Julie with a B

Friday, September 30, 2005
Why is it?
That when the political scene heats up, someone thinks I should be working. That is just so wrong. So much to write about I can't make up my mind.
Meanwhile... I moved the horse from one barn to another. So? Well it is a bit of a production. I don't own a truck and trailer, so I have to find someone and sucker them into hooking up their trailer. Then there is the fussy horse. You let down the ramp on the trailer and the horse looks in. "You must be joking! You want me to actually walk into that little box??" "Yes, Bandit, just walk in." He gives me "the look" and carefully tip-toes up the ramp and to the front of the trailer, where he huddles, waiting for me to pat him and re-assure him. I shut the back and we drive the 15 minutes down the road to the new (cheaper) barn. Opening the trailer, Bandit is still huddled at the front of the trailer, glaring at me. "How could you do that to me? That was just horrid, the floor was, well, jiggling!!" I took his lead rope and told him to walk slowly out the trailer, which he does. Only his idea of slowly is moving like a Great Blue Heron stalking the shallows of a pond; he carefully picks up one foot, slowly setting it down, then another foot. It took several minutes to walk him out of the trailer.
I returned after work last night to check on him. He is a little despondent. During the day he is turned out in a large paddock. But he is used to sharing his space with a big black horse named Atom. Too my eyes, Atom was a bully of the first water, only allowing Bandit scraps of his food. Bandit didn't seem to care. They happily stood nose to tail swishing flies. They argued while they waited at the gate for the hay to be thrown over to them. And stood over one another as they slept. But now, no pasture buddy. He seems to be friends with Max in a neighboring paddock. They nicker and run back and forth along the fence. They reach over the fence and scritch each others necks. But its not the same. He misses Atom.
I, however, am looking forward to some long rides thru the vineyards. There are two large arenas to ride in. There is a pond with a resident swan.... a swan. There are big pine trees around the arena shading it most of the day. Ahhhhh.

Um, finally a pun!
There were two prawns, James and Christian, swimming along the bottom of the ocean. James accidentally rubs up against an old lantern and whoosh, a genie appears and grants James two wishes.

After a moment's thought James decides that he wants to becomes a shark so as to gain the respect of all the creatures of the sea. Whoosh, James becomes a shark and swims off.

Two weeks later James is upset. All of his old friends are now afraid of him and his life is miserable. He decides to use his second wish, and he wishes to be a prawn once again. Whoosh.... Now a prawn once more, James swims away to look for his mate Christian.

When he arrives at Christian's house he knocks on the door and shouts out for Christian. "Go away", says Christian, "you're a shark and you'll just eat me".

"No I won't", shouts James, "I'm a prawn again Christian".

Friday, September 23, 2005
Round and Round we go...down and down they go...
Don't like that Endangered Species Act? Well, just re-write it!
This disgusts me. Noting that "property rights" are a big deal right now, the Endangered Species Act is in a big re-write process to "protect property rights". No. Nice try but, read the fine print.
"It is a drastic mistake to eliminate the provisions that have to do with the protection of habitat for endangered species," said Rep. Jim Saxton, R-N.J. "It is my opinion that the Endangered Species Act is 99 percent about protecting critical habitat."

Please there are many species who will disappear off the face of the earth if not protected. Yes, yes, we have our own annoying little California Tiger Salamander issue, but everyone wants it to continue to exist. And property owners, local officials, as well as Fish and Game have their heads together to solve the problem in a way that works for everyone.

Don't gut something that works because it takes some cooperation!

The Locals ante up
From today's Press Democrat:
Area rescue workers redeploy for Rita
By Bob Norberg, Gulf Coast rescuers are redeploying, and more volunteers are heading for Texas and Louisiana to deal with the effects of the twin storms that workers are now dubbing "Karita.""We are deploying 27 to Texas," said Tim Miller, chief executive officer of the Sonoma County chapter of the American Red Cross. "They have already opened shelters in the Houston area, so they are shifting people there."

I work at a small hospital. We will be calling in a temp to replace a nurse technician headed for Louisiana.

From a good friend: "Stand up against superstition!"
(interesting disclaimer from bottom of article: “Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24, which still sacrifices virgins on the full moon to the god of the radio tower in order that transmissions will continue.”)

Monday, September 19, 2005
Monday pun
It's a bit of an old nag but . . .

This Kentucky horse breeder had a filly that won every race in which she was entered. But as she got older she became very temperamental. He soon found that when he raced her in the evening, she would win handily, but when she raced during the day she would come in dead last. He consulted the top veterinarians and horse psychologists to no avail. He finally had to give up because it had become a real night mare.

Sunday, September 18, 2005
Time travel

Well not really. Sunday made a visit to "Principality of the Mists Fall Coronet". Thanks to the Society for Creative Anachronism, I made a too brief visit to the middle ages. When we arrived, there were horses in the field and riders carrying lances! Woohoo! JulieB has long wanted to try this! I watched for awhile and am now the proud possessor of the "West Kingdom Equestrian Handbook". Maybe....maybe soon.
We walked around and met many people with many talents. The horse people first and when I mentioned the joust, a lance was fetched so that I could hold it. Oh. My. Gosh. I could DO this!
Moving on we met those talented at fencing, archery, and fighting in armor with swords. Oh. And you must dress appropriately - as guests we were given medievil garb so we wouldn't interrupt the vista with well, jeans.
The "Crown Tournament" is Sept. 30th - Oct 2nd. I will have to grab the Time Traveler's bag and saunter down there. No horses, but I'm promised archery if I bring my bow. Oh yesssss.

Friday, September 16, 2005
for today's pun... or not pun in this case
Cruise over to Assumption of Command and enjoy "Is this the way to Armadillo?"
Really, it's Friday and there are cute guys in it.

Thursday, September 15, 2005
And now . . . for today's pun
There was a tradesman, a painter called Jock, who was very interested in making a penny where he could, so he often would thin down paint to make it go a wee bit further.
As it happened, he got away with this for some time, but eventually the Baptist Church decided to do a big restoration job on the painting of one of their biggest buildings. Jock put in a bid, and because his price was so low, he got the job.
And so he set to erecting the trestles and setting up the planks, and buying the paint and, yes, I am sorry to say, thinning it down with turpentine.
Well, Jock was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly completed when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder, and the sky opened, the rain poured down, washing the thinned paint from all over the church and knocking Jock clear off the scaffold to land on the lawn, among the gravestones, surrounded by telltale puddles of the thinned and useless paint.
Jock was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he got on his knees and cried: "Oh, God! Forgive me! What should I do?"

And from the thunder, a mighty voice spoke...
"Repaint! Repaint! and thin no more!"

And about that Pledge of Allegiance
Yes the words "under God" were inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. Why? Well there was that whole issue of Communists who were godless. This was an effort to force them to either reveal themselves (Holy Cow!!!) or bow to the will of the McCarthy-ites. So I would note here that it was put there to exclude certain individuals.

Lets take 10 giant steps back and look at what the Pledge of Allegiance is - it is a pledge of fealty to one's country. That's it. I think its an excellent idea. One should acknowledge their allegiance to a country that is free, that is a democracy, and one of the most wonderful places to live in the world. My allegiance to my country has nothing to do with any deity. I would also like to note that no deity makes my country "legitimate". There is no God given king or queen sitting on a throne governing the United States. Our country is not under God, we are individuals under God.

The point is that "under God" was not needed when the Pledge of Allegiance was written. It was added to EXCLUDE certain individuals or to force them into a religious affirmation that that they do not hold. And it is still not needed.

Monday, September 12, 2005
First shots
I listened to the opening salvos on Judge Roberts. No surprises there.
Oh, except for the Senator that wants to make sure that prayer gets back into schools and a clear statement about the acceptability of posting the 10 Commandments in Public Courthouses. Right, like the judge would say THAT out loud.

Can we find middle ground?

Interesting comment from a friend of mine. She's an anthropologist at the local Junior College. She said, "It's too bad that when the Left was talking about multi-cultural inclusiveness they didn't include the Right."
Point taken.

Honey I'm home!
OK, OK, I'm still breathing...barely.
Work has become a pretty toxic social environment. I think it is temporary, but its been ugly.
Unfortunately when stuff like this happens its hard to not think about it all the time. Even my sense of humor went in the dumper... I dug deep and found it, but euw! it will be fine once I peel the candy bar wrappers off of it, dunk it in disinfectant, and give it a day or so to dry out.

In the meantime, how about a pun?

Here is a story about a famous food critic's recent visit to Europe last summer.

He had a delightful time sampling the cuisine in Italy, France and Germany, but he made the mistake of stopping off in London on the way home.
Needless to say, he found English food bland and overcooked.
However, one day he had a great meal of fish & chips at a London pub.
He asked the manager of the pub if he could have the recipe for the fish and chips.
The manager confessed that he bought his fish and chips from a nearby monastery, and so our critic would have to get the recipe from one of the brothers.
So he quickly ran down the street to the monastery and knocked on the door.
When one of the brothers came to the door, he asked him if he were the "Fish Friar."
The brother replied, "Nope, I'm the Chip Monk!"

Monday, September 05, 2005
Monday pun

A musician who joined an orchestra on a cruise ship was having difficulty keeping time with the rest of the band.

Finally, the captain said, "Either you learn to keep time or I'll throw you overboard. . . .

"It's up to you, sync or swim."

Friday, September 02, 2005
Lower gas prices?
Whoa! From what I'm seeing the papers, we have lower gas prices than in other parts of the country. California is usually higher because we have other additives and restrictions. The refineries have to produce gas just for us. We're special. And that usually means higher prices. Gotta say though that the Chevron station that's on my daily route to work has a $2.99 price tag on a gallon of regular.

(note: pun contains some Brit speak, I'm sure you'll figure it out tho...)

One day God calls down to Noah and says, "Noah me old china, I want you to make me a new Ark".
Noah replies, "No probs God, me old Supreme Being anything you want after all you're the guv'... "
But God interrupts, "Ah, but there's a catch. This time Noah, I want not just a couple of decks, . . I want 20 decks one on top of the other".
"20 DECKS!", screams Noah. "Well, OK Big Man, whatever you say. Should I fill it up with all the animals just like last time?"
"Yep, that's right, well . .. sort of right . . this time I want you to fill it up with fish", God answers.
"Fish?", queries Noah "Yep, fish . . well, to make it more specific Noah, I want carp - wall to wall, floor to ceiling -Carp!"
Noah looks to the skies. "OK God my old mucker, let me get this right, you want a New Ark?"
"With 20 decks, one on top of the other?".
"And you want it full of Carp?".
"Why?" asks the perplexed Noah, who was slowly but surely getting to the end of his tether............

"Dunno", says God, "I just fancied a Multi-Storey Carp Ark".

(Brit speak: car park = parking lot in 'Merican)

Local help . . .
Help is on the way from local agencies
SR, Bay Area rescue teams trained to find survivors en route to Mississippi
Bob Norberg
Press Democrat

Three Santa Rosa firefighters are in a caravan headed to Biloxi, Miss., where they will join search-and-rescue efforts following Hurricane Katrina, which sent a wall of water almost 30 feet high through the low-lying Gulf Coast region.

"We don't know what to expect," said Charlie Hanley, a 26-year veteran. "We know there are many isolated communities, and some communities that have been destroyed. Other than that, we know it will be a sad and grisly scene."

The firefighters are members of a Federal Emergency Management Administration Urban Search and Rescue Team, headquartered in Oakland, and trained to find survivors in collapsed buildings, under freeways and buried in rubble. They are expected to arrive in Biloxi this afternoon.
. . . .
The Santa Rosa chapter of the American Red Cross, meanwhile, today is sending its Emergency Response Vehicle with two volunteers to distribute food, water and ice to stricken neighborhoods.

The chapter already sent eight volunteers, has another dozen ready to go and in the past three days has trained 77 more.It has raised $25,000 in donations, spokeswoman Ellen Maremount Silver said.

"The situation is incredible, we are receiving a huge influx of interest in donations and volunteers," Silver said.

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