Friday, June 30, 2006

Being Misunderstood

When one writes a blog, there always is the chance of being quoted by someone else. This has happened to me three times--that I know of. A part of my "review" of my laptop was quoted by someone else commenting on the computer industry. There was a link--okay, so it actually wasn't a quote--on the Washington Post site listing me as "Who's Blogging" when I quoted an article they had about Warren Buffet. Now, today, I find that I have been quoted here.

I don't usually care what is said about me--I HAVE had some less than welcome comments posted to me in the past--but I felt I needed to address this article, if for nothing more than my own piece of mind. When I read the article, I came away thinking "what an ass--how could she think that 'buying' children is funny?" Then I realized I was thinking this about myself after reading my quote in this article. And THEN I thought--about the person who had written this--GET A LIFE! I was STRICTLY commenting on the celebrity aspect of adopting (read that as 'buying'--in a lot of cases) children from other countries. (And, frankly, it is my total disdain for Brangelina that caused me to comment in the first place. I NEVER said anything about Meg Ryan and her newly adopted daughter.) I in no way even thought about the horrors of baby-trafficking--as I am sure the person who wrote the original article in the LA Times never did.

Sarcasm is lost on a lot of people--even more so on the web. I KNOW people feel my sarcasm when they hear me, I guess it isn't always apparent in the written form. So, for whatever it is worth--all sincerity, no sarcasm intended--I apologize if I offended anyone when I commented the way I did. I feel for people who cannot have children, who are having difficulties adopting, etc, etc, and I didn't mean to offend.

And I still, TOTALLY, believe there is more to do with publicity than wanting to be a good person in a lot of these celebrity 'baby-buying' deals. So there.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Disturbing

I just read an article in the newspaper the Telegraph (a British paper) about how family members of soldiers in Iraq are getting phone calls saying their loved ones are dead--or about to be killed--as well as other 'nuisance' type of calls. These calls are being made by people with "a poor command of English or with a Middle Eastern accent." It seems that, with modern technology, insurgents have managed to hack into mobile phone systems and have obtained numbers from soldiers' mobile phones.

What kind of an asshole would do something like this? I cannot imagine how terrible it would be for a wife to get such a call about her husband. Unfortunately, as these calls seem to originate in Iraq, it seems nothing can be done about it.

The article just talks about these calls being about British soldiers and not American. I haven't seen or heard anything about this happening here in the States and I have to wonder: are no calls being made to the US or is the left-leaning press just not reporting this story? After all, this DEFINITELY cannot be spun in a politically correct way.

Here is a link to the article.

"The View," "Starzilla," and A Great Catfight

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a fan of "The View." When it first began, I TRIED to watch it a few times, but could never quite get through a full 60 minute show. Over the years I would, while channel-surfing, come across the show and (maybe) stop for a minute or two, but I usually changed the channel just as fast as I possibly could. There just was never any appeal for me.

And now there is a gigantic catfight going on between "Starzilla" and "Baba." (You can read the story here.) I must say I am quite enjoying what is going on. With the risk of this statement turning around and biting me in the ass: I am rather enjoying these catty women getting their comeuppance in a very public way. They both seem to think they don't ever stink up a bathroom, so it is satisfying to see them do a bit of a crash-and-burn. (Yes, this is truly nasty of me.)

Here are my reasons for not watching "The View," past, present, and future: Star. Barbara. Star. Joy. Star. Rosie. And did I forget to mention...STAR?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Just Some Thoughts

--I keep seeing the ads on TV for KFC's Famous Bowls. These are made by layering mashed potatoes, corn, crispy fried chicken, gravy, and a 3-cheese blend in a bowl. Aren't these more a "heart-attack-in-a-bowl"? Although, I find they look strangely compelling and just might have to try one soon. Hey, no one EVER accused me of having a refined palate!

--K went to his sister's to do some work today and he brought back 4 quarts of freshly picked strawberries! We haven't had strawberries from back home in a few years, so this is a real treat. He should be back up there before all of the berries are gone, so he will get some more. I have to clean what I have and freeze most of them--and I will fix strawberry shortcakes with the rest. YUM!

--Warren Buffet announced that he will be giving $30.7 billion of his money to charity. This is instead of leaving his vast wealth to his children. He feels as if his kids should have money "enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing." Now, considering this money is only about 80% of his wealth, what does that leave for his kids? Somewhere around $14 billion after the giveaway. Gee whiz, I hope his kids can find some gainful employment because they couldn't possibly get along in this life with ONLY $14 billion!

Don't get me wrong, it is wonderful that these people are giving back to the poverty-stricken, etc. I applaud that with all my heart. Just, please, DON'T make it seem as if you are leaving your children destitute when you die. (Gates has said something similar about not leaving HIS children all of his money.) Just announce that you are giving grand sums of money to charity--DON'T try to make people think your kids are actually going to have to work for a living after you are gone! I could live a VERY good life on the interest on the money that daddy's kids will get when he dies. If I got the interest from one DAY, I could live--probably for the rest of my life--better than I am living now. If I got the interest for one YEAR, I could make sure every member of my family would live high for the rest of their lives. Again, I think it is wonderful that these rich people give money to charity, I just wish they wouldn't make it sound as if they and their families just might wind up on the receiving end of one of the charities.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I Am Not Now--Nor Have I Ever Been--Crazy...REALLY!

I have been in therapy three separate times--each time for depression. I never will apologize to anyone for doing therapy, as it has helped me in one way or another each time. Actually, I very much feel every person could benefit from doing therapy at different times--it is just good to have a neutral party to talk to about things. And, for the most part, this is all I needed each time.

The first time I saw a therapist was for postpartum depression. It really wasn't hard to imagine ANYONE getting depressed in my situation: I had a newborn baby with colic (she NEVER slept), we lived in a TINY two bedroom mobile home, my husband worked swing shifts (I was alone A LOT), we were fairly new in town so I didn't know many people, and it was HOT that summer (at least it was to me as I baked in a trailer without a/c)! The therapist I saw decided I needed to learn some relaxation techniques and things would be all better. Now, I'm not sure how much postpartum depression was being diagnosed at the time, but that is not what he saw in me. The relaxation techniques helped me in other areas of my life, just NOT with my depression. When K put the down-payment on this house, my mood lifted (DUH!) and the therapist said things will be all better now! I was told I was done with therapy.

MANY years later--maybe too many years--I needed to see a therapist because of depression, again. Truly, I think I may have been close to a breakdown. And it involved the colic-kid, only she was 15 at this time. In a nutshell: we had many problems with her, she was uncontrollable, she was declared incorrigible and put in a youth home, and then The Parents stabbed me in the back by deciding they believed her instead of me and took our oldest to live with them--all the while declaring what a horrible mother I was! (There is, of course, much more to the story, but I will leave that for another time.) Again, is it a wonder I was depressed? Anyway, the therapist I saw this time was WONDERFUL! The one thing he made me realize was: despite any mistakes I made, I was not a horrible mother and I hadn't done everything wrong. It made all the difference in my life. I do believe he probably saved my life and I will be forever grateful. I was in a real good place when we decided I was done.

About seven years later, I wound up in therapy again. This time it was because we were having problems with our other daughter. (I sometimes wonder if I really WAS a bad mother! ;)) Anyway, here is where the story gets good, cause this therapist was a piece of work.

First of all, I decided to see a woman, thinking a woman would understand another woman better. I REALLY should have run from my first appointment with her, because she was just too disorganized for me--I am almost anal at times with how organized I am. She almost seemed to attack some of the things I said. (I once said how things wouldn't have gotten so bad with our first daughter if some of the authorities, etc. would have given us direction or help in trying to solve our problems. She took this as me saying it was everyone else's fault and I was showing paranoid tendencies.) She really didn't HEAR me when I spoke--I think she had her mind made up about me before we even met for the first time. But, I continued with her because I felt it could only get better. Boy, was I wrong.

One day, she suggested I join the group she was about to start. I thought it would be a good idea and I agreed. Bad move. You know how there are some people you meet that there is an instant, mutual dislike between the two of you? Well, I met one of those women the first night of group. (The therapist, later on, asked me why I didn't like this woman--who was it she reminded me of? I thought for a second and answered, "ME!" I saw all of my bad qualities in this woman, and I didn't like it. This was the first time I completely made the therapist speechless!) I did, however, decide that I would continue going and try to work out my dislike for this person. Things went fairly well for the first few weeks. Then, the last time I went to group, things went downhill. First, we were to "share" something we had learned about ourselves the previous week. I said how I had mentioned one of the other people in the group to one of my spiritual advisors and how I realized just how much more tolerant, much less judgmental, I was becoming. That did it. The woman I couldn't stand (WICS) jumped down my throat because I violated the other person's privacy by even mentioning ANYTHING about another group member. Now, you have to understand, I NEVER mentioned the person's name--just a circumstance that I would normally be intolerant of--and I had been talking to one of my SPIRITUAL ADVISORS. It would have been different if I had been talking to the bagboy at the grocery store, then I would have been in the wrong, but I believe the red flag was "spiritual advisor." I believe WICS wouldn't tolerate ANYTHING that even gave off a small feel of religion. This was our first confrontation of the evening. AND the therapist took HER side of the conflict. Fine, I could deal with it--I said nothing. Our next confrontation was more obvious, but the therapist never could see it. (I am changing the particulars of the story, just not the overall gist, for privacy purposes.) We were asked to name one thing that we really felt strongly about (the truth). When it got to me (this is a falsehood), I said I thought killing animals for ANY reason was just plain wrong--and that I felt very strongly about it. That went okay. Later on during the evening we had to each (and I can't remember exactly WHAT the exercise was about) relate a story. When it came to WICS's turn, she looked straight at me--just daring me to say something to her--and said (another falsehood), "I once killed a rabbit with my bare hands. I was hungry and this is what I had to do to survive!" Okay. I'll deal with this--again, I said nothing. The evening ended shortly after this.

We didn't have group the next week, so I had a chance to really analyze the situation and I decided I wasn't going to get anywhere with this group of people--actually, with WICS. I let the therapist know that I needed to discontinue the work with the group. To say this didn't go down well with her is an understatement. She told me I needed to come and discuss the situation with her, which I agreed to do. I explained my reasons--about the way WICS was itching for a fight with me and how it wasn't fair to the rest of the group to have two people going at each other like I could see happening with us. As I said, the therapist had her mind made up about things and wouldn't even try to understand my point of view. She absolutely didn't see WICS's baiting me that last evening. She accused me of running away from my problems instead of confronting them and trying to work on them JUST LIKE I ALWAYS HAD DONE! That was when I KNEW I would NEVER speak to her again. And, believe it or not, she still has a practice in this town.

So, even though I'm one-for-three in the therapist department, I still am an advocate for therapy. I still think everyone needs to see a therapist at least once in a lifetime. I just KNOW that you have to do a little shopping around before you pick the therapist that will actually help you.

Stupid People

How do these people survive? (Please, don't let them breed!)
Don't know if any of these are true--I bet they are--but they sure are funny.

ONE Recently, when I went to McDonald's I saw on the menu that you could have an order of 6, 9, or 12 Chicken McNuggets. I asked for a half dozen nuggets.
"We don't have half dozen nuggets," said the teenager at the counter.
"You don't?" I replied.
"We only have six, nine, or twelve," was the reply.
"So I can't order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order six?"
"That's right."
So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets.

TWO I was checking out at the local Wal-Mart with just a few items and the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine. I picked up one of those "dividers" that they keep by the cash register and placed it between our things so they wouldn't get mixed. After the girl had scanned all of my items, she picked up the "divider", looked it all over for the bar code so she could scan it. Not finding the bar code she said to me, "Do you know how much this is?" I said to her, "I've changed my mind, I don't think I'll buy that today." She said "OK," and I paid her for the things and left. She had no clue as to what had just happened.

THREE A lady at work was seen putting a credit card into her floppy drive and pulling it out very quickly. When I inquired as to what she was doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they kept asking for a credit card number, so she was using the ATM "thingy."

FOUR Several years ago, we had an Intern who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, "I'm almost out of typing paper. What do I do?" "Just use copier machine paper," the secretary told her. With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five "blank" copies.

FIVE I was in a car dealership a while ago, when a large motor home was towed into the garage. The front of the vehicle was in dire need of repair and the whole thing generally looked like an extra in "Twister." I asked the manager what had happened. He told me that the driver had set the "cruise control" and then went in the back to make a sandwich.

SIX Police in Radnor, Pa., interrogated a suspect by placing a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy machine. The message "He's lying" was placed in the copier, and police pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn't telling the truth. Believing the "lie detector" was working, the suspect confessed.

SEVEN A mother calls 911 very worried asking the dispatcher if she needs to take her kid to the emergency room--the kid was eating ants. The dispatcher tells her to give the kid some Benadryl and he should be fine.
Mother: "I just gave him some ant killer....."
Dispatcher: "Rush him in to emergency!"

Life is tough.
It's tougher if you're stupid!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wednesday Wonders

--Have to cancel my "pissed-offness" of our oldest: the Father's Day cards came in the mail yesterday. We still haven't heard from the youngest. (I sent an email to each of them on Monday expressing my disappointment in the lack of their outpouring of love for their father. Was I wrong? If I was, sue me! And I WASN'T nasty about it, at all!!! Really.)

--K and I went to play trivia at our local pub last night. I indulged a little too much--stingers and a pink Russian. Needless to say, having the lawn service mow right under the open bedroom window this morning was NOT very much fun. I STILL have a headache. My own fault, I know.

--Looks like we will be doing a road trip tomorrow and Friday. This will be good. It is great to get out of town for fun every month or two. Now to try to explain to A why we are NOT going to see HER this weekend, instead. (They are having a wedding party thrown for them by her in-laws on Saturday. We are not attending. No problem--we just have other things we need to do.)

--I am not a fan of Brangelina, or Jen and Vince, TomKat, or any of the other insipid, vacuous "celebrities" that make up most of the reading material at any of the gossip sites, but I must comment on them from time to time. Today's rant is about Brangelina. I don't know how anyone can say Angelina is NOT a publicity whore. (At this time, Brad is nothing more than a shadow of a person--SHE does all the talking and he just carries one of the kids as he walks five paces behind her.) She gave birth only a month ago and here she is talking about how they are already "looking at different countries" to try and decide where their next kid is coming from. Give me a fricking break! Why are you not devoting all of your time to the kids you already have--ESPECIALLY to the newborn! It's as if the only thing that matters is the NEXT kid! (I have a sister-in-law that couldn't be bothered with any but the newest of her kids--but at least she wasn't planning for the next one before she had a chance to bond with the one she just popped out!) At least get to know the ones you have--and let them get to bond with each other--before you "buy" another one! The Los Angeles Times has a bit of a snarky commentary/article titled "How To Shop For Kids The Brangelina Way." Funny. You can read it here.

Monday, June 19, 2006

I'm A Happy Camper

Carolina won the Stanley Cup. Cam Ward won the Conn Smythe trophy. All's right in my world tonight.

Now I get to spend the next four months--until the start of next season--watching the draft, trades, who signs, who doesn't sign, and whether Yzerman will come back for another year. In 2007, the Red Wings will win the Cup. At least I can hope!

Bird Story

My husband works at a power plant. The place is quite large and uses coal for fuel. This means that there are very large buildings and very large smoke stacks. And there are very large numbers of pigeons, which cause very large problems. Over the past several years, the powers-that-be have been trying to lure a pair of peregrine falcons to the property to nest. This would help take care of the pigeon problem. A nesting box was placed on one of the smoke stacks in the hope that a pair would take it over. After a few years, it looks as if a nesting pair of falcons have decided to stay--at least for awhile. This pair has been here longer than any of the others that have been seen, so the hope is that falcons will be around for many years.

About a month ago, our governor was supposed to come to the plant to see something new that was just completed. (Don't ask me what--the most I know about electricity is: flip a switch, the lights go on.) This was a very important occasion, so money was allocated for clean-up of the plant property. There was much sweeping and polishing and all-around sprucing up. K said the place looked rather good and decided to go outside for a look-see at what had been done. He was walking along, marveling at the good job that been done, when, a few yards away, he began seeing some white, round things. He couldn't believe that the clean-up crew would leave something so very obvious, so he went to investigate. And what he found, littering the newly-cleaned property, was this: pigeon heads! The falcons were doing their job. (And because everything wasn't completely up and running in time, the governor didn't make the trip. Could have been interesting for her to step on a pigeon head!)

PMS

Every so often, I feel as if I have PMS. Now, this is an impossibility for me, as I don't have what is needed to cause PMS, but I suffer nonetheless. This is how I have been the past few days and I don't know why.

I guess having to go to The Parent's the other night is enough reason for me to feel "owly." ("Owly" is K's favorite way to describe me--in a teasing manner, of course!) Three of The Niece's were there--being fed by The Mother. I swear, The Brother and his wife should NEVER have had kids--they didn't raise any of the four of them! Two of these girls have graduated from high school, one has graduated from college, and they STILL can't feed themselves--or take care of their younger sister. They are just useless sacks of shit as far as I'm concerned! (As I said, I'm feeling "owly.") I don't believe The Father directed any remarks to me personally, and The Mother kept "pretending" everything was fine--and the more she pretends, the more uncomfortable it gets. Every time I go there--which is as little as possible--I am once again reminded how nice it is to be away from these people.

I am more than a bit put-out by my own daughters tonight. Actually, I am quite pissed at them. Neither one of them sent K a card--snail-mail OR email--for Father's Day. C called earlier, but he was at work--she said she would call when he got home, but didn't. A didn't call at all--and she called me last night to talk, and could have wished K an early Happy Father's Day! I know I got my Mother's Day cards from them late, so I am still hoping that K's cards will be coming this week. We'll see. I don't understand my girls when it comes to special days for K and me--they just don't seem to give a damn! But other times, they are as sweet as you could hope for. I'm at a loss.

I'm also feeling a little neglected these days--and this is nothing new. It seems to come every time K puts in a lot of overtime shifts. Sometimes it feels as if I am single--I just can't date! I truly understand how K can be tired--it's just that I would like to spend some time with him, also. And there is just so damn much we have to do around this house. Oh, well. Starting Tuesday he will be off for a number of days, so maybe we can actually do something together. We'll see.

I truly am hoping that the hockey game Monday night will put my mood in a better place. However, if Edmonton wins, I guess the "owliness" will last longer than usual! :)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Unexpected

The Mother called today. Just that statement alone can send me off to an eating binge of epic proportions--and it probably will. Of course, the first thing I think when I see the Caller ID is, "NOW what the hell did I do wrong!" And it certainly doesn't matter that I have no contact with them. Somehow, with my abilities of superhumanness, I can do things just with my mind. And I can do things retroactively: I AM, after all, to blame for the fall of Adam and Eve as well as everything that has ever gone wrong on this Earth. So, I brace myself as I answer the phone whenever She calls.

Surprisingly, she was in a good mood. The reason for the call was that I don't have to make her dress for The Niece's wedding, after all. (I got into the dress thing here.) Seems She was "joking" with a woman from her church and said if I wasn't making her dress, She would have asked the lady to do it. The lady said she would be happy to: it would make it easier for The Mother to not have to come 100 miles for fittings, etc. This being The Father's busy time of the year, She doesn't know how She would get here, so it would be better all around if the dress was done there. This, of course, is if I would rather not do it myself.

Pretty nice, hey? I got an out if I want and The Mother was really good about it. HA!!!! Here is the REAL story! (Or, what-I-know-really-happened-because-I-know-the-way-the-woman-thinks-because-after all-I-am-her-daughter-and-I-put-up-with-her-bullshit-for-far-too-long-before-I-got-smart.) First of all, The Mother has (probably) been "concerned" because there has been no progress on the dress thus far. (The wedding is in September, so there is plenty of time. Because the dress is so simple, it would take me only one day to put the damn thing together!) I'm sure she did her "I hope it gets done--I don't know what is taking C so long to make it!" lament to anyone who would listen. And she did this as often as possible. So, someone got sick of hearing her martyr speech and put the bug in the lady's ear, which prompted her to make the offer. (This is The Mother's way: get people so sick of hearing her bitching that someone has to take care of the problem for her. This way, SHE never is the bad guy!) AND this also gave her an out when it comes to The Father. Now, I am sure he told her way back in January that he would NOT be bringing her back and forth to my house for fittings. And it has nothing to do with the distance. See, The Father NEVER forgives or forgets and I think I am on his "not forgiven" list. He didn't speak to his brother for over 30 years and wouldn't even be in the same room with him if he had a choice. Well, the brother died a couple of years ago and I think I have now taken his place. (They did "reconcile" a few years before the death. They would stay in the same room and actually would talk about the weather!) The Father is retired, so the "being so busy" excuse just doesn't fly with me. Unless, of course, he is making firewood by cutting down every tree left within a 200 mile radius of their house! (That is what is causing him to be so busy: making firewood.) This is something he was able to do with no problem while he held down a fulltime job, but now he can't find the time to do other things now that he is retired! Not the truth.

After thinking about all of this for about two seconds, I have decided to let the lady do the dress. The only thing I would have gotten out of the deal was an exaggerated "atta-boy" from The Mother. She can go on and on about something so "wonderful" as me making her a dress. And this is even when I KNOW I didn't do anything special! She overcompensates, or something, so I don't need that in my life--I KNOW I am talented without her gushing over me! This gives me an out--I never was too sure whether my doing it was right, or not--and this gives her an out with The Father. Tomorrow I will go to pick up my sewing machine from the shop and I will drop off the material, etc. and be done with the whole damn thing! Good plan.

Anniversary Present

A husband was in BIG trouble when he forgot his wedding anniversary.

Tomorrow," his wife angrily told him, "there had better be something in our driveway that goes from zero to 200 in two seconds flat!"

The next morning, the wife looked outside and saw a small package in the driveway.

She brought it inside, opened it, and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Funeral services for her husband have been set for Saturday.

Stanley

After reading about Jack the cat, I got to remembering my cat Stanley. I had him while I was in middle and high school and he stayed with The Parents after I got married. Stanley was a cat that even cat-haters loved.

Stanley was an orange tabby, just like Jack, but he had less white on him. Actually, he looked an awful lot like Morris (the Nine Lives spokescat). Stanley was far from finicky though. He would wait and eat anything that fell off of the table--and he would try to get it before the dog did! That is one of the reasons he was in the 15 pound weight range.

There was nothing Stanley enjoyed more than visiting with the company sitting around the kitchen table. He would jump up on one of the chairs and sit and listen to the conversation. He would get bored easily, though, and had the tendency to fall asleep while sitting up. This proved to be very embarrassing on several occasions: he would sleep so soundly that he would fall off of the chair! But when he was interested in what was being said, he would just sit, listen, and SMILE. He is the first cat I ever saw that could smile.

Stanley was also the first cat that I knew of to sleep on its back. He was just as comfortable on his back as he was curled up "cat-like" in a tight ball. If he happened to be sleeping on a bed, his head would be on the pillow as he slept. To say he was spoiled is an understatement. He was gentle, kind, loving, and purred loud enough to wake a person from a sound sleep.

Even though Stanley was gentle, I was a little apprehensive to have him around C when she was a baby. One never knows how an animal will react to a baby coming into their territory, so I was a bit nervous. He never gave me one moments worth of worry, though. For the most part, he just avoided C as much as possible. Not to the point where he would run and hide, he would just stay out of reach. As C got older, she would race around the house in her walker. She loved to chase Stanley through the house and he would run until he found a place to hide. Although, hide is a relative term. He usually would try to squeeze under the utility table in the kitchen, but was too big to get anymore than his head underneath. This, of course, meant his entire body was still exposed, but he thought, since he couldn't see anything, that he was hiding. And it was inevitable that C would run right over him with the walker. And his reaction was never anything more than to run upstairs and go to sleep for awhile.

One incident where he could have hurt C badly went like this: She was chasing him around, as usual, and he had had enough. Instead of going all the way upstairs, he just went up a couple of steps and sat. The two of them had a bit of a staring contest for about a minute and then C reached out her hand to pet him--or so I thought. Instead of petting him, she grabbed one of his whiskers and pulled--so hard that his lip came straight out and finally the whisker came loose. She sat holding his whisker and he just looked at her--bewildered--and said, "mmmpf." That was it. At that moment I know there was nothing she could do to make him hurt her.

Stanley was an indoor/outdoor cat. And this is where the only horrid thing about him came into play. Stanley would go hunting--as any good cat does--and would bring his prey home with him. The thing is, he wouldn't kill what he hunted. After getting home with his catch, he would hunker down in the front yard and proceed to PLUCK whatever he had with him. Mole, mouse, chipmunk, bird--it didn't matter. He would pluck the poor thing--while it was still alive--until every piece of hair/fur/feather was gone and the poor thing was naked and half dead. He was a sadistic SOB when it came to his prey--the only time I really couldn't stand to look at him.

Stanley died about 25 years ago. We were at The Parents and everyone realized that we hadn't seen him for awhile. We searched and found him, bleeding, in an upstairs closet. He was brought to the vet's office where it was discovered that he had been shot--in the face--and needed to be put down. The bullet entered just under his eye and exited from his lower jaw, taking most of the jaw with it. There was nothing that could be done for him. It was a very sad end to a wonderful pet.

Here is a not very good picture of Stanley.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Update on Jack the Cat

Not only does Jack the cat chase bears up trees, he does it without any claws! Yup, the darn testy thing is declawed and still has enough balls to go after something that much bigger than himself. Gotta love the attitude cats have! Here is the whole story and more pictures.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Carolina 2, Edmonton 1

YEAH!!




Now THAT'S A Cat!

This is just one reason I love cats...they rule the Earth and everyone better beware! I just thought this was hysterical.

From the Associated Press:



Jack the cat chases black bear up tree
Sat Jun 10, 5:52 PM ET

WEST MILFORD, N.J. - A black bear picked the wrong yard for a jaunt, running into a territorial tabby who ran the furry beast up a tree — twice.

Jack, a 15-pound orange and white cat, keeps a close vigil on his property, often chasing small animals, but his owners and neighbors say his latest escapade was surprising.

"We used to joke, 'Jack's on duty,' never knowing he'd go after a bear," owner Donna Dickey told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Friday's editions.

Neighbor Suzanne Giovanetti first spotted Jack's accomplishment after her husband saw a bear climb a tree on the edge of their northern New Jersey property on Sunday. Giovanetti thought Jack was simply looking up at the bear, but soon realized the much larger animal was afraid of the hissing cat.

After about 15 minutes, the bear descended and tried to run away, but Jack chased it up another tree.

Dickey, who feared for her cat, then called Jack home and the bear scurried back to the woods.

"He doesn't want anybody in his yard," Dickey said.

Bear sightings are not unusual in West Milford, which experts consider one of the state's most bear-populated areas.

Little Bits

Nothing very exciting has been happening around here, so I will just write some bits and pieces for now.

--I have to make hotel reservations for three separate times and I really should do it tomorrow. This month we MAY be going to the party/reception that A's husband's parents are having for them. I know that A wants us there, but I'm not sure if K will go. He HAS to decide so I can make the reservations. Next month is the party for them that C and The Mother will be giving. I have to get rooms for K and me, but also for our friends, who will be coming up. We want to be in adjacent rooms, so it will be easier for me to call--also, they will only be staying one night and we will be there for two. It will be confusing, I'm sure. And, of course, I still have to do the reservations for the weekend of The Concert--can't book that too early!

--I decided that it would be fun to have some of my favorite television shows on DVD, so I have begun to buy them. I already have the first DVD of Wings and I have ordered Night Court, Everwood, and Dinosaurs. I can't wait to rewatch the Dinosaurs episodes--I just loved the baby! It was a good show--too bad it didn't last. I also plan on getting Gilmore Girls, Firefly, and Farscape. At the cost of some of these, I will have many years of buying before I get all I want! I think I have watched WAY too much TV over the years!

--Still haven't gotten to my garden. K should be all done with overtime, so we probably will be able to start planting next week at the latest. I don't have to worry about not having a long growing season for my flowers, as I always do annuals. The biggest problem I may have is availability--I sure hope there are SOME plants left when I get around to buying.

--The last two movies I watched: War of the Worlds and Batman Begins. K taped these for me the other week and I finally got around to watching them several days ago. Well, I wish I wouldn't have wasted my time with War of the Worlds. I am VERY disappointed in the job that Spielberg did on this movie--after all, we KNOW he can do so much better; such as, Close Encounters and ET! The story was lousy, the special effects were nothing special and I couldn't get past Tom Cruise's personal life long enough to see him as the character he played. A very, very bad movie all around. However, I really liked Batman Begins! It really held my interest and if they did another one with Christian Bale--and used the same writers--I would see it.

--What I'm listening to: I found the playlist that Eric Clapton has been using in his concerts in Europe and I have been able to duplicate it--well most of it--from the CDs I have. I sit here and listen to the songs and get more excited about the concert. I told A the other night that the money we spent for the tickets will have been worth it if ALL I get to hear him play is Layla and Cocaine--which are on the playlist. I just can't wait. However, I am sure I will have to pay K back for this--and that just might mean going to a country music concert. It STILL will have been worth it, though!

--What I'm reading: I am reading The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe by Douglas Adams. This is a sequel to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. I can't figure out why it has taken me so long to read The Hitchhiker's books, but I really am enjoying them--I find them absolutely, hysterically funny. I laughed till I cried when they said the answer to The Question was "42." (You would have to read it yourself to see the humor. :))

--Monday night is Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals, so I will be planted right in front of the TV watching very intently. K will be at work, so I have to tape it for him. We'll see if Carolina can pull off a win so that they can win it all in front of their hometown fans. Go 'Canes!

--So you don't forget: Father's Day is Sunday. I ordered K's gift--a new MP3 player--and it should be in this week. I guess he'll have to get something for The Father and we can drop it off for him when we go to pick up my sewing machine from the shop later this week. Oh, yay.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

ONLY The Third Game

Yeah, Edmonton won 2-1 over Carolina. I am upset because I REALLY want Carolina to win in front of the Edmonton fans: that just would be too great in my eyes! (It will take me a LONG time--if ever--to get over Edmonton beating the Wings!) Anyway, the score doesn't come close to telling what a good game it was. The first goal was scored in the first few minutes of the opening period--by Edmonton--and the next goal wasn't scored until the third period--by Carolina. There were less than three minutes to play and Edmonton scored the final goal. While all of the players did well, it surely was a game of the goalies--they both played wonderfully. If the goalies wouldn't have been as brilliant as they were, this would have been a high scoring game. While I have been impressed with Ward throughout the last few series, I am getting to be very impressed with Markkanen--he did an outstanding job tonight.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

27 Questions

Here are 27 questions about things we see every day and have known about all our lives.
How many can you get right?
These little simple questions are harder than you think--it just shows you how little we pay attention to the commonplace things of life.
Can you beat 20? (The average is 7.)
Write down your answers and check answers (on the bottom) AFTER completing all the questions.
(I would give credit to who came up with this, but I don't know who it is! By the way, I got 19 right! Yeah!)

1. On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?

2. How many states are there? (Don't laugh, some people don't know.)

3. In which hand is the Statue of Liberty's torch?

4. What six colors are on the classic Campbell's soup label?

5. What two numbers on the telephone dial don't have letters by them?

6. When you walk does your left arm swing with your right or left leg?

7. How many matches are in a standard pack?

8. On the United States flag is the top stripe red or white?

9. What is the lowest number on the FM dial?

10. Which way does water go down the drain, counter or clockwise?

11. Which way does a "no smoking" sign's slash run?

12. How many channels on a VHF TV dial?

13. On which side of a women's blouse are the buttons?

14. Which way do fans rotate?

15. What is on the back of an American nickel?

16. How many sides does a stop sign have?

17. Do books have even-numbered pages on the right or left side?

18. How many lug nuts are on a standard car wheel?

19. How many sides are there on a standard pencil?

20. Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc. Who's missing?

21. How many hot dog buns are in a standard package?

22. On which playing card is the card maker's trademark?

23. On which side of a Venetian blind is the cord that adjusts the opening between the slats?

24. On the back of a US $1 bill, what side is the pyramid: right or left?

25. There are 12 buttons on a touch tone phone. What 2 symbols bear no digits?

26. How many curves are there in the standard paper clip?

27. Does a merry-go-round turn counter or clockwise?
**********************************************************************

Don't look at answers below until you complete all the questions.













1. Bottom
2. 50 (please tell me you got this one!)
3. Right
4. Blue, red, white, yellow, black, &gold
5. 1, 0
6. Right
7. 20
8. Red
9. 88
10. Clockwise (north of the equator)
11. Towards bottom right
12. 12 (no #1)
13. Left
14. Clockwise as you look at it
15. Monticello
16. 8
17. Left
18. 5
19. 6
20. Bashful
21. 8
22. Ace of spades
23. Left
24. Left
25. *, #
26. 3
27. Counter

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Sweater-Wearing Squirrel

I haven't mentioned Cute Overload for awhile because, frankly, I could be telling everyone to go there practically every day. Some of the cutest damn animal pics in the world are posted there, but I just HAD to tell everyone to get there today to see the squirrel wearing a sweater! It made me laugh out loud. (Someone suggested it might be Photoshopped--it might be, but it still is funny.) You might have to scroll down as the Permalink isn't working.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Today's News

--There was much todo about Tuesday being 6/6/06. The end of the world didn't happen as some had suggested, but at least one strange story DID take place. A baby boy was born. Mother named him Damien, cause she is a fan of the movie "The Omen." Not only was the baby born on 6/6/06, he was born shortly after 6AM and was 6lb 6oz! You can read the entire story here.

--Woman bought puppy. Puppy died because it was too young to be separated from its mother. Woman beat breeder with dead puppy. Read the story here.

--Guy was caught speeding. Said it was to dry off his just-washed vehicle. Gotta love that excuse. The story is here.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Halfway There!

Carolina beat Edmonton 5-0 in tonight's game. They played great and Cam Ward was absolutely spectacular! He stopped shots that he couldn't possibly see--the kid has great instincts. Despite allowing 5 goals, Edmonton's goalie, Jussi Markkanen, did quite a good job. He, also, stopped some shots that were unbelievable. At the age of 30, he is 9 years older than Ward, but I think he has a good career ahead of him. Hmm, maybe Detroit could get him to replace Legace!? Anyway, starting on Saturday night, the rest of the playoff games will be broadcast on NBC during primetime. It will give people from the non-north a chance to see good hockey--might even hook some new fans. Unfortunately, there probably will only be two games for anyone to see--chances are Carolina will win the Cup in 4.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tuesday Night

K and I went to the local pub to play trivia tonight--something he does more than I do. It's an evening out and we have fun. I love to go just so I can people-watch. Tonight I was not disappointed. Across the bar from us, there were three men that had come in together. These guys were in the late 40 to early 50 age range and were out looking for love in all the wrong places! One of the guys had teeth missing on the top, one of the guys had quite a vacant look on his face, and the topper of the evening was the guy--graying at the temples--wearing a full mullet! All I can say is: if this is what is out there looking for single women, then I will be married forever! (By the way, they all were dressed in their jeans and "dress" T-shirts: the ones WITHOUT holes. :))

There is a mental disease that doctors say can be the cause of some road-rage: intermittent explosive disorder. Doctors say this disorder can also explain some temper outbursts that involve throwing and breaking objects and some spousal abuse. This study suggests that 16 million people may suffer from this disorder. Maybe this is legitimate, but I still say The Brother is not suffering from anything other than being an asshole!

Carolina Won!

After being down 3-0 in the second period, the Hurricanes won the first game of the finals by a score of 5-4! I almost don't mind Detroit not being in the finals--that is how good this game was. Not only was the play fast, but there was a penalty shot and a goaltender had to be replaced. The Oilers' Roloson injured his right knee late in the game when a couple of players collided and fell on him. He had to be replaced for the remainder of the game. Word is that he won't be back for any more games of the series. I truly hate to hear this--I hope he'll be fine for next season and have this not be a career-ending injury.

The big story of the game, though, was the goaltender for Carolina. This kid--and at 22 years old, he IS a kid--was unbelievable! The defense didn't help him as much as they should have, so Cam Ward got himself one workout. It is one thing for a goalie to stop one, maybe two shots, but this guy was stopping multiply shots with no let-up at all! Win or lose, I hope he gets one big boost in his paycheck next season: he deserves it!

We get the games on two different channels on our cable system: CBC from Canada and OLN from the States. I love the announcers from Canada because they REALLY know how to call a game. But I stay away from the CBC when it is a contest between a US and a Canadian team--there is a bias that just can't be mistaken a lot of the time. So, tonight I was watching OLN and the announcers were so completely FOR Edmonton that I had to turn to the CBC just to get an unbiased calling of the game! Even Mickey Redmond--a Detroit announcer during Wings games--controls himself more than these idiots on OLN! I can't imagine what they were thinking.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I'm So Excited

I really love Eric Clapton's music--and have for many years. He is doing a worldwide tour through 2007 and will be here in the states starting in September. And I will be sitting in the audience on September 16 when he plays in Minnesota. I still can't believe it! I find myself grinning from ear-to-ear in anticipation of a once-in-a-lifetime event. I'm sure I will never see him in concert again--after all, it's taken me this many years to see him for the first time! Waiting for three+ months is almost more than I can bear! I'm so excited! (Can you tell I'm excited?) :)

Friday, June 02, 2006

FINALLY Someone Gets It!

WORDS WOMEN USE

FINE
This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

FIVE MINUTES
If she is getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given 5 more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

NOTHING
This is the calm before the storm. This means "something," and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with "Nothing" usually end in "Fine."

GO AHEAD
This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it.

LOUD SIGH
This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A "Loud Sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing."

THAT'S OKAY
This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

THANKS
A woman is thanking you. Do not question it or faint. Just say you're welcome.

WHATEVER
It's a woman's way of saying *!#@ YOU!


Have a great weekend, all! :)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hockey

It just doesn't seem possible that today, 1 June, I can be writing about hockey. It is unbelievable what expansion has done to a "winter" sport.

Anyway. I am a Red Wings fan, through and through. They are my team. They pissed me off big time when they lost during the first round of the playoffs, but I will have completely forgiven and forgotten this by the time next season starts. The Cup will be theirs in 2007. Go Wings!

The finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs begin on Monday. Edmonton--who beat the Wings--and Carolina will be playing. I will be cheering for Carolina--BIG surprise. :) Actually, there is more to my wanting Carolina to win than just wanting to get back at Edmonton: the last few games I watched that Carolina played had more good hockey in five minutes time than I saw in entire games that Detroit played this past year! Tonight's game was a beautiful example of how hockey should be played: the grace, beauty, quickness, etc. Some absolutely perfect goals were scored: everyone was where they SHOULD have been and it was pure, beautiful perfection. It is a joy to watch a game just to watch the sport--not to see who will win. It is actually a little liberating to watch for the love of the game: something I have the tendency to forget when I'm watching "my team."

So, I will have a few more nights to watch a game I grew to love many years ago. And I will be able to watch for the love of the game. But wait till next year...