Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year to ALL and to ALL a Good Night!

Yesterday, as Cora was walking in the door, I was putting the last touches on a masterpiece. I had, in the past ten minutes had a glorious idea and was in the midst of bringing that wonderful little gem into being. I had taken a look at one of her empty coffee creamer jars and the starving birds outside and put two and two together. I created a bird feeder.

Cora took a look at it and snorted, then went off to the bedroom to talk to her sister on the phone. I finished my little project and hung it out on the fence. The picture below shows I am NOT crazy, but a definite genius!
Yes, that's a bird eating out of my BIRD FEEDER! HAH! Take that Cora!

Below is a shot of the trees just as it had began to snow.
As the morning wore on and I went from store to store the traffic went slower and slower.
In fact there was traffic in places there usually wasn't. You'd think it was the day before a major holiday!
It snowed so hard it blotted out some buildings...
When I finally got home, I unloaded the truck and let the dogs out. You can see Toby heads for the nearest usual.
after I shoveled the walk, he was not done and decided to initiate the light pole...well, this is its 1,270,004th initiation to dog pee...
Note, I had JUST shoveled the walk...maybe 3 minutes before...
Cora got off work early! Tonight we decided to go for a walk. As we were walking along...after the city guys had decided NOT to plow our area-but I'll address that in a later post...we saw someone washing their car...
Yes, that is someone washing a van...with snow all around. if they take that damned thing out on the highway it is going to get muddy...just like everyone else's. Cora and I were a little confused by this apparent obsessive compulsive behavior...but some people are just odd.

Below you see Cora on our wonderfully plowed streets...I think the right way is to get the snow OFF the street, NOT compact it so it is even hard to walk on...
She told me about a blog she reads and this person had done some sort of swirl technique with their SLR camera...I thought I might be able to approximate is my second try. Also, I gave her some Romulan Ale before our walk...I had some too.
The trees have rime on them...they look so pretty in the is a shot:
This is a shot of Cora before she attacked me with a snow ball! Devious.

And this is as close to a junkyard dog as we can get, still, it looks a little demonic, huh? It has an extreme under-bite, which is not shown in the photo. Shortly after this it levitated and spoke to us in an unearthly wanted to know where we kept our kibble...weird. As it was still chained up, we ignored it and walked on.
and finally we decided a couple New Years Eve Photos were in order...
Note the dogs in this last one?

So, may you all have a wonderful new year! I hope 2010 goes better than 2009. I hope those of us who want kids get them and those of us who don't give them to those who need them! So there!

Happy New Year!


Yesterday, I sat down on the floor and began brushing Gypsy. And I brushed. And Brushed. And Brushed. And brushed.

and brushed.

and brushed.

and brushed.



and by the end of it, 45 minutes later, I still had Gypsy, but I also had a pile of fur that was ruff-ly (sorry, couldn't resist a dog pun) the size of Gypsy. See below:
If you are wondering why we waited, well, we like to do it outside because her fur flies. Also, why in the heck did she start shedding in the middle of winter? Maybe we should make her sleep outside and see if she stops...ok, I won't do that. On the other hand, she enjoyed the extra attention. She repeatedly rolled into the pile of fur I was amassing and spread it over a wider area in her attempts to get closer...apparently all girls like a spa treatment.

Below you can see her enjoying Toby's monkey. She doesn't usually show much interest in toys...unless no one is looking.
I think she looks about 10 pounds lighter and a good deal more comfortable.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let It Snow!

It snowed yesterday. I took the wife to work and put snow tires on her car...but I also had the camera with me...
The snow makes a very nice photographic back drop.
But the clouds did a good job, too.

Below you see our wonderful car...err, Cora's wonderful car which I sometimes get to drive. Doesn't it look fast sitting still?
Here is a local landmark. There is a winery that uses this as a trademark of sorts...ok, it is the Piety Flats Winery...I love their wine. If you are ever in the area, stop by and try their wines...they are simply...well...good.
I had a pretty good day. I felt better today than I have in a few. My cold may be losing least, I hope. Since I felt better, I cleaned. I did dishes and all manner of things since I am not working this week...its the least I can do.

I made dinner and was waiting for Cora to come home! Could not wait. Amazing how boring it gets when you don't have a job to go to. I went to the local store to get some rice and as I was walking down the isle I heard a noise and a case of beer jumped into my arms. Well, it was SOOO friendly, I decided I could not just leave it there. I had to bring it home with me. It is now sitting calmly in an ice chest just outside the back door. Everyone is happy!

This evening it began to snow. I was sort of happy about that. Then it began to REALLY snow. Then Cora got happy, well, it pleased her that it was snowing. We both stepped out and enjoyed the atmospheric phenomena. Here, you can see me enjoying the snow. Yes, I am not wearing shoes.
See, Cora is smiling, too!
The snow inspired her to work!
She shoveled the walk!
She's crazy efficient when it's snowing! And yes, she's in her PJs...and a coat...and a hat. you'd think she was cold or something. Me, on the other hand, well, you'll notice that I am very brave and warm blooded and strong. That picture of me, above, almost looks like I have a little of the Captain in me...

Some of those foot prints are bare, you'll note.

Monday, December 28, 2009

People From Nigeria Want YOU!

So, I am forever getting e-mails from some African government official (Often Nigerian) requesting my help. They always get my e-mail from a close friend, or have "researched" me and find me "trustworthy." Can I please help? The story usually goes like this:

Dear Beloved, My (insert relative, boss, or friend) died and left $(insert number of preference),000,000.00 in US Dollars, but it is being held in an account. You are the only one who can help me! [I feel so special] Just send me your name [how do you know I am trustworthy if you don't know my name? You sure don't do very good research. I'll make sure I don't ask you to write my next history paper.] and your e-mail address [ok, Genius, how did you e-mail me if you don't know my e-mail address?], your phone number, your mailing address...oh, and your bank account number. You will get 10% of this money for being a good Samaritan! May God Bless you!

I am relatively sure it is all the Nigerians' faults. I have noticed Nigerians getting a lot of bad press recently. The Christmas Plane Bomber was apparently Nigerian. The bad guys in the movie "District 9" are Nigerians. I'm pretty sure that some Somali pirates are Nigerian, too. So, it would appear that now we not only have to worry about angry Taliban people, but also Nigerians. Oh, for the good old days when it was us against the Soviets...It was so black and white. Who do you want to win the most medals in the Olympics, Soviets or USA? EASY! USA!

Now, it isn't so easy. I am also partial to the UK, Australia, Canada, Russia, and Romania (I don't really know why I like them...). And I like Japan and China.

If the Taliban entered a team in the Olympics I would loudly BOOOOO whenever they took the field. Also, there is the fair chance that their team members would explode at various times. I can't see that helping them win any gold medals, but it might be good for a laugh:

Announcer Bill: Alright, Tom, this is the Taliban entry for the Ski-Jump. He is aiming to beat 205 meters to qualify. His name is Al Bi Ablasta, he has been skiing since--(shuffle, shuffle)...Ummm, January 3rd.

Announcer Tom: Ahh, really, THIS January Bill?

Announcer Bill: Tom, I can't make this sh-(beep)- up.

Announcer Tom: Well, there he goes, he's stepping onto the ramp, he's waiting for the signal. --(Whisper)Seriously? THIS January?-- Ahh, Bill, he seems to have a strange choice of head gear and clothing on for the ski-jump, doesn't he?

Announcer Bill: Yes, most jumpers go for a streamlined look...Mr. Ablasta seems to have chosen a towel...fairly lumpy, actually...

Announcer Tom: There is the signal, he's pushing off--

Announcer Bill: Almost looks like he has dynamite strapped to him...he---



Announcer Tom: I don't think he is going to qualify, see, Bill, the point of the Ski-jump is for the ENTIRE body to go as far as possible, I don't think the judges will accept a finger or just a foot...

Announcer Bill: Do you suppose he was spooked by the cow bells?

Announcer Tom: I wonder what the rule books say about the legality of skiing on red snow...

Announcer Bill: Still, you have to admit that no one can quite liquify themselves in mid-air like the Taliban team. Remember their Pole-vaulter from two years ago? Or their bobsled team...

Announcer Tom: And the Zamboni operators were livid about the stains on the ice!

Hmmm...makes for an interesting story, but I hope the Olympics this coming year are safe for all involved. It seems terrorists make everything just a little harder for all of us.

OK, moving on. We had snow here this morning. I took the wife to work and then took the car in to get the snow tires put on...I'd planned to do it today anyway, before it snowed...though it made me look like a last minute tire changer. I suggested it to Cora back in November, but neither of us has had much time since...

I am feeling a little better, but this demonic cold thing continues to hold on and try to squeeze the life from me...I'll make it, though.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Boxing Day Fun and Today Misery

So we managed to finally link up with my family on the day after Christmas. It was worth the wait. My wonderful sister got me a remote control helicopter...FUN! and, well, being with family is always fun.

We came home and relaxed. It was about bed time that I recognized the signs of my cold regrouping. My throat got sore and itchy and I kept getting this wheezy cough. I took some cold meds and hit the hay. I woke up sometime around 1 or 2am thinking I could not breathe. Turns out I was fairly close to the truth. Still, I could not blow my nose because there was nothing that close to the surface...weird feeling. Of course, the drugs were night time, so I was REALLY tired...that didn't help.

I ended up in my chair...a bit more upright. I don't know if it actually helped, given that there really doesn't seem to be any congestion, but even if it was psychosomatic, I got a little more rest. I did manage to watch the first episode of Babylon 5 and began watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 before I did finally get to sleep.

Today we took it easy. My cold or whatever it is has taken up defensive positions and even managed to push some of my immune system into some weak positions. There were reports that I may not make it, but we(My immune system and me) pulled back and regrouped. I took another bunch of cold meds and, while the battle is not won, it is turning! I shall endure and OVERCOME!!!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas ALL!!!!!

Merry Christmas from Cora and me! I hope you all have had a chance to enjoy family and friends! Oh, and presents...lots of presents!!!!
The Dogs were ecstatic about the chance to go for a ride...they sat in the car for 30 minutes because they came out and the door was open. They crawled right in! So we left them there until we'd packed the car.

The family was waiting. We had a great Christmas Eve!
Even the little things made us happy!

Just taking a picture made Cora happy!
But having family nearby was the best. Look at the SISTERS!
but, they weren't the only ones having fun! Here I am with my SIL and BIL. (one of us is carrying a parasite...)
I'll let you decide...the picture below might give a hint...see the distended features of this guy? He is obviously in pain and maybe he's a little constipated!
The dogs had loads of fun...Toby was completely dragging this morning...see his eyes?
When we got home Gypsy and Toby both were dog tired...literally! They both just laid down and slept for about three hours each!

Cora and I took the time and opened our own gifts and relaxed. It was a wonderful Christmas. I want to thank our family for that...and Cora. The day was a good one. We appreciated family near and far, wishing for our loved opnes who could not be there to at least feel our love. This evening, Cora and I are playing Wii and enjoying each other's company.

Life is good.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Morning

This wonderful cold I have is not even coming close to giving me congestion that I can deal with. I can feel it everywhere, but in my nose, which makes it difficult to get rid of it with a kleenex. I have a sore throat and sore muscles. I slept pretty good until about 3am, at which time the cold meds went out on me and I awoke. I took some more, but my throat is sore and sleeping isn't easy.

The stockings are hung by the furnace with care.
The lights on the cupboards add a nice flair,
but the ones on the tree are nicer by far.
There's an angel on our tree, but no star.
the gifts beneath the tree are all in their place,
one is amazed they take up such space!
The cookies await Christmas Eve pleasure,
before willing hands unwrap their treasure.
So much to be seen, so much to be heard,
all I can spare is a few Christmas words:
Merry Christmas to all, and this is the reason,
I hope you all have a nice holiday season!

Admittedly, not all of you celebrate Christmas, so let me also wish you a happy Kwanzaa, a happy Hanuka and a Happy New Year. I know I am missing a few other holidays, but, I wish you happy ones of those, too. Also, my sisters-in-law are celebrating their birthdays and so is you Kylee from AZ. Happy birthday girls!

now, I think I will court sleep again...wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stupid Colds

Somewhere, over the past week, I seem to have picked up a cold. It just started. This year has been a wonderful year compared to the past couple. I have only had minor colds this year, the past few years have seen me in miseries indescribable! I am combating this thing with the usual assortment of drugs and vitamins. I should be fine!

I spent the day shopping and baking and cleaning. I think I may be ready for Christmas...but not completely. I still have a couple last minute items for Cora, but beyond that the holiday beckons!

So, I got on here with some really brilliant things to say, but I'll be damned if I can remember what they were. I was truly going to baffle you with the truth of my observations. You would have totally slapped your forehead and said, "Damn, why didn't I think of that?" And then you would have realized that I am just a brilliant mind whose mere existence is a miracle to behold. Then you probably would have gotten all jealous and...well, how could you live with yourself for acting that way? It's really a good thing I forgot what I was going to say, because now we can still be friends. You're welcome.

And, of course, you'll have just finished that paragraph and realized that, DAMN! Jim IS brilliant...but it will be a friendly kind of envy this time, since I saved our friendship once, and that means something.

Of course, you may also just scratch your head and wonder just how many cold meds I am taking. And then you will also realize that maybe I read the Bean just a bit too much. Still, it's the sincerest form of flattery, isn't it?

OK, I have a headache now and I have sore muscles. I am fairly certain I have not been sleep-exercising (when else would I be doing exercise!? I have successfully avoided exercise this year, so I believe the cold is the source of my sore muscles.

By the way, can I just say I have the best wife in the world? Yep, she got me a few gifts, despite the fact that she let me get a computer as my gift. She's the best!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Who knew It Could Do Such Things!?

This is about our camera, which we have had for 2 years now. It has shot tens of thousands of pictures, ranging from cool things we got in the mail, to birds on the front lawn, to aircraft. That last subject is my favorite.

I took the camera with me on a drive this morning. I like to take a camera with me. You never know if you are going to see something worth blogging about, and if you have a camera it makes a post cooler to have pictures. Plus, I am hoping to one day prove the existence of UFOs, Bigfoot, or the Yakima River Monster (No such thing, just made it up...but that'd be cool, huh? and anyway, you can't prove there ISN'T a Yakima River Monster! HAH! Got you!) and if you don't have photographic evidence, no one will believe you!

So, I took the camera on a drive. I found an appropriate subject and began snapping pictures. It was foggy out and I wanted to use the fog to make nasty things look nice by erasing their backgrounds. So, I am snapping pictures, going through the various modes that I have used a hundred thousand times. I push the button one more time and WOW! What's that!?!?!? A wide screen mode? I never appreciated widescreen pictures until I got a widescreen computer. Now I simply MUST have this! I selected it and look at these photos!
Did I mention I am partial to sepia?
and I am kinda likin' lichen!
Oh, and I like using macro...didja notice?
Anyway, I was really pumped by the way this thing works. I love this little camera and have since we got it. It is simply a Canon Elph powershot. It takes pretty good pictures, though I would love to get a large Nikon SLR. I can only imagine how these photos would look with a camera like that!

Oh, yeah, so my point was I know I have seen this option for widescreen before, but I don't think I ever tried it out...which is strange, since I don't feel right about a camera until I know it inside and out. I had obviously forgotten something! How very disappointed I am in myself! Still it is a happy discovery and these will give me some photos to put up as my background. What do you folks thing? Do you like my photos?

OK, the grass was forced, but I SOOOOO love macro!

The rest of the day was spent making the kitchen ready for the frantic baking party Cora and I are going to hold tonight...I promised to help her...I may even get to lick a beater! Now the house looks pretty good and I am pooped. Go figure.

HP Giveaway

I just bought an inexpensive (few options, but that's what we could afford, and it is light years ahead of my old Toshiba Satellite) HP laptop, but when I stumbled onto this blog: BooMama, I could not resist entering to win an HP TouchSmart 600! So go enter for a chance to win one for you!

It looks awesome, and a touch screen would be a nice change from having to pick up dropped mice. I love wireless mice, but they have a habit of wandering...I have found mine several feet away hiding under the couch! I think I would put one in the kitchen, since it can be hooked up to function as a TV Screen, too!

So, check it out!! Again, it's at BooMama!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lazy Sunday

So this morning I got up late. I made coffee and then proceeded with my normal morning routine. I spent more time than usual on the internet checking Facebook and blogs and email. Cora joined me shortly after I got the coffee going (that is the only way to get her out of bed-if we ran out of coffee, Cora might never get out of bed. I can't blame her, I'd be much the same, but she has a higher tolerance for caffeine separation than I I HAVE to make it.).

We worked on the house. She wrapped presents and we made an awesome oriental salad (Cabbage salad, but it has oriental noodle flavoring). we got a bit lazy and watched a couple movies. We watched Night at The Museum II and Hangover. Hangover was funny.

Maybe I will secretly attend another showing of AVATAR!!! Don't tell Cora!

And Happy Birthday Granpa.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Up Days

So, there was the Winter Program where we all sang a bunch of Christmas tunes. Here is a picture of the kids practicing.
and here is one of them during the program!
It was a great day!

Cora and I went and saw Avatar last night. Great movie! You should definitely see it!

This afternoon we did some shopping. It was so very crowded you would think that this was the last weekend before Christmas.

We came home tired from wading through the crowds and people. As we approached the house we became aware of something else. The sun had set, but there were lights near the house. Around the corner we realized that flashing red lights were near the house...had something caught afire? We were suddenly very tense! As we came around the corner, we were pleased, yet sad, to see that it was a neighbor's house that had received the attention of the fire department. Turns out there was a chimney fire.

We were pleased to discover that the family that lives there was not spending the night there. And, while it was no picnic, at least no one was hurt!
While out buying presents for the nieces and nephews, we decided to buy something for the new comer, should they ever decide to drop in. We decided Legos would be fun. Of course, when we got home, we wanted to make sure we had gotten all the pieces the box said was verify that we needed to build the things on the box! We did, but here is a pirate ship I made that was NOT on the box.
I don't have a job during this break. The last couple years I have. That may be a problem come bill paying time, but we shall deal with that then. Right now we are ok.

We finally got to see the latest Dr. Who episode. The Waters of Mars was not a bad episode, but it is obviously leading up to the loss of David Tenant, whom all Dr. Who fans will mourn. David Tenant has brought a fun and complicated personality to Dr. Who. We saw him as the Young Barty Crouch in the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. We will never forget him as Dr. Who!

Some people just don't get Dr. Who. It is something difficult to explain to those who are uninitiated. Dr. Who is from the Planet Gallifrey. He is a TIME LORD. He is THE doctor. He fixes things...but this time, I am not so sure. You had best Google him if you want to know more. Even better, you should watch the show.

the Ood shall determine that, though.

Friday, December 18, 2009


I am a nerd. Nerd to the 7th power probably. No, I have never gotten dressed up in a robe to see a Harry Potter movie, nor have I ever donned Star Trek attire just for fun (I did it once in High School, but that was for a skit, so I don't think it counts). Thinking it might be fun to dress as a Klingon, but being mainstream enough to know that is a fantasy that will never be realized, well, that's different...(I don't think that counts either)...I was JUST thinking. Anyway, I bought tickets to Avatar the movie that just came out.

So, here's the thing: I think it is an awesome movie...I believe that, in itself, rates it at about 7 stars on a 5 star scale or six thumbs up on the Siskel and Ebert Scale. I'm not saying I loved it (OK, yes, I am.) but, I will definitely buy it when it comes out on DVD. I wonder if they will have any figurines...

For those of you who don't know, it is a story of a crippled Marine who gets to go to a different planet and play with a remote control body. In so doing, though, he gets lost on the planet among the native people. The movie has a strong environmental message, that I wish people in developing nations might see, still, it isn't so blatant or overwhelming that it makes you gag. It's a case of trying to get to know your enemy and finding that you are really brothers. It is a VERY good story, well developed by American movie standards, and the entire thing is like a great tapestry that has been woven together with nary a thread out of place.

The animals on this alien planet are well planned, and terrifically portrayed. The culture of the Na-vi reminds one of Native Americans, or for that matter, any native culture that values the land on which they live.

The machines, though futuristic and wild in capability, were believable enough and well designed. One can imagine getting into one and potentially flying one. Everything had the feel that it belonged. It worked the way it felt like it should.

I believed this movie...and isn't that the idea of a movie? To make the audience BELIEVE, if only for a moment? I enjoyed it. I may eventually love it (when was the last time I said that about a movie? [Never]).

This movie was made by the same guy that made Titanic. Remember as the ship slipped under the waves? Remember the Diamond? Remember the old lady? Remember Leonardo De Caprio slipping into the cold waters of the North Atlantic? No? Me neither, all I remember is Kate Winslet's breasts. I think Avatar is better than Titanic, except the breast part, although, those are some HOT alien women!

Would I recommend this movie? HELL YEAH! Especially if you like Sci-Fi...but, even if you aren't a big fan. As long as you can follow a plot, I think you will like it.

The Program

OK, I have subbed at the El all week. I enjoy working at the El. It's our local elementary, and the people that work there are the best. They are supportive and friendly and, amongst the best people in this area. Never mind that several of them are now at a different school. These are the best people around.

I subbed for the music teacher all week. Part of that included readying the children to sing at the sing along. I worked at it all week, trying to familiarize them with the lyrics. It was a fun week.

One of my coworkers introduced me to this group: Straight No Chaser.

See them play the Twelve Days of Christmas here:

The program went well. Mostly, I just changed the power point that showed the lyrics...still, it worked well! Loved it! I enjoyed the kids and the teachers. It was a good week.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Let's Go Camping at Midnight in the SNOW!

O.K., I have a problem with husbands who kill their wives and think they can get away with it. Well, actually, I have a problem with people who kill their wives. Hmmm, actually, killing is probably a bad idea anyway you look at it. DON'T do it!

Scott Peterson is probably THE ONE we think of when it comes to unsuccessful wife murderer. There have been a few others, but how about this guy in Utah? I didn't think Peterson was innocent when it all began, and he had a better alibi than this guy. He went fishing during the day...people do that. Utah guy went camping in the snow at midnight, with his kid.

WHO decides to go camping at the last minute? At midnight? In the snow? with a kid? That's right, nobody with no body (you like that turn of phrase? I am particularly proud of that one!).

What living wife let's her husband do that shit with a young kid? Yep, that's right, even the worst baby mommas in the world are probably more protective of their children than a dead lady!

Come on man, just own up to it and go to jail peacefully.

Oh, and people! Stop killing each other! It's the holidays for cryin' out loud!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

She Wore a Two Hour Delay

OK, Prince didn't sing THAT, but it works. There are no raspberry berets to be seen today. But there IS a two hour delay! As you can see I have been busy shoveling and sweeping!
You will note the absence of Cora's car...REAL JOBS don't have two hour delays...or snow days for that matter. On the other hand, I actually enjoy going to work (sometimes, I regret getting there, but there are few days like that). I made sure her car was free of snow and ready to go...although, I forgot to start it up for her.
You might be interested to know she made it and that the roads between here and her job were fine, they only got bad in the towns.

In taking the above photos, I just missed the quail...I put seed out for the birds and there was a covey of quail enjoying my generosity when I rudely stepped out the door and interrupted their breakfast.

OH, Regis and Kelly just came on and Anderson Cooper is in for Regis--why in the world would you ever give your kid a last name for a first name? Can you imagine the confusion experienced by teachers when he was growing up? I imagine him being called Cooper as a first name and also being called Mr. Anderson...

I wonder if he hates his parents. I think I have it bad with my name, but jeez, I wouldn't blame him for smacking his parents on his birthday every year. "Thanks for the stupid name, Mom!," SMACK! "Dad, next time you name a kid, call him Bill or John, or, for crying-out-loud, even Sue!" SMACK, KICK!

Ok, then, I will leave you to ponder that.

Monday, December 14, 2009


There is something to be said about having your own photographer...Cora can take a good picture when she wants!
Here is a self portrait.

And one of Cora explaining that she was NOT up to a walk in the snow.
Oh, the weather outside is frightful!
but the snowflakes are SOOOOO delightful...
and the car looks good under Sno-ow! And since we've no place to go...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!