (Rich) can finish the living room. What a disaster it is right now!

One Last Wall to Paint     Ready to Paint

Darker Looking Bush Accepts the Peace Prize.  Heh.

Isn’t Obama doing everything the Liberals complained that Bush did, except Obama’s actually doing more of it!

Imperial Presidency – CHECK
Ballooning the Deficit – CHECK
Escalating the War – CHECK
Trampling the Constitution – CHECK
Hiding things (no transparency) – CHECK
Supporting the Patriot Act – CHECK
Cutting Medicare – CHECK


Bolton calls the speech shallow and sophomoric.

Let's have an inquisition!

Hillary was Right: Barack Obama wasn’t ready to be president, and he better figure out what he’s doing before it’s too late. (Reithan Salam)

Comment (0)

Mon, Dec 14th - 6:51PM

December 10: Parts for Gareth

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 629
256.4 miles
cold, rain

I've lost -1.3 pounds this week, but my BP is scary high.

109 recordings of 32 types.

It's the 30th anniversary of Bishop Sheen's death.

Out at the Retreat House, I spied a car with Gonzaga license plate frame and the license "DSAME 2U".

We took the playhouse parts (letters, shapes, and balls for the downspout) over to Gareth. He beamed when he saw us and came over to play with me and the house. He hasn't figured out the downspout, but he understands the letters and shapes. When it was time to leave I said "give me a hug" and he came toddling over beaming with his arms open.  He also squoze out a tear or two when we left.

Gareth and the Playhouse

Tonight we drove to a house display, wonderful lights here.  I like the fact that the different songs have completely different programming, not something the same.

A speech that showed Obama’s lack of moral grounding.

A politician that attained the presidency by bashing his country’s war effort in Iraq, who, upon becoming president, is doing exactly the same thing in Afghanistan while still bashing the previous administration.

A man who is being awarded a peace prize, established by a man who invented a new and exciting way to kill many, many more soldiers than ever before, in spite of the fact that he is the Commander-in-chief of the greatest military force ever assembled, bar none, in the history of mankind. A military that he holds in contempt, wants to reduce and otherwise neuter. Furthermore, its a military that doesn’t especially like him, either.

The incongruity of watching this man utter words that he does not believe is enough to make me wonder if my wife had slipped me a mickey in my morning coffee.

turfmann on December 10, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Rasmussen: -12; 46/53.

Mark Steyn asks what signal Barbie's burka sends?


Brett J. Patron: "I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence....because I am made safe and kept so by better men (and women) than I"

 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Rips UN for Silence on Iranian Atrocities.

Comment (1)

Sat, Dec 12th - 9:42PM

December 9: This and That

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 625
256.4 miles

107 recordings of 33 types.

There were only 9 people (besides Father) in church today. Well, it's cold.

My butterwort is dead already. I thought it would be a mistake to put it out on the coldest day of the year.  Maybe it's just hibernating. (I don't think so... it's quite dead).

Rasmussen: -10: 48/52.

I watched the "fascinating people" special till it got to Michelle 0bama. I can't stand her.

The parts for the Fisher-Price toy came. I can hardly wait for Gareth to see them.

0bama snubs the King. Instapundit comments:

To be fair, though, Obama’s just in town to pick up his prize, and the King probably doesn’t have enough accomplishments on his record yet to merit lunch with Obama. But here’s the best point:

The American president is acting like an elephant in a porcelain shop,” said Norwegian public-relations expert Rune Morck-Wergeland. “In Norwegian culture, it’s very important to keep an agreement. We’re religious about that, and Obama’s actions have been clumsy. You just don’t say no to an invitation from a European king. Maybe Obama’s advisers are not very educated about European culture, but he is coming off as rude, even if he doesn’t mean to.”

Stupid cowboy.


Instapundit again:

FREE-MARKET COMPETITION 1, GOVERNMENT 0: Fast-food standards for meat top those for school lunches. “In the past three years, the government has provided the nation’s schools with millions of pounds of beef and chicken that wouldn’t meet the quality or safety standards of many fast-food restaurants, from Jack in the Box and other burger places to chicken chains such as KFC, a USA TODAY investigation found.”

But don’t worry, they’ll do a bangup job on healthcare.

UPDATE: Steve Postrel writes: “The government could immediately surpass the fast food companies’ standards with two little words: food irradiation. The tech is decades old, thoroughly tested and proven safe, and they even use it in progressive Scandanavia! Surely the genius technocratic Vulcans in the Obama administration can mobilize their superior understanding of science and public policy to execute this no-brainer.” Yeah, because with these guys, it’s all about the science.

Comment (4)

Sat, Dec 12th - 9:29PM

December 8: Cold Enough to be December!

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 618
256.4 miles
hard frost, sun

105 recordings of 33 types.

I wouldn't have gone out today, but Bernadette had a doctor's appointment, so I was babysitting. (This also made it impossible to go to church on this holy day of obligation. Oops.) Gareth was still a little under the weather after they were all sick this weekend, so he didn't eat much. He sat in my lap, sucked his thumb, and watched Yo Gabba Gabba. He was happy to see his Mom, but was tired.

The Playhouse!     Gareth

After the hard frost, the leaves were just pouring down off the mulberry.

Hard Frost.

Someone threw tomatoes at Sarah Palin.  He had, according to Kitty O'Neal on the radio, weapons of mess destruction.

We had a lovely fire tonight (a "we'd rather you didn't burn" day.)

A Fire!!!

Rasmussen: -11; 47/52.

Watermelon Marxists : "Once America is gone, it will be gone forever"

George Will: 0bama Rushing Through too many Policies.
"America's nerves are frayed and tempers are short.The country is uneasy, even queasy, because Obama and Congress seem to be dashing through an ambitious agenda in a slapdash manner. Their haste reflects a hubris that prevents them from acknowledging that they do not know how to do all that they are attempting."

At this point I am divided as to whether this Jug Eared Jesus is the most unqualified boob ever to disgrace the presidency or is a dedicated socialist tool of George Soros hell bent on turning America into a Third World Urinal. But, stupid or clever, he is destroying this country.

MaiDee on December 8, 2009 at 11:06 PM

Comment (5)

Fri, Dec 11th - 9:54PM

December 7: Darn, No Santa!

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 611
256.4 miles

106 recordings of 33 types.

I started watching "Hoarders", and the very first one I see is a guy in Novato!

Tea Party Yow.  The GOP better pay attention.

Rasmussen: -11: 49/50

Great, take a look at your future.

The neighbor came over to tell us that Rich wasn't needed to be Santa after all.
I bet he will be disappointed despite all the griping he does.

Harry Reid says being against health care reform is like being for slavery.

It takes a special kind of imbecile to look at numbers like that, knowing that he’s already facing an uphill bid for reelection, and decide that the smart thing to do now is to compare ObamaCare skeptics to … slavery apologists. But Reid’s always been pretty special, hasn’t he?


Google commemorates Pearl Harbor Day.  Don Surber says:

I don’t question their patriotism.

They have none.


No problem, Mister President. We will always Remember Pearl Harbor and no American president will ever bow to the Emperor of Japa–

Oh. The Scorekeeper sees the problem.

Comment (3)

Fri, Dec 11th - 7:31PM

December 6: Carousel

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 611
256.4 miles
cloudy COLD!

95 recordings of 29 types.

St. Nicholas brought me a couple of carnivorous plants and some turtles (candy.)
This is the first time I really missed Father H. The kids at church didn't leave shoes and get candy as they have the past two years. That was the Father H. of the 80s, the one I really liked, as opposed to the current political dictatorial one.

Today we went to Davis (after a disastrous Pittsburgh game.  Poor Rich!  We were watching it on time delay and it was kind of like Schroedinger's Cat: until we saw the last few minutes Pittsburgh had either won or lost. Pity we got to the final 5 minutes. (with 5 alternating score-changing touchdowns: too bad it wasn't 4 or 6!)) ANYWAY, we went to Davis, as I said, to see "Carousel."  Not one of my favorites, and they didn't change my mind. It's a very talky, slow play, besides the unfortunate wife-beating message, and in the first half I kept dozing off. I don't know why it was Richard Rogers' favorite.  The Facebook discussion went like this:

Jan Yarnot still doesn't like "Carousel."
Jerry Moore I assume you mean the Broadway show and/or movie? Given the historical context, I like it. Still find myself whistling or humming some of the tunes. . .
Kathryn Yarnot I completely agree - and I generally like musicals. Can someone please explain to me its appeal?
Jan Yarnot Apparently it was Richard Rogers' favorite. I don't like the message "Sometimes you can get hit really hard and you don't feel it."
Good music, though.
Bernadette Durbin Apparently the play has a musical cue at that point that's something along the lines of "Musicians stop, in shock." It's bad that was lost in the musical.
Jenn Oates I don't like it either.
Marilyn Mullins I have to agree. I've never been fond of the Mrs. Mullin character for some reason.

Rasmussen: -14; 47/52

Oh, lordie, I didn't realize he had snubbed the Canadian prime minister.

No real deadline in Afghanistan:
It appears that President Obama spent the better part of four months vacillating on policy, only to have reached a conclusion that what he needed was … more vacillation. One has to hope that Gates has this right and everyone else wrong, but that seems rather unlikely. It sounds more like Gates is playing to the conservatives, Obama is playing to the Left, and Hillary isn’t sure what which side she’s supposed to be courting. As politics, it’s particularly inept, and as war management, it’s worse.

Victor Davis Hanson, Our Present Anxieties

In other words, nothing Obama has seen overseas is, by past standards, all that unusual. Iraq was mostly quiet when he assumed office. We had not been hit again since 9/11. The Patriot Act and anti-terrorism protocols were in play and working. The fact that he has not yet closed Guantanamo and kept Predators, tribunals, renditions, etc. apparently means he finds them useful—despite the reset rhetoric.

But what is different from past Presidents is the serial, incessant whine of ‘poor me’, ‘Bush did it’, “we have to hit the reset the button” with the Russians, the Arabs, the Iranians, the Europeans, etc. I thought all this would have the usual shelf-life of 6 months. But here it is nearly a year and we are getting more, not less of it. We are back to the lamentations of Jimmy Carter, who, 30 years after his disastrous leadership in 1979-80 on the Iranian hostage crisis, is still talking about how others would have done worse, and how he had saved thousands of lives.

Declaring war on another war president.

Linda Hodges It's "unprecedented" all right!! NEVER have we seen such openly displayed lack of respect and devaluation of every single American value, right, foundational beliefs, etc. etc.
NEVER have we seen THIS MUCH AUDACITY and effort to destroy everything we hold dear, from human life and the family to death with dignity! I keep praying for God to hear our cries!!!!!!!!

0bama got elected, so deserves the Peace Prize?  Shouldn't the American voter get it, then?

This is gratitude?

Steven denBeste. I've really missed his well-thought-out posts, and this one is really good.  It defines the difference between Conservatives and Liberals well, and explains why Father H., for instance, thought 0bama would solve everything. He's a teleologist.

Hmmm, seems the media is beginning to sour.  0bama the Mortal, by Dana Milbank.

Oh, heck, I messed up on the Fisher-Price order and didn't put down the code for free shipping, so $5 has become $10. Shucks.

Comment (2)

Thu, Dec 10th - 9:53PM

December 5: Recession Shopping

(I keep meaning to do two or three days to catch up, but some days I'm lucky to just post one.)

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 611
256.4 miles

108 recordings of 32 types.

I remembered First Friday... this is the second consecutive one of this set.

I had to get Rich's St. Nicholas Day present, so off I went to Target. There was a digital coin bank I thought he might like.  I also browsed a bit and found a couple of books I must get for Gareth, but since I wanted to spend cash I didn't get them today.  I was interested to note that parking was easy, and there wasn't much of a wait at the checkout (only 3 lines open).  I'm guessing there really is a recession!

Iowahawk: I am Proud to Lead you Men to the Nearest Offramp.

Rasmussen: -14; 47/52.

Vodkapundit's video week-in-review.

Bringing the Iraq war to an irresponsible end.

Is 0bama Bush Lite?


The New York Times has finally noticed 0bama is an amateur!

Steyn: "The Grand Young Duke of Hope has 30,000 men. He'll march them up the Khyber Pass but he'll march them down again in July 2011."

Let's just hope this works out as well as the last time he went to Copenhagen to broker a deal.

We Can Do This.

R.S. McCain:
You are not only bringing shame on your office, Senator Baucus, but you're a disagrace to the adulterous traditions of the Democratic Party. You're only supposed to have affairs with idealistic young aides who care so much for the progressive cause that they don't mind signing false affidavits to protect you from scandal, or being left to die when you get drunk and drive a car off a bridge.

Oh, brother.

Gifted communicator fails to communicate.

Comment (2)

Wed, Dec 9th - 10:38PM

December 4: Genius Child

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 611
256.3 miles
sunny, crisp

My weight is where it was last year.  Even the road trip didn't do me as much harm as the trip to Pittsburgh. My blood pressure is still bad, bad.

As my numb lip begins to heal, I sometimes wish it back.  It appears there's a problem with one of my lower front teeth: when I can feel it I have a toothache. Ow. I may have to go in for this one, if it doesn't clear up. Merry Christmas!

103 recordings of 33 types.  Rasmussen: -12; 46/54.

Bernadette came over with Gareth so we could go to the SPCA booksale. I tried very hard to be good, but didn't really succeed.  Besides some books for Gareth, I also got:

FAVORITE FAIRY TALES. This one has classic illustrations, and is just beautiful.
S IS FOR SILENCE, Sue Grafton. (First I have to actually read P IS FOR PERIL, though!)
THE ATTORNEY, Steve Martini
THE 6TH TARGET, James Patterson
NATURE GIRL, Carl Hiassen

Oh, well. Rich had the baby and all was well till they came by the window and Bernadette waved at him.  He wanted his Mommy then.  After we finished with the books we looked at their Christmas thrift shop where Bernadette got some ornaments for her outdoor trees. Then we went to Marie Callendar for lunch. Gareth had macaroni and cheese and some bread, and was charming again.

Back at the house I left the room for a minute and when I got back, he had Brobee upside down and singing. I had no idea Brobee could do that. All we ever had Brobee do was ask if you'd dance with him.  There's a button on one foot that Gareth discovered.  The toy has a whole song-and-dance routine and teaches "the Brobee" dance, then finishes with "you're AWESOME!" Good thing the child knows how the toys work!

0bama nails it on job creation. His words don't match his deeds.

He lies.

Whiny and unpresidential.

Comment (0)

Tue, Dec 8th - 8:59PM

December 3: Playhouse

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 611
253.5 miles
fog, then sunny and crisp

102 recordings of 34 types.

I'm up 1.6 pounds, and my blood pressure is high.

At the retreat house today, we were asked to pray for premie twins, born in Korea. Apparently they're in a really great NICU, who knew? Also, we had brownies (bad Jan!) for the 4th birthday of a little boy who comes often.

When I got back we took the house down to Gareth. Unfortunately, I forgot the camera. I was a little afraid it would scare him, but he came over to see what I had and immediately began to play.  This has different songs for each thing. (Later in the week I discovered I can buy the replacement parts, the blocks and the balls and the letters.) Anyway, he seems to love it, and there's a lot of play value in it. Yay!

Rasmussen: -11; 46/54

"I doubt the cadets suffering through Obama’s speech at West Point will have their spirits broken by the experience, but their parents – and the enemies of America – heard no talk of victory, and in wartime the only alternative to victory is defeat. Both at home and abroad, the argument that people should do their best, even though they can’t possibly win, will never be compelling or inspirational. A nation that still has fire coursing through its veins is hungry for inspiration, and will have to starve a little longer."---Harry Bell quoting Hot Air.

It's a start.

Ed Morrissey comments on the President:
"unbelievably petty and unnecessarily political.  After all, one can agree or disagree on the strategic decision to stop building more F-22s without turning the system into some sort of bête noir.  The US has 187 F-22s defending the nation, and thousands of men and women flying and maintaining them.  The crews that operate the F-22 take justifiable pride in their performance, and it would make sense for them to display their latest and best fighter platform as representative of their efforts."
Won't he ever JUST SHUT UP???!
He must have been asleep.

Tonight we went to Jesuit's "Lessons & Carols."  It's exactly the same as last year's, but for some reason this year I heard two poems really well.

If, as with Herod,
we fill our lives with things,
and again with things;
if we consider ourselves so important
that we must fill every
moment of our lives with action,
when will we have the time to make the long,
slow journey across the burning desert as did the Magi?
Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds?
Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary?

For each of us there is a desert to travel,
a star to discover,
and a being within ourselves to bring to life.

the Ignatian Contemplation:

God speaks to each of us before we are,
Before we're in cloudy speech,
But only then, God speaks these words to each
And silently walks with us from the dark:

Driven by your senses, dare
To the edge of longing. Grow
Like a fire's shadow-casting glare
Behind assembled things, so you can spread
Their shapes on me as clothes.
Don't leave me bare.

Let it all happen to you: beauty and dread.
Simply go: no feeling is too much
And only this way can we stay in touch.

Near here is the land
That they call Life.
You'll know when you arrive
By how real it is.

Give me your hand.

(I sent that one to my pregnant friend.)

Comment (0)

Tue, Dec 8th - 2:35PM

December 2: Virtual Grenade

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 611
253.5 miles
sunny, crisp

100 recordings of 35 types

Today was the Advent Day of Prayer at the Retreat House. We got out there shortly after 9, time to pay and to socialize a little.  Just before the conference started, Rich announced that the magazine still hadn't refunded the money. He was confused about what was what, so I diagrammed and explained, again, the confusing turn of events with these people.  He still didn't get it, and said "you must have done something stupid." Just in time for the conference to start.

I was devastated. I couldn't help it, I cried through the first talk. (Rich was sleeping, so he didn't know.) Sister is a very nice lady, but her approach to prayer is so diametrically different from mine she might as well be talking Swahili anyway.  So I cried.  By the time Father David came up, I was a little calmer.  His talk was more interesting to me, anyway.  He spoke of joy, and also of C.S. Lewis' book SURPRISED BY JOY.  Turns out this is one I don't have.

I remember back to December 1971 in England. I'd been sick, and was down. It wouldn't surprise me if Bernadette didn't get her Seasonal Affective Disorder from me, though my case is milder. The world was gray, both literally and figuratively. I was just going through the motions. It had been 3 years since I was home, too.
We lit the Advent wreath.  The 2-year-old was sitting in the high chair, and his eyes lit up: "Happy Birthday!" he started to sing. OK, joy! I was filled with happiness, joy.

We had a break, and I walked around the lot, calming down. I was still crying, but it was mostly better. Back at the center, Brother Kurt talked about Advent and Christmas memories. We had people remembering the blackouts in London, and real candles on real trees.  I remember a few years back, when we'd light the Advent wreath and sing, Sailor would bark and semi-howl along, wanting to be part of the family.  Pharaoh just looks puzzled.

Then when we broke for lunch, I complained to Rich.  He completely forgot he said it and didn't realize how devastating I found it. I must remember not to throw my own verbal grenades. It's so easy to hurt someone, without even realizing it.

Lunch was good. We met a Doyle (first name) from Wyoming, and found out he didn't know our Father Taylor, and his name was not a family name... I'd thought maybe he was related to my grandfather somehow. Apparently Doyle was the name of one of the cowboys the family employed: so maybe the cowboy was related to my granddaddy.

After Mass, we went thrift shopping. I was looking for at least one Christmas basket, and found two nice ones.  Then we checked in at the new Goodwill which is where Tower records used to be. They had something I'd passed up at a garage sale, and for only $8, the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Playhouse.  I think Gareth will really like it!

The White House should blacklist NBC.  (and Bravo.) Yeah, right. Mind you, I *like* Top Chef and now Chef Academy.

I wish my President liked this country.

One of my Facebook friends is congratulating Meridith Baxter for "courage" announcing she's gay... what on earth is she talking about? It almost takes more courage to announce you aren't.

Rasmussen: -12; 47/52

Schadenfreude is so unattractive.  (And so so tempting.)

A small man on a big stage.

Obama hosts a job summit while his EPA kills jobs.

Don Surber:

Why does every new version of Windows remind the Scorekeeper of when they added Jar-Jar Binks to Star Wars? Bring back Windows 386.

Dick Morris: “In 2008, Britain had a cancer death rate 0.25% while the United States had a rate of only 0.18%. The UK cancer death rate was 38% higher than in the United States.”

Don’t worry. Under Obamacare, our health care system will be just as good as the National Health Service.

Comment (0)

Mon, Dec 7th - 7:09AM

December 1: November Summary

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 611
253.3 miles
sunny, crisp

102 recordings of 35 types.

I've been forgetting part of the morning prayer... I've really got to get back to doing this every day.

The November summary for Rich:



























And, 4 baseballs, 2 whiffle softballs, whiffle baseball, Dracula figure, earring, pendant, toy handcuffs, Little League pin, pocket nail tool, 3 pens, mechanical pencil, 10 tokens, small glass bottle, aerobee, thermal drinking cup, child's bracelet, flower barette, headband, child's watch, plastic finger ring, toy basketball, koosh ball, 7 roller bearings, 3 sockets, 3 lug nuts, ball bearing, 2 sabre saw blades, hacksaw blade, small driverextended needle nose pliers, jar of spacers, 10 inch spike.

For me, 9.4 miles in November (ouch!), 1.9 pounds down, high blood pressure, 5 pages (again ouch!), 3 books, no movies, 1 play, 13 Masses.

We found 50 caches (total 6531). We're 168th in the world, and 11th locally. We've passed where Tanky was when he died, but fortunately his widow is chugging ahead so we'll never catch them.

I did 1 whole page of proofing in November. Facebook (and Farmville) have eaten my brain. I'm in 898th (out of 28,067 proofers) place in the first proofing round, with 861 pages proofed (This must not stand!) 12th (out of 3241) in P2 with 23495 pages,  460th of 776 in P3 with 469 pages, and formatting 470th place (2603) with 1020 pages.

And in Flickr stats, there are about 75262 views of my photostream. I'm further behind in Flickr and in proofing and I'm still behind with the journal. Every time I'm close to catching up, something happens. In Netflix, I watched Torchwood season 2, disk 5, and the two Torchwood: Children of Earth disks.

Rasmussen: -13; 47/51. A 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll Asks If 0bama Should Be Added to Mt. Rushmore.  Sadly, I think they're serious. All the man has accomplished is to have been born half-black, and to not be Bush.

Harry Bell said about that: "High time I say. You have to wonder why we haven't thought of this long ago. When I think of all that this man has sacrificed & acomplished against such monumental odds. His willingness to silently labor on in our behalf without any thought of fanfare or accolades. I just wonder if this would honor his lengthy & selfless service to this country enough."

The Cloistered Echo Chamber.  The Washington Examiner points out that 0bama is keeping his promise(!) but the Dems are caving.

Kathryn Lopez: "I find it hard not to feel sad about the president's speech tonight."

A Commander-in-Chief and his lieutenant:

The president kept 68,000 soldiers and Marines in harm’s way while he pondered whether it merited his political capital to pay the ticket price of his grand rhetoric about this good war, this war of necessity, that had been scandalously under-resourced.

Open Mouth, Insert Foot.

Can 0bama save his Presidency?
Alternatively, of course, President Obama could hunker down, embrace "the specter of a warming planet," and disgrace himself by telling us what anyone who pays the slightest attention to developments knows to be untrue, as he has done so often in the health care debates. If he does so, however -- if he really is, as I suspect, a one-trick pony, an empty suit with a golden tongue -- he will only accelerate his precipitous decline and that of his party in the polls.

Word count on the speech:
“‘I’ – 45, ‘Afghanistan’ – 39, ‘Victory’ – 0.”
Yeah, that's my boy.

Speech summary from Instapundit.

@DLoesch "America will speak out on behalf of their human rights." Just like we did in Iran. Whoops. I mean Honduras. Oh, WHOOPS.


This is going to be stirring, isn't it? With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will give a clear sense of both the time frame for action and how the war will eventually wind down! Let every nation know that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, to ratchet back our presence after the buildup! Either you are with us or you are with those who would fail to make clear that a significant American presence will remain, not just for a while but for a long while!

It sounds as though, after months of indecision, the president has finally resolved to be irresolute.

Comment (0)

Sat, Dec 5th - 10:37PM

November 30: Bad Kitty!

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 611
253.3 miles
brisk, then sunny and warm

102 recordings of 34 types.

Rasmussen: -14, 47/52.

My blood pressure was scary high this morning (my weight is up, too, drat that delicious donut yesterday!!) so I decided to walk to church.

The rest of the day was spent at home. I discovered that Abby has hit new lows. She has always been a little off in her litter box skills, and when Spooky came, she got a lot worse.  Spooky quite LOVES the litter box and claimed it for himself. We got another one, moved one into a different room, but the black cat still is very territorial. So she's been going on the floor, or in the living room, sometimes in the bedroom... and today I discovered she's been urinating on the bath mat (which we've been putting on the rim of the tub so she wouldn't do that.) This cat is a nuisance, but she's over 10, so I guess I can put up with it some years longer.

Her eyes have been clear since we got back from Pittsburgh. I've been trying to pay her a lot of attention at night so she won't feel stressed, and it seems to be working.

So, anyway, I spent the day soaking and washing the bathmat. It's a lot better now. We're now putting it rubber side up on the rim of the tub. Rotten cat!

The other project-du-jour was to process the pink warty pumpkin.  When I was cooking it in the oven, the skin turned orange. I like this thing. I froze packets of 2 C pumpkin puree (I *do* like the Cuisinart!!)

There's a czar for that.

Summary of the hypocrisy that is the Copenhagen meeting.

The unmasking of Barack 0bama

The consent of the governed.  The Anchoress has a big roundup.

"Hide the decline" and "Quick, delete these files before somebody catches on" and "HOLY CRAP WHY CAN'T I GET THIS DATA TO SAY WHAT WE NEED IT TO SAY IN ORDER TO KEEP OUR JOBS" aren't exactly complex scientific concepts.

7 stories 0bama doesn't want told.

Comment (2)

Sat, Dec 5th - 2:30PM

November 29: Apple Hill

November 29: Apple Hill

Hush that anguished hymn you're humming: / "Come, O Come, Emmanuel." / Trumpet Christmas! Fix his coming / firmly at "The First Nowell."

He's already come in glory! / Why plead, "Savior, come at last"? / Let's talk Christmas! Tell a story / safely in the distant past.

Drown out John the Baptist. Edit / out "Prepare! Make straight the way!" / Cut to Christmas! Buy on credit. / Square things up another day.

Advent's dreary. Let's start living / Christmas now! Wear red and green! / While we're at it, skip Thanksgiving! / Deck the halls at Halloween!

Then, when the Incarnate Verb / overnight becomes passé, / carry Christmas to the curb. / Pack the Prince of Peace away. -Julie Stoner

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 611
250.3 miles
sunny, cold

95 recordings of 31 types.

"Climaquiddick" I like that.

I'd seen some of my Facebook friends going to Apple Hill and so realized it was still open. We haven't been for years and years and that time most of the farms were closed.  It sounded like a good idea, so I ran a geocaching pocket query, Rich printed maps, and off we went after church.

Our first stop was Abel Acres.  We've been there before, probably when the kids were little.  We had lunch there, then went caching and shopping all around Apple Hill.  We found 9 caches and had only one no-find, and we visited a lot of farms. We made sure to go to the place that sold dolls (nothing special.)  We visited one place that had "crying tongue" olives (stuffed with jalapenos and marinated with habaneros.  Gee, I wonder why they named it that.) We saw the Larkin family museum. We went to the brewery and had a nice talk with a vendor selling safari stuff.  She is the supplier to Safari West. I tried some types of apples I've never heard of, and I like Arkansas Black and Mutso, and Lady Pink.  It was a beautiful day and a lot of fun.  We need to go back more frequently.

IMG_6227     IMG_6238     View at Apple Hill

Oddly, data is missing.

Al Gore Slammed by Congress.

0bama's own words demonstrate his real character.

Donna Marie Ruby: I like the article not the six trillion. The man is insane and anyone who follows this man is destroying America. He is tying the hands of our military, spending cash like shat through a tin horn and spreading the dread. People are ticked off. PC is out the window.

If we're in it, let's win it. (Sarah Palin): "We head into the Christmas season wishing for leadership in Washington that reflects our commitment to the values and ideals that have built the freest and most prosperous and generous nation on earth."

The Arabs have stopped Applauding 0bama

'He talks too much," a Saudi academic in Jeddah, who had once been smitten with Barack Obama, recently observed to me of America's 44th president. He has wearied of Mr. Obama and now does not bother with the Obama oratory.

Comment (0)

Fri, Dec 4th - 8:14PM

November 28: Advent Candles

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 611
250.3 miles

99 recordings of 33 types.

So, we didn't shop all day yesterday, so we were ready to explode today. (Not really, but we did have a couple of things in mind!)  We really needed Advent candles (that's 3 purple, 1 pink...) First, though, I had to return the two library books. I actually read these! In time!!

Then we went to check out the new location of Easter's Catholic Bookstore. It's in an old part of a furniture store that has reduced its footprint.  Very nice setup and a lot of stuff I want, but I settled for the Advent candles and next year's Liturgy of the Hours schedule.

Then we checked out Target, just because we were in the area, hoping maybe to find the REO Speedwagon Christmas album. No luck there, but we did find a solar powered glass globe for the front yard and got it. Rich also picked up the sonic mouse repellant which we hope will also discourage rats in the attic.

Then we went to Wishing Well. There's a store on its last legs. They have hardly any stock and seem to be in a death spiral. I bought a relish tray since I'll probably be doing the "legendary" food again.  The clerk says they got a new owner in October and he hasn't told them anything. Too bad, I liked Wishing Well.

I *threw out* the old candy on the piano!  And put up the Advent wreath. It looks great.

Advent Wreath

Boy Scout Becomes Union Boss of SEIU Volunteers

Nothing Wrong with Nationalized Health Care.  Move Along!

Lamestream Media again

Let us give thanks...for 0bama.

Bev Sykes: It's so windy I'm afraid to open the back door, for fear I'll find myself surrounded by munchkins.

Undocumented guests.

Legal Insurrection
The "jobs summit" not only is not a magic bullet, it also is not even a bullet. It is the equivalent of an upper-level seminar on job creation offered by a professor who never created a job.

Dominos Succeed. (Nouning a verb instead of the usual direction.) I also like the beer pour, the tooth pull, so many.  This is a fun blog.

Reading: Rousseau and Revolution, What If? edited by Robert Cowley, the Bible (Zachariah), Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, The Hallowed Hunt, Lois McMaster Bujold, Common Sense, Glenn Beck, Don Quixote, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, David Elkind, Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, Katherine B. Chauncey.

Comment (0)

Wed, Dec 2nd - 10:05PM

November 27: Buy-Nothing Day

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 611
250.3 miles
sunny, crisp

106 recordings of 33 types.

I forgot to mention the "open the door, close the door, open the door, close the door" and "the hat is in, the hat is out" conversation I had at (not with, at) Gareth on Wednesday while he played with the toy pantry.  I'm trying to give him some language.

I also didn't mention RJs step-sister who was, uh, troublesome when her dad died and who has been going around the world on her merry way ever since. Apparently she called Kathy this week and it sounds like she was angling for a dinner invitation. Kathy was describing her trips and said she'd be out of money in months (and without her father to bail her out this time. He did her no favors enabling her irresponsibility). I had been talking about my cousin's worries and my comment to her about her ex-inlaws "they aren't your problem any more" so I just repeated this to Kathy. I do believe it's time to grow up when you've hit the late 40s.

It's Black Friday: so I stayed home and Bought Nothing.

Krauthammer, Kill The Bills: Do Health Reform Right. “Insuring the uninsured is a moral imperative. The problem is that the Democrats have chosen the worst possible method — a $1 trillion new entitlement of stupefying arbitrariness and inefficiency. The better choice is targeted measures that attack the inefficiencies of the current system one by one — tort reform, interstate purchasing. and taxing employee benefits. It would take 20 pages to write such a bill, not 2,000 — and provide the funds to cover the uninsured without wrecking both U.S. health care and the U.S. Treasury.”

The competing narratives of Barry and Sarah.

The only scores Obama shares are the imagined racial ones that need to be settled, a working out of his "pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against [his] mother's race."
Obama admits to "marginal report cards" in prep school, but his underperformance does not diminish his dreams. He hits the mainland in the late 1970s with the "diversity" movement in full flower. Diversity's rationale is that people of varied cultures enrich the educational experience. Obama's upbringing, however, has been thoroughly white and elitist. The diversity bean-counters couldn't care less. His skin color improves their "metrics." Obama will ride this pony far.

JOHN STOSSEL: We Pay Them To Lie To Us. “I happily suspend disbelief when a magician says he’ll saw a woman in half. That’s entertainment. But when Harry Reid says he’ll give 30 million additional people health coverage while cutting the deficit, improving health care and reducing its cost, it’s not entertaining. It’s incredible.”

Plus this: “If a business pulled the accounting tricks the politicians get away with, the owners would be in prison.

Latest on the AGW hoax. Here's more from Eric S. Raymond.

0bama's Dithering like Gen McClellan?
General McChrystal told the president that the war could be lost in a year, and three months of that year have been given to the enemy to regroup and prepare. War, as it happens, is a zero-sum game in which waiting does, in fact, cost lives. This isn’t a mere political football. If you have a general who is competent, as McChrystal is, give him what he says he needs to win.

Clubbing SEALs.

if the three had treated Abed like Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq has routinely treated American soldiers it captures, his bloody, mutilated corpse would've turned up floating in a river.

(For the record, the number of US combat troops captured in Iraq and Afghanistan who have been recovered alive is approximately zero.)

What is especially ironic, to say nothing of infuriating, about the SEALs' inquisition is that it underscores the utter lack of curiosity exhibited by the Pentagon in the matter of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army shrink and Islamist.


Glenn Reynolds:
THEY’VE BEEN SERVING WITH DISTINCTION SINCE RIGHT AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, but can we count on the Retail Support Brigade to save America one more time? I’m not sure. With doubts about where the national leadership is taking them and whether it values their sacrifice, and whether it will support them in the crunch, it’s hard for me to recommend re-enlistment at this point. On the other hand, I’ll be spending about the same as last year, but, as usual, mostly online.

Like he says, good grief! (Mayor Bloomburg doesn't want the homeless to get fat.)

John Bolton was right.

Zo on Thanksgiving

Reading: Rousseau and Revolution, What If? edited by Robert Cowley, the Bible (Zachariah), Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, Common Sense, Glenn Beck, Don Quixote, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, David Elkind, Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, Katherine B. Chauncey.

Comment (1)

Wed, Dec 2nd - 8:39AM

November 26: Thanksgiving

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 611
250.3 miles
sunny, crisp

103 recordings of 33 types.

We started the day by going to church. Rich and I ended up taking the offering up.  After Mass, the food people brought was blessed. I had my salami rolls with cream cheese. Once they were blessed, it translates to all the food on the table.

Afterwards we went to get our Thanksgiving cache and while we were about it a couple of other close by ones. Rich said this would be a great day to do the whole neighborhood area; however, if we were staying around I would have to be cooking.

We started off for Novato but had to get gas. I'd forgotten the camera, and Rich forgot to go home for it, so we wasted about 20 minutes on a turnaround.  We got stuck in really bad traffic between Davis and Dixon, and oddly enough it was bad on the other side going to Dixon, as well. We have no idea why Dixon was the bottleneck.  Before we got to Dixon and traffic thinned, I called Rob to find out what traffic was like (he has an iPhone) and he said it was bad all the way to Novato.  They were getting into Davis, so about 5 miles behind us.

Then, finally, it loosened up, at least till we got onto Highway 37.  There was an enormous backup there. I called to announce we were going to be about an hour late. We crawled along the causeway, then turned off at Sears Point to stop at Infineon Raceway and replace a cache for a friend. That done, we got back on the highway and finally arrived at Roni's about 3:15. I dashed to the computer and logged the replacement cache, and by the time I was done, Bernadette and family had arrived.

 Baby on the stairs!

I immediately set out the food. Monica had brought a cheese plate, so we had plenty to snack on as the day went along. Monica says she had to teach her children about putting olives on their fingers!  Gareth was having none of that, to his mother's disappointment.

My     Black Olives

I gave Genevieve her present. She seemed pleased, but the kids were wild. Monica showed me the cable-knit sweater she made for herself. Beautiful!!! I complained that she hasn't been to our house for 2.5 years. She claimed she was planning to come before the State Fair, but I remember that was afterwards, and we had an event to attend that night.  I didn't complain that she's been to San Diego more often than our house.  She also sees nothing wrong with prioritizing the cabin above family.  Grumble.

I asked RJ how his back is. It still hurts. He says he probably shouldn't have played 27 holes of golf 10 days after surgery. Glorp. He'd planned to spend that two weeks playing golf but I heard the post-op instructions which he apparently ignored.  If we get 0bamacare they'll never allow another surgery since he was so stupid after this one.

Kathy, RJ's mother, was talking about something she bought for herself and Roni grumbled at me... like RJ, they always buy something for themselves just before their birthday or Christmas.  We had a house rule, nothing for yourself after Thanksgiving or for a month before your birthday.

Dinner was at 6, three tables.  Gareth had had a meltdown by that time, so Rob took him downstairs and after I ate I went down to spell him.  Poor baby had a tummyache, and was overstimulated. I lay down on the bed with him and rubbed his back and tummy and sang to him. He'd almost go to sleep then start up again. Rob came back and took him to the rocking chair and I got up... and that's when all the wine I had had hit at once. I almost fell down. Very gingerly moved out of the room and stood against the wall till my head stopped spinning.  Then I was OK the rest of the day. Unlike some times leaving Roni's, tonight I stayed awake all the way home.

The food was great. I think apart from the potatoes, Roni didn't cook. RJ did one turkey and Mark the other. Kathy brought the cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pies. RJ made a pear salad which he oddly served after the main course. His brother made the yams. It was all yummy.

Roni had set the tables and kept things running smoothly, and she cleaned up alone despite everyone offering to help. I think she was able to enjoy the day, which is the proper way to celebrate Thanksgiving. My Mom always stressed out so much. I tried to simplify here so I could enjoy the meal, but had some stress-out moments. I especially remember telling Rich he'd better stop grousing or he'd have his meal outside one time. (He used to give me a LOT of stress!)

We had a couple of sort-of graces: Charlotte led our table in something. Mark says he's thankful for his job. Me too, me too. Monica's happy to be redecorating the house.  Kathy is enjoying (mostly) living alone. I'm sure she gets lonely, but she does enjoy not being responsible for anyone but herself and not having to answer to anyone. She's looking better than she did on the 4th of July.

Bernarob left first with a subdued but morose baby (he fell asleep right away, they say.)  They were heading to Los Gatos.  We were next, about a half hour later, taking turkey carcasses and books and our serving dishes.  Got home before 10. Nice trip.

Reading: Rousseau and Revolution, What If? edited by Robert Cowley, the Bible (Zachariah), Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, Common Sense, Glenn Beck, Women of the Silk, Gail Tsukayama, Don Quixote, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, David Elkind, Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, Katherine B. Chauncey.

Comment (0)

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