Friday, September 28, 2007

Water Towers

You can milk a cow the wrong way once and still be a farmer, but vote the wrong way on a water tower and you can be in trouble.
-John F. Kennedy

It is always nice when another blogger gives you your next post. Our town water tower.

More water towers here.

And a water tower blog.

On a larger scale, Water Towers of the World. This site includes a photo of one of my favorite water towers. Another photo of it here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

To Sleep, Perchance To "Walk, Drive, Eat Or Engage In Other Activity"

A great tomorrow starts tonight
-slogan for Lunesta. a prescription hypnotic

Part of voice over for Lunesta commercial:

Until you know how you react to Lunesta you should not drive or operate machinery. Do not take Lunesta with alcohol. Call your doctor right away if after taking Lunesta you walk, drive, eat or engage in other activities while asleep.

In rare cases severe allergic reactions can occur. Most sleep medicines carry some risk of dependency. Side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, drowsiness, and dizziness.

I think I'll pass. And why isn't walking, driving, eating, or engaging in other activities listed under side effects?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

Words That Break A Film Lover's Heart

This film has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit your TV and edited for content and to run in the time allotted."

-How you lose when they format to fit your TV.

-Wikipedia article on re-edited films.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Odds And Ends Day

Today it got up to 94F/33.4C with a hot, dry, wind blowing. Strange because, although it felt like summer, the sunlight was wrong. It is no longer strong, bright, and directly overhead. Now it looks weak and somehow dimmer angling out of the sky at more of a slant than before. The kind of day that lets you know that Winter is not that far away. The kind of day that makes you scurry around doing all the little jobs you let slide until now because you knew you would get to them at some point since you had all the time in the world. The kind of day that whispers, "Hurry, hurry."

Today I vacuumed the carpets; scrubbed the kitchen and bathroom floors; tore old towels, t-shirts, sweats, and dress shirts into useful size rags; took the trampoline that I no longer use because it hurts my knees to the thrift store; went grocery shopping; put on shooting muffs and shredded credit card receipts; pulled dead sunflower plants out of the ground; and sewed the missing buttons back on a sweater like I have been meaning to do for what seems like forever.

Winter's coming, people.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Culture O' Rudeness

(Ahoy, sea dogs an' land lubbers, today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day so this post be written in swashbuckler speak.)

Avast! This be th' last time I write about O. J. Simpson, ye got me word. I ben followin' th' online news articles about Simpson's arrest an' th' comments that these stories generate. Canna ere leave a comment without callin' other swabbies a bitch, whore, or a fag? When did we turn into an society intolerant o' other swabbies`s opinions? I notice most o' th' bilge rats who leave comments like that do nay attach the'r names t' what they be havin' written. That makes ye a yeller belly. If ye will nay stand behind what ye say, dasn't say 't, ya lily livered lanlubber!

What I Learned Today

Early this afternoon I was driving the truck back to my house after stopping at the grocery store up on the highway. Since the street I was traveling on was at a downward pitch I had my foot on the brake petal to keep my speed under 25MPH. This became annoying so I decided to shift the trunk into a lower gear. Now, I can be dyslectic when it comes to left and right so when I moved the gear lever, instead of moving to the right out of Drive and through Third over to Second, I moved it to the left through Neutral and over to Reverse. I happen to glance down as I did so and the second I dropped it into Reverse, I popped it back out*. The truck engine lugged a bit but seem to be OK.

After I popped it out of Reverse I pulled the gear shift over to Second and dropped it in. Nothing happened. The truck did not seem to slow down. I stepped on the brake and the truck slowed down. It also drifted to the right so I pulled the steering wheel to the left. The wheel reacted as if the power steering wasn't working. I pulled harder. Still nothing. That is when I realized the power steering wasn't working because the engine had shut down when I tried to put it into reverse. The truck was still drifting toward the curb so I quickly stepped on the gas petal while turning the engine key. It wouldn't start. I floored the petal and turned the key again. The engine sputtered to life and I eased the wheel over to the left and the truck followed me back out to the middle of the street.

So, what did I learn today?
1. If you accidentally put your Chevy truck in reverse while driving the engine will turn off.
2. When the engine turns off so does the power steering.
3. When you loose the power steering you can no longer control the truck.
4. So, try not to put your truck in reverse while driving.

*This left/right thing does not affect the quickness of my reactions.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Shameless Plug For A Product I Use

This is a Preserve toothbrush. I have been using it for a couple of months now and think it is one of the better toothbrushes out there. That extreme, compared to other toothbrushes, curve between the handle and the head is what makes it so comfortable. You put this baby between your cheek and gum and you do not have to stretch your lip sideways to get the brushes set correctly on your teeth. You just slip it in between your cheek and teeth and it is right where it needs to be. This handle also makes it easier to get to the inside of the upper and lower front teeth. No more almost rubbing the handle against your chin to get the toothbrush in the right position, it just goes where it is suppose to be naturally. And the bristles? Very, very comfortable.

The second best thing about these toothbrushes? They are recyclable. You get a prepaid envelope from the company with your brushes and when you are done with them you just send them back. I like the idea of doing my little bit for the enviroment. But even that would not get me to use these toothbrushes if they were no good. Let me tell you, this is a great toothbrush. You might want to give it a try.

(Learn about the toothbrush here)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Oops!...I Did It Again

(I knew if I waited long enough to post, something would happen)

No, this is not another post about Britney's about O. J. Simpson. Today he is a suspect in the alleged armed robbery of a man in a hotel room in Las Vegas. "The Juice" admits to being there but said the whole thing was part a sting operation (set up by himself) to get back his own stolen sports memorabilia. Nice of him to take time away from his methodical search of every golf course in America for his ex-wife's "real killers" to give the Las Vegas police a hand.

Which brings me to what I am reading today; Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers by Michael Baden, M.D. (Former New York City Chief Medical Examiner) and Marion Roach. I have just finished a chapter about blood pattern analysis and Herbert Leon MacDonell's class, Geometric Interpretation of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, at the Institute on the Physical Significance of Human Bloodstain Evidence.

If you are going to take a class on blood analysis Herb MacDonell is the man you want teaching it. He is this country's leading authority on blood pattern analysis. He even consulted on the Nicole Simpson/Ronald Goldman murders. To bad they called him in after the LA police and coroner's office had already screwed things up so badly.

MacDonell's introduction to the case was 150 crime scene photos. What caught McDonell's eye in the photos was, (1) the amount of blood, (2) the size of the area (small) where the crime was committed, and (3) the fact that Nicole Simpson was lying face down on the ground with blood drops on her back. She had been stabbed and her throat cut so there was a lot of blood pooled around her body. Since she was lying face down there was no way the blood on her back was her own. The only way any blood could be on her back would be if someone else had bled onto her. If the coroner's staff had collected some of that blood the DNA analysis could have pointed to her killer but, unfortunately, they did not do this.

And, after the police were through with the crime scene, not only did they not collect samples of the blood drops on her back, the coroner's people rolled her body over and wrapped it a sheet before putting it into the body bag. As it lay in the bag blood seeping from her cut throat mingled with the blood drops on her back eliminating that important piece of evidence.

Which means if they had done their job correctly we would not have O. J. Simpson to kick around anymore. He would either be sitting in prison or would have slipped back into the anonymity he so richly deserves.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Valley Of The Dolls And Britney Spears

Finished Valley of the Dolls and must say I enjoyed it thoroughly. What I don't understand is how a book with such a 1950's perspective on woman became such a hit when it was released in 1966. Nineteen sixty-six was right at the beginning of the woman's movement and the sexual revolution. NOW (National Organization for Woman) was founded that year and "The Pill" had been available since 1960. How did a book who's main characters lives were focused on finding a man, since that was more important than anything else they could achieve in life, sell 30 million copies since it was first published? Maybe because it is such trashy fun.

First, Britney Spears is not fat. Second, doesn't anyone have anything better to do than to criticize her? Apparently not. Jeannie Moos of CNN did this report on CNN about the buzz surrounding Spears appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards. I walked in at the end of the report just as Moos was showing a YouTube video of a young man crying and screaming out the words, "LEAVE BRITNEY SPEARS ALONE!"
I stopped dead in my tracks totally dumbfounded. I found this boy's reaction to the uproar surrounding Spears both embarrassing and uncomfortable to watch.

It took me a few minutes to figure out why I found him so distressing . It was because he was crying with the same intensity as a two-year-old. When babies cry they are so devastated by what they are feeling they hold nothing back. Of course two minutes later they are happy as clams but that doesn't mean the tears weren't real. I get the feeling that this young (age 18 or 19) man's tears stopped as soon as he put the camera down. That does not mean his tears were not real just that his behavior was not normal for someone that age. Behavior that is out of the norm is always disturbing. Which is probably why this video has been watched 4,249,807 times already.

(You can watch the video here if you want. Just scroll to the bottom.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gotta Get off, Gonna Get, Have To Get Off From This Ride

- lyric from (Theme from) Valley Of The Dolls

No "real" post today. I am in the middle of Jacqueline Susann's Valley Of The Dolls. Anna Garris Goiser's review at the Book Page website explains the appeal of Susann's book:

..."Valley of the Dolls" is both a period piece and a cause for reflection on just how much growing room women have claimed -- as well as a reminder that the reason some themes recur throughout literature and the popular press is that a good story is always a good story. Reading "Valley of the Dolls" today is like coming upon a box of old clothes tucked beneath the attic eaves, and upon opening it, finding the outmoded finery captures all too poignantly where, and who, we once were.

Be back when I've finished the book.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Philosophy Do I Follow?

You scored as Existentialism. Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism; you choose the meaning and purpose of your life.

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”
“It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”
--Jean-Paul Sartre

“It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth.”
--Blaise Pascal

Existentialism 95%

Kantianism 85%

Justice (Fairness) 60%

Hedonism 55

Utilitarianism 50%

Apathy 25%

Strong Egoism 25%

Nihilism 15%

Divine Command 0%

What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with

Then again....

The Philosophy Meter

You scored as Optimism. Optimism, exemplifies a lifeview where one looks upon the world as a positive place and is the opposite of pessimism. Optimists generally believe that people and events are inherently good and have a "positive" outlook on life. Radical optimists may tend to make humans out to be god-like.

Optimism 80%

Individualism 65%

Subjectivism 50%

Realism 40%

Objectivism 30%

Utilitarianism 30%

Pessemism 25%

The Philosophy Meter
created with

Friday, September 07, 2007

If You Spend All Your Time Worrying About Dying, isn't going to be much fun.
-Line from the television show Roseanne.

A couple of days into my trip to San Diego my husband called. Since he was calling our travel cell phone I had an inkling that something was wrong. This is a man who, when giving out our new cell number to friends and family, told people not to call the cell phone unless it was an emergency because it cost us money each time someone called. Anyway, he called to tell me:

(1) He had been in the backyard trimming trees along the fence that separates our yard from our neighbor's yard when one of their dogs silently sneaked up on him, climbed the fence, lunged at him and bit him in the right shoulder. Shortly after the attack he found out there was no record of the dog receiving rabies shots. Because of this the dog was put down and a sliver of his brain removed and sent to a lab to determine if he had been rabid.

(2) While he was at the clinic he mentioned that he was having trouble with his vision. He had been watching TV the night before and happen to turn his head away from the screen noticing that as he did so he no longer could see the red power light at the bottom of the TV set with his right eye. He started experimenting and found out there was a grey smear in his right eye just outside the center of his vision. They immediately set up an appointment the next day for an ultrasound.

(3) He also told them he had a lump in his right breast near the nipple. This was something he had noticed a month or two before but had not done anything about because he had accidentally raked a 20 pound weight across that nipple when working out and thought that might be the cause it. The doctor said it could be Gynecomastia but that he may want to get it biopsied to make sure it wasn't a tumor of some sort.

My first instinct was to laugh at the absurdity of all this while my other emotions took a super fast elevator ride to the pit of my stomach. What was in the back of both our minds was the word cancer. My husband's father had lost a eye to cancer at the same age my husband is now and his mother and his aunt (his mother's sister) had both died of cancer. My husband joked that he probably had a tumor in the brain that was causing his eye problem and that the cancer had probably metastasised to his breast. I told that was why the dog bit him; it could smell the cancer. Since he really had no information about his multiple ailments at this point he told me he did not want me to come home and that he was doing fine. He said worrying would not change anything and neither would my coming home.

The next day my husband called to tell me that the tests came back negative on the dog and that he had not contract rabies. The ultrasound they had preformed also showed nothing. He had talk to a friend who was and eye specialist and his friend had told him to see a eye doctor he recommend in Denver. My husband set up an appointment for the following day, which was Friday. Since we would be getting back to Denver on Sunday he planned on staying the weekend.

Friday night he called to tell me the doctor could not find anything wrong with his eye and told him to come back if his vision got worse.

Saturday he called to tell me he thought his vision was worse and his doctor in Denver had set up a MRI the following Monday.

Monday he got the MRI.

Tuesday we found out they had done the wrong procedure.

Wednesday they did another MRI.

Thursday the doctor got the results which showed no abnormality and decided to do a Visual Field Test. The test showed that the upper right quadrant of his right eye was no longer processing visual information. He also had a foggy area in the upper left quadrant that suggested glaucoma but when a pressure test was preformed it showed no pressure build up in the eye. After examining all the test results the doctors came to the conclusion that he had something called normal tension glaucoma. Glaucoma that presents itself without the customary increase in eye pressure. Although this was still bad news it was not as bad as cancer.

A week after we got home we drove to a larger town near us to see a surgeon about the lump in his breast and to find out if it needed to be biopsied. After examining my husband the doctor asked if he wore bib overalls. He was sure the lump was Gynecomastia and said that he sees it a lot in farmers who wear bib overalls. He said Gynecomastia was common in men and that as time passes the swelling gets more sensitive and painful until even the touch of a t-shirt becomes unbearable. He recommend surgery. He also said the chances that it was cancer was minuscule. In his twenty years as a surgeon he had only seen one case where the swelling had been cancer and that was back when he was a resident. Since my husband was not having any pain and the swelling was barely noticeably he has decided to postpone any surgery until a later date.

What I find interesting in all this is the fact that not once did my husband or I say or think, "Why me?" or Why us?" The answer to those kind of questions is always, "Why not you?"

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Find The Birdie

(From the San Diego Spirit Animals Coloring Book by
Sue Coccia
that I picked up in San Diego)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Chair

I found it in the back of an antique store on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. It was a rocking chair but not like anyone I had ever seen before. It was so un-rocking-chair-like that at first I did not even notice it was a rocking chair. It was unique enough for me to take a closer look at it. What it looked like was a church pew or a high backed bench that had been cut down and then put on runners. It was small but at the same time very massive looking. It was made out of oak and very heavy. The tag on it said it was at least 150 years old. It was too weird looking for me so I did not sit in it.

Right next to it sat an old Morris chair that had recently been re-upholstered in a light knobby tweed fabric. I sat in it and knew instantly that I wanted it. Although the fabric was wrong for the piece I knew that small problem could be easily fixed. I looked at the price tag and my dream of owning it vanished as quickly as a puff of smoke. No way I could afford that price.

I walked away but could not get either chair out of my mind so when I found my sister I took her back to look at them. She sat in the rocking chair and I again sat in the Morris chair. About 10 seconds later she got up from the rocking chair and told me to sit in it and walked away. I sat down and immediately felt anger and "heard" someone repeatedly say, "Get out of my chair."

The voice was very querulous and insistent. I looked at my sister, screwed up my face, hunched my back, and started rocking furiously, mocking whoever was talking to me. I was annoyed by the fact that this spirit was telling me to get out of its chair and thought, "It isn't your chair anymore. You're dead."

I sat in the chair longer than I really wanted in order to show the spirit that it was not going to push me around and then got up and walked over to where my sister was looking at some object saying, "Well, that was creepy."

Her head spun around to look at me and she blurted out, "That's what I thought!"

She had also felt the spirit and wanted to see if what she felt was real so she asked me to sit in the chair without saying anything about her own experience. I then told her to sit in the Morris chair so she could see how a nice chair felt. We took turns sitting in the Morris chair and agreed that the Morris chair was comfortable and felt soothing. It felt nothing like the rocking chair. It took a long time for me to shake off the icky feeling of that rocking chair but after awhile I felt normal again but at the same time I felt uncomfortable and could not stop thinking about the chair.

Flash forward to Denver a couple of days after we had returned from San Diego. My husband and I were at my sister's house. It was nighttime and I was in the middle of a dream. I had variations of this dream for three or four days by this time and had attributed them to the emotional stress I was under. My sister was in the dream with me and we were both being tortured. There was a man in the dream who was holding me and, as I struggled to get away from him, told me if I did not stop he would cut my sister's throat. Standing across from me was the same man with a knife to my sister's throat. As I continued to struggle desperately to get away from the him and over to my sister, the other him slashed the knife across my sister's neck. I woke up thinking, "That wasn't my dream."

Whenever I have a nightmare I wake up with my heart pounding and my mind racing from the adrenaline rush that the dream has created . It takes a few minutes for my body and mind to disconnect from what has happened. For me, coming to full consciousness after a nightmare is like struggling to the surface of a swimming pool after you have stayed under too long. These dreams were not like that since I would wake up instantly. I felt no fear only a sense of uneasiness. I also noticed that instead of being inside the dream, like I normally am, I felt I was off to the side watching. Then there was the color in the dreams. I dream in Technicolor, bright, rich, intense colors. Colors that look as if they would stain your hands if you tried to touch them. These dreams were also in color but they were more like the color of 1970's era T.V situation comedy- subdued and almost washed out.

That is when I wondered if the spirit from the chair had attached itself to me and was punishing me for mocking it. That thought creeped me out and, just in case this was true, I mentally spoke to the spirit telling it to stop the dreams and to go away. I then said a prayer that I had learned as a little girl:
Angel of God,
My Guardian Dear
To whom God's love commits me here.

Ever this night be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide.

I still felt uneasy and decided to do a meditation that would help me to surround myself in a ball of white light. After I did this I expanded the light to include my husband, then expanded it again to fill the room we were in. I then decided to fill my sister's whole house with light as not to leave the spirit there after we had gone home. I mentally went from room to room filling the house with light. When I was finished I felt safe and relaxed enough to fall back to sleep.

Since that night I have not had anymore torture dreams.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Day Glow

Only a photo today. Still feeling like my engine won't turn over.

The sky from my backyard on a day I was sure we were going to be hit by a tornado. The glow and yellow color is not the result of a filter. It was very still and very quiet at the time and extremely eerie.

Monday, September 03, 2007

How I Spent (part of) My Summer Vacation

Happy Labor Day everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful summer. I know, summer is not officially over but school has started, the nights are colder, and Labor Day is here. That's close enough for me.

I've decided to take a break from my break and, as my sister requested, catch you up on what has been happening in my life. I am surprised to report that I did not missing blogging at all while I was gone.

First the good news. Took a couple of trips since the last time I wrote. A week after I stopped blogging my husband and I drove down to Pagosa Springs , Colorado and spent the week with my father-in-law. He built a cabin there back in the 1970's and now that he is retired lives there during summer and early fall. We had a great time hiking the mountains (including the Piedra Trail), playing miniature golf, eating out, and visiting the hot springs.

After we got back home I had a three day rest before I climbed back into my car and drove to Denver. There I picked up my sister and niece and we dove to San Diego to visit our brother and a cousin. Another great time as we visited our relatives and hung out at Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Ocean Beach. We also visited Old Town and what I call "The Dr. Seuss Mall" a.k.a. Horton Plaza.

Ok, what I did not expect to happen has happened. It has been so long since I have written anything I am having trouble putting sentences together is any semblance of order. My brain feels like a car engine trying to turn over after spending a year in a cold garage. My writing muscles need more time to warm up so I am going to end this post and give it another try tomorrow.

Grrrrr, this is very frustrating.