Sunday, July 30, 2006

Kevorkian's Release?

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm is looking into the possibility of commuting Jack Kevorkian's sentence. He is serving a 10-25 year sentence for second-degree murder--Kevorkian called it a mercy killing. Kevorkian's lawyer hopes that Granholm will set a release date for Kevorkian because he has less than a year to live due to Hepatitis C. Kevorkian has said that he assisted in at least 130 deaths but has since promised that he will not assist in a suicide if he is released from prison.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Spoiled Brat Gets 'Spanked'

I am just loving it: FINALLY someone has decided that Lindsey Lohan isn't quite as great as she thinks she is. The producer of the movie she is filming sent her a letter stating how she better get her act together or else. About time someone smacked these spoiled little rich-bitches! Here's the story and the letter.

On the other hand, it is really sad that these young girls are allowed to get this out of control. And the bottom line is money--no one bothers to say anything to them while they are MAKING money, but they are quick to 'slap' them when they are about to COST money. And where are the parents in all of this? Oh, yeah, her mother parties with her and her father is in prison. I forgot. (And I thought MY family was dysfunctional!)

Just Bits

--It is over 90 degrees here today. And I am not happy. It doesn't look as if it will be much cooler for several days. And I am not happy. I hate hot weather. And I am not happy.

--Our neighbor--the one who feeds all of the neighborhood wildlife--has been live-trapping. So far he has gotten 5 raccoons and one skunk. Hmmm, I wonder if there wouldn't be a problem if he quit feeding them?!?!?! He said there are at least three more raccoons that need to be trapped--and I know we still share at least one more skunk.

--C and her husband are looking at moving into their new house on Tuesday. They have been working such long, hard hours trying to get the place fixed-up. Not that it is what someone would call a real 'fixer-upper'--it just needed some updating. Honestly, I haven't seen such crap carpeting since the 70s and I have NO idea how old the linoleum was--they found it under some tile and sub-flooring. After they pulled up carpeting and old flooring, they found the original hardwood and have restored that in the kitchen and dining room. The living room is getting new carpeting for the time being. And with a few coats of paint throughout the house, they should be ready to move in an Tuesday. I really am happy for them.

--As if I need to add to my collection, I have just gotten two new CDs. Actually, they are remasters of old classics: John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton and Layla and other assorted love songs by Derek and the Dominoes. No collection is complete without these. I'm loving them.

--And to top it all off, I now have a new list of FOUR more books I want to get. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst, Lemons Never Lie by Richard Stark, and The Ruins by Scott Smith. I guess I better get myself off of this computer sometime and start on the stacks I already have! I just have this obsession where I feel as if I have to own EVERY book that is the least bit interesting to me--so many books, so little time!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

What's Up?

I really have been having a lot of problems with Blogger lately. I can't get to most of the blogs I read on a daily basis and I can't always get the start page. At first I thought it was Firefox--they updated again--but I am having just as many problems with IE. Come on already! Let's get this damn thing fixed!

Quote of the Day

"Every decade has an iconic blond like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana, and right now I'm that icon."
--Paris Hilton

(Will someone please shut her up, already!)

A Little Tech

--We just upgraded our internet connection from 384Kbps to 3Mbps yesterday. (I know, I was lax when it came to upgrading--took WAY too long for me to do it.) Just as I thought, there IS a difference! The download time for video content is almost instantaneous compared to what it was. There probably isn't MUCH difference to be noticed in normal surfing, but it will be wonderful when it comes to downloading updates, etc. Just don't know why I waited so long. (Other than the fact that the guys K works with said there is no difference--and we all know that they know EVERYTHING at work!)

--I'm still having my share of problems with McAfee. But it isn't ALL of the time. I got rid of Norton when I had my last computer because of problems, so I got McAfee--now I'm having problems with this. My biggest two problems are this: I will boot up the computer and VirusScan or Personal Firewall will have to be enabled. And I have them set to 'enable' automatically. Or I will have to 'verify' my subscription--which doesn't end for months. All of this annoyance for the cheap price of $69 a year! But the beauty part is, this doesn't happen ALL of the time! And there is no rhyme or reason to WHEN it happens--it is totally random. After my subscription runs out, I am getting free virus protection and a firewall from the net--I have had it with these two companies.

--Metallica has finally found itself in the 21st century. Yesterday they finally gave in and have decided to start offering their entire catalog of songs on iTunes. They have allowed whole-album downloads up to this point, but they now will allow single songs to be downloaded. Now the only holdouts to be dragged kicking and screaming into the present are those who own the rights to The Beatles, Led Zepplin, and Radiohead.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Finishing Up The Weekend

I figured I would just finish up the stories from the weekend--this way I can be done with it.

So anyway, the worst that happened at the party was the way The Father's family treated me. His sisters barely acknowledged my existence and one of The Cousins didn't even say a word to me--but we never have been very fond of each other. Oh, well, it didn't make me sad, that's for sure.

On Sunday K and I were at his sister's house to see some of his family. We weren't to be at The Parent's house until 2:00 for the opening of the wedding gifts, so we were able to have a nice visit with the family. I guess I must have gotten the time wrong, because when we got to The Parent's, everyone had already eaten. You know the saying "If looks could kill?" Well, the looks we got when we walked into the house would have done worse than that! NOBODY can imagine what it is like to be on the receiving end of one of those looks from members of The Family. I'm surprised I didn't just melt into a heap of blubbering flesh right on the spot. But, I have gotten to the point in my life where I let stuff like that just roll off of me like water off of a duck's back. It's taken me too many years, but I have finally learned.

Then the incident happened that made me so very thankful that I am not with The Family very often. We were sitting in the living room watching the opening of the gifts. I was sitting on the sofa and Catie (my granddaughter) was next to me and The Mother was next to her. Catie, being 7, was playing with her gum--twirling it around her finger and stretching it from her mouth, etc. I asked her not to do it and then I had to ask her again. When she persisted, I lowered my voice even more and explained to her that there would be hell to pay if she got the gum on the sofa and that she should stop right away, which she did. After a bit, she went down onto the floor at my feet. Her younger sister, Noelle, and the Youngest Niece were sitting there, too. Noelle, being not quite 3, was climbing all over the Niece and managed to get her feet in Catie's face. Catie pushed her feet away--not in a harsh way, by any means. The Mother saw this exchange and then she started. "Catie, you stop that! You stop that right now! Stop hitting your sister! Stop that right now!" This went on for about a minute. By this time, Catie was getting nervous and started to play with her gum again. The Mother: "You put that gum back in your mouth! Keep that gum in your mouth! I will take that away from you! Get that gum in your mouth. Quit playing with that gum." The Father started: "Catie, put that gum in your mouth. You're going to get it all over. I'm going to take that away from you. Quit playing with your gum. Put that back in your mouth." Suddenly, over the two of them, a voice shrieked, "CATIE! THAT'S IT!!" It was the Oldest Niece. She came into the living room, stood in front of Catie with her hand in the girl's face and screamed, "Give me that gum, NOW! You're done with it!" Catie spit the gum into her hand and The Niece threw it away. I got up, went into the kitchen and told K that if I didn't get out of there, quick, I was going to deck The Niece--and it wouldn't be pretty! I don't know what C would have done if she would have been there, but I have a feeling she wouldn't have said anything. When I used to be there with the girls when they were young, everyone 'disciplined' my kids, too--and I let them! It is truly one of many things I regret allowing to happen over the years.

So, even though the incidents that happened weren't earth-shattering, they were very indicative of the kinds of things I have, thankfully, left behind. A person can tolerate these kinds of things once in awhile, but when I used to be there all of the time, these things happened constantly. And it wears on you. And I am glad I am out of there.

The Brother...Still A Jackass

I have been estranged from my family off and on for the last thirteen years. Our relationship is basically off right now. This is why I was reluctant to spend last weekend 'back home.' I had hoped everything would just be kept on a superficial level and I could just breeze through the days and come home and get back to my life. Unfortunately, it didn't quite go like that. But, then, it could have been MUCH worse than it was. Here is part of the story:

Approximately thirteen years ago, during the BIG SPLIT (long story that I keep promising to tell), The Brother called me one day in a rant. (Not too unusual--as I said, he's a jackass.) He said some very hateful things to me. One of the worst was when he told me I should give our youngest daughter up for adoption so that I don't ruin her like I did my oldest. During this yell-fest (his yelling, not mine,) he told me he no longer had a sister or brother-in-law. Disowned me. And even during the short times when things were 'good' between my family and myself, he never once apologized for the things he said during this conversation or any other.

Now, you have to understand my feelings of respecting other people. It was drummed into my head from an early age that I should show proper respect. That is why I never yelled at my parents or said hateful things to them--all of which I could have and probably should have done. I also extended this same respect to The Brother. The only time I raised my voice was in defense of myself, never to say what I could have said to hurt him. Even when The Mother and I were close, I kept the majority of my opinions of The Brother and his wife to myself--even as I watched them hand their kids over to my parents to, basically, raise. So the fact that I am the black-sheep, confuses me--I just wanted to be out from under the thumb of The Mother, wanted to quit having her run my life, and just wanted to do my own thing. I didn't think this was too much to ask.

Anyway, I have tried to keep the particulars of what has gone on with my family from my girls. They both know that 'something' has happened, they just don't know the specifics. So when I was discussing The Niece's upcoming bridal shower with C, she started to ask me questions. The shower is on the same day as K's niece's birthday party--which we were invited to about two months ago. This was WAY before I even knew there would be a bridal shower. I mentioned to C that I have to go to the first place that invited me and just drop off a gift for my niece--but this will probably put me even more firmly on The Family's shit-list than I already am. C started asking what I was talking about and we got around to me telling her The Brother had disowned me. Our conversation ended shortly after that and I left the house to go shopping.

When I got home, K informed me that The Brother had called to talk to me. Figuring out that C had called him, I called her to find out what was going on. She had informed him of what I had told her and he completely denied ever saying such a thing. She asked if I was going to call him back and I said I didn't want to talk to him. I tried talking with The Mother a few years back about something she had said and she laughed at me and denied she said it. Don't need to go through that again. So I went for the weekend dreading the thought of seeing The Brother and having him scream at me.

Well, I didn't have to worry about seeing him. As it turned out, he wouldn't even enter The Parent's house while I was there. He spent the entire party-time out in the garage where I would be sure not to run into him. The good thing about this: I guess I pissed him off enough that I don't have to worry about having to deal with him for another five years or so--by then I can think of something else to do to make him leave me alone for the NEXT five years! :) Then again, if we don't go to The Niece's wedding--which it looks like we won't be able to do (K is working)--I might NEVER have to see him ever again. Which, right now, is looking pretty good to me.

(Sorry for the rambling--and, I'm sure, often confusing--post. This is one thing that blogs are for: ranting and getting things out of one's system! It sure helps to keep me from exploding.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I Got Took

Yeah, call me a dumbass--the George Foreman grill that I posted about yesterday was an April Fool's joke! I guess I don't feel too bad about being stupid, because I got the link from mental_floss--and they ain't dumb there. Hook, line, sinker: GOT ME! :)

Little Bits

--I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this one: there now is a George Foreman grill that you can connect to your PC via USB 2.0. There is no other power connection needed. Is this a good thing or is this laziness gone wild? But then again, a hamburger without leaving my computer... See the story here.

--There is something called 'the ICE idea' that is making the rounds and becoming more common. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency and people are urged to list their emergency contact person in their cellphones under 'ICE'. So many people have cellphones these days that this is believed to be a good way to carry emergency numbers at all times. I have my husband and my oldest daughter listed as 'ICE' numbers. Here is more of the story. (This may be old, but it sure is worth posting again.)

--Juggling is something we all have seen before. BUT. There are two siblings from Russia who juggle and do things not to be believed! They can juggle 11 or twelve clubs at one time! Go here to see some video of them--it is just amazing.

--John Kerry was campaigning for Jennifer Granholm in Michigan. He gave the 'stupid jack-ass of the day' quote on Sunday: "If I was the president, this wouldn't have happened." This he said to criticize the Bush administration over the 'lack of leadership' in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict. This is reported here. (The picture sure seems to prove the rumors of his facelift. He definitely is looking younger!)

Monday, July 24, 2006

It's Done

We got back from our weekend with The Family late this afternoon. I am exhausted--more emotionally than physically, but exhausted nonetheless. While the time spent with those people could have been worse, there were even moments that I actually almost enjoyed myself. I will give more of an accounting of the weekend later.

One thing I did get out of the weekend was one very funny, true story. Here goes:

John was always late--for EVERYTHING. He could never get anywhere on time. John died. He was cremated. There was some kind of a mix-up and John's ashes were delayed for the funeral. John's son-in-law told his wife, "See. I TOLD you your father would even be late for his own funeral!" (Something we have said about our oldest daughter, many, many times! :))

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Here's Where It Stands

Right now, I only have a list of my 'Posts of Note' in the sidebar--I can't figure out how to link the list to the actual posts. I don't write code, so everything I do when I work on the template is a hit-or-miss thing. So far, I think, I haven't screwed anything up too badly. Anyway, if anyone can explain--in very simple language--how to actually change the template so that I can have links from the titles to the actual posts in my 'Posts Of Note' category in the sidebar, I would appreciate any help that I can get! Otherwise, it is a little annoying to have to track down each post if someone wants to read one. It is doable, but annoying! (And I can't figure out WHY the list of 'Posts...' only shows up on the main page and not on the archived pages, too!) Oh, to be an alpha geek...


The links to my previous posts don't work--I'll have to work on it a bit to see what is going on. The rest work, though! :)

Blog Maintenance

I did a little bit of blog maintenance tonight. I added more of the blogs-I-read-daily links (check them out if you haven't already--good reads), a whole section of some of my more noteworthy posts (some are just plain memes and others are there for various reasons), and one more link in the 'Links' section. The 'Link' is to the "Demonic Squirrel Riding Story." This is by far one of the funniest stories I have ever read--to the point that I HAVE to make sure I have gone to the bathroom before I read it. Don't want any wet accidents! So, if you want a laugh out loud funny story to read, head on over won't be sorry!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


--It is still hot here. Of course, some people wouldn't think that temps in the mid 70s to mid 80s is hot, but I do. I pretty much make like a hermit during the hot weather--I stay in the house near my air conditioning. As I've said over and over, my ideal temp is no warmer than 68 degrees--perfect fall-type weather. Can't wait for the color season--maybe we'll take a trip up to Brockway Mountain Drive this year! Haven't been there in, like, forever. Here and here are some more pics. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any spectacular pictures taken during the fall--sorry!

--K is on vacation--again. He schedules a few days each month and tacks them on to his long weekend--this way he gets about ten days in a row that he doesn't work. He usually does this in the summer so that he can get gardening and other outside work done. This week he has been making almost daily trips up north to bring things to C. She has agreed to take some things out of our basement for use in their new house--YAY! Already the futon is gone, the loft, and our old bedroom air conditioner. Tomorrow one of the toy chests, a recliner/rocker, and her little wooden rocking chair will go. I am in such a state of giddiness, I can't tell you. We can actually see floor in more places in the basement. Oh, happy day!

--I'm still not sure what this season is going to be like for the Red Wings. They still haven't signed a new goalie. From what I've read, it seems as if the talks aren't going well with Ed Belfour--it is now looking like he will be going to the Panthers. And Manny Legace hasn't been able to get much interest. I don't see him coming back to Detroit, but I don't know where he will go. Just might be a new, younger team--and might be a good thing.

--Haven't seen our newest 'tenants' in quite a few days. And I haven't smelled their distinct odor, so they just might have moved on. I sure hope so, but I don't really know how to tell. The trouble is, you don't want to be down on the ground, looking under the storage shed with a flashlight, and scare two skunks--might be a little odorous. We'll keep watching to see what is happening.

--I pulled the stitches out of my leg last night and all seems okay. K wasn't as confident as I was that they were ready to come out, but pull them I did. (Sounds a little like Yoda there, hey?) Other than the fact that they were beginning to bother me, the bandaids were giving me much trouble. See, I am VERY sensitive to the adhesive in bandaids--the skin can't handle it at all. I was starting to turn red and swollen under the bandage--usual for me. Thankfully, everything looks well and almost healed today. (And, yes, I have been tested for a latex allergy and I am not allergic.)

--I'm a trivia junky--things get stuck in my head and I can (a lot of the time) come up with obscure facts at a moment's notice. (I read EVERYTHING, so I know a little about way too many things.) But it doesn't always help during Tuesday night trivia at our favorite pub. Last night was not a good night for me--I can't figure where some of those questions came from. There were questions about subjects I never even knew existed! A hard night. Anyway, mental_floss (which I have subscribed to in written form and read online for a few years) has redone the website, so if you have never been, go there and visit. Trouble is, you can get lost there for a long, long time! I really, really like the question of the day and the quiz of the day.

--And, once again, I am going to remind everyone to get over to Cute Overload and Stuff On My Cat. USUALLY you can find at least one picture every day to make you say "Ahhh!" or to laugh at.

--Giving a shoutout to Trail-Mix at Disgruntled Truck Driver. Thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed yourself! I will be updating the 'blogs I read' links--possibly not till next week--and I will have a link to Trail-Mix's blog as well as Red at the cupcake tent, Adam at Just Golden, Virginia Belle at Virginia Belle, and Leazwell at Off Task. Just the newest of the blogs I have been reading.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Little More Than 72 Hours

You know how you get a little giddy in anticipation of an upcoming event and count down the hours? Well, I'm counting down the hours till we go out of town, but NOT in anticipation. It is more like a sense of dread. Here's the story:

Our oldest is putting on a wedding party/reception for our youngest this weekend. This is the last of the wedding parties and this one is for my family, K's family, and the people "back home." In other words: people that The Mother wants there and K's family. This is being held in The Parent's home, so I actually have to step foot in Their house once again. I am NOT looking forward to this event. The only saving grace--other than actually being with my two girls at the same time--is that our oldest friends will be there. They are coming from Wisconsin and we already have plans to visit a local pub for pizza and many adult beverages after the party. That is the only thing that is keeping me sane at the moment. I don't want to deal with The Parents, The Brother and his family, or my extended family. Just don't want to do it. But, I'm an adult and there are some things you just HAVE to do, whether you want to or not.

Here is the latest in my family saga. I was talking to C last week. They just closed on their new house and she was telling me all of the things she needed to do before they could move in. Just in passing, she mentioned that she couldn't do whatever it was she had wanted to do on Friday, because The Parents were going to be in Detroit and she had no one to watch her kids. EXCUSE ME! Come to find out, The Father's twin sister's husband died and they were going to the funeral. No one let me know. No one called me. I accidentally found out. And I don't have a clue what my aunt's address is, so I can't even send a card. (Not that we were close--haven't seen her in at least five years and it's been more than five years since we have actually spoken. I never was close to The Father's family--courtesy of The Mother.) I know that at some point SOMEONE will bring up the funeral and snipe at me for some reason. I am just practicing how to say "BITE ME" in as pleasant a way possible--cause I think I will be saying it a lot this weekend.

So, for the rest of this week until we leave, everything will be about me. I am going to have the most pleasant week I possibly can have. Tuesday K and I will go to our favorite pub and play trivia and indulge in some adult beverages. Wednesday I will go shopping for some new clothes for the weekend. Thursday I will go to the tanning booth and have my first-ever manicure and pedicure. All of that should keep me happy for awhile!

I will survive--I KNOW I will survive. What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

About My World, Part 2

Two popular tourist destinations in the UP happen to be islands. They are at opposite ends of the UP and couldn't be more different.

Mackinac Island is on the eastern end of the UP. Actually, it is between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas and can be seen from the Mackinac Bridge. Mackinac Island is preserved as a Victorian resort area. While there ARE modern conveniences, there are no motorized vehicles allowed. All transportation is by foot, horse, or bicycle. During the Victorian Era, Mackinac Island became a popular summer resort area. In the 1890s, rich industrialists and meat packers began to build their summer homes here. To this day, Mackinac Island is a more expensive area to visit. One of the most famous landmarks on the island is the Grand Hotel. Several movies have been filmed here and you can still take a walk on the Grand Hotel's Front Porch (the world's longest at 660 feet)--for a fee, of course.

Isle Royale National Park is very different than Mackinac Island. While Mackinac Island is all about comfort from a bygone era, Isle Royale is all about raw, complete wilderness. Isle Royale gets less visitors per year than Yellowstone National Park gets in one day. This helps preserve Isle Royale, as visitors ARE limited. (Although I don't think Isle Royale is in any danger of being overrun by tourists any time soon.)

Located in the western part of Lake Superior, Isle Royale is much closer to Minnesota and Ontario than to Michigan--but it still is officially owned by Michigan. The only way to get to the island is by boat or seaplane. (Or possibly crossing the ice during the winter--but who in their right mind would want to do that?) The only mode of transportation is by foot. While there are some housekeeping rooms with private baths for accommodations, one should look on Isle Royale as strictly a camping experience.

What makes Isle Royale unique is its isolation. 99% of the park is designated wilderness and because of the isolation, many of the animals on the island have little fear of people. It is common to be able to watch much of the wildlife going about daily business. This wildlife includes: moose, beaver, fox, etc. While there are wolves on the island, it is rare to actually see one--there are, however, signs such as tracks, etc. Going to Isle Royale, as well as Mackinac Island, is a step back in time--just into two different times!

Now for full disclosure. I have never been to Isle Royale or Mackinac Island--I just can't bring myself to go on the boat or ferry to get to the places. I think it would be fantastic to go to Isle Royale and see a moose--which I guess is not a hard thing to do! The moose have the tendency to visit campsites and to show up on hiking trails. Mackinac Island would be a wonderful place to have a luxurious vacation--only I'm too cheap to pay the prices. Oh, well. But I wanted to let others know a little more about my world.

(When following the link for Isle Royale, be aware it is written by someone with quite flowery language--not my cup of tea. However, the pictures on the site are fantastic and there is a lot of good info about the island.)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

How Sad

There I was, surfing around and checking the blogs I read daily, when Miss Fire's most recent post made me want to leave a comment. Then I stopped and thought, "Ahh, screw this. SOMEONE will misunderstand and take offense at something I say and I just don't want to deal with that." This comes from the LAST time Miss Fire had a 'controversy' going on at her place.

Now, how sad is this? I thought the whole idea was supposed to be 'if we dialogue with each other we can work out our differences.' Yeah, right. This is the same kind of bullshit hot air that Oprah spews. She will 'dialogue' with anyone as long as they agree with what she has to say. But as soon as someone voices an opinion that is different than hers, all hell breaks loose and she slices and dices and dismisses said person. (This is only one reason I quit watching her many years ago.)

I now have to make the following statement before I am accused of being a racist: I ONLY used Oprah as an example because EVERYONE knows who she is. It has NOTHING to do with her being black. I have heard white, Hispanic, black, German, Asian, French, Mexican, Latin, Canadian, British, all kinds of American, etc, etc, etc, assholes talk all kinds of shit and I don't care WHAT color, creed, nationality, ethnicity, or religion they are, they are just as racist in their narrow-minded 'I am right because I am politically correct and you are wrong because you disagree with me' way as the most biased, neo-Nazi, white supremacist you can ever find.

I guess the 'give peace a chance' and 'we can work through our problems' just works for some--not all--people. And we can definitely have peace as long as we go along, completely and like sheep to the slaughter, with the politically correct.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pet Peeve

I absolutely HATE when small business owners do their own TV commercials. I cannot understand what they are thinking. Don't they EVER watch what they just did? Unbelievable.

We have a furniture store owner who appears in his own ads. He will--at times--'wear' a piece of furniture and call himself 'Mr. Furniture.' I think he is trying to be funny--I still am not sure what the point is. He has been doing this for YEARS. Has nobody told him how ridiculous he looks? Or does he not care? And to top it all off, he has such a high-pitched voice that I think there are times he speaks and only dogs can hear him.

It wouldn't be bad if they came out and did a straight-forward, simple, sales pitch. No, these idiots have to try to be creative. First off, the writing is lousy. I'm not sure, but I think they might hold contests in the local elementary schools for script writers. It has to be, because no one over the age of ten could think these scripts are intelligent--or funny. Then the owners cast themselves in these things. Listen, if you had any talent, you would NOT be selling what you are selling! DON'T try to be the next Brando, Deniro, or Eddie Murphy! YOU HAVE NO TALENT!

And the thing that bugs me the most is when these people put their children in these commercials. A newsflash to the business owner: ONLY YOU think your kids are cute! The rest of the world find them annoying, obnoxious, spoiled, AND unattractive! Keep them at home where they belong--they are not welcome in my house.

If only these people would realize one thing: I will not patronize a place that has commercials I can't stand. Note to business owners: If you have never seen my face in your establishment, it most likely is because you have stupid TV commercials. Change your way of advertising--NOW!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Quite A Day

I live a very quiet life--as most of you who read this blog know. Not a whole lot goes on around here that is overly interesting, but when something happens, it usually is a bit over the top. I have had an interesting--to say the least--24+ hours.

To begin with, I wasn't even going to post about the 'tenants' that were checking out the space underneath our storage shed, but I have to because this is where it all began. (I just figured everyone is tired of hearing about my woodland creatures.) About 9:30 or 10:00 last night, I looked out the back window and there I saw TWO skunks playing and frolicking in our backyard. That was not fun, but okay, I'll deal with it. I watched them for awhile and I saw them go under the storage shed, come out from the back and go under again, several times. To me, it seemed as if they were checking the place out for occupancy purposes. Not good. And it was garbage night and I still hadn't put the garbage out! Well, this made me decide that we'll just skip putting out garbage for this week and then double-up next week--I had NO intention of doing a meet and greet with our newest neighbors.

So, K was on night shift and I got caught up in several things and found myself still up when the sun was rising. Thinking this would be a good time to bring the garbage out, considering they hadn't picked up yet, I went to the basement to get the two bags I had there. As I got to the top of the stairs, I dragged one of the bags along my leg. I didn't realize there was broken glass in the bag. (And I still don't remember putting it there.) Immediately I knew something was wrong. I looked down and I had cut myself starting at the top of my kneecap and going up my leg for about three inches. This gash was gaping open about 1/4 inch and it was more than 1/8 inch deep. And of course, it bled. Thankfully K had his cellphone with him--AND he was getting ready to come home--so I called him and said I needed to go to the hospital. And that is where we went as soon as he got home.

Of course, I got to the hospital just at the end of the shift, so I was everyone's last priority. After I FINALLY got into the exam room and the nurse had left, I was left alone for 25 minutes till the new nurse came on. And she only poked her head in to tell me the doctor will be right in.

Sure enough, after waiting another half hour or so, the doctor finally came and told me I needed stitches. He put four in to close the damn thing. It was not fun. I have NEVER had stitches for anything other than surgeries and I NEVER want to do it again! It HURT! I really could have been spending that time in other, more pleasant ways--like getting a bikini wax, or getting my teeth scraped, or listening to someone run their fingernails on a chalkboard! And the doctor wouldn't even work with me--he JUST DIDN'T GET MY SENSE OF HUMOR! He actually asked me if I ever had children and had the nerve to say "this isn't NEARLY as bad as giving birth." Listen buddy, the day you pull a watermelon out of your ass is the day you can compare ANYTHING to childbirth! I can't imagine the fight he must have had with his wife for him to be in the very humorless mood he was in. (I knew it wasn't going to be good when I told him--upon his entering the room for the first time--that I REALLY could use about 3 Xanax for my anxiety. He just gave me a withering glare and said, "It's not going to be that bad.") And what REALLY bites is he is the doctor I always used to like the best in the ER. Don't know what happened to him. So, anyway, I'm stitched and bandaged for the next 7-10 days and then the stitches need to be removed. I just might do it myself.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Political Correctness

--Sony has an ad showing a white woman being aggressive toward a black woman. This DEFINITELY got some people quite upset and screaming racism. The trouble is, the other ad they have--showing a black woman being aggressive with a white woman--wasn't targeted as racist. Interesting. Here's the story.

--Some students were not allowed to play an instrumental version of "Ave Maria" during their graduation ceremony because it was deemed to be 'religious' in nature. Now, there were NO words being sung, only the music. But it still was vetoed by the principal. You have to separate religion from all school-sanctioned activities, don't you know. Here's the story.

--Magazines that are written for pre-teens are not allowed to do stories about soldiers--or so it seems. Some people are very upset over the cover story in Cobblestone magazine because they feel it is a recruiting pitch for the Army. I guess they would feel differently if doctors were used in the article, instead? (But, definitely, DON'T use a minister, priest, rabbi...) Read the rest of the story here. (And as you are reading the story, replace the word soldier with 'dentist,' 'lawyer,' 'teacher,' or any number of other professions and see if it would cause people to get upset. I would guess not.)

--It is now politically incorrect to call anyone without siblings an 'only child.' It is insensitive. The politically correct term is 'singleton.' Are you sure they don't mean 'SIMPLETON'? And that refers to the idiot that came up with this one! Here is where I came across this new piece of crap.

What Will The Team Look Like?

First Yzerman, now Shanahan--both are gone from the Red Wings. Just can't imagine what this next season is going to bring. I have hope, though. They still have great players, so the loss of one or two shouldn't matter that much--I think. :)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Little Tech Talk

--Nintendo's new gaming system, Wii (pronounced 'we'), will be out later this year. There have been reports that it will be on shelves as early as September, but the money says it will most likely be October or later. I really can't wait to get my hands on one--just have to see how it works. It is an interesting concept, but I'm not too sure how I will like it. Part of the controller is a wireless, motion-sensitive remote. It just might be too steep of a learning curve for this old broad to figure out. Don't know, will have to see. The best part of the whole system, though, is that it is backwards compatible with the Gamecube games. Yippee!

--A teen was listening to his iPod while mowing the lawn in Colorado when he was struck by lightening. His wounds followed the line of the iPod wire from his ears to his hip pocket where the player was. His hair was singed, his ears were burned on the inside, he has lost some hearing, and he has welts on his body along the line where the wire was. He and his mother believe it was the iPod that attracted the lightening--other experts disagree. Here is the story.

Now, here is what gets me, the website Endgadget reported this story in a rather straight-forward way. That's fine, but from the comments the article got, you would think someone was accusing Steve Jobs of being the anti-Christ and Apple and the iPod as being the devil's instruments! I couldn't believe how riled up so many people got about a poor kid who got hit by lightening while listening to his music player! I'm sure the reason it was reported that the music player was an iPod (aside from the fact that that is, indeed, what it was) and not a DAP, digital audio player, MP3 player, etc, is because most people think of 'those kind' of music players as 'iPods.' It is along the same lines as calling all PDAs (personal digital assistants) Palm Pilots: most people don't know WHAT a PDA is, or an iPaq, or a handheld device. Can't understand why these geeks got so hot under the collar!

--And finally, TechEBlog posted a listed of their Top 10 "Top 10." The Top 10 strangest luxury gadgets is unbelievably ridiculous. And the Top 10 strangest Japanese gadgets and accessories are just plain weird.

Friday, July 07, 2006

About My World

I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Some people don't know the UP of Michigan exists. Some think we are a part of Canada. Others think we are part of Wisconsin. A lot of people think we are the armpit of the world. Those of us who live here, call it 'God's Country.' I would like to introduce you to my world.

The town I live in is on the southern shore of Lake Superior. Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes--it is the world's second largest lake and the world's largest fresh water lake. Yes, I said fresh water. Many communities get their water directly from Lake Superior--of course, it is treated and filtered before it is piped to homes. There is enough water in Superior to cover all of North and South America with one foot of water. Here is a pic of the shoreline in the summer:
And here is the shoreline in the winter:

There still are many areas along the shore that have public access. One can walk along the water's edge, sit on the beach and soak up the sunshine, search for agates, and even go for a swim. I must caution people, though, about the swimming: the water in Superior rarely gets to 55 degrees--and this only happens during long, sustained hot spells. You have to be a rare breed--or crazy ;)--to swim in Lake Superior. It sure is refreshing when the temp is hovering around the 90 degree mark, though.

Many people will come to Lake Superior for the fishing. There are lake trout, steelhead, and coho salmon to be had. Sturgeon and northern pike are also taken from the lake. I know of many pike that were 36" or more that people have gotten--the pike I caught as a youngster was only 21", but it put up a mighty fight!

Lighthouses are a part of the surrounding area because of the shipping that has been part of the lake for years. For people interested in seeing old lighthouses, this would be a great place to sightsee. (Marquette Harbor Lighthouse/Image by Marvin Aerial Photography)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I CAN Amuse

The ten-year-old granddaughter called me earlier, all excited. "Grandma, I just got my ears pierced!" After a bit of discussion--you WILL take care of them, will you need earrings, etc.--I then asked her, "So what will you do tomorrow? Get a tattoo?" She thought that was hilarious. I am happy to announce that I can amuse a ten-year-old. :)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Baby Was Born

Ten years ago our daughter, C, had just graduated from high school. I was in the end-stages of making all the arrangements for her wedding. And C was 29 weeks pregnant.

C hadn’t been feeling very well that 4th of July, and on the 5th she went to see her doctor. He thought she had a bladder or kidney infection, so he had her stay at his office while tests were being run. She continued to feel worse and when the tests came back negative, they began to explore other possibilities. When they finally checked her out, it was determined that she was in full labor and about to give birth to the baby over two months early.

C was rushed to the hospital by ambulance and gave birth to a baby girl. The baby was taken by ambulance to our local hospital (a regional medical center) because it had a NICU. I saw her for the first time within minutes of her arrival in the NICU.

The baby was only 2 pounds 7 ounces. She had a breathing tube hooked up to a respirator, but she was doing all of her own breathing. She had tubes and leads coming from every part of her body. There were at least two from her belly button, two tubes down her throat, a patch with a wire on her chest, several more on other parts of her body, and a cuff on her ankle. Her coloring was more of a red-purple than what would be considered ‘normal.’ Her kidneys were working well, her liver was immature, and her lungs were giving some trouble.

In order to keep all of the tubes and leads in place, the baby’s head and arms were strapped down to the table. It is very sad to see this, but it was necessary. She struggled against the nurse when blood was taken from her heel and she was able to grip my finger when I placed it in her hand. When I touched the underside of her toes, she jerked her foot back with an amazing amount of strength.

The hardest part of seeing her was watching her breathe. With every breath she took, her stomach and chest ‘caved in’ until her front met her spine. I have never seen—and hope to never see again—anything so frightening and horrific. While it was awful seeing her struggle the way she was, I also had a sense of awe while watching her—to see how hard she wanted to live, and the strength she used to stay alive, was unbelievable.

Within four days of being born, the oxygen mix she was getting had been reduced from 50% (what she was getting right after birth) to 25%. She was already in an incubator, her breathing tube had been removed, the antibiotic tube was gone, she was wearing diapers, and she was being fed every four hours. And five days after she was born, she was able to be held for the first time. Amazing progress.

Today, that little girl is turning into a beautiful young lady. She is quite good at softball, soccer, swimming, and skiing. She gets wonderful grades and loves to read. She has no ill effects from her early entry into this world. Quite remarkable.

I remember thinking shortly after seeing her for the first time, that ‘fetuses’ of this many weeks gestation are still being aborted in this country. I don’t understand how anyone could possibly see this little girl and not consider her a child, a human being. This was no ‘mass of tissue’ that I saw and touched. It is a totally inconceivable idea to me and I will debate anyone at any time about this. True, she could have been born with deformities or health problems, but couldn’t ANY baby? And are we to love the less than ‘perfect’ child any less than the ‘perfect’ one? I truly don’t understand abortion and I never will. And I have proof—in my grandchildren—that problem pregnancies and problem births don’t necessarily make for problem children.

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Christina. Have a long and wonderful life. I love you.

Just Plain Creepy

Joe Simpson says about his daughter Jessica: "Jessica never tries to be sexy. She just is. She's got double Ds! You can't cover those suckers up!"--to GQ, January 2005

Now what kind of father talks about his daughter like that? Yuck! Gives me the creeps.

A Man, A Horse, And A Moose...

Actually, it should read 'A Car, An Ambulance, A Horse, and A Moose.' Here's the story:

About 50 miles from the town I live, a man was driving along early Sunday morning. A riderless horse ran out in front of his vehicle, which he struck and killed. When he hit the horse, it took out the windshield and crushed the roof of his car. He was taken to the local hospital and then transferred to the regional medical center in my town to treat his injuries. While he was being transferred to the larger hospital, the ambulance carrying him struck and killed a moose. The ambulance sustained some damage, but was able to complete the trip and no one was injured during the collision.

Now, you have got to wonder what this poor guy was thinking. It is bad enough to hit a horse, but to then be in an accident with a moose WHILE ON YOUR WAY TO THE HOSPITAL is just waaaay too much bad karma. He must have lost his lucky rabbit's foot on Saturday night!

(I am NOT making light of the guy's injuries--I sure hope he is doing fine. The article said he was in fair condition--nothing life-threatening at all.)

As a side note: Several minutes after the first vehicle hit the horse, a pickup truck came along and hit the horse a second time. The horse had been laying dead in the middle of the road. The truck then rolled over and came to rest on its side. Neither of the passengers were injured.

The series of accidents remain under investigation.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Fourth

Don't have big plans for celebrating. I don't particularly care for parades, so I'm not sure if I will go to stand in the heat. We probably will go the Food Fest down at the lower harbor--I should be able to find something to eat there! :D

To everyone: have a safe and fun Fourth of July celebration!

Monday, July 03, 2006

The End of an Era

It didn't come as a complete surprise and we all hoped it wouldn't happen. Today Steve Yzerman announced his retirement. He had been the Wings' youngest team captain and the longest-serving in NHL history. He was one of the greats, but injuries took their toll on him. But after 23 years, it is hard to say good bye. We wish you all the best, Steve--but you will be missed.

Here is only one of many stories hitting the web today.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Cows With Guns

Every so often I watch the Cows With Guns video--and every time I laugh out loud! If you have never seen this, watch it and have a good laugh. (I know, for those of you who have read my blog for awhile, I have linked to it before--but it is worth it to link to it again!) Enjoy, people!

Sunday Meanderings

--Anyone notice how this is the Fourth of July "weekend"--even though the 4th doesn't come until Tuesday? I mean, come on, wasn't it bad enough that every holiday had to be part of a three-day weekend and now we're expanding it to 4 days? How long before we have an entire week for every holiday we celebrate? And don't even get me started about the "holiday season" that begins the end of September and continues through the first of January!

--Two of the grandkids have birthdays this week: Christina is turning 10 and Marcus is 2. And DON'T let me start talking about how fast the time is going! :D

--I'm glad to say it has cooled off to 80 degrees outside--HA! I can't wait for autumn when the temps will not get any warmer than 65. (And any temp higher than 65 is HOT!) By the way, have I ever mentioned how much I hate hot weather? I guess living in the Great White North is where I am supposed to be.

--My newest musical purchase is Best of Chris Isaak. I am loving it and can't understand why I never became a fan of his before this? I know I heard of him, but never really HEARD him, if you know what I mean. Oh, well, better late than never, right?

--The cat has been in a feeding frenzy for the past week or so. I usually feed her around 11:30PM and she has been coming to me by 10:00PM asking to be fed. And she acts as if it has been DAYS since she ate last. Don't know what is going on with her--I DID cut back on the dry food I give her (just a little), so maybe she is afraid she is wasting away to normal!?

--Without paying attention to what I was doing, I accidentally deleted my favorite-favs folder of bookmarks today. I cannot believe they are gone--just like that! Thank goodness I have the laptop setup to be just like the desktop--at least I will be able to restore them without having to try and remember all that I had. I guess it is time I get that external harddrive and start doing regular backups! Maybe THAT'S what I will get for my anniversary this year.

--And, finally, if anyone is interested, I have Gmail invites for anyone who might want one. Gmail offers over 2.7 gigabytes of storage--you will NEVER have to delete ANYTHING--and is a pretty good program. If you are in need--or in want--of a new email address, let me know and I will send you an invite. Send the request to

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I Understand Constitutional Rights, But...

A convicted sex offender, John Couey, kidnapped, raped, and buried alive a 9-year-old girl in Florida. He freely admitted as much to detectives--as well as others--and a judge has decided his confession is inadmissible in court. This is because he wasn't allowed to talk to an attorney--so he says, and the judge agrees--before he made his admission. The detectives say they misunderstood what he now is saying he meant. Whatever the reason, I find this very hard to accept. Thankfully, the prosecution says this shouldn't do any real damage to their case and he WILL be found guilty. If this, in any way, would cause this animal to go free, I would take it upon myself to make sure there would be a public outcry!

I also don't understand why there even has to be a trial. Not only did this pervert admit to the police what he had done, he also made incriminating statements to a jail guard and detectives months after his arrest and initial interrogation, admitting to what he had done, so what is a trial going to prove? I know, I know, his rights, etc, etc, but it just doesn't make any sense. Hopefully, his time on Earth will not be too much longer. Here is a link to the story.