Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Friday, May 26, 2006

Still Thinking

Sorry I am a day late getting back. We have been working on the bathroom remodel the last couple of days and will be finished by the end of today. Amazing what a little new paint can do...along with a new vanity, sink, cabinet, and bathtub.

I want to thank everyone for their words of encouragement and say that I've decide not to totally abandon my blog but to take a break for the summer. This time I don't want to stop completely and I am trying to think of something to do with my blog that will (1) not be too time consuming and (2) will give you all something to read or look at while I am gone. I hope to have it worked out by Monday. Or maybe Tuesday since this is the Memorial Day weekend. A day we Americans celebrate with back yard barbeques, beer, and the Indy 500, a.k.a. “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”.

Zoom, zoom, zoom.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mother Of Mercy! Is This The End Of Rico?

-Edward G. Robinson's last line in the movie Little Caesar (1931)

I have a theory that all television programs, no matter how many years they are on, are really over by the end of the third season. After that, it seems to me, all shows fall into a rut and the writers either start repeating themselves or start writing "very special" episodes. I think I may have reached this point myself. It may be time for me to cancel my own show. I've been feeling this way for awhile now and have decided the best thing to do is to take a break for a week and think things over. Be back next Thursday.

A Heartfelt Apology

Hello, I've been out of commission with a migraine since Monday and still not feeling up to speed. You may have noticed that three post I have written over the last six months have been removed. They were about my brother and sisters and I removed them all because one of my siblings ask me to remove the one I had written about her/him because it was too personal. I apologized and then did so immediately. After removing it I thought about my other siblings and decided I should remove those post, too.

My brother, sisters, and I had a rough childhood and I had written what I thought were turning points in their lives. The moment when each had taken a big step toward leaving that past behind. I am proud of them for doing this and did not mean to hurt anyone of them in any way. I am truly sorry that I did so.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Small Town Life

Back in January I wrote about the new owners of the only grocery store in town and how they had taken away the mechanical horse that children had ridden for the last fifty years. I said that I thought this and the higher prices would soon get people to realize that the store was taken advantage of them.

A month after I wrote that the mother of one man in to town became ill and he did her grocery shopping for her. He was appalled by the prices and wondered about the older residents in town who had to shop at this store because they had no other choice. How could they afford it? Thinking about that made him angry and he decide what the town needed was another grocery store. Three weeks ago his store opened and on that opening day it seemed like everyone in town showed up, including the competition.

The competition was there because an ad like the one below had been put in the paper the Thursday before. The other store send some of their people in with copies of the ad in hand and had them check to make sure the prices he quoted were the actual prices on the products mentioned. They also threaten to sue him for slander (what they meant was libel) but, since he has carefully checked the prices in their store before running the ad, he knew they were blowing hot air.

What I find interesting is the owners of the other store are outraged that someone else opened another store in town. Not once did they stop to ask themselves what they had done to lose their customers. And they don't seemed to have learned. When I stopped by the store yesterday (I do still shop there sometimes because the other store is small and cannot carry everything I need) there was a sign on the front door saying they would soon have DVD and video rentals. Well, heck, I don't mind being over charged as long as they will rent me a DVD.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My, Oh My, Oh What A Feeling

Woke up in a better frame of mind this morning. Amazing what a good night's sleep can do for you. Although I am doing better emotionally, physically I am dragging. This has been one of the worst allergy seasons in decades and I can tell each time I step out of the house. The instant I do my eyes gum up and I start sneezing. I am also feeling drowsy, lethargic and slightly dizzy throughout most of the day.

I find that I am in no mood to blog when in this condition so today I found something else for you to read:Vicious Dog Pack Kills Gator In Florida.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ahh, Bulldooky!

This morning I called and made a appointment at the clinic to have more skin tags removed from my body. I can handle them being on my shoulders and face but I just found one on my left breast up near my arm pit. I knew the chances of more developing was high and I was prepared for that but this tiny little growth, about the size of a pimple, has me freaked out. They could not schedule me in until next Tuesday so I have almost a week to really worry this into something greater than it really is. I know if you are going to get any form of cancer this is the "best" one but that is no comfort to me right now. I just want the damn things off my body.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

His Own Kind

I don't want to say. After all, he is my own kind.
-Opie, on The Andy Griffith Show, when asked what he thought of another kid's behavior.

Back in April, in response to the uproar in this country caused by the price of gas going up and the news that oil companies made billions of dollars in profits this quarter, Senate Republican majority leader Bill Frist decide that the way to address problem was to offer every American a $100 gas rebate check. This federal money would be passed out two months before an election. This ticked me off and I quickly wrote an e-mail to my state senator saying the Republican Party could not buy my vote so cheaply. I also said that with the country so deeply in debt it was a bad idea. And that the tax breaks the legislators give oil companies keeps who-knows-how-many tax dollars from being collected that could help with this debt. And I told him that the Republicans should stop putting their party first and start putting what is good for this country first.

Anyway, I got a letter back Saturday:

April 27, 2006

Dear Ms Shannon,

Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding energy company policies and profits. I appreciate you taking the time to contact me. There is no better guide for making tough decisions that hearing from the people whom I serve.

Due to years of neglect and shortsighted domestic policies, America is currently on the verge of an energy crisis. We have not allowed our supply of energy to keep up with our increasing demand. Due to this imbalance in supply and demand, as well as the recent high cost of crude oil and other factors, energy companies posted large profits in FY2005 and early FY2006.

In an effort to review energy company policies and profits, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, of which I am a member, held a hearing on March 14, 2006, to review consolidation in the oil and gas industries. I will be certain to keep your concerns in mind, should any legislation regarding oil and gas industry consolidation comes before the Judiciary Committee.

I believe it is also important to continue working to correct or country's imbalance in energy supply and demand. Diversifying America's fuel supply is one way to help correct this problem. To that end, on November 16, 2005, I cosponsored the Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act (S.2025) with Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and a bipartisan group of eight other Senators. One of the bill's primary aims would be to expand our renewable fuels infrastructure though a variety of means (grants, tax credits, and loan guarantees); and expand research and development in critical areas like cellulosic ethanol. These types of solutions not only reduce foreign oil imports, but are economically beneficial to Kansas and the Midwest.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please be assured that I will keep your concerns in mind. I encourage to visit my website at brownback.senate.gov for additional information on this and other issues on which I am working. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.



Sam Brownback
United States Senator

I love getting a form letter back that does not address anything I brought up. The fact that his signature (Sam) is laser printed on the paper along with the rest of the letter screams form letter. That stupid sentence at the end of the letter where he encourages me to visit his website tells me that he didn't even read my e-mail.

This is a weasel letter. Much ado about nothing. Pass the buck time.

"Hey, I've been working! Look at all the deck chairs I've already moved!"

And I am sick of it. This guy has been in the Senate since 1996 so when he writes, Due to years of neglect and shortsighted domestic policies, America is currently on the verge of an energy crisis, he is talking about himself and most of the other people up there on the hill with him. All of them should get their butts in gear, stop kowtowing to the oil companies, stop trying to come up with quick fixes in an effort to do as little political damage to themselves as possible, and make some serious decisions that do not, in the long run, pass the problem on to the next generation.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Survey Time

This has been sitting in my Drafts since the end of 2004. I've dusted it off, changed some answers and am now posting it.

Three names you go by:

1. Colleen
2. Colleenie Anne (my mother used to call me that)
3. Aunt Colleen

Three screennames you have:

Only have one:
la peregrina

Three things you like about yourself:

1. My sense of humor
2. My generosity
3. My love of learning

Three things you dislike about yourself:

1. My teeth, I wish they were perfect.
2. The part of me that can judge myself harshly.
3. The part of me that can start something and then not finish it.

Three parts of your heritage:

1. Irish
2. Native American (according to my grandmother)
3. Irish

Three things that scare you:

1. Clowns
2. Sudden noises
3. Nightmares

Three of your everyday essentials:

1. Brushing teeth
2. Walking
3. Writing (even if it's only in my head)

Three things you are wearing right now:

1. Black jeans
2. Black T-shirt
3. Black socks

Three of your favorite bands/artists (at the moment):

1. Blossom Dearie
2. Ray Charles
3. Johnny Mercer

Three of your favorite songs at present:

1. Baby It's Cold Outside- Johnny Mercer & Margaret Whiting
2. Take Five- Snoopy's Jazz Classiks On Toys
3. Soul Food To Go- Manhattan Transfer

Three things you want to try in the next twelve months

1. Learn Spanish well enough to read Isabel Allende's books in the language they were written in.
2. Meditation (again).
3. Eating healthier.

Three things you want in a relationship (love is a given):

1. Trust
2. Hope
3. Charity

Two truths and a lie:

1. When I was a teenager I turned down the chance to meet Bobby Kennedy.
2. I know how to juggle but not very well.
3. I own 16 cats.

Three physical things about the opposite sex (or same)that appeal to you:

1. Smile
2. Eyes
3. Sense of humor (I know it's not a physical thing but if this is missing nothing else matters)

Three things you just can't do:

1. Eat lima beans.
2. A side crawl.
3. Pretend I like someone when I really don't.

Three careers you're considering:

Not considering any.

Three places you want to go on vacation:

1. Peru
2. Australia
3. New Orleans (before Katrina)

Three kids names: for either a boy or girl:

1. Hanna
2. Gracie
3. Jesus (pronounced Hay-suss)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Having FUN With Transistors

Our final project:

Now you can play music by just waving your hands through the air. No hidden wires or strings, and you never touch a thing.

This project ventures into the realm of weird musical instruments. Wave your hand at an innocent-looking oatmeal box and strange sounds are heard from a nearby table radio! With a little practice you, the maestro, can actually play tunes and mystify onlookers. Never does your hand leave your body!...or touch anything but the air surrounding the jolly character pictured on the box in Fig. 9-1.

As you become a more accomplished musician, you'll be able to play requests from the audience or even generate the eerie sounds of a science-fiction movie. Much of the fun is in watching the quizzical look of friends, or family as they try to decide whether you're mad, a genius, or a combination of both.

OK, maestro, step away from the oatmeal container!

BTW, that quizzical look from your family won't be because they are trying to decide whether or not you are mad or a genius. The quizzical look is them trying to decide if that sliver of a change of finding out you are not related to them is worth the cost of DNA testing.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Having FUN With Transistors

Today's project:

An ideal electronic toy for the preschool-age child. Lots of buttons and switches to push that make different sounds.

Pushing buttons and flipping levers seem to have a strange fascination for the toddler set. With the gadget shown in Fig. 11-1, they can play to their heart's content. As they push the buttons mounted on its top panel, an unending series of tones is emitted from a speaker inside the box. Not only are there five separate "toots," but dozens of different tones can be produced from the different switch combinations.

I don't know which is stupider the name of this "toy" or the fact that someone thinks giving a baby a big hunk of metal to play with is a good idea.

As to why I find the name of this project amusing- let me introduce you a poem I learned when I was a little girl:

The musical fruit.
The more you eat
the more you toot.

But you could give this to your baby to play with if you wanted to save hundreds of pennies in Tooth Fairy fees down the road.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Having FUN With Transistors

Today's project:

With this project you can actually "see" while blindfolded. A great game for parties.

Here is an amusing example of how electronics can act as a substitute for a human sense. The fellow in Fig. 7-1 (with the "other-world" eyeballs) is demonstrating a gadget that can actually "see." It works this way: First a room is completely darkened except for a single light source, either a lamp, flashlight, or a window. A blindfolded person wearing the device is led into the room and, with a searching movement of his head, can find the light source in minutes!

This is so bizarre at so many levels. I don't even know where to begin making fun of it. If you are hanging out with people who find this amusing I think it is time for you to find new friends.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Having FUN With Transistors

Our project today:

Wire a room for sound and "eavesdrop" without being seen.

If you've ever wanted to play amateur detective, a valuable addition to your bag of tricks is the electronic "bug" shown in Fig. 6-1. With it you become the intrepid "Sherlock Ohms" (a modern-day version of the turn-of-the-century sleuth). Though the original Sherlock relied heavily on powers of deduction, he might have dispatched the villain faster with some electronic aids.

The coil of wire (15 or more feet) connected to the microphone allows it to be located a considerable distance from the board. Easily hidden, the mike is an electronic eavesdropper sensitive enough to pick up a voice about ten or fifteen feet away.
Don't leave all the fun to your government. You too can snoop on your neighbors and fellow citizens without their knowledge or the legal right to do so. If caught just say you are doing it "to deter and prevent" terrorist acts against our country.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Having FUN With Transistors

-By Len Buckwalter
Howard W. Sams Publication (1962)

From backcover:
"uncanny, weird, unique, a real conversation piece"-these adjectives all apply to the 13 exciting transistorized projects presented in this book.

Actually, only the adjective weird applies to the projects presented in this book. This week we will take a look at the weirdest.

Today's project:

This one will fascinate your friends. An ordinary piece of lemon is the basis for a real audio oscillator.

The large object in the foreground of Fig. 4-1 is not a new type of electronic component- it's half a Lemon! Combined with a transistor circuit that can produce a tone, the juice of this fruit supplies the raw material for a working battery!

It's a surprising demonstration that begins when someone holds the headphone to his ear and you touch the penny to the lemon. A tone is heard each time the penny makes contact.
Wow! Electrocution by lemon! That tone is the sound of your brain shorting out each time the penny makes contact!