Saturday, December 30, 2006

Token and Goldie

It has been a while since I've featured the puppies. Poor babies will probably be referred to as the puppies even in their old age. They will be 2 on Feb. 27 but at less than 10 lbs each, they are puppies.

As I mentioned before, Baby Girl spent her birthday night here. Since it was also Christmas Eve eve and Token could not go with us to Jen's for Christmas (silly no pet rule at the complex), she brought Token's main gift with her. She also took these photos.

This is Token wearing his new quilted vest that proclaims he is in fact a rock star, deserving of adoration and fawning fans.



Goldie decided she was not going to cooperate with the camera and turned her head away in every photo. I think she was miffed she did not get a new outfit*. She was wearing her favorite red sweater which sets off her blond fur perfectly for photos but she was doing the uppity unhappy New York City model not getting her way pout.

Baby Girl also did stockings for Token and Bailey. Token's was red plaid and bone shaped while Bailey's was matching red plaid and fish shaped. Each stocking has a place to put their picture which is piped in green on a red velvety background. Very cute and they were stuffed with treats and goodies and toys.

Bailey showed no interest in her goodies until she discovered there was gourmet (wet) cat food. Now she begrudgingly eats the dry but only after vocalizing her severe disappointment.

*Goldie did get a new holiday outfit from Baby Girl but not until Christmas. It was in Token's stocking.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Power Restored


I was one of those without power since Tuesday night. PGE got power restored to my little neck of the redwoods tonight. PGE is saying there may be areas in the Santa Cruz Mountains where power is not restored until Saturday. Yikes.

I made do well. I got two books for Christmas and have finished one and a wee bit more than halfway done with the second. Would read by day and knit at night by the light of my trusty oil lamp. Old fashioned coffee, made with boiling water from the gas stove. Blazing fire going in the wood stove. Baby Girl gave me a battery powered color changing candle that provided the light show for the fine music I was listening to.

Fired up the boom box (which takes 8 D batteries and 4 AA ones by the way but sounds great) and listened to KPIG. KPIG (The Pig as it is known around here) does a fine job of keeping us mountain folks informed about road and power problems, while providing us fine music to listen to as we wait for the power to return. Real DJ's, local folks who actually select the music they want to play! You can listen online - just click on the link and then click on any of the listen links.

Wednesday morning there was no way out of Boulder Creek. The crews are amazingly fast. The roads are open now.

So, what have I missed? My power went out just after it was announced late Tuesday night that former President Ford had passed away.

Tuesday's storm delivered 1 and 3/4 inch rain, bringing my year to date total to 11 3/4".

I took these photos yesterday - one from my deck looking upstream towards the wood bridge; one looking downstream from the wood bridge.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas


Spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with both my girls. Baby Girl spent Friday night here (woohoo) after we celebrated her 18th birthday at her celebration dinner. Christmas Eve, we hopped in the car and drove to Jen's condo, which she shares with her man, Mike. First time in 3 years we girls have all been together for Christmas and I was blessed with an overload of love, laughter, joy, good food, and the ab-so-lute joy of being together as a family.

Wow, what a great holiday this has been (other than the being totally broke bit). Baby Girl said tonight that they wanted to give me the type of holiday I always gave them - just typing that makes me all teary. They gave me the best gift of all - their love and time with them. I am blessed.

May your Christmas be blessed and may all your Christmas dreams have come true.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Although Its Been Said


Woohoo! It rained yesterday which means it warmed up!!! Picked up an inch of rain, bringing my year to date total to 10". Double digits finally. Still have a ways to go before we reach our average of 60" to 70". January and February are historically very wet months up here at the little cottage by the creek in the redwoods.

I took this picture yesterday near the end of a steady downpour that had lasted most of the afternoon. It is from my soggy deck and you can see my soggy rosemary and geranium in the lower right. The low-tech rain gauge is affixed to the deck rail on the left.

I've finished making the girls' Christmas gifts, along with a little something for my neighbors. N is still stuck in Denver - talked with her today and she said she doesn't think she will make it home until after Christmas. Bman and his band are currently rehearsing next door for their gig tomorrow night at Henflings.

Baby Girl flew in yesterday on a non-weather delayed flight (yeah) and Jen met her at Oakland Airport. Baby Girl and Jen have been hanging out, shopping, took in a movie, and are plotting Baby Girl's 18th birthday dinner tomorrow night. The girls sound like they are having a blast without mom hovering over them. Can't wait to see them tomorrow night, spending the evening eating, laughing, catching up, and feeling the love.

Although its been said
many times and many ways

Merry Christmas to you.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Nothing New


Nothing new. Cold. Been in the 40's during the day but as soon as the sun goes behind the mountain, wham, we are in the 30's. Have been down in the high 20's the past couple of nights. But rain is coming and it should warm up. That is one of the things I love up here - it warms up when it rains. I've had days where it has poured cats and dogs and the high was 55 and the low 50.

Baby girl flies in tomorrow. Good thing Jen is picking her up at the airport because my car's battery is dead, again. Just won't hold a charge anymore. Jumped it yesterday, drove it around most of the afternoon, making several stops, went out to start it today and zip. Zilch. Gonna have to get a new one - and quick - because Baby girl flies in tomorrow. Dayam dayam, double dayam and drat! As Gilda would say, it's always something.

My neighbor is stuck in the snowstorm in Denver. Her mom passed away last week and she was back there for the funeral. Was supposed to fly home today. Now it looks like she won't get home until maybe Friday. Luckily, baby girl's flight is not affected (so far - fingers and toes crossed).

Really just a blah couple of days here at the little cottage by the creek in the redwoods.

The picture is of Bear Creek, looking north from the wood bridge. The fallen tree is still there, along with all the leaves and such trapped by the tree. Still waiting for a good sized storm to bring a big push of water to get things moving.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Wrong, Again.

What a waste of time and energy. The friggin weather dude was, of course, wrong again. Picked up a whole 1/4" of rain and the low was 36. Jeez, whatta marrouse that guy is. Does he really think that I believe him today after yesterday's hype? Even during last night's weather report, he was calling for Boulder Creek to be below freezing - he predicted our low to be 30 degrees.

Egad, the reports yesterday sounded like we were going to really be hit like those in Oregon and Washington. The jerk even said this was the southern edge of the same storm system that hit those states so disastrously earlier this week. I admit it, I fell for the media hype and I know better.

The way I figure it, since this guy is calling for it to go down to 28 tonight, I should dig out my bikini instead of bringing in the frost tender plants.

Year to date rain totals: The 1/4" from yesterday brings me to 9" for the year.

Baby girl called from Utah last night, shortly before 11pm, to tell me it was snowing there. She flys in later this week, just in time to celebrate her 18th birthday and, of course, Christmas.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hunkerin Down

Hunker down time here at the little cottage by the creek in the redwoods. A storm is coming in that is expected to bring rain, wind, and snow to the peaks. The weather dude said the snow is forecast for elevations above 2500 feet. I am at 627 feet so I doubt I'll get snow but that is the same weather dude that said the rain earlier this week would stay to the north. Not sure whether or not to trust him - word around town is that snow might be possible down as far as Bonnydoon. It is 47 degrees outside (our high for the day) but the temps are starting to fall as that storm gets closer.

Brought in a bunch of wood last night. Some of it was still damp and I wanted it to dry out some. If I have enough wood inside, then I won't have to go outside during the storm to get more. Still have a good stockpile of D batteries for the portable radio, flashlights and lantern. The wood stove is already burning away and has brought my inside temp up to 53.

Today's picture was taken from the wood bridge, looking downstream. If you look to the left, you can barely see my deck and the slider from my bedroom. Tis a good thing, laying in bed, listening to the creek, watching it storm outside while all hunkered down, warm and dry.

Sloppy Joes on the menu tonight, with a little bit of Italian sausage mixed in. I'm thinking of baking peanut butter cookies - will have to check the pantry because I think I am out of vanilla extract.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Moss

Picked up another inch and a quarter, bringing the year to date total to 8-3/4". Picked up most of the rain early yesterday morning when, contrary to what the local weather dude said, the rain did not stay to the north of the San Francisco Bay. As you can see by this picture taken this afternoon from my deck, the mosses are thriving. Even though it is currently not raining, the trees are still dripping with a plop, plop, plop that seems to fall on the back of my neck without fail.

Had a wood delivery Monday and they did not get here until after 8pm. The wood deliverers' do not stack the wood, just off load it from the truck to a location within tossing distance from the truck. So I have a pile of oak and madrone out front of the house near the big oak and it was cold and dark and the weather dude said the rain would stay well north of me. Can you see where this is going?

Let's just say the picture me of outside in my jammies in the rain, finding and grabbing a tarp from the side of the house, dragging it over to the wood, and discovering the wood pile was more spread out than the distance my tarp covered - well, it was not a pretty picture to me but was probably pretty funny to anyone watching. Since I had jumped out of bed when I woke up and heard the rain, my brain was still trying to fully wake up. That is why I was out in the rain in flannel jammies, furry slippers and a watch cap. Did not even think to look around to see if any one else was out there laughing at me.

Contrary to what my ex would say, I do not melt when wet.

I planted pink ladies under the front bedroom window a couple of years ago. They came up last year but no blooms and I thought the gophers or moles or other root eaters had gotten to them because they disappeared. I was wrong because they are coming back up again. Fingers and toes crossed they bloom before I move. Whenever I see pink ladies, I always think of my mother and the house on Charlton Drive where I spent my pre-teen and teen years. I remember my mom planting pink ladies there among the carnations and her saying the long wait for the blooms was a worthwhile one. I don't know the official name for pink ladies - they are similar to an amaryllis but their tuber more begonia-like than bulb. They have a long single stalk with one large pink lily shaped flower at the top and no leaves - which is why another name for them is a naked lady. If and when they bloom, I'll be sure to take a picture.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Two More Inches

Got another two inches between yesterday afternoon and this afternoon. My year to date total is now 7 and 1/2". An inch and a half had fallen by 9pm with the rest coming in bands during the night. The creek is now a tannish-brown but there was not enough rain to wash the debris out. Oh well, more storms to come and one will most certainly clean out the tangle of tree limbs and leaves that are just downstream of the fallen tree.

Twas a kick back day here at the little cottage on the creek in the redwoods. Slept late. Ate comfort foods. Listened to Netcom dispatch medics and fire personnel to their respective calls here in Santa Cruz County. Not as many as yesterday, and haven't heard a wires down or tree down call in several hours now. Checked out the Pacific Satellite Loop at SFGate and it looks like more rain is on the way. This is a pattern that is good - rain and then a break and then more rain. The break in between storms is important as it allows the creeks and rivers to do their jobs. The most it has rained since I've been up here has been close to 7" in one day and the creek handled it just fine.

I have the fire going in the wood stove, both Token and Goldie are vying for the best spot in front of the stove now that we are back from a short walk so they could do their business. Bailey is enjoying the quiet of my room, napping at the foot of my bed where she has a birds eye view in case either or both of the d-o-g-s come in. Goldie has on her red sweater but Token is being a manly dog and making do with his original fur coat.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Rain


Got an inch and a half of rain last night, bringing my year to date total to 5 1/2 inches. Still have a long way to go to reach the 60 to 70 inches each year brings. I truly enjoy the rain, especially now that I am retired. Working patrol is one of the jobs where one wishes for rain on your days off. No matter how new the banana suit was (yellow rain jacket with leggings), my wool uniform would get still get wet under it. Wet wool pants have a particular aroma and the sensation of wet wool on my skin was just plain icky. I now have the luxury of enjoying the rain, no matter what day of the week it is, and I thoroughly enjoy it.

The above picture was taken standing under the redwoods that separate my little cottage by the creek in the redwoods from the pink house to the south. In the lower right of the picture, you can barely see the end of the pool that parallels my deck. The gravel beach shown here will be completely covered when we get a big rainstorm as the creek overflows the narrows before joining the river (at center in the picture). This is very similar to the view from my bedroom window (with less looking down). It was just starting to sprinkle when I took this yesterday. The small amount of rain last night was not enough to increase the water flow of Bear Creek enough to push out the leaves, branches, and other forest fallings that are in the creek.

The big tree that fell at the end of last winter is still laying at the bend north of me, cut into large segments that allow water to flow past it.

The segments are still somewhat in line with the original tree form. They were much too heavy to move manually. We are all waiting for it to start to move downstream, and will keep a sharp eye on its progress as it goes past the wood bridge's steel supports. The tree was estimated to be 80 to 100' tall (before falling) and the root ball is huge (2o feet tall or more). This picture was taken after a good sized storm in April and before it was sliced into segments in early summer.

Since the tree fell in the creek (a riparian zone), we must let Mother Nature take care of it. The only assist permitted was the sawing to allow water and debris to freely flow and not pool up behind it. I would say this was only partially successful regarding the debris.

The wind is starting to pick up and the NWS Radar shows more rain is on its way. Woohoo!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Days of the Week


I did it again. Talking with my oldest girl, thinking it was Tuesday and it turns out to be Wednesday. It is not that I am losing my faculties - it is more like the first question and answer from a recent email - it's hard work keeping track of all those Saturdays:

Retired

Question: How many days in a week?
Answer: 6 Saturdays, 1 Sunday

Question: When is a retiree's bedtime?
Answer: Three hours after falling asleep on the couch.

Question: How many retirees to change a light bulb?
Answer: Only one, but it might take all day.

Quest ion: What's the biggest gripe of retirees?
Answer: There is not enough time to get everything done.

Question: Why don't retirees mind being called Seniors?
Answer: The term comes with a 10% percent discount.

Question: Among retirees what is considered formal attire?
Answer: Tied shoes.

Question: Why do retirees count pennies?
Answer: They are the only ones who have the time.

Question: What is the common term for someone who enjoys work and refuses to retire?
Answer: NUTS!

Question: Why are retirees so slow to clean out the basement, attic or garage?
Answer: They know that as soon as they do, one of their adult kids will want to store stuff there.

Question: What do retirees call a long lunch?
Answer: Normal.

Question: What is the best way to describe retirement?
Answer: The never ending Coffee Break.

Question: What's the biggest advantage of going back to school as a retiree?
Answer: If you cut classes, no one calls your parents.

Question: Why does a retiree often say he doesn't miss work, but misses the people he used to work with?
Answer : He is too polite to tell the whole truth.

Question: What do you do all week?
Answer: Mon to Fri. Nothing, Sat & Sun I rest!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ambassador Joe Wilson On Iraq


Former Ambassador to Iraq Joe Wilson was at FireDogLake this morning answering questions about Iraq. I was able to submit a question to Ambassador Wilson and have cut and pasted his response here (which includes my question at comment 15):

Joe Wilson @
38

Suzanne @ 15
Ambassador Wilson, thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to meet with us. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Iraq.

Do you see any way out?


It is tough but I think that we should reshape the debate domestically from the terms currently in use (stay the course, cut and run; strategic redeployment, timetables, and withdrawal) to one in which we consider what it is we are asking our troops to do at this stage of the occupation and whether what they are doing is in our strategic of operational interest. If not they shouldn't be doing it. The military talks of deployments in terms of troop to task ratios and force protection requirements. We should too.
In short, we should ask the generals to justify the national security requirement of every task US troops are undertaking and if the case cannot be made they shouldn't be doing it. For example, a couple of soldiers were killed a few months ago, their bodies were mutilated and booby trapped. Jon Kyl argued that we should stay in Iraq to honor their sacrifice. I asked what were they doing that brought them into harm's way. they were guarding a bridge. Isn't it legitimate to ask whether it is appropriate for American troops to be guarding bridges this late in the occupation.
So, we should not put Americans unneccessarily in harm's way, we should not use American firepower to unneccessarily kill Iraqis, we should call on the President to actually take the advice his military commanders have been giving him that he needs to find a political solution and we should reinvigorate the middle east peace process from which we have been awol for six years. But make no mistake about it, it is a tough situation and will require a lot of what the president calls hard work.


Go over to the lake and read the post and comments. He answered questions for two and a half hours!

Ambassador Wilson is married to Valerie Plame, the CIA agent who was outted by the Bush Administration in retaliation for Ambassador Wilson writing a New York Times editorial questioning the President's inclusion of yellowcake in his State of the Union speech. Below follows a brief bio on Ambassador Wilson (from Christy's post introducing Ambassador Wilson):

From Amb. Wilson's Book The Politics of Truth, we find his long record of service to this nation as a diplomat:

1976-1978: General Services Officer, Niamey, Niger
1978-1979: Administrative Office, Lomé, Togo
1979-1981: Administrative Officer, U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C.
1981-1982: Administrative Officer, Pretoria, South Africa
1982-1985: Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM), Bujumbura, Burundi
1985-1986: Congressional Fellow, offices of Senator Al Gore and Representative Tom Foley
1986-1988: DCM, Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo 1988-1991: DCM, Baghdad, Iraq
1992-1995: Ambassador to Gabon and São Tomé and Príncipe
1995-1997: Political Adviser to Commander in Chief U.S. Armed Forces, Europe EUCOM, Stuttgart, Germany
1997-1998: Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton and Senior Director for African Affairs, National Security Council, Washington, D.C. (p. 451)

While Amb. Wilson was the Deputy Chief of Mission in Iraq, he was put to the test by none other than Saddam himself:

As acting ambassador to Iraq in the run-up to the first Gulf War, he was the last US diplomat to meet with Saddam Hussein, in 1991.

He very publicly defied the Iraqi strongman by giving refuge to more than 100 US citizens at the embassy and in the homes of US diplomats - at a time when Saddam Hussein was threatening to execute anyone who harboured foreigners.

He then addressed journalists wearing a hangman's noose instead of a necktie.

He later told the Washington Post newspaper that the message to Saddam Hussein was: "If you want to execute me, I'll bring my own [expletive] rope."

Friday, December 01, 2006

C-C-C-Cold

I am thankful to not be living in the mid-west and east, having the terrible weather they are suffering from. However, I am going to bitch about my California weather. Yikes, egad, and gazooks, it is cold.

The weather dude said it would warm up today. Ha! I certainly don't consider the temperature going from 31 to 32 warming up! I will admit to being momentarily pleased when we reached 53 today but it was only for about 2 minutes and the temp immediately began to plunge. Yesterday the high was 49 so am up 4 degrees from yesterday. Sure doesn't feel warmer to these old bones.

I stand by my earlier statement that if it is cold enough to snow I see no reason why I should not have snow. Not snow that stays longer than a day. Just some fat fluffy snowflake eye candy drifting past my window. Enough snow to transform the redwoods into a winter wonderland that I can take pictures. Enough snow to crunch under my boots as I get more wood for the wood stove.

Maybe then Bailey will get under the covers and share some of her body heat.

Took this picture today after Bman strung these on his deck. Christmas has arrived in the redwoods.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Baby, Its Cold Outside!


Yikes! 31 this morning. It is almost 9am and it is only 32 outside now.

Twas a two dog night last night, with both Goldie and Token under the covers with me. Bailey did not join us. Maybe to a fur coat wearing cat it wasn't cold enough to bed with a human and 2 dogs but the rest of us were all hunkered down (under down), trying to stay warm. Both dogs are still under the covers in the bedroom at this moment.

I don't use my heater unless I absolutely positively have too. I got up this morning and turned on the heater but only while I got the wood stove going. It was so cold that I had to warm up the lighter in my hands before it would work.

If it is going to be cold enough to snow it just doesn't seem fair to be that cold without the white stuff making a temporary appearance. Would make this cold morning more bearable if there were fat snowflakes floating by the window. Eye candy snow. Not enough to last but enough to be able to make a snow angel, take pictures, and maybe convince Bailey to join us under the covers.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Stormy Monday


It started raining yesterday afternoon - not really a hard stormy rain - just a light but steady rain. I've gotten 3/4" so far, bringing my year to date total to 4 inches. The sun is trying to break through the clouds with little luck although it is supposed to clear later today. The maple tree off the deck has lost a good deal of its leaves - compare this one with the picture I posted 11/19.

It has been cold up here on the mountain. Friday's dawn revealed a temp of 33 degrees and it stayed there until a wee bit after 9am. Since then, lows have been hovering around 40 degrees. Usually when it rains, my temperature moderates with the high running around 55 and the low 50 but this is a cold storm and the weather dude said it will get colder today. Yikes, it is only 48 now. Last night, Bailey the cat crawled in under the covers with me. Amazing how friendly she gets as the temperature drops. It will be officially cold when she gets under the covers when there is a d-o-g also under the covers. Last night did not count because Token had a sleep over at Goldie's.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving


It is not Thanksgiving to me without Arlo and Alice's Restaurant. This song has been a Thanksgiving tradition for me for many years and, yes, I do have it in vinyl.

Officer Obie. 27 8x10 color glossies. The Judge's seeing eye dog. The Group W bench. The Alice's Restaurant anti-massecree movement and all you have to do to join is to sing when it comes around on the guitar, with feeling.

Thanks, Jane, for the post with links to two (!) versions.

You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant (excepting Alice).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This Is So Me At Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, referred to by many as Turkey Day.

It is always wise to be prepared, to know what lays ahead, and prepare accordingly. This is my idea of the perfect version of a public service announcement, courtesy of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo (who produced this for radio back in the 90's).



Listen and learn why Skippy is my favorite 'roo. Then head over to his place and check out the Sheryl Crow Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

KO's Special Comment


Keith Olbermann delivered another special comment last night. Crooks & Liars has the transcript.

KO directly compares George W. Bush to Lyndon Baines Johnson and Iraq to Vietnam. Here is a snippet:

And the fifth crucial lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush, which somebody should've told you about, long before you plunged this country into Iraq — is that, if you lie us into a war — your war, and your presidency, will be consigned to the scrapheap of history.

Consider your fellow Texan, sir.

After President Kennedy's assassination, Lyndon Johnson held the country together after a national tragedy — not unlike you tried to do.

He had lofty goals and tried to reshape society for the better. And he is remembered for Vietnam and for the lies he and his government told to get us there and keep us there… and for the Americans who needlessly died there.

As you will be remembered for Iraq and for the lies you and your government told to get us there and keep us there… and for the Americans who needlessly died there — and who will needlessly die there tomorrow.

Keith Olbermann - one of that rare breed of newscaster - a truth teller.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Watertiger's New Digs


Watertiger has moved her blog, Dependable Renegade, away from blogger to her own dot com. Change your bookmarks and links and go check out her new tropical digs. Don't you just love the new hot tub?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday Sunshine


A bit of fall color as eye candy. Took this just as the early morning sun was hitting the big leaf maple just off my deck. It has been slow to change color but is finally starting to show.

So many of the trees around me are redwoods, which stay green all year. The maples are a real treat to my eye. The yellow and rusts stand out in contrast to green. Some of the local maples turn red but not this one. Since living up here, I really enjoy the changes each season brings. Now that it is getting down to the mid to high 30's at night, Bailey is staying inside more. She spends each night sleeping on top of my bed, even if there are puppies under the covers. When it gets down into the 20's at night, Bailey will get under the covers too. She tends to make sure that I am between her and the puppies, preventing any accidental dog/cat contact while we all hunker down under the down comforters and quilts.

The days are slipping by so fast. Thanksgiving week is upon us. I'll be spending the day next door with Bman and Naomi. Naomi's cooking is always something to give thanks over.

I haven't decided what I'll make for the dinner. I'll have to ask Naomi what she wants me to make. I do make a superb sweet potato or yam casserole, in addition to the baking I do.

Friday, November 17, 2006

My New Look

I decided to do a little housecleaning around the blog. What do you think of the new look?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

On My Mind


Thoughts on my mind:

Cheney and the Dickheads have filed papers seeking the dismissal of Valerie Plame's lawsuit. From the Reuter's articled linked above:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration asked a federal judge on Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit brought by former CIA officer Valerie Plame and her husband against Vice President Dick Cheney and others for alleged involvement in disclosing her employment as a clandestine CIA operative.

Cheney and the other high-level defendants in the lawsuit have valid claims of immunity because of their official positions, Justice Department lawyers said in their request to have the case thrown out.

The lawyers also said that Plame and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, failed to allege that any of the defendants had violated a constitutional right.


According to the Dickheads, any sitting official can do anything against any citizen and that citizen has no right to hold that official responsible and accountable for their action.

Yeah, right, and if you believe that, there is some ocean front property down in Arizona with your name on it.

Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff reports to prison this morning. ABC sources say Abramoff was about to provide information about Bush administration officials, including Karl Rove, "accepting things of value" from Abramoff.

Can't you just hear me snicker?

Picked up an additional inch and a half of rain in this last "storm", putting the little cottage by the creek in the redwoods year to date rainfall total at 3 1/4".

This is a banana slug I found crawling up the wall outside the bedroom slider to the deck. If I remember correctly (and I am reaching that certain age where one does start to wonder), oldest daughter had to kiss a banana slug while attending 6th Grade Science Camp. That was many years ago but now not so far away. I'm less than 10 miles from where she camped.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Boots Wants A What?



A Sunday kinda love.

Picked up slightly more than 1/4" of rain yesterday, bringing the year to date total to 1 and 3/4" at the little cottage by the creek in the redwoods.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans Day

Thank you.

Thank you for being there when our country needed you. Thank you for being there in anticipation of being needed. Whether you wore a uniform or worried about a loved one who did, thank you for your sacrifice.

Thank you for your service.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Yeah, Baby!

Yeah, baby! From Friday morning's LA Times:

Rep. Ike Skelton knows what he will do in one of his first acts as chairman of the Armed Services Committee in the Democratic-led House: resurrect the subcommittee on oversight and investigations.

The panel was disbanded by the Republicans after they won control of Congress in 1994. Now, Skelton (D-Mo.) intends to use it as a forum to probe Pentagon spending and the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraq war.

It has been 12 years since Democrats were in control of both the House and Senate. But they are looking to make up for lost time, and in some cases, make the Bush administration and its business allies sweat.

With control of every committee in Congress starting in January, the new majority will inherit broad powers to subpoena and investigate. And that is expected to translate into wide-ranging and contentious hearings.

The agenda is likely to be dominated by the Iraq war, but could include probes into the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance, environmental policies and new prescription-drug program for seniors. Industries, such as oil companies, could also come under closer scrutiny.

"The American people sent a clear message that they do not want a rubber-stamp Congress that simply signs off the president's agenda," said Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), who is in line to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "Instead, they have voted for a new direction for America and a real check and balance against government overreaching."

Conyers and other Democrats say that sort of scrutiny has been noticeably absent over the last six years. Democrats accuse Republicans of being complicit as Bush has led the nation into an unwinnable war and adopted economic polices that favor the affluent and big business.

Under Republican control, Congress did subpoena baseball players to discuss steroid use and summon oil industry executives to justify record profits at a time of high gasoline prices.

(snip) Go on, click on the link above. There's lots of goodies in there to look forward to.

For more fun, check out Conyer's blog.

(Photo of Rep. Conyer from LA Times article linked above)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Let The Investigations Begin


Well, it looks like the American people spoke and they have "Had Enough"!

Say Hello to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, here to do some House cleaning now the Democratic Party has taken the House of Representatives. There is a real chance the Democratic Party may even take the Senate, depending on the outcome of the Montana (Tester vs Burns) and Virginia (Webb vs Allen) races.

We should shortly be hearing raging howls coming from DC. They will be the results of accountability, checks, and balances returning to Congress. Nothing like a subpoena to make politicians grumpy.

George "Lame Duck" Bush isn't gonna be a happy camper.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote!

Vote - Because We Can't Make It Here Anymore.



In case my HTML screws up, here is the link to the video.

h/t to Nate over at Get In Their Face for reminding me.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Purple Finger of Freedom


Picture courtesy of The General.

Absolutely top rate, mon General. Reminds me of the Nixon era Flying Fickle Finger of Fate, updated for the current crop of office holders that are soon to be investigated and/or recommended for indictment. Gonna make Watergate look like chump change.

On the home front, a total of one inch of rain, giving the little cottage by the creek in the redwoods a total of one inch and a half for the year. I used to have a chalkboard next to the door to the deck where my rain gauge is. I would come inside from emptying the gauge and keep the totals on that chalkboard. Since I've packed the chalkboard away, I've decided to keep track of the totals here. Not enough rain to wash away the leaves that have been collecting in the creek all summer. The first big rain will push it downstream, changing the water from crystal clear to muddy brown.

Token and I just took a short walk about in order for him to do his business. It has stopped raining but water is still dripping off the trees. The air is damp and misty, smelling clean and fresh yet with undertones of damp decay that mixes so well with the smells of fireplaces burning creating what is in my mind the true smell of autumn. The damp air reminds me of talk when I was a wee thing of the reason English lasses have such fine complexion is because of the fog and damp air.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Rain

It's raining! Started with a few sprinkles as I was fixing dinner. Eased off for a while and I thought that was all we were going to get - just a few showers. But, I have been listening to the sound of a gentle rain falling for several hours now. I've recorded a quarter inch so far, bringing my year to date total to three/quarters of an inch.

I've been looking forward to the rain (except for that whole selling the house and moving in the rain part). 71 inches here last year. Nothing like a gentle rain outside and a toasty fire going in the fireplace insert, while wearing fleece and drinking warm beverages. Token lays on the floor in front of the insert, sometimes resting his head on the warmed rock of the hearth, wearing a tshirt that proclaims he is an official snow dog even though the probability of snow at my elevation in Boulder Creek (627') is highly unlikely.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Groovin' (On A Sunday Afternoon)

Couple of updates: The white van found with the two bodies inside was not related to the white van involved in the murder of Sacramento County Deputy Jeffrey Mitchell.

My visit with my mom and step-dad was wonderful. The chicken pot roast was a big hit and even though I forgot the cinnamon in the baked apples, they also turned out great. We spent Thursday afternoon into the evening eating and talking and catching up. My step-dad got tired so my mom took him back to the motel Thursday night and came back to spend another hour or so here before heading back to the motel to get some sleep herself.

I was up early (for me) and we spent Friday together until they had to head over the hill to San Jose to check into their hotel and have dinner with my brother. My oldest baby girl made arrangements to meet with them Saturday morning.

She reported back they had a wonderful time. She brought her dad, whom my mom had not seen since oldest baby girl graduated high school. My brother had not seen her dad for 20 years or so. There was a lot of catching up to do! They had breakfast at the hotel, and then went to a park to walk around so they could all continue chatting.

I'm still smiling here at the little cottage on the creek in the redwoods. Was really really good to see my mom and step-dad again. I'm thinking that when the little cottage on the creek in the redwoods is listed, I'm going to do a road trip - head down to see them for a little while - during which time Mary will be bringing other agents and possible buyers to see it. Might even head down to see my favorite Hollywood blonde.

The maples and other deciduous trees up here are finally turning. Lots of yellow showing in the green curtain around me. No pictures yet because I'm waiting for a wee bit more color (and hopefully some maple red) first. The redwoods stay green but most everything else changes.

KO said is best with regard to Michael J. Fox. The UTube never did show up so this time I am cutting and pasting all that coding to get KO's segment. It really is worth watching, even on dial up.



I've turned the leftover chicken pot roast into a stew and made a pot of rice. I'm going to dish up a plate of rice with the stew spooned over it to go with the biscuits that are ready to come out of the oven. We've been getting down into the high 30's at night for the past 3 nights. I'm ready for some cold weather food.

UPDATE: It WAS afternoon when I wrote and first tried to publish this post. Lord knows when Blogger will come up again. It has been going up and down all weekend. I try to keep in mind the old adage that one gets what ya pay for but dayamitalltohell, this is getting frustrating.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Officer Down


Deputy Jeffrey Mitchell, 39, a 9 year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriffs Department, was killed in the line of duty this morning.

Deputy Mitchell, who patrolled the rural area southeast of Sacramento, advised dispatch he was initiating a traffic stop on a white Chevy van with no plates near the intersection of Dillard and Meiss Road shortly before 3:30 am. When he did not respond to subsequent radio calls from dispatch, additional deputies were sent to the scene and found Deputy Mitchell barely alive suffering a gunshot wound to the head. He died at UC Davis Medical Center at 4:45 a.m.

He is survived by his wife, Crystal and a 6 year old son.

For more, see here and here for more on this still breaking tragedy.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lite Blogging This Week


I've been trying to post all afternoon but friggin' Blogger was down for hours. Either that or I've pissed off my NSA screener again. That UTube video still hasn't shown up. It was the Michael J. Fox ad that has been all over the news and talking head shows since that rat-bastard Rush Limbaugh claimed Fox was "acting". Ok, Blogger went down again. Geez louise, Blogger has more ups and downs than Rush on Viagra. This is the third try - fingers and toes crossed this posts before Blogger has a premature deflation again.

Here's the post that goes with the picture:

My mom and step-dad are coming up for a visit. Won't be as fancy as the dinner we had in the picture but I think they will like the food nonetheless. I think that was my 30th birthday celebration at the top of the Hilton in San Francisco, which would make it 22 years ago this month.

I'm planning on a baked chicken dinner done in the style of a pot roast, with the veggies, yukon gold potatoes, onions, and garlic all roasting together. Still researching the dessert (dietary restrictions) but I'm thinking baked apples with raisins and cinnamon.

When they lived in the Bay Area, we saw each other regularly. Only an hour's drive away. Now they are in the Palm Springs area (a much longer drive), seems like we only get to see each other once a year or so - usually Christmas.

This will be their second visit up to the little cottage by the creek in the redwoods. Last time they were here was only a late afternoon until the next morning visit because my mom could only get a short time off work. This time, they arrive tomorrow noonish and will be here until Friday evening, when they head over the hill to San Jose to visit with my brother. Now that my mom is not working, they can travel (and certainly are - they are just back from a drive to Indiana to see my grandma).

Still working on getting the house "sell ready" but I think I'm almost there. Just a few more tweaks to do inside (like a bathroom mirror to buy) and touch-ups outside (blowing the leaves etc) and the place will be good to go.

Of course, that does assume that I figure out where to store all the boxes I've packed that are currently stacked in the great room. No garage and storage units are out of my budget. Still working on that one.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Blasted Blogger


So far, Blogger has eaten two posts, one of which was a heads up about the first post that became disappeared.

I had tried to post a UTube video yesterday. It still has not shown up, although I got the little pop-up advising me it would be posted shortly. Shortly came and went a long time ago. Last time, it took a week for it to post - twice.

The picture is from the heads up post that was eaten. I just could not resist it - it was perfect for the heads up post, which I 'spose this post is also.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Best Protest Sign


Best protest sign seen in Viriginia at a Bush protest yesterday:

Monica Lewinsky has had more president in her than George Bush will ever have

Thanks to Dana in the Late Nite Thread at FDL for the best sign since the "Would somebody give George Bush a blowjob so we can impeach him" sign (a photo of that one here).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

RIP America


Rest in Peace
United States of America
July 4, 1776 - October 17, 2006


Today, Bush signed the Torture Bill today and killed habeas corpus in a Country founded on it. We no longer have our Constitution to protect us. The Decider, George W. Bush, now has absolute power to declare anyone, including American citizens, to be an enemy combatant. When that happens, may God have mercy on your soul because no one will ever know why you joined the disappeared.

Today, America died.