Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Some good news for a change!

I've confirmed with Vish that we will be able to move our archives--entries AND comments--to our new Blogger site. The most recent entry on Magic Smoke says that we will need to do this, it won't be done automatically by AOL, but I'm sure Vish will be putting up instructions on where we need to go and what we need to do. I hope that helps everyone feel a little better about this!

Comment alert!

On your Blogger site, if you go into settings and into the Comments section, there is an option at the bottom to receive a "comment notification email." I put in my AOL address, and got my first alert from Lisa. It even includes the text of the comment! YES!
I still haven't found anything for Entry alerts, but I'll take what I can get.


Well, I'm loadin' up the truck and movin' to Blogger...eeeee
Blogspot, that is.
Smaller field.
Less space.
Movie stars.
Okay, probably not the last so much, but not too many platforms had the wide open space we've enjoyed here on AOL Journals. I don't know of any, as a matter of fact. It will be missed, but I'll adjust.
I'll still be posting here for a while, too, as we all make the transition. Feel free to leave a comment if you have a question about going to Blogger. I'm definitely no expert, but I might be able to help. I certainly will if I can.
A couple of things I've learned so far:
While there's no true equivalent of Alerts, you can "follow" a blog, either publicly or privately. So far, I've been choosing privately, just...because. I don't really know why. I'm not quite sure where that info shows up, and I'm not into collecting friends like on MySpace. But the nice thing is that if you click on "follow" on a blog, it adds it to your "reading list," and includes the first few lines of new posts. (Unless your journal is private; then the text doesn't show up.) Hmm, I just looked and realized I don't have a "follow" on my blog...is it because it's my own? Someone let me know if it shows up when you look at mine.
Anyhoo, it's not as easy as getting an alert by email, but it'll have to do. Oh, also, if you use Google Reader (and I have been for some time now, with this journal, as a way of archiving my posts), "following" a journal will add the feed to your Reader list. That way you can read a whole bunch of blogs at once.
As for getting started, first you need a gmail account, if you don't already have one. Go to Google and click on "gmail" at the top and do what you need to do. Again, I've had a gmail account for some time now, but only because I use Google Docs, Google Reader, and Picasa. I don't use it for email, I'll be retaining my AOL email address, and that's how to reach me.
Once you've got your gmail address, the easiest way to create a blog seems to be to go to blogger.com, and it should be fairly self-explanatory from there. You can fiddle with lots of different settings, and when I first started this a while back, I had already set my layout, background, etc., so it was easy for me to start right up. There do seem to be lots of neat options for backgrounds and layouts, so just play with it until you find your grail. Ha ha! As for the privacy settings ("permission" in this case), you can set it so that anyone can read it, no one can read it but you, or that people whose email addresses you provide get an invitation to join you (i.e., a private journal).
One nice feature I've noticed is that to leave a comment, you have to type in those squiggly letters. I've always thought that was kind of a pain, and sometimes I'm like, "Is that d or cl?" but it also will cut down on unwanted, spam-type comments.
Oh, and you can name your new blog what you want--maybe you want to keep the same name as you have here (if it's available), or a similar one, or start with a fresh new look and name. I was happy to be able to get the Nutwood Junction name, so as I wrote to friend Pat, Nutwood abides. <wink> Here's the URL:
Stop by and say hi, and see what you think of the layout, and if it's one you might like to try. Oh, and although I can't confirm this, I'm getting the impression that if we're on Blogger, AOL may be able to migrate our archives over there. I cannot confirm that. I hope we'll hear more soon. Vish and Guido are keeping us informed over at Magic Smoke, so check there for updates.
I'll also let you know here if I hear any scuttlebutt that I can repeat, and I'll try to pass along any helpful hints, or things I discover with Blogger. And don't hesitate to leave me a comment or email me at Luvrte66@aol.com if you're wondering about something. Like I said, I'll help if I can.
Good luck, J-Landers, and let's get crackin'!

Last call for alcohol!

Not yet, but we will be.
Both Ken and I got an email last night about AOL Journals shutting down. We were skeptical at first, but were able to confirm it with the "proper authorities."
I don't know any details yet, other than it looks like the date is October 31st, and we will be given the option to migrate to Blogger (which is Google's blog platform). I don't know if we will be able to move our archives over there or not. We should hear more today, and I'll let you know if I find out more.
I think we're all saddened by this. J-Land has become such a community, and we feel like we've made some wonderful friendships here...the kind that LAST. I've felt down about it all day, and I suspect many of you feel the same way. Let's commiserate together!
In the meantime, don't be afraid to try Blogger (or whichever hosting site you choose). I've had a Blogger blog for several months now, but haven't been posting in it. It was sort of a test blog, and is currently set to private, but that will change. I wrote about it at some point here on my AOL journal, and said that I felt AOL Journals was superior in many ways, and I still feel that way. We have so much SPACE to post pictures and write stuff! I will truly miss that. However, as my pal Wes says, it is what it is. We have no choice in the matter, so we can either shut down completely, or blog elsewhere. I've got too much inside me that wants to get out, so I'll be blogging elsewhere. I'm really going to miss my Comic Sans font, though. :(
As I wrote the other day, Seneca said, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." I hope you'll all join me over at Blogger and that we can continue our "happy little family." I'm hoping that as some of us start to explore Blogger a little more, we'll find ways to hang together--I know that Magic Smoke will be making the transition, so that's a start.
Yes, it will take some getting used to, and yes, it's a pain in the ass to have to learn a new platform. But it's not as hard to do as you think it might be. I say we're up for the challenge! Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?! No way! C'mon, J-Landers, we can do this!

Monday, September 29, 2008

This just in....

The House has rejected the bill 228-205. Stocks are plunging.


The stock market has taken the biggest plunge in market history and is currently down 725 points. Biggest in history, folks. The percentage drop is hovering around 8%, which is in the top ten drops in market history. The credit market is frozen. People are dumping their money in T-bills with almost zero return rather than risk their money in the stock market.

Many Republicans are attributing their "no" vote to Nancy Pelosi's speech introducing the bill. I want to hurl. Dump the partisan politics, people, and STOP THE BLEEDING.

The Wisdom of Gordon Gecko

We didn't put out a garden this year, because we knew we had to figure out something different. Our garden's location is at the edge of where our yard becomes wetlands, so all that marsh grass encroaches upon it...not to mention the weeds. And no, there's no moving it, because Ken put up an 8-foot tall fence (with an additional 2 feet underground) to keep out the deer and other critters. It's not going anywhere. Even when I weeded frequently, I just couldn't get a handle on all the weeds. So for next year, based on a garden that Ken sees when he drives to work, we're going to enclose the raised beds with boards (right now, there is no barrier between the beds and the walkways), then cover them with black plastic sheeting. That will help warm the soil in the spring, then when I plant, I'll cut holes in the plastic, and that should control many of the weeds.
This weekend, Ken went out and got out all the tallest weeds. Thank you, Honey, because I might very well have gotten lost in there...we had a weed maze instead of a corn maze! Today I got out and started working on getting out the ground weeds, and Lordy, the wild strawberry vines were out of control, at least in the bed I was working on. I got most of that one finished, but I started working up a sweat, and that caused the mosquitoes to start swarming around my head (even though I had on plenty of bug spray). That makes me crazy, so I stopped before I finished the first bed...only five more to go! :( Well, tomorrow is supposed to be a little cooler (I hope it doesn't rain, though), and I should be able to get more done. Being out there again did make me excited for next year! I hope we have a really nice crop next year. Cousin Doug was telling me that the best garden--and best tomatoes--he ever grew was when he mixed cow manure in the soil. I'm thinking that's the way to go...but I'd better make sure I have some gloves I can just throw away!
Now, on to Gordon Gecko. That was the character played by Michael Douglas in the movie "Wall Street," and the villainous Gordon is best known for saying, "Greed is, for lack of a better word, good."
And for many years it was very good for certain investors, bankers, and financial moguls, as well as our economy. The other day, Ken wrote a very good synopsis of a Time article about the financial crisis, and it helped me understand things a little better. This past weekend, I read the full article, and while much of it is still beyond me, I'm beginning to grasp it all. I want to understand it better, because it's such a convoluted MESS and the most important issue that we're facing right now, that I feel like I need to try to really "get it."
The concept of a laissez faire approach--also called a "let it be economy"--to the market became popularized back in the Reagan era. Reagan and his fellow Republicans believed in a "hands off" attitude towards the market, and this worked well for many years, including through the Clinton years. The prevailing feeling was to leave the market alone, let it drive the economy, including job creation, and everything would be fine and dandy. The housing market soared, credit was distributed like candy at a parade, construction boomed, the economy was strong...but the concept of deregulation of the market didn't take into account one of mankind's greatest flaws: greed.
As investors (both domestic and foreign) demanded higher yields, financial firms took greater and greater risks, taking a gamble on borrowing many times their capital in order to reap greater returns. Wonderful when it worked, but as the housing market began to crumble as supply overwhelmed demand, defaulted mortgages meant that the value of their actual capital plummeted, resulting in a precipitous drop in their returns and putting their companies in danger of catastrophic failure--not to mention the funds that millions of Americans entrusted to these firms.
So here we are today. Some firms are going under, but others need government intervention. Our good friend Mark wondered why we don't just let these firms fail, and let them learn a hard lesson. I understand where he's coming from, and normally that's my attitude as well, but this is much bigger than many of us can comprehend. If many of these institutions fail, it will make it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to obtain credit. And we're not talking about just getting a loan to buy a house, although that will get very tough, too. We're talking about corporate loans, loans that companies use to build new facilities (or like Ken's company, to build new power plants), which create thousands of jobs and opportunities, and which drives the economy. To not provide government assistance now would essentially mean a collapse of our economy, and as I've been preaching saying for a while now, we can no longer afford to believe that we are alone in this. Our economy here in America is one of the driving forces of the global economy--we have plenty of foreign investors, remember--and if we go down, everyone goes down.
Apparently a compromise on a "bailout bill" has been reached, although plenty are still not happy with it. Should be an interesting vote.
From an AP story on MSNBC.com:

Sen. John McCain defended deregulation on Wall Street even as he endorsed a $700 billion bailout of financial firms in an interview broadcast Sunday.

McCain was asked if he regretted supporting a 1999 law that removed barriers between investment banks and commercial banks that were erected in 1933, in response to the 1929 stock market crash. "No," McCain said. "I think the deregulation was probably helpful to the growth of our economy."

[Sen. Barack] Obama pointed out former Sen. Phil Gramm, one of McCain's economic advisers, was a chief sponsor of the 1999 bill that removed restrictions on investment and commercial banks.

I think Sen. McCain was probably right in that deregulation was helpful to the growth of our economy. It was quite a monster for a while. However, from what I've read--and this is merely my opinion--deregulation is the overriding problem here. "Let the market be" is great in concept, but it forgets one very important thing . You can't change human nature, and uncontrolled greed results in uncontrolled growth, which results in eventual collapse, so much so that this is probably the worst financial crisis since the Depression. The fundamentals of our economy are NOT strong right now, and I don't care what kind of spin you want to put on it. This is big, and government intervention is a necessity. Which, of course, means that we'll all pay in the short term. In the long term, things will recover, and the American taxpayer will probably benefit. For those of us who have a while yet before we reach actual retirement age, we can ride it out. For those who are already retired, or approaching retirement, their investments and funds MUST be protected. Perhaps we can eventually get back to a more laissez faire approach, but I maintain that we can never again deregulate to the point that we have, otherwise our country will be facing a similar crisis a few decades down the road.

The Time article Ken and I read about this concluded:

Coping in this new world will require adjustments by millions of Americans. We all will have to start living within our means--or preferably below them. If you don't overborrow or overspend, you're far less vulnerable to whatever problems the financial system may have. And remember one other thing: the four most dangerous words in the world for your financial health are "This time, it's different." It's never different. It's always the same, but with bigger numbers.
Ken commented here the other day that I seem to have a multi-tiered soapbox. I can't argue with the truth, so....
[climbing down one level on my soapbox]

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mum's the word

We actually had a brief power outage last evening. We were in the third quarter of the Notre Dame game, at our computers, and boop, no power. I called right away, and Ken drove down the road to see if anyone else had lost power. He said it looked like everyone in the immediate area had no power. Ken was getting ready to go out and hook up the generator, and as we were talking about it, bingo! The power came back on! We had to laugh at the timing. So we missed part of the game, but Irish won. We also struggled with getting the TV and satellite back up and running. It lost its memory or something, and we had to reset the satellite. But Ken got it going in time to watch the Illinois game (Penn State beat them).
I did forget to mention in my apple butter entry that I was a very good girl when it came to talking politics! I didn't do it! You can all be very proud of me.
There were a couple of remarks made early on, and I just held my tongue. I think I exchanged a glance with Ken, but I kept my mouth shut.
The only time I was forced to say anything was when talking with my sister, Susie. We were talking a little bit about how interesting it's been, and she said that she talked to our sister Diana the previous night, and Di was getting ready to watch the debate. Susie said that she'd reached her saturation point by that time, so she only watched a few minutes of it here and there. I think a lot of people felt that way, after what ended up being a crazy week. I said yeah, we watched it, and she asked me, "So what did you think?" It was a pointblank question, and it was my sis. I couldn't dodge it. I laughed and said that I told Ken that I wasn't going to talk politics today! But then I just said, "I think Obama did very well." She just nodded, and that was the end of discussion. From what I've heard from my Mom, Susie doesn't care for Obama, so now she pretty much knows where I stand! 
I really didn't want to discuss such things yesterday, no matter how passionate and interested I am. It was a day of fun and fellowship with my family, and that was the important thing. While a lively discussion is always fun, especially among my family, that wasn't the time or place for it. If people had overheard our discussion, someone would have chimed in with their thoughts, then more people would have heard, and next thing you know, it would be a free-for-all. A melee. A donnybrook! Ha ha! Nah, we're not a violent bunch, but the words would have been flying, that's for sure!
So you can call me the Peacemaker, at least you could yesterday, because I just didn't go there. I think it was a wise choice.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Makin' apple buttaaaahh

Well, it was just a lovely day for my family's apple butter festival! 
It may be officially fall, but today was downright summery. Not a cloud in the sky, temperatures rising to about 78° in the afternoon, and plenty of good company.
Actually, I think we had more people at this get-together than we had at the reunion this summer, so that was pretty cool!
This is part of Cousin Tom and his wife Nici's back yard--they're the ones who always have the apple butter shindig. It's been years since I've been to their place--I don't think I've been there since I was a little girl--and I'd forgotten how nice it is. It's an older farm house that sits on 10 acres, and Nici has lots of beautiful flowers. They maintain trails out in their woods, and Ken and I took a walk out there. (Plenty of others also took a stroll.) It's beautiful, with a mixture of hardwood trees and evergreens, and it was neat to take a walk out there.
We got there a little before 10 AM, and asked what we could do. We went into one of the garages, where they were prepping the apples. One person peeled the apples (with one of those crank-type peelers), another cored and sliced them with one of those handheld thingies, and then the rest of us cut off any trace of peel and cut out any bad spots. My hand was cramping by the time we were done, but it went pretty quickly! 
They had already started the fire and the apple butter by the time we got there. It was 20 gallons of cut-up apples, added gradually, about 20 gallons of apple cider (which Tom boils down and freezes for the following year...otherwise it would take forever to cook down), and eventually some sugar, after it all cooks down. The final ingredient is some sassafras root. This year, Tom got Cortlandt apples, but the recipe that comes down from our Grandpa says that the best apples are Grimes Golden, which Tom says are a little more solid and tart. There's a guy in the area that has Grimes Golden trees, but Tom wasn't able to get any this year.

A big pot of apples. I'd guess that about ten times this was what was needed for the apple butter.
Here's Cousin Tom stirring the apple butter. It has to be stirred constantly, otherwise it will burn and stick on the bottom of the pot. The "stirrer" is a paddle with a six-foot long handle, and Cousin Wayne showed us all an original paddle from our family--it was hand-hewn, and it was neat to see the aged wood. Hard to believe my family has been doing this for so many years, but kind of a neat tradition.

Ken took a turn, too.

Even when we started eating, someone had to stay back and stir the apple butter, and Cousin Doug took that duty. Ken relieved him, so Doug could have lunch.
Part of lunch was a turkey baked in an underground oven. Apparently that's the Boy Scout way! A small pit holds the turkey, Tom places stones around the container, puts on the lid, and builds a fire on top of it. Then he covers it with dirt, and it bakes in the ground. Kind of fun, and wow, it just fell off the bone! And holy moley, there was SO MUCH food there! (I'm glad I didn't make deviled eggs--THREE people brought them, including Mom! Ha ha!) Chicken and noodles, sausage and sauerkraut, ham, turkey, macaroni salad, plenty of other things, and a table full of desserts. I was so full by the time I finished my meal, I couldn't even eat anything for dessert. Drat! There was some good stuff, but I just cannot eat that much.

 One of the best things about today was getting to see my Cousin Bill. (I keep wanting to call him Billy, but it's been a long time since he went by Billy!) He and his wife Mary came up from Texas (he's Tom's brother), and I think it's probably been 15 years since I've seen him. (The last time was my Uncle Bill's--Bill and Tom's father--funeral, so this was a much happier occasion.) In this picture, left to right, is Bill, Cousin Emma Jean (who is a total sweetheart), my sister Susie, and my Dad. When I was a youngster, I used to occasionally spend the night with Bill and his wife at the time, Akiko, who was from Japan. (Bill met her while in the service.) It was my first exposure to another culture, and I remember how much I enjoyed those times. I remember Akiko making sukiyaki, and we dipped the meat and veggies in raw egg yolks. Very exotic for this Midwestern girl! (It was delicious, by the way.) Bill and Akiko seemed to enjoy having me there, and I would exchange letters with Akiko's niece in Japan (this was pre-email!) and Akiko would translate. Bill and Akiko divorced some years later, and Mary is a very sweet and friendly woman. It made my day to see Bill, and he gave me a big hug.
If I could climb upon my soapbox for a moment, Bill is also our family's "medical miracle." He'd been on dialysis for some time, due to kidney failure from hypertension. Last year, he received a kidney transplant. He's getting close to his one year anniversary, and that's the time when the hospital contacts the donor's family and asks if they want to meet the recipient. Bill said that he hopes they agree to it, because he really wants to thank them and tell them how he owes his life to their family member. We talked a bit about being an organ donor, and unless you have religious beliefs that prohibit being a donor, please make sure that you are a donor. Organ donors save lives...a donor saved my cousin's life, so please consider it! [climbing down off soapbox]
We left a little before 3 PM, before the apple butter was done and jarred, but I know Mom and Dad will get us a jar. It was such a beautiful day that we were able to put the top down on the Mustang on the way home!
It was a great day spent with family, and I'm so pleased we were able to go.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Am I weird? Wait, don't answer that....

(I thought of you, Mark, when I found this picture!)
Am I weird for wanting to watch the conventions and the debates? So far, most commenters so far are saying they're skipping it, for various reasons. That's cool, I have no problem with that. Most have already made up their minds, anyway. So have I, but I still want to watch it. I really want to see how they handle themselves, what they have to say about the financial crisis, and see if anyone has a meltdown. I wouldn't think so, but stranger things have happened.
For those who have yet to decide, I hope they'll tune in by the millions. And as Ken pointed out, there ARE millions of people who are looking to these debates to help them in their decision-making. A poll mentioned on MSNBC showed that 55% of people questioned said that the debates were important to their decision. Oh boy, 45 minutes to go! (Ken is laughing at me.)
I can't explain it, but I just find it all fascinating, especially this year. At the risk of sounding like a complete lunatic, I actually find it FUN. Bwah-hah-hah-hahhh! I know the ads and phone calls can get tiresome, but what I find even more tiresome is the talking heads (although I LOVE the band!) who say ridiculous things like Chris Matthews just said, which was something to the effect of how Obama is Harvard-educated, has been portrayed as an "elitist," and "Can Obama talk regular tonight?"
"Talk regular?!" Ha ha ha! Oh, Lordy. I can't believe that came out of his mouth. I think even Matthews cringed when he realized what he'd just said.
For tomorrow's family get-together, I think I'll wear my Obama T-shirt. NOT! Good gravy, if I did that, I think I'd cause a disturbance in the space-time continuum of my family's universe. They're a conservative bunch, and I'm hoping to avoid any discussion whatsoever of politics, although it's something I usually enjoy talking about. (Bet you didn't know that about me, did you?) I suppose the bailout will come up, but I want to steer clear of any major discussions, and God help us all if someone asks me, "So what do you think about [fill in the blank]?" Don't do it, family, just don't do it! Ha ha!
I was writing to Cousin Shane today, and I mentioned how it seems kind of odd to me that there are people who ridicule those who espouse peace and love, saying that it's some kind of left wing, liberal ideology. I suppose that "peace and love" has a bit of a bad connotation because it makes people think of the Summer of Love and the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco--and its associated drug culture--but I usually sign my Christmas cards with "Peace and Love," and I really mean it. I wish for peace, and I wish for love in this world. Aren't those good things? Shouldn't we all aspire to that? The diametric opposite is "War and Hate." Which alternative do you prefer? It made me think of the great song "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding," written by the incomparable Nick Lowe (I'll have to do a Beth's Music Moment about him at some point), and performed by many artists, most famously by Elvis Costello. Lyrics first, followed by the video.
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There's one thing I wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

And as I walk on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony

'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony

'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? ohhhh
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?


Live, from Oxford, Mississippi!

Yippee-skippy, we've got a debate going on tonight! Even though Congress hasn't come to an agreement on the bailout, McCain is now saying he will attend the debate.
Grab the popcorn, settle in, and watch the fun. I don't think either of them will be yukking it up like in that picture, but you never know. This was originally supposed to be about foreign policy, but it seems inevitable that there will be some discussion of the financial quagmire. I hope they don't change the topic completely, but I don't think they will. You DO have to prepare for a debate, and it would be unfair to both candidates to switch to a different topic.
It seems that quite a few people are interested in watching. There was an AOL poll up that said 83% of people planned on tuning in. Excellent!
We need to make a fairly early night of it tonight--no staying up till 3 AM for this gal! (I have GOT to get out of that habit, but I haven't been able to yet.) We have to get up kind of early--earlier than usual on the weekend, anyway--for my family's annual apple butter-making get-together. I'm excited, because it's the first one I finally get to go to! I'm not kidding, in past years, whenever I got that invitation, I'd look at my calendar and say, "Dang it, I have to work!" Not this year! I'll have more details and pictures tomorrow. I forget how many pounds of apples go into it, but it's a bunch! Oh, and my cousin Bill is coming up from Texas--I haven't seen him for ages!
I was planning on making deviled eggs to take for our potluck, but when I talked to Mom, she said that's what she was going to take. (Watch, we'll both think the other is bringing some, and neither of us will make them!) I think I'll make baked beans instead. We'll head  back home in the late afternoon to watch the Notre Dame game. I can tell it's a home game (we're playing Purdue), because when I went to the store today, it was really crowded! Everyone was stocking up on their tailgating supplies. Should be a lovely day for a football game...and for making apple butter!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Must-see TV!

Hot diggety-dog, our fall TV season started off with a bang! Thursday night TV, that is. Black gold...Texas tea....
<clearin' my head>
Anyhoo, without a doubt, "The Office" is my favorite comedy on TV. ("Third Rock" is a very close second.) The sheer PAIN of watching Michael Scott and his well-intentioned but lame attempts to manage his employees is impossible to ignore. Watching Michael is like sticking your tongue into the empty socket after you've had a wisdom tooth extracted. It hurts, it makes you cry...but you can't stop doing it!
I don't think it's a spoiler to say that there were "Awww" moments as well as "Ewww" moments. There were also goatee moments! Oh man, good stuff...as I wrote on Ken's blog, within the first two minutes of the show, I laughed so hard, I snorted. If and when I meet up with any of you on my travels, if you get a snort out of me, you'll know that you have really tickled my funny bone!
Next up was the season premier of "ER," and it is the last season of the show.
Does anyone out there still watch "ER"? It's my favorite drama on TV, and although I was a big fan of "St. Elsewhere," I think it's the best medical show ever. At my first job, we had to go to ER and draw blood, and I think "ER" is fairly accurate...when in trauma mode, once those folks get going, you just get out of the way, and they'll draw the blood and hand it to you. If you still watch the show....
Here there be spoilers! Arrrr!
We knew that someone was going to die this week. A regular cast member. At the end of last season, an ambulance blew up, and it looked like it might be Dr. Gates or Samantha, one of the RN's. At first, I was thinking it would be Sam. Then they showed Pratt, who was in the passenger seat of the ambulance...his injuries looked minor at first, but turned out to be major. Then they showed Abby, and she was having some problems, and I know she's not going to be a regular this season, so I thought it was going to be her. I was really thinking something was going to happen to Abby, which would have been very upsetting.
I was crying from almost the very beginning. I knew someone was going to die, but who was it going to be?
Those damn writers...they killed Pratt. I kept thinking it wouldn't be him, even as the complications multiplied. I kept thinking, "No way. Not Pratt!" Over the past few seasons, we watched him transform from a brash young asshole doctor into a compassionate, competent physician, one who was going to be named director of the ER. I'm still upset.  
Make fun of me if you want for getting this involved in a TV show, but watching Pratt's young brother--the one he only recently connected with--see his older brother crash was just horrible.
End of spoilers
Man, it could be a tough season. Since it's their last, I'm sure they'll wreak havoc upon my heart, toy with my emotions, and do their best to turn me into a little weepy ball o' goo. They've already said that Dr. Carter will make an appearance--he's been practicing in Africa for a while now--and hinted at something about Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards)...who DIED several seasons ago! Ken wondered if Dr.  Ross (George Clooney) would make an appearance, but I don't think so...what a shame, because I'd love to see him again on "ER," if only briefly.
<sigh> Like I said, feel free to laugh that I'm this much into the show, but I still think it's one of the best, and after watching for many years, it's one that I will really miss.

I still think it's a wonderful life

I can't watch any part of "It's a Wonderful Life" without crying, and that clip is no exception. It is simply one of the most perfect movies, ever.
I thought of that scene while watching CNN and hearing all the breaking news when it comes to the current economic situation. I'm no economist, and I don't understand all the nuances of the problem, but I don't think the situation is similar to what happened during the Depression. However, if I recall correctly, FDIC came out of the Depression, as part of the federal government insuring the funds that are deposited in banks. In that way, this is somewhat similar, because the government is going to have to step in to ensure that people's funds and savings and investments are protected, and that their ability to borrow is not severely diminished. That is important so that companies and corporations can continue to drive the economy and add jobs. If it's next to impossible to get a business loan, you can forget about any expansion or recovery any time soon. That's the way I understand it, but again, I'm no Econ guru!
Apparently there have been protests going on today, people saying that they don't want this bailout, not with their tax dollars. I think we're past that point now...that there must be a bailout--or more correctly, a loan--or else we ain't seen nothin' yet. (There may be alternatives, which is being discussed right now.) I don't like it, either, and frankly, I'm pissed off that it has gotten to this point. Ken and I try to be good stewards of our finances, and it's dismaying and irritating to see these companies play fast and loose with these funds. Heads will eventually roll, and the FBI is already investigating. I'm also pissed off that the next President is going to be hamstrung when it comes to doing most of the things that need to be done: addressing our infrastructure, creating new energy technologies, improving our education and health insurance systems...you know the drill. This huge debt is going to mean that none of that can be addressed in the coming years. That makes me angry. I think this proves once and for all that deregulation doesn't work all that well. I'm all for a free market, but there must be guidelines in place so that excessive greed does not continue to get us into messes like this. The greed isn't going to go away--human nature and all that--so we need to ensure that we are keeping an eye on the people who are bankrolling our endeavors.
To borrow a phrase from my pal Wes, it is what it is. We're stuck with this, like it or not, and each and every one of us is part of the bailout. Like it or not. Someone wondered if I "get it" that the economy is about to tank. Yes, I do get it. But I think it will recover. And yes, I think the debates are more important than ever. Time's a-wasting, and we're getting closer and closer to choosing the person who is going to get us through this mess in the coming years...and it WILL be a matter of years. This is not a quick fix. We must choose wisely, and there are millions of voters who are still undecided. George Bailey says in the bank scene, "We can get through this all right...but we've got to stick together...we've got to have faith in each other." Timely words.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Fightin' Cardinals

I'm sure that there will be plenty written about this later today, but let me just say that I am proud to be a Ball State University alumni along with my fellow Fightin' Cardinal, David Letterman!
Dave is usually a pretty mild-mannered guy, and while he might have a cutting wit, he almost always keeps it fairly low-key.
Not tonight. Senator McCain was scheduled to appear on Dave's show, and called Dave to cancel, saying that he had to get right back to Washington to deal with this financial crisis...perhaps he'd appear later, and he'd bring Gov. Palin along. Wow, COOL!
Well, that ain't gonna happen. Letterman had plenty to say about this, and based on his comments, I don't think Sen. McCain or Gov. Palin will be appearing on his show anytime soon. Dave talked about things like how you don't just "suspend" a campaign. If you feel the need to go back to Washington, that's when you call on your running mate to continue the campaign in your absence. Ohhh, that's kind of a problem there, though, isn't it? (This all came from Letterman, but I endorse his message.)
My favorite exchange was Dave quoting McCain: "The economy's about to crater."
Paul Shaffer: "Crater?! I barely know 'er!"
The backup guest was Keith Olbermann, and you can imagine that he was not very kind to the McCain campaign, either. While Keith was there, they talked about how Dave got a call from Sen. McCain saying that he had to return to Washington right away. Pronto! Without delay! And then they showed footage of him in the CBS studio, sitting across from Katie Couric, as  McCain was attended to by a makeup artist prior to his interview with Katie.
Even Craig Ferguson, a guy from Scotland who recently obtained his U.S. citizenship, was disturbed by this. He said something to the effect of how this is the democratic process...you can't just "suspend" it, or slow it down...this is how it works. He said that we didn't "suspend" things because of Pearl Harbor, or the Nazis, or 9/11, or any other crisis that we've experienced in our past. The process goes on, our Election Day is the first Tuesday in November, and you don't just get to STOP the process! I may not have attended the same college as Craig, but I endorse his message, too!
As participants in this election, the American people deserve to hear all three debates between the candidates, and the debate between the vice-presidential candidates. This is OUR election, people, and any delay tactics and grandstanding, from either party, is not acceptable. Considering the state of the economy, and the dire straits that we find ourselves in, it's even more important that we get to hear both candidates' ideas and plans on how to fix this. There are 40-some days to go, and in case you've been living under a rock, THIS IS IMPORTANT!

No joke

This just in....

McCampaign now wants to postpone this Friday's debate till...October 2nd.

Hmm, why does that date ring a bell...? My Mom's birthday isn't until the 15th...Ken's isn't until the 23rd...what is happening on October 2nd? What could it be.... <striking The Thinker pose>

OH! Now I remember! It's the vice-presidential debate! Gee, why on earth would McCampaign want to delay the vice-presidential debate?! Can someone get Mr. Obvious on the phone for me?


David Letterman was scheduled to have John McCain as one of his guests tonight. McCain canceled, even though he was just down the street doing an interview with Katie Couric. Dave had this to say about McCain's call to postpone the debate: "What are you going to do if you're elected president and things get tough? Suspend being president? We've got a guy like that now!"

Another update

I just heard one of my favorite quotes about Palin's meeting with heads of state yesterday. Craig Ferguson (I love that guy!) said, "She's speed-dating heads of state!"


If she can make it there....

After a brief setback on my way to the store this morning, errands are done. My setback was that when I went to start my car, Slick's battery was dead! Argh! This is not the first time it's happened, either, so when I take him in for an oil change soon, I'll ask about it. If he sits for over a week, sometimes the rust protection device--it sends a slight electrical charge throughout the body of the car--will run down the battery, but it's been just a few days since I was out. At least I remembered how to hook up the charger without calling Ken at work, and after about 15 minutes, it started. And I didn't blow anything up! Some days that's all you can ask for, right? A No Explosion Day!
Well, I was reading a little more about Governor Palin's meetings with heads of state yesterday. Sara Kugler, an Associated Press writer, mentioned that toddlin' town, New York City: "It was shuttle diplomacy, New York-style. At several points, Palin's motorcade got stuck in traffic and New Yorkers, unimpressed with the flashing lights, sirens and police officers in her group, simply walked between the vehicles to get across the street."
Hee heeee! I heart New York AND New Yorkers! (I took that picture in March 2007, when we paid a brief visit to the city.) To our pal RaQuel and her fellow citizens, I applaud your "seen-it-all" attitude. You know, when I was growing  up around here, the common thought was that New Yorkers were as rude as they come. When I first went there many years later on a trip for the laboratory, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were actually some of the friendliest people I've ever met. I had made friends with RaQuel online, and Ken and I have had a great time getting to know her--she's such a sweetie, and her love for her city is unrivaled. She considers herself an amateur historian of the city, and it certainly has a rich and fascinating history. So if anyone tries to tell you that all New Yorkers are rude, tell 'em to fuggedaboudit...they don't know what they're talkin' about!
But I digress. Ms. Kugler also had this to say about the meetings: "[Afghan President Hamid] Karzai generated light laughter when he told an audience at the Asia Society that, in addition to [Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice and Norway's prime minister, he had seen Palin on Tuesday. Thomas Freston, a member of the society's board, drew loud applause and laughter when he responded: 'You're probably the only person in the room who's met Gov. Palin.' "
It seemed that when asked, most of the heads of state had nice things to say to reporters about Palin, that she seemed "capable," etc. But when she wasn't around, a joke about her conspicuous lack of availability to press conferences and reporters drew applause and laughter. The saying tells us that Nature abhors a vacuum; so does the press, and the longer this goes on, the more suspicious it looks, and the more jokes will be made about it. Campbell Brown, the CNN anchor, has already come out and said that the McCain campaign's shunning of the press when it comes to Palin is sexist behavior. If they think she's so capable, why are they protecting her and not allowing her a voice? If reporters had been banned from speaking with Senator Biden, or asking questions of him, can you imagine the howls of outrage? If this "You can't talk to her until you treat her with deference" attitude continues, the backlash is only going to get worse, and it could very well get ugly. To paraphrase Tom Hanks's character in "A League of Their Own," "Deference? Did you say deference?! There's no deference in politics!"
Remember that made-for-TV movie from the 70's, "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble," starring John Travolta? Ha ha! Wow, that was one of those so-bad-it's-good movies. Anyhoo, Sarah Palin is The Woman in the Plastic Bubble, where nothing gets in, and very little gets out. Until McCain's campaign lets her out of her hermetically-sealed, fortified aerie, those of us who enjoy a good laugh will continue to fill the vacuum.
Okay, gotta go for now. Nature calls. No, really, Nature IS calling...I've got a Hairy Woodpecker pecking the hell out of the deck railing--it's not a tree, Harry!--and I just saw Woody, our Pileated Woodpecker, out front. He's a handsome fellow!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A mute point

Warning: Political commentary ahead! And some of you won't like it. You have been warned.
Riddle me this, Batman.
If you're running for the second highest office of the most powerful democracy in the Western world, why are you hiding from the press?
Sarah Palin, in almost four weeks since being tapped as McCain's vice-president pick, has not held a press conference. Not one. Her only two major interviews have been with People magazine and ABC News. She has been secreted from easy press access, rarely answers questions, and she is shuttled off from campaign appearances, granting a brief wave and smile as she ducks into the waiting vehicle.
Today's meetings with a handful of heads of state were highly restricted from the press, with only photographers and videographers allowed. A small group of pool reporters was finally admitted. After 30 seconds of photographs and filming, the camera crews were asked to leave.
News organizations who objected to the exclusions were told by the campaign that the matter was "not subject to discussion."
We all complain about the press from time to time, and we all have our ideas about the liberal bias or the conservative bias of various networks, magazines, and program hosts. But at least they have access to the candidates. I am not a member of the press and I am not a journalist. But even I am getting pissed off that there is no access to Palin, and that the campaign is hiding her away like the crazy aunt stashed away in the secret attic room.
This is not sitting well with me or with anyone else who questions her qualifications, and it will not sit well with the press. If the campaign doesn't start allowing access to her soon, I don't think I'm the only one that will be wondering: If Sarah Palin is ready to step in as the leader of our country, why is she unable to handle answering questions from the American press?
I'm just askin'.


She's no Martha Stewart, that's for sure

I was just checking out some stories on BoingBoing, and came across this one. It's more of a pictorial, actually. Are you ready to be disgusted? (It is nothing of a pornographic nature, sorry Jimi. Ha ha!)
Click here. I'll wait until you get back.
[leafing through a magazine]
Are you back?
Is that disgusting, or what?!
I know my mouth was hanging open, and with each picture, I would give a little gasp of horror, and I'm sure at some point I went "Eww!" and said, "Oh my God!"
I've been in some pretty messy houses before, and I think living like that has to be a sign of mental illness. I'm hardly a perfect housekeeper, and I have stacks of things here and there, but I don't have GARBAGE all over the place! That's just living in filth. Based on all the pizza boxes, doughnut boxes, Coke cans, etc., in those pictures, I'd be willing to be someone also has a serious drug habit.
I think what really grossed me out was all the cigarette butts. As a former smoker, I know how they can stink up a place, and to have them just piled up like that...BLEECCCHHHH! With all the garbage laying around, can you imagine the stench in that place?
However, I did notice the ironing board and iron, so apparently when she heads out to the streets to score some rock, she likes her clothes to be neatly pressed! You've got to give her that!
And that bathroom. That just makes me want to hurl.
Did you notice the litter box? That bugged me, too. A poor cat was subjected to that filth. If the owner wants to live like an animal, that's their choice, but to have a pet in that kind of environment is cruel. The cat probably kept itself cleaner than the owner!
There's no story about what happened to the woman. I hope she was able to get some help. I guess it makes me feel a little better about not dusting more often. There may be some dust on things, but at least you can see it because it's not covered up by a bunch of garbage! Yikes!


Monday, September 22, 2008

If he has horns, he hid them well

Cousin Shane rightly noted that "Spooky" is by the Classics IV. The lyrics I founded listed Santana in there somewhere, so they may have done a version at some point. Thanks for the correction, Shane!
Now to our Rovian adventure this evening. (Not everyone can say their name has become an adjective. I'd love to see the word "Bethian" catch on, but I'm not sure what it would mean.) The event was held at the Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan. We got there pretty much on time, and the place was PACKED! We had kind of a hard time finding a place to sit, but finally found a spot. Turned out to be by John Proos (pronounced prose), a local Congressman in the state of Michigan. Ken has met him before at the nuclear plant, and he recognized Ken. He was really a nice, personable guy, and Ken told me later that he's a very good friend to AEP and the plant, as well as the "heir apparent" to Fred Upton's Congressional seat in Washington. So that was kind of cool!
As for the dinner...let's just say I'm glad I hadn't eaten all day and was really hungry, because otherwise I might not have been able to eat it! It was kind of barfy, but it was food.
This was sponsored by the Economic Club of Southwest Michigan, but seemed more like I was at the Republican National Convention! I felt like I had a neon sign over my head saying, "She likes Obama! GET HER!" Ha ha. No, it wasn't that bad, but it was definitely a Republican crowd. (There were people out front holding Obama signs as we drove up, but everyone was happy and peaceable. I gave 'em a thumbs up and waved as we drove by.) When Rove came out, there were some people that actually gave him a standing ovation--not everyone, and Ken and I stayed seated, but I started to wonder how I was going to get through the next hour or so.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he's actually a pretty good speaker, and the topic was this year's election. As you know, I'm a tiny bit interested in it, so I thought he gave a pretty good speech. Obviously, he put right wing spin on almost everything, and a lot of the polls and statistics I thought were questionable, but hey, he's Karl Rove. Ken and I agreed that all in all, considering who he is, he was fairly objective, and I managed to keep my head from exploding. A very good thing!
A few things that I found of particular interest. He did say early on that this election is about Barack Obama. The circumstances of timing (8 years of a Republican president and an economy in dire straits) should favor a Democrat victory. He feels that Obama's lead isn't greater because a lot of people are still unsure of him, and haven't placed their full trust in him, and that is Obama's task in the coming weeks. He said that the debates will be really important this year (first one is this Friday night on CNN--be there or be square!).
Someone today sent me an email that the rumor on the Net was that Biden was going to drop out of the race, and be replaced by Hillary. I took it with a grain of salt, but figured I'd keep my ears open. Someone actually asked Rove that question tonight, wondering what was the chance of Biden dropping out? In a word, "Zero." He went on to say that you have to be really careful about what you believe from the Net, that there's a lot of misinformation and lies out there, including that McCain is the father of an illegitimate child (they adopted her from Bangladesh) and that Obama is a secret Muslim. Rove said, "And he is NOT." Even Karl Rove is telling people it's a ridiculous lie, so can we please put that one to rest once and for all?
And finally, someone asked a question I was wondering about...to what extent is race playing a factor here? (Asked by a black woman.) He said frankly that there are bigots out there that won't vote for Obama because he's black--and I think he's right about that--but thinks that the majority of Americans are smarter than that. He went on to say that he thinks this is really an amazing election, and we're either going to have an African-American president or a female vice-president, and that's exciting stuff. (I agree with the former part of that, not the latter!)
So we actually enjoyed ourselves! Although I did give a little chuckle at one point, and had to put my hand over my mouth! Someone asked Rove about his comment a couple of weeks ago that "McCain has mellowed." Ha ha! I couldn't help it...it just slipped out. I think I did well, and managed to not embarrass myself OR Ken. Although he might have a different take on it!



Verrry scaaaaary!

Ken should be home in about an hour, and we'll head out to see Monsieur Rove. I hope the dinner is decent--I'm hungry! I'm all ready to go, just need to put my pants on. It's only the polite thing to do--I wasn't raised in a barn, you know! <grin>
Heavens to Murgatroid, it's been a quiet day, both at Nutwood and in J-Land. TOO quiet. I think you're all up to something! In fact, our friend Pat over at Rose's Rambling was up to some hijinx this morning, when she wrote a poem for me and gave me a new nickname: Hi, I'm "Spooky," nice to meet you all! Ha ha! Based on my love of horror movies (Pat, you should meet my oldest sister--I think she's more of a nut than I am!), she wrote a clever poem called "Boxes" and came up with my new nickname. Of course, I kind of like it, and I know she knew I would! Of course, I thought of the Santana song "Spooky." Can you believe I couldn't find it on YouTube--just cover versions? No video for you today, just lyrics!

In the cool of the evening
when ev'rything is gettin' kind of groovy,
I call you up and ask you if you want to go
and meet and see a movie.

First you say no, you've got some plans for the night,
And then you stop, and say, "All right."
Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little girl like you.

You always keep me guessin', I never seem to know
what you are thinkin'.
And if a fella looks at you, it's for sure
your little eye will be a-winkin'.

I get confused, 'cause I don't know where I stand,
And then you smile, and hold my hand.

Love is kinda crazy
with a spooky little girl like you. Spooky!

If you decide someday to stop this little game
that you are playin',

I'm gonna tell you all what my heart's been a-dyin' to be sayin'.
Just like a ghost,
you've been a-hauntin' my dreams,
So I'll propose... on Halloween.

Love is kinda crazy
with a spooky little girl like you. Spooky!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A different perspective

See that book that Michelle Obama is holding? That book that Obama is resting his hand upon, as he is sworn in as a U.S. Senator? That would be their family Bible. Not the Koran, as is widely reported in some of the forwards that are flying fast and furious throughout the Interwebs.
I'm sure we've all received plenty of those lovely forwarded emails that are full of rumors, untruths, and flat-out lies, no matter who the candidate. I think most people are getting the idea that I really don't care for such forwards, and I'm fortunate in that I don't receive a lot. I did have to email one of my uncles and comment on a few things, and tell him about some of the errors in the text. I give him much credit for apologizing, and saying that he would check things out better.
I don't think any of us enjoy receiving these, but sometimes all it takes is stepping up and saying, "That's not true," and asking people to stop sending such things to you. I suppose it doesn't work with everyone, but most people will respect your wishes and stop sending them. It's always worth a try.
A while back, I wrote about Cousin Shane's friend Doug, who is in the Navy and stationed in Afghanistan. He took photos of Senator Obama's recent visit to Afghanistan, and even got to meet the Senator.
Shane forwarded--*GASP*--me an email he got from Doug. Looks like Doug has also grown a little exasperated with some of the junk he's gotten, and replied to the senders, in no uncertain terms, that he doesn't like it, wants no part of it, and there is no truth to it. I think it's interesting to get the perspective of someone who is actually there. His response was to a forward that posed the question "Can Muslims be good Americans?" and goes on to say that we should be suspicious of all Muslims in this country, and further exhorts that we are engaged in a "religious war." I suspect that this would be news to many, of not all, Americans, no matter their faith. I'm not including the text of that forward, because it's ridiculous, intolerant, and as it says that "everyone on the planet" needs to read it, rather idiotic, because "everyone on the planet" doesn't get to vote in our election. I asked Shane if he'd ask Doug's permission to let me post his comments, and Doug had no problem with that, and even said it was okay to include his name, because he has no problem with anyone knowing his opinion on the matter. Thanks Doug, and stay safe! Here is his response, followed by a brief comment from me.
Why does this kind of crap still keep finding its way out on the Internet??? This kind of garbage reeks of racial and ethnic bigotry, and I would like to think our country has gotten past all of this.

1) Barack Obama is not, and never has been, a Muslim. His father was, and unlike Judaism, being born of a Muslim parent (his mother was not ), does not preclude that the child will be. I think someone would have to have been under a rock these past few months to not have heard Mr. Obama speak on his faith and of being a Christian.

2) He has NEVER once said he would swear on the Koran... give it up, xenophobes! Why would he? He is not a Muslim. This kind of stuff pretends to be spreading messages of enlightenment, but merely is a means of denigrating a candidate... and a faith that someone, whoever wrote this diatribe, doesn't like. So if you don't like Obama, just say so... if you don't like Islam, say so, but don't bother me with it, please.

3)  I am currently serving here in Kabul, Afghanistan, and I can tell you that the Afghans, also Muslims, are friendly and quite wonderful people. To say that all Muslims cannot be friends to us... even good citizens, is about as bad an analogy as saying Republicans and Democrats cannot get along (okay, maybe that is a bad analogy too  )... let's try this one out, as bad as saying Jews and Christians cannot all get along... or that dogs and cats are ALWAYS enemies.

4)  I can also tell you that the Afghans I have met are no different than us... they love their families, their country and their God... and their Allah is our God. I see about as much religious discord here as those in America who have self-righteously claimed that God favors our nation above all others. That is not the God I believe in and love.

So please if you are going to spread this kind of garbage and hate, please leave me off the list. I am not over here fighting so that such stupidity and hatred can rule our own land. I apologize if my opinion is harsh, but I am tired of hearing the same kind of trash talk that requires only that we change the names of the "offending group," but still promotes the old kind of bigotry.


MC1 Doug Mappin, US Navy

Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan

 "Some see things as they are and say
why? I see things as they should be
and say, why not?"

--Robert F. Kennedy
Doug's words make me resolved to refute the forwards that I get. He has the courage to do so...and so should I. How about you? While you're at it, take a moment to think about the quote he included from RFK. Indeed...why not?

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Tonight we watched "Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn." (I'll do a review tomorrow.) I think Ken started to figure out why I love these movies, why they're so much fun for me (very dark humor!), and why I crack up when watching them. Also, Ash is a GREAT character, and it's fun to see his transition from weak and passive to a guy that's ready to kick some ass. It'll be fun to watch "Army of Darkness" together.
When I used to go out to clubs all the time, one of my favorite Indiana cover bands was P.S. Dump Your Boyfriend. They always played this clip from "Evil Dead 2" and then went into "Pepper" by Butthole Surfers. Both videos follow, after the lyrics...turn it up!
Marky got with Sharon
And Sharon got Cherese
She was sharing Sharon's outlook
On the topic of disease
Mikey had a facial scar
And Bobby was a racist
They were all in love with dyin'
They were doing it in Texas
Tommy played piano
Like a kid out in the rain
Then he lost his leg in Dallas
He was dancing with a train
They were all in love with dyin'
They were drinking from a fountain
That was pouring like an avalanche
Coming down the mountain

I don't mind the sun sometimes
The images it shows
I can taste you on my lips
And smell you in my clothes
Cinnamon and sugary
And softly spoken lies
You never know just how to look
Through other people's eyes

Some will die in hot pursuit
In fiery auto crashes
Some will die in hot pursuit
While sifting through my ashes
Some will fall in love with life
And drink it from a fountain
That is pouring like an avalanche
Coming down the mountain

I don't mind the sun sometimes
The images it shows
I can taste you on my lips
And smell you in my clothes
Cinnamon and sugary
And softly spoken lies
You never know just how you look
Through other people's eyes

Another Mikey took a knife
While arguing in traffic
Flipper died a natural death
He caught a nasty virus
Then there was the ever-present
Football player rapist
They were all in love with dyin'
They were doing it in Texas
Pauly caught a bullet
But it only hit his leg
Well it should have been a better shot
He got him in the head
They were all in love with dyin'
They were drinking from a fountain
That was pouring like an avalanche
Coming down the mountain

I don't mind the sun sometimes
The images it shows
I can taste you on my lips
And smell you in my clothes
Cinnamon and sugary
And softly spoken lies
You never know just how you look
Through other people's eyes