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Wed, Feb 29th - 9:32PM

February 24: Geocaching

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
38.9 miles

171 recordings of 50 types. 10% clear.

Rasmussen: -13:49/50

0bamateurism, Not so much.

This morning I forgot to put Rich's ring-on-a-chain on, and I felt naked.

I went shopping. I wanted a green shirt (that I saw last time) so I'd have something for St. Patrick's Day.  I got it at half price, $10!  I also got groceries. Gas is $3.999 a gallon.  I was starting the next grocery list while I was still in the commissary.... stuff I wanted but not right now. Also orzo and veggie stock, since they were out.  I decided 2 20-pound jugs of cat litter were better than yet another 35-pound pail. 

Then this afternoon I took Pharaoh to West Sacramento caching. I'm beginning to get out in the country.
I couldn't find the first cache, though since I was parked near it I tried three times. (It turns out to be gone.) I did find 4, and decided not to go after another because it was down the levee and all I could think about was slipping and hurting myself, clear the heck and gone away from civilization.  Caching alone is not only sad, but you've gotta be careful.

On the way home, I noted the McKinley Park Rose Garden is blocked off. I wonder why? 

I went in back to see if I could print up a geocache form and I found Rich's write up for the ushers for the church Book of the Dead, in November of 2010. In a year he'd be in it.  Sigh.

I also found a letter we wrote to an engaged couple we were praying for (I wonder how they're doing!) and I said "he is the rock of our life, the wind beneath my wings, the best friend I will ever have."


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Wed, Feb 29th - 11:20AM

February 23: Joanna the Engineer

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
37.2 miles

165 recordings of 51 types. 13% free.

Rasmussen: -12: 50/49.

Bragging up Boeing?

Manufacturing has always been the height of political fashion, and so it’s never a surprise when politicians talk about their commitment to expanding the manufacturing sector.  Usually, though, they manage to do it in an area where their actions haven’t strangled it.

...  Obama offered this piece of advice at the event, which reads curiously like a warning:

    “What’s happening here in Everett can happen in other industries,” Obama added today during his discussion of American manufacturing.

If we let Obama have another term, I’ll bet that will be absolutely true.

I didn't know about the October CSUS fires.  (I was otherwise worried at that time.)

Fortunately, I figured out where SaveMart is. I stopped there after Mass and got a pound of salmon, which was on special. Now to figure out how to cook it!

I'm sad about Straw Hat... Rich saw it, but we never got into it together. 

Today I went down to Elk Grove and babysat Joanna while they took Gareth to his IEP.  I'd brought a few of the toys I got yesterday. I showed Joanna the Fisher-Price sorting toy.  We talked about circles and squares and rectangles, and later colors, and then "empty" and "full."  Suddenly, she decided that it was silly to put the blocks in through the holes when she could take the lid off and put the blocks in that way.  Then you put the lid on!  She had a lot of fun with it.

Gareth will be starting preschool on April 3, 4 days a week, 2 hours a day. He's excited. So are his folks, hoping they'll help with his gross motor skills, his understanding of pretend play, his social skills, etc.

On the way home, I stopped at PetSmart and found a dog bed for Pharaoh.  I also got him a new cow femur bone, since the other one has begun to get smaller. When I let him in, he sniffed at the bed, and then I said "come on" and headed to the bedroom. He raced ahead of me, dragged the blanket he's been using (the last three years) out of the bed space, and when I put the bed down he plopped right into it.  He was thrilled. I had no idea he'd even know what it was, but I sure made his day.  He liked the bone, too, but that wasn't as much of a surprise.

DSC00256    DSC00263

I had a nice call from Vince. I don't think I let him get a word in edgewise.

I didn't have enough in the recycling can to put it out. Tsk. 

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Tue, Feb 28th - 11:44PM

February 22: Ash Wednesday

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
37.2 miles

161 recordings of 50 types. 15% clear.

Rasmussen: -15: 50/49

Religious freedom is just the first casualty of 0bamacare but it won't be the last.

it’s time to remember that the mandate is not just a violation of religious liberty; it’s also the first concrete evidence that Obamacare violates our liberties in general.
...opponents of Obamacare need to remind the undecided that religious freedom is just the _first_ casualty of Obamacare, but far from the last.

The last line says that we’ve “handed the moral compass for some of our most personal healthcare decisions to bureaucrats.”
We haven’t handed anything to bureaucrats. The government has taken that moral compass away from us, under penalty of law.
That is tyranny. We are living under tyranny. Politics is revealing itself as inadequate to the task of dealing with tyrants.
IronDioPriest on February 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Last year, elephant seals. This is Ash Wednesday, and I cried.  The music director came over to say hi and I was all tears.

I'm setting up to replace the CRS Marconi cache. 

Tyler was over to help Frank with the yard work. I remember Rich telling newborn Gareth that he expected him to help with the yard!  Now I expect him to be my caretaker when I'm old and doddery.

The VIA cover is cactus.  We went to 3 of the 4 places they talked about.

I still have some of the salad dressing Rich made. Someday I'll run out.

Rich would have been at the Jesuit playoffs (well, I would have been, too.)

I went to the Support Group. The topic is rebuilding your life. I can't think about that, yet. I can only plan a few months at a time. I probably have to dig out of the house first.  I'm still too sad. There were two other people with smudgy foreheads, but I think mine was the smudgiest!

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Tue, Feb 28th - 6:43PM

February 21: The Library Expands

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
37.2 miles

160 recordings of 47 types. 15% free.

Rasmussen: -15: 49/49

53/38 Majority still wants 0bamacare Repealed

If Republicans — including Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum — can emphasize the issue of the HHS mandate as a predictable exercise of dictatorial power from the ObamaCare bill and pull attention away from the specifics of the mandate, they can both broaden the outrage over the mandate and leverage the political opposition to ObamaCare.

He still doesn't know what Memorial Day is.

Rich would have done parking for the Bishop and Sharing God's Bounty tonight. He'd have had to leave WAY early, but he'd have done a great job. Sigh.

I looked at plum branches growing straight up and decided to use the pole lopper which is apparently mine, and cut them.  A successful experiment.  Now I have to wait till the green can is empty to cut these into it, but yay. Meanwhile, Pharaoh has only been home a day and a half, yet there were at least 10 piles out there.  He must have been saving it.

My geocaching friends brought many more books and toys. Old style Fisher-Price farm (not as nice as the current) and schoolhouse (nicer, but Joanna won't be able to play with it because of the little pieces) and lots and lots of books. I've got to sort through everything I have.

I'm adjusting the pet food. Abby's downright plump, and Pharaoh has lost to 45 pounds, which is fine, but I don't want him any lower. So I'm giving her less and him a little more.

Facebook started its timeline for me.  But they didn't put in the most memorable post I made when I said "goodbye." I liked all the comments afterwards.  (Fortunately I kept it.)

Solariously funny.

Moreover, this sizable investment does remarkably little to counter global warming. Even with unrealistically generous assumptions, the unimpressive net effect is that solar power reduces Germany’s CO2 emissions by roughly 8 million metric tons—or about 1 percent – for the next 20 years. To put it another way: By the end of the century, Germany’s $130 billion solar panel subsidies will have postponed temperature increases by 23 hours.

Jim Treacher: The White House respects your religious practices, as long as you're not Catholic:
White House apologizes for Quran burning -

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Mon, Feb 27th - 10:37AM

February 20: Monday, Monday

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
34.4 miles

150 recordings of 47 types. 19% clear.

Rasmussen: -13: 49/48.

Heh.  Shark-fin soup.

Another example of secularism from the administration.

So one of my Facebook friends, someone I've known since BBS days, has really gotten agitated about the Komen/Planned Parenthood flap, followed by the Health Care Mandate:

I'm even feeling ASHAMED to call myself Christian, because I don't want to be associated with people who are so full of hate.
In addition to that, all that hatred is directed at the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. You may not agree with the man's position on a lot of things, but the office of the President deserves respect. That's called patriotism. If you can't respect the office, then you should go live somewhere else.

[Projection, anyone?]

Later she got so vitriolic about the link below that I decided I'm too emotionally fragile to deal with her, and I unfriended her. Only the 5th person I've done that to in 5 years: the guy who called me racist, the two last year who didn't comment on Rich even though I knew they read my page (there are folks who have never commented, but they never comment on anything I write so it's OK), and the survivalist guy who is so ready to take up arms against the government.

Memo to Jews, You'll be Next.

This morning started very Mondayish. I dropped my pills all over the floor, called the wrong number to refill the prescription (at 6 AM. Not nice!) and overfilled the coffee pot so that it spilled all over the counter.

I stopped at the store, and got day old bread for $3.49. Ouch. I pruned (or massacred) the back roses. I called the in-laws and had a long talk with with my sister-in-law. The cleaners came late today and the usual woman wasn't with them. Probably home with her kids. I Weeded some.

Tonight I was watching the Simpsons 500th, decided to save it, in the back of my head planning to show it to Rich. Oh,  right. 

Last year, elephant seals.  Rich had said he was deteriorating, but drove the whole trip down by himself.  (and most of the trip back. I had Carmel to San Jose.) I'm glad we got to do that

Elephant Seal

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Sat, Feb 25th - 8:31AM

February 17-19: Retreat

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
34.4 miles

Before I went to the Retreat, I managed to connect the main pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.
Then I packed it up, checked on the cats, packed the dog up, and off I went.  They took forever to get the dog in, but then I was off to the Retreat House.  Things have changed... the registration is in the other building.  I was glad, though, that my room was in the Chapel building. I was surprised that it was on the first floor, as far down the hall as you can get. As usual, the art is fantastic. My room had a Madonna and Child picture which I like.  Then in the hall, instead of the stations of the cross I remember, there were a number of R. Eichenberg prints I really like, especially this Last Supper. I don't usually bring a camera, since I figured it would be distracting, but this one is little and I did take a number of pictures.

DSC00225     Last Supper

The welcome social was new: little appetizers and a glass of wine!  Then we were introduced to the Retreat Team and went to dinner. The theme of the retreat is "Let us go up to the House of the Lord." There was a great video of nature and animals with "Look at the World" by John Rutter.  Then we were to be silent till after breakfast tomorrow. I cried in the chapel a little, then went to my room. Brother Kurt was talking to someone downstairs and it echoed in my radiator, so when I saw him, I complained. Then I thought I'd go to bed. I'd taken a grief book with me, but had pretty well finished with it, so I went up to the library.  Which is a lot sparser than it used to be, with better books, easier to find.

The first thing I saw was too small to take back to the room. It was a kid's book called
Tear Soup. I decided to read it there in the library. I'd not brought any Kleenex with me, which was a big mistake, as I wept through the whole thing, working on my own pot of tear soup.  Then I put it back on the shelf (where it disappeared for the rest of the weekend) and picked out The Wormwood Files, a sort of sequel to the Screwtape Letters, only e-mail, of course. This was a perfect choice for me.

Early to bed, about 9 or 9:30. I actually opened the window, and I slept really well. I woke up crying. After prayers and a shower, I went for a walk around the grounds.

DSC00227     DSC00228

Morning prayers where we blessed the chapel and each other.  Delicious breakfast.  Then the first conference. One woman attending this retreat is the one who wrote "Cancer: the Adventure of Your Life."  I still say, on the whole I'd rather not.  Good book, though.  The theme of the conference, led by the married couple (who have been married 46 years.  They got married a month before we did) was "The House of our God."  They started with a joke:

A pastor and a cab driver died and went to Heaven. St. Peter greeted them at the pearly gates and said "come on in, I'll show you to your homes." He showed the cab driver this enormous, beautiful mansion, many rooms, fine furnishings, an indoor pool, putting green, and an enormous flat-screen TV. Then he showed the pastor a one-room shack with a 12-inch black and white TV. The pastor said "there must be some mistake. I dedicated my life to the Lord and I preached every Sunday." St. Peter explained "yes, when you preached, people slept. When the cabbie drove, people prayed!"

After a short break we had Mass.  Then lunch, again yummy.  It's a good thing I don't go on retreat to lose weight!  We had a break till 3: I napped a bit, prayed, walked the labyrinth. I was looking for coyotes as one woman had seen them this morning, but all I saw was coyote food.


Then two conferences, the first given by the lay couple, the second by Father Tom. Mighod, he was on fire.  He was talking about the shepherd going after the one lost sheep.  He was running back and forth.

"We belong to a community that says we can't receive Communion unworthily -- then we say 'Lord I am not worthy.'" 

"If one of you decided to go to Hell, God would go with you."
This was in preparation for the Penance service after dinner. I skipped this: I went to Penance a couple of months ago, and I remember this service. It's very emotional and I figured on top of my fragile emotional state it would just be too much. I don't think I'm running away from facing my grief, but I do have to take care of myself.  (Later in the week I'd unfriend a person on Facebook, only the 5th in 3 years, because this person was totally in my face over the Catholics and the health care mandate. Ignoring the screeds wasn't working. I'm too fragile to deal with this. Gotta pray for the gift of courage.)

Dinner was great, and after the Reconciliation service there was ice cream!  I made it in time for this. One of my friends had seen I'd skipped the service, but I don't think anyone else noticed.  She'd gone looking for me to give me a hug.

Sunday morning I woke up early, 4:30. (I'd slept in till 6 on Saturday. I also had the window open, which didn't work when I came back home, still too cold.) I went and walked the labyrinth, and had to show another woman how to do it. She would keep talking. I also spent a lot of time rescuing a caterpillar that didn't want to get off the path where it would surely be stepped on. I finally got it completely off the labyrinth. We had morning prayer and a group photo. (It isn't up yet, darn it.) Then a huge breakfast.

I went and remade the bed with clean sheets.  Once a year I prove I can still do hospital corners. I got mostly packed up.

Father Tom reviewed the retreat: "In Profound Punishment for your heinous sins, you had ice cream."  Heh.

The final Mass was at 11.  The readings for today are about the people lowering the paralytic through the roof so Jesus could heal him.  Father Tom pointed out that the first miracle here was that Jesus saw their faith (not the hole in his roof!)

They no longer have a final lunch, just some granola bars or apples for the road. Just as well, this was something Rich really enjoyed when he came to pick me up, and I was missing him enough without that added reminder. 

On the way back to get Pharaoh, I looked for three caches, and only found one. Grumble.  The dog was delighted to see me, of course. I spent $52 to fill the car. Argh.

Back at home, Abby had definitely misbehaved at the front door.  Fortunately, I had plastic down, so only a little got on the carpet (though a lot of urine went under the door onto the porch.) I will have to kennel her when I go to Washington.

I decided not to go to the Grief Support meeting.

145 recordings of 46 types. 21% clear.

Rasmussen: -14: 49/50.



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Tue, Feb 21st - 8:10PM

February 17: Green Bins

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
34.2 miles

140 recordings of 42 types. 23% room left.

Rasmussen: -14: 48/51.

Sometimes I just hate this man.

Obama and the democrats would rather have kids learn nothing in union schools than allow them to be well educated in a non union one.
wildcat72 on February 17, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Nook, 291 books. I archived one, but bought (paid $$ for!) one. (RAYLAN by Elmore Leonard)

My neighbors let me use their spare green bin to put some of the century plant into. (Mine was full of privet from the trimming, and there will be more next time.) I got up real early to do that.  Then she came over with the neighbor's bin... and after she and I were done I'd used 4 more bins from 3 more neighbors.  She had a decent lopper... mine needs sharpening... and we trimmed and cut all the junk left from the century plant and got it out before the green truck came.  Yay! I thought I'd still be doing this in May! 

Bumper stickers.

Obama marks Congress tax deal by citing self 5 times in 2 paragraphs.

In his statement Obama said the not-yet-passed extension legislation would mean a lot to "millions of Americans who are out pounding the pavement looking for new work to support their families." The Democrat didn't have time to explain why so many millions of Americans are still unemployed despite his spending nearly a trillion dollars in not-really shovel-ready stimulus money that was supposed to keep the unemployment rate below 8%, but didn't.

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Tue, Feb 21st - 12:29PM

February 16: The Tax Man

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
34.3 miles

140 recordings of 43 types. 22% clear.

Rasmussen: -12: 49/50. 

I got to talk to some people at the Retreat House and got some hugs.  I'm really looking forward to the retreat tomorrow.  No Judy at chemo.  Dammit.

This afternoon I went to my neighbor's office to do the taxes. He cut through all the confusion of two different times (with Rich and without) and it turns out I'll be getting refunds from the state as well as from the feds!  I didn't expect that! And it's all done!  AND he gave me a good neighbor discount, so instead of the $300 or so I was expecting, it only cost $50!  At that deal, I'll keep going to him. I was thinking I'd do my own next year, but I don't see the advantage if he's going to be this generous.

Democrat: the Starter Party.

Change we can believe in

The man who ran his campaign on the promise of Hope and Change has been in office for a little over three years now, and wants a second term of, er, Hope and Stasis, or something.
...Change is a website update?  Most companies manage to update their websites on a fairly regular basis.  Expect to see this answer in a few RNC campaign ads this fall.


We need to end the temporary tax gimmicks, especially those that have nothing to do with long-term investment, and instead reform tax codes permanently and reduce regulation so that investors can price risk effectively. 


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Fri, Feb 17th - 12:26PM

February 15: A Valentine Dinosaur!

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
33.0 miles

147 recordings of 40 types. 19% clear.

Rasmussen: -11: 40/59 Catholics...49/49.

Focusing on his candidacy not his record.

Just like the high-school jock who, when reduced to working a 9 to 5 job, can’t seem to mentally get passed his glory days, barack can’t seem to get passed his glory days when throngs of people worshiped at his feet. He is an unmitigated disaster. He knows it.
DuctTapeMyBrain on February 15, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Mandate is a cure in search of a disease.  99% of women already get the contraceptive care they want.

Obowma’s words are empty the second they leave his lips.
He is a disgrace as president.
dthorny on February 15, 2012 at 8:42 AM

This is another reason why we are so much better off with the “ONE” than Hillary. Hillary is way too shrewd to let her self righteousness trip her up. She’d have passified her radical base until the second term before requiring all churches to recgonize her as the second coming.
Also we would have never been priviledged to “Fast and Furious” info for years. Until we found where she’d hidden all the bodies.
Obama’s sophmoric tendencies at tyranny are to be thankful for. Israel would be even less safe (if that’s possible at this point) under Hillary as well.
onomo on February 15, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    On that first step, Harry Reid backed down yesterday and will allow a vote on Roy Blunt’s bill to repeal the mandate and insert a broad religious exemption into ObamaCare, while it lasts:

That’s a good first step, and I am glad Republicans are trying to do something, but… let me get this straight: Obama can just mandate stuff, and we have to get a bill through congress to stop it? And then he can just veto it anyway? Does that sound completely backwards to anyone else? At least in the area of healthcare (and that is a pretty broad catagory), the president basically has unlimited power.
Isn’t that a dictatorship?
bitsy on February 15, 2012 at 8:59 AM

On Facebook: Kathryn Foor Pierce...And a lot of companies may just decide to do away with health care altogether on "moral" grounds. Perhaps the Feds should do away with healthcare for Congress on "moral" grounds.

She says that like it's a bad thing.

Bre McGloughlin: Why is it that all instruments created to find "intelligent life" are pointed AWAY from Earth?

I dug up a lot of wild onions in front.  They really are pretty but only in beds, otherwise they ruin the yard. 

I deposited the check, then went to the library, which is all rearranged. I dropped off the bag(s) of books and bought another jigsaw puzzle, this one of Belvedere castle.  I'm having a slow time with these wolves, but I'm getting there. 

Then to the Grief Support Group.  Today was about roles and relationships.  This always ends up with talking about remarriage. No way.

When I got home I found a package from Steve and family.  Look, a Valentine T-rex!  It's totally gorgeous!!

Valentine T-Rex

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Fri, Feb 17th - 11:56AM

February 14: Shopping

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
33.0 miles

169 recordings of 39 types. 9% clear.

Rasmussen: -11: 51/47.  This will change when gas hits $4, which won't be long. (It's $3.69 here.)


I had a decent night's sleep! I was up at 4:30.  But after I let the dog back in I went back to bed and slept till 7!  It was great!

My errands today started at the dentist where I gave them my insurance card. They gave me a $5 Starbucks card and a piece of candy. Then to mcClellan.  First off I went to the BX for a pancake turner (mine broke off in my hand the other day) and while I was there, I checked out the clothes.  I haven't had any new clothes for a couple of years, and that was at Bass Pro, and I haven't had an Easter outfit since, oh, 1994 or so.  I found a floral on black broomstick skirt and a bright pink shirt.  Looks great!

On to the commissary. I'd forgotten to bring the coupons, but they'll keep another couple of weeks. One thing I found that was quite exciting was cubes of butternut squash. I would eat a lot more winter squash if I could break into them.

When I got home, there was a huge envelope from an attorney at law.  "NOW what?" was my first thought, then I realized it was the drafts of my trusts and will. OK then.  The only thing wrong I see was the wrong address.  There's also one paragraph I don't understand. It's entirely in legalese and I have no Rosetta stone to translate it.  Otherwise, it seems fairly straightforward. If any of the kids tries to overturn it, they (and their kids) would be disinherited. Wow.

I finally got the check from Cricket magazine. Only 3 months after I should have.

I started checking out the trash in the back yard and some of it in the carport.  I'm excited about cleaning it out. 

0bama pulling punches to get re-elected.

Steve Kates at the Catallaxy File
    There is an Alinskyite Marxist in the White House who has undoubtedly pulled punches in his first term to maximise the likelihood of winning a second term. He is possibly the worst economic manager in American history and is overseeing a series of foreign policy disasters that have left the US in an incomparably weakened position in relation to every major issue in the world today.

    Yet for all that Obama is still the favourite to win in November. I have been astonished at the ability of the Obama administration to manipulate the electorate almost at will.

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Thu, Feb 16th - 9:14PM

February 13: Fretting

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
31.1 miles
rainy and cold

167 recordings of 41 types. 11% clear.

Rasmussen: -13: 50/48.

The dog wouldn't come in in the middle of the night, because he was after something in the junk pile. I took a look at the junk pile, and that's gotta go. If I cleared that out, I could plant grass and try to turn our back yard into somewhere I could let the kids play. Once upon a time there was a sandbox there. (The remains are still there.) I don't remember when Rich stacked all this stuff there, but it's definitely time it left.

So I lay awake fretting. I did tell the geocaching group I had firewood for the hauling, and two people showed interest, so with luck this will go eventually. I fretted over the ashes in the fireplace, over the softballs in the carport, all kinds of stuff I can't get done Right Now so why can't I just go to sleep?

Music Circus has cut down to 5 shows. Of course, the prices haven't gone down. I called them and released our seats.  We went for 25 years. Rich loved those seats, two away from the main performance aisle, and he always talked to our neighbors.  I was so sad when we had to leave Miss Saigon early. There's nothing this season I absolutely have to see, so this will save quite a bit of money.

I went over to see the kids and Bernadette's mother-in-law. I'm afraid I was a bit rude to her when she interrupted me at one point. I shouldn't do that.

I got a valentine from Eric and Gabe and a thank you from Lexi and Teddy, so it was a good mail day.

Reading: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (vol 1), Edward Gibbon, The Bible (1 Machabees), The Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, Liberty and Tyranny, Mark Levin, Finding Your Way After Your Spouse Dies, Marta Felber, and The Death of a Husband, Helen Reichert Lambin.


More incompetence.

I'm cynical. I'm not too sure this is an 0bamateurism.

It's the Entitlements, Stupid.

SteveAR says: February 13, 2012 at 8:58 AM
I think President Bush was on the right track with his Social Security reform. Shame on Republicans, who had a majority in both Houses at the time, shamefully went along with the Democrat demagogues to kill it before it even had a chance to start. Notice how Democrats have done absolutely NOTHING to stop the bleeding except to starve Social Security of its funding just as Americans are living longer than ever before, more people are getting on Social Security, and Democrats promote the Kermit Gosnell approach to birth control so that there are less people paying into Social Security.

Not to be callous, but thanks to Roe v. Wade, there are potentially 20 million Americans who would be paying into Social Security right now that aren’t.

Venomous Kate: Forty-one minutes to make the 4-mile trip to/from school in the first measurable snow of the year. The worst part was all the "This sucks! I can't believe they didn't cancel school! We should just go home!" until my son told me to get over it already.

First they Came for the Catholics.

0bama Heals.

The overreach represents a turning point, a milestone marking the end of the John F. Kennedy era. There is a visible backlash against the compartmentalization of religion to nothing but a private matter, separate from policy and politics.
...With the Friday faux compromise — which Dionne and Matthews, among many others, bought as a brilliant solution — the president has put back together some of the coalition that gave us Obamacare. But he has not fixed his problem. This will be a fundamental election issue, because it is so much more than an election issue. There is an “author of liberty,” as Mitt Romney put it in a speech in 2007. And it is not Barack Obama.

Democrats to Catholics: "we don't want you!"

I can think of no other instance in my life time where the federal government (a) sought to compel acts that violate clearly held religious beliefs; (b) defended that action by purporting to instruct the religious body involved which of its activities were truly religious (parish activities) and what were not (educational and health care ministry) and by suggesting that the religious body’s own understanding of its teaching and its mission was undeserving of weight  due to opinion polls regarding the attitude of the members of that body; and (c) did so by means of administrative regulation, i.e., not through a legislative process but by executive fiat.
...Obama, The Times, Gail Collins and the whole batch have to be smarter than their arguments. It is not conceivable to me that they could come by the sloppiness of their thinking honestly. Which leaves the bigger question: What gives? Absolute contempt for the Church? An absolute embrace of a certain kind of cultural/scientific consensus that “all reasonable people hold” and that those who do not thereby forfeit their rights to conscience?

A Second Letter to President 0bama
If you tried to force orthodox Jewish restaurants to sell bacon, and those Jews — rightfully — told you to take a knee, punch yourself in the face and read the Constitution, it would be no ‘accommodation’ to then force them to pay for a Gentile with a bacon cart to serve pork inside their restaurant. The Jews would still be paying for and serving the bacon, you’ve just made them pay some one else to do it. By this logic, hiring a hitman is delightfully ethical — “I didn’t do it, I got someone else to!”

Comment of the day.

Heh.  "We're smelly, we're loud! Our parents are not proud!"

Archangel Winters: See, the problem with this is that Jesus didn't heal the poor and sick and then go to the laborers and say, BTW, I just healed some guy across the city, give me money. He also wasn't doing it as a job where he had to make a living and was being told "I know I don't have money and I'm not willing to trade but I want you to do your job and do it for free." So, while I do agree with doing good deeds and helping the poor, the poor need to contribute what they can towards helping themselves as well and not expecting it all for free.

NY Archbishop Dolan leaves for Rome, where he will be made cardinal.

I like this comment:
Joe Schaub: Couldn't St. Louis just sign him in free agency? Congratulations Archbishop Dolan.

Comment (0)

Thu, Feb 16th - 8:41AM

February 12: Pirates!

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
31.1 miles
sunny, then cloudy, grim, and some rain

169 recordings of 41 types. 10% free. (Yay.)

I gave Teddy his birthday present last night. It was a Hexbot set which goes well with his others.  They set it up and played with it most of the day.

Today Roni came to church with me. I decided not to harass the kids, because I want them to like having me come.  I did say they ought to be going to Roni and she knows and will, maybe, get to it just any time. 

R.J. made a great breakfast, and then I was out the door. I got home only an hour and 15 minutes later. Total trip, 224 miles.  I was in plenty of time to pick up my friend and go see "Pirates of Penzance."  Laurie had never seen it, or any other Gilbert and Sullivan, and she loved it. I liked it, too.  Cried a little at the beginning, missing Rich, but they made me laugh mostly. There were two rows of Sacramento Pirates in the audience. I didn't even know Sacramento HAD pirates!

Apparently it's my pole lopper. I never noticed it till after the trimmer came last week, so I thought he'd left it.  Vince says he didn't know it was there when he borrowed all the tools from our neighbors.
How confusing.


DSC00203 DSC00212

The girls are standing on the Hayward Fault. Monica is modeling the sweater she knit. She was working on this while sitting with dying Rich, but oddly enough she messed up and had to tear out all that work and start over. Nice job!

 DSC00215 DSC00214

Teddy's toy, and Roni and RJ all dressed up for the party.

Another terrible week. But the Constitution scholar should really know the Constitution.

You know the anecdote about W.C. Fields where someone’s surprised to see him reading a Bible, and when asked why Fields replied “I’m looking for loopholes?” Every time I see The Greatest American Nero referred to as a “constitutional scholar”, that’s what comes to mind.
sistrum on February 12, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Went with the Founders. Seriously, this guy was a “Constitutional Scholar??”" Who feels he is in a position to lecture 6/9ths of the SCOTUS about Citizens United???
This guy would need 20 more IQ points to qualify as a MORON.
Maddie on February 12, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Comment (0)

Tue, Feb 14th - 10:07PM

February 11: The Long Way to Novato

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
31.1 miles
cloudy and grim

I'm  a pound up for the week, with medium blood pressure.

165 recordings of 39 types. 12% clear.

Rasmussen: -13: 49/50

Despite the fact I'd be leaving at 10 for a lengthy trip, I was ready early enough that I could go to church, and lo! Presentation (finally) had wall calendars!  So my cleaner's calendar was retired.  Now to put St. Phil's phone # on it, and I'll be fine. 

I went nuts trying to find a spare key that actually worked, since I changed the back door lock, and finally found one.  So I felt confident to lock the back door. (My neighbor with the spare is gone this weekend.)

I put the dog out with enough food, and checked that the cats had water, put paper down on the bathroom floor for Abby, and finished loading the car, and was out of the door by 10. I stopped at Hunter Hill for a potty break (and a bit of a weep, remembering Rich there the day we went to Audobon Canyon Ranch: they'd finally finished the renovation and we enjoyed looking around)


Then onward across the Carquinez Bridge and carefully navigating the roads in Oakland (80, 880, 580, and 980) till I got to the Zoo. I was glad I'd put the GPSr up with a cache in the parking lot, because just as I was panicking that I'd missed my exit, I spied that I still had 7 miles to go. I got there just before noon.  But the first two times I tried to call Monica, all I got was the "du-du DOOO" whistle.  Fortunately, the third time was the charm. She was waiting for me with Charlotte by the gate, but didn't see me coming in the side door. I got in for half-price: half the senior price (because of the local zoo membership.)  That was good.

We looked at the baby giraffe.  I was highly amused when it was checking out a junco, and the bird flew off and the startled baby scrambled awkwardly away. We eventually did the whole zoo, and I found out that if I was as strong as a leaf cutter ant, I could lift a private jet.  Afterwards, we looked for, and found, the geocache.

I saw a bumpersticker "Don't quit at halftime."  Eeek.  After all, he hasn't completely finished ruining the country.

I left the zoo at 3 and managed to stay on 580 so I could get across to Marin County.  I passed the turnoff to the "Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Site" and remembered that Rich and I had noticed it before and thought about checking it out, but never did.  I now see it and see some other things I could do as well, maybe with the dog. I got to Roni's at 4:17.  We had dinner and then the adults went off to their party.  The kids were fine, watched "Cars 2" and went to bed. After Roni and R.J. got home, I went to bed myself.


Like Hopenchange, the Volt began as a cutting-edge venture that would carry America’s middle class boldly into the future. And like Hopenchange, the Volt ended up as a fantastically expensive boondoggle that appeals mainly to rich liberals and occasionally bursts into flame.

Laying the Blame Before Anything is Lost.

I’m voting for ABO in the general. Santorum, Paul, Mitt, Newt, or brokered convention darkhorse. Any of them are getting my enthusiastic vote. If we were running against Bill Clinton, I might say “eh, who cares?” We’re not.
Kataklysmic on February 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Legit question – if Romney’s the best at dismantling a candidate, wouldn’t he be ideal for dismantling Obama?
    Red Cloud on February 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

John McCain was great on the attack as well… if the targets were conservative.
sharrukin on February 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Comment (0)

Mon, Feb 13th - 9:00PM

February 10: Pedometer Found!

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
27.7 miles

173 recordings of 43 types. 9% clear.

Oh, another thing I got at Target on Tuesday was the right size battery (AG13 = 357!) to fix the Thomas the Tank Engine coal car and the singing Thomas book. Yay!

Another yay is that on the way to church I stopped where I thought I'd dropped the pedometer yesterday, and sure enough, there it was. My FB status:

Jan Yarnot stopped by where I thought I'd dropped the pedometer yesterday, and sure enough! And it's OK. Church, found a geocache, did a little shopping, came home to put the laundry into the dryer and it isn't 10 AM yet!

I called the magazine place, and they actually called me back to say "the check is in the mail."  I'll believe it when I see it, but maybe I will finally see it, only 3 months late.

I got Roni's cacti into the car. I had a box in there and once I got the cactus in, I put the sides up and taped them to protect the plants. It actually worked.

A third-grade teacher friend was looking for someone to read to her class on Read Across America day.  Me, me!  So I will read "the Cookie Tree."  Fun.

It's like making the Amish buy Chevy Volts

Come on, guys

So with all of this facepalm action of having a member of his own party call his policy un-American, Obama was bound to get asked about his new mandate on religious organizations.  CBS correspondent reported on Twitter what happened when a reporter finally asked the question:

    In the Oval Office, President Obama refuses to answer if he stands by contraception rule. Says to reporter: “Come on guys.”

That’s the response that Obama has prepared all week on this controversy?  “Come on, guys”?  What, was “So’s your old man” being held in reserve?

Come on guys, can’t a guy just eat his waffle abort a few kids in peace???
ted c on February 10, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Government tooooooooo big.

As Daniel Henninger writes in The Wall Street Journal, inflexibility has long been a hallmark of those who seek to transform the nation for the public good:
...The Catholic Church has stumbled into the central battle of the 2012 presidential campaign: What are the limits to Barack Obama’s transformative presidency? The Catholic left has just learned one answer: When Mr. Obama says, “Everyone plays by the same set of rules,” it means they conform to his rules. What else could it mean?


Of course it wasn’t a coincidence. The US was screwed once again because the jug-eared bastard needs to pander to tree huggers for votes in November.
Happy Nomad on February 9, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Agreed, although j.e.b. would have bought himself a helluva lot more votes had he approved it, proving once again that the 2008 52-percenters are colossal idiots. Thanks for absolutely nothing, idiots.
SnarkySam on February 9, 2012 at 3:04 PM

I hope the greens are happy. Instead of a landlocked pipeline, oil will be shipped out of Canada on oil tankers. Because they’re SOOOOO much safer than pipelines.
At least the pipeline to a port will be flexible. There’s no reason why the U.S. couldn’t receive oil at the same port.
hawksruleva on February 9, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Jim Treacher: I don't know why all these Catholics are so surprised. Obama has always acted like Jesus was his opening act.

Contraception Under the Bus.

Geoff: if Obama grants some form of waiver, he is still claiming the right to enforce the provision that Catholics and others may find objectionable. He is granting a privilege rather than respecting a right, and privileges are for subjects. We are citizens.

ObRich. Despite doing a pretty thorough job on Yreka, we never went into the courthouse or saw this exhibit.

The art of hypocrisy, Victor Davis Hanson.

I decided I wasn't interested in the Nook books this week.

Laramie, Yeah I'm From There.

Comment (0)

Sun, Feb 12th - 9:33PM

February 9: A Bad Day

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
27.7 miles

171 recordings of 44 types. 9% clear.

Rasmussen: -11: 50/49.

Yesterday a couple of people said that the day after the Recovery Group was hard.  Well, yes, today has been a real downer.  After the Retreat House, I went to take a valentine to Rich's chemo buddy, Judy. She wasn't there.  Now I'm worried.  Then I stopped to see another old lady at her convalescent home, but she was in the shower so I didn't see her. I stopped at Home Depot and picked up a couple of tiles to replace the replacements in the kitchen that have started to curl.  When I pulled one of them up, it took some of the concrete with it.  I guess the previous owner put substandard concrete under the kitchen extension.  This is not a big surprise. Anyway, the new tiles look nice. So I have patchwork tiles in the kitchen, patchwork carpet in the family room (covering broken tiles) and a patchwork yard (where I've put bits of sod where the dog scratched the yard bare.  The original grass is beginning to grow back, too, because he doesn't scratch the sod so the bare bits are protected.

I came home and started clipping the plants growing up under the mulberry. And, while I was fetching the  clippers and gloves, I noticed a bit to the left, the wagon!  I guess R.J. put it away... now that I think about it, yeah, I remember now.  Yay!  So I loaded it with the cacti Roni wants and moved it to the side close to the gate. I won't put them into the car till later.

And I watered the yard.  The grass is getting green. Finally.

Still depressed, I decided to go out and walk.I lost my pedometer on the way home, I imagine where my dog was trying to kill someone else's. He kept running into me... I'm lucky I'm not black and blue.  I just don't want to drive back and look for the pedometer.  I recalibrated Rich's.  80cm?  40 inches? I don't think so. No wonder he was logging such great mileage on our walks... his stride had shortened but his pedometer hadn't.

Then I was just sitting here and making plans (like maybe Gilroy Gardens, or Monterey Aquarium,) and I DON'T WANT TO DO THESE THINGS BY MYSELF! I WANT TO DO THEM WITH RICH!!!!!!!

I'm now a "Super Hunter" in Hatchlings.

0bama doubles down.

But … what about the big climbdown? Ah well. Maybe he took a second look at what Planned Parenthood did to Komen and thought better of it. Even the man who leads the greatest army in the world needs to know when he’s outgunned.

...Can’t wait to hear from other vulnerable Dems like Jon Tester as the battle is joined, just like I can’t wait to hear how lifelike talking-points robot Debbie Wasserman-Schultz ends up finessing her comments here down the road when O does finally start to climb down.

Just saw Barbara Boxer on a news clip claiming that Republicans were trying to take away “women’s medicine”. What. an. idiot.
Murf76 on February 9, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Doubling Down.

When Grant Policy makes News.

Lunatic fringe? We all know you’re out there.

...If and when the Komen Foundation stops paying protection money to pro-choice zealots, it will have at least four solid reasons for doing so:

 1.   Because U.S. currency is “legal tender for all debts, public and private,” grant money earmarked for breast cancer screening exams lets Planned Parenthood devote more resources to other things that that are not consistent with the mission of Susan G. Komen for Life. No organization should have to pay to have its own work sabotaged.
 2.   Look closely at the two groups. One of them champions science, and the other would prefer that its clients not think too much about anything they see in ultrasound images of their own wombs. One group speaks plainly; the other flogs euphemisms in the name of a right that was wholly unknown to the people who actually wrote our Constitution. Susan G. Komen’s legacy affirms life. Margaret Sanger’s legacy does its best to plan, constrain, manage, and, when “necessary,” end life.
 3.   Planned Parenthood affiliates refer clients elsewhere for mammograms, so the controversial change in Komen policy aimed to cut out the middleman, which of course is all to the good. Moreover, even the best of Planned Parenthood actions must be balanced against the fact that abortion at any time for any reason is its signature moneymaker.
 4.  Causal links between abortion and higher rates of breast cancer have not yet been proven, but science seems to be moving inexorably in that direction. Why would an organization fighting breast cancer make common cause with an organization whose primary activities probably contribute to the spread of that disease? is now clear that Planned Parenthood’s much-touted commitment to women’s health is no more than “conveeenient,” as Dana Carvey used to sneer knowingly in those “Church Lady” skits for Saturday Night Live.

The Five Best Pieces of Jesuit Wisdom I've Ever Heard.

Comment (0)

Sun, Feb 12th - 7:04AM

February 8: Grief Support Group

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
24.7 miles

170 recordings of 43 types. 9% free.

It's Teddy's birthday! He's 7!

The pre-Kindergarten kids were at Presentation for Mass this morning. One little one, as they lined up in the Communion line, ducked when it was her turn. I nearly guffawed out loud.

I did paperwork, walked the dog 2.2 miles, restarted the DVR again (I'd like to see the recorded stuff on this one before they trade it for a better one, so I'm trying to eke as much time as I can out of it), took books to the library and back (because the library is closed for renovation), got money and filled the car (I'm tired tired tired of this!!)

I went to the grief recovery workshop. The topic was depression. I think I'm coping fairly well. One woman told about her dream of her husband and "you have to let me go."  This worked on me. I already did let Rich go, to his face. But it made me less happy about the dream I had this week: surely he wasn't waving goodbye forever.  Just goodbye for now.

I didn't go to bed as early as I thought I might. Just One More Piece...

(This one will be wolves.)

Bradley Manning for the Peace Prize?  Yeah, I can see they'd do it, considering the prizes of the last few years.  This prize is officially a joke nowadays.

She is asking the organization to award the prize to Manning based on the fact that he exposed not only “war crimes” taking place in Iraq, but on his heroic suffering as he remains “incarcerated for well over a year by the U.S. government without a trial.” She goes on to describe his treatment as having been, “criticized as torturous.”

Well.. that just sounds awful. I wonder who is responsible for that horrible treatment? Oh wait… isn’t it your 2009 winner of the same prize? Honestly, lady… do you even read the things you write before you publish them?

That pesky Constitution.

Hey Ed, a bad excuse is better than no excuse. Should he say, “I am a fraud, just like Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh said. I am nothing more than an empty suit.”?
It would be honest, but that was never baracks strong suit.
DuctTapeMyBrain on February 8, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    One of the things about being President is you get better as time goes on.
What exactly has this Big Zero gotten better at?
Dextrous on February 8, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Kathleen Parker :Obama runs roughshod over religious freedom

Whatever the odds are that the church may change its position on contraception someday, it won’t be soon. For now the bishops are promising a fight to the end. It’s that important to them, a fact of which Obama was well aware. Catholic leaders are justified in their outrage, especially those who helped Obama with health-care reform and now feel betrayed.

Exhibit A: Sister Carol Keehan, CEO of the Catholic Health Association, who supported the health-care act with assurances from Obama that Catholics’ rights of conscience would be protected, despite criticism from many other Catholic leaders. She has now met the crowded underside of Obama’s bus.

Comment (0)

Fri, Feb 10th - 8:20PM

February 7: The Artist

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
22.5 miles

164 recordings of 41 types. 12% free.

Rasmussen:-10: 51/48

I had a really short Rich-dream just as I was waking up, so I woke up happy. Rich was walking across the front yard... last year healthy Rich... and he waved at me as he left. I hadn't realized he knew I was there. He was smiling. (Later in the week something someone said at the grief recovery group about a dream she'd had made me wonder if he was actually telling me goodbye, but that wasn't the feeling I had, more a "bye for now."  One day I'll be ready and head out the door and catch up with him.) 

Monica suggested I meet her at the Oakland Zoo on Saturday, which changes my plans a bit, but that'll be OK.  She also said I could bring Rich's death certificate along for the DAR and I refused. That's just a bridge too far. Rich has nothing to do with the DAR, and they already got his birth certificate and mine. (Here we are, identity theft on the hoof). Mine I understand, but Mark's?  Rich's? No. Monica agreed, and as it turns out, the obituary will be OK. Apparently they're trying to build a database to rival the Mormons.

This afternoon my friend Laurie and I went to see "The Artist." I hadn't even heard about it. (Small wonder, it's a silent film. Oh, sorry.) It was great!  I really enjoyed it. Before we went, I showed her the newest jigsaw puzzle, and she's amazed.

I went for a half-price Straw Hat pizza. Nice! And I may finally have gotten through to CARUS and will get my refund check back (I wrote the check for $321 instead of $231 and have had a terrible time getting recourse.)  I also am getting $1.84 back from AT&T because they charged me for a directory assistance call I didn't make. I'm trying to keep on top of it.

O’Donnell also related predictions from various sources that Komen will not be able to survive as a foundation now because too many donors were outraged that Komen would even think of abandoning Planned Parenthood.

He might be right: Donations to Komen were up 100 percent after the news broke that the organization was defunding Planned Parenthood, but the window of opportunity for pro-life donors to show their support was very short-lived. Conscientious objectors to Komen’s grants to Planned Parenthood won’t donate now — and it seems supporters of Planned Parenthood aren’t above holding a grudge for Komen’s momentary consideration of their abandonment. In the end, then, Planned Parenthood might still kill off Komen as a source of funding … by killing off Komen. PP officials should be so proud. Severely wounding a major women’s health organization like Komen certainly demonstrates concern for women’s health.

How sad. After Komen announced its original decision, I wrote that the decoupling of Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood proved that “women’s health” and “abortion rights” are not synonymous. The two aren’t the same, but, apparently, Planned Parenthood has so great a grip on the media that, in media presentations to the public, “women’s health” and “abortion rights” will remain interchangeable.

A resignation. (Youtube)

Cathy Smoorenburg Komnen, what a joke from the beginning to ever give Planned Parenthood $$$. You want to save lives so you give the biggest human killing organization $$$. I never took Komen serious.
Karina Pettinger gee, let's send money to support the fight against breast cancer to save lives....oh and also support death(abortion via Planned Parenthood). :(
Vicki Joyner Well, it sure does shows who cares about curing breast cancer and who drives the abortion funding wheel. Ironic that abortion has been shown to raise increase the chance for Breast Cancer.
LillyMarge Hill As a person who has done extensive research on the after effects of abortion, and written an 8 week seminar for the healing of women who have had abortion, I hardily disagree with Susan Komen's support of Planned Parenthood. A small amount of research on the aftermath of abortion will reveal that women who have had an abortion, expecially of a first pregnancy, have a much greater incidence of breast cancer than that of the general population. In addition, there is a greater incidence of infertility than the general population. NOTE: For those who would scoff and sound off without doing any research on your your words fall on deaf ears. The info is there, if you care to take the time to research it, rather than blather.
Debra Corrales My understanding is that Planned Parenthood does not screen for breast cancer or even do mammograms - it simply sends referrals. A private non-profit corporation should be allowed its own criteria for giving away its own funds. Shame on PP!!!
LillyMarge Hill Thus, there is NO SENSE in supporting PP in any way. That money could have been provided to needy general clinics where women could easily go and receive breast exams for free.

Mary-Ellen Behrens Deckhut My question is, if Planned Parenthood receives government funds as well as funding from companies like Komen, then why charge at all? I have no benefits but they will charge me according to my income and even so, no mammograms but mammogram referrals. Referrals to who?? Some RADIOLOGIST can charge me an arm or a leg??
Bonnie Jack I feel bad because the Komen foundation is all about life, and it would be a different if PP actually did give mammograms, but they don't, they provide abortions which nullifies the life aspect. Evil is loud and obnoxious as is the description of the cries against the foundation for defunding PP. Now the KOMEN foundation will also take a financial blow.
Bernice Masters You can get mammograms and other health care at your local county health dept.
Deby Goodman The Komen Foundation has the right to fund, or de-fund, whomever they choose. Especially since the services supposedly being funded are available elsewhere, and Planned Parenthood is under an investigative cloud, I think the Komen Foundation was absolutely correct to de-fund them, and showed a lack of spine in backpedaling.

Comment (0)

Fri, Feb 10th - 7:20PM

February 6: Shopping

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
22.5 miles

164 recordings of 41 types. 12% free.

Rasmussen: -10: 50/48.

Render unto 0bama...

My DVR is acting up again. I got it going again before the cleaners came.  This time the weather was good enough I could wait for them outside. I'd just decided I was starving to death and made a couple of pieces of peanut butter toast when my neighbor asked if I'd had lunch and invited me. It was an excellent baloney sandwich. I loved it. 

After the cleaners left I went shopping.  First to Joann's looking for possible backing for the t-shirt quilt. I was kind of thinking of Valentine Hearts, but no luck there. Thence to Target, where I got socks and underwear, and real light bulbs. When I got home, the first thing I did was to change the three-way light in the living room from the curly bulb. (Sorry, Rich!) Then to Toys-R-us. I'm looking for a Raggedy Ann, and it's hard. I was thinking about getting a Foofah pillow, but then the power went out. I guess I wasn't supposed to. As I left I noted an armored car in front... let's just get out of here before the heist starts... (guess who watches too many crime shows!)

Finally Barnes & Noble where I thought I still had money on the card, but apparently this was the card they used on-line, and it was the other one. Oh, well. I got Ameritopia, three Elmore Leonards with Rayland Givens (I do love "Justified") and a collection of Pogo comic strips. (So I can give the other books to Bernadette without fretting.)

I spent a lot.  That was fun. 

Anti-Komen Backlash Disgusting.

there’s something quite a bit different, something creepy and not a little despicable, about the Planned Parenthood set’s besmirching Komen’s good name across a thousand platforms for having the audacity to stop giving them free money. And I don’t care why that decision was made, frankly. If it was made because PP is controversial and under congressional “investigation,” that’s a perfectly valid reason for an organization to disentangle itself. If it was made because they judged that money would have a greater impact if directed toward the provision of actual mammograms and not just clinical screenings, that makes sense. And if the decision was made because a controlling faction at Komen feels a moral disgust toward the dismemberment of viable fetuses and would rather not subsidize an outfit that does that 300,000 times a year — well that’s fine, too. None of those rationales justifies the outrageous non-sequiturs about how Komen “hates poor women.”

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Thu, Feb 9th - 6:17PM

February 5: Ashes to Ashes

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
22.5 miles

166 recordings of 42 types. 11% clear.

Rasmussen: -13: 48/50.

Tooooo hard again.


Rich at his birthday last year. This one makes me cry: look at that smile.

I've been dreading this day for awhile.  Rich would have been 70 today, and he didn't make it to his three-score and ten.  I asked for the Mass to be said for him, and told Father Eduino before the service that it would have been his birthday, so he mentioned it in the intentions and specified prayers for the family as well as Richard. People hugged me. I shed some tears, but I'm glad I did it.

I spied a familiar face in the pew ahead, a guy from the grief group. I'd thought he looked familiar!  I'd actually known his dead wife better: Rich and I had been involved with her and her first husband because we taught a Baptism class and their daughter was going to be baptised.  Kathy dropped out of the parish for awhile, probably when she got divorced, and had only been back a few months, so I didn't know Mike at all. Today we had a nice little conversation.

Then back at home.  When Bernadette came, we scattered Rich's ashes, then covered them up with leaves. (Grass around the trees.)  We said a few prayers and sang the "Song of Farewell" ("May the choirs of angels come to greet you, may they speed you to Paradise...") I made it through two verses before I broke down. 

Ashes to Ashes....

I'm glad B. was with me, it made it feel more official. How did I, a fairly good Catholic, end up scattering three people's cremains? (This is the first legal one, or at least the first time I KNOW it was legal!)

Bernadette stuck around to finish the jigsaw puzzle. Rest in peace, my love.

Comment (0)

Thu, Feb 9th - 3:20PM

February 4: Three Months Wallow Day.

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
22.5 miles

173 recordings of 48 types. 8% clear.

Rasmussen: -14:47/51

Three months. I made it a Wallow Day. I policed the yard, hammered in stakes to fence off the garlic (when did he plant garlic?) and a California poppy, hired a guy to trim the twigs of the mulberry to keep them away from my phone lines, washed the dishes, washed the laundry, mended a pocket, walked 2.4 miles, and did most of the jigsaw puzzle. Fairly productive day.

Komen Conflagration

In a day when so many of us have such unprecedented access to a vast array of information resources, it was increasingly hard for Komen to overlook the fact that Planned Parenthood is not exactly a mecca for mammograms – Planned Parenthood doesn’t do them and they don’t even have the facilities to do them. Komen’s mission to end breast cancer was thus not being directly served by Planned Parenthood, which was at best a middleman in that fight.
...[Pro-life activists] want more research into any medical link between abortion or contraceptive pills and breast cancer and, while Komen might logically support such research, that is not likely to happen while Komen remains so close to Planned Parenthood.
...the discerning news consumer might just be a little more skeptical about “women’s health” rhetoric, in the light of some of the hysterics with which Komen’s former political and media sisters turned on the organization. Actual women’s health deserves better — individual human lives deserve better — than ideological purity tests and search-and-destroy missions. 

Kathleen Parker.

Nevertheless, given the rabid response from abortion-rights supporters, you’d think that Brinker and her organization were running puppy mills for soup vendors.

(Yeah, one of my FB friends (from long ago, role-playing games) is absolutely foaming at the mouth that anyone would DARE not give $$ to PP.

Jennifer Rubin

It’s remarkable, when you think about it: One private foundation decides not to give money to a charity but instead to pursue its core mission through other entities. And for this, a storm of vitriol descends on the foundation from elected officials and elite opinion-makers. If it were any other issue (e.g., pet rescue, education, save the whales), it would be unthinkable for members of Congress to weigh in. I mean a private charity kind of gets to decide where to spend its money, while its donors can continue to give or not as they see fit, right? Ah, but when the topic is abortion, all rules go out the window.
... this is nuts. Planned Parenthood can raise its own money (which it did in spades in the wake of the flap). Those who want to give to a breast cancer charity can donate with the peace of mind that their money will be used to fight breast cancer. (Donors did so generously as a result of the controversy.) Now Planned Parenthood’s bosses have every right under current law to do what they do and raise money to fund their organization. But shame on them for intimidating other groups that might contemplate the same move as the Susan G. Komen Foundation made.

And to members of Congress, let me say: Butt out. Don’t you have enough to handle not doing your own jobs without hectoring charities to do your bidding?

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Wed, Feb 8th - 11:28PM

February 3: Lucid?

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
20.1 miles

174 recordings of 46 types. 9% clear.

So, the first thing I see on Facebook this morning is a long "why is your daughter so awful?" screed from the mother of a Down's child. It seems she noted the page name of a picture I saw and posted with a note to Bernadette, and which B. reposted.  The picture is of the dream of a sweet child sleeping all cuddled up, and the reality of the kid sleeping crosswise with a foot in Mom's face. It was Gareth all over.  I didn't note, nor did Bernadette, the name of the page, a stupid juvenile name, "Retarded Picture of the Day."  The mom jumped to the conclusion that we were making fun of special needs children. I may have talked her off the ledge, though the last thing she said in mail to me was to ask how come Bernadette was looking at that page. 

However, to Bernadette she said that Rich would be ashamed of her.  That's pretty well a bridge too far. Rich was proud of all his children, and Mom has no right to speak for him.  I don't think it bothered Bernadette as much as it bothers me, but I'm still simmering a little bit about it.  I hope this doesn't  affect my friendship with her parents (especially her Dad.)

Rasmussen: -15: 46/52.


Math is hard.

Bernadette got the kids early so I could go to the lawyer (who was recommended by our neighbors.)  He's very nice.  While I was waiting I looked at this picture in the waiting area, an impressionist summer scene with lots of trees and a gazebo... and I thought what a nice jigsaw puzzle it would make.  Anyway, back to the lawyer. I'd pictured a nice simple will, just changing the names and a few facts from our last one (1980). Noooo. There could be probate unless I put the house in trust, and I pretty much have to put everything in trust (with Bernadette as the trustee, power of attorney and all). It's a lot more complicated than I realized. It's also going to cost about a thousand dollars. Ouch.  However, I believe the guy is trustworthy, no pun intended, and I think it'll work out. He said it was good to do this stuff while I am lucid, and I said "boy, I have YOU fooled!"

On the Nook, 291 books, 23% free. I am not even reading much.

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Tue, Feb 7th - 7:12PM

February 2: Cacti

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
20.1 miles

172 recordings of 46 types. 9%

Today I went to Bernadette's to babysit while she took Gareth to the preschool to have him evaluated. I read while Joanna puttered, and B. was only gone about an hour.  The IEP will be in a couple of weeks. 

Back at home, the calls began to come in from people interested in my tall cactus. One guy came and took one big succulent from the front and 3 or 4 from the back. It's a start.  Our neighbor came by but he only wanted a dish (and he wanted to use the wagon to carry it, which is when I found out my wagon's gone. The last time I saw it was the week before Thanksgiving when I went to the Mountain Mandarin Festival. Sulk.). I had another call, but she didn't leave a call-back number. Apparently the guy who always wants the big cacti has been ordered by his wife not to get any more. Oh, well.

Reading: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (vol 1), Edward Gibbon, The Bible (1 Machabees), The Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon, Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, Joyce Magnin, Finding Your Way After Your Spouse Dies, Marta Felber, and The Death of a Husband, Helen Reichert Lambin.

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Tue, Feb 7th - 11:31AM

February 1: Simple Shopping Trip

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 66
20.1 miles

169 recordings of 43 types. 11%.

Rasmussen: -12: 49/49.

Smart power.

I babysat all day.  I introduced the dog back into the living room after Joanna's nap.  She cried when he licked her but I showed her how to push him away and tell him "bad dog."  Wary, and when he comes up behind her he scares her, but she's getting used to it.

After Bernadette got them, I planned a quick dash down Watt to take advantage of a 49-cent Pepsi 2-l. deal, and then to stop at the Commissary for laundry detergent (trying to get only one big bulky thing a trip, and currently I'm OK on kitty litter, dog food, and cat food. What I failed to see was that the Food Source Pepsi coupon was part of its Grand Opening, which started today.  I realized my mistake when I got in and discovered every single cart was gone. oops.

OK, then.  I picked up 4 Diet Pepsis and headed for the checkout.  I made a mental note to come back and check this place out some other time. (There's a Fresh & Easy opening in my neighborhood soon, as well. But I imagine I'm still shopping at the commissary and Raley's.) I looked at the express line and decided I'd do as well in the shorter line for full carts.  In the event, it was about the same. 

Then to the Commissary.  Who knew big amounts of laundry detergent is now sold in liquid form? It's easy to carry and I didn't have to worry. I picked my Arm&Hammer brand with 70 loads, $5, instead of a brand I don't know with 166 loads for $6, as I'm only doing a load a week as a rule, so the second one would last 3 years and that's too long if I don't like it.

So this wasn't quite as quick a dash as I anticipated, but not that bad.

Kathryn Lopez

Planned Parenthood refers women for screenings, they don’t do them. They do abortions. That’s their business. Kudos to Komen for walking away from that. There will be a lot of hell to pay from the abortion industry and its party, needless to say.

Oilwatcher : It's just weird how obsessed the left is with killing babies. What's the deal? Some kind of secret Cult of Baal?

Richard : Is this not a private organization? If he has a problem with how they are spending their money, he doesn't have to donate to them. Why doesn't he just start his own breast cancer foundation?

He can call it the "Howard Brush Dean Breast Cancer Foundation", and then he can give all the donations he receives to Planned Parenthood if he thinks that is the best way to fight cancer...

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Sun, Feb 5th - 8:36AM

January 31: Bye Bye Century Plant!

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 62
20.1 miles
fog, then warm

171 recordings of 45 types. 10% clear.

Rasmussen: -13: 51/48.  "For the first time in more than two years, Democrats lead Republicans on the Generic Congressional Ballot." Scary out here!

Occupy Support Drops More than 20 Points in San Francisco.

Maybe he doesn't actually Know It All

Back to the motor home for another good breakfast this morning, then I showed Ina the bamboo and she took a little stalk in the hopes of growing it.  (They also got a small cactus and some garlic.) Then it was time for them to go. I took a movie of Allan navigating out of the driveway, but it was nowhere near as difficult as I thought it might be.  "Don't be sad", Ina told me, so of course I burst into tears. I'm so so SO glad they came.

One of the curly lightbulbs in back had died, so I replaced it, noting that the new one has a 5 year guarantee.  You know, it may well have been that long since the other one went in.

At 10 on the dot, Eduardo came by. He wanted permission to drop the century plant on the neighbors' yard, so I went by and asked them.  No problem.  Eduardo went right to work with his chain saw, first trimming off the spiky leaves, then eventually pulling the stalk down partly in the street. Then he chopped it up, cleaned up, and trimmed the ball at the bottom.  When he was rolling that into his truck, I asked what he meant he wanted to eat it.  Turns out they make candy from it.  These agave are not the tequila agave, but I could make pulque out of the one that's left.  No thank you.  Tequila is made from smaller agave.  Anyway, he was prompt, efficient, and pleasant (oh, the stalk is like sugar cane, he says) so I gave him $40.

DSC00126     DSC00133

This afternoon I babysat.  Bernadette was hopeful that I could drive the kids home so she could go directly to rehearsal, but I'm so tired, I keep falling asleep when I sit down.  I wasn't alone.  Gareth slept on the floor for two hours, and Joanna's nap was also two hours.  There was one blissful hour when they overlapped.

DSC00140     DSC00141

In my old papers, I have the Yellowstone trip in 1964 and a geology trip I took in Marin that Roni resented, because I was supposed to be HOME (she was 8, I believe). Heh.

Monica called.  Their vacation plans this year are to France.  Boy, those kids sure are lucky. I was 10 before I got as far as Denver.

Bre McGloughlin: If tomatoes are a fruit, then isn't ketchup technically a smoothie?

Yay!  Yay yay yay!!!

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Fri, Feb 3rd - 8:31AM

January 30: A Day with My Bro and Sis-in-Law

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 56
20.1 miles

166 recordings of 44 types. 12% free.

Rasmussen: -14: 51/47 (!)

I trekked across the street at 7 and had breakfast with Allan and Ina.  She makes oatmeal with lots of additions, really good. I put in raisins, but she puts in trail mix!  Super good.  Allan had called the garage in West Sacramento I'd found last night to make an appointment for an oil change, and he was happy. 

Then we took the dogs for a long walk at the softball complex, where I showed them the geocaches we'd put out.  Codger's Walk is in good shape. We just eyeballed the other two.

Then we put Queenie into the back yard with Pharaoh and went to lunch at Woodys.  Good stuff. I hadn't been since they moved to Country Club Plaza, though the Widowed Persons Association goes there pretty often. Yummy.

We were going to go look at sandhill cranes but Queenie was heartbroken to be out in a strange place with a strange dog (they got along fine) so we sat outside for awhile and then they took their dog to the motor home and we all went down to see Bernadette.  There was a traffic jam on the way home. 

They fed their pets and I fed Pharaoh, then we went out to dinner at La Rosa Blanca.  Two meals out in one day!!  Eating out is something I miss a lot. Back home, more talk till everyone turned into pumpkins at 9:30 or so. What a nice day!


Disagrees with his own chart.

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Thu, Feb 2nd - 7:37PM

January 29: Oops

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, p. 56
16.8 miles

Rasmussen: -15: 49/50.

165 recordings of 45 types. 12% free.

This one was easy.

I'm +.9 pounds up with high blood pressure today.

Father, at church today, forgot the words and ended up saying "and also with your spirit" so I don't feel so bad about all the times I forget. I had companions for the pancake breakfast. Then a quick stop at the store.

Bernadette stopped by after her radio stint and did the pheasant in the puzzle. Then I sent her home so I could go to the grief group.  There were a LOT of people there today, probably because of the football, or rather lack of. I enjoyed it again, but left a little early so I could be home with my brother and sister-in-law.

I was surprised and worried when they weren't in my driveway. It turns out their motor home is ever so much bigger, and my driveway significantly smaller, than I realized. Oops. The neighbors got together and found a driveway that fit, so they camped across the street from my house (still using my bathroom!)

I did a rump roast in a bag, and actually cleared the dining room table and we ate like adults.  We talked and they showed me a lot of pictures of their trip.  I'm so glad they came!

While attending a Marriage Weekend, my wife and I, listened to
the instructor declare, 'It is essential that husbands and wives know the
things that are important to each other."
He then addressed the men, "can you name your wife's favorite flower?"
I leaned over, touched my wife's hand gently, and whispered,
"Pillsbury-All-Purpose, isn't it?"
And thus began my life of celibacy.........

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Wed, Feb 1st - 8:35PM

January Summary

(No more cute little chart!)

Last month's summary: 20.1 miles in January, .9 pounds up, and 19 pages.

I read 4 books, went to 4 movies, 1 play, 16 Masses.

I found 14 caches last month, and I'm at 7839.  I'm (sniff!) 304th in the world, (hydnsek is the person just ahead of me!) and still 15th  locally

In proofing, I'm in 1070th (out of 38447 proofers) place in the first proofing round, with 873 pages proofed, 19th (out of 4607) in P2 with 23523 pages, 583rd (of 961) in P3 with 469 pages and formatting 690th place (3628) with 1020 pages.

In Flickr I have 41771 pictures, with 91793 views, and 203 sets to work on.

All I watched with Netflix was Homicide seasons 1&2, disks 1 and 2.

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