Saturday, April 18, 2009

A more perfect Union

A more perfect union2 After my entry yesterday about Texas governor Rick Perry and a minority of Texans talking about the possibility of secession, I wanted to address a few remarks and do a little more research into the legality of secession.

First of all, I never thought that it was a serious threat; the majority of Texans (I saw numbers of 2/3 to 3/4) want to stay in the Union, and I think it was nothing more than political posturing. However, I still think it's crazy talk (to use a technical term), and a governor should not be encouraging such irresponsible ideas. As the Talking Heads sang, "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around." Talks of revolution and secession are serious business, and I believe it's dangerous. Gov. Perry has not endorsed secession or said that he favors it, but his coy remarks about "who knows what could happen?" are counterproductive. Just my opinion, of course.

There is some talk that it was written into Texas's constitution that they have the right to secede from the United States. Everything I found showed that although there is a proviso that they can separate into five separate states, there is nothing about secession, and most legal scholars believe it is not a legal option. I'm far from a legal scholar myself, but these are a few things I found while looking for information.

From Sam Schechner at

Even before Sen. John Kerry conceded defeat in the presidential election, some bitter blue-staters had begun joking about the possibility of seceding from red-state America. Which makes you wonder: Are there any provisions in U.S. law for a state to opt out of the Union?

No. But the legal situation wasn't always so clear cut. Before the Civil War, the legality of secession was an open question, and Southerners would frequently threaten that their states might ditch the fledgling nation. The legal argument, framed eloquently in the 1830 Senate debate between Daniel Webster and Robert Hayne, centered on the Constitution: Was it merely a treaty among the many states? Or was it the founding document of a singular country, a compact of the "people" cited in its opening clause? This legal argument, among other things, eventually begat the Civil War, and since it ended, scholars have agreed that the Constitution grants no right of secession.

Legal experts say that the "treaty" interpretation remains dead today, especially since, in the aftermath of the Civil War, the United States adopted the 14th Amendment, which included a definition of national citizenship, something conspicuously absent from the original. (Previously, citizenship had been defined exclusively by the states.) Today, the Supreme Court frowns on states conducting their own foreign policy and even ardent members of states’ rights groups agree that the states have no right to withdraw from the Union.

From W. Gardner Selby at

While a poll broke this morning suggesting Texans favor staying in the United States by more than 3-to-1, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said secession can’t legally happen. A multi-media firestorm broke this week over Gov. Rick Perry insisting Texas could secede if residents wanted to do so, though he also said he doesn’t favor breaking away.

Cornyn, the state’s former attorney general and a past member of the Texas Supreme Court, said in response to a question during a stop at the Texas Capitol that secession isn’t legally possible. "I understand the sort of frustration people feel about what’s happening in Washington. I share that frustration," the second-term senator said. But as to secession being legally possible, he said, "the answer is no. Texas cannot, as a constitutional law matter, secede."

From another article from, by W. Gardner Selby and Jason Embry:

Sanford Levinson, a professor at the School of Law at the University of Texas at Austin, said that between the Texas Constitution, the U.S. Constitution and the 1845 Joint Resolution Annexing Texas to the United States, there is no explicit right for the state to return to its days as a republic.

"We actually fought a war over this issue, and there is no possibility whatsoever that the United States or any court would recognize a 'right' to secede," Levinson said in an e-mail. Levinson noted that the 1845 resolution allows for Texas to break itself into five states but doesn't specify whether that would require congressional approval — and forming new states still wouldn't constitute secession.

A more perfect union Finally, and most importantly, there was a case heard before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1869 concerning bond issues. In Texas v. White, The Court found that Texas had remained a state of the United States since it first joined the Union, despite its secession from the United States and joining the Confederate States of America, and its being under military rule at the time of the decision in the Supreme Court case. It went on to state that the Constitution did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the "ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were 'absolutely null'." It also states "The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration, or revocation, except through revolution, or through consent of the States." You can read the full summation of the case by Chief Justice Salman Chase here. Some interesting stuff, especially the part about the "perpetual Union."

I also got a couple more Anonymous comments. One was merely a dissenting opinion, stating that Gov. Perry is right and that secession is an option. "Many conservative and libertarian Americans agree that the right of peaceful, democratic secession by state convention is a legitimate constitutional right of every state in the union." What I found showed that it's not a legitimate constitutional right, but at least this Anon wasn't nasty about their dissenting opinion. I'm cool with that. I still wonder, though, why they wouldn't put their name to their comment? It wasn't mean or nasty, just different from my opinion.

Not really a bitch Unfortunately, I had another visit from a previous Anon, the one who called me "poor little boo boo." (That's really kind of cute, isn't it? I've been called worse, that's for sure.) They started out as "Anonymous," answered their own comment as "Cynthia," and they are now posting as "Jolene." Oh my God, it really is "The Three Faces of Eve!" I wonder if Anon/Cynthia/Jolene is really a boy, using my blog as a place where he can let out his inner girly-girl and/or inner bitch? Well, I'm all about tolerance of other lifestyles, so you just go ahead, gurl! Although you'll probably find that people are a little more accepting when you don't question their intelligence or essentially call them an idiot. I'm just sayin'. And keep trying, dear--maybe one day you can achieve Sybil status!

Friday, April 17, 2009

United States of America…minus one?

Silver Squirrel Award Before anything else, I have a Silver Squirrel to bestow! The fabulous Miss Ginger Grant was the first one to get the reference to my strange, moss-covered object that looked like a rock...but it wasn't a rock! It was indeed a ROCK LOBSTER! A classic song by the B-52s. Look out, Miss G, here comes a bikini whale! Aaaaahhhh!

Today is another beautiful day, even a little warmer than yesterday, but doggone it if I didn't catch the cold that Ken has been battling all week. I feel a little better than I did this morning, but still kind of crummy. At least I know that this is only the beginning of nice weather, so I'll have plenty of chances to enjoy the summer days to come. Instead of a T-shirt and capris like yesterday, I'm wearing a sweatshirt and flannel pants. What a drag! I'll take this unanticipated downtime and order some books. Mostly gifts, don't worry!

Texas See the state of Texas there all by its lonesome, almost as if it were a country unto itself? Well, that's what Texas governor Rick Perry has been going around talking about the past few days. Perry refused $550 million in stimulus money that would have gone to the Texas unemployment trust fund, and has been very vocal (along with Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Gov. Kenneth the Page Bobby Jindal of Louisiana in his criticism of the federal government and President Obama's economic plan. That's their right, of course, but I wonder how the unemployed in Texas, South Carolina, and Louisiana feel about it?

Gov. Perry was very active in the tea parties in Texas yesterday...again, also his right. But things took an ugly turn when some in the crowd started shouting "Secede! Secede!" Later on, in an interview, he called his supporters "patriots," and said that there may come a point when Texans get so fed up they want to secede from the union. He continued on and said he didn't see a reason why Texas would want to do that, but "There's a lot of different scenarios. We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."


Secede Is this guy a freakin' lunatic?! And what is up with these people shouting for secession? Don't they remember how that turned out the last time they tried it? (Not real well.) And "patriots?" Isn't a patriot someone who loves, supports, and defends their country above all other entities, including their own state? How are these people patriots when they are chanting mindlessly for their state to leave the union? A union that was fully forged only after much blood was spilled and thousands died. And now this governor is playing along and saying that if the government doesn't shape up (at least according to his standards), it's possible that they could secede? This is appalling and dangerous.

Secede2 It's this kind of mob mentality and utter ignorance that makes me fear for our country, not the skyrocketing debt. We can work our way out of debt, but you can't fix stupid. Instead of spurring this on, the Governor should be saying, "Whoa whoa whoa! Everybody just calm the f*** down!" This is such empty rhetoric, and anyone who wants Texas to split off from the union clearly hasn't thought this thing through. Texas gets plenty of federal funds, I'm sure, for education, business development, environmental concerns, etc. And oh yeah, if anyone were to attack Texas, the full strength of our military would protect the state and its people. Do they really want their state to spend the time, effort, and money required to put together an army? Do they really want to have to get a passport to travel up to Oklahoma for the Sooners-Longhorns games? I'm guessing not.

Any take on this from my Tejas readers? Miss G? Amy? Teresa? Not sure of any others.

I love Texas, and have been there several times, to a few different cities. I've walked the River Walk in San Antonio; I learned how delicious Tecate in a salted mug is, in Wichita Falls; I've been to a Cowboys game and I saw the Cars on their Panorama tour in Dallas. But this is insanity, people, and I hope everyone can get a grip and start working together instead of pouting and threatening to take their ball and go home.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nutwood Walking Tour 2009

Today was sunny and pleasant, so I headed outside to pick up sticks in the yard. I think we have a new species of tree at Nutwood: the Twig Tree. Okay, they're really just run-of-the-mill cottonwoods, but man, those babies shed twigs like Sheeba is shedding his fur right now! I noticed plenty of green things popping up and really enjoyed being outside, so after I got done with the twigs, I grabbed my camera and headed back out for a little exploring. (This entry will be heavy on pictures, so I hope it's not a problem for anyone to load. Click on any picture for a bigger view.) C'mon, everybody, let's go hiking! Are you with me? Hello? Anyone? [shrugs]

Purple Finch This was actually from the other day, but I finally got a picture of Mr. Purple, the Purple Finch! This is the little guy who wears the jaunty raspberry beret.

My stick I found a new stick today. It’s much bigger than the one I found before. I know it’s hard to see, but it’s a cottonwood branch, and all the bark has come off, leaving a really pretty bleached branch with unusual markings. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, but I think my stick is cool.

Blue hyacinth This is one of several blue (or is it purple?)hyacinths coming up. I love this intense bluish-purple color, and the picture definitely doesn’t do it justice.

This is the largest tree in the front, at least the largest that is still standing. It’s a monster, and I thought it looked cool and spooky in black and white.

Front foundation I know this is probably hard to see, but there’s a little bit of cement a little below the middle of this photo. We’ve been told by a neighbor that in the early 1900’s, there was a small house in front of where our house stands. This is the foundation. You can only see it this time of year, or in the fall, when there isn’t so much vegetation. I was able to brave the brambles and get in there today.

This is the tree that snapped a while back, and was then made the bitch of what is apparently a very angry woodpecker! Note all the wood chips at the base of the tree. I actually saw the woodpecker who was making the nest hole in the middle picture, and it was one of the cute little Downy woodpeckers. They may be cute, and have a Muppet-like name, but look at that hole! I wouldn’t want to meet a Downy woodpecker in a dark alley!

I started to walk through the marshy area, but could only get so far. These are wetlands, and they are still very wet! Ken maintains a path through the marsh, but there was standing water in several places. I had never really noticed how unusual the tree in the first picture is. It looks like a large tree fell, and then smaller trees started growing up out of it. I think the tree in the middle picture looks stark and kind of cool in black and white. I couldn’t go past where I took that picture because of the water on the path. The third picture is looking out across the part of our property that is the wetlands area, and is behind our back yard.

Nest in pine tree A nest in one of the small pine trees in our back yard. I’m sure it’s a new one, because it was beautifully made and well-maintained. Don’t you love it when homeowners take pride in their home? Haha!

After the marsh, I headed over to the abandoned railroad bed that provides an easy path back to the woods. The cinders are all still in place, so although it does get overgrown in the summer, it never gets impassable. You find little pieces of railroad along the way, like the piece of railroad tie in the middle photo. As you walk down the railroad bed, you pass more wetland areas on the left. The third picture shows this, and in the summer, all this water will probably be mostly gone.

Not a rock People used to drive down the railroad bed and dump trash. There’s all kind of junk back there, including mostly decayed car parts. I’ll say it again: what is wrong with people? Any idea what this is? Kind of looks like a rock with moss on it, doesn’t it? I poked it with a stick, and guess what? It was mushy. It wasn’t a rock! (A Silver Squirrel to the first person who gets that reference.) I have no idea what this might be.

Mustang You never know what sort of wildlife you’ll find on a hike at Nutwood. Look! It’s the rare Scarlet Wild Pony! There’s an old meat-packing plant next to us (when sitting around a bonfire, we used to scare the kids with stories of the haunted meat-packing plant and its ghostly cows), and they seem to be using it now for cleaning and maintaining heavy equipment. One of the guys who works there has got one sweeeeet ride!

I made my way into the woods, and it was a great time of year to do it. Things are starting to pop up, but the ground cover is minimal, so it’s easy to pick your way through the trees and not twist an ankle (I really should have put on my hiking boots instead of wearing sneakers). There was a burrow in the base of one of the trees—wonder what lives in there? Maybe it’s where the coyote lives! Or a fox. And I did remember to look for morel mushrooms, but didn’t see any. It might be a little too early for them yet, but I honestly don’t know if I could spot one even if they were growing! We speak of them here as the “elusive morel,” and of “morel hunting,” as if they are wild prey.

A few years ago, we made sure we marked the pathway to where the old bedframe is by spray painting an arrow on some of the trees. They’re still very visible, and I was able to make my way to the bedframe! Neighbor Dave tells us that there was a log cabin out there years ago, and the frame is a remnant of that. If it ain’t true, it oughta be, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it is true. The frame is quite small. When we first moved here, the tree growing up through the middle of it was maybe 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. I’d estimate it to be about 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter now. I wonder what I might find if I take my metal detector out there?

Eastern TowheeAs I headed back to the house, I saw an Eastern Towhee and his wife. Not a great picture, but I got to watch them for a little while. I might have to take another hike and take my binoculars along. I didn’t see any new birds today, but it would be nice to get a closer look at the ones I saw.

Route 66 birdhouseThis one is for Laurel. It’s a Route 66 bird house! And there’s a nest in it, too. (I suspect a wren.) We have another one that’s a Route 66 diner, also occupied.

Back home! Before too long, you’ll see me sitting outside on that deck with a good book and a cool beverage. Speaking of a cool beverage, that was a pretty good walk, and I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling parched. Come on up and sit a spell!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tempest in a Teapot

Not only do I get to use one of my favorite phrases, I got to use it as the title of this entry! I'm feeling quite pleased with myself.

Tea Bag sign Yeah, today is the big day for the "tea parties" that Fox News has been promoting. I haven't seen anything about it yet on CNN, and I even turned it to Fox briefly (as much as it pained me) and there's nothing there yet, either. [Update: I'm starting to see a few things now.] I really don't know how big this is going to be, but I suspect it's not going to be the kind of mass populist revolt--the people speak!--that Fox envisioned. I won't be making any teabagging jokes, either, because I've already gotten my jollies with that, thanks to MSNBC. I couldn't resist the picture, though! And those poor Iowans...the state won't allow them to dump tea into any bodies of water because it is considered a discoloration and pollutant. So they have to put river water or dechlorinated tap water into buckets labeled "tea," and dump that into the river. Kind of takes the "oomph" out if it, doesn't it?

The problem I have with the whole thing is that it really doesn't make much sense, not when you stop and think about it. Protesting "high taxes?" We've got nothing on other countries. Out of 30 developed countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a think tank based in Paris, only Iceland and Ireland have lower tax rates than the U.S. (for those who are married with two kids). Our taxes go to maintain roads and bridges, fund education, unemployment, Medicare, and so on. I'm kinda cool with that, you know? And I'm also cool with those who are at the top of the earning bracket paying a slightly higher percentage in taxes. It's a question of proportion. If you're making $3 million a year, you can afford to pay a higher percentage than someone making $30,000 per year. That doesn't mean that you haven't worked hard to get where you're at, but jeez, have some compassion for the little guy who doesn't have your same earning potential.

And as for those higher taxes, President Obama's plan gives 95% of Americans a tax cut . A CUT. Those making $250,000 or more per year will experience a slight increase...a taxation rate that happens to be about 10% less than what it was during most of the Reagan administration. Hm. I wonder how many of these protesters will get a tax cut versus getting a tax increase? They're protesting rich people having to give up a little more of their money, while they get to keep a little more of theirs in their own pockets? It doesn't make much sense to me.

Tea Party In a story about these protests in our local paper this morning, a commenter wrote that he had joined one of these groups briefly, because he hoped their concerns and efforts were legitimate. He was disturbed by the tone, and said that it seemed to be very anti-Obama and anti-Democrat in general. Apparently one of the slogans that was suggested (and may be in use, although I haven't heard it) was "It took over 200 years to build this nation and just 3 months to tear it down!" Trying to place the current economic woes--years in the making--upon President Obama's shoulders is ridiculous. I suspect that many of these protesters are protesting our current President, and not so much the taxation part.

I believe that he is doing his best to pull our economy out of the dismal state in which it was left when he took office. Not everyone agrees with his tactics; I wouldn't expect everyone to agree. However, it seems that the majority of citizens express optimism in his efforts, and believe that we're on the right track. There will still be problems, including more jobs lost, in the coming months, but things do seem to be looking up.

Finally (and then I shall step down one level on my multi-tiered soapbox), let me talk about this "Obama is a socialist" mantra that I keep hearing. I put it to you that taxation is in itself a form of socialism. It is collecting money from the populace and redistributing it to various programs that are run by the government (as mentioned above, education, infrastructure maintenance, unemployment benefits, etc.). So anyone who pays taxes is participating in a socialist activity. Joe McCarthy is rolling in his grave.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Critters Gone Wild – Wooo, partay!

Howard Wolowitz

“I’m a horny engineer, Leonard. I never joke about math or sex.”

~~Howard Wolowitz

That photo and quote has nothing to do with this entry. We were watching "The Big Bang Theory" last night, and that was something that Howard (played by Simon Helberg) said to Leonard. It made me laugh so hard that I had to write it down. I liked that show from the beginning, but it’s gotten better and better as we get to know the characters a little more.

Guess who's coming to town to join in the Notre Dame fracas? Alan Keyes. Oh, goody. And Randall Terry has issued a statement criticizing Bishop D'Arcy's urging that everyone refrain from protesting on graduation day, and said that he (Terry) and his followers minions will respectfully not obey the Bishop's request. That guy is such a charmer!

It's still chilly today, but it's getting to be that time of year here at Nutwood when the young critter's thoughts turn to figuring out how much mischief can be made, and how much havoc can be wreaked. (All pictures are from previous years--I haven't had a chance to get any good ones yet this year.)

Raccoon2 A couple of nights ago, after Ken had gone to bed, I heard a little noise from out on the deck. I flipped on the light, and a raccoon was up on the deck railing, holding on to the seed feeder and chowing down. He just looked at me, and didn't move until I started to walk out there. They are so bold! He ran off, but when I got up in the morning, the feeder was empty (and I had just filled it the day before, doggone it). Ken had sent me an email and said that when he got up, the raccoon was out there with the feeder in his "grubby little paws," and he'd popped him with the BB gun a couple of times. (It doesn't hurt them, just scares them off...temporarily.)

Last night, I heard another little noise, flipped on the light, and there was Rocky again. But get this--the little bugger doesn't run off. No, he walks over to the door, sits there, and looks up at me! I crouched down, and he just stared at me for a moment. Then I realized that there was a second one right there, and he was looking at me, too. They finally went about their business--after all, the seed feeder was empty!--and I just shook my head. I'm just not sure how to keep them off of the deck, and no, we won't kill them. I tried that hot pepper spray a couple of years ago, the stuff that doesn't harm the birds, but squirrels and raccoons hate the taste. I looked out one evening, and a raccoon was standing there licking the stuff off of the deck railing. [sigh]

Groundy During the afternoon yesterday, I kept hearing an odd noise, almost a thump. At first I thought it was coming from one of the neighbor's, but I kept hearing it, and it really did sound close. Sheeba was on my lap, and he perked up and ran over to the window, so he heard it, too. I looked out the front window and couldn't see anything. I went into the office and looked out that window--all clear. I wondered if it was a branch on the roof or something, or if something was up in the attic, but it sounded like it was coming from the front of the house. Sheeba put his little paws up on the front door and looked out the oval window, so I thought I'd give that a try. I didn't see anything on the front deck...but then I looked down, and Groundy (our resident groundhog, now out of hibernation) was crouched on the doormat, grabbing it in his teeth ("Grrr!) and letting it drop. That was the thumping I was hearing--the doormat dropping back down onto the deck. He was really going after it, and I'm not sure why. Maybe he thought Matt had insulted him. I opened the front door real quick and said "HEY!" and he was off like a shot, back to his hidey-hole under the deck walkway. Which is sinking, thanks to Groundy's digging habits.

I love our critters, but sometimes they try my patience! I throw food out for them, we don't kill them, although many people around here do, and they have much territory here in which to roam. I do and do and do for these critters, and this is the thanks I get! Raccoons taking seed out of the mouths of hungry birds and the groundhog attacking our welcome mat. ("Grrr!") It's a thankless job, I tell ya.


According to the site that is selling this T-shirt,

There are two Rushes that rule the airwaves. One is a friendly force for good that sings epic allegories with awesome drum solos. The other spews hate and vitriol daily on hundreds of stations across America.

Unfortunately, the good Rush's influence has diminished since their heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s, while the bad Rush continues to grow in power and reach. It's time to reverse the trend -- up with Lee, Lifeson and Peart, and down with Limbaugh!

Without further ado, here is Good Rush Bad Rush!

Good Rush Bad Rush

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hit me with your best shot

Happy Dyngus Day, y'all! They say that on St. Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish. On Dyngus Day, we're all Polish! Is that a polka I hear?

Girls with guns I have a serious subject today, something that has been weighing on my mind lately. I found some amusing pictures for a little comic relief, but there's really nothing funny about what seems to be an increase in the frequency of mass shootings. Perhaps it's due to fears over the economy and job losses. Desperate people sometimes resort to desperate acts. Sometimes it's just some whackjob who finally snaps. Whatever the cause, it seems that we hear about a new one every couple of weeks.

There has also been a big increase in gun and ammunition sales. Last night, there was a story on "60 Minutes" about it (click the link to read a transcript of the story), and it made me feel very uneasy for many reasons. I'm still trying to sort them all out, so please bear with me. (There’s also an interesting interactive site with information and statistics about guns in America that’s worth a look.)

First of all, let me say that I am not anti-gun. In fact, I'm a gun owner. I've had one ever since I lived in a house off-campus, for protection reasons, especially because I lived by myself for several years. And yes, I know how to use it, and I"m not one of those idiots who thinks Gangsta Bitch Barbiethat waving a gun at someone is going to scare them away. I would be prepared to shoot someone in my house if I felt that their intent was to harm me or Ken. Or the cat. Don't mess with the kitty! My Dad taught me to shoot, but he taught me first about gun safety: always assume that a gun is loaded, and that's the first thing you check; never point a gun at someone in jest, even if you know it's not loaded. He never put it quite this way, but basically, guns are serious business, so don't screw around.

One of the things that bothered me about the "60 Minutes" segment was hearing that many states have very few restrictions about buying guns at gun shows. If the seller is a dealer, they have to have the buyer fill out a form for an FBI background check. If the seller is person just selling a gun...there are no background checks needed. While I don't want to stop gun sales, I don't see any reason why a reasonable person would object to a background check. Why would that be a problem? I recently read something in Blogtropolis where someone was objecting to restrictions on Alzheimer's patients getting guns. Are you freakin' kidding me? Apparently they've never watched "The Sopranos." (Episode 66, the opener of the sixth season, in which Uncle Junior's mental faculties are growing worse, he mistakes Tony for someone else, and shoots him in the stomach.)

There is also speculation that President Obama will renew the ban on assault weapons. Why on earth does anyone feel they need an assault weapon? (I'll answer my own question in a moment.) For some reason, there are many people who believe that at the top of the President's agenda is a major crackdown on gun ownership and the enactment of strict gun control laws. Folks, that's not even on the radar. He's got bigger fish to fry, and any sort of gun control--although he's said repeatedly that he supports the right of America's citizens to own firearms--is low priority. Even the renewal of the assault weapons ban is low on the totem pole.

Gun ownership As far as I can tell, there are some people who think that they need to own an extensive arsenal, including automatic weapons like AK-47's and Uzis, because they believe that there is going to be a massive breakdown in our government, law and order, and our society in general. Whether this will be caused by war, disease, or an economic collapse they don't know, but they believe that the chaos is coming and want to be ready for it. Maybe they aren't watching "The Sopranos," but they might be watching a little too much of the SciFi channel. I guess they envision some sort of post-apocalyptic wasteland in which they have to fight off bands of armed marauders intent on stealing their food? clothes? big screen TV? what?

Is such a scenario possible? I suppose so. Anything is possible. Maybe I'm a little too happy-go-lucky, but I don't spend my time worrying about the coming apocalypse and the resultant anarchy, or on planning accordingly. (What does one wear to an apocalypse?) It's a sort of low-level paranoia, thrumming beneath the rational surface of our society, and I find that it's giving me the creeps.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A good day so far!

Yogi Bear I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter! I have a ham cooking away in the crock pot, and it's starting to smell good in here.

It's a picnic ham, or as Yogi Bear would say, "Hey BooBoo, it's a pickanick ham!" I don't have a pickanick basket in which to put my pickanick ham, though. This is probably verging on trivia that you don't really need or want to know, but I learned that a picnic ham is not a true ham. It's a faux ham, if you will. “Oh-oh yes, I’m the great pretender…oo-oo, oo-oo…pretending that I am a ham!” (Think that will be going through your head for a while? You’re welcome.) True hams come from the hind legs, and picnic hams come from the shoulder. They're smoked so that they taste like true ham. I got this one on sale a while back, and it smells good, so I think my faux ham will taste just dandy.

I'm watching golf, and although I don't think Tiger can pull this one out, I got to watch him sink an eagle putt, so that was cool! In general, his putting is off this Masters, though. I'm sure someone is going to be spending lots of time on the putting green in the coming weeks!

I've also been watching the little band of turkeys in the back yard. They've been hanging out in the yard all day, and it cracks me up. A couple of the hens took a dirt bath in the driveway; and a pair of toms have been strutting all over the yard. For a while, a third tom was chasing two of the hens through the trees. They've been very vocal, too, with lots of loud calls and an occasional good gobble. They seem to be very comfortable in our yard lately, so I hope they'll bring their babies around when they have them. They're so cute!

I was thrilled when I turned on CNN briefly while I was folding laundry, and heard that Captain Phillips has been rescued! He is safe and sound aboard a U.S. Navy ship. What I'm hearing initially is that he jumped overboard, and Navy SEALS got into a firefight with the pirates, killing three of them, and of course, rescued the Captain. Isn't that great? This is good news on the level of Captain Sullenberger landing his plane safely. I'm sure his family will always remember this Easter!

I'm getting back into my book, so I'm off to read while I wait for Ken to get home. Have a superb evening!