Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Earworm Or Brain Itch (can't get that song out of my head syndrome)

This song has been playing in my head the last few days:

Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?
-L. Alter and E. Delange

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
And miss it each night and day
I know I'm not wrong, the feelings getting stronger
The longer I stay away

Miss the moss covered vines
The tall sugar pines
Where mockin' birds use to sing
And I'd like to see the lazy Mississippi
A hurryin' into spring

The moonlight on the bayou
A creole tune that fills the air
I dream about magnolias in June
And soon I'm wishing that I was there

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
When that's where you left your heart
And there's something more
I miss the one I care for
More than I miss New Orleans

Then I heard about this. I think it will stop now.

Update: After hearing about this the song came back and I now feel like crying. All those poor, poor people.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Time Hiccup

During my drive to Denver Monday I had the weirdest thing happen. I was somewhere on the eastern plains of Colorado traveling at about 70 miles/hour when a large black bug hit my windshield. This thing was large enough for me to see it coming before it hit and to know it was going to make a big splash when it did strike the glass. As I watched it come toward me it curved to the right and splattered just below my line of sight and right above the steering wheel leaving a good sized green mark. I can still hear the "thunk" it made as it hit.

A few seconds after it hit I glanced down at my MP3 player. When I looked back up I saw a big black bug coming at me. As I watched it curved to the right following the same trajectory as the first bug. I thought it was going to hit at the same place and I focused my eyes on that spot. There was no longer a smear of green. As I stared at that clean spot on the windshield the second bug hit the glass leaving the same green mark as before and making the same loud "thunk" noise. Thinking I had made a mistake and was not looking at the spot where the first bug had hit, I scanned the entire windshield but the only big green mark was right when I had seen it before, just below my line of sight and right above the steering wheel.

For several minutes I struggled with what I had just seen. I had either watched two bugs strike the same spot on the windshield or I had watched one bug hit the windshield twice. I wanted it to be the first explanation but I knew it was the second. I was looking directly at the spot where the second bug had hit before it struck and the green smear of the first dead bug was not there. I had seen two bugs strike but I only had one bug smear on the glass.

When I told my niece this story she asked me if I thought I had seen into the future. I said I did think that and she asked, "Of a bug?"
I laughed because I had thought the same thing right after it happened. When I told my husband this story he asked if it was deja vu. I said no, it was like watching a TV program on TiVo and pushing the skip back button. I watched the bug hit the screen and then I watched the bug hit the screen again.

I have had strange things happen to me in my lifetime but this has got to be the strangest thing so far.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Where The Heck Have You Been?

Well, I been in Denver all week because we had the bathroom redone. Well, not because we had the bathroom done but because we could not trust Duke to react nicely to all the noise and people caused by the bathroom being redone. I took him to Denver and we both had a great time. He got to play, hangout, and runaround. I got to play, hangout and runaround. We are both tired. We are both glad to be home.

Oh, and the bathroom looks great.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Dog Tales (2)

The Saturday afternoon of "the dog incident" I was riding my bike down main street toward the video store when I had the feeling that I should look behind me. I did and saw a little black dog who looked just like Toto from the movie The Wizard Of OZ running behind me. I stopped my bike and he stopped his feet. I called him to me and he came trotting forward with his tail wagging and a big smile on his face. When he got close enough I could see he was full of sand burrs. He also had caked mud on his feet, legs, and undercarriage. I check for ID but the only thing he had on his collar was a city dog tag.

Since I had my bike I wasn't sure what to do with him and decided to take him into the video store to see if anyone in there recognized him. The woman in the store did not know who he belonged to but when I set him on the counter I accidentally flipped his tag over and saw that his owner's name was scratched into the back of it. The woman knew the name and gave the owner a call but there was no answer. She did know a relative and gave him a call. He said he would be happy to give the owner the message that his dog would be at my house.

Before I left the store we removed the sand burrs from the dog. This dog was so gentle he let me pry his jaws open so the store owner could put her hand in his mouth and pull out a sand burr. I realized I could not ride my bike home holding him so I carried him. We walked about four blocks and he loved every step of it. I think he could have got used to being carried very quickly. I wasn't sure how my dogs would react to him and I wasn't sure how he would react to my dogs so when I got to my house I gave him some water and a dog biscuit and then put him in one of the kennels in the back of the pick-up. His owner came by and got him about an hour later.

Two hours I was walking through the living room and glanced out the front window. As I did I saw Duke's back end flip over and up into the air and then disappear around the corner of the house. This usually means he had taken his stuffed bear outside to play with so I went out to bring it back in. Well, he wasn't playing with the bear he was playing with "Toto." They were chasing each other, wrestling, dancing, and having a great time. Judging from "Toto" looks he came back soon after he got a bath because he was very clean.

"Toto" lives about a mile northwest of town and his owner told me he loves to travel. Most of the time he goes to the River Walk and gets good and muddy and then comes home. Sometimes he follows people into town, which is probably what he had done when I saw him over by the video store. His visiting Duke was surprising because I didn't think they even noticed each other but I guess I was wrong. I let "Toto" stay until he and Duke had tired each other out and then drove him home. He stood in my lap looking out the window the whole way. When we got to his house I let him out and drove away. We haven't seen him since then but I would not be surprised if he got it into his head to visit again someday.

Until then we'll leave a light on for him.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Walkin' My Cat Named Dog

I'm walkin' all around the town
Singin' all the people down
Talkin' around
Talkin' around

Me and my cat named Dog
Are walkin' high against the fog
Singin' the sun
Singin' the sun

Happy, sad and crazy wonder
Chokin' up my mind
With perpetual dreamin'

Driftin' up and down the street
(driftin' up and down the street)
Searchin' for the sound of people
(searchin'for the sound of people)
Swingin' their feet
Swingin' their feet

Dog is a good old cat
(dog is a good old cat)
People what you think of that?
(people what you think of that?)
That's where I'm at
That's where I'm at

Happy, sad and crazy wonder
Chokin' up my mind
With perpetual dreamin'

Dog is a good old cat
People what you think of that?
That's where I'm at
That's where I'm at,
That's where I'm at

This is about as sixties-hippie as you can get. I love this song. Cause, that's where I'm at. People what you think of that?

UPDATE: Found this about the singer/author. And you can find a soundclip here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Dog Tales (1)

Last Friday night/Saturday morning my husband and I were awaken by the sound of every dog on the block barking. We tried to ignore it but our two dogs joined in so Bob got up to find out what was going on. I heard the front door open and then Bob saying," There are two cops in the street."
He came back into the bedroom and while putting his jeans on told me the neighbor's dog (Meg) was also out there and the cops were trying to catch her. He decided to go and give them a hand.

(We have had a problem in town with dogs running loose. One of my older neighbors had a dog jump on her and bite her in the hip during one of her morning walks about a month ago and since then the police have cracked down on stray dogs.)

After a minute I got out of bed and stood at the open front door. Bob was standing in the street by the alley south of our house holding Meg by the collar. One of the cops was standing about a foot or two away from Meg and reaching out for her collar as she growled and snapped at him. She didn't seem to like him. I was surprised by this because Meg is the kind of dog who likes everybody. Bob pulled her back and sat her down. At this point the cop told Bob that he was just getting ready to shoot Meg in the head. Then he put his hand in front of Meg's face and asked her, "You wanna bite me? You wanna bite me?"
He reminded me of Robert De Niro in the "You talking to me?" scene from the movie Taxi Driver. He seemed to be deliberately trying to get Meg to bite him. Meg did not react and just softly growled at him.

Bob told the cop that Meg belonged to the people down the alley and ask if they wanted him to put her back in their yard. No, Meg had to go to the pound. Bob then offered to take her up there himself. The cop said it was OK with him. Bob let go of Meg's collar and started walking toward our truck with Meg following behind him- her tail wagging furiously. When Bob got to the back of the truck he unlatched the tailgate and Meg jumped into the truck bed. Bob then walked around to the side of the truck and opened the door to the kennel and Meg, tail still wagging, stepped inside. Bob then climbed into the truck cab, started the engine, and drove away. When he came back about ten minutes later he told me he had no problem putting Meg in the kennel at the dog pound. He also told me that he was sure that cop would have shot Meg if he had not gone outside and called Meg to him.

One of the things about living in a small town is that police officers rotate through pretty frequently. Small towns are starting point for beginning police officers and the ones we get are young and just out of cop school. My ex-brother-in-law is a Denver police office and one phrase he taught me was "badge heavy." That is a cop who takes things a little too seriously and thinks his job is to punish offenders. These are the ones most likely to react forcefully to anything that could come under the heading of "contempt of cop." Meg committed that crime when she refused to come to the cop and when she growled and snapped at him.

I think part of the problem that night is the police here do not have the right equipment for picking up stray dogs. They need one of those catch poles and a secure place to put the dog after they catch it. I don't think the back seat of the patrol car will do. Right now the police go after stray dogs with a leash and a gun.

Meg is back home safe and sound. I have told several people in town what happened that night and one has talked to a member of the city council. I have decided to write a letter about the incident to the Chief of Police with a copy going to the city council.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Buy Venezuelan?

When I first read what I quoted below in my August 10th post I immediately decided to put it in my blog. What a great idea, just by buying gas from a different company I could help save the world and stick it to Mr. Bush. What could be better? Then doubt crept into my mind. How do I know any word of this is true? Is CITGO really owned by Venezuela? Do all the profits really stay in Venezuela? Is Chavez really using the money to help the poor. Will buying gas at a CITGO station really help? I started Googling the Internet.

First thing I found is this:
In the 1990s, CITGO was purchased by Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. CITGO is based in Houston, Texas, and continues to be a leading refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt and other industrial products.

at the Citgo website.

Next I found this:
Chavez has developed an economic model called "endogenous development" whereby state oil money will finance the creation of thousands of small-scale cooperatives in agricultural and other areas to provide jobs and foster community development.

A second leg of Chavez's master plan is something known as "cogestion," roughly translated as co-management, where the state is helping workers purchase shares of companies they work in to give them a greater say in management.

The goal of all this, they say, is to lift millions out of poverty by reducing Venezuela's reliance on oil, which has left the country with a weak manufacturing and agricultural base and over-dependent on imports of food and almost everything else.
in an article from the Chicago Tribune. Chavez is calling his program 21st Century Socialism.

Then this:
Oil profits -- about 25 billion dollars last year -- allow Mr. Chavez to carry out what he calls a "new socialist revolution." The leftist platform includes massive social spending. Hugo Chavez has built free health care clinics, subsidized food and created small manufacturing cooperatives.
in an article at a website called

I found other articles but after looking at the sites carefully I discovered they were either very pro-Bush conservative or left leaning pro-Chavez. The conservative one's portray Chavez as dictator in the making and the left leaning one's portray him as a savior. Whatever he is this:
While the Bush administration engages in a war of words with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the US government has been giving permits to American arms dealers to sell weapons, tear gas, and other riot-control equipment to Venezuela.

At the same time, the US Congress has indirectly funded anti-Chavez pro-democracy groups.
in an article, entitled, US plays both Venezuela sides, from the Christian Science Monitor disgusted the hell out of me.

We could talk about the US foreign policy, which I think disguises unbridled imperialism behind the phrase "pro democracy," but, since I started out asking whether or not the BUY-cott is a good idea, we will leave it alone.

Then e found this:
Royal Dutch Shell must on Friday answer allegations by Venezuela that it has failed to pay $130m in back taxes, a response that could have critical implications for several oil companies operating in the country.

at One small American company has already paid its tax bill in order to keep operating in the country and I'm sure others will follow.

Well, I think all my questions are answered. CITGO is owned by Venezuela, the profits seem to stay in country, Chavez is helping the poor, but will my buying gas from CITGO really help? Maybe but Chavez's military background and boast of carrying out a socialist revolution make me leary of just where his government is heading. The track record of military men who lead South American countries is not that good. Juan Peron of Argentina was another military man who tried to find a third way (not capitalism- not true socialism) but his way turned to a form of government which has been described as "a populist dictatorship." At this point I am not sure if Chavez is a good guy or not so I will just keep buying gas the way I normally do- at which ever station is the closest to me at the time I need gas.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Buy Venezuelan

This is from Radical Sages via Easy Bake Coven.

Buy Your Gas at Citgo: Join the BUY-cott!

Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations.

And tell your friends.

Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor. The country is Venezuela. The President is Hugo Chavez. Call him "the Anti-Bush."

Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. There are 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the US. By buying your gasoline at Citgo, you are contributing to the billions of dollars that Venezuela's democratic government is using to provide health care, literacy and education, and subsidized food for the majority of Venezuelans.

Instead of using government to help the rich and the corporate, as Bush does, Chavez is using the resources and oil revenue of his government to help the poor in Venezuela. A country with so much oil wealth shouldn't have 60 percent of its people living in poverty, earning less than $2 per day. With a mass movement behind him, Chavez is confronting poverty in Venezuela. That's why large majorities have consistently backed him in democratic elections. And why the Bush administration supported an attempted military coup in 2002 that sought to overthrow Chavez.

So this is the opposite of a boycott. Call it a BUYcott. Spread the word.

Of course, if you can take mass transit or bike or walk to your job, you should do so. And we should all work for political changes that move our country toward a cleaner environment based on renewable energy. The BUYcott is for those of us who don't have a practical alternative to filling up our cars.

So get your gas at Citgo. And help fuel a democratic revolution in Venezuela

So, what do you think? Is this idea helpful, unhelpful, dangerous, simplistic, or just naive?
(My thoughts in my next post.)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Last Night

I love the fair at night; everything speeds up.

Demolition Derby

Giant Swings

The Octopus

The Carousel

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Parade





Day Time Fun

Little horse-riding cowboys

And big scary chickens

Playing games
(What is that little boy doing?)

And meeting friends

Friday, August 05, 2005

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Web Surfing

Some sites I have been hanging out at:

1. Urban Noir. Helen K. Garber's night time photos of LA, NY City, Paris, Amsterdam, and Florence.

2. German-Hollywood Connection. As the website puts it- People Films Studios.

3. Junk Feud. The Junk Feud promise,"Junk Feud prides itself on providing it's readers with questionable content and upholding only the highest standards of pseudo-journalism. Junk Feud guarantees that everything you read on this website is 100% not always true and meticulously never checked for accuracy. We want to bring you only the truth and bare facts, but it's easier to make stuff up and lie. So we do. And by "we" I mean "I" because there are no other scumbags helping me write this junk."

4. Superdickery. Many times in his life Superman has acted like a dickhead. Superdickery provides the evidence.

5. Innocents Abroad. Paul Giambara is an American cartoonist and illustrator. Innocents Abroad is one of five blogs Mr. Giambara has online right now and tells the story of his trip to Europe in May of 1955. Lots of photos and drawings.

6. As an extra added attraction (and a shameless example of nepotism) I've included my sister's business website. Just go here.

Monday, August 01, 2005

When The Sunflower Bloom

Sunflowers growing by my back yard shed and in the alley

I've been off on a journey; I jes' got home today; 
I traveled east, and' north, and south, an' every other
I seen a heap of country, an' cities on the boom,
But I want to be in Kansas when the

You may talk about yer lilies, yer vi'lets and yer 
Yer asters, an yer jassymins, an' all the other
I'll allow they all air beauties an' full er sweet
But there's none of them a patchin' to the

-Albert Bigelow Paine (1861-1937)