Revisiting the family vacation. . . . oh my
My mom has not been well, so my sister decided to come to visit from Pennsylvania. While she is here, my mom wanted to “go to the redwoods”. Mom wanted to revisit some of the places we saw when we were kids.
We loaded the van and headed north about 10 am. As we trundled up Hwy 101, I heard the expected discussions. “I’m too cold.” “What did you say? I can’t hear you back here.” “When are we stopping for lunch?” “Can we see that tree on the way?” “Did you bring water?” “What town is lunch in?” “How close are we to the redwoods?
We stopped for lunch in the town of
The next stop....
|Next we come to “the tree”. This is one of the infamous “drive thru trees” that dot the tourist part of the area. While this variety of redwoods grows in many places, mostly in the coastal regions north of |
|My sister is visiting from Pennsylvania. We are taking my mom on a trip up thru the Redwoods over the next few days. I'll be back. |
Beer's in the fridge. C'mon in and have a cold one. The dog would like the company.
Perhaps not the results he expected?
Governor makes politics local
And everyone is talking about what is going on. These types of things have not made the Governor popular with the legislature. That would be expected. However he has also not made himself popular amongst those who he thinks he is trying to reach. He believes if he takes it to the people he will find support. However, the people have already elected their representatives and the Governor's popularity has never been lower.
Partisan rift . . .
|From the LA Times:|
Spending Plans Fall Victim to Politics
By Evan Halper, Times Staff Writer
The plan to partner the state with local farms to get fresh fruit on school breakfast trays hardly seemed controversial, and it wouldn't have cost much.
But it apparently had a fatal flaw: It was championed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Legislature swiftly rejected the $18.2-million program in budget hearings this month, leaving the nonprofit group that pushed for the project stunned.
"We didn't see this coming at all," said Ken Hecht, executive director of California Food Policy Advocates. "We were shocked."
Some Democrats even suggested that the governor's inclusion of the food program in his budget plan was a political stunt, an effort to obscure an overall strategy that leaves schools without funding for basic services.
Administration officials have said repeatedly that such programs represent creative thinking and are part of their push to find new ways to improve conditions in schools.
The fresh fruit project was one of several advocated by the governor and caught in the political crossfire between him and Democrats in recent weeks.
Democrats are so angry at Schwarzenegger over a number of his policies that they appear especially determined to block items that might win him points with the public as he tries to boost sagging approval ratings.
"The relationship between Democrats and the governor is at an all-time low," said Democratic strategist Darry Sragow. "You have to view these budget issues in the context of everything else going on in
The Democrats have targeted a few big items, like the governor's plans to spend $100 million reducing class size in low-performing schools and to boost the pay of teachers in those schools. Major school groups had criticized them as window dressing to divert attention from much larger education needs they say are unmet in Schwarzenegger's budget, and Democrats were quick to agree.
But grass-roots groups were taken aback to see the Democrats dismiss so many of the smaller initiatives the governor sprinkled into the proposed budget he released May 13, such as the plan to bring fruit to schools.
Among other programs that have fallen by the wayside as the political tussle intensifies are a measure to help seniors get affordable prescription drugs, a nurse training initiative at community colleges and an expansion of vocational education classes for seventh- and eighth-graders.
This was a poor move for several reasons. First the Governor is already doing a fine job of reducing his affectiveness. He campaigned on many promises to straighten out the State with suggestions as to how he would do it. He demonstrated early on that he didn't know of the limited reach of the California governorship. He couldn't do it alone. Then he proceeded to try to bully his way into into areas where he needed help from the legislature and threatened them with special elections if they didn't come to heel. He made a list of items for the schools that he promised to accomplish and has reneged on most of them. There isn't much that could raise this man's popularity polls.
What the Democrats are doing now is hurting the grass roots movements that have gotten these initiatives this far, alienating the very people that they want to keep on their side.
|A family of mice once found a rare underground deposit of Brie cheese. It took three excavations before all of the cheese was removed.|
Which raises the question: Have you ever seen such a site in your life as Brie mined thrice?
Late morning ride in the hills
|This morning took the camera when I rode Bandit up into the hills. He likes to look out over the valley as much as I do. I wasn't sure how he would take the chime and whirr of the new camera. You will see in most of the pictures that he has an ear cocked back as he listens. He was good about it tho.|
the road winds on around the hill and under the trees. Note that Bandit has his ear cocked back listening to the camera.
So many moving Memorial Day posts
|Memorial Day . . . . as usual this holiday is a process for me. My father was an officer in the Navy. My Uncle Don a B-26 pilot. My Uncle Bob in the Army. My cousin Billy, Lt William R. Liddycoat, lost in Viet Nam. His brother Donny, joined the Air Force, and now his son is in the Air Force. |
All of these sites have something to say. They are as mixed as my emotions on this day.
Not listed in any particular order:
Assumption of Command
Who's your Baghdaddy?
Emigre with a Digital Cluebat
The Gun Line
My mask, Tonto, he wanted my mask!
|Apparently in W. Virginia it is illegal to wear masks except for very specific reasons.|
Conversation between the Lone Ranger and W. Virginia State Policeman along a dark country road:
SP: Sir, you’ll have to remove your mask.
LR: Oh, no, you need to understand that this protects my identity!
SP: Precisely sir, that’s why you need to *remove* the mask
LR: But I work for the good of humankind! I right wrongs! I rescue the weak!
SP: OK, sir, Now step over to the side of the road and remove the mask!
LR: I wear a white hat! I help catch the bad guys!
SP: That’s my job, sir, you just leave it to me. Now REMOVE the mask!
(scuffling sounds, stage right)
SP: OK, now get this, just take the ma - - ow! That’s it!
(wet hissing sound)
LR: Ow! Stop what is that stuff! Burns my eyes! Silver!
(hoofbeats sliding to a stop)
SP: Hey! That thing bit me! What the heck, hey, get away, OW!
SP: (leaning into car for radio) Yeah, backup and animal control! Yes a horse! No its not funny and I am NOT joking! Ow ! Ow! Dang!
SP: Stop! I’m telling you to stop!
LR: OK, Silver, now! (boot steps) Hi Ho Silver! And awaaaayyyyy
(hoofbeats receding into distance, stage left)
(thank you Jess and Pear for the inspiration...) Cross-posted to Grand Centrist Station
|From the NYTimes by Frank Rich:|
It's All Newsweek's Fault
IN the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Fareed Zakaria wrote a 6,791-word cover story for Newsweek titled "Why Do They Hate Us?" Think how much effort he could have saved if he'd waited a few years. As we learned last week, the question of why they hate us can now be answered in just one word: Newsweek.
"Our United States military personnel go out of their way to make sure that the Holy Koran is treated with care," said the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, as he eagerly made the magazine the scapegoat for lethal anti-American riots in Afghanistan. Indeed, Mr. McClellan was so fixated on destroying Newsweek - and on mouthing his own phony P.C. pieties about the Koran - that by omission he whitewashed the rioters themselves, Islamic extremists who routinely misuse that holy book as a pretext for murder.
. . . . Just since the election, we've witnessed the unmasking of Armstrong Williams and Jeff Gannon. We've learned - thanks to Newsweek's parent publication, The Washington Post - that the Pentagon went so far as to deliberately hide the circumstances of Pat Tillman's friendly-fire death from his own family for weeks, lest the truth mar the P.R. advantages to be reaped from his memorial service. Even as Scott McClellan instructs Newsweek on just what stories it should write to atone for its sins, a professional propagandist sits as chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Kenneth Tomlinson, who also runs the board supervising Voice of America and other government-run media outlets. He's been hard at work meddling in the journalism on NPR and PBS.
This steady drip of subterfuge and news manipulation increasingly tells a more compelling story than the old news that Newsweek so egregiously botched.
Read the entire article here.
This is a scathing discussion of what has happened overall with this administration and the press. This where we have come. The Newsweek mess is another excuse to obfuscate actions of the administration.
|For DC and his favorite dog:|
Did you hear about the well-behaved hunting dog who was so polite he didn't point?
He just nudged.
Tele-petting... uh, hmmmm....
Eggheads Invent Tele-Petting
Read the rest
Wednesday's feathered fun
|Making puns on birds is a habit that crows on you. It's possible to have a starling performance, but you can also give a terrible wrendition that others simply can't swallow. The object is not to be gulled and to avoid being aukward and full of ma-lark-ey. Merely try to have a pheasant time, even if you can't tern a pun. And by all means, don't be bittern.|
Ralph passed me the Music meme
|From Ralph at Makes Me Ralph|
The last CD I bought was Coldplay - X & Y
Song (CD) playing right now: Paul Schoenfield - Four Parables, Vaudeville, Klezmer Rondos
Five songs that I listen to alot or that mean alot to me:
"Just One Thing" by Carole King
"Past the Point of Rescue" by Hal Ketchum
"Water of Love" by Dire Straits
"Cry on My Shoulder" by Bonnie Raitt
"What Do You Want from Me" by Pink Floyd
Two people I'm passing this to are Jeremy "American Warmonger" and Jess "LOSLI"
The words to Carole King's "Wishful Thinking"
I see you but you don’t see me,
I reach for you but I can’t touch you,
Leaning left on the filibuster compromise
|Ralph at Makes Me Ralph has a clear headed analysis with a left lean.|
Salazar and the Compromise
Read the rest.
Some clues about the next years in Iraq
|WaPo article via Alexander the Average via Who's Your Baghdaddy?|
Read the rest here.
New place to meet
|Be sure to check into Grand Centrist Station. Be you Coyote Democrat, South Park Republican, or someplace in the middle, you may find ideas that suit your yellow line mentality.|
New book meme .... I LIKE books
|I got tagged by Chuck over at Burst Transmission. and Scott at Just the Facts Ma'am. Seems like most bloggers love books. And of course, I love naming new victims so here we go.|
1. What is the total number of books you've owned?
Alot. This arose because of the library fines. You see, I would take out a book and really enjoy it. Hand it to a friend and say, "This was great, give it a read, and we can talk about it." So they'd read it and then we would haggle over what it meant and then the finer points and then . . . . I would pay the fine for turning the book in weeks late. Then there was the time I took a bunch of books out to read on vacation. I stayed longer than I thought I would, and had to pay the maximum fine of $10 per book. I had over a dozen books out . . . oops.
Really, its just cheaper to buy them in the first place.
2. The last book you bought?
Bought new: American Gods by Neil Gaimon. Which I have read and really enjoyed. There was that bag full of stuff I bought at Paperbacks Unlimited. I think a bunch of murder mysteries, including Michael Connelly's latest "The Narrows". It's the sequel to his book, "The Poet". The bad guy in "The Poet" is Robert Backus. Which is funny, because my father was Robert Backus - he was the epitomy of the ultimate good guy, so I think he might have found humor in having a bad guy named after him.
3. The last book I read.
This is a difficult question since I read several books concurrently. Good Omens, by Neil Gaimon & Terry Pratchett, though is the last one I finished. But somewhere in the middle I read Final Account, by Peter Robinson, and Hard News, by Seth Mnookin.
4. Five books that mean alot to me.
Now, Chuck thought this was an easy question. I think its really hard, because (being Liberal, I am tolerant and inclusive), I want to list ALL the books I love. We could be here for weeks. OK, so I would be here and you would be asleep.
1. I have to list the obvious - The Torah (5 books of Moses). Jews refer to themselves as "People of the Book". It would be hard to leave that one off.
2. I have one HUGE volume of Shakespeare's plays. Might be cheating, but I love Shakespeare. He's the best soap opera ever written and he puns exceedingly, so he's a definate.
3. Sherlock Holmes, (the big book of all of his stories), by Conan Doyle
4. The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith. Because after all, economics makes the world go 'round.
5. Sketches New and Old, by Mark Twain. My copy was published in 1922 and came from my grandfather's library. Be sure to read the story, "Political Economy", since it explains alot about life in general and is screamingly funny.
Now to tag five new . . . victims:
Nickie at Nickie Goomba (back to blogging by popular demand, that is his wife is demanding he do *something* besides plague her)
Kenneth at Ken is a Verb
Ralph at Makes Me Ralph
Gary at American Regression
Jenn at Born Under a Firesign
Lets define a "legal marriage"
|What is a marriage under the law? What should the law be doing? I really don't know much about the actual laws. They are different in different states. These are just a few ideas about what the laws should do.|
1. provide a common legal base for two people
2. move the assets of the couple, to the remaining spouse should one die
3. provide a connection that says that person has a right to be and to know about the other in a legal sense. Allowed access in a health care institution, access to documents regarding joint finances.
4. define responsibility for natural or adopted children.
What do you think? I don't want to know what your religious institution thinks, I want to know what *you* think a legal marriage should provide.
Mudslinging doesn't help anyone
|More often than not lately I run across posts in blogs about "What are they doing in D.C.?" Does anyone remember that there is a whole country out here? The debates in the Congress are so far away from what is important here in the west. How about our lack of health care, education issues, wage and labor issues?|
“First Victim in Judicial Fight: Congress's Image
. . . . “But she shares the view that, at the moment, the general public does not like what it sees from either side.
"Voters have been fed a steady diet of Terri Schiavo, judicial wrangling and basic bickering," Ms. Walter said. "It is a pox on both of them."
Backing her view, a poll conducted May 11-15 for the Pew center found that 64 percent of those surveyed believed that Congress was bickering more than usual, a level approaching public sentiment found in similar surveys during the budget battle that led to the government shutdown. Federal services were cut off for a total of about four weeks when a Republican-controlled Congress forced a stalemate with President Bill Clinton. And a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released this week found that 51 percent of those surveyed disapproved of Congress's performance, the highest level since 1994, when voters swept Democrats out of power.
. . . . Another factor in the public perception, according to some current and former lawmakers, is that Americans have little personal stake in a rules fight and can reach the conclusion that Congress is not looking out for them on pocketbook issues but is instead caught up in self-serving power struggles.”
Said an ape as he swing by his tail,
Railroad Square in Santa Rosa
|I came down to have breakfast this morning, so hung to take some pictures with the new camera. Santa Rosa is in the movies alot - this area in particular. The train station is in a bunch of old Hitchcock films, but more recently "Cheaper by the Dozen" with Steve Martin used this area. He jogged past the Brothers Bldg with "1906" at the top of it. A good portion of downtown Santa Rosa came down in the 1906 earthquake. This building was part of the re-build after the quake.|
In order to hang on to all these old brick and stone buildings, they need to be heavily and expensively reinforced. Consequently many aren't preserved because it costs so much. There are a number of faults that run close to and under Santa Rosa, so its a big concern.