Friday, February 22, 2008


I am not that good with cameras but am trying to learn how to take better pictures. In the midst of a seemingly endless winter I wanted to post some flower photos I took this summer. These are flowers in pots on my porch or deck. I like the bright colors and the reminder that there has been warm weather in my lifetime!


I hear sparrows chirping. Sparrows are underrated birds. Plain brown, not flashy, not noisy, just simple little birds going about their business.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Right or Left

White, older Dodge Caravan with numerous stickers on it, big cross hanging from the rear view mirror .... the bumper sticker on the sliding door window caught my eye. "Not Right or Left. Right or Wrong." Woa!!! A tad judgmental? A bit inflexible? Righteouslyarrogant?(no pun intended)

Imagine for a minute that such minded people came into military power in this country; a religious military coup put them in charge. Guess we couldn't call them the Taliban since that name is taken. Let's just call them "Godites" for now. "Onward Christian Soldiers" is the Godites' theme song. Immediate social changes mandated by this ultra conservative religious ruling group are: no stores are open on Sundays, no body piercings, no tattoos, no tank tops or skimpy clothing worn by women, cooking and sewing are mandatory classes for females as women will not work outside the home, evolution is not taught in schools nor issex ed. Everyone takes an oath to Christianity; any dissenters are forceably removed from the country. Citizens agree with the Godites or risk stoning. Any civil liberties lost during the Bush administration remain lost. The ACLU goes underground. Anita Bryant, Jerry Falwell, and Oral Roberts are declared saints. Gays are ritually hanged each Sunday.

Canada will erect a fence to keep the fleeing masses out of its country.

Childhood TV Shows

Growing up we had a black and white TV and my father rationed out the time we could spend in front of it. But the shows were did get to watch, although simpler, hold very fond memories. Not necessarily detailed memories but they still create a warm feeling inside me.

Sky King is a favorite amongst people my age. Sky King was a cowboy who flew his plane Songbird, captured bad guys and helped people in distress. His niece Penny was another character in the show and she helped him with his good deeds. I watched the show during the late 1950's when airplane flight was not common for the general population.

Rin Tin Tin was a German shepherd who lived with his young master at Fort Apache in Arizona after being orphaned by an Indian raid on a wagon train. Rin Tin Tin helped the soldiers maintain order in the area. What kid didn't love the dog who saved people?

Annie Oakley was the only female hero on TV in my youth. She and her brother lived in the small Western town of Diablo with their uncle who was the sheriff. Annie was a sharpshooter and she, her horse Target and her brother helped keep law and order in the town. That girl could shoot and ride a horse like no other!

Garfield Goose was another Chicago show but not nationally known. Garfield Goose believes he is King of the United States -- Garfield is a puppet. Frasier Thomas is a human who is Garfield's prime minister who understands that the goose is not king but dasn't tell him such. The entire show was kind of a silly notion but the concept worked and I know I loved it.

Diver Dan was a program I watched around the same time as I was a Garfield Goose fan. Diver Dan wore one of those helmeted diving suits, knew a mermaid, had a nemisis named Baron Barracuda whose sidekick was a cigarette smoking fish. The evil barracuda really made the show as we waited to see how mean he would be each episode.

Zorro is still well known because of the Antonio Banderas movies. At the time Guy Williams was playing Zorro on television, a Mexican setting (it was Spanish/Mexican era California) with Mexican characters in lead roles was unheard of. The sword fighting was an exciting change from shoot outs and the way Zorro left his famous "Z" on doors and shirts became iconic.

The Lone Ranger had the ever popular Wild West setting with the masked Lone Ranger as the man making wrongs right. The unique twist in this show, besides the mask, is that the Lone Ranger's sidekick,Tonto, is an Indian (Native American today--Redskin or Indian in the show). It was rare for a minority to have a key role in a television show in those days. As with Zorrow, it is hard to resist a man in a mask, especially a man who is charming, polite, and helps damsels in distress.

Superman was the Lone Ranger in tights and New York City rather than the Wild West. While Superman's side kicks were Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. Like the Lone Ranger's mask, Superman's costume hid his true identity. Lois Lane, like Annie Oakley, was a tough woman who didn't let men get in her way.
Any special effects in these shows were primative compared to todays' shows and the acting was not too refined. But as kids, we didn't have a basis for comparison and were thrilled with the stories and excitement provided by these shows. Televisions weren't on 24/7, we had three channels to watch, and there was no sex or swearing allowed. The violence shown was simple shoot 'em up, knock 'em out, or in Zorro's case, fancy fencing. There were no blood and guts and no torture. While all the glitz and glamour, fancy special effects and stunts of today make for good viewing, there was something to be said of the simplicity of the shows in the 50's and 60's. The plot lines were simple, good triumphed over evil, and did it without much complication.

Voting Day Miscellaneous

Primary day in Wisconsin. I love voting. I may be a cynical American but enjoy taking part in the democratic process because I do believe each vote counts. The last few Presidential elections have shown just how important each person's vote is. I shall be anxiously awaiting the results tonight.

The snow is so high that it is difficult to see into intersections to see if another vehicle is coming. All this means is people will need to be more cautious and creep up slowly to see into the street. The high snow has caused significant bitching already, as though living in Wisconsin hasn't provided us with snow issues in the past. Why is it driving seems to bring out the worst in people?

Fidel Castro has stepped down as leader of Cuba, but the US has no plans to restore its relationship with the country. I don't get it. We have trade relationships with China, Russia, and Middle Eastern countries...all which have sketchy human rights records. How long is this ridiculous grudge going to go on? Aren't we the only country that boycotts Cuba? Canadians vacation in Cuba. I want to vacation in Cuba.

I'm hooked on "Project Runway." While taking care of Ann in RF we watched reruns of the show and I loved it. I think the final season 4 episode is tomorrow night. Such interesting personalities of the designers and amazing to see the work that goes into designing an outfit. Tim Gunn is a class act and I'd love to spend a week with him, having him "redo" me.

The second amendment declares a well-regulated militia as "being necessary to the security of a free State" and prohibits infringement of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." Here's a thought. People who bear arms should be called up to assist the army and national guard in the Middle East. People own guns without giving a thought as to the real reason they are allowed to do so. A reminder is certainly called for in this gun-violent ridden age in America. What maybe would scare me is how many of the gun owners would enjoy going to war to kill the terrorists they believe will be storming the streets of America if we don't defeat them in Iraq and Afghanistan.