Thursday, June 28, 2007

We're off again

We're heading for Illinois to visit family (brother, sister, aunts and uncles, a few cousins, nieces and nephews) and to attend my high school reunion here. The worst part of the trip is getting around Chicago. We'll be back at the Lake in time for the Fourth celebrations. Bev will stay in our cottage and keep the kitty company. See you all when I get back.

We're haters and xenophobes

According to today's WaPo:
    "Under attack from talk radio, unions, xenophobes and others, the White House and reform-minded Republicans have maneuvered to salvage legislation that would address the core problems of tightening enforcement of existing laws and providing a legal future for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the country."
One of the core problems is our legislators haven't even read the bill. They have no idea what is in it. One "prominent" Republican hung up on a radio interview when asked if he'd read it. I've read some of the suggested admendments (haven't seen the bill, but neither have my senators), and if the bill is as bizarre as they are, we're in deep doo doo. The 1986 IRCA is a mess, always has been; now we're trying to make it even worse. Can Ted Kennedy get anything right?
    "The enemies of immigration reform remain unable to articulate a realistic alternative to the Senate legislation that would address the plight of the 12 million undocumented immigrants. They seem to imagine that by ignoring them, or harassing them, they will simply fade from view. They won't. If it's not resolved in this congressional session, the problem will come back again and again. Better to fix it now."
Americans who want our employment laws enforced, our borders secure from drug dealers and terrorists, are now "enemies" in the marxist-think of the MSM. At least WaPo acknowledges the 12,000,000 illegals--usually the liberal press overlooks that. Well, how do the august, so-smart editors think they got here? IRCA. Don't fix it. Dump it and start over.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


If you're a parent

of one of the 600 teenagers from the Methodist Lima District (now called something else), I must say these are some of the nicest, well-behaved kids I've seen in years. Maybe ever. Certainly better behaved than my generation. We were in the Hoover Auditorium when they came in last night for the program, and when the lights went down, you could have heard a pin drop, they were so quiet. Earlier in the day we had talked to a group of them on the dock who were on a scavenger hunt. One of them recognized us at the program and stopped to chat. This is the 80th year that this district has sent its youth to Lakeside. That could mean some of the these kids' great-grandparents might have done the same. Wow.

Memorial Dinner

I fixed Bob Evans bratwurst, potato salad and tossed salad with a dish of fresh blueberries/raspberries and a peanut butter/ chocolate dessert. Ohioan Bob Evans died last week. Thanks for the memories. And I was wearing Liz Claiborne khaki jeans. She died Tuesday at 78.

No dog in this fight

There's a discussion going on at BeliefNet's blog by Kuo on whether Apple users are "religious" about their Macs and devotion to Steve Jobs. David Kuo writes as an "Appleist." One commenter writes that they do have cult like behavior:
    "They all tend to be the edgy, artsy, wanna-be SEEN as mad-genius types who want power over others so that they can 'teach' that person how to live / eat / dress / what to smoke and what not to smoke / etc. Ergo, an overwhelming portion of liberals (not classical liberals, mind you) use Macs and worship its creator.

    Of course you can't convince them of this. Have you ever had a conversation with a cultist of any stripe? No matter what ground you are standing on, persecution is to be expected and re-inforces their identity with the group. You are a labeled an outsider who does not have their special knowledege of salvation. Likewise, when they have a problem with their religion/cult, it is instinctively their own problem and not due to anything on Apple's behalf."
I guess everyone I know is just a stodgy, frumpy ol' PC user. I do resent the Apple ads, but insulting your competition is old stuff in advertising. I'll stay out of this one, but if you're using a Mac and causing me problems, now I know why.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Vacation Bible School

Our church (UALC in Upper Arlington, Hilliard and Columbus, OH) always has a huge Vacation Bible School--about 2500 kids, and this is the first year since 1994 that my husband hasn't participated as a teacher. I'm always surprised by the number of families who visit their Columbus relatives that week so their kids can go to Bible School. They come from all over the country.

But apparently we aren't unique. Fat Doctor tells about an inner city Church of the Brethren congregation that provides this opportunity too, only it is the staff who travels there, and one with an unusual past. She says her mother was Church of the Brethren and her father Catholic--they became Presbyterian, socially liberal enough for her mom and enough guilt for her dad.

I grew up in that denomination (CoB) and would have left a comment at her blog, except she requires registration. She's got a great blog.

Excuse my appearance!

Today's temps are predicted for the mid-90s, which next to a large body of water like Lake Erie means way-too-high humidity, so I walked along the lakefront early (ca. 8 a.m.). Two miles with my Guitar audiobook. I'm wearning my stretchy what-evers pants, and my t-shirt that says, "Try to keep up, I'm walking." There's something in small print too, but when I look down, it's upside down and I'm wearing tri-focals, so it makes me dizzy. My sister gave me this years ago along with a walking tape. Jenny Craig possibly. It's from the days when huge t-shirts were popular and you weren't expected to wear skinny midriff thingies with your muffin top lopping over topped with the icing of cleavage. This could fit a woman 8-mo pregnant or an Amish woman with plenty of fabric leftover for the bonnet.
Purple Martin house at the end of our street. It is designed to look like our movie theater, Orchestra Hall.

I think this is "Wellness Week," and there are Yoginess classes in the Upper Room. I can't figure out the 9 a.m. lecture which is supposed to provide "tools and strategies to enhance and enrich lives." I've got a lifetime bushel basket of new leaves I've turned over, so I think I'll skip whatever this psychologist from Canton is offering. There's an herb garden lecture this afternoon, but I have a brown thumb, and won't even attempt this one. The closest I get to an herb is a can of black pepper on the stove. At 10:30 there's a seminar on WWII. This afternoon the Women's Club is going to have someone portraying Amelia Earhart, but I'm not a member. The Wooden Boat Society is having classes and restoring a 1952 13' Lyman, so I'll probably pass on that too. I see Lakeside has an Environmental Stewardship Society that is selling compact flourescent bulbs, but I'll pass on that until someone determines the unintended consequences of outsourcing all our energy needs to China and how to dispose of the mercury both we and the Chinese factories are going to be putting out.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Monday Memories--A day on the island

"A quaint little drinking village with a fishing problem" is a saying you see on the souvenir t-shirts of South Bass Island, or Put-in-Bay. And if you are intent on pub crawling on the week-ends, that might have some truth, but visiting on a glorious Monday is another story. A story of beautiful blue skies, pleasant breezes, beautiful gravel country roads through green wooded areas and vineyards, and old cemeteries. We had a wonderful time visiting Joyce and Bill at their cottage, and they gave us the insider's tour, including the Historical Society and the back roads.

We caught the Miller Ferry at Catawba which runs every 1/2 hour, except after 7 p.m. it's on the hour. It's a pleasant 18 minute ride. It is $12 round trip. When you get to the island you can catch a bus to town for $2.50 or hire a golf cart for $10/hour or $55 for the day. Or, if you are meeting friends, they pick you up in an old car, which all the residents keep on the island. The Jet Express leaves from Port Clinton and it is $24 round trip. When we made this trip about 20 years ago, we brought our bikes over.

Bill's grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles and cousins have all owned property on the island, but they bought this cottage some years ago, and are now renovating it so they can enjoy more time there during retirement. The view from this glassed area is sort of northwest over the water and is just delightful.

This view from their front yard is "Green Island" which is a wildlife sanctuary owned by the state. If you turn your head a little to the right, then you see Rattlesnake Island, which I think is privately owned. It was a little hazy, but I suppose on a clear day you might see a Canadian island.

The housing on the island includes everything from wonderful 19th century mansions to little fishing trailers with a canopy built over it. Real estate and renovating is a bit higher than the mainland because everything, including the workers, are brought over from the mainland.

There are wonderful places to eat in Put-in-Bay, and this area was new last year--a "boardwalk" with lots of shops and restaurant with a great view of the water and monument. We all had perch sandwiches and enjoyed a stroll through town.

Because so many people leave their cars on the mainland, you see a lot of golf carts.

Put-in-Bay has a wonderful historical society with an introductory film and many exhibits about the schools, businesses, wine makers, and various boat services.

Perry's Monument (War of 1812 with England) is closed for repairs, but there is a new visitors' center which has wonderful exhibits. We watched a film about the war and learned a lot. War is never pleasant and there are always the families left to grieve on both sides.

We enjoyed dinner at the cottage overlooking the lake as the sun settled lower. A lovely day.


We're off today to visit our friends Bill and Joyce at their summer place on Put-in-Bay (island in Lake Erie). Hope to have some good photos when we get back. It always depends on my connectivity here. Also, I hope for calm water. I tend to motion sickness.

Miss Potter

Last night we went to Orchestra Hall (the movie theater) to see "Miss Potter," with Renée Zellweger. It was really delightful; even my husband enjoyed it. It is a film for adults, not children, however. At the end with the rest of her life scrolling across the screen, the audience applauded. Someone who apparently worked on the movie (don't know who) kept at two month blog--wish more had been written.

"Pleasant and unadventurous, MISS POTTER offers a fictionalized life of famous Peter Rabbit creator Beatrix Potter. In an unusual life path for her time (the early 1900s) she pursues a career as a children's book author and illustrator, her affection for her creations indicated on screen by her interactions with their animated forms. As ducks in bonnets and bunnies in brass buttons wiggle their tails at her or scamper about their pages, they represent Beatrix's own feelings -- most often mild defiance or frustration at her parents' hopes that she'll "settle down" by marrying a man within their class." reviewed at Common Sense Media

Lakeside has the only movie theater in the county. Movies at a theater are much more entertaining than in the living room on DVD.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

You Are 89% Real

There's hardly a person on this earth more real than you are.
You have no problem showing people who you are, flaws and all.
For you, there couldn't be any other way. Because it's way too stressful to live an inauthentic life.
You're very comfortable with yourself. And because of this, you're able to live an exciting, interesting, and challenging life.

HT 2nd cup of coffee

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Silver pony tails and hot cars

As we walked down to the artists' shop today to take in some more prints, I noticed something . . . seemed to be some. . . non-lakeside types in town. Loud shirts. Silver pony tails. "I'll bet the program tonight is Phil Dirt and the Dozers," I whispered. I picked up the weekly Lakesider, and sure enough--they are the opening act. They do vintage rock and have been performing for 20 years.

Also, Lakeside is having its 2nd Classic and Antique Car Show. Great fun to see these old cars.

This 1940 Ford looks a lot like the one my mother drove to California with 4 little ones in the back, although I think ours was a 1939. What an adventure we had.

Real estate in Lakeside

The WSJ on Thursday featured real estate vacation homes. The taxes were breath-taking. Supposedly these places were "kid-friendly," but you don't know what that means until you visit Lakeside, OH, a Chautauqua gated community with no alcohol sold on the grounds (i.e., no drunken sailors wandering the streets like some other Lake Erie hot spots). WSJ reports that sales of vacation homes rose 4.7% to a record 107 million in 2006. However, if it is convenience, accessibility, great entertainment, educational opportunities, supervised playgrounds, an arts center and family recreation and activities you're looking for, consider Lakeside.

It's not usually this peaceful--but it was before 6 a.m. and most of the kids were still asleep while parents slipped out for a cup of coffee

Isn't this little "doll house" sweet? But $209,000? That's California prices!

Two families selling their vacation homes. The 2-story is a new one designed to look like a 19th c. home. I walked around it--has some great features.

If you buy this one 3 blocks from the lake, you'll have terrific neighbors (red house) next door and also across the street.

Children under 10 get in free at Lakeside. Now that's kid-friendly.

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's back!

The immigration bill is back with a new number, S. 1639. Time to e-mail, call or write snail mail the earmarkers, tax spenders, and border wimp-outs we elected. Sigh. No amnesty for illegals. Remember, IRCA (1986) was written by Ted Kennedy. It never worked; fixing a flat on a 4-wheel truck with only 2 wheels driven by a drunk still won't get you anywhere.

Email the offices of both of your senators asking them to vote NO on cloture for S. 1639. Web pages for all of the senators with email contact forms are listed here.

Email the White House. Let the President know you aren't happy with this give-away of our country. He may think Texas is part of Mexico like La Raza, but the rest of us don't.


Guitar; an American life

About 25 years ago I thought I'd get a jump on my mid-life crisis by doing something different, deciding to take an aerobics dance class, pierce my ears (I have no discernable ear lobes and don't wear earrings), and learn to play the guitar. I did take the exercise dance class, liked it even though it meant sweating and over about 6 months I lost 20 pounds and went to work for one of my instructors. A story I wrote about it was published in the Columbus Dispatch. But poke holes in my dainty, tiny ears? No way. I did actually borrow a guitar for awhile from our friend John who told me he'd give me lessons, but memories of the trombone and piano failures came back to haunt me, and I don't think I ever even went plunkity plunk.

Yesterday at the library I was looking for an interesting, non-fiction audiobook to listen to while I walk and discovered "Guitar; an American Life," by Tim Brookes, a British ex-pat who lives in Vermont and is a commentator on NPR and writes for various magazines. I just had no idea that the history of the guitar would be so interesting. And when you start with almost no knowledge on a topic, you are soon 1000% smarter than you were a day ago! 24 hours ago I would have thought "luthier" was a misspelling of Luther, but it is someone who makes guitars. Here's a nice review by ricklibrarian with bibliographic details about the book and the audiobook.

Here's Brookes' list of 100 guitarists who weren't on Rolling Stones list.

What to do when you turn in your dissertation

I don't have a PhD and was never even remotely tempted to try it, but Susan is writing a History of the Whole World, and here's what she's doing now that the dissertation has been turned in.

1. Watched all three seasons of The Office twice.
2. Reread the entire ouevre of Dick Francis from beginning to end.
3. Run about a zillion miles on deserted country roads while listening to the entire collected works of Sophie Kinsella. (I wish I were a shopaholic. If you’re going to obsess over something, wouldn’t it be more fun to obsess over shoes than over the exact ways in which Frankish kings were recognized as legitimate?)
4. Viewed the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy from beginning to end. The expanded DVD versions. With all the extras. The Two Towers, twice.
5. Worked my way from Mr. Midshipman Hornblower all the way up through the final book in the series. For about the twentieth time in my life.
6. Baked forty batches of cookies. (Approximation.)
7. Ate a significant portion of those cookies all on my own. (See #3, above. This is why boosting my average mileage-per-run from five to nine or ten miles has NOT dropped me a dress size.)
8. Sat and stared at the thousand pages of formless, shapeless medieval history on the left side of my desk.
9. Moved my chair to the other side of my desk and sat some more and stared at the manuscript of my revised dissertation, which is almost but not quite ready to send off to the university press which might publish it.
10. Read the first page of about a dozen new novels which, somewhere deep down, I really want to finish.
11. Read the flap copy of five or six really fascinating new history books which, even deeper down, I really want to start.

She also has a great story about a trip to the dentist with her kids, things I never thought about because I didn't home school.

Friday Family Photo

Summer is tick season, so I want to tell you about "my tick." When I was in elementary school, my family lived in Forreston, IL, but we went back to Mt. Morris for our dental appointments. It was either the summer of 1947 or 1948, and I probably had a tooth ache, because in those days, I don't think we went to the dentist unless something was wrong. While I was in the chair, Dr. Boyle (I think that was his name) noticed something in my hair when he was leaning over me to examine my mouth (dentists loved my mouth because it is big). My mother was horrified (in those days moms were allowed to stay in the room with the child--I don't think they do that now). I was old enough to be combing my own hair, but she still washed it on Saturday nights in the sink for me. So the tick probably hadn't been there too long. The ticks are tiny, unless getting a meal of your blood, then they are big. Dr. Boyle removed it with a heated tweezers being careful to get all the mouthparts out. Mother took it home and looked up the critter in our encyclopedia (I get that from her--she always wanted to be a librarian) and pronounced it a "Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Tick."

Both the American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis) and the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni) are vectors for Rickettsia rickettsii, the causative agent of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, D. andersoni is much more common from the east coast through the plain states and western California, and D. variabilis for the most part is in the mountain states.

I probably did get my tick from a dog, because not only did we have dogs which stayed outside all the time, but I was a fearless dog hugger, and would wrap my arms around one and lay my head on them. I also played outside constantly, and we lived in a rural area where hiking or biking outside the town limits to visit friends or just to play was pretty common.

I didn't get sick, but ticks are really dangerous. I have great respect for them, and you should steer clear! They can cause Lyme Disease, which got its name when an unusual number of children near Lyme, Connecticut came down with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in the 70s, caused by the bite of a tick (Ixodes scapularis, also called Blacklegged Tick) carrying Borrelia burgdorferi. (I think when I was a vet librarian I actually met Dr. Burgdorfer, for whom it is named.) Now there's a entity caused by ticks (Amblyomma americanum, also called Lone Star) which hang out in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Missouri, termed STARI, or Master's Disease. Symptoms are similar, but it's not Lyme Disease.

The reason I'm telling you all this isn't because I know a lot about ticks, but because there is a clinical article in JAMA 297:23 (June 20, 2007) about Erythema Migrans. That's a rash that is associated with tick bites. There seems to be quite a bit of overlapping of this rash, depending on which tick has bitten you, and the right antibiotic is important. And you don't always have erythema migrans with Lyme Disease, or with the other tick bite diseases, but you might.

As a librarian I always read the authors' method, because this is the type of thing I helped researchers with. For this study they examined 1266 articles in the medical literature with a very specific set of criteria, narrowing the search down to 53 articles. I won't repeat everything the authors report, only that they weren't thrilled with the inconclusive evidence currently reported and seem to suggest that the doctor will need to eyeball it (my non-medical term) which means you need to have some experience with these rashes.
    "Physician education should emphasize the wide variability in the clinical presentation of erythema migrans and the need to factor in multiple components of the clinical examination and epidemiological context into clinical decision making."
If you live in a tick area (which seems to be every state except the extreme southwest), you might pick up this issue at your library and photocopy p. 2664, which is the JAMA patient page for Lyme Disease. Moms need to know a lot. And it doesn't hurt to have a sharp eyed dentist.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday Thirteen--13 Singers I didn't know I missed

On Monday we got a digital box for our cable TV and some new features, including the music channels. One is classic country. It plays, without voice overs or advertising, C&W songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s. I'm hearing singers I didn't know I'd forgotten. Most of the time I recognize the voice and song, but sometimes I have to walk into the living room and see who's singing. Guess I don't listen much to music radio any more. A few I've enjoyed this afternoon
    Charley Pride
    Tanya Tucker
    George Strait
    Crystal Gayle
    Jerry Reed
    Tammy Wynette
    George Jones
    Roseanne Cash
    Floyd Cramer
    The Judds
    Hank Williams, Jr.
    Waylon Jennings
    Ronnie Milsap

Bush vetoes stem cell bill

Bush has been such a disaster on the border security issues, amnesty for illegal workers and wimped out on social security reform, that it's a pleasure to see him standing fast on something important. I wrote about this for last year's veto. Yes, I'm just a wacked out fundamentalist on creating human life in order to diddle it in the labs of America with my tax money. It's not illegal you know--the US is producing most of the scientific research in this area. All you evolutionists should just wait around and see if some mold in the corner that the janitor missed turns into a highly developed, functioning human being. If it happened once without help from the big guy, you should be able to do it with a few spores, some ammonia and fairy dust.

Marriage and poverty

If a child is poor, her mother is probably not married, had her children without a husband, didn't finish high school, or had her first child before her 20s. That's why I say women can virtually eliminate poverty in the USA by doing the right thing in the correct order.

Yesterday I was reading a senior thesis from Ohio State University about bilingualism in Lorain, Ohio. So the author tossed in some interesting statistics for the metropolitan area that weren't directly about language (Lorain has a significant number of Puerto Ricans). The national family poverty level is 10.2% in the U.S. and 14.9% in Lorain. Now, let's look at the marriage stats in Lorain. Never married--higher than the national average; married--lower than the national average; separated--higher; widowed--higher; divorced--higher. However, in education levels, Lorain does quite well, exceeding the national average in a number of categories. Getting an education won't necessarily undo other mistakes made young. Unfortunately, girls won't learn this kind of "radical math" in school.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Wanted: a full time trouble maker?

Why does Columbus, OH need a full time "Mexico Solidarity Network – Activist?" Hmmm. Solidarity. Where have we heard that term before (definition)? I was just browsing the OSU publication Que pasa (translation: wha's happening bro?) and saw this job opening for a position that reports to the "Executive Director," and "Maintains regular communication between the Commission and the vast array of Hispanic/Latino-serving community based organizations (CBO’s) statewide." I'm not sure which "commission" is referred to, but there is a link to Amnesty International for the application materials.

"The Mexico Solidarity Network struggles [oh yeah] for democracy, economic justice and human rights on both sides of the US-Mexico border [you need to try a little harder in Mexico]. Civil society must take the leading role in fomenting [we hear ya] social change by developing democratic spaces [i.e. the southwestern USA then north to Ohio] and empowered communities that are outside of party/establishment structures, but always interacting with those structures. The Mexico Solidarity Network is a grassroots-based organization [I'll bet!] dedicated to profound social change [you mean like in Russia and China in the 20th century?] that challenges existing power relationships [US government] and builds alternatives."

This isn't the only job opening with Marxist red flags (no pun intended) listed in Que Pasa, but you can check it out for yourself.

Death by Chocolate

New York Board of Health is trying to require big fast food chains, but not deli's or pizza shops, to include calorie count for every item on the menu and get rid of trans fat*. "The proposals are winning plaudits from health advocates, including the [phony as a $3 bill] nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which has been urging cities, states, and the federal government to take both of those actions." Some of the companies are going to fight it--is it even legal for the Board to pass these laws?

These food nannies won't stop at the door of the pizza parlor owned by your Uncle Vito, you know, nor at the fancy restaurant where you need a reservation and pay $50 just to sit down. It will go on and on.

Let's give New Yorkers some credit. They probably can figure out that eating a big mac at McDonald's is about as healthy as having a Death by Chocolate Brownie with a double scoop of ice cream at a full service restaurant. This is racist, classist and elitest regulation. Middle class and wealthy people are not as overweight as working class and poor people. Caucasians are not as overweight as minorities. We could probably improve the obesity rate of the nation just by closing the borders to illegal immigrants.

Americans are fat, yes, but they got that way bite by bite, calorie by calorie, gene by gene, and for being inactive slugs sitting at computers. The Women's Health Initiative study published in 2006 in JAMA spent $700,000,000 of our money, used 7.5 million forms, clocked 1 million clinic visits by almost 50,000 postmenopausal women all to discover that lowering dietary fat and eating more fruits and vegetables for eight years didn't affect breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or cardiovascular disease in women. That won't stop the CSPI. It's like the global warming fundamentalists. Norma's advice: Move more, eat less. Eat all the colors. Say no to seconds.
    *"The reduction of trans fatty acids in the food supply is a complex issue involving interdependent and interrelated stakeholders. Actions to reduce trans fatty acids need to carefully consider both intended and unintended consequences related to nutrition and public health. The unintended consequence of greatest concern is that fats and oils high in saturated fats, instead of the healthier unsaturated fats, might be used to replace fats and oils with trans fatty acids. Many different options of alternative oils and fats to replace trans fatty acids are available or in development. Decisions on the use of these alternatives need to consider availability, health effects, research and development investments, reformulated food quality and taste, supply-chain management, operational modifications, consumer acceptance, and cost." American Heart Association Conference, Circulation, Apr 2007; 115: 2231 - 2246.

Not peaceful around here today

It's a fabulous day after being in the 90s. Clear sky. Cool. However. It is trash day; lawn maintenance day; and the condo road is being resurfaced. A good day to keep the car in the garage and take my walk somewhere else.

Catch that pony tail. Missing the 80s?

The retirement experts

Jonathon Clements reports that "Experts offer all kinds of advice. Mostly it's ignored." [WSJ 6-20-07] I know how you feel, Mr. Clements! I give such excellent advice, yet everyone is hell bent on making their own mistakes!

Actually, we did pretty much what he suggests the experts tell you to do in planning retirement, except the one about saving diligently from a young age. All experts agree on that one. We didn't save a dime toward retirement until our kids were gone from home. But since I was 46, that gave me some time before retirement. He suggests three things experts advise that most workers ignore (I didn't, but I also didn't know they agree on these three).

1) Rereading an old 1999 letter to my children I refreshed my memory that I had notified both my OSUL and Prior Health Library bosses that I would retire in the fall of 2000--about a year in advance. (I don't think that's such a great idea, but you can squirrel a date away in your head. You are a lame duck from that time forward if you let your employer know.)

2) From 1986, when I went back to work full time, through 2000 I put the maximum allowed in my 403-b tax shelter, and fortunately, when I took out my retirement money after leaving to have a family, I had tucked it away with interest so I could buy back my retirement time (it would not have grown if left in the system because I wasn't vested).

3) When my stocks began faltering in 2000 (before Bush, BTW, if that economic myth is important to you), I changed my investment mix, from aggressive to low risk/moderate risk. Apparently the experts suggest retirees need to do this, but it was really instinctive for this lily-livered investor.

However, I could have never guessed ahead of time how expensive retirement would be--actually I'm still surprised. Our "retirement condo" is bigger than the house we lived in for 34 years. Need a bathroom? I've got one where I hang our winter clothes in the shower stall. Travel? For years we went nowhere; now we get 10 brochures a week from travel companies.

I thought our second home on Lake Erie, purchased in 1988 and paid for since 1998, would be a nest egg because home values absolutely soared in Lakeside--moreso than in Columbus. Of course, we all know what's been happening in the real estate market, especially vacation home areas.

I couldn't have imagined what would happen to the cost of health care. My pension plan spent like crazy in the 90s on real estate and fancy offices for its employees, and then had to do some serious cut backs on health benefits for retirees in the 21st century. For some reason, those boomer staff people had never heard of a bust and were way overinvested in high tech. And we're healthy!

And cable. Our cable bill is higher than our gasoline bill for 2 cars--and we lived for the first 26 years of our marriage perfectly happy with 3 broadcast and 1 public channel, and no computer broadband. In order to get our phone service deal and a digital box, we just added about 50 new channels. More ways to sleep in front of the TV.

And taxes! OMG! Was I stupid to think that once we were on pensions the government wouldn't want so much of our money? Apparently. Do you know if every American had to write a check to the government each April instead of having taxes sneakily withheld by their employer, we'd have a tax revolution immediately? We pay quarterly, and even that is a huge reminder of how our government mismanages our money just because we aren't paying attention.

Clements says the most important rule to remember is save diligently. Everyone agrees on that.

Fill in the blank

"It seems incomprehensible that authorities in a scientific discipline would be unaware of the wealth of data in the scientific literature that contradict the basis for its official position on"
    dietary fat intake

    global warming

    global cooling

    malaria control

    acid rain

    market forces

    ethanol for fuel



    stem cell research

    gender differences

    fossil record

    human behavior


    and so forth
Comment extracted from the Ottobonis' article in Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, vol. 12, no. 1, Spring 2007, p. 12 concerning the WHI low fat diet study.

You will waste hours

at Little Splurge, but it is such fun finding things you didn't know you wanted or needed, like this terrific shoe organizer.

HT Knowledge Problem

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Why big business opposes market-based medical care

Craig J. Cantoni used to earn his living making corporations more competitive and productive. He was the go-to guy who would figure out how to reduce costs in health care--higher co-pays and deductibles, second opinions, etc.--although he says the one problem he never could solve was how to stop employees from thinking they were spending other people's money. He admits he was slow to ask himself some painful questions about how he earned his living.
    Corporate executives in high tax brackets benefit the most from getting employer-provided medical insurance with pre-tax dollars. But millions of lower-paid rent seekers also benefit from employer-provided medical insurance, including employee benefits managers and administrators, benefit consultants, tax consultants, actuaries, ERISA attorneys, producers of record-keeping software, and publishers of benefit forms and booklets. . . Many are Republicans who in the privacy of the voting booth would never vote to give up their regulatory rice bowl. . . Many others are Democrats who bemoan the plight of the uninsured and deplore the growing wage gap. But in the voting booth, they would never vote to give up their regulatory rice bowl, which drives up the cost of medical insurance and lowers wages by subsituting medical insurance for wages."
Read his article , published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, based on his address to the AAPS in 2006.

25,000 wounded: they will need a lot more help

Josie at Life in a Cracker Box tells about her wounded husband's recovery and their life at Walter Reed. It's an important story being repeated in many families.

The use of scare quotation marks

Annoyed Librarian is commenting on the use of scare quotes by the American Library Association (ALA).

"So it's not a debate on non-library issues, but "non-library" issues. I've noticed ALA always likes to use the scare quotes to poison the well on any debate before it even starts." Check it out. The comments alone are well worth the visit--just in case you thought librarians sit around selecting books to put on the shelves.

Beyond hot here in Columbus

Yesterday it was 95 degrees in Columbus, OH. I was on duty for the mail run between our church's Lytham Rd. campus and Mill Run campus in the afternoon. There was road construction everywhere, even turning around after discovering I was blocked was difficult. At the intersection on our road I think I waited 4 lights to turn left.

I was surprised to see a number of people driving with an open window. They were all smokers. Inhaling hot smoke in a hot car, waiting at an even hotter, semi-stalled intersection, to creep along onto fresh hot asphalt, and drive behind trucks spewing more heat and pollution. Now how smart is that?

Smoking. It doesn't just damage your lungs and heart--it must destroy your brain cells too.

The new media

Yesterday we got some sort of cable upgrade--not only does it now ring our phone, but we have more channels to not watch. I haven't yet read all the instructions and am just learning to use the new remote.

There is no reason in today's world of cable, broadcast TV, radio, satellite, wireless, iPod downloads, internet, usenet, blogs, digital archiving, on-line library collections, creative commons, etc. for anyone to be information deprived or only informed on one or two topics or viewpoints. An article, The Media Cornucopia in the Spring 2007 City Journal by Adam D. Thierer will show you the pictures, if you're tired of reading. We have somewhat of a free market in the media, and that drives the democrats crazy. They want more restrictions, not less.

So what's the problem? Well, the biggest one is that conservatives are able to get their message out (and so are radicals, anarchists, marxists, libertarians, pedophiles, polygamists, pornographers, pianists, go-fers, gamblers and golfers) unincumbered by the mainstream media's control. They see this diversity, which liberals usually try to cram into our thought world as positive, as a negative because some conservatives, like Murdock who owns Fox Network, owns more than one information source. Like ABC, NBC, CBS and AP aren't all clones of Twiddle-dum and Tweedle-dee despite the ownership?

Theirer gives an example of a "a lesbian feminist African-American who likes to hunt on weekends and has a passion for country music" who can program her television tastes to exactly suit her. But it also means that when PBS does a half hour bio on Ruth Graham (Billy Graham's wife) they can leave out any mention of Jesus. This also gives us hours of Paris Hilton in jail and who was the father of Anna Nicole's baby.

The latest hoop-la has some Democrats and Republicans united in efforts to close the ears and mouths of the people. And that's the immigration issue. We know too much because we have too much information and we're calling and writing our president and congress. For shame!
    "When Rush Limbaugh has more listeners than NPR, or Tom Clancy sells more books than Noam Chomsky, or Motor Trend gets more subscribers than Mother Jones, liberals want to convince us (or themselves, perhaps) that it’s all because of some catastrophic market failure or a grand corporate conspiracy to dumb down the masses. In reality, it’s just the result of consumer choice."

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday Memories of my town

Actually, it's not "my town" and never was--I haven't lived there for 50 years. But after I started a new blog about what's on my bookshelves, I was reminded again of my connection to print. At my new blog, I'm mostly transferring, copying, or revising other entries about my books, but am eyeing my bookshelf of books printed in or about the county in Illinois where I grew up. So I'll quote here from Don Smith's privately published memoirs (1997):

    "Mt. Morris has been more cosmopolitan than its size alone would dictate, partly because of the presence of the seminary and then the college but largely because of influences associated with the publishing trade. Printing is an inherently literate business; and Kable's emphasis on magazines--rather than wallpaper, food cartons, or oilcloth--meant that editors from Chicago and other cultural centers regularly visited the Mount on business. Similarly, management people from Kable's, as well as Watt and Kable News, often visited major cities on business. All these contacts with the outside world helped create a small oasis of sophistication amongst the corn and soybean fields. . .

    One of my classmates [class of 1946] followed his father and his father's father there [Kable's], and the tradition was extended into the fourth generation when both of his sons joined the printing company's ranks. . . Mt. Morris attached considerable important to intellectual and cultural concerns as reflected in the excellence of the schools, the public library, and the town's near-professional concert band. . . few homes were in disrepair, and there was no real slum or shantytown. Most residences were handsomely landscaped one-and-a-half or two-story structures, and a certain amount of house-and-garden one-upmanship and peer pressure kept even sluggards in line. . . [there being] generally no substantial difference between the home of top Kable executive and that of a pressman."
Smith does a nice job of weaving together his family and personal memories with the town's considerable history, even mentioning some sources I've never seen, like Kable Brothers Company, 1898-1948, and the late-1980s Memoirs of H.A. Hoff, the school superintendent, both of which I assume are on someone else's bookshelf. Don Smith taught journalism at Penn State, State College, PA for 33 years.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Happy Fathers' Day, pt. 2

Today at the coffee shop I was standing at the condiment table with a man in plaid, baggy bermudas. "Happy fathers' day," I said while we mixed cream into our coffee. "Thank you, but I'm not a father," he replied. "But you had a father," I said. "Oh my goodness, I never thought of it that way. Thank you so much." Another happy customer enjoying the holiday.

But some people aren't responsible. Read what else happened in the coffee shop.

Happy Fathers' Day

to all of you bloggers who are fathers or who had fathers. We're having the family here today, which caused some phone calls between my children who wondered what I was up to. But inviting someone for dinner is a good excuse to clean the house and get out the nice china. Unless something happens before noon, here's the menu
    pork boneless roast with cranberry glaze tossed salad (supplied by lovely daughter) served in Grandma's painted bowls fresh, tender crisp broccoli fresh fruit--strawberries, pineapple, white grapes mixed home made bread (supplied by handsome son) brown rice tossed with mushrooms and red pepper (still not sure about this one--I'm making it up) lemon fluff with cherry topping (no sugar, low fat) served in Grandma's dessert dishes
Yesterday I wandered around Macy's looking for a gift, but at our age, we have everything we need or want, so I suggested to him golf lessons, but he didn't seem too excited about getting hot, sweaty and out of breath. Enjoy the day.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Contact your Senator and Member of Congress

Here's a handy link provided by the WaPo which will tell you how often your guy misses votes (John McCain ought to be ashamed of himself!), and how they voted. Also links to their e-mail, and you still need to be writing about the immigration/amnesty plan. I've written Rep. Pryce and Sen. Voinovich (R-Ohio) saying I'm against amnesty for people who entered the country illegally to work, attend school or have babies. I know there are other reasons, but that should cover most of them. We know President Bush isn't going to back down, so you've got to contact your representatives and senators. Don't forget; do it today If we can't control our own borders, we sure can't do it in the middle east.

It's probably easier, faster, and cheaper to hire an illegal

I'm trying out my new toolbar from the National Science Digital Library using the keyword "immigration," so after a bad link to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, I came across the list of instructions, guidelines and regulations for the Office of Business Liaison. I read somewhere that government regulations cost each household $8,000 a year (don't quote me--it's just a vague nightmare). So this is part of that. It says the form hasn't been revised since 1991, but later says it might be available in 2005. Isn't this 2007? How long since this page has been revised, I wonder? I don't envy employers trying to do the right thing, do you?
    Office of Business Liaison
    The primary function of the Office of Business Liaison (OBL) is to educate the United States business community on employment, business, investment, training, and employer education-related immigration issues. We have a home page for this Office, which writes Employer Information Bulletins published on our website.

    OBL is receiving inquiries regarding a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Please be aware that a revised Form I-9 has not yet been released to the public. The current version of the Form I-9 and the Handbook for Employers, M-274, are dated November 21, 1991.

    Both the Form I-9 and Handbook are undergoing revisions to reflect subsequent changes in U.S. immigration law and procedure. A revised Form I-9 may become available in 2005. However, a release date has not been determined. USCIS will conduct outreach and make education materials available to employers when a revised Form I-9 is available.

    The Form I-9 can be downloaded from this Web site (see the Related Link). Additionally, for the most current information on the Form I-9, please review the OBL Employer Information Bulletins. These Bulletins are designed to educate employers on employment-related immigration matters. For questions or more information, please call the toll-free Employer Business Investor and School Services Hotline (EBISS) at 1-800-357-2099.

What he saw in Iraq

In the WSJ yesterday (6-15-07) Joe Lieberman tells "What I saw in Iraq." You remember that Joe was abandoned by his party when he chose to support Bush on the war, but he won reelection anyway. I'm not sure what happened to his committee status. But I think he reports things we won't see in the regular news sources. It helps to have been there, I suppose, rather than sit in air conditioned studios and opine or read what someone else wrote.
    90% of suicide bombings are the work of non-Iraqi, al-Qaeda terrorists

    al-Qaeda's leaders say Iraq is the central front of their global war against the U.S.

    al-Qaeda wants to use the Sunni-Shia bloodshed to collapse the Iraqi government and radicalize the region (it has certainly worked with the American leftists)

    Iran is doing everything in its power to drive us out of the region

    al-Qaeda has shifted its focus because the surge is successful, not because it isn't. Democrats have it backwards.
Why do Democrats and some wimp-Republicans want a failed state in the middle east brought down by al-Qaeda and Iran?

Friday, June 15, 2007


On my Bookshelves

I know this will be a big shock to my regular readers, but I have a new blog, On my bookshelves. So far, I'm just rearranging or moving things. There are many ways to organize your own library on the internet, but I didn't want to learn one more program.

Who buys the food in your household?

Kellogg's is going to stop marketing to children under 12. Excuse me? They never sold a thing to my kids when I was in charge of my kitchen table. I didn't take them to the store--hey, it was my only time to be alone! I've never stood in a check out line with a 10 year old holding the check book or credit card with promises to pay off with their earned income.

It's the parents responsibility to choose the food, pay for it, prepare it and serve it.

Disclaimer: No matter how healthy your little family eats (fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, whole grains, etc.), once they are on their own and start eating with friends as teens, all health benefits are off the table. Literally. They will joyfully chose junk. Both of my children are good cooks, one is even a gardener who gives me fresh produce in the summer and bakes home made bread, and the other tries Martha's recipes and sets a fabulous holiday table, but there were many years as young adults that they violated everything they learned at home about good nutrition.

You don't need legislation or law suits by special interest groups like Center for Science in the Public Interest who need to find a steady supply of victims to maintain an income stream. Parents with young children just need some common sense, a back bone, and a book or two from the public library. They also need to send the kids outside to play more often and turn off the TV and computer.

BTW, yesterday I ate a bowl of Kellogg's Raisin Bran for breakfast. I was hungry the entire day.

Friday Family Photo

This photo of my brother was taken just about four years ago, June 2003, in our cottage at Lakeside, OH. The photo has been scanned from an album, so is a bit fuzzy. I wasn't blogging then (started in October 2003), but I did write letters, otherwise I probably wouldn't remember the details of his visit.

He is a stockbroker and lives in Florida, but has many clients in the midwest, and at that time, one was in Columbus. He needed to visit her and had planned to come alone, but his wife's father was in the hospital in Detroit, so they decided to come together (driving) and she would fly back to Florida from there as he continued on to Illinois to visit other family and clients. When they got to Columbus on Friday, my husband had already left for the lake on Wednesday. I broiled steaks, fixed corn on the cob (which my husband hates), salad and fruit and we had a lovely dinner on the deck--one of the prettiest evenings of the year. He met with his client that evening and on Saturday morning we all started out for Lakeside. The trip took longer than usual because I was navigating, and we were chatting, so we missed the turn on Rt. 4. Instead of 2.5 hours, it took almost 4. We walked around the town, went out to eat at Abigail's, and then my husband rented a golf cart and we drove around looking at the different homes and remodeled cottages he had designed or worked on. We actually have a map and a "tour" t-shirt of my husband's projects.

At Lakeside, which is a Chautuaqua community, the "week" starts on Saturday afternoon, so the big program is Saturday evening. The program that Saturday night at the auditorium was Red Hot and Blue, a group of three men and three women from Branson, Missouri singing and dancing to the songs of the 1930s-1960s. Very high energy and nice costumes. On Sunday morning we had breaksfast at the Patio, after which they continued on to Detroit to visit my SIL's dad.

It was a very nice visit, and if he's reading this, "Hope you'll come back soon, little brother!"

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Joe Klein is just wrong about where the venom originates

In my opinion, left wing bloggers are the most vicious and much more plentiful, so Klein is giving them a pass when he writes for Time about his critics on the left that, "Some of this is understandable: the left-liberals in the blogosphere are merely aping the odious, disdainful—and politically successful—tone that right-wing radio talk-show hosts like Rush Limbaugh pioneered." They aren't aping, Joe, they aren't imitating; they invented the sneer, smear and shout campaigns. Or are you too young to remember the 60s? I've never heard Rush or Hannity or Laura or Malkin say anything as vicious as what I can read on any leftist blog--or particularly their commenters. They have way more class than the left--for starters, they provide information instead of name calling.

And if I were a hard hitting, commie blogger, I sure wouldn't appreciate being compared to Rush Limbaugh as my inspiration!

The Correct Thing

I have a book from my grandparents' library titled, "The Correct Thing in Good Society," by Florence Howe Hall (Boston: Page Company, 1902). It also gives advice on what is not correct. For instance, if you are providing a luncheon for your lady friends, it is not the correct thing
    for the butler to wear evening dress

    for the hostess to be disappointed or troubled if her guests fail to do justice to an elaborate lunch, since "dieting" has become so general that it bids fair to overthrow the elaborate and indigestible ladies' lunch

    to talk gossip or scandal at a ladies' luncheon

    to serve chocolate alone after an elaborate luncheon

    to omit providing each guest with a silver butter knife

    for guests to "grab, gobble and go," taking leave before the luncheon is over

    for the guests to carry off the decorations.
I've let my butler go--just too many slip ups at my luncheons, like forgetting the butter knives.

Thursday Thirteen--Out damn'd spot, out I say

Thirteen things about spots in Norma's world

1) Lady Macbeth was hallucinating when she said that, but I wasn't. There definitely were rust-colored spots on the front of the on-sale, pale yellow, pants suit that fit me perfectly.

2) It sort of looked like small drops of blood! Just like Shakespeare!

3) A friend was in the store at the same time and I showed it to her. She suggested Tide to Go--said she'd had good luck with it.

4) I reluctantly put the suit back, but that day I bought the little instant stain remover that looks like a pen and is small enough to sit on the bottom of your purse and sneak back into the dressing room.

5) I returned to the store, went into the dressing room and applied a little to the smallest, least noticeable spot. Wow. It disappeared, and left no outline on the fabric!

6) I took the suit to the cash register along with a moss green blouse with yellow petal appliques.

7) The first time I wore it (pale yellow) I brushed up against something and got a much larger spot on the knee. I sat down with my little Tide to Go, and poof it was gone.

8) For several weeks I've had my eye on a pair of brown stacked heels at Meijer's. They were on a mark-down table because (I think) the right shoe had some really odd spots on the leather--maybe a mold.

9) Each week I looked at them when I shopped for groceries. I had the exact pair in black and they are the most comfortable shoes I own.

10) So yesterday I dug around in the laundry room and found some brown shoe polish. I put a small amount on a piece of cloth, put that inside a plastic bag which I placed in my purse and went back to the store.

11) The table had been moved and at first I thought the shoes were gone, but after walking around awhile, I found them. I slipped the piece of cloth out of my purse and wiped it on the spots. They did not disappear, but they did blend into the texture.

12) Because I had shopped there the day before, I had a coupon for shoes and jewelry (not cat litter which I really needed or a digital camera that I really wanted). So I bought the shoes that fit and look nice (and shiny) for $5.40.

13) Shoe polish doesn't come off your fingers quite so easily, so I probably looked like I'd just changed a diaper when I got to the check out, but I keep alcohol gel hand cleaner in the car, and that took care of my newest spots!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


New notebook

Today was new notebook day. I don't know if I have the nerve to record everything I didn't blog about since May 4 like I did last year here (44 items).

Still, sometimes I wonder . . .
    44) Poetry editor of JAMA is Charlene Breedlove--she published a poem by Joannie Strangeland. Am I the only one who finds that funny? Pseudonyms?

Tom Tancredo (R) on Amnesty Bill

"The President continues to ignore the will of the American people," said Tancredo. "He simply cannot accept the fact that Americans are not interested in rewarding illegal aliens with a $2.5 trillion blanket amnesty."

President Bush, who boasted Monday to reporters that he would see them "at the bill signing," has made his amnesty proposal granting a pathway to citizenship to some 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in the United States his top domestic priority.

"It's time the administration to put an end to this tired old ‘Groundhog Day’ routine and shelve this misguided amnesty plan once and for all," Tancredo concluded, "It's time for them to start enforcing our laws." Tancredo's press release.

Non-Mexicans heading for our border. They'd be arrested if caught in Mexico.

The sad thing is Bush is losing his base; the people who supported him on Iraq are realizing he has no intention of protecting our own country. I don't want to see the Iraqi people massacred the way we allowed the Communists to do when we pulled out turned tail and fled VietNam, but neither do I want thugs, crooks, terrorists, welfare sops and all the relatives of our current crop of millions of illegals flooding over the border, many of whom are just using Mexico as a funnel to get in. I also don't think we should continue to prop up a corrupt, bad Mexican government who refuses to build up its own economy. I don't know a single conservative or Republican who supports Bush on this, but most did support him on Iraq.

I think we need to go back 40+ years and look at the racist ideas of the Johnson administration and why they thought our racial mix in those days was so awful and needed to be changed. The 1986 IRCA compounded the problem. Strengthening an already bad, unenforceable immigration policy is making the bad worse.

When the left is right

It's not often I have an opportunity to agree with Al Sharpton or Michael Moore, but those two were recently right on something. Sharpton is making the rounds complaining that celebrities get a better deal in sentencing and jail time than the poor (I would add the middle class to that, because I wouldn't get Paris' treatment), and Michael Moore admitted on TV that after making Sicko, he decided he needed to be more careful about his own health, and has started eating fruits and vegetables and exercising. It also appeared to me that he got a haircut, which tremendously improved his appearance.

There's more of us than you think

"Gov. Mike Huckabee was right: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." So was Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter who also had the courage to raise their hands for creation in the presidential debates.

And now a new USA Today/Gallup Poll has found two-thirds of Americans agree. And those who believe creationism is "definitely true" more than double those who believe strongly in evolution." Janet Folger

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Somehow, I'm not surprised

"BIOFUELS--DOE Lacks a Strategic Approach to Coordinate Increasing Production with Infrastructure Development and Vehicle Needs." And that's just the title.

What do socially responsible librarians talk about?

Certainly not libraries.
    Rachel Carson
    Hunger, homelessness and poverty
    Global warming
    gay, lesbian, transexual, bisexual issues
    Katherine de la Pena McCook lifetime award (you'd have to be there)
    flogging books by their members, like Library Juice
    fixing media bias (on the right)
    Pastor's [sic] for Peace
    alternative media
    free speech buffet
And you thought all librarians did was read while wearing sensible shoes, shushing and unjamming the printer!

A Line in the Sand

There is an important report available on the internet titled, "Line in the Sand; Confronting the Threat at the Southwest Border," prepared by the Majority Staff of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Investigations, Michael T. McCaul, Chairman.(2007?) It concludes that in order to stop the criminal activity at the border, we need:

Greater control of the border can be achieved by:
    • enhancing Border Patrol resources, including expanding agent training capacity, and technical surveillance abilities;

    • constructing physical barriers in vulnerable and high-threat areas;

    • implementing state-of-the-art technology, cameras, sensors, radar, satellite, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to ensure maximum coverage of the Nation's Southwest border;

    • making permanent the "catch and return" policy;

    • expanding the use of the expedited removal policy;

    • establishing additional detention bed space;

    • improving partnerships and information sharing among Federal, State, and local law enforcement;

    • building a secure interoperable communications network for Border Patrol and state and local law enforcement;

    • mandating a comprehensive risk assessment of all Southwest border Ports of Entry and international land borders to prevent the entry of terrorist and weapons of mass destruction;

    • promoting both international and domestic policies that will deter further illegal entry into the United States; and

    • enhancing intelligence capabilities and information sharing with our Mexican counterparts and improving cooperation with the Mexican government to eradicate the Cartels.
Achieve some of these goals, Mr. President, and then maybe we can talk about reforming our immigration policies. Show us you are as serious at home as you are in Iraq.

Glamorous professions

Photography always sounded sort of glamorous to me until I read the breakdown of hours, requirements, salary and benefits in today's WSJ. Remember, the average school teacher earns more than $34/hour.
    Who, on average, is better paid--public school teachers or architects? How about teachers or economists? You might be surprised to learn that public school teachers are better paid than these and many other professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public school teachers earned $34.06 per hour in 2005, 36% more than the hourly wage of the average white-collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty or technical worker.
According to this article, event photographers earn between $10-25 an hour as stringers. Now that's next to awful, don't you think? And the requirements sound a bit demanding to me, although what do I know--I was just a librarian who sat around all day and read books. An event photographer might spend as much time in editing, correcting and production as shooting the event; might have to invest $10,000 in equipment; probably misses all the important holidays with his/her family; and has a physically demanding routine dragging around all that equipment and doing set-ups.

Now, the pluses are you get to attend some interesting events and might see celebrities. You can't pay the rent or utilities by sighting Michael Jackson or Paris Hilton once a year.

Might be smarter to become a teacher, retire early, and take up photography on the side.

Strangers chatting in the park

We stopped our walk (going opposite directions) to watch the children in organized play. We were amazed to see a group of very little boys in matching, over sized t-shirts--maybe 3 or 4 years old--being led by men also in matching t-shirts and caps in something that resembled drop the handkerchief. Some mothers had sought out shady spots in which to park the strollers with younger children. At first I thought it might be an early VBS group or a day-care center on an outing. Then I realized all the leaders were men, so they probably weren't fathers, day-care workers, or VBS volunteers. It began to dawn on me that this was a city parks program, and these were probably paid high school or college age staff.

"I wonder when these children get a chance to just be kids and not have adults organizing their play time?"

"I don't know, but I think they are too young to understand competition or soccer."

And we continued on our way, getting our exercise the old fashioned, fuddy-duddy way, pondering the ways of the young who had none of our advantages of hindsight. The little boys joyfully followed their leaders in pied piper fashion.

FDR's dismal record

When I was in high school and college, we were taught that FDR was practically the savior of our nation. All sorts of socialist programs were instituted, but we were told they were all for our own good, even the ones that failed. My mother and father never agreed on the worth of his presidency and programs and their entire lives cancelled each others votes. Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson are the three legs of the tippy stool of socialism we deal with today.

Today's WSJ reviews The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes (HarperCollins, 2007). "Roosevelt's dismal performance in the 1930s would not prevent him from becoming the most popular sitting president in American history," the reviewer writes.

From the left, he is viewed as
    an inspirational leader who offered hope and

    a wager of battles against evil capitalists
His critics on the right see the era of FDR differently
    his policies prolonged the miseries of the Great Depression

    he left behind the hard-working, middle class citizen

    did far more damage than Hoover, who himself was a poor president

    was soft on the cruelties and economic failures of the Soviet Union

    developed a class-war rhetoric still in use today.
It will be interesting to see if my public library can find a way to purchase this title not friendly to an icon of the left. Publisher's Weekly, bible of all public librarians, includes in its review the usual put-downs : "breezy narrative," "tells an old story," "plausible history," but does concede that it is an even-tempered corrective to the unbalanced stories of this era. Since it just came out in June, it's probably not yet on order at public libraries. I'll try OhioLink in a few weeks.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday Memories of Memories

The Tech Reunion

The Committee for the Reunion did a fabulous job. From the nametags, to the dinner to the visit to the campus, it all ran smoothly, and we saw lots of old friends and heard many, "Do you remember when we. . ." I do wonder though what's happening to the classes behind us. There was no 25th or 40th for those classes, even though the other years we've attended there have been. Where are the classes of 1967, or 1972 or 1977?

For some reason, we don't have a copy of my husband's senior picture--red hair and sparkling green eyes.

These two friends hadn't seen each other since 1960, and without an announcement, probably couldn't have found each other at the dinner. My husband became an architect and Ron (on the right) became a very successful commercial artist. Now in retirement, they are both painters.

My new Tech friend Barb (on the right) who loves RV-ing, seeing the country, and reads my blog! Check out her reunion site for more photos and memories.

The Tech campus has 76 acres with many new buildings since the 1950s, but this landmark is called Stuart Hall, opened in 1940, named for the first principal. The first students arrived September 11, 1912 and classes began 5 days later.

My husband earned a letter in track and cross country. It is one of the few schools in the country where you could run cross country and not leave the campus.

The class gathered on the steps of the Arsenal Building for their class photo. There were more people at the evening event, and some here that didn't come to the dinner. If I'd been in charge, of course, I'd have asked all the ladies to put aside their purses and papers, and tell everyone to take off their sun glasses. However, no one appointed me to problem solve for the class photo. The Arsenal Building stored military supplies during the Civil War, and today has administrative offices.

The Awards Ceremony was held in Anderson Auditorium (1975), and the Alumni Choir sang below an American flag with 34 stars (found in the attic of one of the buildings).

Three members of The Slobs (social club) standing on the second floor of The Barracks, which at one time was under the command of the U.S. government (which owned the entire site). It was the building in which these guys had ROTC. One of The Slobs, Scott, brought his mom to the Alumni awards ceremony and lunch--a Tech grad of 75 years ago. And she's still beautiful!

Good-bye Tech. Maybe we'll see you 5 years for the 100th anniversary of your founding.

IRCA to CIRA--from alphabet soup to nuts

To get a feel for how we got to the mess we're in with IRCA (1986) and its growing little sister CIRA (2007), read the panoramic view in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 367, 1966, a special issue titled, "The New Immigration." It's an interesting issue, with articles by people like Ted Kennedy and Frank Mott. We would be welcoming skilled, professional and technical workers we were told, and the charts and graphs showed a very small percentage of service and farm sector workers. President Johnson had assured us before signing the 1965 immigration bill into law in October 1965 that, "Nothing in the legislation relieves any immigrant of the necessity of satisfying all of the security requirements we now have, or the requirements designed to exclude persons likely to become public charges. No immigrants admitted under this bill could contribute to unemployment in the United State." (LBJ, January 13, 1965). Pipe dreams. A joke. No crystal ball, not even an understanding of human nature, just like now. With all the other social problems going on in the 1960s, the American people hardly noticed that "family reunification" clauses might mean one legal immigrant could be bringing in 20 relatives who then would bring in their relatives.

We (or rather the giants we elected to congress) needed to rework it all in 20 years and got the "Immigration Reform and Control Act" of 1986--the word "control" was added because almost all the immigration was non-white, non-skilled, many political refugees, with much of it illegal by the 1980s and with the growing problem of porous borders. Then the Immigration Act of 1990 was added to the pantheon. There is an interesting overview of the competing interest groups and issues like homosexuality, aids, social security, welfare, etc. at "The Politics of Immigration Reform in the United States, 1981-1990" by Daniel J. Tichenor in Polity Vol. 26, No. 3 (Spring, 1994), pp. 333-362.
Online here
. Tichenor marvels that Congress got anything done at all--sound familiar? In other words, they gave us a bi-partisan mishmash, filled with complex and competing ideas over 20 years ago.
    "With little support for internal enforcement, IRCA dealt with the illegal population residing in the country by granting legal status to nearly three million illegal aliens. The enforcement provisions of IRCA, which penalize employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens, never
    established a reliable identification system of employee eligibility. As a result, an underground industry of fraudulent documents permitted illegal immigration to return to pre-reform levels. The Immigration Act of 1990 granted stays of deportation to family members of aliens legalized under IRCA. The 1990 law also established an increased "cap" on legal immigration that may be "pierced" for relatives of citizens. Several refugee groups received special protection as well."
Opinion polls indicated Americans wanted a decrease, not an increase, of immigrants in the 1970s and 1980s. Then as now (as proposed by Bush--the non-amnesty amnesty), the problem of illegal aliens was solved by making them legal--only in 1986 there were approximately 3 million illegals. No one knows how many we have today--12 million is used as the low end figure.

We have competing forces--the 1986 IRCA solved nothing and actually made things worse. Adding the word "comprehensive" in 2007 to an already unworkable plan won't improve it. And I'm guessing that if the internet, blogs, cable TV and talk radio had been around in the 80s, so that the American public understood how it was being screwed by big business, big agriculture, big labor, feel-good, liberal Christians and weak willed, clueless politicians, particularly Republicans, IRCA would have gone down in flames in 1986.
    "The 1986 and 1990 laws were supported by a fragile coalition of liberals, who celebrate entitlements, and conservatives, who embrace the market. The pro-immigration tenor of these laws cohered not to a dominant public philosophy, but rather accommodated the programmatic ambitions and ideals of distinct political movements."
There are powerful interest groups in this country who want a continuous supply of poor people--not just to fill low skilled jobs, but to use as political pawns. They need the statistics to prop up demands for more and more taxes, the life blood of politicians. Then they are also combining forces with other interest groups like and La Raza who simply want to destroy the USA as we know it.

Those of us who object to porous borders, irresponsible legislators, foreigners flaunting the law, criminals wandering our streets, and wasted money on social programs are called nativists, xenophobes, and racists. When in fact, we are the ones who have been lied to, promised the impossible, and are cuckold.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Sandy vs. Scooter

"Why the "unusually harsh sentence," as William Otis, a former federal prosecutor who served on the advisory committee on sentencing guidelines, put it? Because, the judge explained, "people who occupy these types of positions, where they have the welfare and security of the nation in their hands, have a special obligation not to do anything that might create a problem." Of course, Sandy Berger, national security adviser to Bill Clinton, hid original documents on his person, took them out of the National Archives, destroyed them, and lied to investigators. One might think of this as "creating a problem." But Berger got no prison time and a fine one-fifth that imposed on Libby." Kristol

But then, Berger was a Democrat. The President has the power to pardon, even for a such a strange non-crime as this.

Live Breathe and Die: "In recent years, the Democratic playbook has included talking points designed to convince Americans that the Republican Party is mired in corruption. The phrase that Democrats incorporated into their public pronouncements was a Republican ‘culture of corruption.’ As evidence of this, they point to Scooter Libby, charged with lying to a grand jury. They also point to the political witch-hunt in Texas where charges had been brought against Republican, Tom Delay.

What the press sweeps under the rug though is the ongoing evidence of true corruption in the Democratic Party. Unlike Scooter Libby, who apparently had lapses in memory, getting dates mixed up, many prominent Democrats were caught red handed, intentionally sticking their hands in the cookie jar. There are varying degrees of crime, and the real criminal intent seems to be on the side of the Democrats. Whether or not the public hears about the culture of corruption amongst the Dems is another story."

Friday, June 08, 2007


We're on our way

to the Tech reunion. The class meets tonight at a private club, and all the classes get together tomorrow on the campus. That's when we'll see most of the guys my husband hung out with--The Slobs. Arsenal Tech isn't your ordinary school. It's awesome--or was when my husband and his parents attended. Bigger than the town I lived in.

At the last minute, my husband decided to wear his tux--I'm sure he'll be the only one--so I had to change my attire to a dress. But that's fine. We love to dance, and no lady looks graceful dancing in slacks or jeans. They just don't swing. And I have two outfits for tomorrow--one if it is cool, one if hot. Our weather has ranged from 40 to 91 in 48 hours here. And I'm taking along "Digging to America" by Anne Tyler to read in the car, and some old radio shows on CD, so we're all set. The cat, of course, is in hiding, thinking we're going to throw her in the car, but she isn't going on this trip.

Catch up with you later.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thursday Thirteen Resolutions

According to Willowcreek's Network, my highest score is in Wisdom, and second highest are Administration and Giving (tied). These are not popular, fun "gifts." These traits are sensible, insightful, practical, fair, commonsense, thorough, objective, responsible, resourceful, disciplined, organized, efficient and conscientious. See what I mean?

Because I write on a variety of topics, and so many blogs, I have to be cautious about criticism. You just have no idea how much is excluded (I keep a written journal), so I make an effort to redirect some energy. Not always successfully. First, I drafted this 13 list and then went through and deleted the word "try." Try is a really wimpy verb, and I criticize others who use weak verbs and sloppy sentences. It's unlikely I'll be able to keep these--I think I've already broken number one and number four, but here goes.
    1. When I see an outrageously dressed person, brown cotton eyelet full circle skirt, gray pumps and pink bandana I will turn my head or close my eyes instead of drawing a sketch.

    2. When I see someone who has problem at the sample table of the coffee shop, I won't speculate what losing or gaining 20 lbs could do for his/her health and knees.

    3. When I see a smoker, I will resist cataloging wrinkles, coughs, and yellowed fingers using my strongest traits.

    4. I will resist going to church so I won't be tempted to comment on things that upset me or theology that doesn't make sense.

    5. When I see a loose dog or cat, I will pray for the critter's safety instead of criticizing the careless, bad mannered owner even my neighbor with the Vizsla that wants to join us on our deck during dinner.

    6. When I see an ugly, unreadable, squirrely webpage or blog, I will not scan through it looking for the webmaster or comment section.

    7. When I accidentally come across Katie Couric or another gloomy news reader, I'll just change channels.

    8. When I hear or read about what the idiots in Congress are doing, I'll refrain from calling them names--or the people like me, who elected them.

    9. I will blog less at my regular site and work on my hobby bloggy and illegal immigration blog. I stopped blogging for a week and dropped 300 points on TTLB.

    10. Since I'm such a good problem solver, I'll satisfy this need by finding and fixing problems in my house, car, garage, closets and bookshelves or experimenting with new recipes. By 2010, I can probably have these under control.

    11. I will try to keep track of only 2 or 3 Republican 2008 candidates and not poke fun at or make rude comments about the other moral midgets others.

    12. I will ignore family problems. Mine and yours. No one wants to be someone else's fixer-upper or project.

    13. I will refocus on my art. A critical eye is needed in perspective, value, hue, tone, and quality. I think it's been a year since I did this one.