Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ken got a new cell phone and all I got was some lousy pens

HEY! How y'all doing?

Don't worry, I'm not upset about Ken's new cell phone, and I always love pens! (They're gel pens...and they're metallic. Ooo! I did get a little odometer for my bike, too, for when it gets nice out and I can start riding.) He is canceling the service we use now and going with another provider, and we agreed that it's really sort of silly for me to have a cell now that I'm not working. I always liked having one for security reasons when driving to work in bad weather, but I'm not a phone talker, so I think I'll just not worry about having a cell phone. One less thing to put in my purse. I know that some can't survive without a cell. I'm thinking that I'll manage to muddle through somehow. Jeez, I hate talking on the phone at home enough as it is...I don't want to do it when I'm out and about!

Award Kreativ BloggerBefore I forget, I want to thank Lucy of What is Left of a Whole New Life for the gift of a Creative Blogger award (it originated in the Netherlands, so this might be my first international award!). She wrote to me that she doesn't know anyone more creative than me. To be honest, of all the words that I might use to describe myself (and no comments from the Peanut Gallery!), "creative" isn't one of them. But I do appreciate her thoughtfulness! As with other awards in the past, if I read you, I value you and your creativity, so please feel free to snag this award for yourself. Thank you, Lucy!

I'm still feeling pretty mellow, but this "news" story pissed me off. It's in reference to President Obama's remark on "The Tonight Show" in which he equated his poor bowling skills to being like "Special Olympics or something." That was definitely cringe-worthy, and when I heard it, I thought, "Did he really say that?" Apparently he knew it was bad and that he misspoke, and he issued an apology before the show even aired. Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who are very involved in the Special Olympics, said that they knew that he misspoke and that he did not mean anything bad by his remarks.

But Sarah Palin had to weigh in on it, and NO, I am not done with her, not by a long shot!

Sarah Palin said she was "shocked" to hear President Obama's offhand comment referring to the Special Olympics in an appearance on the Tonight Show on Thursday night.

"This was a degrading remark about our world's most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world," Palin said in a statement released Friday.

"These athletes overcome more challenges, discrimination and adversity than most of us ever will. By the way, these athletes can outperform many of us and we should be proud of them. I hope President Obama's comments do not reflect how he truly feels about the special needs community."

Hey, Sarah! I'm shocked that you would use such an obvious misstatement on the President's part to further your own political career and keep your name out there !

Actually, I'm not shocked at all. Anyone who thinks that the President really feels contempt for developmentally disabled individuals is an asshat. It was a stupid remark to make, and a bad joke. And I'll be the first to admit that I have occasionally made jokes about someone riding the short bus. It doesn't mean that I feel contempt for special needs people or that I don't value them, any more than President Obama feels that way.

So thanks for taking time out from your wolf-killing, Sarah, so you could weigh in on this. I'm sure the wolves, at least, appreciate it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Breaking news from Nutwood

[make the dee dee deedee breaking news sound]

I just heard on our local news that President Obama will be the commencement speaker at Notre Dame on May 17. Wow, how utterly cool! Dang, I wish I knew someone who was graduating this year. Maybe if I go hang out on campus, I'll make friends with someone and they'll invite me. Perhaps I can take lessons from Cynthia Plaster Caster on how to win friends and influence people.

HA! Totally kidding!

But really, that's so neat. He will also be giving the commencement addresses at Arizona State (Myra, isn't that where you went?) and the Naval Academy.

And the gold star goes to….

Laurel of Thoughts from a Route 66 Business Owner, who knew exactly what I was talking about when I mentioned Plaster Casters:

I'm old enough to know all about plaster casters (although I was NOT one!). They're band groupies who obtain rather unusual souvenirs of members of their favorite band... plaster casts of certain select body parts. Yeah, it happened... maybe still does.

Cynthia Plaster Caster is still out there, although I don't think she's "active" any longer. She exhibits her collection (she calls them her "babies"), she conducts training sessions for couples, and basically sounds like she's still having a ball (so to speak). Visit her Plaster Caster website, and be sure to click through to the actual site. It's a hoot! (Warning: Not for the faint hearted. If cartoon penises offend you, I recommend that you stay away.)

Maybe I should come up with some kind of Nutwood award, rather than just a "gold star." I love it when someone else knows some obscure piece of trivia! Maybe a Gold Squirrel, or a Gold Groundhog. Although I wear silver jewelry, so it might have to be a Silver Squirrel. Hey, I kind of like that! Hmm. I'll have to think on it.

Obama on Leno Did anyone catch our President on "The Tonight Show" last night? There's the link to it if you want to watch it. It's about 20 minutes, and worth watching if you like the guy. If you don't, I doubt if it will change your mind about anything. In a Facebook discussion with my pal Dan (Milwaukee Dan #1), we both felt that the Pres explained the AIG mess pretty well. It's not a matter of letting a bad business plan fail...because of the subprime mortgages they bought up, their risk was about $30 to the dollar, and if they were to go under, they would take everyone down with them, including the smaller banks that most of us utilize. That's the way I understood it when I was reading about it and trying to learn how it all happened and what it all means.

I know there are plenty who disagree. [shrugs] I'm not going to convince you otherwise, and I'm not even going to try. Just callin' it as I see it, and I think he's doing what needs to be done.

Homophobia I guess I'm feeling pretty mellow, because some of the stuff I read just isn't getting to me today. I've recently read some extremely homophobic rants, and I'm to the point where I'm like, "Whatever." It's just beyond's ignorant, and it's not even worth getting riled up about (although sometimes I still do). Sometimes I find it laughable, especially when the "Gay Agenda" is mentioned, and yes, it's always capitalized. I wonder what the Gay Agenda is? To convert everyone to the "homosexual lifestyle?" Wouldn't that be sort of counterproductive? After all, a 100% gay population wouldn't be able to reproduce, and would die out. All the gay people I know are a lot smarter than that.

Someone near and dear to me said that a joke in the gay community is that for every person they "recruit," they get a free toaster. Hahaha! Some of this homophobic bullshit really is that ludicrous. I think sometimes people go through phases (remember Ann Heche?), but for the most part, people are who they are and love who they love. There's no choice involved.

Ah well. I'm just happy that there are many who are more enlightened than those haters. As the Spaghetti Cat song says, "Haters will hate on you, and make negative comments." But Spaghetti Cat is no ordinary cat, and Spaghetti Cat isn't scared. He just goes on eating that spaghetti. Spaghetti Cat always makes me smile.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let the games begin!

Basketball I know we won't be watching all of the NCAA games (especially tonight--only three episodes of "ER" left! *sniff*), but I've had them on this afternoon, and it's fun to watch the games during the day. Butler didn't make it through, but Purdue survived, so Indiana only has one team left. Rough year for Hoosier teams. Criminy.

It's very disappointing to have it get so chilly again today. I know that spring is just around the corner, but jeez, hurry up already!

This is going to be a short one, because I have games to play. That's right...just to solidify my geekdom in everyone's mind, I bought the new Hoyle Puzzle and Board Games today. I had a copy already, but of course it doesn't work on Vista. Grrr. I just love these games, and I missed having them on this computer. Backgammon, Dominoes, Parcheesi, Yahtzee, and many more. We have many of those board games already, but Ken and I don't often get a chance to play them, and Sheeba doesn't have opposable thumbs, so he'd have a hard time moving the pieces around the board. It's fun to be able to play against the computer, and there are even some new ones that are kind of fun. There's one with a title that just cracks me up: Star Collector. Isn't that one of the names for groupies? I'm waiting for a game called Plaster Caster! (And a gold star to anyone who gets that reference!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Who wants basketball?!

Wildcat hoopsI do! I do!

The NCAA tourney begins this week, kicking off the start of Holy Days in Indiana. While none of our Indiana teams this year are in serious contention, Purdue and Butler are in it, and Butler is always a Cinderella possibility. And Illinois is in it, so we'll be cheering for them here at Nutwood! (Ken is an alum, if you recall.)

For a fun take on the tourney, visit The Wildcat's Lair . Wildcat, his wife, and their "extended family" have made their picks, and it's go-time, Skippy! Make your picks and see how it all plays out. You can bet that the fur will be flying as the games begin Thursday night!

Off-topic? Try BFE!

A comment from yesterday's entry:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "In sickness and in health":

It was the TREASURY SECRETARY who set the terms for AIG. It was Obama who picked the Treasury Secretary and claimed he was "too big" to not overlook his tax cheating.
It was the Congress that passed the bill WITHOUT READING IT and without putting any rules in it for companies accepting the money from bailouts.

It's the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, with heavy emphasis on CONGRESS, to blame for these bonuses being paid out.


Obama's attempt to act "outraged" at the bonuses is completely phony. His administration had already said on Sunday that there was nothing they could do about the bonuses.

They knew these bonuses would need to be paid, (and will be paid next year too,) but must feign anger because they want more bailout money to pass out to their friends, and this debacle could cost them dearly.

I don't like incompetence being rewarded either, but it's not the workers at AIG, but the idiots in our government who are to blame for these being handed out.

Posted by Anonymous to Nutwood Junction at March 18, 2009 2:32 AM

What the hell? Did I miss something in my own entry? While I'm impressed by your strategic use of CAPITAL LETTERS, Anon, I have to say that you are pretty far off-topic. I'm not sure how my comments about Charlie Sheen's CBS sitcom and how Ken and I handle being ill made you think of the AIG thing, but maybe you need to chill just a bit. I do have to wonder at why you feel there is nothing wrong with hijacking my blog to express your own opinions. I suggest you start your own blog, where you can write whatever you want to write about. You may even eventually get your own "special" Anon, but it won't be me, because I won't bother you. Trust me on that one.

On to bigger and better things! I have some pictures for you.

Turkeys Mar 09 Before I left on my errands yesterday, I saw a smallish band of turkeys in the back yard. (I just saw them again a few moments ago. In fact, I just looked, and they're still out there--walking down the driveway! Ha ha!) It's getting to be that time of year when a young tom's fancy turns to thoughts of love, and there were two toms in this band that were displaying. (Oh wow, now there are four toms displaying! Cool!) It never fails to amuse me to see the way they puff up and strut their stuff. It always makes me think of that old song: "Bend over, let me see you shake your tail feather...shake it shake it shake it!" Ha! Neighbor Dave tells me that it's good to put out egg shells for them this time of year, or crushed oyster shells. They need the calcium for when it comes time to lay their eggs. Eggs were on sale this week, so I got three dozen more, and I'll be saving the shells (and asking Ken to save them from his hard boiled eggs at lunch) to put out for the turkeys. C'mon turkeys, I'll help you lay eggs of steeeeeel!

New sandals So I went shopping yesterday. I didn't start out looking for shoes, but while I was out, I decided to see what I could find. I've been on a quest lately for some wedge gladiator sandals. I have a pair of flat ones that I love and have had for at least ten years--I was gladiator sandal before gladiator sandal was cool--but I wanted to find some that would be comfy and cute, but even a little bit dressy depending upon the outfit. I went to several stores and even tried some on...came close to buying some in Kohl's, but I just wasn't quite happy with the style. Oh my God, there were such cool ones at DSW, with really high platform heels and leather bands going all the way up the ankle. I loved them, but I was out for comfy and cute, not excruciating but smokin' hot. I tried one pair on that was a pretty good combination of both, but the buckle on the ankle strap hit me right on the bone. I knew that it would irritate me to no end, so I put them back.

I finally found a pair at, of all places, Target. I rarely buy shoes at Target, because I don't think they hold up well, but I'm not going to be running a marathon in these babies, am I? I really like them, and they're really comfortable! They have the wide T-strap running up the middle, the smaller crosswise straps at the ball of the foot, and a couple around the ankle. A nice wedge heel that isn't too big and is fairly stable, and I can wear them with shorts, a miniskirt/skort, jeans, a casual sundress, or even a slightly dressy pants suit. Sweet!

I'm generally not a girly-girl, but man, I do loves me some shoes!

Vegas picture While I was at Target, I also found a picture that I just love. I had seen it before, and loved it then, but couldn't justify paying the price they were asking for a Target wall hanging, you know? It was on clearance for half price, and that I could justify. You all know how much I love Vegas, Baby. A few years ago, Ken got me a tabletop Las Vegas sign for Christmas that flashes and lights up, and it always makes me happy to turn it on and watch the star light up. [sigh] So how could I resist this take on the iconic Vegas sign? How, I ask you? I'm not sure where I'll put it--either in the basement or in the office--but I love it. Kitsch makes me a happy girl.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In sickness and in health

Happy St. Patrick's Day from this German gal! (Hey, us Germans like our beer, too.) Another gorgeous day, and although it will be getting cold again tomorrow, I choose to focus on today. I did some shopping today (I'll talk about my purchases tomorrow) and was able to shoot some hoops this afternoon. I thought about breaking out the golf clubs and practicing my swing, but I'll need some tips from Ken before I start up again. Besides, since the NCAA tourney is starting this week, it seemed only fitting that I shoot some baskets. And yes, I'm still sore from yesterday, and I know I'll be sore again tomorrow! But it's all good.

Sick cat2 Did anyone catch "Two and a Half Men" last night? It's always funny, but last night's episode had us just dyin' with laughter. Charlie's girlfriend was sick with a cold or flu or something, and was staying at Charlie's house. Turned out that the girlfriend was a bit of a "needy" patient, shall we say. This whole "taking care of someone" thing was new to Charlie, and he didn't handle things very well. But I have to say, his girlfriend was SO needy that I would have been like, "Back off!" too!

It struck both of us so funny, because we are both definitely the kind of sick people who want to be left alone, or as Ken put it, "Just get the f*** away from me." If we're both here together, we'll definitely get each other things, or ask if we can do anything for each other, but for the most part, we both just want to curl up and heal on our own. It's fortunate that we're both that way, because if you have people who are opposite in that regard, it can really be a problem or cause resentment. My feeling is that I don't need to be coddled--I'm sick, I need to sleep and be a slug, and heal, and hearing "Aww, poor baby" doesn't help me one little bit!

I will never forget one time when my ex-husband got sick. He was so needy, and it was a constant barrage of "Honey? Can you come here? Can you bring me some juice? Maybe I can eat some chicken soup." The kicker was when I suggested that he take a hot bath, and that would probably make him feel better. He agreed, and after he got back into bed, he said in a pitiful little voice, "Would you blow dry my hair?" [rolling my eyes] I did, but I thought, "Oh brother." The following weekend, I got whatever bug he had. He had already committed to going to his dad's to help him cut firewood, so I stayed home and took care of myself. And I let my hair air dry.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ouch, man….

It was a beautiful day here today--sunny and pushing 70°! In lieu of a workout, I hit the yard for some cleanup. I picked up lots of branches and limbs that had accumulated over the winter and piled them on a couple of brush piles. I went out front and cut back all the dead junk in the front flower bed. As I was doing that, I decided to get all the leaves out of there, too. I like to refer to leaves as "nature's mulch," and let me tell you, those perennials were well protected! (If we tried to get rid of all the leaves in our yard in the fall, it would be like one of those special punishments or impossible tasks--Sisyphus pushing his rock up the hill, Tantalus trying to reach his grapes, or Hercules cleaning the Augean stables. Thus, nature's mulch.)

Daisies I was glad I cleaned the leaves out of there, because things are greening up and popping out! This will get more sunshine to them, and I hope everything does well. I've been trying to plant more perennials each year (after they go on sale) so that I don't have to buy annuals every year. That gets expensive! (I still want to get some for the front flower boxes, though.) The flower bed that Ken built a few years ago gets lots of sun, and I've tried to get very hardy and sun-tolerant perennials. The Shasta daisies seem to do really well, and this picture is from last year. I can hardly wait to see them start blooming--daisies are so cheery. Coreopsis also seems to thrive there. Maybe I'll put some coneflowers in later this summer.

Anyhoo, it was nice to see some green in there! I also noticed that in front of the house, there were a couple of places where the leaves were pushed up. The crocuses are doing very well! Some are even blooming already. It amazes me that crocuses can push a pile of leaves up like that. We have crocuses of steeeeeel!

It felt so great to get out there and work, and I worked up a sweat. But ouch, I hurt already! I'll probably really be sore tomorrow. It's a good kind of hurt, though. I was planning on shooting some hoops after I cleaned out the flower bed, but I was plum tuckered and I'll do that later this week. I hope the weather was good in your neck of the woods!

Anon! Anon!

I don't think this is my previous Anonymous stalker commenter (I miss you so, Anon…that was a wild ride), but in keeping with my own personal tradition of addressing Anonymous commenters who like to stir the pot a bit, I'll comment briefly on this one:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Truth, Justice, and the Nutwood Way":

The Obamamites at nutty Junction calling sarah a fake.

First of all, this doesn't make much sense. The "Obamamites" (are those anything like dust mites?) at "nutty" (and quite proud of it, thank you very much) Junction, "calling sarah a fake" and...what? AnonymousIs there a point here? It really doesn't make a lot of sense as a complete thought or  sentence. Anyone who reads me and reads those who read me should realize by now that we're a diverse bunch. There are plenty of folks here who aren't "Obamamites" (are those anything like...Dyn-o-miiiites?!) and who don't agree even one little bit with my political views. I value their opinions, and they manage to keep from resorting to name-calling or questioning whether I'm "nutty" or not. I appreciate them very much for that. We can all be respectful, and Nutwood is a nice, peaceful place. Let's keep it that way.

And Dear Anon, I think you kind of missed the point, because no one was originally questioning whether Palin herself is or isn't fake. They were questioning the veracity of the photograph I originally posted, and those that were questioning its authenticity came from all facets of the political spectrum. I did more research, found that the photo was not a fake, and people commented on that and on their feelings about the Governor. Yes, some readers think she's a fake--others like and support her. I wonder why you zeroed in on those commenters who don't like her?

As always, I will address Anonymous commenters who try to hide behind their anonymity and do drive-by comments. Some of my friends don't have accounts to comment here, and use the anonymous option, but I know exactly who they are. That's why I leave the option open to comment anonymously. But anyone who chooses to comment anonymously simply because they don't want to be associated with their own statements strikes me as a coward and a fool. And I will continue to call them out on it.

To all Anons out there (other than those who I know through your signatures): If you've got something to say, stand up for it. Your cowardice is obvious and pathetic, and your inability to stand behind your comments is an automatic neutralization of whatever you have to say. Grow some balls already.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Truth, Justice, and the Nutwood Way

O ye of little faith.

Yesterday, I put a photo up here of Sarah Palin in her Anchorage office. A couple of people thought it was photoshopped, and I thought so, too, at first. But everything I found pointed to the fact that it was real. I found a link to where it was published in the New York Times, and yet you still doubted me. I asked my friend Dan, a newspaper guy, if he thought it was real or not, and he said it looked like it could have been photoshopped, but if the Times published it, they had probably investigated and verified the photo.

And yet you still doubted me. I'm hurt, people. Very hurt. Would I lie to you?

So I did a little more digging. Here's the original photo.

Palin and crab

Now here are a few other photos I found of her office. I have not altered the photos in any way, other than pointing out significant details in some of them. Google "Sarah Palin's Anchorage office" and you'll find each of these photos without my captions. Also note that the sofa is the same design and pattern in all of the photos. Clicking on any photo will enlarge it.

Palin's office2

Palin's office3

Palin's office4

Palin's office5

Palin's office6

In this last photo, the crab is center left, and the bear is center.

I really didn't put that picture up as a slam against Palin (there's plenty of other ammo--so to speak--for that). I love to eat crab, and hope to have some when we're in Florida this summer. Although I'm not down with killing grizzlies, they aren't on the endangered list in Alaska. I just found it to be an odd, surreal, and bizarre photo. I mean, c''s a big freakin' crab sitting on her coffee table. I found the disinclination to believe that the photo is real to be very interesting. Like many of you, I initially thought, "What? No way!" Way. Why did so many think it wasn't real? Did any of you have the thought, "Who in the world would want to have a big freakin' crab on their coffee table?" Discuss amongst yourselves.

By the way, I think my original entry on this might be the only one I've made where all three Milwaukee Dans left a comment. Worlds are colliding, people--worlds are colliding!

I got a fever!

For more cowbell! And for hockey!

Oh my God, I loved it! It was fun to watch the Zambonis, they played kickass music, and it was really loud! They were playing "Enter Sandman" by Metallica when the teams came skating out. Our seats were right behind one of the goals, and when they started sending those pucks towards the net, they were smacking into the glass. I was all, "Yikes!" and "Whoa!" I couldn't believe how fast the action was, and it was kind of hard to follow when they were at the other end, but when they were at our end, it was a great view. We were only five rows up, and when they checked in front of us, it reminded me of cartoons when a character goes "splat" against a window and their face is all mushed. (Of course, that didn't really happen. They all wore helmets.)

I don't think it's going to replace basketball and football in my little sporting world, but it was a helluva lot of fun. I would definitely go again. I'm not sure how the playoffs work for college hockey, but Ken thinks this is the division playoffs. They go to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit next--I think those are the semifinals.

Notre Dame hockeyI think what really struck me was the speed of it all. I told Ken that I can hardly even walk on ice, and these guys were speed skating the length of the rink, skating backwards, passing the puck on the fly (don't transpose the two starting consonants of those words!) was impressive!

And yes, there really were cowbells! A few people brought their own, but it was cowbell night, and we got little green cowbells to ring. That was fun!