Tuesday, December 23, 2008

LOST, season five, coming soon

I had a dream about LOST last night. I was on the island. Weird things were happening, but because it was a dream they were too weird to remember. I do remember saying, "But Ben, I think I'm in love with you." And he was touched because he thought no one would ever be able to love him! The island had moved, like in the TV show, and it was now located somewhere very cold. In fact, they were in danger of the island freezing over if they didn't get the island heater turned on, or something like that.

For those of you who don't watch Lost, first, WHY NOT?!! It has to be the best show on TV. But you can't just jump in anywhere. You have to start from the beginning. So go out and get the first four seasons on DVD and catch up! You won't be disappointed.

Second, Ben is someone who is either a bad guy or a good guy. We're not quite sure which yet. He has done some very bad things, but they may have been done for a good reason. But right now he's mostly a bad guy. I have a t-shirt that says, "Girls like bad boys." I don't necessarily think that's true (after all, it's Snoopy on the t-shirt), but my subconscious obviously thinks differently.

Ben is played by Michael Emerson, who is one of my favorite actors due to my love of some horror movies in which he's appeared, like SAW. He has also played some scary guys in a few TV shows, like The Practice, and The X-files. So maybe in my dream I was talking to Michael, not Ben. And maybe, just maybe, I need to get a boyfriend!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I feel better now.

I'm not happier about what happened at work on Thursday, but I feel a lot better today. You see, I was working my arse off at work because of the holiday rush, and that made me want to clock out and get home as soon as possible. And that's what led to the "problems" I had on Thursday. No, I'm not accepting responsibility for that day. But I'm not going to go into that right now because it will just tick me off, again.

Saturday and Sunday were, oddly enough, much slower days in the Photo Lab, so I was more relaxed and I had time to do things that were not photo-related. For example, I thoroughly cleaned the drip pans under the milk shelves in the cooler. I didn't mind doing this. I had the time - there were no customers who needed help with their Xmas cards or with scanning photos. So I cleaned the pans, as requested, and I "faced" the merchandise, and I cleaned the bathrooms. Yuck. But I did it. And I was calm. And I worked a little later than scheduled. And I didn't mind a bit. Which is why I get so pissed off when someone "talks to me" because I forgot to do something I was supposed to do ONE TIME. Or even twice.

The important thing here being that I'm fine. But I'm still looking for a different job.

I'm also looking for any way that I can move out to California near my mom, who could use some help now and then. My younger brother, Charlie - the one who died in July - was living with mom and my step-father, Jake, who is Charlie's father. He helped around the house and with anything they needed help with. Now he's not around. My older brother, Ken, has moved up to Oregon. So mom has none of her kids around to help out anymore. Ken's daughter, Jennifer, lives nearby with her husband, Gerald, and they're a blessing to have around in case something happens. But I'd rather have someone a little closer to check on them on a daily basis.

I could move in with them. I doubt they'd mind if I did. But I have three dogs and four cats that I have a responsibility to. I will not give them up. And I'm not going to burden my mom with their presence. So unless I can get a place of my own, which is not going to happen unless I win the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes, I'm stuck in Texas.

If anyone reading this is independently wealthy and wouldn't mind buying me one of those half-million dollar homes in Santa Clara, please feel free to contact me. I'll give you the house in Texas when I move out.

My friend Eric is going to London for a week. He really likes London. But if I were going to take a vacation in December, it would have to be in Tahiti, or some other tropical place where I could lie on the beach all day. Oh well. Different strokes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Going to Bed Early (or earlier)

Yesterday sucked at work. Totally sucked. Stupid things. Stupid little things. If you've been reading regularly you know that I'm losing my patience for my job in retail. Yesterday I lost a whole bunch more. Last night I stayed up until 4:00 a.m. looking for a job online. I really need to find a job I like. I really do.

Now I'm going to bed because I'm really tired.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Punkin's Okay

He's fine. Feeling a little better. I was surprised as heck that he let the Vet mess with him this morning with no biting. He only growled once. He got a steroid shot and some antibiotics that I have to give him for a week. We tested him for FELV and he was negative, thank God. Gotta get him vaccinated soon. His vaccinations are not current. My bad. Right now he's sleeping on my desk in front of the computer as I type away. He loves me. He's a great cat.

He followed the neighbor kids home two Thanksgivings ago. He was a sick little kitten - had diarrhea for awhile before we got it under control, and had a little respiratory thing going on, too. Since it was Thanksgiving and he was orange, I called him Punkin. It fits also because he is a little Punk sometimes. Acts real tough. Then he climbs up on my pillow and wraps himself around my head and we both fall off to sleep together.

Getting real busy at work. Lots of people printing photos for the holidays and making photo greeting cards, among other things. I don't mind being busy. It makes the day go by a lot faster. What I do mind are the very small number of customers who take up a lot of your time. Not the ones who need your help because they've never used the photo kiosk before, but the ones who aren't real sure what they want or how they want it so you have to try several different things before they finally decide. And you know you explained something but they weren't paying attention so whatever you did wasn't exactly what they wanted so let's try it this way. And there are the ones who are absolutely sure they didn't order what the machine printed. Forty seven copies? I didn't order 47 copies. Well, I only print what the computer tells me to print, and the order came through for 47 copies. Sorry. No you don't have to pay for it and we can fix it and we'll do it all over again so it's right (i.e. the way you want it). I'll get someone to come over and help these other three people waiting for help while I take care of your problem. I can even tolerate these folks, but it's difficult when you're as busy as we've been getting as Xmas approaches.

I'm supposed to end my shift at 8:00 p.m. but didn't leave tonight until after 9:00, and that included skipping lunch because there were just too many things going on for me to walk away for a half hour. I suppose part of that is me thinking that no one will take the time to help the customers like I will. But part is also that it never fails - as soon as I'm ready to take a lunch break, a group of photo customers shows up. Then I'm stuck until I can either get them finished and out of there or find someone who can cover for me. Now, there are a lot of folks who can "work" the photo lab, but there aren't any who know as much about how to do this and that as I do. So if something out of the extremely ordinary happens, I get pulled away from my PB&J sandwich to advise.

Job security? Not really. Anyone could do my job. It's just that, right now I'm doing my job, so there's no reason for anyone else to do my job. If I were gone tomorrow (traveling to Tahiti to spend my lottery money, for example) someone else would learn all the little things that I know. I think. I hope. And the photo lab would go on.

Enough for now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Backyard Update

Didn't get the backyard cleaned up today. No surprise. It was just too cold to work outdoors. (Well, for Texans, anyway.)

Slept the day away.

Got to take Punkin to the vet tomorrow morning. I think he got into a fight. He has some swelling in his face and he doesn't want to be touched. I would love to be able to keep the cats indoors, but Roscoe will pee in the house if I remove the doggie door. And no, I won't leave the dogs outside when I'm not home.

Punkin, over a year ago

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Really, Really Warm

80 degrees today. From my bed I heard a lot of outdoor machines going - leaf blowers and lawn mowers and such. I could have done some of that myself had I not stayed in bed all day. In my defense, I did stay up until about 4:00 a.m. or so. So when I say I slept all day it isn't as bad as it sounds. But I never did a final lawn mowing this summer, so my dead (or dormant) grass is a little too long. I wonder if it would be a bad thing to mow dormant grass. The mowing would also chop up the neighbor's leaves that have fallen in my yard. There aren't a lot of leaves, and the mowed/chopped leaves would provide good mulch.

I should have let the backyard guy come over today and clean up. Again, I had no idea it would be so warm out. He's coming over Tuesday when the temperature is expected to be just above freezing. That's my day off, and that's why he's coming that day. Or not. We'll see.

Texas weather. You never know. Especially in the winter. At least, in the summer, you know it's going to be hot. You just don't know how hot. In the winter you don't know if it's going to be cold. Or when. Or for how long.

Don't misunderstand. I'm not complaining. I'm incredibly sorry for what the folks in the north east are going through right now. Freezing temps, no power. Sucks. I'd rather be here than there, and I pray they'll be back to normal soon. (At least they have a "normal.")

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Really, Really Cold

My backyard guy canceled on me when he found out that the temperature was 21 below zero with the wind chill factor! (Thank you God.) He'll come over and clean up one day when it's a tad warmer! Next week, probably. And I'll have the money I need to actually pay him in cash. I'll probably give him a little more than the agreed upon amount since the backyard is such a mess!

It's Cold in Texas

Brrrr. The "s" word is in the forecast. That's not unknown here in central Texas, but it's rare. Rain, sleet, snow. I saw a little rain earlier, but not the rest. It is cold, though. And windy. I went out to pick up a few things earlier and, outside the house I was fine, but when I got to the large, open space of the parking lot it got windy and cold! I put on my jacket over my sweatshirt. I'm not complaining. I prefer the cold over the heat and humidity of winter by a long shot.

I found out that my mom has had a minor stroke. I found out by accident. My brother in Oregon called her. She seemed forgetful on the phone, not like herself. So he called his daughter, who lives near mom, and told her to go over and check on mom. That's how we all found out she'd had a stroke. She didn't want anyone to know because she didn't want anyone to worry. That's the way she is. She worries about everything. Worries like crazy. So she never passes along bad news about herself because she's afraid we'll all worry for nothing.

I didn't inherit the worrying from mom. I don't worry about anything. I'd like to say that's because I'm a Christian and I know that God doesn't want us to worry. So I don't. I pray, leave whatever in God's hands, and that's it. But sometimes I think my lack of worrying goes a little too far. Sometimes I think that I should worry a little bit! But I don't. Well, not much. I did worry a little bit about a friend and his cat, who was in pain and had to eventually be put down. But again, I prayed and left it in God's hands, confident that God would watch over both of them.

I put an ad in (on?) craigslist for someone to clean up my backyard, saying specifically that I couldn't afford to pay much. I did that before I realized that I wouldn't have the money to pay someone to clean up the backyard due to double-paying my electric bill by accident. But I'd already committed, and my backyard really is a mess.

I tried to get the guy to reschedule because of the weather, but he really needs the money, so I told him I'd call him at 9:00 a.m. (today) and talk about it. Since the worst of the weather seems to have avoided my backyard, it looks like he'll be coming over. I hope he'll take a check. It won't bounce, but it'll go into my overdraft protection, and that'll cost me an extra $18.

I just finished watching the HBO mini-series John Adams. It was very good, and very insightful about that time in our history. I don't know how much was accurate, and how much was drama, unfortunately. I recommend it highly. Go out and buy or rent it. Watch it. Or read the book on which it's based, John Adams by David McCullough.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I'm losing it. I've been a pretty patient person for quite some time, but for some reason, recently I've been becoming increasingly impatient. Stupid stuff. There seems to be far too much stupid stuff going on, especially at work. Stupid things, or lazy people. I don't know which. Or maybe most of the things that I see are just "honest mistakes." A lot of honest mistakes. I know that my life would be easier and I wouldn't have to do as much work if everyone else did their work correctly. If they'd get smarter, or less lazy.

I suppose I should cut some slack. I was probably the same way when I was younger.

And the (ex-)military in me still causes me to become easily annoyed. I learned discipline and attention to detail (to some degree), so I get irritated at someone's lack of discipline and sloppiness.

I'm also getting tired of having a job where I have to do a little of everything. I'd like to have a job where I just do my job. You know? I don't want to have to sweep the floor and clean the bathrooms and take out the trash and clean up the break room. I don't want to have to stock the shelves and fix other peoples' mistakes. I want to be a Head Photo Specialist and do those things related to that position. I want to have to fix only my mistakes.

I need the money. That's why I'm in retail. It's close to home and it's easier to stay than to leave. I don't want to have to commute an hour each way to a job, even if it's a better-paying job that's more to my liking. But it's frustrating. Because a lot of folks in retail are there "until something better comes along." They don't look at it as a long-term job, so they really don't care too much about how they do it. And they're probably right that however poorly they perform, it won't matter much to future jobs or careers. That is, as long as they don't get fired for something like felony theft! (That recently happened where I work. Charges will be filed.)

So this is just me venting some steam. I'll be fine. Things will get better. I'm sure they will. Really. They will.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home Movies

I finally got out my old 8mm projector, blew the dust off, and plugged it in. It worked. The bulb even worked for about a half second. I bought a new bulb on eBay, and tonight I watched 18 of my old "Super 8" films from the mid to late 1970s. It's funny to look back and see what I filmed once I had that three-minute roll of movie film in my camera. I have a lot of movies of the cats I had back then (Misha, Sylvie, and Bessie, may they rest in peace), and of the husband I had back then (Ed). Most of the movies were taken while we were in Massachusetts, stationed at Fort Devens. I have movies of famous places, like the House of the Seven Gables, and some things in Boston, but not enough film of those things. Movies of visiting relatives. Movies of relatives we visited.

The one film that perplexes me is a single, three-minute reel that starts with movies of the cats in Massachusetts, then changes to the outside of my brother's cabin in Avery, California, then goes back to the cats in Massachusetts with snow outside. What possessed me to take the camera to California, use about a minute of film to film the cabin, but nothing else, then bring the camera home to Massachusetts and finish the roll with cat-in-the-snow movies? That's just weird.

The movie camera had the ability to shoot one frame at a time, so I went to the trouble of making an animation stand for the camera. I must never have used it because the only thing I have are test shots - distances, lights, settings - using the stand. I did make a little animation of two feet walking across a desk and writing "tschuess" (bye, in german) with an invisible pen. Ed made a better short movie with little toy cavalry soldiers, horses, and an ill-fated native-american. That was my short-lived brush with animation. Animation still interests me, but I've never done anything else. Pity, since I have all this neat computer stuff to help me.

At some point in the past I spliced together enough rolls of film to create a seven-inch roll of movies. I didn't watch that because I have sent it off to be transferred to a DVD. I figured since I'd already put it together in some sort of order (I hope), it could go off to be transferred without any review. Those movies are going to be from Germany, when Ed and I did some travelling. We were in Garmisch when we bought the camera. We were up in the Alps trying to capture a beautiful panoramic view with a still camera. When we got down the mountain we found the PX and bought the movie camera.

I suppose once I get the DVD back I'll post some, if not all, of the movies on YouTube. I'll probably write about it here when I do.

There are some movies of Ed's mom, dad, and other family. I'd like him to have those. I guess I'll have to try to get in touch with him. I had an e-mail address that worked. It doesn't anymore. Maybe he'll read my blog and contact me.

I shouldn't be up this late. I have to work tomorrow. Um, today.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

After the Nap

The meeting this morning wasn't really that important. Just a rev up for the holiday shopping season. But we knew that was going to happen. We also went over the company's sexual harassment policy, since we just had the store's number two man fired for that. And there was something else we covered, but I forget what it was. (oops) It was something that I already knew. I also found out that our employee discount has gone up to 20%. It was 15%, then it went up to 20% just on Walgreens brand merchandise and photo lab orders. Now it's 20% on everything. Well, not everything. For some reason we don't get a discount on dairy products. And no discount on tobacco (I don't use it.) or alcoholic beverages (we don't sell them).

After the meeting I went across the street to the "evil empire" (that other wal- store) and bought a few things. I have some plants that need to be repotted, so I bought some dirt. Intended to do that today, but I ate some roast chicken for breakfast, started watching Lord of the Rings, and got sleepy. Took a nap. Didn't want to wake up, but I knew I had to. So here I am.

I tried the new "Red Box" that we got at work. I may use it from time to time, since it's so convenient, but I get my movies from NetFlix.com. I checked out "I am Legend." Now I have to go watch it so I can turn it in tomorrow. I had also planned to watch "John Adams," but the nap and the Red Box eliminated that option. There are several Red Boxes in town, but ours is the only one where you can park directly in front of the box, which means convenience, which means it should get the most use.

I've decided I need to change jobs. I need to get out of retail. I don't like that I have so many other things to do besides my actual job. And a lot of what I do is hard on my aging body. I have bone spurs, bad knees, degenerative joint disease, a bad back, a bad wrist, and a worsening attitude. When I'm stocking the shelves - bending, kneeling, lifting - it can't be good for me. It just makes things worse. So I'm going to look out for a different job where I can do less manual labor. I wish I had the skills to be self-employed, but I'm just not the hard-sell type, and you have to be if you want to make enough money to survive.

That's all for now. Maybe I'll write more later. I know I had a couple of things to write about, but I've forgotten what they were. I guess I need to start writing things down, or get one of those as seen on TV "Lil Reminders."

Pulling an All-Nighter

I'm staying up all night on purpose. I slept very late yesterday, so it's not like I'm exhausted. You see, I have a meeting at 8:00 a.m. at work. Yes. On a day off. The boss likes to have a meeting during the holiday shopping season, and he feels that Sunday morning is the best time to do that. The store won't open until 9:00 a.m., so we have an hour to sit around and listen to him try to rev us up for the season. I'm certain that staying up all night will make it easier for me to get to this (expletive deleted) meeting than if I were to go to bed and try to get up when the alarm goes off.

It hasn't been a waste. I've gotten a few things done, fun and otherwise. I remembered that there are organizations out there whose purpose is to archive internet sites, so I looked up my old sites. The ones I'd lost. And by golly they're out there. Yay. Unfortunately, the graphics are not all out there, so I can't easily recreate the sites that are gone. But I did get a lot of the stuff that I'd thought I lost. Text, that is. I'll go back and see what photos are there and grab what I can.

I'm helping a friend with her B&B website. She's been paying way too much for hosting, so I've transferred her domain to another host. Now she'll pay less for two years than she was paying for three months! Last night I set up the account and transferred the files. Tonight I set up her e-mail. So that's good for awhile.

I've been updating some of my sites. I added some "things about me" to the list on my personal site. I added the home graphic and buzz to another site. And I updated my male bashing site. But I haven't searched the archives for that site. I just added some new stuff I'd found and some old cartoons that I'd found hard copies of. I suppose I'll have more to add once I check the archived site.

If you're interested in searching for an archived site, go here. Type the URL into the "wayback machine" at the center of the top part of the page.

I have to decide what to do after the meeting. Go to church? I really should. There's no excuse and I haven't been in ages. I probably will. Then I should do some things around the house. Clean, for example. I don't do that very much. And I have some specific tasks to do, like repotting some plants, and cleaning the fish tank again. Since lives are at stake, I do clean the fish tank regularly! Not as regularly as I should, but more often than I clean anything else.

Almost time to go take a shower. See ya later.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Free Clicks Make the World a Better Place


You can help a lot of rescued animals by visiting this site daily and clicking. It's free. Will cost you only a few seconds of your time.

At the top of the page you will see tabs for other charities that work the same way, but for people. Click those, too. Less than a minute of your day. Don't give me excuses. There are none (as long as you have a working computer and internet connection).


Same sort of thing here. You can save land for free. Just click.

I have these on my "bookmarks toolbar" so I can visit them easily every day. I'm sure your browser has a similar feature.

No excuses.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fred Conlon...

...is a very nice guy. I like that garden art so much that I tracked him down on the internet and told him how much I laughed. And I'm still laughing. I got a short e-mail back from him. That was nice. If you're interested, you can find him here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A sample of my sense of humor

When I saw this in a catalog I totally cracked up!!!! This is one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time!As soon as I can scrape up a few extra bucks ($49.95), I'm going to buy it!

Credit goes to Utah artist Fred Conlon for this fantastic piece of art!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Progress! Maybe.

As I wrote earlier, I now think my fatigue is due to hormones. A few days ago I bought some OTC (over-the-counter) estrogen replacement. I bought the two-tablets-a-day estrogen, and the one-tablet-a-night estrogen. When I got home, I took the nighttime estrogen. The next day I woke up at noon and had no trouble getting out of bed! I didn't feel excessively tired or like I needed to sleep some more. I took the daytime estrogen that day, and the nighttime estrogen again that night. The next day I woke up at noon and didn't have any trouble getting out of bed! I think these hormones may be working, or it could all be psychological. But I think they're working.

Today I slept until noon, and could have gotten out of bed with no trouble, but I decided to go back to sleep. Hey, old habits die hard.

I shall continue to take the OTC estrogen as long as it appears to be helping. I have an appointment with my GYN on 12/11, and will bring this up with her at that time. Getting estrogen from the doctor will be cheaper than buying it OTC, thanks to copay.

Getting a Life

On Thursday I went to a meeting of local Democrats. I don't really consider myself a democrat, but I have voted democrat since 1992. I consider myself an independent. I don't register as any particular party, although here in Texas that isn't as important as elsewhere. In Texas you can vote in either primary, regardless of how you've registered.

The meeting started as a pot luck, and I took way too much food. It was nice getting out with people who don't have anything bad or scary to say about President-elect Obama! It was nice getting out, period. I gave them my annual dues, and decided to volunteer to be "correspondence secretary." The outgoing correspondence secretary said she'd had nothing to do since most business is carried out by e-mail! I figured I could handle that!

So, I now have something going on in my life besides work and home. And I hope to be able to start going to church again, now that the estrogen seems to be working. We'll see what happens tomorrow morning!

My pastor has decided to leave us at the end of the year and go to a church in Miami. I'm very unhappy about that, but it's his life, and from what he's told me, he's a perfect fit for the Miami congregation. So, while I would love for him to stay, I hope the very best for him in this new chapter of his life.


I've gained a lot of weight lately. I think it's stress weight. I was watching The View, as I regularly do, and the women were talking about how they've gained weight during the presidential campaign. So that's what I'm blaming for my weight gain. Of course, the fatigue, over-sleeping, and lack of activity probably have a lot to do with it, too.

I've signed up with Jenny Craig, but I'm having trouble embracing the menu! The food doesn't suck, but the portions are smaller than I've become used to, of course, and I find that I'm hungry a lot, which is a dangerous thing. I haven't been eating any fresh fruit or vegetable snacks, and that makes a difference. I just need to change my habits, which is the hardest thing to do in a diet. Mostly I just need to stop binging on sweets. I'm pretty much addicted to the four C's: cake, candy, cookies and ice cream. It's my only addiction. No booze, no drugs, no sex. Just sweets.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I've been reading a friend's blog, and some of his friends' blogs, and I see one thing in common: we all have issues. We all have these one or two things going on in our lives that just seem to cause a chink in our respective armors. For me it's currently the chronic fatigue. I finally managed to get to two appointments today. The first was at 8:00 a.m. In order to get there, I decided not to actually go to bed last night. I sat up on my bed leaning back, propped up on my pillows. I had the TV on and intended to leave it on all night. That way I knew I wouldn't fall into a deep sleep for very long, if at all. At some point the TV started giving loud static, which "woke me up" and I turned it off. I still had lights on, and I'd set the alarm for 5:30 a.m. It all worked. When the alarm beeped I got up, got dressed, fed the furchildren, and drove the one hour to the VA Hospital. I couldn't eat since I was having a blood test and I was supposed to "fast" from midnight on.

One could say that whole effort was wasted, since the results of the blood and urine tests didn't explain the reason for my chronic fatigue. On the other hand, I guess things were ruled out, like thyroid problems. And my sugar level was above normal but not too high -- not diabetic. Thank God.

I did find out I have small bone spurs in my heels, and I got my flu shot. So it wasn't a total waste.

I think the fatigue is hormone-related. I've been thinking about it, and I'm pretty sure the fatigue started about the same time the doctor took me off of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). I'd been on HRT for 13 years and she figured that was enough! Also, I was discussing this with my friend who told me she had a very similar experience, and taking estrogen made a big difference. So now I have to get my butt out of bed on 12/11 and go to another appointment and beg a doctor (who I really don't like because she has a poor "bedside manner") to let me try estrogen "therapy." I have decided that, if she doesn't, I will either request a second opinion or go to a non-VA doctor, even if it comes out of my own pocket.

This fatigue has got to stop. The hardest thing I do every day is get out of bed. And I can only get things done around the house if I drink those high-sugar, high-caffeine energy drinks.

So there's my issue, and an update. And now I'm going to throw some clothes in the washer and take a nap!! Don't worry. I will be able to sleep tonight!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Sue is very happy today!

This election has made me feel exceptionally good about my country. I love my country. I served in the Army for 22 years to defend my country. Today I love it even more.

What an incredible historic event. I'm glad I lived to see it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Personal Website

I've been trying to recreate some sort of personal website after my total loss a few months ago. I'm not 100% happy with what I've done so far. I'm not sure I ever could be. But I'm about 85% happy with it. The original idea was that, if you want to know more about me, you should click on the links on the first couple of pages. One page is a list of "my" pages on different sites, like MySpace, YouTube, Blogspot, etc. What better place to get to know me than on those different types of pages? Another page is a list of sites I visit every day - another look into my brain, in a manner of speaking. Last night I added a list of "things about me." I'll update that from time to time, as I think of things. I know there are zillions of "things about me," but I can't think of them all at once! And some are too private!

There are also some photos, and I plan to add another group of photos in the nearish future.

I know it's a very somber website, but it's not supposed to be depressing! Honest! I'm just sort of experimenting with simplicity and minimalism.

So if you haven't see it lately, have a look. Feedback is welcome.


I am so glad that election day is finally here. This election has had me very stressed. No other election has affected me this way. Ever. The last polls open, I guess, in Hawaii, in a few hours. By midnight we should have a pretty good idea who our next president will be. I want to celebrate, no matter who wins, just because it will finally be over!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Voting Early

I voted yesterday. It was the last day of early voting in Texas.

Not the reason that I voted early, but I thought of a good reason for voting early. If you're very passionate about your candidate winning, you should vote early, just in case, God forbid, something terrible should happen to you before the official election day. Let's face it - the awful truth is that a lot of voters are going to die between now and Tuesday. More will be injured and unable to make it to the polls. Those votes will be lost.

You could argue, as I once did, that you should wait until the last minute to vote just in case something real bad happens with one of the candidates, like we find out one of them is a pedophile or something equally perverse.

I know there are still "undecided" voters out there. Here's what I think about them. I think these people are the same ones that can't make any decisions, even simple ones. They can't decide what clothes to wear or what car to drive or what kind of sheets to buy. If you haven't been able to make up your mind by now, maybe you just shouldn't vote.

I'm going to go turn my clocks back now and go to bed to enjoy that extra hour of sleep.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another one about dreams

I guess my subconscious has completely accepted the fact of my youngest brother's untimely death. I say that because last night I had a dream in which his death was mentioned - by me.

In the dream I was at my mom's house, where Charlie lived. The phone rang and I answered it. A man on the other end asked to speak to Charlie. I sort of stuttered and asked him to hold on. I was going to give the phone to my mom so that she could inform the caller of Charlie's death. Why her and not me? I guess because I thought mom might actually know the person who was calling. But before I passed the phone to mom I asked who was calling. The man said he was from Brigham Young University (why? who knows?) and he was conducting a questionnaire. At that point I told him that Charlie had died in July. I don't remember the rest of the dream.

The fact of Charlie's death now showing up in my dreams makes me think that perhaps I have been dealing with accepting his death on a deeper level. But I'm not psychiatrist or psycologist or whatever, so I don't really know what it means.

In another dream last night - and here we get back to the wierdness - I dreamed about an insect that was slowly flying around in my mom's house. It was large and fragile, and a shape that I can't begin to explain. So here's a little sketch.

Yes. That's it. It was sort of a curved stick with five (or possibly seven, but I think five) insect body-shaped things attached. The middle one was, I guess, the actual insect body. And it was flying in this shape. But when we caught it and/or it was stopped on a wall, the stick part completely collapsed and hung down beneath the middle part. It was about two feet from left to right, and it was gliding slowly and gracefully through the house.

I asked my other brother, Doug, how it got in. He showed me the window screen, which was in desperate need of repair. I told him, accurately, how to repair a window screen. Someone else was there - I'm not sure who he was - who was impressed that I knew how to repair a window screen.

And that's what my dreams were about last night. Real life combined with weirdness.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weird Dreams

I have the strangest dreams. I often wake up and wonder, "What the hell was that all about?!" For example, a few nights ago I dreamed a sort of spy scenario, where the bad guy was some sort of sea animal (fish or whatever), and we - whoever "we" were - had to fight him or it from inside of it. So we had to put this sort of cone-shaped thing that was filled with liquid over our heads and breathe the liquid, then insert ourselves head first into this fish-thing's body through a slit in its skin. I remember not being able to get my shoulders through the slit, so I had to get my accomplice, who was smaller than I, to go in instead. I also remember being inside and trying to recruit some other sort of person, who wasn't really a person, who lived inside this fish-thing to help us, but the other person-thing didn't want to help. She had household chores to do or something.

This sounds so incredibly silly that I'm sitting here laughing at myself. And wondering if I should see a therapist.

I also remember a dream where the Chinese were secretly training their olympic athletes in the USA, inside a hidden area in a hotel. Like there was a floor of the hotel that no one knew about that was used to train these athletes. And this was all done in secret because it wasn't legal, for some reason. When discovered, the leader jumped down some sort of chute that led to a get-away car. I knew that following him down the chute would NOT land me in another car, but I did it anyway. Whatever happened, I ended up miles and miles away in the wrong direction.

I don't mind having these weird dreams. They're very entertaining. Sometimes I think I should try to turn them into a story that could become a book. It would have to be a sci-fi book, I think.

I also have some disturbing dreams with recurring themes, although the details change. In these dreams I'm extremely mean, doing all I can to bring misery to others. Sometimes I'm even beating up on family members, or at least screaming at them. Last night I dreamed that my family was making me see a psychiatrist. Honest. But I was so mean and unyielding that I ended up breaking the psychiatrist before he could break me! When I have beating-up-my-family dreams I feel horrible when I wake up. I often wonder what causes me to have dreams like that. I get along fine with my family and can't imagine any scenario that would have me beating on any of them, or even screaming at them. I wonder if it's one of the medications I take.

I wrote in an earlier post about dreaming that I'm back in the Army. I still have those dreams. It still bothers me, in the dream, that something has gone wrong and I'm not retired!

Oh well. It's getting late and I'll be dreaming again, soon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My New Umbrella Hat!

I got my new umbrella hat today! I had to order it from England, but the wait was definitely worth it. It's stunning! ;-) Even though it came from England, it was still remarkably affordable. I wonder why this particular style of umbrella hat isn't available in the USA. But I searched the internet and the only one I found was in England. Thank goodness for PayPal. They convert the money for the buyer and seller and make it all very simple.

I know you're dying to see it, so here you go.

Yep. It's camouflage!!!!! Now I have three styles: the original and most common multi-colored umbrella hat; a patriotic red, white and blue USA umbrella hat; and my new camouflage umbrella hat.

If you want your very own camouflage umbrella hat (and who wouldn't?!!), you'll find the seller I bought from on eBay. Just go to eBay and search for "camouflage umbrella hat." It was only 10.99 pound sterling, including shipping. (I can't find the british pound (money) sign on my computer.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Double Standard

I watch several "police-type" shows: Law & Order, CSI, Without a trace, and others. Why is it that, in all of these shows the men are dressed very professionally, always in a suit and tie, while the women are mostly dressed in cleavage? The way the women dress in these shows seldom matches the professional style of the men. When it does, there's still a good dose of cleavage.

Okay, I know why. To get men to watch the shows. Doesn't say much for the show's writers and producers does it? When you think the men won't watch unless the women show a little boob, it doesn't say much for your confidence that the show is any good.

I say dress the women in the shows the way they would be expected to dress in the actually police or FBI environment. Let's find out if the show is any good, or if the ratings are just a guide to how much cleavage can be seen.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pictures, pictures, pictures

I've been up all night scanning old photographs. Most of them are of me at some point in my life. I decided to do this after my youngest brother died. I decided to get some photos ready for when it's my turn. Hopefully that won't be for quite some time, but you never know. Anyway, when they have my funeral or memorial service or whatever, I'll already have the photo displays ready! (Unless, God forbid, something happens in the next couple of weeks!)

So far I've got a whole bunch of pictures scanned and on my computer. I'll slowly make print copies of them (by uploading them to walgreens.com, of course). Then I'll buy a couple of huge poster frames and mount them attractively in the frames.

I've got to add some recent photos, though. I don't actually have any recent photos. I suppose I'll have to have people take pictures of me as my life continues so I'll have "recent photos" for the display.

I've also been trying to figure out my military assignments. I know where I was stationed and in what order, but dates fail me. I know I have all that information lying around somewhere. I just have to find it. I've signed up on a military website where I'm listing all that information, which is a good thing since it sort of forces me to get that information together. You can find the website here.

I can stay up all night because I'm taking some days off of work. I had a couple of vacation days and "special" days that I needed to take before November 1st, so I'm taking them now. Got to go back on Wednesday, though.

I'm also trying to get the house cleaned up a little while I'm off work. So far so good, but there's a lot to clean!

Here's one of the pictures I scanned tonight. It's a picture of me with Arnold Schwarzenegger taken on March 11, 1989. I attended the first "Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic" bodybuilding contest in Columbus, Ohio, that weekend and my VIP ticket included having my picture taken with Arnold.

And here's one of my last reenlistment. It was at Ft. Meade, Maryland. I think it was in 1987.
That's Lieutenant Colonel Charles Gross administering the oath of enlistment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dr's Appointment

I made yet another doctor's appointment to try to figure out this constant fatigue I'm feeling. I'm just telling you so that those of you who "are worried" about me can keep me in your prayers, so that I will get out of bed on the 4th and 11th of November and actually go to the doctor's appointments. I will address the fatigue issue at both of these appointments.

Thank you for worrying about me! It's a nice feeling.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Award, the discount and the camera

My employer (Walgreens) is very generous with employee discounts. We get a 15% discount on everything but dairy products every day. We get a 20% discount on Walgreens products every day. But every now and then, for various reasons, they'll give us one day with a 25% discount.

Now, I work in the Photo/Camera department, and I get to see all the new high-megapixel digital cameras. For some time I'd been looking for something to replace my four megapixel 3x zoom digital camera. We had a nice eight megapixel, 5x zoom, 3" LCD display GE camera come in that looked real nice. But at $149.99 there was no way I could afford it. Even with my 15% discount it was out of my price range. But then came 25% discount day. At the same time I received an unexpected check - a $100 award for a suggestion I submitted to the company ($67 after taxes). I also took some aluminum cans to be recycled, which earned me another $5.00! So I bought the camera! After the discount, minus the check amount and can money, I ended up paying only about $46 for my new $149.99 camera!

I'm now trying to decide if I should sell my old camera, which would bring down the cost of the new camera even more. Or should I send the new camera to mom in hopes that she would learn how to use it. That's what I'd really like to do - send it to mom. But I don't think she'd use it much. She doesn't really take many pictures. So I'm still thinking. If I sold it I wouldn't get much. Technology is moving ahead so fast that my "old" digital camera is only worth about $50 brand new. If that much. Maybe I'll try to sell it on ebay. And I'll throw in a 1gb SD card.

Part of me wants to keep it. I'll keep the new camera at home to use for special occasions - special picture taking sessions. And I'll keep the old camera with me for spontaneous photo opportunities. I have this fear of losing any camera I'm carrying around on a regular basis, so I don't want to take the new one. On the other hand I miss a lot of photo ops when I don't take a camera with me. Decisions, decisions.

I'm going to go out and take some pictures with my new camera soon, and I'll be sure to post some of them here. Some videos, too. "Watch this space!"

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Moth

I took a picture of a moth that was on the building where I work. It's a pretty big moth, and a pretty moth, so I'll share the picture with you.

It's not much to write about, but it's better than nothing, right? And I do enjoy my bugs! Maybe some of you do, too. This particular bug is a sphinx moth. You see them buzzing around flowers just like hummingbirds. If you care you can google it and learn more.

You might wonder why I was taking pictures outside the building at work. Well, we were told to do a "pet photo shoot" which took me outdoors for three hours. When I didn't have customers I was photographing moths and weeds. Well, wildflowers. But wildflowers become weeds when they're where you don't want them to grow. Here's one at work:


The pet photo shoot went well. But chain-wide we didn't have many customers, so I'm pretty sure we won't ever do that again!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sleeping 30+ Hours

I did it. I slept over 30 hours straight. (Well, except for getting up to pee.)

With this "chronic fatigue" that I have been experiencing I keep telling people that I'm sure I could sleep for 24 hours if I didn't have to get up and feed the dogs and cats. Now I know that's true. The dogs and cats had plenty of food and water, and I'm having a three-day weekend, so I decided to sleep the whole first day. I went to bed Saturday night and slept until Monday morning.

I don't recommend it.

It was no problem sleeping. I never once woke up and felt like I'd had enough sleep, so I'd just get up and use the bathroom when I had to and then go back to sleep. That is the essence of this affliction. I never feel like I've gotten enough sleep.

I got up at 9:00 Monday morning and I felt lousy. I suppose it was the lack of food and water, mainly. I felt like I was only about 75% there. It took some time before I felt normal. About four or five hours. I ate, drank, watched TV, got on the computer. Now it's just about 3:00 p.m. and I feel fine. I've just had an energy shot ("5-hour energy" shot) and I'm going to go out in a minute and mow the lawn.

Incidently, I could have slept longer.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hundreds of Spiders!

At work I've earned a reputation as a sort of rescuer of insects. I've carried a number of beetles, crickets, and spiders out of the store and set them free. Today my boss was working the front register when he noticed a spider down in the corner on the floor. He called me over. This spider was different than the usual spiders we have in the store - what I call the common garden spider. We get lots of those. They're easy to catch and carry outside. This one was not a common garden spider. When I reached down to grab it I realized at once that it was a female wolf spider. How did I know? Because bunches of tiny baby spiders that were on her back started to run! Maybe not hundreds, but dozens! I'd seen a wolf spider carrying babies before. She was larger than this one.

This mama wolf spider was hard to catch, and the more I tried, the more baby spiders went running. I was getting nowhere and, to my frustration and concern, baby spiders were everywhere. So I grabbed a bag and managed to scoop mama and what babies were left into the bag. The good thing was that they stayed put once they were in the bag, so I didn't have to worry about baby spiders crawling up my arm as I carried them outside.

I got the bag full of spiders to the grass and dumped them all out. Amazingly, they all came out quickly and easily. I was afraid I'd have to leave the bag outside, weighted down somehow, so that all the spiders could eventually make their way out.

Mama spider sat still once she was out of the bag and on the ground, lots of tiny babies still crawling all over her.

There were so many. I wonder how so many babies manage to reside on one mama spider body. I suppose her abdomen was much smaller than I realized - that the bulk of her body was actually babies.

Here's a picture of the wolf spider that was outside my house. this one was about three times as big as the one in the store.

I hope I haven't made you to squeamish reading about my spiders!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm sick of it!

I think we're all sick of it! The negative campaign ads. Take one little part of one little thing and inflate and distort it until it makes the other candidate look like the spawn of Satan. It's ludicrous. We all know it's bullshit. We're smarter than they give us credit for. Well, most of us are.

The only people who like and agree with the republican attack ads are the republicans. The only people who like and agree with the democrat attack ads are the democrats.

So why persist? Spend the money on something else.

For those of you who are paying attention to those ads hoping to learn more about a candidate, DON'T!! Look up the issue and find out the truth. If you're reading this then you have access to the internet. Use it to find out the truth. Go to the candidates' web sites and read what they say about any particular attack. Get both sides.

If you still don't know who to vote for, watch the debates. The first one will be on Friday, September 26. If you have a TV you'll be able to find it.

To the candidates:


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dolly, Dolly, Dolly

I saw Dolly Parton on the Tonight Show tonight. The woman is 62 years old. She has huge boobs and is proud of her huge boobs. But her boobs looked incredibly fake tonight. And they didn't look like implants. They looked like helium balloons. They were too far out and too far up for a 62-year old woman. I stared like I was watching a horrible car wreck. I knew they looked fake, but it took me a while to completely figure out the weirdness of the way they looked. Helium balloons. Overinflated. Out and up. I suppose helium filled fake boobs would take a lot of stress off her back.

Can you imagine those petite 62-year old bones supporting those huge boobs? She won't fall and break a hip. One day her back will just snap.

"Freak Injury Paralyzes Beloved Performer" is what the headline will say.

Unless, of course, they really are helium balloons.

(I do love her sparkly website!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Too Much Money For My New Toy

Okay, I wasn't going to tell you because I spent way too much, but I only have to pay $30 per month with no interest. I won't tell you how much it cost. But it's so cool I bet you'll wish you had one. (Go to ginnys.com - you'll find it.)

I bought myself an electronic thing that lets me transfer my old records to CDs!!! I guess you'd call it a CD recorder, but that doesn't tell the whole story. It plays records and cassette tapes, and allows you - me - to record them onto a CD. So the 4- or 5-hundred or so records that have been sitting in boxes in my closet for several years can now be enjoyed again!

(It's a radio, too.)

I know it's going to take a long time to transfer all those records to CDs, but I think I have enough time left!! ;-)

I'd been admiring and coveting this CD recorder for some time, but didn't decide to buy it until my brother told me he has a copy of our dad's song on a record somewhere, he just has to find it.

WELL GET LOOKING, brother, because I need to justify spending money I don't have on this thing! (And if you have any records you'd like me to transfer to a CD for you, send those, too!)

Seriously, though, I'm very excited about being able to hear dad's song and then transfer it to a CD, which will allow me to upload it to my computer, and then who knows what!!!! I also plan to send a copy to my half-sister on dad's side who is also very excited about the whole thing.


One of my favorite shows will be back on September 28th! I have to go subscribe to Showtime so I won't miss it. Season three. Seasons one and two are available on DVD. I highly recommend you watch them if you haven't. It's a great show. Not bloody or gory like you might expect. Michael C. Hall has been nominated for an emmy and I'm hoping he wins!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Big Race

You might wonder who I'm backing for president. Well, wonder no longer. I'm voting for this guy.

To ask him a question, or find out where he stands on particular issues, go here.

Seriously, though, I'd be very happy if you'd go here. And thank you in advance.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Insider

Another movie that I watched yesterday. I guess it wasn't very successful when it came out, but I thought it was very good. It's about someone who worked for a tobacco company who becomes a whistle blower. More about it here.

Okay, it's time.

I'm tired, as usual, and I don't really feel like writing. But I promised, didn't I? So here goes. I'm going to write about the trip home (to Texas) from home (California).

Once again I was flying standby on United, thanks to my brother's having worked there for a lot of years. I was trying for a flight from San Francisco to Dallas. When I got to the airport the first thing that was obvious was that it was much busier than the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport. There was a long line to get through security, but it moved pretty smoothly. I got my ticked from the machine, as before, and got in line. When I finally got up to where a person looked at my ticket, I was asked to step over to a special area. Jackpot!! I was one of the lucky travelers who got to receive special attention. I guess I looked like a terrorist. Fit the profile. I guess the fact that I was traveling on an employee ticket didn't matter. Also, I'm an overweight 55 year old woman who bears no resemblance whatsoever to middle easterners, imho.

So I took off my shoes, put all my stuff in the plastic totes, walked through the metal detector, and was taken over to where they could take a closer look.

First I had to stand in this booth thing with my legs spread and my arms out while little nozzles blew puffs of air up my clothes. I have no idea what that was for, but I thought about it being that big x-ray machine that some folks have been complaining about - the one that shows much more of your body than any TSA employee needs to see. I don't think it was that thing, though, because I didn't see anything that resembled an x-ray machine.

Then some guy had to open and look through my carry-on bag and my purse. No surprises.

Then I got to put my shoes on, take my stuff and go to the gate.

I went through a few shops on my way thinking about buying a souvenir, but ended up with nothing. When I got to the gate I bought some water and a bad blueberry muffin. Then I waited for the flight.

This flight wasn't as enjoyable as the first. I was crowded into a cheap seat. Not nearly as much leg room as the first flight. If I recall correctly, we got a beverage and a snack, but I'm really not sure. We must have gotten at least a beverage. (I knew I'd forget a bit the longer I waited to blog about it.)

The flight was uneventful - which is definitely a good thing.

My niece and sister-in-law were waiting for me outside the terminal in Dallas. We drove to their house where I had left my car. I stayed for a short time but was anxious to get back to the dogs and cats, who by now were wondering if they'd ever see me again.

The dogs were extremely happy to see me, and I was extremely happy to see them. Everything at home was okay. Everyone, including my fish, had survived.

This picture was taken about a half hour after I got home.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

No Action

Thank God.

Ike took a turn to the east and didn't affect this area at all, other that some clouds. I was ready for a little rain and a lot of wind, neither of which arrived.

Now I have a bunch of D batteries I don't need.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ike's Coming

If you've been following the weather you know that hurricane Ike is due to hit the Texas coastline any time now. It looks like it'll be in my area tomorrow (Saturday) around noon. I'm scheduled to work. I'd rather stay home, but I'll go to work. I really don't expect much more than a real bad thunderstorm. Last reports said 2-4 inches of rain with 35-45 mph winds. We've had more rain than that. The wind will bring some limbs down, and probably some trees, too. I'll post photos if anything exciting happens here.

You can check the website of one of the local stations here to see what's going on with Ike and/or what happened in this area.

If I have electricity after the hurricane, I promise to finish my story about the trip back from California. It won't be too exciting, so don't get your hopes up.

Please pray for the people and animals in the path of the hurricane.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Autopsy Results

We finally got the results of Charlie's autopsy, so now we know why he died.

He had deep leg vein thrombosis which caused a blood clot. I thought mom said that it caused a heart attack, but when I looked it up on the internet I read that the clot will move to the lungs.

"These clots are dangerous because they can break loose, travel through the bloodstream to the lungs, and block blood flow in the lungs (pulmonary embolism)."

We were told that it was a painless death. Thank God.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another Phrase That Means Nothing

I was putting Halloween merchandise on the shelves today. I pulled this hanging ghost thing out of the box. The label said "realistic hanging ghost." "Realistic hanging ghost." I'd like to meet the person who determined that this thing was realistic. I wonder how many ghosts he/she has seen.

(I know I said I was going to go to bed after finishing the previous post. I'd forgotten about this new meaningless phrase. I hope you'll forgive me.)

The Trip Back From California

I'm not going to write about it tonight.

I was at work today. It was almost time to go home and I was thinking, "I'm going to finish writing about the trip to California tonight." A short time later, before I got to go home, the boss came around the corner. "Sue!" He was being real nice, and that always means he wants me to do something. "WHAT?!!" This time was no different. Because we had an employee quit about a week ago, we were short handed in the Photo Lab. He wanted me to work late. I told him I would, but I had to take Rosie to the vet, so I would have to leave and come back. (Rosie's fine. It was a routine appointment.)

I ended up working until 8:40 p.m. I started the day at 8:25 a.m. I figured that was long enough.

So no trip wrap-up tonight. I'm just writing this short note, then I'm going to go have a glass of water, and then I'm going to bed. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Another Movie

"Something's Gotta Give" starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. It was okay right up to the part where Diane Keaton's character starts crying all the time. But just okay. The crying made me reach for the mute button. Didn't like the ending. It's nearly impossible for me to believe that a man like Jack Nicholson's character would ever change so quickly. This movie is a few years old. If you have Netflix or something similar, go ahead and rent it if you're curious. But there are other movies you should see first!

Monday, September 1, 2008


I watched "The Last King of Scotland" last night. It was pretty good, and Forest Whitaker definitely deserved the best actor oscar he won for it in 2006. It was based on the true story, but I wonder how much of it was actually true and how much was "dramatic license." Doesn't matter. If you haven't seen it you should.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Audio Blog - The Thunderstorm

Please stand by. I am experiencing technical difficulties. The blog will resume momentarily.

I think you have to click on the title, above. Yeah. Let's try that.

This was posted on August 30, but the audio file was recorded on August 29.

This is what my front yard looks like now (well, except that it's dark outside right now, but the limb is still there.)

K-LOVE is a Christian radio station that broadcasts nationwide. If you don't have a local station broadcasting K-LOVE in your area, you can listen from their website. You'll find their website here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mowed the Lawn Again

I always let my lawn go way too long between mowings. This time was no different. I waited until evening to mow because it's still light outside, but it's starting to cool down. But it was still quite a chore. Part of the lawn is thick, healthy St. Augustine grass. It was slightly damp, and between that and the thickness, it was a job getting through it, even though it wasn't very high. Most of the rest of the lawn is crabgrass, and that grows very tall very fast, so it was about a foot high. Of course, when that happens you have to go over it two or three times to get all the stalks. Are they called stalks? Doesn't matter what they're called. They're a pain in the arse no matter what they're called. So now I'm tired and sweaty and my head aches. As soon as my heartbeat and body temp are back to normal, I'm going to take a long, cool shower.

This is even more incentive for me to get my finances under control. Once I do I can hire someone to mow the lawn for me!! Or at least buy a self-propelled lawnmower!

More Phrases That Mean Nothing

I was reading the label on some lightbulbs. It said, "Guaranteed to work up to five years."

Think about that for a minute.

"Up to five years," means any length of time up to five years. If the bulb lasts four years, that's up to five. If the bulb lasts two days, that's up to five.

If I say I'm going to take a nap and I want to sleep up to five hours, that means I don't want to sleep past five hours. So a bulb that will work up to five years means that it won't work a day past five years, and satisfies the guarantee if it burns out before then.

Either the writer is an idiot, or he/she thinks we are idiots.

Dad's Song

My older brother has informed me that he has a copy of Dad's song. If he doesn't hurry and find it and then carefully pack it and ship it to me, I'll have to drive up there and get it from him! And it's a long, long drive from Texas to Oregon. But that's how anxious I am. (I could fly, I guess. I have what I need to log onto the United Airlines website and schedule a flight!!! Heh heh heh!)

Monday, August 25, 2008


Not the condiment.

I worked six days in a row. The last two, Saturday and Sunday, were 10-hour days. This is what happens when you're already short-handed and someone goes on vacation. I don't mind too much. It means a bigger paycheck, and I can always use extra income. But it also means my normal two days off will be separated. I'll be off Monday and Friday instead of Sunday and Monday. That hurts. I normally need a day off to sleep, and then a day off to get things done that I need to do. With only one day off I'll sleep, and nothing that needs to get done will get done.

I don't sleep so much because I want to. I sleep because something is wrong with me. I don't know if it's hormones or thyroid or what. I just know that I never feel rested, like I used to. If I didn't have to get out of bed I'm sure I could sleep for days and still not feel rested.

I have been scheduled for lab tests for several months. The problem is that, if I take a day off work to go get the tests, or if I plan to go on my day off, I end up not getting out of bed to go to the hospital. I sleep. I need tests to find out why I'm always so tired, but I'm too tired to get up and go have the tests done.

I know you're thinking, well, just get out of bed and go!! I've thought that myself about a couple dozen times. It's just not that easy. This is not normal tiredness.

So anyway, I've only got tomorrow off. Or today, actually, since it's after midnight. I have to take Rosie to see the Vet. I got a late appointment so I'd have a better chance to actually get out of bed and go. And I really need to mow my lawn. If I get Rosie to the Vet, I'll be able to mow the lawn after we get home. But that's all I'll be able to do.

I cleaned my bedroom/office last "weekend." That was a big job since I'm such a slob. Being tired all the time affects housework, too. The rest of the house needs attention, and I'd finally talked myself into cleaning, but that won't happen tomorrow. Probably won't happen Friday, either. But I'll be back to my normal two days off starting next Sunday, so I'll clean some house! Oh wait! Maybe not. I just remembered I'm going to a Democrat barbeque on Labor Day. I guess housework will have to wait an extra week. (No, we're not barbequeing democrats!)

I still plan to write about my trip back from California to Texas. I haven't forgotten. I just need to have more time and not be tired. Those two things don't often happen at the same time.

Now I'm going to go to bed. It's one of my favorite places!! Good night.

Wait, I forgot. We got two new Umbrella Hat Society members today!!!!!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Did I Ever Tell You

My dad wrote a song. Well, he wrote the lyrics to a song, "Did I Ever Tell You." I found out about this song after he died. I was going through some of his things and found the correspondence between him and someone who was helping him get the song published. I don't have the lyrics or the song, so I decided to try to find it.

I contacted the Library of Congress (LoC), where they found a copy of the lyrics and music. But they won't send me a copy without the permission of the copyright holder. To find the copyright holder I have to commission a copyright search by someone at the LoC. This copyright search will cost me $150 per hour. They have estimated that the search will take two hours or less.

Well, I just don't have $300 to pay for a copyright search when I don't know if the copyright holder will even give permission for the LoC to send me a copy. Someday I might have. But not today.

The song was recorded by someone named Annette Warren circa 1940. When I google that name all I get is hits on Annette Benning and Warren Beatty. No luck finding other people mentioned in the correspondence, either.

I'll keep trying, and if I come up with an extra $300, I'll commission that search. But until then I'm sort of stuck.

So I may or may not ever get to hear or read the words to the published song that my dad wrote.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Morgan Freeman is okay

You can read about it here.

Just a reminder

I'm putting this in as a reminder to myself to write about the trip back to Texas from California.

Why the Googly Ball?

This is a phenomenon that baffles me.

I work in a store where we sell Googly Balls. We currently sell large Googly Balls and "Ginormous" Googly Balls. The Googly Balls are in a display not too far inside the store, right where I can see them from my photo counter. I would have to estimate that at least 70 percent of the people who come into the store, regardless of age, have to touch or play with the Googly Balls. And a lot of people buy Googly Balls. They say it's for their kids, or their dog, but who knows?

Some time in recent history someone had to think, "I'm going to make a big rubber ball with air inside and lots of little rubber bits on the outside that sort of look like hair." Shortly after that he or she had to sell that idea to someone who could produce and market the product. At some point someone had to come up with a name for the product. Then someone had to buy or finance the making of thousands of these big rubber Googly Balls, in hopes of becoming rich.

It worked.

I'm mystified.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

WORK is a four-letter word!

If there's anyone - anyone - out there who works somewhere where things aren't usually screwed up and you aren't regularly annoyed, frustrated, and/or angry, PLEASE let me know. Because I don't think places like that exist.

I was so happy to get away from the stupid STUPID things that happen at Wal-Mart.

Now I work at Walgreens. And guess what! Stupid things happen there, too!


Monday, August 4, 2008


Are you watching Stephen King's N? It's a web-based miniseries by Stephen King. A total of 25 "webisodes." Today I watched number 6. If you're at all a Stephen King fan, you should watch it. If you're not a SK fan, you might like it anyway. You can find it here.


William Shatner is my friend on Facebook!! I'm such a geek!

Prayers for Morgan Freeman

One of the best actors of our time has been badly injured in a car accident. You can read the whole story here. Please send prayers his way. He's 71 years old and, at that age it's sometimes hard to recover. His passing would be a great loss to the movie industry, and his fans.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Swollen Eye

I learned a long time ago not to rub my eyes once I lay down to go to sleep. If I do, I end up feeling like there's something in my eye, which then means I have to get up and put some drops in my eye to get rid of the scratchy feeling. Last night I broke the rule and rubbed my left eye. Big mistake. The feeling that something was in my eye wasn't just bad, it was horrible. I had to get up and take care of it. I used the drops. They didn't help. I took a cotton swab and tried to get the -whatever- out of my eye. Didn't help. More drops. Once I got to a tolerable level of discomfort, I went back to bed. When I got up my eye was swollen and very bloodshot. That never happened before. I'm physically conscious of the swelling. It doesn't hurt, it's just weird.

The Trip

I'm not quite ready to continue my trip report. Don't know when that will happen. I'm quite tired and don't have any energy drinks at home. (It's my weekend today and tomorrow.) That usually means I won't get much done but my laundry. We'll see.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Video of Mom's neighborhood in CA

I've uploaded a new video to my YouTube account. It shows the neighborhood where my mom lives, and where I want to live. Alas, I'm too poor to live in a place where the homes cost a half a million dollars. (They were only 20 thousand when mom bought her house.) My YouTube account is here.

When did the days get shorter?

I need more time. I have things I want to do, but it seems like there's just not enough time to do them. Oh, I could stay up late - real late - and do some of the things I need to do, but then I'd be dog tired at work. I usually stay up late on my days off, but then I sleep all day, and it turns out having the same effect. I lose time.

I keep thinking back to the late 70's. I went to work, came home and watched General Hospital (I was addicted back then when the whole Luke & Laura thing was going on.), went to the craft center on post for a few hours and did something creative (woodworking, silkscreen, pottery, etc.), went home and got enough sleep to get up bright and early the next morning and go to work. I couldn't do that today. The days are shorter. I know they are. "They" tell us there are still 24 hours in each day, but they lie.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Trip

Before I talk myself out of it, let me tell you about the trip home (to California).

I hadn't flied since before 9/11, so I hadn't experienced all the little changes that have taken place with security - the liquids, the gels, the shoes, the tiny metal things that might be used as weapons. So I didn't know what to expect. I knew that I needed to be at the airport plenty early, especially since I was flying standby. (My brother used to work for United and gets "companion" tickets that are much, much cheaper than real tickets.) I'd also checked online to find out about the gels, liquids, etc.

I made a pre-flight shopping trip to get the tiny things that I needed. I got some tiny shampoo and conditioner. Tiny lotion. Tiny deodorant. Tiny tootpaste. Tiny mouthwash. Tiny hand sanitizer. I put them all in a quart-size, transparent, plastic zipper bag. With my non-tiny items (Blistex, for example) it was a tight squeeze. I'd read on the TSA website that the items need to fit "comfortably" in the bag, and they didn't look comfortable to me, so I took out the mouthwash and hand sanitizer. I put this bag of stuff in the end pocket of my carry-on bag. I'd decided not to check luggage since it gets lost and can be a hassle. Besides, I was only going home for a few days.

I packed a pair of jeans, a couple of t-shirts, undies, bras, socks and a pair of shoes. I forgot to pack my flip-flops. Fortunately mom had an extra pair.

I added some electronic stuff - mp3 player, earphones, etc.

That was about all I needed. I was traveling in the clothes I would wear to the memorial service, so I didn't need to pack anything for that.

I drove up to Dallas, to my brother's house. I was flying non-stop from DFW to San Francisco (SFO). Good idea when going standby. You don't want to get stuck some place halfway home without a flight. My brother and his family were already in California, so a friend of theirs who was house- and pet-sitting drove me to the airport. (Thanks, Laura.) It was a short and uneventful drive.

When I got to the airport it was not crowded at all. Security was a breeze. I got my ticket from the automatic ticket machine, walked up to security, took off my shoes, put all requested items in the plastic totes, and breezed through. (I think I could have sneaked my little swiss pocket knife through. They really didn't seem to be paying that much attention.)

With security behind me, I had two hours to wait for my flight. Wait. Wait. Walk a little. Wait. Eat some fries. (There was a McD's in the terminal.) Wait. Walk some more. Visit the shops. Wait. Use the bathroom.

Finally we board the flight - some sort of "Airbus" - I forget the nomenclature. I'm seated near the emergency exit, but before I can sit there I have to promise that I will help if there is an emergency. Sure, I can help. Twenty-two years of military service and experience should be good for that, at least! The person next to the exit appears to be a United pilot in uniform, and there is a seat between us.

Here's something I didn't expect: lots of leg room! I ask, when did this start? I'm told that it's common in whatever class I'm in. Economy Plus, I think. The seats cost a little more, but you can actually move. And you don't end up with the private parts of your seatmates in your face when they have to get up and visit the lavatory. So the flight was very comfortable, and the flight attendant (I almost wrote "stewardess") was really nice. I think she thought I was an ex-employee because of my ticket. But she was nice to everyone. Just a little nicer to me!

The flight was a short three hours so we didn't get a meal. We got a "snack." A tiny bag of mini pretzels! Of course, we got free beverages, but I didn't want to drink too much because I hoped to avoid the lavatory. Didn't work. The lavatories haven't changed a bit. They're still way too small, and the plane always experiences turbulence as soon as my pants come down!!

Arrival at SF, and my older brother had to drive around twice to find me. His instructions were to "go to the baggage claim area and then go all the way to the right - there will be some chairs there. Then go outside and wait." Well, I went almost all the way to the right. There were lots of chairs. I finally went outside to find a no parking, no loading, no unloading, no standing, no breathing, no nothing buss stop. I suspected I was in the wrong place. Thank goodness for cell phones. I called, he broke the law by answering while driving, and I found out that I'd gone too far. So "all the way" didn't really mean "all the way." I'm a linguist, but I apparently missed that class!

I soon found where I was supposed to be, and my brother found me, and we drove to my mom's house in Santa Clara.

I was surprised to find my cousin Ed in the car. I didn't recognize him at first. It's been so long since I've seen my cousins I don't recognize most of them. I spent a lot of the time at home asking people who they were!

Let's call this part one, and end it here. I'll get to part two another time. As you can see, this has become a very long post. Next time I'll tell you about my time in California.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Speaking of Sixth Grade...

I have three distinct memories of that time and that particular classroom - the one where I had my English class. One is the limerick incident. The second is of an in-class spelling bee we had. I came in second. I knew the word that I misspelled, but misspelled it anyway. Don't know why. Maybe it was some subconscious thing. I don't remember the word I missed.

The third memory I have of that classroom was the day President Kennedy was shot. That's where I was. An announcement came over the PA system saying he'd been killed, and asking for one minute of silence. During that one minute I giggled a bit because I'd never heard our classroom ever be that quiet!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sixth Grade Homework

One of my homework assignments in sixth grade english was to write a limerick. They're pretty simple to write, but I guess I didn't think so back then. Instead of writing my own, I submitted one that was obviously above my sixth grade english level:

There was a young lady from Lynn
Who was so exceedingly thin
That when she essayed
To drink lemonade
She slipped through the straw and fell in.

For some reason I have thought about that many times over the years. It's pretty easy for me to write simple limericks these days. Maybe that's why. I wrote one a couple of weeks ago which I will share with you now. Should my sixth grade english teacher ever read this, I hope it will make her happy. (I have no idea what her name was.)

Sue struggled and struggled one night.
A limerick she needed to write.
But try as she may
She had nothing to say
So the page remained totally white.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggidy jig

Back in Texas. The flight(s) was(were) uneventful. Only three hours by air. Still, I had to get up and use that tiny bathroom once.

The furkids (dogs and cats) were extremely happy to see me.

It's pretty late so I'll write about the trip later.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Beautiful, Beautiful California

The pain of my brother's death has started to subside a little. I've sort of worked things out for myself about who he was and why he died. I'm still in California. I did't fly home tonight as I was planning to do because I'm going standby and the flight looked pretty much booked. So I changed to a flight leaving tomorrow morning.

In the past few days I've fallen in love again with California. The weather can not be beat. It's been cool during the days and cooler during the nights (about 70 degrees during the day). There's absolutely no humidity. I've decided I need to get back out here somehow.

For comparison, right now central Texas is about 100 degrees during the days and about 80 degrees during the night with LOTS of humidity.

The cost of living is way too high, so it may be awhile before I can get here. But I'm going to be thinking about it and, if I can figure a way, I'm here.

If anyone out there knows or is willing to be my sugar daddy, please let me know. Or if you're just wealthy and very generous, let me know. I'll need some capital!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Today was the day of my youngest brother's memorial service. Coming to this memorial service was a blessing. I have learned so much about my little brother. The memorial chapel was packed full of friends and family. My brother touched more lives than I ever imagined, and he was loved by so many people. He wasn't a "practicing Christian," but I'm convinced that he was doing God's work. I think that God must have used him as an angel to help so many people in so many different ways. I don't have the words to describe how overwhelmed I am with all the love that exists for my little brother. Sure, he was a pain in some asses sometimes, but obviously not much, because so many people are mourning his passing. We know that God works in mysterious ways, and Charlie was one of the mysteries of God. I suppose God saw that Charlie had a good heart and so God put him to work! And when Charlie's work was done, God called him home. I'm sure it will be some time before I completely understand what I'm feeling about all of this.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lost and Michael Emerson

I've become a big fan of Michael Emerson since he has started playing Ben on my favorite TV show, Lost. He's an excellent actor who had managed to scare the crap out of viewers of several TV shows and movies. One of my favorite Ben scenes from the series can be seen on YouTube. This is early on before we know exactly who Ben is. To watch the clip, click here. Oh, and he's been nominated for an emmy!!

New Product

Everyone needs one of these.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


These are a couple of pictures of Charlie when he was young.


I know what "in shock" feels like. I've been in shock for a couple of days. Worse yesterday. I couldn't focus. At all. Part of my brain is trying to wrap itself around the idea that my youngest brother has died. Part of my brain is trying to think of much-less-important things, like flights, and plans, and ounces of gels in clear zipper bags. I just stopped. That was all I could do. I sat down and looked at the TV. Eventually I tried to sleep. I slept about two hours. I finally got to sleep, then when I had to get up to pee (damn old age), I couldn't go back to sleep.

I'm doing better today. I still have things to do and I'm having a hard time getting started. I have time, though. I won't be flying home until Friday, so I have a couple of days to get organized.


I haven't seen much of my youngest brother at all since I joined the Army in 1971. During my 22 years of service I visited once in a while. Not often enough. Since I retired in 1993, I have only been home once, I think. Family members have come to visit me, but never Charlie. Everyone else had the money and/or the means to come visit. Charlie didn't. I wish he had. We'd sort of hinted at the idea a few times that he should come down and visit me here in Texas. He probably would have fit right in. But he never came.

During my last tour overseas, I occasionally talked on the phone with my mom. She'd call me or I'd call her. Almost every time Charlie would get on the phone and we'd chat for a little while. During one phone call he said something I'd never heard from a family member before. He said, "I love you." I was so touched that it brought tears to my eyes. By saying that he taught me that it wasn't hard to say, and it was a good thing to say. Since then I've been saying, "I love you" at the end of all my family phone conversations.

The last time I talked with Charlie on the phone wasn't too long ago. I'm comforted by the fact that I know our last words to each other were, "I love you." I can here his voice now saying, "I love you, Sis."

I love you too, Charlie. Rest in peace.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Very Unexpected Death in the Family

I received word today that my youngest brother, Charlie, has died. We're not sure yet of the cause. My mom found him dead on the floor yesterday - Sunday. We think it was his heart, but we're waiting to hear from the coroner.

Charlie was 47 years old. Never married, no kids. I was told he had just broken up with his girlfriend. (No, we don't think it was suicide.)

Mom is holding it together. Jake, Charlie's dad and my step-dad, had a sort of anxiety attack, I guess, but he's okay now. I'm trying not to think about it. If I do I start crying.

I'll be going home for a few days for a memorial service. Charlie will be cremated and his ashes will be scattered with his dog's ashes in a place where they both loved to go hunting.

Take some time to tell the people in your life that you love them. You never know when time will run out.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Okay, I'm not so tired. I slept most of the day. It was my one day off after working six. The last three of those were 10-hour days. You see, we had an employee get fired, so we've been short handed. That, along with the holiday weekend, meant that I had to work some long shifts. Not a bad thing, really, when you think about the overtime and the holiday pay.

As for what I wanted to blog about, I have no idea. I forgot. So I'll try to remember and then blog about them in the near future.

I DO want to draw your attention to the newly forming Umbrella Hat Society. If you like to have fun and don't take life too seriously, you need to join the Umbrella Hat Society. That's what we're about - having fun. All you need to do is own an Umbrella Hat. You can get them real cheap in a lot of places. I've bought a couple of them. Do a google search for umbrella hats. Do an eBay search for umbrella hats. Ebay will be cheaper.

It doesn't matter what kind of umbrella hat you own. I have one that's the traditional red, yellow, blue and green, and one that has a patriotic theme. My next one will be green camouflage. After you get your hat, take a picture and send it to umbrellahatsociety@gmx.com. Then it will be added to the Umbrella Hat Society website. Then just go out and have some fun. Form a chapter. There are no dues, no responsibilities. Just fun.


I'm not kidding.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Too tired to blog

I wanted to blog tonight. I have a couple of things to blog about. But I'm too tired, and it's getting late, so I'm not going to blog.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Donnie Darko

I'm a big fan of the TV show "Lost." Someone on one of the Lost groups mentioned Donnie Darko, so I decided to watch it. I'm not good at reviewing movies. I can only tell you if I liked it or not. I liked it. It was a little bizarre, which is fine. It kept my attention until the end. Whether it is relevant to the TV show "Lost" is yet to be seen. Both deal with time travel, to a degree. We'll have to wait a couple of seasons to find out how relevant it may or may not be.

Work, work, work

I mowed the lawn today. I do that from time to time, but almost never after I come home from work! But the lawn needed to be mowed, and there are several hours of daylight left after I get home. So I figured, what the heck! I'll get it done today and then I won't have to do it over the weekend. Another reason I picked today was that I work a swing shift tomorrow, so I can sleep a little later. That used to make sense to me, but now that I'm putting it in my blog, it doesn't make as much sense as it did before. I mean, I finished the lawn a couple of hours ago, and it's only 8:00 p.m. Still light outside and far too early to go to bed. So I guess I could mow the lawn any day after work, regardless of what I'm doing the next day.

Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm a Geek!

I know - I'm a geek. Or a nerd. Or whatever they're calling it these days. I have a MySpace page and my newest "friend," is William Shatner! He's friends with about a zillion other people, but how he's my friend!! I'm so excited. (My MySpace identity is wacvet22.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Here's a funny thing

I have trouble waking up. I have trouble not sleeping. Although it hasn't been officially diagnosed, I know that I suffer from chronic fatigue, or something like that. I doesn't matter how much or how little sleep I get, I'm always sleepy. When the alarm goes off in the morning, I press the snooze button until any spare time I might have had is long gone. I have even gone so far as to call in sick to work because I was so incredibly tired. (Not recently, if you're reading, boss.)

But tonight I am experiencing a rare occurance. Tonight - this morning - I can't sleep.

What does one do when one can't sleep? Why, blog, of course!