Saturday, July 18, 2009

We made it!

Nickajack Reservoir TN A few glitches here and there, but we made it down in good time. The best part was when we were able to get off of the interstate and get onto the smaller roads. A little south of Jacksonville, we went rogue and abandoned our MapQuest directions. We found a really cool place called Palm Coast, and we were driving down this tree-shrouded corridor, Spanish moss dripping from the live oaks crouched over the roadway. It was incredibly gorgeous and beautiful. We headed down A1A, through Flagler, Beverly, Ormond, and Daytona beaches. We stopped at a little place in Flagler Beach called Turtle Island (I think it was Island) Cafe, and sat outside and watched the ocean and felt the breeze while we ate a late lunch.

As we drove through Daytona, it made me glad that our timeshare is in New Smyrna. Daytona has so many high rises along the beach, but NSB has an ordinance about how high buildings can be. It's just so much more laid back, and I appreciate that. It was great to get back to our home away from home! After some grocery shopping and a dinner out at PJ's Sea Shack, we're back in and settling in for the night. I feel wiped, and I'm not the one who drove! I'm looking forward to sleeping in and having some time on the beach tomorrow, weather permitting.

Also, there are lots of cool old motels still operating in Daytona--the court-type motels, many of them one story, with just a handful of units. It's very disappointing to see the lack of original signage, though. Even though the motels themselves are still in operation, they've usually added a bland, cookie-cutter backlit sign. Yawwwwn. I hate to think of the wonderful signs that have been lost.

Oh, the picture here is the one I told you about from Nickajack Reservoir in Tennessee. Isn't that just about the prettiest little rest area you've ever seen?

Greetings from Georgia!

Jonesboro, Georgia, to be exact, a little south of Hotlanta.

We went around Indianapolis, around Louisville, around Nashville, around Chattanooga, and right through the middle of Atlanta. It was a pretty good trip, despite a couple of slowdowns due to construction. We stopped at a rest area near Seymour, Indiana (home of John Mellencamp) to have a pick-a-nick and I swear, I've never seen such a busy rest area. People were pick-a-nicking right and left! I wondered if this was an indicator of the economy...are more people packing a lunch to take on the road? I don't know, but it was a really nice rest area with lots of tall trees.

We also made a pit stop at a rest area north of Chattanooga that was just gorgeous. It was right on Nickajack Reservoir, a lake formed by the Tennessee River. I got some cool pictures, but after settling in for the evening, we discovered that we'd both forgotten to bring our camera cables! D'oh! We'll pick up another one as soon as we can, but tonight I have only a picture I found on the Net.

Kudzu It's great to be back in Georgia, the land where kudzu turns the trees into menacing alien life forms. When we got off at the exit where we decided to spend the night, we rolled down the windows to feel the hot Georgia summer night...ahhh...and when we drove by the trees, I could hear the cicadas. It reminded me of our place up in the mountains. I hated to have my windows closed at our house, so I closed off my bedroom and opened both windows so I could hear the cicadas and night sounds. The rest of the house was air conditioned, but I loved having my windows open. Like I told Ken, my leather purse and belts got moldy, but I didn't care! Hearing the cicadas tonight made me smile. It's a very comforting sound to me.

We hope to get on the road by 9 tomorrow and get to New Smyrna Beach by around 5 PM. We made it over halfway tonight, so that seems doable.

We listened to NPR almost all the way--are we getting old? Geeky? Excuse me...geekiER?--but apparently Walter Cronkite died sometime this evening. We didn't hear about it until we signed on. A great loss. R.I.P., Mr. Cronkite. On a happier note, Happy Birthday to David Letterman’s Mom. She’s so adorable!

It's been a long and tiring day. I'll do a little checking around and then it's off to Snoozeville!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Oooo, it’s magic!

I don't know if I'll be able to update on Friday, so I'm scheduling this post to be published while we're on the road. You can find the original, complete with comments, here.

I don't often repost previous entries, but since we're heading to the beach and will see plenty of flesh (sometimes whether we want to or not), I thought a dead sexy post was in order. There are lots of good links in here, too. But first, a video!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I’m looking at me through the glass…

Kissing a mirrorWhat an ab fab day! Ken is done with his duties in the refueling outage--a couple of days early!--and took today off. I made a quick trip to the store, then we walked around to see where we wanted to plant the trees we got from the state, and he planted them while I got the table and chairs set up and the cushions on. It felt so great to sit out in the sun and soak up some Vitamin D, although it didn't take me long to get hot and get a little pink. I am so pale, and although I don't have a problem with that, I do like to get a little glow on me in the summer. At the beginning, though, it doesn't take much to give me a little bit of sunburn.

I like to take something out with me to read, and I'm trying to catch up on Time. My favorite columnist in the magazine is Joel Stein, and he never fails to crack me up. In this issue, he wrote about narcissism, and mentioned the Narcissism Personality Inventory, a test used for many years by psychologists to assess whether or not someone is a narcissist.

Narcissistic personality disorder is named for a character in Greek and Roman mythology, Narcissus. He was a young man of exceptional beauty, but also quite arrogant and proud of his looks, spurning every suitor that came Narcissushis way. The Greek and Roman gods didn't look kindly on such arrogance (hubris) and usually rewarded such behavior with a dose of payback (nemesis). Narcissus's payback was that while walking in the forest, he came across a still pool. As he looked into the pool, he saw his own reflection, and not realizing that it was actually himself, he became so enamored that he gazed at the handsome youth in the pool until he wasted away. The narcissus flower is said to be the embodiment of the mythological youth, and nods over ponds and pools as its image is reflected in the still water.

Stein's column was funny as always, but since I've been accused of having narcissistic personality disorder (but of course, I considered the source), I thought it would be interesting to take the test. It consists of 40 questions, and took only a few minutes. The national average is a score of 15.3, while celebrities average 17.84. I topped out at a whopping 8. And the questions are grouped into various categories, such as superiority, entitlement, etc. Some positive answers are considered to be more troublesome than others, and my positive answers were more in the non-troublesome categories. There's a difference between having a healthy ego and being narcissistic, and some armchair psychologists seem to project their own inadequacies onto others, or try to diagnose based on their limited perceptions of the individual. Whenever I've speculated that someone has a particular disorder, it's been based on observation of behaviors and symptoms, not personal opinions.

Award Sexy BloggerSo it's good to know that I'm not a narcissist! Having said that, I received a blog award from Debra of Write on Target. Deb and I are new to each other, but I enjoy her writing very much, and she is one cool rock chick. And the award she gave me? The Sexy Blogger Award.

Just like the Spanish Inquisition, I wasn't expecting THAT!

Deb wrote, "Her politics are right on, she loves birds, and she loves the band, X. How sexy is that?"

Sexy is in the eye of the beholder, I guess!

I'm going to break with my recent award tradition of saying that if I read you, snag the award for yourself--I'm going to name a few dead sexy bloggers. But first, the hardest part: naming five things about myself that I think are sexy. Yikes! Again, this is in the eye of the beholder, and I could be way off on some of these, but I'll give it a try. In my younger days, I loved to go out clubbing, and had lots of cute little party dresses...I've definitely mellowed! But sometimes it’s all about the attitude, isn’t it?

1. I have long hair. Some people really seem to dig that.

2. I have big eyes, and they're probably my best feature.

3. I love to RAWWWWK!

4. I drive a Mustang GT, and when I'm in it, I love to RAWWWWK!

5. I'm smart. I'm certain that anyone who has ever found me sexy did so because of that and nothing else.

Now for naming some blogs, and this will be easier than the above! If you don't choose to pass it along, that's cool. Feel free to sit back and revel in your sexiness.

1. How could I not name my most awesome hubby, Ken? He's adorable, he's funny, and he's smart. It doesn't get much sexier than that. :)

2. Jamie of An Animal Rescuer's Life. Not only are we neighbors, she's got some major sass going on. And tattoos. I love her sometimes perverse sense of humor. And she is a foster mom to cats and dogs in peril. Now that is sexy.

3. Rebecca of Provocation of Mine(d). She's actually the one that got me and Deb reading each other, so that's one cool thing. She's also got about a foot on she's tall, blonde, and gorgeous. If she weren't so funny, kind, and intelligent, I might really really dislike her.

4. Sheria of The Examined Life. Smart, strong, hilarious, a strong sense of justice for all, and an incredible heart.

5. Dan of The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind. I felt the need to have another guy in here besides my husband, and Dan's the man. I'm drawn to his warped sense of humor, his amazing writing, and his gorgeous photography. The cheese and bacon cologne doesn't hurt, either.

Sense a pattern here?

Smart is sexy. Spread the word.

Florida Time

Florida time

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Georgia on my mind

Beach grass We're going to Florida, and that's why Georgia is on my mind.

Sounds strange, but it's because we're planning on meeting my cousin Ron (I have quite a few relatives in Florida and Georgia) for dinner one evening. I heard from him today, and his Mom, my Aunt Marie, will also be able to come along, and I'm delighted! Ron is such a cool guy, and so much fun to be around, and Aunt Marie is one of the sweetest people I've ever known. She's so sweet, you just want to squeeze her and hug her until she squeaks! She was married to my Mom's brother, my Uncle Lin, who passed away twenty-some years ago, and she is also my Dad's first cousin, so we're related two times over.

It's been a few years since I've seen Ron and Aunt Marie, and I'm really looking forward to it. It made me think about the fun times that we had when my folks had a place up in the northeast corner of Georgia, close to Uncle Lin and Aunt Marie. I spent my summers between college years there, and it remains one of my favorite places I've ever been. We used to go exploring in the area, driving around to sales or touristy places like Helen, a Bavarian village. We'd head out on dirt mountain trails and find old mills or pottery places. I was in the height of my punk college mode, but I dropped most of that persona in the summer and just enjoyed nature and exploring along with my folks and with Uncle Lin and Aunt Marie.

Uncle Lin was a natural prankster, and at the same time I was fuming at him, I was also laughing. He drove on those curvy north Georgia mountain roads like a bat out of hell (in fact, whenever we'd go to Helen, his usual joke was "Now we can say we've been to Helen back!"), and he'd do this thing where he'd press on the gas...then let on it again...let we were flopping back and forth in the seats like puppets. He'd just, I miss him so much, but I'm so happy that we had so many happy times together. Whenever Ron and his sister Sandy or brother Bo would come up from Atlanta to visit, we would have such a great time together. Lots of laughter and a great time being with you can see why I'm so happy at the prospect of seeing Cousin Ron and Aunt Marie!

JB's Fish CampI think we're going to go to J.B.'s Fish Camp--Ron said he doesn't think his Mom has ever been there, so that will be a fun new thing for her! It's a great place, and we go there every year.

On the way back, we'll be coming up through South Carolina and going through the area near where we used to live. I'm not sure if we'll cut through the far left corner of North Carolina or the far right corner of Georgia, but it will be such a pleasure to see the mountains again. (Perhaps we'll get a chance to hike a bit of the ol' Appalachian Trail. Hahaha!) For those of you in the area--Bob, Sheria, Dirk, Heather, Joy, Joyce, Lori...there are probably some that I'm forgetting!--we'll think of you on the way through! It would be fun to stop and see so many of you, but we'd need a week to make the drive!

We're pretty much ready to pack up and load the car. I did some last-minute things today like getting the mesh beach bag and the Frisbee out of the garage (Ken will have to find the kites), and I got the hummingbird feeders cleaned and refilled, as well as the thistle feeder, and cleaned and filled the bird bath. The suet and seed feeders will empty quickly, but I don't think the birds will starve--they'll find plenty of goodies to eat around the property!

We're taking both laptops, so you'll get some updates along the way, but like last year, I won't have time to do a lot of reading and commenting. I hope you'll bear with me, and know that I'll pick up with you all where I left off after we get back. Perhaps more later, but if not, an update before too long.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sticky Fingers

Do you remember that album cover? That was always one of my favorite Stones albums, and the Warhol-designed cover had a man's blue jean-clad crotch, complete with a working zipper. I love CDs, but they sure can't match some of the cool artwork you got with albums!

QT Anyhoo, I don't have sticky fingers, but I definitely had sticky legs for a while. Some of you who have been around for a while might remember the Great Self-tanning Lotion Fiasco of 2008. We were making our annual trip to Florida, and I wanted a little color on my legs, so I tried some self-tanner. The stuff smelled so bad I couldn't stand it, and had to go in and wash it off--and went to Florida with my pale legs. I managed to have a good time despite them.

I thought I'd try a different kind this year, and picked up some Loreal bronzer that smelled okay when I sniffed the bottle. When I tried it on my legs this afternoon, it really did smell okay! It also had little sparkly bits in it, so my legs were oooo, shiny! It wasn't real dark, but that was okay, and I figured I'd put on a second coat tomorrow. After sitting on a towel with my legs up for a solid hour, it was still feeling really sticky, enough so that I didn't want to cross my legs because they'd stick together! Yuck!

So yep, I went in and washed it all off. I think I'm done with self-tanner, and will not worry about my pale legs.

I do still have a few sparkly bits here and there, though!

Evan Bayh I had an email this morning from Senator Evan Bayh, one of Indiana's Senators. It was because I'd written about the bill that would allow loaded firearms in National Parks (which I was against). Unfortunately, it was attached to the credit card accountability bill, which did need to be passed, and was. It just irritates the hell out of me that they put things like that together. Two completely separate issues on one bill. What the hell? It was nice, though, that he wrote back, and he took the time to explain other gun legislation in which he's been involved. (I'm not anti-gun, but I have a definite problem with guns being sold at garage sales, for example.)

Today I emailed Senators Bayh and Lugar asking that they vote in favor of the Matthew Shepard Act, which involves hate crimes. I find it amazing and wonderful that we can so easily contact our legislators. It may be a flawed system in many ways, but it's still pretty awesome that we can contact them and that they respond. I don't take that for granted.

I started pulling out clothes today for our trip! Yay! I'm definitely starting to get excited now. I've been checking the weather in New Smyrna Beach, and it's pretty consistent: high 80's during the day, about 75° at night. Doesn't that sound horrid? [grin] With the humidity, it feels like about 98°, and that's where the ocean comes in handy. There is almost always a stiff breeze coming off of the ocean, and it's very comfortable. I'm sure most afternoons will feature a thunderstorm, but they pass quickly. Today I picked up three book club books from our library Beth and Ken branch, and I think I'll take a couple of others (and a couple of puzzle books). Vegecating held a lot more meaning when I was working--it was a way to recharge my batteries--but I still enjoy the chance to just relax and enjoy the beach and ocean for a week. We keep the costs down by cooking most of the meals in the condo, because it has a full kitchen, and we've found a fresh fish market where we buy lots know, fresh fish. It's all paid for (we made sure we paid both units off before I stopped working) so our only costs are the week's groceries, the yearly maintenance fees, and a couple of lunches or dinners out. And of course, we have to have a dozen fresh oysters each, which we usually have at JB's Fish Camp. I always have to have a piece of Key Lime Pie at some point during the week, too.

Dang, I'm making myself hungry.

This year, we plan on meeting my cousin Ron for lunch or dinner (at a cool retro place called Norwood's), and our friend Lee is coming down from Jacksonville to stay a night. Next year, if things work out, our friends Kim and Steve might come and stay with us for the week. I think that will be our chance to try some deep sea fishing. I bet they would enjoy Cape Canaveral, too, and it's been a few years since we were there, so that would be fun to do. I shouldn't start planning ahead, though--we've got this coming week to enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Odd, ends, and bacon

A very pleasant day at Nutwood, and there was much puttering taking place. I got everything done on my list, so I'm pleased about that.

This was one of the headlines in the online version of our local paper today (I presume it was in the print version, too):

Stabbing, toilet intruder lead to arrests at Polish Festival

The story goes on to note that "A man is accused of stabbing one man and hitting another in the head with a belt buckle, and another man was subdued with a stun gun after police say he was trying to take pictures of women inside portable toilets."

You know, I really have nothing more to add to that, other than I guess that must have been some festival!


I renewed my subscription to Taste of Home magazine a while back, and they sent me a little cookbook of beef recipes. (Mmm, beef.) As I was looking through it late one night, I came across a recipe for Beef Fajita Salad. Sounds fairly yummy, but what really struck me was the picture. (Click to embiggen.)

Beef Fajita Salad

Are you seeing the same thing I saw? Take a good look at it, and in the meantime, I'll write about some other stuff and then get back to this.


A question. Is writing about 9/11 in a work of fiction off-limits? I'm following one of my favorite authors, F. Paul Wilson, on Facebook and Twitter, and he wrote today that he's already gotten mail about his newest book (another book in the Repairman Jack series) from people who are not pleased because he utilizes 9/11 as part of the plot. I responded that I don't understand their anger, because that is part of our history now. He obviously loves New York, and I'm certain that however he uses the tragedy in his novel, it will be appropriately respectful. In Stephen King's recent short story collection, one of the stories is about 9/11. I don't understand why anyone would be angry that an author would write about it. It is certainly part of our collective conscious as a nation, and it definitely changed our lives and the way we go about our daily business. You can't just ignore it and pretend that it never happened. As Roland says in King's Gunslinger novels, the world has moved on. We may not like what happened, but it did change the way we live, and we'll never go back to the lighter security of pre-9/11. I'm just wondering what you all think, because I found it odd that people would be upset by that.

I guess you could also call it the pre-shoe removal days. Remember when you didn't have to take off your shoes at the airport? Haha! I almost always wear slip-on shoes now, usually the kind with no backs. I often wear toe socks with those, so it's kind of weird to be standing there and walking through security with half-socks on my feet. But then I've also been randomly selected for a pat-down, so I guess being seen in my half-socks isn't all that bad.


I had a package in the mail from Shane today and look what he sent me!

Bacon Salt

How awesome is Bacon Salt?! I can hardly wait to try it. I thawed out some chicken breasts for dinner tonight, and however I prepare them, you can bet I'm putting on some Bacon Salt! Their trademark saying is Everything Should Taste Like Bacon™. From your lips to God's ears, Bacon Salt! Oddly enough, it says it's a low sodium product, and it does indeed have only 6% sodium per serving. That's much less than many of the canned or boxed products you buy. It's made with sea salt, too. I think I just might have a favorite new seasoning! I'll let you know how it tastes. I'm trying to think of what it wouldn't be good on, and I can't think of anything! Eggs, meat, potato salad...maybe I'd leave it off of my cottage cheese and just use regular salt. I think it might be good even on that, though. Shane got it at Meijer, if you have one of those near you, and he said they also have peppered bacon salt.

I think they need to branch out and start selling Bacon Butter.

Thanks, Shane. You made my day!


We made another sale today from the garage sale! When I went outside today, there was a note on the door from a lady interesting in a picture printer. She'll stop by tomorrow morning to pick it up. I chatted with Neighbor Dave today, and he asked if we could sell something for him at our next garage sale, and also told me several times about how people went right by our driveway and how I need to put an arrow on the sign next time. Okay, Dave. [grin] I told him that it would be quite some time before we have another one, and he said, "That's okay, I'm not goin' anywhere." As far as being hard to find, I've mentioned before that that is not necessarily a bad thing. If I want you to find us, I'll make sure that you do.


Back to the Beef Fajita Salad. Here's another picture pointing out--so to speak--what I saw.

Beef Fajita Salad revised

Does that look exactly like a severed, decomposing finger, or what?! Did anyone else see it? Ken saw it eventually, but I swear, when I first looked at that recipe and picture, that finger just jumped right out at me. Certainly a lovely manicure, but still a decomposing-finger lookalike. I suppose I'm a little warped to have seen it, and no, you really don't need to weigh in on that. Please do tell me if you saw it, though!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Getting things done

To do list revised It's been a perfect day at Nutwood when it comes to weather, and a great day for getting things done!

We made it an early night last night, and after sleeping in and spending a little time on the computer this morning, we headed out to the garage to finish with the garage sale stuff. We had it all done in about an hour, the truck loaded and all the tables broken down and ready to return to my folks after we get back from vegecation. I'm happy to report that the ponies are back in the garage! A quick note here, with a follow-up later in the entry. One of the things we moved back from Missouri was this big freakin' metal cabinet that Ken's stepdad stored tools in. With the tools in it, it took four of us to lift it, and it was such a bitch that Ken started calling it The Monstrosity and I called it The Beast. It didn't sell at the garage sale, so I suggested that we put it out at the side of the road. We did that before we left on our errands.

Next stop was the bank, where we made various transactions, including depositing our garage sale funds. Between us, my Mom, and Ken's Mom, it was a thousand-dollar garage sale, so that is not too shabby! I was also pleased to get a change-of-name form notarized for the IRA account I have in North Dakota. Yes, Ken and I have been married for going on eight years, and I still had not gotten my name changed on that account! I'd changed the beneficiary, of course, but there was no urgent need to get my name changed. I'll be happy to get that taken care of, and will send it in this week. If nothing else, it will make me happy to not see my ex-husband's last name on the statements I get! No resentment there--it's been a long time, and I got over that mess some time ago...if I hadn't, I'd wonder about my mental health--but it will be nice to not have to see that name each month!

Then it was the barber shop for Ken, and since I took a book along, I was quite content to read while I waited. It's a very short cut, but that will be great for him for our Florida trip!

Next: the Goodwill drive-through. We had a truckload of stuff, and I hope there are lots of things that people can use, and things that will make some kids happy.

Our final stop was the grocery store, where we picked up some New York Strips on sale. Guess what we're having for dinner this evening?

As we pulled up to our place and stopped to get the mail, we saw that The Monstrosity was gone! One of the cool things about living out here is that if there's something you don't want, just set it out by the side of the road, and someone will probably take it. It's the Nutwood version of Freecycle, and whatever people can use, we're just happy to not put it into a landfill.

A very good day hangin' with my hubby. This week will be Florida prep, and I am definitely getting excited to visit our home away from home. I can almost feel the sand between my toes. We're both taking our laptops, by the way, so you'll get regular updates from sunny Florida! (For those of you who actually live in Florida, I hope I don't bore you with what is everyday life for you!) Life is good, and MAN, I'm in a great mood.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

C’mon and break it on down

I posted this on Facebook, but it makes me giggle so much I thought I'd post it here, too!

I spent a couple of hours in the garage today "breakin' it on down." I got almost all the tables cleared off and the stuff ready to go to Goodwill, and three of the remaining tables taken down. Ken and I will make short work of it tomorrow and Slick, Blacky, and Blue will be back in their garage, snug as bugs. Yay! Since I got so much accomplished, I felt good about sitting on the deck this afternoon, reading the paper and my book. Mom called and we chatted for a bit, and it was a lovely day all the way around. This week's focus will be deciding what clothes to take to Florida...swimsuit, shorts, and tank tops. That should about do it. Ha! I should get a chance to wear some of the skorts I bought last year. I'm starting to get excited about visiting our "other home," New Smyrna Beach. It will be Ken's ninth year there, and my eighth (although I remember going there when I was a kid). We love our vegecation!

This morning, I read a Huffington Post piece about Sarah Palin and the trend towards anti-intellectualism in America. I thought it was excellent, and posted it on Facebook. Our friend Mark posted a comment:

I think that this was the direction I wanted my post to reflect in my journal ... but the thing about Palin is that her inability which fuels her insecurity, makes me wonder if she will find any traction with people who are like her, in a denial fueled by misappropriated feelings of victimization.

I thought that was so effin' brilliant that I had to write about it. I think Mark nailed it totally, and that is exactly what bothered (and bothers) me the most about Palin and others of her ilk. They seem to be saying that it's okay to be ignorant and uninformed. In the case of that intellectual giant, Sam Wurzelbacher, his attitude seems to be "I don't have a lot of book smarts, but I know how I feel." For Christ's sake, man, if you recognize the problem, do something about it! It doesn't matter that much if you don't have a degree, or even a high school diploma, at least if you're not trying to get a job--then it matters a lot. But do you try to learn about new things? Are you curious about the world around you? Do you try to figure out how things work? (I would ask that you draw the line at vivisection.) Are you intellectually curious?

I saw that lack in Palin last fall, and recent articles and interviews bear that out. She doesn't know a whole lot about policy, but what is worse is that she shows no desire to learn. Her handlers were rebuffed when they tried to prep her for her debate, or for reporters questions. I find that appalling. Hey, good for you if you're pretty and charismatic. At the end of the day, you'd better have a little more depth to you, though. I don't know how you can read the text of Palin’s resignation speech and believe that this woman is fit for any position above the Town Dogcatcher. Hell, she's not fit even for that--she'd shoot first and ask questions later.

Mark's comment about inabilities fueling insecurity, and "denial fueled by misappropriated feelings of victimization" was also brilliant because Sarah Palin doesn't have a monopoly on that--I've known people in my life who have that same attitude. I'll never comprehend why anyone would ridicule me or Ken because we have degrees, but I've heard it. I can only guess that it is because of exactly what Mark referenced...insecurity fueled by inability. Sometimes it's a matter of despising what you don't have merely because you don't have it. Whose fault is that? I have people in my family who don't even have their high school diploma, but they still love to read and learn, and would never resent me because I went to college.

Education--whether formal or self-motivated--is something to be encouraged rather than ridiculed. Even if you are unable to further your formal education, it doesn't mean that your education has to end, or that you should hate others because of what they have achieved. I believe that my education didn't end when I got my degree in 1984--it's still in progress, I'm still learning, and I'm still curious.