Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I have two laptop computers. Problem is, they're very old laptops. One is a "NEC" brand that runs Windows 98. The other is a Mac that's incredibly slow. It runs OS9. I have been letting these laptops sit around and collect dust. Now I think I'm going to do something with them.

Yesterday I wiped the hard drive of the Windows laptop and reinstalled everything so that I could get rid of it. I'll probably sell it on ebay, if there's any sort of market. I haven't researched that yet, so I'm not sure. If not ebay, then I'll probably just donate it to somebody somewhere. There must be organizations online that want old computers, just as there are organizations that want old cell phones. (I have a pile of those, too, come to think of it.) As far as I can tell, the laptop works fine. It has an internal CD drive (don't think it's writable, but not really sure), and an external dial-up modem and floppy drive.

As far as the Mac, I think I'm going to keep that for now. Even though it's old and slow, it works just fine, and it will give me the ability to get away from my desk from time to time. I will use it to write letters and blog posts - that sort of thing. I'll have to transfer the files to my desktop for posting and/or printing, since the laptop isn't connected to anything.

Weather Report

It's an ugly day outside. Overcast, rainy, cold. It must have snowed a little at some point because there is some snow in the tree in the backyard, in the V part where the trunk separates into branches. (Would you believe I couldn't find what that's called on the Internet?! Amazing!)

I'm completely out of dog food and really need to go out and buy some, but I don't feel like it! Don't worry. The dogs won't starve. I fed them well this morning - canned food mixed with dry. This evening I'll give them some turkey hot dogs. I usually give them one turkey dog apiece each evening because Celie needs to take medication and I always stuff her pill in a turkey dog. Today I'll give them a couple each. They'll think they've gone to heaven!

Oh, wait. I just remembered I do have some "Moist and Meaty." That's not a staple around here. I sprinkle a little on top of their dry food (Purina One), sort of like whipped cream on pie. So they won't go hungry between now and tomorrow.

Rosie will act like she's starving. She has me trained. She'll make a little whiney noise and that means I'm supposed to get up and get her a snack. She'll continue to make the whiney noises until I finally do get up, or go crazy.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

God Sent Grackles

He really did. I truly love the sound of a large flock of grackles. These flocks also occasionally include other birds - usually starlings. For some reason, the sound soothes me. For the last couple of days there has been a large flock near my house. Today I went out and asked God to bring them over to my backyard - which He did. Hundreds of birds in my tree and the surrounding trees. What a joy.

As I listened I thought, these birds are like carolers - they go from tree to tree, singing their songs. Eventually they move on to another location and sing their song for someone else.

They're welcome in my yard any time.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snowing Like Crazy in Central Texas

Who would have guessed that we'd have a white Xmas Eve in central Texas? It's truly amazing!

(I told you it was going to get cold!)


I want to mention that, in my 56 years of life and 22 years of military service, and having spent the holiday season in many states and in two different countries (USA and Germany), this is the closest I've ever been to a "white Christmas." Here. In central Texas. Where it was 73 degrees yesterday.

Ten Reasons Why I Don't Celebrate Christmas

Top Ten Reasons Why I Don't Celebrate Christmas - click here to read.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Oh, Here's Something Funny

I read this blog daily. If you're a fan of Lost, you might want to read it, too. Jorge has been posting an Advent Calendar consisting of photos of his dog chewing various things around the house. Today's post mentions how Nunu likes to chew (eat) cat poop. Well, I have a dog that does this too, so I posted a reply to Jorge's post. His comments are moderated, and you have to do a word verification before your comment can be submitted. I submitted my comment with no problem. Then the blank comment "form" came back up, as it does, and displayed a new verification word. Here's a screen shot. What do you think? Weird, huh?!!


Awake and Alert, Sort of

This is the first time I've felt some version of awake and alert for quite some time. I went to bed at 6 a.m., got three hours of sleep, got up, ate breakfast, drank coffee, and got on the computer. Too bad I don't have a damned thing to write about. Oh wait, I guess I do.

I had a nice online chat this morning with my niece who sent me a link to photos of her newest "grandkids." Her boy sired the cuties. We also touched on the current relationship between myself and my two brothers. When I started getting teary eyed we changed the subject. Still, the chat was nice since we don't communicate very often.

Then I got a surprise when my half-sister started a chat with me. She and I don't communicate much, either. In fact, we've only actually seen each other twice in our lives, when we were both very young. She was too young to remember. She is my dad's daughter, born after my parents divorced and dad remarried. We had a great, fun time discussing the pros and cons of boyfriends and husbands. She told me that she is now in a very healthy and happy relationship, and I'm very happy for her. (Gotta get one of those for me.)

It's a balmy 72 degrees here in central Texas. Windows are open! Don't be jealous. It's going to get real cold real fast in a few hours. (Well, real cold for central Texas!)

Friday, December 18, 2009


I have finally - finally - located an album from my youth that I have missed dearly for years. I had come to believe that it was so old and obscure, that no one would ever convert it to mp3 format - or any other format for that matter. But I found it. I searched Google for one of the only song titles I remembered from the album and, lo and behold, there it was, on Lala! The whole effing album!

No, the album is not by the group Nirvana. That's how I'm feeling now listening to the album. The album is "If I could only remember my name" by David Crosby.

Ahhhhh. It's as great as I remember.

(Did you know that you can type the name of a song in the search field on Google and get a playable mp3 file as the top result? It's very cool. And the Lala price was cheaper than Amazon.com.)

(If you decide to check Lala out and sign up, please let me know before you do, because if I refer you I'll get five free downloads.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This is new

I got an e-mail from a "secret admirer" which led me to a blog post. Here is the blog post (with URL removed):

I've never seen spam like this before. It's a real blog post at blogger.com. (I reported it for spam.) You must admit it's clever and intriguing. But as soon as they mention the "CC or Debit" you know it's spam.

I have to admit that I'm curious to see how far the scam goes. Will there really be photos of someone with my name on them? I've seen that done with graphic trickery in other places -- someone with a name tattooed on them, but input a new name and the tattoo changes. It's a clever trick. But I won't check it. I'm not into porn, and I'm surely not into paying for porn!

I strongly suspect that, if I went any further it would end up being a woman with my name written on her body, because all of the porn spam I get is directed at men. But it's sent by people who obviously are too stupid to realize that Suzanne is not a man's name!

Best Use of an Apple Computer

And the winner is...


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I might get some money, but not a "raise"

Since millions of people, like me, are not getting a cost of living raise this year, lawmakers are worried. They should be. They want to help us, but not by giving us a cost of living raise. Apparently there has been no increase in the cost of living, so why give us a cost of living raise? Jerks. Assholes. Stand them all side-by-side and let all of us who are affected kick their asses until our legs give out. Here's a Federal Times news article about the mess.

Oh, by the way, we may still be getting some additional money simply because the lawmakers are worried. But it won't be a raise. It will be a one-time payment of $250.

What kind of drugs are these idiots taking?!!!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

What I Did Yesterday, and more.

I was stinking tired yesterday when I posted, and planned to go straight to bed. Then I remembered that the season finale of one of my two favorite shows was going to air. So I stayed up to watch the season finale of Dexter. What an incredible show, and what an INCREDIBLE finale! O! M! F! Goodness!!!! I'd been a bit disappointed that Dexter seemed to be getting a little sloppy this season. I now forgive the writers for that transgression. If you're not watching Dexter, go out and rent the DVDs from the first season and watch. I doubt that you'll be disappointed. (My other favorite show is Lost, but did I really have to tell you that? See the timer to the right of this post.)

It was supposed to be 70 degrees (F) yesterday but I don't think we quite got there. But today more than made up for it. Eighty degrees and no humidity. It would be the perfect summer weather, but it's not summer, and this is central Texas. No chance of a summer here without humidity.

Speaking of yesterday, I had a very different day yesterday. A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless for her privacy) is married to a Texas prison inmate. He recently attempted suicide (no details, again, for the sake of privacy). He was transferred to a prison medical facility, and she asked me to drive up with her so she could visit him. I agreed, even though it would mean getting up at 4:00 a.m. and driving for hours.

If you know me at all you know that I have a very hard time getting out of bed for any reason. I'm just tired. Tired all the time. I have referred to it as Chronic Fatigue, and I'm working to find out what's causing it (although the only blood test I've had so far has revealed nothing). So promising to get up at oh-dark-thirty (as we used to say in the Army), was a huge promise. I kept that promise.

My friend drove up at 6:00 a.m. and I was ready. Off we went on our "road trip."

My friend's husband started out at a local prison, which is why she lives here, near me. Unfortunately, as often happens, he was transferred to a facility far, far away. Our trip to the medical facility was just about 170 miles (according to google maps).

My friend was worried about me the whole time - that I was hungry and that I was tired! Sweet woman, but I kept telling her that I'd let her know if I was tired and when I got hungry. We'd agreed to stop for breakfast along the way. I still wasn't actually hungry when we finally stopped in Mexia (meh-HAY-ya). We had a great breakfast at this very texan-decorated restaurant called "Drillin' Rig." I had a vegetable and cheese omelet with hash browns, toast, coffee and orange juice. It was yummy. I recommend this restaurant to anyone who might find themselves hungry in Mexia. It's on Highway 84. If you really care, you can google it. It's there.

We continued on our way to Rusk, to the medical facility, and arrived there at about 11:00 a.m. Considering how foggy it was all morning, it's a surprise that we made it in five hours, since we had to drive slower than normal most of the time.

As my friend visited her husband, I spent my two hours at the nearby hospitality house. This place was wonderful. It was extremely clean and well-furnished. There were drinks and snacks, and a playroom for children. The host, while I was there, was very friendly (and very talkative, so I didn't get to read, as I'd planned). I'm embarrassed to say that I don't remember my host's name, or I'd tell you.

After I arrived at the hospitality house a man came in with a child. They both went back to the playroom and my host and I could clearly hear the child playing with the toys and the man sawing logs!! Then a couple came in with a dog and their elderly mom, who both waited for the couple to finish their visit. The dog was a cute little black, jack russell-chihuahua mix. I got to take her outside once so she could pee.

Before I left I got to listen to some other folks talk about Wal-Mart and then about President Obama. I pulled out my Kindle and tried to read a bit, but it wasn't easy with those folks talking nearby. I have learned that, when in Texas I do not participate in conversations about President Obama. I would if I were a better debator, but I'm not. I don't recall details, I recall concepts and feelings. It's difficult to debate with concepts and feelings as your tools.

My friend came back to pick me up after her two-hour visit with her husband, and again, we were off on our return road trip home.

This time the drive was much more pleasant because the fog had finally lifted and the sun was out. We had seen many "historical markers" along the route, so we finally decided to stop and look at one so my friend, who has only been in this country for about ten years, could see what they were. The one we stopped to see wasn't real exciting. Something about one railroad meeting up with another railroad. (No, not that big one where the eastern and western lines met up.) So she got to see her first historical marker and find out what that was all about. I suggested she look up Texas historical markers on google and learn more, if she was curious.

On the way up we'd seen some buffalo and decided to stop on the way back and take some pictures, but they weren't there when we drove back by. They had moved to another part of their grazing pasture. We wondered about the difference between buffalo and bison. I said I thought they were the same thing, and looking it up now I find that I was right.

We stopped in Mexia again on the way back but not to eat. My friend put gas in her car. We did go into a Wal-Mart to use the bathroom and my friend bought some chicken. I was going to buy some popcorn chicken, but they didn't have any. They had popcorn shrimp, but that didn't appeal to me. I wasn't actually hungry, so I didn't buy anything.

The rest of the trip was uneventful except for a stop at a convenience store. I'm still not sure why we stopped there. My friend said she usually stopped for coffee, I think. We didn't get any coffee. I sinned and bought five scratch off lottery tickets, which I keep forgetting about, so they're still in my bag unscratched. (I could be rich!)

My friend dropped me off at home at 5:00 p.m., which totals an eleven-hour excursion, if you don't want to do the math yourself.

Even though it was an effortless day, I was still real tired when I got home, as you know, but I stayed up to watch Dexter. When I did finally lie down to go to sleep I was out like a light, and slept for several hours before I had to get up to pee. (TMI, sorry.) Normally I don't sleep more than two hours at a stretch. Three on a good night.

I leave my computer on all the time to process seti@home data. I turn the sound off so I can sleep. (The computer is in the old half of the bedroom, which is now my office.) I have it set to come back on after a power outage, and we had a power outage last night, for some reason. I woke up when I heard the bongish sound of my Mac rebooting. I also heard the noise announcing I had mail, both Eudora mail and Google mail. And since I didn't get up to turn the sound back off, I heard the Eudora mail sound whenever my computer found new mail (checked at 15-minute increments) and the Google mail sound a couple of times. Eventually I got up and turned the sound off so I could sleep soundly. Or soundlessly!

A First. I have a reason to be unhappy with my President. I have been retired from the Army for 15 years. This is the first year that I, and other military retirees, have not received a cost of living raise. And my tax deduction has increased. I don't know much about why this happened, but I know I'm unhappy about it. Forgive me if I sound like so many other groups of people when I say, go ahead and make cutbacks, but not with my retirement pay. This really sucks and I'm going to find out how it happened.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

But I'm so tired!

I did something today, so I actually have something to blog about. That's the good news. The bad news is that my day started at 4 a.m. (oh-dark-thirty, as we used to say in the Army), so I'm sitting here with very heavy eyelids, about to fall asleep on the keyboard. Anyone who cares how I spent my day will have to wait until tomorrow to read about it. It's okay if you skip it. It wasn't necessarily exciting or interesting. It was just different.

Here's a teaser: I wasn't alone!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Googly Ball Phenomenon, Part II

Some time ago I wrote about googly balls. You can read that post here.  As shopping season proceeds, I find that people are contacting me about where to buy googly balls. I'm amazed. I did a google search for "googly balls" and found that my original post comes up as the third (non-sponsored) hit. (If you drop the "s" I don't even show up on the first page.)

I have been contacted twice, so far, asking where googly balls might be found.

I'd tell you here, but then I wouldn't know how many more people are searching for googly balls.

If you want to know where you might find them, contact me.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Let's Take Christ OUT of Christmas

Okay, here's what we do: We continue to have a holiday in December and keep doing all the things we do, EXCEPT we remove any reference to Jesus and the birth of Christ. We make it a non-religious holiday celebrating, say, the winter solstice (the way it started). No religious symbols, no nativities, no special church services - nothing. Just a tree and presents, Santa Claus, reindeer, egg nog. Good food, good times. We will call it something else. (Saturnalia would be too pagan, don't you think?) I'm open for suggestions. Maybe "Solstice Day"?

I am totally serious.

Why do I feel this way? Because Jesus Christ was NOT born on December 25, or on any day close to December 25. Because the things people do to celebrate "the birth of Christ" are pagan in origin and have nothing to do with Jesus or Christianity. Because God does not approve of us doing pagan things, but Satan loves to see us celebrating this way.

Christians! Do your homework!!!

If you really want to know more about why I feel the way I do, you can  read this booklet online. Or you can download it (in PDF format) to read it on your computer or print it out.

If we do this then everyone can still have their fun and celebrate in their own special way, but we don't have to feel guilty about how we celebrate the birth of Christ.

When do we celebrate the birth of Christ? We don't, because we don't know when he was born and because the Bible says nothing about celebrating His birth - just about commemorating His death.

Who's with me?!!

Why Your Meds Cost So Much

"Over the last few years, drug-makers have embraced a startlingly simple tactic for fending off competition from generic brands: paying them off."

Read more here.

Greedy bastards.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

God and Government

Here's a portion of a proclamation by George Washington on October 3, 1789, while he was President:
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have . . . requested me to recommend to the public Thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, . . . . Now therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be . . . .

Read the whole proclamation here.

If anyone can read this and still think that the First Amendment can be interpreted so as to take God completely out of government, then I have to think that that person is simply a moron.

For your convenience, here is the First Amendment in its entirety:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

One of the same men who came up with the Constitution writes of God, "that great and glorious Being," and proclaims that we as a nation should acknowledge Him and his "favors," for the part God played in the establishment of our nation.

Obviously the Founding Fathers meant for God to be a part of our government. A big, important part.

Word Origins

If "cockle" is an edible shelled mollusk, then where the hell did the phrase "warm the cockles of my heart" come from?!!

Police Shooter is Dead

Duh. Did anyone expect him to be taken alive? I figured either the police would riddle him with bullets, which is exactly what he deserved, or he would commit suicide before being captured or killed. I suppose the only down side is that we'll never know exactly why he killed those four police officers. Angry Black Man? Maybe. That doesn't justify murder, let alone murder of four police officers. I hope that wasn't it. I hope a stupid stereotype didn't get four officers killed.

Of course - he shouldn't have been on the streets. He shouldn't have been free. But that's the past and we can't change it. I only pray that this sort of mistake - or mistakes - is/are never made again.