Sunday, March 30, 2008

More snow on the way

From the Weather Service:

406 PM MDT SUN MAR 30 2008





I keep wondering when the global warming thing is going to hit Utah; as usual we seem to be behind the times; so far everything is normal. It's snowed a couple of times since I last blogged; these two pictures were taken from my front porch.

The first one is a large pine on the east side of my yard, the other one is looking west toward the Oquirrh Mountains, about five miles west of me.

At least the flowers aren't minding the snow; crocuses and daffodils.

We'll be getting snow and cold rain at least until the end of April, in May I can start putting together my vegetable garden. I really miss the fresh tomatoes and such.

Some of my garden is starting to wake up; I cut some chives, parsley, and rosemary for cooking dinner today. My chard is starting to wake up, hopefully I will get some soon before it gets too warm and goes to seed.


The presidential brawl seems to have calmed down for the weekend. I guess everyone needed a breather to sharpen their knives and start piling up some more shit for throwing later. Hillary and Obama seem to be concentrating on who can tell the biggest whoppers and throw the most dirt at each other. McCain seems to have a different strategy; he is letting those two flail away at each other while he kicks back swigging his Geritol® and waiting for the Democrats to burnout while beating each other over the head. And there doesn't seem to be anyone from either party that you can trust to give you an honest answer; they either blow smoke and tell you something that is different from what their past record shows, or they just ignore the question and try to misdirect. The only thing they all seem to have in common is that they're a bunch of assholes, and none of them is going to be that good for the country, so it behooves us to get some decent people in Congress and the Senate. Of course, Sam Clemens knew what a problem that was:

"Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
- Mark Twain

“Washington is a stud farm for every jackass in the country.”
- Mark Twain

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress."
-Mark Twain

Will Rogers understood the problem also:

"There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you."
- Will Rogers

"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer."
-Will Rogers

"The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets". - Will Rogers

Just as true now as it was back then.


According to my sitemeter, I've been getting quite a few hits from Korea lately. To those visitors: don't be shy, drop a comment if there is something you like/dislike about the site, or questions you have, I'd like to hear from you. I enjoy getting visitors from different countries; one of the things I like about the internet is corresponding with people from other cultures and walks of life. If you are visiting and have something to say, feel free; everyone is welcome here, all I ask is that you have manners and don't troll or spam the site.


Any fans of this bunch of tunes?

"Back on the Chain Gang" by The Pretenders
"Tumbling Tumbleweeds" by Eddy Arnold
"Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi
"Magic Man" by Heart
"Oye Como Va" by Santana
"Exodus" by Henry Mancini and His Orchestra
"Trouble No More" by Muddy Waters
"In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Peer Gynt
"Nickel Romeo" by The Bangles
"Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues" by The Charlie Daniels Band


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I really need to get organized

Thank you for all the greetings on my blogiversary. I've been fairly busy the past few days; had to help with some of the loose ends from my uncle's passing that I wrote about some time ago. It was a sunny day, but chilly. The wind never stops blowing at Camp Williams, where the veterans cemetery is located. His resting place is not too far from his older brother's (my dad).

There is something about them folding up a soldier's flag that always gets to me. This is my third veteran ceremony in the past two years (my dad and two uncles), and it always affects me the same way; a mixture of pride and sadness. Hopefully it will be a long time before I have to experience another.


Spring keeps trying to happen, Easter was a fairly nice day, with sunshine and no wind.

This picture is my wife helping our great-niece find eggs at my mother-in-law's place. Little kids are such a hoot.


I finally have flowers other than crocus, some hyacinths, violets, and daffodils have started to open.

Click to enlarge

The top picture is of a miniature daffodil, it is only an inch across.

The second is a patch of violets.

The last picture is a full size daffodil, it is about three inches across.

We'll still be getting snow off and on until May, but these flowers like cooler weather.


Today's playlist is a good mix; the top ten are:

"In the Mood" by Glenn Miller
"Back Where You Belong" by .38 Special
"Always on My Mind" by Willie Nelson
"Happy Jack" by The Who
"The Good the Bad and the Ugly" by Soundtrack
"Who Can It Be Now?" by Men at Work
"Get Happy" by Benny Goodman
"A Real Fine Place to Start" by Sara Evans
"Born Under a Bad Sign" by Cream
"Dreamboat Annie" by Heart

Any favorites in that bunch?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Arthur C Clarke has died

British science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke has died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90.

He came to fame in 1968 when a short story called The Sentinel was made into the film 2001: A Space Odyssey by director Stanley Kubrick.

Once called "the first dweller in the electronic cottage", his vision captured the popular imagination.

A farmer's son, he was educated at Huish's Grammar School in Taunton before joining the civil service.

During World War II, Clarke volunteered for the Royal Air Force, where he worked in the, then highly-secretive, development of radar.

I read his stuff quite a bit growing up, starting in 1959. At that time a lot of his stuff, especially short stories, appeared in magazines. He was one of the better writers for "hard" science fiction. Years later (1968, as a matter of fact)I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey when it first came out, and it was quite a show back then; I caught it in HD about a week ago, and it still hasn't lost any of it's magic.
When I started college in 1969, I was lucky enough to catch a lecture by him at the University of Utah; he was quite an interesting speaker, and talked about a lot of stuff that was sci-fi then, and reality now. I'll have to dig into some of my old paperbacks and reread some of them, I guess. I might even have the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey around here somewhere to crank up.

Where does the time go?

Looking at my records, today is the second anniversary of my blog. I find it hard to believe that I have been scribbling for this long. I don't blog everyday, and sometimes it is just fluff and chatter, but it gives me a chance to connect with other people around the world, and if some of them like what I have written now and then, I must be doing something right, even if by accident. I've only had about 15K hits in all this time, but to me it is more important that some of them were good people coming to comment or lend support in bad times, and laugh at the good times. For me the quality of the visitors is more important than the quantity, so I feel good about the hits I get, because I know most of them from their blogs, most of which are a lot better than this one. Thanks for the company, I hope I can get better over time.


I notice a lot of the fellow gun owners are blogging about the Heller case before the SCOTUS today; most of them are doing a lot better job than I could, so I will leave that to them.


From the looks of the presidential skirmishes, I think things are going to get a lot uglier before they get better. I've seen a lot of mud slinging in the past, but I think this campaign is going to have some of the worst back-stabbing, rumor-spreading, and downright shit-slinging that we've seen in a while. This will not be a pretty election.


The top ten in todays playlist are older tunes, as usual. Some of them I would have to refer to as definite classics.

"Respect" by Aretha Franklin
"Night and Day" by Tommy Dorsey
"Walk on By" by Leroy Van Dyke
"Love Child" by Diana Ross & the Supremes
"Venus" by Shocking Blue
"Suspicious Minds" by Jessi Colter/Waylon Jennings
"Chitlins con Carne" by Johnny Copeland/Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Troubl
"Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
"El Gato Triste" by Chuck Mangione
"You Didn't Have to Be So Nice" by The Lovin' Spoonful

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sometimes life resembles a sitcom

LIBERTY, Pa. - A Pennsylvania man is accused of attempted bank robbery - and if poor planning were a crime, he might be charged with that, too.
Police say a man arrived at the Citizens and Northern Bank in the borough of Liberty on Thursday and waited in his car for about 20 minutes. Shortly after noon, he tried to enter the bank 100 miles west of Scranton wearing a ski mask and carrying a rifle. But the bank's Liberty branch closes at noon on Thursdays, foiling his plans.
The man fled the scene, but bank employees took note of his license plate number. A 28-year-old suspect is jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Reminds me of an attempted robbery that happened across the street from where I used to work some years ago. Some genius walked into the drive through section of the bank (he was on foot, no getaway vehicle), stepped up to the bulletproof window, and pointed a bow and arrow at them, demanding they send out the money to him. After the teller quit laughing, and realized that he was serious, they locked the doors, called the police, and the would-be robber was nabbed as he was running from the scene.


Our preview of spring is over; we got a few inches of snow last night, but at least it was warm enough that it didn't stick too badly. The crocus flowers I had a few days ago don't mind the snow, they just bloom right on through it.

The tulips and daffodils are up, but it will be a few weeks before they will bloom.


What kind of stuff is on your playlist/radio/player today? Mine is a mixture of country and old rock today. Top ten on the list:

"Unchained Melody" by Heart
"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams
"Days of Wine and Roses" by Henry Mancini
"Possession" by Iron Butterfly
"To Cry You a Song" by Jethro Tull
"Flesh and Blood" by Johnny Cash
"Ribbon of Darkness" by Marty Robbins
"Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer" by Nat King Cole
"Perfect" by Sara Evans
"Mechanical World" by Spirit

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hope springtime gets here soon

For those who are still having snow in their area, you may like this picture my wife sent me that she got in an email.

Click to enlarge.


The Momster has tagged me with a meme to list five things about myself.

1. I am afraid of heights. Being in an airplane looking out the window, or looking out the window of a tall building does not bother me, but get me three feet up a ladder and I feel queasy. Makes no sense, but that's how it works.

2. Some of my favorite condiments on a hamburger are sauerkraut and jalapeños.

3. I had perfect teeth until I was 48 years old. That year over a dozen went bad, and two had to be pulled. That was also the same year that my eyes went to hell and I had to start using reading glasses.

4. I enjoy target shooting, but have difficulty hitting flat targets. For some unexplained reason I can hit small objects easier than large circles on a piece of paper.

5. Unless I am ill, I have trouble sleeping more than 4 or 5 hours.

If anyone wants to do this meme, feel free.


More old stuff on the playlist. Today's top ten are an interesting mix.

"San Antonio Rose" by Patsy Cline
"Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto
"Sunday Will Never Be the Same" by Spanky & Our Gang
"Something's Burning" by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition
"Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" by Janis Joplin & Her Kozmic Blues Band
"The Streets of Laredo" by Eddy Arnold
"We Gotta Get Out of This Place" by The Animals
"Memphis" by Chuck Berry
"Don't You Feel Small" by The Moody Blues
"Me and Paul" by Willie Nelson

Most of these are probably too old for most of you to remember.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A preview of spring

The seasons are sort of odd around here; we have little or no spring, it usually just gets warm one day, snows some more, and then turns hot. This is usually somewhere between the last of April and the first part of June. I remember it snowing on June 4 one year, and then turning 85ºF the next day. Most years we get a bit of a slight thaw in January or February, but the last couple of years it has skipped this (global warming, I am told). This year the crocus flowers didn't open until the first part of this month, instead of in February as usual. Some of the violets have started blooming also. It makes it almost feel a bit like spring. For those in cold places, maybe some of these pictures I took a couple of hours ago will appeal to you.

Click to enlarge.


Does everyone remember some of these oldies?

"With or Without You" by U2
"Stewball" by Memphis Slim
"California Dreamin'" by The Mamas & the Papas
"In the Mood" by Glenn Miller
"A Fistful of Dollars" Soundtrack
"Sweet Cherry Wine" by Tommy James & the Shondells
"Alone" by Heart
"I Touch Myself" by The Divinyls
"Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line" by Waylon Jennings
"Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones

Friday, March 07, 2008

No, I haven't been abducted by aliens

I'm still here. Been a bit busy with stuff lately. To all of the considerate people who dropped by and offered support, I would like to thank you.
I've managed to dump a few pounds since I was last here, but that doesn't really mean a thing; you can lose a lot of water without dropping fat. The workouts continue.


The presidential race is interesting; the Republicans have a goofy old coot, and the Democrats have no idea what they want yet. The catfight on that side is amusing; it would seem that the only thing they hate more than Republicans is each other. Personally, I don't care for either side, but I have noticed some things. Republicans disagree quite a bit when it comes to some things, but they usually find a way to organize and get their shit all in one ball when it comes down to a crunch. The Democrats seem to be divided up into a lot of factions that all want THEIR way or NO way; and they end up squabbling instead of putting up a united front. They weren't as bad when I was younger. Back then they were worried about minorities in general; these days each one thinks it is the one that should be running things, and that anyone else is stealing their thunder.
Both sides are trying for too much power, though; the Republicans want to legislate morals, and the Democrats want to legislate everything else. It never occurs to them that some of us just want to be left alone. The government is supposed to be servant, so why are they telling US what to do?


Looks like South America is safe from war (at least for this week); the leaders of Columbia, Ecuador, and Venezuela have agreed to shake hands for now. Of course, they are probably running troops around behind the scenes; I think Chavez would like to have an excuse to "liberate" some of the surrounding countries from "the evil American empire" and incorporate them into his Marxist utopia.


Seems to be a big rash of dumbasses shooting up crowds and then offing themselves. You'd think it would occur to someone to quit giving these idiots a big stage to go out on. They are basically suicidal people who want to be famous on the way out. Maybe the media should quit giving out their names; just call them a "nameless killer" and vilify them as the obnoxious jerks that they are. I don't care if someone wants to check out, just don't go dragging a bunch of innocent people into it so they can be famous when they go out.


I see the debate has opened again on whether licensed CCW owners can carry on campus. Now they have several campuses that are arming their security people so that students can "feel safe". If you look at the situation, how is this better? The odds of an innocent person being shot by a police officer are higher than being shot by a person with a CCW. For a good essay on the subject of concealed firearms, you can't do better than to check out Nate's post on the subject.


Enough ranting and raving (for now, anyway). It's time for a couple of hours of moldy oldies with which to get mellow. The top ten in the list are good ones:

"Walk Away Renee" by The Left Banke
"That'll Be the Day" by Buddy Holly
"Hey, Good Lookin'" by Hank Williams
"Lightnin' Strikes" by Lou Christie
"This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys
"I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye
"Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition
"Proud Mary" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
"I Am the Walrus" by The Beatles
"House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals

Some of you might even remember a few of them.