Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bag lady

Our friend Lee sent us a link to a slideshow about plastic bag usage.
I've forwarded it on to many of you, although I rarely do forwards. I just feel that it's really important, and while I've preached before about getting away from using plastic bags, I think the images in the slideshow speak very clearly. To me, it's very sobering to see the huge mounds of plastic bags. And isn't it ugly to see bags caught in trees like in this picture? Strange fruit, indeed.
This is such a simple thing to do, and it's something that can be done relatively pain-free! Reusable bags are much less expensive than when we bought ours a couple of years ago, and we've even gotten some freebies here and there for rejoining various organizations (National Wildlife Federation, etc.).
I had been using plastic bags for litterbox cleaning, but I recently bought a package of paper lunch bags, and they're doing the job quite nicely. Now I need to figure out what I can do for the kitchen trash...ah-ha! Ken informs me that they sell biodegradable plastic bags. The search is on! I'll let you know what I find.
So the next time you're at the store, think about grabbing one of the reusable bags that most stores are selling now. Spend a dollar, save a seal! Or a duck...or a turtle....

Joining the Call to Arms!

Things aren't looking too good for New Orleans right now, folks. Miss Ginger (Hope you'll check her journal out, too. She's a fun read!) explains it very well in her recent entry:
This truly is the mother of all storms--an absolute worst-case scenario for NOLA. Katrina hit a little to the east of New Orleans, so the right side of the storm (we call it the "dirty" side) actually hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which was essentially washed away in it's entirety. You don't hear as much about it because it is not so densely populated, so from a humanity standpoint not as many lives were lost as New Orleans. But, from a physical standpoint, they got the hardest winds, the largest storm surge, and the most rain.

With Gustav heading slightly to the west of NOLA, this time they are on the dirty side of the storm. The storm surge from a Cat4 will be catastrophic, and in this case will push gazillions of gallons of water into Lake Ponchartrain, which will not be able to contain it all. The flood control systems are designed to spill water from the Mississippi River, across Lake Ponchartrain, into the Morganza spillway and out into the Gulf of Mexico. But because this storm will be pushing water up from the south, the Morganza will already be full and won't be able to absorb the flood from Ponchartrain. As water is pushed into Ponchartrain, is will also push water back into the Mississippi and Lake Borne, putting stress on the levees, which won't be completely reinforced until 2010. If this storm were to happen in 2012, the city would fare much better, but because the levee improvement work is so time consuming, it's far from complete. All the breaches from Katrina are repaired, and many of the weakest spots identified in her aftermath are fixed, but there are still miles and miles of levee we now know can be made stronger, and have just not been able to get the work done yet.

It's gonna be bad. Really bad. Hate to be a downer, but I want to make sure people all over the country know that New Orleans REALLY will need our prayers and support again, and they need and deserve our assistance after this storm is over! The last time they were not prepared to help themselves. They learned their lesson and executed their plan of action beautifully this time. They will spare many lives that would have been lost without the lessons learned last time. But the property damage will be enormous, and the damage to their souls and spirits will be even bigger. Now is the time for human compassion like we have never poured it out before! Please help me spread the word!

I hope you'll join me and Ginger in praying for those in the path of the storm, and hoping that New Orleans does not encounter a worst-case scenario. <fingers crossed>

Spread the word!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Does anyone remember the cartoon "Ren & Stimpy?" Ren is a manic, semi-psychotic Chihuahua, and Stimpy is a fat cat with a peanut-sized brain. If I recall, it was originally on Nickelodeon (correct me if I'm wrong, Shane), and it was definitely some weird, subversive, and hilarious stuff.
Cousin Shane sent me a nice reminder of "Ren & Stimpy" the other night. I present to you "LOG! by Blammo!" Be sure to watch for Anatomically Correct Log, and don't forget Invisible Log! By Blammo!
What rolls down stairs
alone or in pairs,
and over your neighbor's dog?
What's great for a snack,
And fits on your back?
It's log, log, log

It's log, it's log,
It's big, it's heavy, it's wood.
It's log, it's log, it's better than bad, it's good.

Everyone wants a log
You're gonna love it, log
Come on and get your log
Everyone needs a log

New Buffalo, 911

Back from our "quickie trip," and it was quite an adventure...both good and bad.
Good first!
Here's the main entrance of Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Michigan. Four Winds was built by the Pokagon band of the the Potawatomi Indian tribe, and our insurance agent and friend Brent is a member of the tribe.
The casino was built in the style of a hunting lodge, with massive timbers, natural wood, and stone. It really is a beautiful place. They have a hotel there, too, but on a Friday night on a holiday weekend, the rate was about $400, and we said, "I don't THINK so!" We stayed at a very decent hotel not too far away, and had a suite.
This is the foyer/rotunda. You can see all the timbers and wood, and the lighting fixture is beautiful. I think there is some significance and symbolism to some of the elements in the chandelier, but I'm afraid I don't know what it is! It's just pretty. Ha!
This is the main hall. Notice the curved timbers on the ceiling.
Looks a little deserted, doesn't it? That's because everyone is on the main floor gambling!
It was actually quite busy, but I suppose that's not surprising for a Friday night on a holiday weekend. From everything we've heard, and what Brent told us, they're doing VERY well. He said that of the profits, 60% goes to the tribal members (I think he said about 3400 members) AFTER it goes towards the debt incurred in building the casino. He believes that debt will be paid in 5 years or less. For the members of the tribe that are not of age, the money goes into a trust fund. The other 40% goes into infrastructure--upkeep, new construction, etc.
He said that the board consists of tribal elders, who have been so poor up until now that they are incredibly conservative. He said that he's thought about being more involved and eventually getting on the board, because he sees so much potential there--a golf course, more hotel rooms, etc. Brent told us that some of these elders have been existing in such poverty--$10,000 or less per year in income--that they hardly know how to handle these unbelievable revenues.
The gaming floor, with a craps table on the left. Hey--is that John McCain?! <grin> Uh-oh, I think he just rolled snake-eyes on his come-out roll....
This is Brent and Liz at a slot machine. They go up every so often for dinner, but Brent has no interest whatsoever in gambling! Liz likes some of the slots, and a little blackjack, so she had fun playing a bit.
We hit it off with Brent when we first met him, but we had only briefly met Liz at the casino opening, and never got a chance to talk with her. Turns out she is just as nice as can be, and even though I don't often feel immediately comfortable with a lot of people, she was so sweet and so much fun to talk to, and we all had a really nice time talking at dinner.
The seafood buffet...good grief! We got our crab legs, but they also had steamed clams and mussels (those were delicious!) AND they had raw oysters. Yum! I got a slice of prime rib, Ken had some calamari and scallops...there was so much more, but we can only eat so much! The desserts were incredible, too, but again, I can only eat so much. I had a piece of baklava, a small key lime tart, and a half of a small brownie. Ken enjoyed a couple of macaroons, which he loves.
Needless to say, we were stuffed, and happy to walk around the casino a bit!
Liz informed us that unfortunately, they no longer have $5 blackjack tables there. Ohhhhh nooooo! In fact, last night they didn't even have $10 tables, so we ended up sitting down for a while at a $15 minimum bet table and were able to play for a little while. The guy getting cards first was hitting when he shouldn't have, getting our low cards, and while he was doing just fine, we were getting hosed. That is SO frustrating! Play smart and make the dealer bust! It's so much fun when you can get a table where everyone works together and gets the concept  of when to hit and when to stay, and has the common goal of making the dealer bust. As Forrest Gump would say, life is like a blackjack game! Ha!
Brent and Liz have two young kids, so they took off before we did. It was a lot of fun spending some time with them, and I hope we'll get a chance to do it again! Ken and I stuck around and played a little video blackjack at the bar, then decided to call it a night.
Okay, here comes the bad part.
Warning: Some graphic and possibly disturbing stuff ahead.
As we were heading out, I realized that we didn't get any pictures of me or Ken, so I said, "Hey, take my picture by the Porsche! I'll tell J-Land that I won it. Ha!" (They're giving away a couple of Porsche Boxsters in September.) Right after I said that, Ken said, "Oh my God. That guy over there is having a heart attack or something." I said, "What?" and looked over at the main doors. A guy was down, and people were gathered around him. Ken and I ran over, and the guy had keeled over, flat on his back, and wasn't moving, wasn't aware. Ken ran off to one of the nearby shops to get security and a medical team over, and I asked, "Does anyone know CPR?!" (I don't, but I'd attempt it if no one did.) A woman stepped up and started doing compressions, and a couple of us knelt around the guy. His daughter was opposite me, and was trying to get his attention and snap him out of it, saying, "Dad? DAD! Look at me!"
As the one lady was doing compressions, the guy started to vomit, and I said, "We have to turn his head, maybe turn him on his side, he's going to choke." Someone asked if he had heart problems, and someone--I guess a family member--said that yeah, he has congestive heart failure, and the he was having a hard time walking earlier. Someone in the crowd--it's all kind of a blur--was saying, "Keep up the compressions...get him on his side..." and when we turned his head, I saw a small pool of blood beneath. I said, "He hit his head pretty hard--there's blood." I also saw some matter, and please God, I hope it was just vomitus that somehow got down there, and was not from a fractured skull.
Security got there and started forming a line to keep the crowd back, and Ken came back--both security and Ken said that the medical team was on the way. I stepped back, and finally the medical team got there--it seemed like ages, but I suppose it was only a matter of a couple of minutes. They bagged the guy, and they had to zap him with the portable defibrillator, and it seemed that he started breathing again, but the ambulance still wasn't there yet. I started to step in and tell the medical team about the blood under his head, but a security guard right next to me stopped me--rightly so--and said, "Please step back, ma'am." I said, "Okay--but I was up by him earlier, and he hit his head pretty hard--there was blood underneath his head." The security guard told the medical team that information, thank goodness.
When the ambulances got there, they started clearing people out. Ken said, "Do you still want a picture with the Porsche?" I said, ""
We walked across the driveway and watched to see what was happening. They weren't bringing the guy out, and Ken finally went over and asked one of the cops if the guy was okay. He told Ken that the guy was breathing, and his heart was beating, but in the long term, he just didn't know. When I was by the guy, he seemed awfully pale, and he had that sort of edematous (fluid buildup in tissues) look that I've seen in patients, and a cool, waxy cast to his skin color and texture. I really don't know if he made it or not. I hope we can find out something from Brent. I would have to say that it didn't look good.
So as we finally left the "scene" and were walking to the car, we both had that sort of post-adrenaline rush reaction...obviously a  horrible, serious situation, but sometimes you just have to whistle when you walk by the graveyard. Ken said, "I guess there's a good reason we don't go out like this a lot--we lose money, and then watch a guy almost die." I said, "I miss Nutwood!"
<sigh> I've been hoping and praying that the guy is okay, and I'll let you know if I find out anything. It's weighed upon my mind, and getting it out here I think will help a lot. Thank you for letting me vent about it. I keep thinking of the words in the burial service: "In the midst of life we are in death." 
I also told Ken that maybe I need to stop having birthdays. August 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans. August 29, 2008, guy collapses in casino while we're there. I'm thinking that maybe I should just hunker down and ride the storm out.
I'll work on getting caught up on journals soon!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Watch out for that ottoman!

A great big thank you to Mort across the pond and at the journal Caring and Sharing for including me as one of his Guest Editor picks. Mort writes that I include lots of good pictures in my journal, but my flowers are nothing compare to his massive mounds of blooms!
Thank you, Mort, it was a nice birthday present!
I'll be taking my camera to the casino tonight, so maybe I'll get a few pictures of us high rollers. Ha! Yeah, right! I'm always stunned to see tables with a minimum bet of $100. I think they have even higher ones in Vegas, into the thousands. My favorite is the $3 tables in downtown Vegas! Well, we don't go to win big, we go to play. Our goal is always to at least come out even, and I've been practicing my handheld blackjack game this afternoon. <grin>
And goody! I get to wear my new sandals! (I can hear you all yelling, "Oh, hurray for Beth!") I thought about wearing one of my new skorts, but it's usually chilly-willy in there, and I'd get cold. Capris it is, with a lightweight sweater set. And you have to wear pearls with a sweater set, right? I believe I'll break mine out.
Hey, I'm goin' all Laura Petrie tonight--Capris, sweater set, pearls. Ohhhh, Rob!

Thanks, everyone!

Before I begin (I have something to say, imagine that!), thanks to everyone who left birthday wishes here or sent them via email! It was very kind of you all, and I appreciate it so much. You guys are the best! My Mom called this morning from the road to wish me a happy birthday. She said, "We wanted to see if this cell phone works. It does!" Ha ha! I also got a call from our friend Kimberley and we gabbed for a solid hour.
I'm just lazing around today, but if you haven't read Ken's entry about our plans, this evening we're heading up to Four Winds Casino for the seafood buffet, followed by a little time at the blackjack tables. We'll spend the night at a local hotel, then head back tomorrow. Should be a fun little getaway, and we're looking forward to it.
Speaking of gambling, some of you might remember a while back when Ken and I wrote about the candidates' gambling styles. (I couldn't find the entry, sorry.) In short, Obama loves poker and McCain loves craps. While on the surface this seems irrelevant, my analysis was that poker is a more deliberative game that requires some skill, including the ability to bluff. Craps, while requiring some knowledge of odds, is very much dependent upon the roll of the dice--literally. This tells me that Obama is more likely to study a problem, while McCain is more of a risk-taker, and this fits with what we know of them and their personalities.
That being said, Sen. McCain has picked Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, to be his running mate. (Reader Pat made the call this morning--good call, Pat!) I don't think anyone saw this one coming, although Ken said last night that he thought McCain would do something "unexpected." He sure did. And please note that while I usually use their titles, in the interest of getting my thoughts down quickly, I will just use their names in this entry.
Gov. Palin is younger than Obama. I don't think McCain is going to be able to use the "experience vs. youth" tactic, so that "card" has been taken off the table. While you all can find out the details of her life on your own--I'm sure we'll be hearing plenty about her in the coming days--I was interested in finding out what experience she has.
  • Alaska governor since December 2006
  • Unsuccessful run for Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in 2002
  • Chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 2003-2004
  • Served two terms as Wasilla mayor and two terms on city council
  • She also served an elected term on the Valley Hospital board

I'm sold! Serving on the hospital board was the one that convinced me!

I'm sorry, but you've gotta be kidding me. I realize that her conservative stance on social issues will appease many in the GOP, but seriously...are you kidding me?!

One of McCain's big deals is protecting America from terrorism. And he chooses the governor of Alaska?? Oh yeah, I forgot about all those terrorist cells in Alaska! I'm sure there will be a vice-presidential debate. Biden will mop the floor with her. Of course, he'll have to be careful to not look like a bully.

Apparently she's also known as a "reformer," but her administration is under investigation. It concerns Palin's firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, who later said he felt pressured by the governor's office to fire Palin's ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper who was involved in a child-custody battle with Palin's sister. Hmm, interesting.

I really know very little about her, and I'd wager that most of us are in the same boat. We'll all find out more soon, I'm sure. I think she's probably a fine person, and it sounds like she's a fine governor. While I know we don't elect the vice-president, keep in mind that this is the person who will be running the country if something should happen to the President. From the governor of Alaska to the leader of the free world?

I think Senator McCain just crapped out.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


Tim Pawlenty has canceled his scheduled appearances tomorrow, which indicates that it is likely that he will be Sen. McCain's running mate.

Rumor has it that they will sack and pillage a Roman façade after their announcement.


Grand Slam

'Nuff said.

Holy Roman Empire, Batman!

From a story written by Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press Writer, concerning the stage from which Senator Obama will deliver his acceptance speech this evening:

"This Roman-like facade, a facade with Roman columns, is a perfect metaphor or icon for the point that it's an interesting production, but behind it there's not much there," Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty told ABC.

Democrats have responded by noting that President Bush's acceptance speech in 2004 also took place on an elaborate stage that included similar columns.
Hmm, Rome...Roman Empire....
Would that be the Roman Empire that once stretched from Britain to Germany, North Africa to the Persian Gulf? The most extensive Western civilization of ancient times?
The Roman Empire whose Army built roads that still exist today, and built an extensive aqueduct system? Who gave us the modern calendar, the growth of the institution of Christianity, and classical architecture?
The Empire whose Latin language evolved into the Romance languages, such as Italian, French, Spanish, etc.?
The Roman Empire whose form of government was so admired by those who wrote the Constitution that they had it in mind when they created the Presidency? Who developed an elaborate system of Public Administration, including extensive civil service and formalized tax collection?
The Empire whose influence continues in the Western world in things such as technology, the arts, language, religion, architecture, law, the military, and government, and from whom we acquired our ways of living, ruling, and governing?
THAT Roman Empire?
You're right, Governor Pawlenty. Not much there. What a bunch of slackers.

The Lady or the Tiger?

I've been reading a little more about Sen. McCain's pick for his running mate.
My initial inclination was and is Mitt Romney, because of his economics knowledge. However, this would be quite a team to try to reach middle-class America, and to tell those who are struggling to make ends meet that they know EXACTLY how they feel. Get this: these guys, between the two of them, own 12 homes. That's TWELVE. The combined worth of said homes is estimated to be around $30 million. I somehow doubt that they feel your pain.
The other front runner is said to be Tim Pawlenty, the Minnesota governor. This would help McCain in Minnesota, which I think is going to be a bit of a problem for him, but while Pawlenty's youth and executive experience would be helpful, he is no match for Joe Biden when it comes to foreign affairs. A vice-presidential debate would be sure to happen, and one Republican insider said that a nationally televised Biden-Pawlenty debate is "unthinkable." In other words, I get the impression that everyone thinks Biden would tear him a new one.
Former Homeland Security director and Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge would be more of a match with Biden on national security and foreign affairs, with one big ol' caveat: he is pro-choice. McCain has had a hard time convincing the religious conservatives that he is their candidate, and a pro-choice pick would alienate those voters, as well as many independent and swing voters. Ridge has said that he would defer to McCain on the issue, but that would allow Democrats to paint Ridge as a flip-flopper, wishy-washy, and a yes-man.
The other main person being mentioned is Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman...yes, THAT Joe Lieberman. The Democrat-turned-independent who ran as Al Gore's running mate in 2000. Lieberman also supports abortion rights, and has a long history of supporting labor causes that would also alienate many in the GOP. It would make for some interesting debates with Biden, too, as they realized that they cast the same votes on many issues in the Senate. The core conservatives in the GOP would be going, "Tell me again WHY he picked this guy??" I can't believe I'm going to quote Phyllis Schlafly, but you can't get any more "core conservative" than that gal. "I think there would be a walkout on Lieberman at the convention. He’s not a Republican."
Interesting, huh? Looks like Senator McCain has a "Lady or the Tiger?" situation on his hands, AKA damned if you do, damned if you don't. At this point, I'm really not sure who he's going to pick. I'd say the odds are still with Romney, but he might go with a dark horse.

Three years ago....

Tropical Storm Gustav is expected to pass close to Jamaica today, and then move into the Gulf of Mexico, where it will, in all probability, gain strength and hit the Gulf Coast as a hurricane.
Of course, it's too early yet to tell where it will hit--anywhere from the Florida panhandle to Texas. And it's always possible it could hit New Orleans.
I don't want anyone to be harmed during this storm--although it's already killed several in Haiti--but all I can think is, "Please, not New Orleans again."
Three years ago, I remember watching the weather reports closely. We had just been to New Orleans the previous month with Kim and Steve, and the "bon temps" were still fresh in my mind. We were there during Tropical Storm Cindy, which was later upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, and made it out just before they closed the airport because of heavy rains from Hurricane Dennis. On the 29th, I had the day off, and I remember sitting out on the deck talking to my Mom on the phone as we watched the news reports coming in that Katrina was hitting New Orleans. I had a sense of "They'll ride it out, it'll be okay."
Later that day, the levees began to breach, but it wasn't until the following day, when I was back at work, that I began to hear that the levees had completely failed in several spots, and virtually the entire city was flooded. Two days after the Louisiana landfall, 85% of New Orleans was under water.
I can still feel the horror I felt then, as I watched my favorite city descend into mayhem and madness. I'm sure none of us will ever forget it. I won't go into the politics of it all--there was a complete breakdown on virtually every level. I'll just keep everyone who is in harm's way in my prayers, and keep thinking, "Please, not New Orleans again."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Home run!

Bill steps up to the plate...
...and hits it out of the park. (Thanks, Mark, for the analogy!)
I made the call...that the Clintons would support the party and get behind their nominee, and Bill's speech tonight was astounding. He focused on Sen. Obama, he highlighted the differences in the economy, and said that with the addition of Biden as a running mate, the foreign policy questions should be put to rest. The question of Obama's youth was also raised when Clinton said that they said the same thing about him in his first presidential campaign.
It also showed what a powerful speaker Clinton still is--man, can he work a crowd, or what?! No matter what you think of his politics, the guy is one helluva speaker.
I got to see Evan Bayh's brief speech on our local PBS station, and I think he did a good job. Strong, forceful, very supportive of his party's nominee. Lookin' good, Evan! Mark my out for this guy!
I promise that I'll let up with the political entries soon. I'm just a little energized while watching this convention and these speeches. Thank you for bearing with me, and I'll do my best to soon get back to normal. Or what passes for normal, when it comes to me. <grin>
[cue the teletype sound!]
Breaking news! McCain will announce his running mate either Thursday or Friday. I haven't followed this as closely as the Dem possibilities, but I would suspect Mitt Romney, for the economic boost. I wouldn't put any bets on that, though, not like my bets on Biden. From what I read, there's no love lost and no chemistry between McCain and Romney.

Watching history...LIVE!

Congratulations to Barack Obama, the official nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2008 Presidential election.
Was anyone watching the roll call? It's fun to hear all the "The great state of Indiana, home of Senator Evan Bayh, the Hoosier state, casts its vote for..." stuff! It just cracks me up to hear all that. (By the way, Senator Evan Bayh will be speaking during the 8 o'clock ET hour, if you'd like to get a glimpse of the guy I've written about.)
But what was really cool...did you see Senator Clinton as the spokesperson for New York? Did you see her asking for a suspension of the roll call, with a vote for Obama as the nominee by acclamation?
We just watched a woman who came very close to getting the nomination call for the nomination of a black man.
Think about that for a moment. I am in awe.

Sir Charles

Earlier today, I mentioned an interview on CNN with Charles Barkley.
For those non-sports fans among you, "Sir Charles," AKA "The Round Mound of Rebound" was an NBA player for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Phoenix Suns, and the Houston Rockets. He is one of only four NBA players to have gained more than 23,000 points, 12,000 rebounds, and 4,000 assists (the others include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, and Karl Malone). He won two Olympic gold medals, in 1992 as part of the "Dream Team," and also in 1996. In 1996, he was named to the NBA's Top 50 players of all time. He is now an NBA analyst for TNT.
So they guy has got some major cred when it comes to hoops!
As incredible player as he was, he often got more attention for his outspokenness. He's the guy who said he wasn't a role model...that athletes shouldn't BE role models to kids, and that their parents should be. One of my favorite quotes is, "These are my new shoes. They're good shoes. They won't make you rich like me, they won't make you rebound like me, they definitely won't make you handsome like me. They'll only make you have shoes like me. That's it." I remember hearing a radio interview on Bob & Tom with him a few years ago , in which he was talking about his teenage daughter going on dates, which was going to be happening soon. He said he was going to make the kid taking her out come up to the door, and Charles was going to answer the door. Can you imagine the door opening and seeing this intimidating guy standing there?! Charles said his plan was to kill the kid, and said, "I figure if I kill the first one, word will get around."
Ha ha! Oh, I just love the guy, and I've even read his book, I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It. He's such a character, but I've always appreciated his bluntness. He's a huge gambler, but he's also donated millions to Alabama (his home state) schools.
In the interview yesterday--he's attending the Democratic National Convention, and is thrilled about it--he spoke about how things need to change in our country, but went on to say, honestly, that it didn't really matter to him or his finances who is in office. He's made millions, he made good investments, he saved plenty...but he wants to see help for all those people who are struggling, all the "poor people," and he wants to see improvement in education. He's often talked about eventually running for the governor of Alabama, and says that they really need help with their schools. (No offense to anyone from Alabama, those were Charles' words.)
The interviewer had some statistics for Charles. They had a list of incomes broken down into categories, and how much extra it would cost each income category if Obama's tax increase occurs, versus how much LESS people would have to pay if McCain's tax cuts occur. The top category was $2.9 million and above, and Charles said, "Oh, I make a lot more than that." Ha! If the tax cuts were in place, I recall that Charles would actually have to pay LESS, or only slightly more. If the tax increase occurs, on those making $250,000 and above, Charles would have to pay over $700,000 more in taxes. Charles' reaction? "I'm okay with that." He went on to say that he makes a lot of money, and he was okay with paying more if it meant that we can turn things around in this country.
Yeah...I like Sir Charles.
Here's a fun Nike commercial for you. If you want to hear the sound, you'll need to turn it way up. At the end, Charles says, "I hear the Lakers are looking for a big man."

"I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing"

Good grief, I ended up sleeping 10 hours last night! Apparently yesterday really took it out of me. I am back at 100%, baby, lookin' good, feelin' good! Mom called earlier to see if I was feeling better...awww, thanks, Mom!
Warning: Political opinions ahead!
Of course, we had to talk a little about last night's convention and Senator Clinton's speech. To quote my Mom, "Well, Honey...I have to say it...she looked presidential!" Ha ha! Keep in mind that Mom is no fan of the Clintons, but she really liked Hillary's speech. Even though they're leaving for Kentucky at 6 AM tomorrow, they plan on staying up to watch Bill Clinton's speech tonight. That should be an interesting one, too--let's see if he can take his wife's advice and fully get behind the Democratic nominee.
My opinion is that Sen. Clinton did what she needed to do, but our buddy Mark thought that she "knocked it out of the park." Ken held back a little, saying that he thought she accomplished 80% of her mission--which was to get Democrats united behind Sen. Obama. He felt she should have mentioned some of the disparaging things she said about him during the primaries, but as an analyst pointed out afterwards, this is only one speech, and she'll have more chances to do so on the campaign trail for Obama.
I thought she did a great job. She touched on the differences between the two parties and what they want for the country, got into a little bit of attack dog mode (just a little), but I think the most effective thing she said was, after speaking about some of the people she encountered along the way--the woman without healthcare, etc.--she asked people WHY they got involved in this campaign. Was it for her, or was it for those people? I hope folks will think long and hard about that. Her and Obama's platforms were essentially not all that different--same goals, occasionally different methods. In fact, sometimes they had to really reach to distance themselves from each other, because they were actually quite aligned politically. Now we're nearing the official nomination for each party's candidate, moving into campaigning for the general election, and people need to figure out exactly what is important to them--the party's platform, or who is going to deliver it?
Those of you who have been reading for a while know that I wasn't backing Hillary, and wasn't much of a fan. Last night, she jumped up several notches in my eyes. I thought she was outstanding, and I believe she will throw all of her support behind Obama, because he IS the nominee. And as I told Ken, hearing her give that speech on the 88th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote was actually quite moving to me. As the old ads used to say, "We've come a long way, baby!" (Of course, that was a cigarette ad, but that's beside the point.) To think that less than 100 years ago, we couldn't even cast a vote, let alone run for office, and for Senator Clinton to have gotten as far as she did, I give her a standing ovation. (And I really just did that.) 
While the circumstance is a completely different one, I suspect that's the way many blacks are feeling with Obama being in the position he is. In fact, I've heard several people comment (including Charles Barkley...more about Sir Charles soon) that they never thought they'd see a time when a black man had a chance to be President. Like I said, I know the circumstances don't really compare, but as a woman, to see Sen. Clinton have a real chance at the Presidency was quite a milestone.
I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am that I am witnessing such a historic moment in American politics. It's incredibly exciting, invigorating, and fascinating, and I wouldn't miss one minute of it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's so obvious

I just got an email from one of my former coworkers. She had read my Psychic Vampires entry, and she sent me a 3-word email:
The asterisks represent the name of the former coworker who was the Psychic Vampire. I knew everyone would know exactly who I meant! I laughed out loud when I read her email.
I think I'm up to 85% health level now. I washed some dishes, folded some towels, blah de blah blah. It felt good to start getting some energy back. I have to make sure I have enough energy for Senator Clinton's speech tonight. I think she's really going to come through and state very strongly why her supporters should back Senator Obama. I also think it's appalling that the McCain campaign is using HER and her words in their ads. She made it very clear that she did not approve of that.
Ken and I are also getting a little irritated at the constant phone calls and pleas for donations from the GOP. Ken said he gets an email every single day, we get mailings at least every other day, and in the past couple of days, we've gotten 3 phone calls. I know they have the right to do that, but jeez, let up already! I also think the constant mailings are a waste of money and resources, and we also get mad about the constant mailings we get from environmental and animal groups. We contribute already, so stop asking! And stop killing trees.


I wish I wasn't rly sick! Actually, I'm a lot better. The worst seems to be over, and I was able to sleep on the couch for a couple of hours (I dozed to the comforting sounds of CNN's convention analysis), and then a nice hot shower made me feel better. I was thinking I was up to about 85%, but I talked to Mom before they leave on a short vacation, and I didn't have a whole lot of energy even for talking. So I'll take it back down to 75%.
I had that feverish feeling, with a cold sweat and chills, but I was finally able to keep down some of my diet green tea. I was glad, because I was so damn thirsty! I feel like I've been able to rehydrate fairly well. I also think it's a good sign that I'm really famished--not surprising, because everything I ate yesterday is long gone!--and I hope I'll be able to eat some Humanwich tonight. I'm starved!
And thanks for all the kind wishes and "get wells." You guys are peaches.
In my entry about the Hot Pockets recall, a couple of people mentioned Totino's Pizza Rolls. Full disclosure time: I totally love those things. I don't eat them often, but sometimes if Ken is on a business trip, I get a craving. I just toss 'em in the microwave, so they're probably especially disgusting, and then I dip them in yellow mustard.
You can tell I'm hungry--I'm thinking how good those sound right now!
Ziggy mentioned that there was a food recall in Canada, too, due to the bacterium Listeria. Ziggy wondered how safe our food really is. That's not easy to answer. I would say that for the  most part, things are quite safe. There are plenty of quality checks in place, FDA standards, etc. Most of us will go our entire lives without getting a case of food poisoning from packaged foods (restaurants and potlucks are a different story). But when one batch or lot number of something gets contaminated with Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, etc., it can make a whole lot of people sick. We used to see outbreaks fairly frequently. That doesn't account for "foreign material" such as that found in the Hot Pockets, either.
To me, sometimes it all seems like a crap shoot [pun intended!]. While you can be careful by not eating too many processed and packaged foods and buy as much fresh as possible, you can get E. coli from contaminated beef and lettuce, Cyclospora (a parasite) from raspberries, Salmonella from uncooked eggs, and Cryptosporidium (another parasite) from your freakin' water supply! If you think about it too much, it will make you paranoid and turn you into another Howard Hughes, walking around the house with Kleenex boxes on your feet. I try not to worry about it, and most of these things are self-limiting, anyway. You'll feel miserable for a while, but it will eventually get over it. It's a bigger problem for those who have compromised immune systems, and they will usually need some kind of treatment, sometimes just supportive therapy like making sure they don't get too dehydrated.
The big question during the dental torture scene in "Marathon Man" is "Is it safe?" I can't answer that question anymore than Dustin Hoffman could.

Jeez, you'd think I ate a Hot Pocket!

Temporarily out of commission due to what seems to be a stomach flu virus. The worst seems to be over, so more later when I'm closer to 100% than hovering around 50%!


Monday, August 25, 2008

A public service announcement from Nutwood Junction

Aug. 25 - Nestle Prepared Foods Company is recalling about 215,660 pounds of frozen stuffed pepperoni pizza sandwich products, known as Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza, because the product might contain small pieces of hard red plastic and other foreign material [italics mine], which pose a risk of serious injury to consumers.

The Mt. Sterling, Ky., company has received four consumer complaints and no reports of injuries. Spokeswoman Roz O'Hearn said the reported foreign substance -- hard red plastic as well as clear flexible rubber-like material -- might have splintered off from a testing device and some of it could be buried inside with sharp edges.

The recall involves 54-ounce, 12-pack cartons of Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza brand stuffed sandwiches. Printed on the side of each carton is "8157544614D," "EST 7721A," and "BEST BEFORE JAN2010." They were produced on June 5 and distributed to retail establishments nationwide.

For more information, consumers should call 800-350-5016.


I'm sorry, but doesn't the Hot Pocket sort of already qualify as a foreign material?

Have you ever had one of these things? Oh, it's no Nutraloaf, and I'd eat one if I were hungry enough, but these are...not good. Blazing hot mystery meat in a soup of melted cheese substitute, surrounded by a pasty pastry shell. Yummy-yum!

Hoooot pocket....

"I'm just waitin' on a friend..."

I just KNEW Jim would ride his motorcycle today, and I was right! (That's my car Slick behind him, by the way.)
We had a dandy time. It was a beautiful day, so we sat out on the patio to enjoy the fresh air. We enjoyed a couple of cool beverages, and our lunch (I had a black bean quesadilla), but mostly each other's company! We had plenty of laughs (he was quite happy when he got me to snort once), but talked about some serious stuff, too. Jim is one of the kindest, sweetest people--but with a bit of a wicked edge, if that makes sense--I've ever known, and it was great to get together with him. He paid for lunch, and I said I'll get it next time--he said, "Cool--that way I know there'll be a next time!" No doubt about it, buddy. I miss you.
He told me some stuff going on in the lab, and it sounds like the same old stuff. I mentioned my entry about the psychic vampires, and he immediately and without hesitation said the name of the former coworker! I said, "Bingo!" He knew exactly who I was thinking about. Of course, I think anyone would.
He's on vacation this week, but will soon change to "power weekends," where he'll work 12-hour shifts on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. He thinks it will work out well for him, because even though the 12 hours a day will kind of bite, there will be 4 days when he doesn't have to even think about work! He's a guitarist, and has a small home studio, so he's looking forward to recording some stuff. I'll look forward to hearing it. We agreed that it's all about finding your passion.
We sat there and talked for over 2 hours, and they just flew by! We hugged and parted company, and he was on his way. I made a quick trip to the store, then came home and took out the recycling. For some reason, I feel oddly exhausted. I think it's because I'm not much of a talker. No matter how much I like the person and enjoy the conversation, it just kind of wears me out. I'm kind of like that character Silent Bob, but I'm Silent Beth. (Not always...I have my moments!)
I got some onion buns to make Manwich, but I realize that I have too much stuff in the fridge. Time to eat some leftovers, and I'll do Manwich tomorrow. Mmmm, I love Manwich. Although now that I think about it, its name is rather discriminatory, isn't it? From here on out, I'm calling it Humanwich.
"These are the Daves I know, I know, these are the Daves I know...." It's catchy, isn't it?

The Kids in the Hall

I'm out to off to lunch soon, but time for a quick entry and a couple of videos!
I had another vivid dream last night, but this one wasn't violent! I was in a Meijer store, and I bought a DVD or something small like that. The clerk was Dave Foley, and Mark McKinney and Kevin McDonald were also there. (These are 3 of the guys in the great Canadian comedy ensemble The Kids in the Hall.) I said, "Thanks Dave!" and then it kind of turned into a bar setting, and there was a guy at the bar having a drink. He was just looking straight ahead, not talking to anyone. When he left, Mark McKinney said, "That was weird. Why was he just staring at nothing?" I said, "I KNOW! I'll never understand how someone can just sit there and do nothing!" At this point I walked over and stood by Dave Foley, who was flossing his teeth. I said, "Look at Dave here. He's doing something productive with his time--he's flossing!" Dave said, "What?" I said, "I'm sorry--you didn't hear the first part of that conversation." We all chatted a little more, and then I woke up.
If you've ever seen The Kids in the Hall, you'll know that that could probably be a skit from their show! They were really out there, and sometimes their skits made little sense. But they always cracked me up. Here are a couple of videos for you. The first is about falling asleep on the job, and the second is a fun little song called "Daves I Know." Let me know later if it was going through your head all afternoon!
More later!



Sunday, August 24, 2008


Our friend Lee is coming up from Florida in early September for a wedding and wants to get together with us for lunch. We're hoping that he agrees that lunch at Tabor Hill Winery in Michigan will be enjoyable...I'm thinking sautéed duck breast sounds good! Nom nom nom. In the meantime, I got an email from my pal Jimi asking if I wanted to meet him for lunch tomorrow. Done deal, we're meeting at our little Hacienda in our little pueblo at noon! I'm looking forward to seeing my buddy and getting the scoop on the shenanigans at the lab.
Ken and I aren't big fans of opening and closing ceremonies in the Olympics. The spectacle is amazing, but as I watched the smoke blowing across the sky after the fireworks, I had to wonder if we (meaning our global community) shouldn't consider scaling things down a bit. The whole energy consumption thing is disturbing...just a thought.
Now that the Olympics are over, it's time to focus on other sports. Baseball will be going on for a while (Go Cubbies!), and college and pro football is on the way. We're going to have a rematch of the Colts-Bears Super Bowl on September 7th. For those of you new to this journal, or Ken's, I'm a Colts fan and Ken is a Bears fan. Yikes! We both love each other's teams, but not if they're playing against each other. I suspect I'll be breaking out my Peyton Manning jersey, and Ken will be breaking out his Brian Urlacher jersey...stay tuned for a picture!
We're both jonesin' for football...much like these two. I feel your pain, guys!


Soul Suckers

It's a quiet day in the neighborhood! Ken is doing some "work" work while we watch water polo. Looks like they aren't going to win the gold. Bummer. One of the bigwigs at Ken's job has a son on the team, so it's been fun watching them play for the gold. I don't think the team has anything to be upset about, though--what a great run, and they got the silver! 
This is for Amy: tonight we're having barbecued chicken and grilled zucchini and onions. I'll probably do some noodles or something, too. Come on by, there's plenty!
Have you ever had one of those soul-sucking, life- and light-stealing friends who wants nothing more than to out-do, out-play, out-everything you? I suppose "friend" is too strong a word, because they're really kind of creepy and unfun to be around. I call them psychic vampires, and come to find out, they even have a user's manual!
I think we've all had the misfortune of having to be around these people, whether at work or in our personal life. We used to have someone at the lab who, no matter the subject, had always done it first, had done it more often, and without question, had done it much, much better than you could ever dream of doing it! It actually became a bit of a joke, because no matter what any of us said, this person would counter immediately with their own tale of how they were completely and utterly fabulous.
It was irritating as hell, but also kind of sad. The impression that came through loud and clear was probably not the one they were intending. I have a feeling that in this type of person's desire to one-up everyone around them, they are attempting to hide their own deep-seated insecurities and perceived failings, or perhaps they simply want to usurp someone else's life, experiencing vicariously through them the life that they would rather be leading. This person at the lab often felt persecuted, and felt that everyone was out to get them, or "picking on" them. Either way, it's incredibly draining--thus the vampire aspect--and unpleasant to be around.
It eventually got so that we did our best to avoid engaging this person in conversation because it just wasn't worth the headache. Again, it's really kind of sad because this was a very nice person in many ways, and they had a lot to offer. But their habit of sucking the life out of others was just too much to deal with. For your viewing and listening pleasure, please enjoy a great song by Concrete Blonde. I maintain that Johnette Napolitano has one of the best and most powerful voices of all the rock chicks. (Annie Lennox and Ann Wilson are right up there.)

"Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)"

by Concrete Blonde

There's a crack in the mirror
and a bloodstain on the bed
There's a crack in the mirror
and a bloodstain on the bed
O you were a vampire and baby
I'm the walking dead
O you were a vampire and baby
I'm the walking dead

I got the ways and means
to New Orleans I'm going
down by the river
where it's warm and green
I'm gonna have drink, and walk around
I got a lot to think about oh yeah oh yeah

There's a rocking chair by the window
down the hall
I hear something there in the shadow
down the hall
O you were a vampire and now I am
nothing at all
O you were a vampire and now I am
nothing at all


They used to dance in the garden in the
middle of the night
Dancing out in the garden in the
middle of the night
O you were a vampire
and I may never see the light
O you were a vampire
and I may never see the light


Oh yeah 10x


There's gold in them thar hills...

Yeah, it's really late...but we're watching the gold medal game in basketball, US vs. Spain. I'm so sleeeeeepy! But how can I not watch basketball? I'm a Hoosier, for Pete's sake. Lebron James is a monster, and so much fun to watch!
While we were eating dinner tonight, we were watching the exciting marathon coverage. You know, I know this is one of the classic events of the Olympic games, but is it really necessary to show the entire race? Could we maybe intersperse the coverage with other events?
While a guy from Kenya won the marathon, a couple of runners from Eritrea were right up there for a while. I had very vague knowledge of Eritrea, so I had to look it up:
A country of northeast Africa bordering on the Red Sea. Once part of the Ethiopian kingdom of Aksum, it became an Italian colony in 1890 and was named after the Roman term for the Red Sea, Mare erythraeum. Captured by the British during World War II, Eritrea later became a federated part (1952) and then a province (1962) of Ethiopia, from which it gained its independence in 1993. Asmara is the capital and largest city. Population: 4,910,000.

What I loved about this was the Latin name for the Red Sea. "Erythro" means red, and we see it in the lab in the word erythrocyte, meaning red blood cell.

I thought that was kind of cool and interesting, but maybe that's just me.

It was a lot of fun to join in the "anniversary chat" this afternoon and evening! I popped in for a while at 3 PM, and both Ken and I were in there for a while at 6 PM. It was fun to chat with a couple of people we've already encountered in J-Land, and to meet a couple of new friends.

J-Land is a special place, and I suppose there are some who don't "get it." I know I appreciate each and every friendship and friendly encounter I've experienced here. Happy Birthday, J-Land!

And congratulations to the US basketball team for getting the gold! Woo-hoo! Spain played them very well, and it was not an easy win by any means. I remember reading the Time article in which Lebron James said that anything less than a gold was a failure. What a great run, and what fun to see the "Redeem Team" win the gold. And Lebron got his gold. Cool.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday roundup

We got our errands done fairly quickly today. It was so hot and humid, we didn't want to linger in town! We wanted to stop by Walmart to get a few things, and I asked Ken, "Are you mentally prepared for a Walmart Saturday?" There were SO many people there, and while I always like to look through their $5 movies, I had no stomach for it today, and said, "Let's get outta here!" I just cannot handle crowds like I used to. We picked up a couple of good-sized potatoes to bake tonight (before we left I pulled a sirloin out of the freezer for Ken to grill tonight) and some zucchini for grilling (along with some onions) tomorrow. I'll pull some chicken out of the freezer for tomorrow, and we're all set for weekend dinners!
Ken got the lip-smacking air conditioner fixed! There was nothing wrong with it, it had just gotten bumped, or had settled and moved, enough so that the water was draining inside instead of outside. We only run it at night, so the carpet wasn't too wet, and all is well now. I'm glad I won't have to hear that tonight--it was kind of creepy!
I put up the picture of Shane's cat Boris, and I want to write a little more about her. I don't think she's a purebred, but she definitely has elements of a purebred cat. Shane did a little research, and found that she most resembles what I believe is called a Tiffany cat. The body type of the Tiffany was listed as "neither cobby nor svelte." We cracked up over that phrase, and it entered the Beth and Shane Lexicon. We still sometimes will mention to each other that something or someone is "neither cobby nor svelte," and then we crack up!
Boris is very much her Dad's cat. In her younger days, she would climb up by me on the couch and let me pet her, but she doesn't want to have much to do with anyone other than Shane now. For some odd reason, she loves my Blistex berry lip balm, and it's almost like catnip to her! When I take care of Shane's kitties, I always make sure I load up with Blistex before I go in, so I can let Boris sniff my lips. She'll start acting all crazy, rolling on her back...but if I try to pet her, she'll bat her paw at me. One day she was sniffing my lips, and I tried to pet her on the head...and she reached up and whacked me on the cheek with her paw! I sent Shane an email that said, "Your cat bitch-slapped me today!" Ha ha! I love Boris, and I wish she would let me pet her a little bit, but I understand that she's her own person cat, and like Greta Garbo, vants to be left alone.
Warning: Political Content Ahead! Be very afraid!
Missie mentioned that she's not a fan of Sen. Obama (more about that general subject--not Missie in particular!--in a moment), but she really thought that Obama would have picked Hillary. I had a feeling that just wasn't going to happen. I really think that Sen. Clinton has been quite gracious in her campaigning for Sen. Obama, but from everything I've read, the "chemistry" just wasn't there. I think the Clintons will really work to unite the Democratic party at the convention, with the goal of getting a Democrat in the White House.
As for the choice of Senator Biden, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping for Indiana's Senator Bayh. He's got some pretty good financial credentials (during his 8 years as Indiana's governor, he was known as a real tightwad when it came to budget concerns, and he finished his second term with a large state budget surplus), some solid Senate credentials (as a member of 5 Senate committees, including the Armed Services Committee), and is youthful and charismatic. I think he has a bright future ahead of him (I suspect that you just might see President Bayh one day), but he just didn't have much national recognition, and now was not his time.
Sen. Biden has some major "street cred" in Washington, and while Obama's message of change doesn't necessarily fit with someone who has been in Washington for decades, I think he made a good choice in someone who has extensive foreign policy experience. I've come to feel that while Sen. Obama might not have that extensive experience himself, he has the wisdom and intelligence to surround himself with advisers who do. That doesn't apply just to this situation. Even in our own lives, we would do best to surround ourselves with those who give good advice and have the intelligence and common sense to provide solid counsel. If we constantly accept bad advice or listen to people who don't really know what they're talking about, we're the ones who suffer for listening to them. Having the good judgement to choose good advisers counts for a lot, in my book, as well as having enough intelligence to understand issues and to research things well.
Anyhoo, I totally understand his choice. As Obama's running mate, Sen. Biden's role will be as "attack dog," a role he'll play well, but in keeping with Obama's attempt to run a more positive campaign, I think they'll ask him to keep it as low-key as possible.
Back to the "not being a fan" comment. I know we all have our own opinions, and believe me, I respect and value all of yours. I have my own opinions, too, and you all know that I occasionally like to share them. <grin> But I think I'm like most people in wishing that there were a little more civility in the world, and I feel that resorting to calling people names or ridiculing their heritage or age--just a couple of examples!--is not what we need to be focusing on. I'll give you my opinions about things, but you won't see any disrespect to either candidate's name or heritage or age here. Also, relying on forwarded emails, or extreme right- or left-wing news sources or publications for our information is imprudent at best and limited thinking at worst. If you have a knee-jerk reaction to certain issues, or receive an email that says something inflammatory about either candidate, please do some further investigation and find out the truth. As they always said in "The X-Files," the truth is out there...but sometimes we have to do a little digging.
We're all in this together, and we all want what is best for our country. Here are a few sites that might come in handy if you want to explore a bit.
Snopes - one of the best sites ever. Find everything from urban legends to Internet rumors to facts on the candidates at Snopes.
No, I didn't include Ralph Nader or Bob Barr. If you believe either candidate has a chance of winning the presidency, you can find their information by Googling them!

Boris the She-Cat

Shane sent me a great picture of Boris, since I wrote about her this morning. Isn't she pretty?

How Sheeba got his name

I sure wish Sheeba would learn how to relax.
Ziggy is curious about Sheeba's name. "You named your cat Sheeba ---- as in Queen of --- yet you call it a him. Now how did that name come to be?"
A legitimate question, Ziggy!
Ken got Sheeba as a kitten, shortly after we started dating. He wanted a female cat, as we have been told that male cats "spray" their territory, and was told that this kitten was female. When Ken was a little kid, they got a Siamese cat, and Ken kept saying, "It's a her, it's a her!" and his Mom said, "No, it's a she." So that's how She the Siamese cat got her name. Ken says that when they'd go pick up his Dad at the train station, She would ride along in the car!
In tribute to She, Ken decided to name his new girl kitty Sheeba. Sheeba was an adorable kitten, but are there any that aren't? As Sheeba got a little older, I was petting him, and I noticed something...actually, TWO somethings. I said, "Uhhh...Honey? I think Sheeba might be a He!" We both took a closer look, and decided that yep, those were balls, alright. I'm glad we noticed before we took him to the vet to be fixed--that would have been embarrassing!
We always joke that Sheeba is actually a Heeba. It all turned out okay. There have been a few incidents, but they're rare, and he's a great kitty.
Oddly enough, when Cousin Shane got his first cat, he was told that he was getting a male, and named him Boris. As Boris got a little older, Shane discovered the lack of the aforementioned balls! So we have a male cat named Sheeba, and Shane has a female cat named Boris. Such gender confusion!
I did great last night with getting to bed early--around midnight!--only to wake up at 3:30, and be restless until 7:30. Argh! I did finally doze back off, but had some really vivid and violent dreams. One of the things that kept me restless was the sound of the window air was making this weird, subtle sound that sounded like someone smacking their lips! I knew I wasn't doing that, and  when I looked over at Ken, he was sleeping soundly, so I finally figured out it was coming from the air conditioner. We think the drainage must be plugged, and the water was dripping out on the deck.
Then I got to thinking about sticking your hands and feet out from under the covers. I don't stick them out very far, and I would NEVER let my arm or leg hang down close to the floor. First of all, I wouldn't reach, and secondly, it seems to me that's just asking for a hand to come out from under the bed and GRAB your ankle!
So between our lip-smacking air conditioner, my violent dreams, and thinking about getting my ankle grabbed, I had a very restless morning! Things finally settled down and I got some sleep.
Off to run errands, then watch more Olympics. I hope everyone is enjoying their day!