Friday, October 31, 2008

Hey, things are looking up. Was able, after all, to go to Leslie's for the luncheon (Leslie's little ladies' lunch) and greatly enjoyed it. Pat got up late, and I helped him shave and dress before breakfast, which meant we didn't eat until almost 11:00. However, that was okay because I didn't have to wait until after his nap to help him dress. Left his lunch, took the cell phone, and walked three houses down to Leslie's.
Leslie had Barb D. and Angela S. from here, plus two women from her church (I had met one before). The food was wonderful, especially a layered salad that made a gorgeous presentation in a trifle bowl, and was delicious. So were the eggplant parm, spinach cheese squares, tomatoes in oil and basil, carrots (she had a Halloween theme!), and dark breads, to name just a few. Dessert included an absolutely sublime angel-food cake with rum icing, fruit, and a delectable pumpkin pie.
We talked and talked, our conversation ranging from religion to shopping habits, to childhood environs (we didn't touch on politics, probably just as well). Leslie gave each of us a "favor"--a little book with inspirational essays in it. She wrote a note to me, very warm and touching. Again and again, I thank my lucky stars (where in the hell did that expression come from?) that we moved here five years ago.
Earlier, Betty had called. We chatted a bit, but I was busy and called her back when I got home about 4:00. Called Jack B., who had called Wednesday to see how the surgery had gone. P. called after dinner to ask the same.
All in all, I had a wonderful day, which did a lot to lift my spirits.
Now, some political stuff. A fierce debate is raging--as ever--among anti-war liberals about whether to vote for the lesser evil of the major candidates or for a candidate for peace who has virtually no chance. I'm going with the latter and here's part of the reason:
"Unconditional voting for the least worst of the two parties means that your vote has no political leverage whatsoever. It allows Obama to take it for granted, and not give the anti-war people anything because he knows he has the anti-war vote. Then they go to the right wing and slice off a few votes there by going more corporate and flip-flopping on offshore drilling. This is the same merry-go-round every four years. The liberal intelligentsia is doomed unless they solve this problem of unconditional voting for the least worst candidate." (From one of the blogs I read.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pat had his surgery yesterday, a long and involved process, but finally it's over. I was supposed to go to Leslie for a ladies' luncheon today, but it's at 1:00 and I'm not sure if I can go because Pat gets up about then and I have to help him dress.
Very down right now; don't feel like writing--maybe later.
But wanted to add, here's a clue why I'm voting for Nader (from Nick Nurse, emphasis added):
"Facing manpower demands on an overstretched military, the Pentagon is planning to ramp up the size of the armed forces by 92,000 over the next several years. That expansion comes with a sure-to-rise price tag of $108 billion. This step has the support of large majorities in Congress and both presidential candidates. John McCain has denounced the notion of "roll[ing] back our overseas commitments" and instead proposes "to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps." Barack Obama agrees, but has been more specific. He has long touted plans, echoing the Pentagon's desires, to "increase the size of the Army by 65,000 troops and the Marines by 27,000 troops."
And this, from the Brit Alexander Cockburn (quoted on the blog "The Chestnut Tree"):
"Obama invokes change. Yet never has the dead hand of the past had a "reform" candidate so firmly by the windpipe. Is it possible to confront America's problems without talking about the arms budget? The Pentagon is spending more than at any point since the end of the Second World War."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today, Pat gets his surgery. We have to be there at noon, with the operation scheduled for 2:00. Hope all goes well.
Yesterday continued cold, rainy, and dreary. I changed our beds, did three washes, made apple crisp, and generally kept busy. Made meatballs, freezing some by themselves and some with sauce. A. called and wished us luck with the operation.
Why Nader? Because he's a pacifist, as far as I can see. Certainly, he's far, far more "pacific" than Obama and Biden, let alone the warmongers, McPalin. We get never erase the blood on our hands, but we can at least try not to encourage even more and more conquest.
This is for those who think war fuels the economy (from anti-war.com):
"Somewhere, George Orwell isn't smiling. He'd no doubt be appalled, and a little nonplused, by the accuracy of his speculations in Nineteen Eighty-Four. In the novel, you'll recall, the deliberate impoverishment of the ordinary "proles" and the Outer Party types was a matter of INGSOC policy, a theme underscored by the general shabbiness of Orwell's dystopia, what with the constant shortages and the way thing always seemed to be literally and physically falling apart. Particularly striking is the Orwellian presentiment that the world of the future is bound to be poorer and, simultaneously, engaged in constant warfare."
It's up to $3 trillion now, so besides the human costs...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday: Called the surgeon's office and was told we should get a call from the anesthesiologist today. A. came to give Pat a haircut. Patrick called in the evening and chatted with his Dad and me. He said they might be able to come to the states after the holidays--hope so. Ho, ho, thanks to the lousy exchange rate (for us), they probably can afford it. Old saying rings true: "It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good."
For the first time in months, I decided to skip my morning walk today--not because walking companion Susan is away, but because it's frightfully cold, wet, and windy. Icy rain is coming down, the sky is dark, and I just don't want to leave my cosy home.
Have decided to vote for Nader.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Stayed in all day, except for my walk in the morning. Aside from wash and the usually home health aide chores, didn't do much.
Got a call from brother Larry (Florida) in the morning. Regretfully told him I had to turn down his invitation to Disney World before Christmas. I just can't make any commitments that far ahead.
Brother Frank (California) called later. He and Marybeth will be in Baltimore today and will come here to visit next Monday. Looking forward to that.
Read more of Berman's book, now explaining the 1971 end of the Bretton Woods financial agreement among nations, which has now given way to globalization. He contends that this led to a permanent hardening of the low-, middle-, and upper-classes--economically, that is--throughout the world. In other words, there remains a tiny, unimaginably wealthy group on the top and a large, grindingly poor mass on the bottom throughout the world.
I must read it and research it more, to understand it. In the meantime, here's something from the "Baghdad Burning" blog, from an Iraqi resident:
"I sometimes get emails asking me to propose solutions or make suggestions. Fine. Today's lesson: don't rape, don't torture, don't kill and get out while you can -- while it still looks like you have a choice... Chaos? Civil war? Bloodshed? We’ll take our chances -- just take your Puppets, your tanks, your smart weapons, your dumb politicians, your lies, your empty promises, your rapists, your sadistic torturers and go."
Amen.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Busied myself with this and that. In between domestic chores, continued Berman's book. He describes the present state of the country in the introduction--and boy, it's horrible and sad, partly because it rings so true. I was especially struck by his emphasis on the consumerism that is a great tide--no, more like a tsunami that sweeps away all thought, kindliness, and belief in inner riches.
He doesn't mention, but Leonard Pitts did in a column a few months ago, the present trend--I assume countrywide--of naming or renaming sports stadium for their commercial supporters. "Veterans Stadium" is now "Wachovia Center," for instance, so sportscasters (commercial whores themselves, of course) can't even refer to a venue without repeating the name.
Now, with television everywhere (doctor's offices, supermarkets, etc.), we can barely ever escape being targets of selling--and what's most horrifying, neither can our children. More about that in a later entry as I continue to read.
High point of the day was a web call from Singapore. Adorable little Violet was shown--she had nothing to say but "glug," although she's over four months old--and Vivian thanked me for her Halloween book. They're the hope for the future and I'm glad they live in another country.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pleasant, low-key day. Went to Manahawkin in the morning and duplicated pictures for the Halloween book I'm making for little J. Also got some quiz books for friends who are leaving for Canada today.
When I got home, Pat said the pulmonologist office and called to ask him to come in by 3:00 to get a blood gas test. Took him after lunch and got it done without incident. Home by 4:00; Jack B. stopped in and we enjoyed chatting with him.
A. called on their way up to her cousin's to hike. I'll give her the book for J. on Monday so she can take it to him.
The jerk who owes me twenty finally called (after I called and left a message for the third time) and said he'd give it back "by 5:00 tomorrow." Let's hope he does or I'm going to start going to where his girlfriend works.
Just started reading Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire, by Morris Berman and boy, "depressing" doesn't even cover it. Will elaborate after I read more.
Later: Went to Weight Watchers and was surprised (and gratified) that I'm down 2.4 pounds. That puts me at 125.8 and 73.8 pounds off. Now I've decided I'll call a halt at 75 pounds. After that, I'll try not to lose anymore, and not gain either. This is trickier than it might seem; however, I believe I can do it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A. came again and I went to an Atlantic City School Board meeting last night with Dennis and Leslie. The idea was to support a parent (an attorney named David) who was asking that "peace recruitment" be made available at the high school, along with ROTC. I had forgotten that the "No Child Left Behind" act includes blackmail: to be eligible for funds, schools have to allow state-sponsored murder gangs to recruit on their campuses.
After a short meeting, there was a "public discussion" segment. A few parents voiced their concerns, then David, whose young (7 or 8-year-old) daughter was with him, spoke briefly and eloquently. Norm C., director of our group, The Coalition for Truth and Justice, said a few words, and I did, too.
I simply mentioned that I'm a native of Absecon Island and went to high school in A.C. I said parents want their children to make decisions based on choices and including information on peace along with ROTC would help them make those choices. There was a time limit of three minutes for each person, but I don't think the three of us spoke that long combined.
Got home by 8:00 pm, having enjoyed the outing, serious as it was. Enjoyed almost as much getting into my 'jammies and into my popcorn and wine.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Talked to Betty and got a call from my library person, Jean, just to see how I'm doing. Very nice lady; I hope to bring lunch over to her place one of these days.
The girlfriend of the guy who owes me a twenty called. I had gone to the hairdresser's where she works to try to track him down. She asked if I wanted him still to do the work; I said no, I just want my money back. She said he'd bring it, which I'll believe when I see.
A. came after work and I met Vivian and her recently-married daughter, Vanessa, at the Women's Health Fair last night. It was enjoyable and they had a nice spread of soup, veggies and dip, cookies, and soda.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I felt busy yesterday, but darned if I know with what. Did several loads of wash, vacuumed, and generally tidied up. Made Pat his occasional treat of scrapple* and eggs. Talked to A. Exchanged interesting e-mails with California nieces.
Left another message for that SOB who was supposed to do our front area. Now I'm steamed. I told him he owes me twenty bucks and if he isn't going to do what he said he'd do, I want it back. (I had given him the twenty to buy some kind of cleaner--$14-- for my work and like a jerk, told him to keep the change.)
*This idiot spell check! It doesn't recognize "scrapple" and wants me to write "scruple"! Obviously not from Philly or South Jersey...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Got Pat to the cardiologist's without incident. In fact, it went off more smoothly than most. We were early, so I was able to stop at Santori's beforehand and fill the back seat with produce.
They gave him an EKG, although he just had one 6 days ago during his pre-op at the hospital. He has to go back on Thursday for an Echo gram. At least it's in Galloway, only about a 20 minute drive.
Tomorrow, friend Vivian and I are going to a Women's Health Fair at SOCH and A. said she'd come after work to stay with Pat. I wouldn't care if it were a dating service for astronauts--I just want an evening out.
Asked Barb next-door if I could use her paper cutter to finish the little booklet I made for Vivian for Halloween. She gave me a cup of coffee and we had a nice chat. For the millionth time, it occurred to me how lucky we are to have moved here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Will this hectic, exciting life ever calm down? Went to Home Depot to get a furnace filter, and to Staples to duplicate some things--rest of the day, did a mess of nothing. The big news is that we turned the heat on for the first time this season. Zzzz...
At least perked up after dinner when I talked to Ellen and saw her on the web cam. A. called, too--other than that, nada.
This from the libertarian Lew Rockwell site in discussing a common U.S. Air Force flying exhibition, which recently took place over San Francisco:
" To characterize this air show as a form of entertainment is to misjudge its intended purpose. Like the annual May Day military parades conducted by the Soviet government, the objective of this exercise was to remind people of the disproportion of power that the state exercises over them. Should you harbor any sentiments of disobedience to state authority, this is what government officials have at their disposal to bring you back into line. At a time when it became known that a large body of American troops had been returned from Iraq to be deployed in American cities, the presence of such Navy hardware added to the intimidation. President Bush’s threat to members of Congress – as reported by one congressman – to impose martial law should they fail to pass the infamous corporate "bailout" measure, showed the effectiveness of menacing people with violence."
Food for thought we could choke on.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Still quiet at home. Guy was supposed to come and wash down our "apron" (the porch-like concrete out front), but didn't. Called and left him a message. Ho-hum.
Got a forwarded (of course) e-mail from a friend as to why everybody should vote for McPalin and cast Obama out. The writer identifies himself as "Joe Porter" of Champaign, Ill. I looked him up and wrote to him to see if he's indeed the originator. Seems more likely to have been written by some Karl Rove operative, as it includes all the cliches, innuendos, and downright lies being circulated about Obama. Propaganda never changes--it's the exact opposite of reasoned and logical argument--and people continue to fall for it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Still sticking close to home. Did the daily wash, assisted Pat, and ventured out for a short foray to Acme. Stopped at friend Julie's on the way to discuss the newsletter I used to do for our community. High point of the day was a web cam call from Mike; saw beautiful Vivian and darling Violet, as well as pretty Paula. Was told Vivi may have the family myopia. They have an appointment for the opthomologist soon.
Gore Vidal, quoting Morris Berman:
"...under the ‘boy emperor’ George W. Bush...we have entered the Dark Ages in earnest, pursuing a short-sighted path that can only accelerate our decline. For what we are now seeing are the obvious characteristics of the West after the fall of Rome: the triumph of religion over reason; the atrophy of education and critical thinking; the integration of religion, the state, and the apparatus of torture—a troika that was for Voltaire the central horror of the pre-Enlightenment world...."
Rings a bell, no?
Later: Just got weighed in and I'm up four-tenths of a pound. I haven't deviated from my system, so this may reflect less activity in staying around home, and/or salt, and/or whatever, as it's such a slight gain. I'm now at 128.2, with 71.4 off--perfectly okay, but I'll continue to weigh in weekly until the scale stays the same or shows a loss.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Went to Wal-Mart in Manahawkin to get my BP prescription filled, as I thought Altace was under their $4 per plan. It isn't. I was first told it would be $50--AAGH! However, the clerk had forgotten to add my insurance, and it turned out to be an even ten bucks.
Otherwise, did wash, assisted Pat in getting up and readying himself for the day, and otherwise kept busy. Talked to Julie L. on the phone. Frank D. came over after dinner to congratulate Pat on the Phillies winning the major league playoff (or whatever it is).
Nation of Sheep Dept.: Drinking water straight out of the tap is now being touted as patriotic, as the bottled stuff adds to energy and landfill problems. I'm sure that hordes will switch over. It may finally be dawning on the ever-gullible public that the whole bottled thing was a complete and utter sham to extract more dollars from them.
Well, guess what? I always drank water from the tap, even--gasp!--in California. It's true that the left coast's water didn't taste so hot and was a little cloudy, but so what? All the propaganda about how tap water is "dangerous" struck me as ridiculous. If it was "dangerous," where were all the people cluttering up the emergency rooms or growing extra fingers or something who were affected? What illnesses or problems arose because of tap water? Fer cryin' out loud, if municipalities were so irresponsible as to allow unsafe water, wouldn't that be a public scandal almost as horrifying as Palin's candidacy?
Now--guess what? Tap water is not only okay to drink, we're told it's downright patriotic to drink it. Therefore, the mindless and clueless will abandon their Evian (and what they smugly believed was high-mindedness) and switch back to the faucet. They could have ignored the media outcry--orchestrated by the companies that profited--and been drinking what they've got in their kitchens all along. However, that would have required a millisecond of thought considering the above and I guess that's too much to ask.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

James and girlfriend, Jennifer, spent several hours yesterday power-washing the house, including the siding, windows, gutters, and so on. Boy, does it look good! In the five years we've been here, we never had it done before--what an improvement. Other than grocery-shopping and having the house emerge from its grim, not much went on yesterday.
Did I watch the "debate" last night? Wouldn't dream of it, as all the "debates" are just performances, scripted and engineered and stylized by crowds of PR people, then solemnly pondered by the "news" people, also scripted and engineered and stylized....
The day the makeup people go on unemployment is the day I start watching "the news" again. No fear.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Got Pat to Community Hospital for his pre-op tests with no problem. A man came to the door to ask if he could power-wash the house. I agreed, as the price was right and we've never had it done. He was doing several of our neighbors' homes, too.
Just saw a YouTube piece about a woman who called Obama "an Arab" to McCain. To the latter's credit, he replied, "No, ma'am. He is a decent family man with whom I just happen to disagree...."
I was struck by the woman's belief, though, and it makes me all the more apprehensive about the election. She was clearly comfortable not only with her prejudice (so what if he were an Arab? Don't we have freedom of religion here?), but with her stupidity, citing a number of spurious "sources"--all too common, I'm afraid, and promoted by the McPalin mob. The incident was followed up by an interview in which she repeated her beliefs and said how so many volunteers in the Mc C. camp believe them, too. She had lots of other negative things to say about Obama and obviously, regardless of McC.'s comment, still holds onto them.
As somebody genteelly commented on the video, "It's no secret lots of people have s---for brains...."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Was able to run errands and get to Manahawkin for various supplies. A. stopped in after work. Other than that, the usual domestic chores. What's funny is not only do I not mind them, I actually enjoy them most of the time.
Saw the first episode of this season's "Little People, Big World." Matt went to Iraq to search out a family with several dwarf children. X-rays were taken and eventually, I guess, they'll be flown here for treatment--or something.
I thought it was very bizarre. Why did the military allow this? Of course, they'd like us to believe the whole reason for their illegal and immoral presence in the Middle East is to "help" people (while systematically killing and maiming, but never mind that). Presumably, they saw advantageous propaganda here, but it seemed odd. Well, no matter. Matt made it safely back to Oregon and the Iraqi family remained in dangerous squalor. Maybe the squalor is indigenous, but the danger--that kind of danger--isn't. It's an import from us.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Went to the Women's Club meeting, but didn't win anything from the "Tricky Tray" (just as well because it would mean more junk to donate to the thrift store).
Call/web cam from Ellen and we had a long, enjoyable chat. After, brother Frank called from California. He and Marybeth will be in Baltimore for new grandson's christening at the end of October and will come to Jersey for a time, maybe to stay in Betty's unrented house, so we'll see them--great!
Pat has rallied to a point, I'm happy to say. His appetite has returned and, while he isn't up to where he was a month or so ago, he's noticeably better than he was last week.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

After getting lost in the wilds of north Jersey, I got to the caregivers' conference about 11:00. Was pleased to see Donna McQ., who was staffing the Wellspouse exhibit. Met some nice people, had a scrumptious lunch, which included chicken with mushroom sauce, pasta, spring mix salad, and petit fours. I ate six of these little cakes, along with two helpings of almost everything else. Am not worried about my weight, as I over-indulge only on special occasions like this when I'm out. To compensate, I had only a bowl of eggplant casserole (almost no-calorie) when I got home.
Getting home wasn't easy. Took the long route via Lawrenceville, as it was easier than the complicated way Mapquest sent me. But a few miles south of Warren Grove, I ran into (not literally) a horrendous accident and the road was blocked. After sitting for about 20 minutes, heard from the police officer that it would be at least another hour to clear things, so I drove back to Route 72 and got the parkway home, adding another 45 minutes or so to my trip.
Things were okay at home. A. went to the store for me and we had a quick dinner. Made cubed steak and stewed tomatoes for Pat and A. and I ate with him in the living room.
Love this little nugget from a comment on the "Truth Dig" site:
"McCain was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and married a silver shovel."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A. came after work with Lovable Lulu, the cockapoo. I gave Pat ham and eggplant and he ate it all; we had pizza--yum! A. then went on her hike and Mike called on the web cam. Saw precious Vivian and Violet, then filled him in on his father's condition--not good.
My cousin Bob called to say he had gotten the scrapple--still cold and it got there in three days. Had a long, good talk with him and it occurred to me again how lucky I am to have such a huge and wonderful extended family.
Will leave shortly for the conference in New Brunswick, to which I'm looking forward with pleasure. It isn't even the topic (caregiving) I'm anticipating--it's just getting out for the day.
Later: Forgot to mention that when I went out to go to the store yesterday morning, the car wouldn't start. Had to take it in to get a new battery--what a pain in the rear.
Well, if that's all I have to complain about...

Friday, October 10, 2008

This is from the October 5, 2008 entry of Chris Floyd's "Empire Burlesque" blog. This is only a snippet of his long, incredibly well-reasoned, yet easy to follow treatise called "The Wounded Shark: 'Good War' Lost, But The Imperial Project Goes On."

"...beyond these more immediate, gritty concerns, there is also the blind, iron logic of perpetual war that drives any imperial power. Like a shark, it must keep moving, must keep the water churning, obscured with clouds of blood and fear -- or else it will stand revealed as the naked, brutish, pointless thing that it is: a bestial lust for domination, a secretion of the chemical mud that lies in the lower swamps of our misfiring, imperfect brains. Every imperial project bedecks itself with high-flown rhetoric and shining, self-glorifying, emotion-rousing ideals. These are internalized by millions of individuals, who are then unable to see the world in any other way. Whatever is done in the name of these ideals is rational, reasonable and right; anything that threatens their primacy and authenticity is evil, insane and worthy of destruction."

But read all of it. If you never read anything else about the illegal and immoral actions of our benighted country, read this. Then see if you can get out that damned spot.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Got my flu shot and spent the rest of the yesterday on chores and such. Packed up the seven pounds of scrapple for cousin Bob and sent the package off to California. I had frozen it; hope it stays cold.
Made egg and tuna salad for lunch today, when J.J., J., and T. are coming. Will add a green salad and bread. Offspring P. and A. called and we were glad to hear from them.
Nothing else of note going on around here except an unusual occurrence: I overslept today. When I woke up, it was 7:05, practically the middle of the afternoon for me. Missed our walk for the first time in ages, but will explain to Susan.
Lest I be lax on the political scene:
"On foreign policy the Republican Party is dominated by crazed Wilsonians who want to involve the U.S. military in perpetual global warfare 'to spread democracy.' As with all such imperialistic ventures, this would eventually bankrupt the country and create countless enemies who would like nothing better than to destroy us by the millions with nuclear weapons or poison. The Democrats are as bad or worse."
--Lew Rockwell.com

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

On "Countdown" last night, Keith ran a montage of Palin repeating the Obama-as-terrorist smear over and over. I can just imagine Rove and his aides sifting through piles of old newspapers and transcripts trying to find something--anything--to hang on O. "Okay, there isn't much, so we'll have to go with this. Twenty years ago, he passed some former revolutionary in the hall..." And the Repubs, well aware of the knee-jerk response of the public, keep repeating and repeating until--well, it must be true because otherwise, they wouldn't keep saying it, would they?
I'm actually beginning to be okay with the idea of a Repub victory. It might as well be them who preside over the last gasps of the republic. After, maybe some party will rise that can get things back together, but it will take decades and the U.S. will never be the same.
Also:
By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 7th October 2008.
"While all eyes were fixed on the banking bail-out, a bucketload of public money was quietly sloshed into the pockets of another undeserving cause. Last week, George Bush agreed to lend $25bn to US car manufacturers. It’s a soft loan, which will cost the government $7.5bn(1). Few people noticed; fewer fought it. The House of Representatives approved the measure by 370 votes to 58. The great corporate bail-out is spreading like the plague."
Did you know that? I didn't know that.
Domestic Note: On the home front, I cooked up a big pot of kidney bean stew. Ate some and froze some. Gave Pat scrapple and eggs for dinner and he ate every morsel. Getting a flu shot today and want to ask the doc some blood pressure questions.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Another so-called "Presidential Debate" is on tonight. I'll be sure to miss it, of course, but will read about it tomorrow.
I believe we have now dumbed ourselves down enough to base our votes on the most superficial of criteria. We've sunk into celebrity-hood. Whoever looks better and sounds better and "relates" to us better is our choice. Therefore, these "debates" become more and more important as our ability to read, analyze, and judge wanes.
This sad--and frightening--situation somehow reminds me of the "No Child Left Behind" swindle. Sounds good, doesn't it? Yet the result seems to have been the waste of vast amounts of time and effort by all involved. Teachers must "teach to the test" more and more and true knowledge and critical thinking are sacrificed. This nicely sets future voters up to ignore what the candidates really stand for, that is, if anybody can ferret it out--McPalin touted as "mavericks" and agents for change! If one weren't female, I'd say they had brass balls. Black is White, Truth is Falsehood, and oh, yes, War is Peace.
I like my country less and less as we promote appearance over substance and Orwell spins in his grave.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Ray stopped in to say hello to Pat yesterday and while we were talking in the kitchen, a mouse ran across the room. That galvanized me to clean out the pantry. I threw away so much, I'm going to have to put trash in somebody else's container before it's picked up tomorrow. I filled a box for the Food Pantry, too; will give to Leslie or drop off myself.
I was concerned because Pat didn't eat dinner. However, he did ask for, and finish, a pb and j sandwich and glass of milk later. Yesterday, I served him both lunch and the sandwich in the living room, as it's so difficult for him to walk even a few steps.
From Alan Bock at Antiwar.com, commenting on the candidates of both parties:
"To keep this as understated as possible, these are not outstanding people. They are seeking to occupy (or be a heartbeat away from) an office that for the past seven-plus years has been held by a not unintelligent but certainly uninquisitive man who, with that special kind of arrogance born of unapologetic ignorance and a fixation on a few dubious verities, has plunged the country into a disastrous war and now into an eminently avoidable financial crisis that almost all the politicians and talking heads have diagnosed incorrectly.
Can there be much doubt that this is an empire in steep decline? People of real quality not only do not gravitate toward political leadership, they scurry away from it."
Depressing, but it seems sensible.
Now here's something that isn't just depressing, but makes you want to stick a skewer into your eye (from the Lew Rockwell site on our invasion of Iraq):
"It was the US that turned this country into a killing field. Why won't we face this? Why won't we take responsibility? The reason has to do with this mysterious thing called nationalism, which makes an ideological religion of the nation's wars. We are god-like liberators. They are devil-like terrorists. No amount of data or contrary information seems to make a dent in this irreligious faith. So it is in every country and in all times. Here is the intellectual blindness that war generates."

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Well, once in a while, you win one. I actually got my computer picture to go back to upright! I just put "computer screen sideways" in the search engine, got several hits, chose the first, and was told I had probably accidentally substituted the down arrow for "delete" when I did the cont.-alt.-del. thing. Remedy is to press the two-key combo, but substitute the up arrow and it worked!
Stayed in the rest of the day, as I don't want to go far with Pat ailing. Mike left a message while I was at WW, calling from the airport on his way to Rome, where he'll be until Thursday. Pat's appetite a little better, but the cough and extreme breathlessness persist.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Well, damn, I'm at the library. My computer suddenly did the same thing it had a few months ago: The picture switched sideways--what's called "landscape" orientation, I think--and I can't get it back to "portrait." I've called Don S., who fixed it before, but he can't come until tomorrow. I'm convinced the problem has to do with my RealArcade games because both times this happened, I was playing either "The Hidden Object Game" or "Wordslinger," then tried to go elsewhere on the Internet. Oh me, oh my, do I have it tough!
Went to Dynasty with Mary Ann yesterday for lunch. I didn't want to go so far as Chatsworth, as Pat had trouble getting up at his usual time. Had--again--Caesar salad with chicken. Ate half, took half home and had it for dinner.
Later: I phased in my Plan B, so went to Weight Watchers after our walk. Was pleased to find I lost 1.8 of the 2.4 I was up last week. Am at 127.8 with a total loss of 71.8.*
Political Note: Wonder if anybody else noticed that the Congress From Hell passed a "defense" (yes, yes, it should be called an "aggression" budget, but we've learned from Orwell and a long line of blood-sucking politicians, haven't we?) budget of more than $600 billion to pour down the bottomless rat hole. May they get what they deserve--but what could be horrific enough?
*Gee, is Mimi obsessive with all these point thises and point thats? Yeah, sure, I admit it, so shoot me.
And what are Plan B and Plan A? Plan A means I get weighed at WW every other Saturday morning. If I lose weight or remain the same, I wait another two weeks to weigh in next. If I gain, I start going every week until I take off the gain--that's Plan B. (Well, it works for me!)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Enjoyed lunch with Marge at Dockside (not Lizzie Rose, as the stairs are too hard on Marge's knees). She stopped in to say hello to Pat after. Later, A. stopped for a few minutes, too.
Told the surgeon's office Pat is on an antibiotic and steroid and was told surgery most be postponed until he's off the latter for two weeks. Made a new date for later in the month.
What did I think of the VP "debates"? Not a thing, as I wouldn't dream of watching them. I consider them absolutely meaningless except as evidence of appearance, elocution techniques, and acting skills. That's all they mean, yet the electorate has been--so easily!--conned into thinking they're important. The people watch and the pundits solemnly discuss and analyze them, as if they reflect the candidates' suitability for office and their party's platform.
There was a book published 40 or 50 years ago called A Nation Of Sheep. I believe it's actually an anti-communist (remember them?) tome, but the title so perfectly reflects the above, I wanted to mention it. For heaven's sake, we've been told over and over again how the candidates are preparing, being drilled and rehearsing to a fare-thee-well--how could we put any credence in this farce? Yet, sure as Congress will sell us down the river, the media will be all abuzz about whose performance was best.
Hey, get it? "Performance." Does that suggest something?
Further Political Notes:
Here are some little reminders from Justin Raimondo of Anti-War.Com:
"Our wars of ‘liberation" are financed by the age-old stratagem of inflating the money supply: this covert tax is no less keenly felt, yet our awareness of it is gradual, less shocking than a tax bill. Now, of course, we are feeling it, as even the most hawkish pro-war Republicans, such as Tom DeLay, admit. On MSNBC the other day, the "Hammer" was asked his opinion of what caused the fiscal crisis, and he somewhat sheepishly pointed to the costs of the Iraq war. By a conservative estimate, these costs will total some three trillion dollars, and today, as we approach our sixth year of war with no clear end in sight, even pro-war types such as DeLay, backed up against the wall by the fiscal crisis, concede war expenditures are the major obstacle in the path of "saving" the economy, bailout or no bailout."
Also:
"Our misnamed 'defense' budget is more than the combined military expenditures of every other nation on earth."
Chew on that for awhile.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Got an emergency book call from Jean C., my library lady in New Gretna (well, I guess I'm the library lady, she's the library shut-in). Picked her up some books, dropped them off, and stayed to chat for a few minutes. When I returned her used books, I withdrew Leisureville, a book about "The Villages," a huge over-55 community in Florida. According to Susan, who's read it, activities there include tennis, swimming, and wild sex. HU-H-H?! Gee, it must be just like here--yuk, yuk. Can't wait to get to that part.
Marge e-mailed to see if we could go to lunch today, assuming her insomnia doesn't knock her out. Hope to, and I thought we go to Lizzie Rose, which she'll enjoy. Have a date with Mary Ann for lunch tomorrow, so the social scene is heating up.
Hope the new medication is knocking out Pat's new respiratory problem.
Political Note (from the Lew Rockwell site, a treatise on whether government should be required to follow the same rules as individuals):
"That the government should be bound by the same laws – immutable laws of God (or nature, for the irreligious among us), not the made-up "laws" of the state – as the rest of us is the central libertarian insight, which is why those of us who take libertarianism to its logical conclusion reject the state completely. It is an institution founded on violence and owes its very existence to theft, which it euphemistically calls taxation.
Christians should thus be among the most vocal opponents of the state because we believe that God makes the rules and that no one, regardless of his exalted position by virtue of birth or of hoodwinking enough people into voting for him, has the authority to modify, abolish, or flout those rules. The Bible makes no distinction between the ruler and the ruled, and neither should we."
Makes sense to me.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

To the pulmonolgist yesterday. She put Pat on an antibiotic and steroid to combat the infection and inflammation in his lungs. Also prescribed a chest x-ray--to what purpose, I'm not sure. The appointment and getting the prescriptions filled, took up most of the day. Luckily, I don't have anything else scheduled until Friday, when Mary Ann Van O. and I have a lunch date.
Political Notes: Here are the outrages of the day. Almost forgotten now, in light of the "bailout" thing, this was published on a web site on September 7 of this year:
"Taxpayers are now on the hook for tens of billions of dollars of capital necessary to save Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE). The CEOs of both companies--the ones who ran them into the ground--have thankfully been shown the door. But they're taking a nice pot of money with them.
Specifically, Dan Mudd, the CEO of Fannie Mae, is getting $9.3 million of severance for destroying his company. Richard Syron, the CEO of Freddie Mac, is getting $14.1 million--in part because of a clause he added to his employment contract two months ago, when it was clear the company was headed for disaster."
And this from the Lew Rockwell site:
"The Paulson Plan is a heist. It is a grand scheme in which the public will end up owing hundreds of billions of dollars to holders of new debt claims issued by the US Treasury. The plan won't "prop up" asset values and it won't provide any real stimulus to the economy.
Despite the dire warnings — coming from the same folks who brought you the Iraq invasion to remove WMD — there is no threat of a financial meltdown. If Goldman Sachs failed, the sun would still rise the next morning..." And so on.
There's a lot more in this vein, but you get the drift. Now our stalwart leaders are trying to "tweak" the crime to make it more palatable. Think the electorate has a prayer? Ha!