Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bush Got A Truthiness Lesson from Colbert

Stephen Colbert! I have been a big fan of Jon Stewart and, 9 out of 10 times, I turn the channel once it is over and The Colbert Report starts. I guess I just "did not get it".

No more. Not after last night. I GET IT! A whole lot of American's are getting it too.

Maybe it will be the comedians who save America from itself. No one else seems brave enough to say the truth when the truth needs to be said.

Colbert said everything I would want to say if I had Bush as a captive audience for 30 minutes and the cameras were rolling.

His comments are going to make their way through e-mails everywhere— and the butt of all those jokes is gonna have to come out of his protective bubble and face a harsh reality - the emperor really does not have any clothes on and he has become even more of a joke.

E&P has some choice quotes from Colbert'’s routine:

  • Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, “and reality has a well-known liberal bias.”
  • He attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. “This administration is soaring, not sinking,” he said. “If anything, they are re-arranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.”
  • Colbert told Bush he could end the problem of protests by retired generals by refusing to let them retire. He compared Bush to Rocky Balboa in the “Rocky” movies, always getting punched in the face—“and Apollo Creed is everything else in the world.”
  • Turning to the war, he declared, "I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."
  • He noted former Ambassador Joseph Wilson in the crowd, just three tables away from Karl Rove, and that he had brought " Valerie Plame." Then, worried that he had named her, he corrected himself, as Bush aides might do, "Uh, I mean... he brought Joseph Wilson's wife." He might have "dodged the bullet," he said, as prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wasn't there.
  • Colbert also made biting cracks about missing WMDs, “photo ops” on aircraft carriers and at hurricane disasters, melting glaciers and Vice President Cheney shooting people in the face. He advised the crowd, "if anybody needs anything at their tables, speak slowly and clearly on into your table numbers and somebody from the N.S.A. will be right over with a cocktail. "

Those are just a few teasers, folks. He slammed, roasted, toasted, and incinerated the White House, the White House Press Corp (except Helen Thomas), the newspapers, television news, cable news, and everyone else there who helped put us where we are now. And those who, by nature of their inaction, was an accessory.

Frederick has posted on his KOS Diary the full transcript, including the transcript of the "Colbert audition tape for White House Press Secretary job" that Colbert closed with. Click on that link and go read it.

OhMyGoodness, Colbert is a brave man. I hope his taxes are paid, he drives the speed limit, and he has a clean closet because you know the WH is going to go after him.

Crooks and Liars is hosting the video. This video really is a MUST SEE - even those folks like me who are on a lowely dial-up. The transcript is wonderful but you really must see Colbert deliver this, IN FRONT OF THE PRESIDENT, who sat watching the audience to see the audiences' reaction (and you know he was taking notice of who was laughing) not liking what was being said but having to sit there and take it.

Bush beat a hasty retreat immediately afterwards. Coward.

CSPAN has been running the entire White House Press Correspondent's Dinner on their channels. They carried it live Saturday night (where I watched it). They have re-run it several times this weekend. Check your listing, folks, and catch the entire event next time it shows. Well worth the time to watch it.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Living With War

Neil Young is awesome. His new album, Living With War, is beyond awesome. Living with War has it's own blog. Check out the page when you get a chance.

The album is available on the web for those who wish to listen to it. It is free to listen and the words alone are powerful and need to be heard by ALL Americans.

You can click here to listen.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Back Amongst The Living

I am back amongst the living again, or so it feels. Thanks for the well wishes, Joanie. Feels good to be back on my feet again. Tis a fine spring day, as evidenced by this snapshot of the creek taken late this morning.

You can see by the debris pile on the right bank of the creek just how much lower the water is. The jays are screeching, dive-bombing the brazen-hussy squirrels. Both have young now and are competing for food and tree space and protecting their nests. Both like oaks - I have three different types of oak in my property in addition to the redwoods, but they like the big old oaks that reach up 80' or so. I have one of these giants out front and it does not have any branches that hang over me.

I know my neighbor across the drive does not like it when the squirrels take up in his large oak. They toss acorns down on his roof, which he describes as sounding similar to a large hailstorm or perhaps machine-gun fire. He has described the brazen-hussy squirrels as taking particular pleasure in raining down the acorns around 5am. He is rooting for the jays to take possession of his tree this year but...they are not called brazen-hussy squirrels for nothing.

I should be seeing this year's crop of fawns soon. Most warm evenings, I can sit on my deck at dusk and watch Mama Deer and babies walk alongside the creek. Dad usually is several yards ahead, scouting the terrain.

Last night, I saw one of the largest raccoons I have seen up here. I was walking the dogs and they both were very good and stayed right by me. I think the fact the raccoon was bigger than the dogs had something to do with their decision. He was strolling down the path to the beach, nonchalantly ignoring us.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Not Where I Wanted To Be

This room is where I spent most of yesterday, last night, and today. Tonight, I am able to hold down water - finally. Ohboyohboyohboy, that was a rough one.

My housemates had it this weekend so I guess it was my turn. Am glad it appears to be behind me, so to speak.

This is a much nicer one than mine. As I spent so much time up close and personal staring at mine, if I had the money, I would buy one like this. I'm sure it uses a lot less water than that old clunker of mine.

Monday, April 24, 2006

One Thousand Days

I've added a new item under The Daily Dose in the right hand sidebar. It is the Official George W. Bush Days Left In Office Countdown Clock.

Today marks One Thousand Days left in this Administration.
One Thousand Days before there is hope for America.
One Thousand Days before we have a chance to salvage what is left of our Constitution.
One Thousand Days in which this Administration continues to try to deny women control over our own bodies.
One Thousand Days more of the tarnishing of America and America's reputation in the eyes of the world.
One Thousand Days of "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here".
One Thousand Days of my government torturing people in my name.
One Thousand Days of troops without proper equipment.
One Thousand Days of illegal wiretapping of Americans without a court order.
One Thousand Days of selective leaking to selected reporters of untruths.
One Thousand Days of swift-boating anyone who speaks out against this Administration.
One Thousand Days of secret renditions to secret prisons.
One Thousand Days more of failing to abide by the Geneva Covention.
One Thousand Days of tax cuts for the wealthy and ignoring the needs of those in need.
One Thousand Days of America being sold to the highest bidder.

One Thousand Days.

I used to associate that term with JFK. Now Bush has tarnished even that.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Gloomy and Grey

It is gloomy and grey outside. No sun, just steel grey clouds and a cold bite in the air that calls the thermometer a liar for saying it is 56 degree outside. The bright green of the trees seems to be muted and drab and the creek has shifted to a greenish-grey that signals just how cold that water must be. Very few birds at my bird feeder and even the brazen-hussy squirrels are laying low.

My housemates are both sick with a nasty bug going around town and are down for at least the day.

Even the dogs seems to be down. They are not as active, just seem to be going through the motions. A vacation cabin across the creek is for sale and a realtor was showing it today. Usually the dogs bark wildly on my deck when anyone is over there. Today - just a few wussy "woofs" and then back inside to lay in B-man's lap as he snoozes on his recliner.

Tis a day to be in front of the fire, reading a book, drinking coffee or hot chocolate, and laying low.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Curses, Foiled Again

Image hosted by
© RedOrbit / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

No sky watching from my little spot on the Blue Marble tonight. Clouds cover the entire sky. I was hoping to see the annual Lyrid meteor shower which should reach its peak activity late Friday night (tonight) and early Saturday morning when a maximum of 10-20 "shooting stars" may appear.

Here's a picture I found of the Lyrid via the AOL Skywatcher Alert:

I was hoping to be catch some shooting stars in my telescope. All the trees do block a lot of the horizon but I usually have a good chunk of sky to gaze on. My oldest daughter, Jennifer, got me a set of binoculars a couple of years ago (she gives the BEST Christmas gifts) and I've been hooked since. Now I have a Celestron FirstScope 114 EQ Short Newtonian Reflector telescope and the first night I set it up, I saw 4 of Jupitor's moon's.

Am looking forward to those warm summer nights out on the deck gazing at the stars.


Friday, one of the most beautiful words in the English language.

Sunny 67 degrees outside but the weather dude says rain this weekend. WTF! I'm sitting at 74-1/4" of rain and more on the way. At what measurement of rain do my toes begin to morph into a webbed foot?

This is a picture I took from down at the junction of Bear Creek and the San Lorenzo River, looking up creek towards the wood bridge. The large slab of bedrock on the right is what keeps rising creek water from me - it forces the water to the opposite side of the creek which has no bedrock.. My house sits above the slab and you can see a glimpse of it in the upper right.

Most of the beach is still covered with water. Token and Goldie love running alongside the river, chasing each other up and down the beach. Token is truly a Santa Cruz kinda dog - last summer he hopped on a small piece of plywood at the river's edge and used it to surf across the river. Luckily, in the summer, the river is pretty shallow - at times the creek has more water in it than the river.

Token has a bad case of spring fever. He has gotten out of the yard a couple of times recently and returned wet and sandy - a sure sign he has been down at the beach. One of my neighbor s has two big dogs - Token's feet blur trying to keep up with them when they are all down at the junction. It is hard keeping up with the big dogs when you are only 7 lbs but he does it. Ears pinned back he is running so fast, tongue hanging out the side of his mouth and I swear he is smiling the biggest of doggie smiles.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Worst President in History

Go read Rolling Stone Magazine's detailed profile of Bush (or as I like to call him King George 43*) and the damage he has done.

Damage to our country. Damage to our democracy. Damage to the Constitution. Damage to the world. Damage to our economy. Damage to the environment. Damage to America's reputation. Damage to everything that America has stood for for more than 225 years. A failure to protect that which he swore to uphold.

From the article:

Bush has chosen to act in ways that have left the country less united and more divided, less conciliatory and more acrimonious -- much like James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Herbert Hoover before him. And, like those three predecessors, Bush has done so in the service of a rigid ideology that permits no deviation and refuses to adjust to changing realities. Buchanan failed the test of Southern secession, Johnson failed in the face of Reconstruction, and Hoover failed in the face of the Great Depression. Bush has failed to confront his own failures in both domestic and international affairs, above all in his ill-conceived responses to radical Islamic terrorism. Having confused steely resolve with what Ralph Waldo Emerson called "a foolish consistency . . . adored by little statesmen," Bush has become entangled in tragedies of his own making, compounding those visited upon the country by outside forces."

*King George 43: the Bush White House has declared that the president's powers as commander in chief in wartime are limitless.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Life in the Slow Lane

75 today! Woo-hoo, yippie-ki-a. Sunshine is such a premium up here lately. I see folks in town sitting outside the coffee shops and cafes, all drinking in the sunshine.

This is the view from the wood bridge looking downstream towards the river junction. There are so many different colors of green up here - ferns, mosses, trees, vines. The creek is clearing out the silt nicely and is becoming clear again. Most of the time, it is so clear I can see clear to the bottom. It reminds me of an aptly named creek I would swim at when I was a child named Clear Creek.

The brazen-hussy squirrels are back and are trying to figure out how to get into my squirrel proof bird feeder. Each year, a new generation tests it out. The jays and chickadees are my most common visitors. So far, my hummingbird feeder hasn't had any visitors (that I've seen).

Bailey the cat sits patiently outside near the bird feeder, hoping for either bird or squirrel. She tries hiding behind a potted plant at the corner of the rock chimney, hoping to go undetected. She really wants to catch something, anything, but has had no luck that I am aware of.

The puppies are napping on the deck, warming in the sun, dreaming dog dreams, living the good life. Goldie, by the way, barks softly when she sleeps. Dog version of talking in one's sleep?

Now the maples are out of flower and are in full leaf, the buckeyes and wisteria should not be far away. I have my first peony bud, it is small but I have hope.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I'm Official

I guess it's official - I'm a blogger. Got an official welcome (and link) from Skippy. I'm so jazzed. Today was the one month blogiversary of my foray into blogtopia* and I get a mention on Skippy's blog. Wow!

For those of you hiding under a rock, go check out Skippy's blog. Fine stuff there, even if it is based in Southern California. You know, Skippy, kangaroo are always welcome here at my little slice of heaven in the Northern California rain forrest.

*Skippy coined this term


Here comes the sun, do do do da!

The forecast is for sunshine all week - well, until the weekend. This picture is looking past the fuschia outside my dining room window and across my front yard. You can see how green everything is - it should be after all that rain. My poor tulips and daffs are rather beaten down. The good news about the rain was it kept the deer away from my blooms - the flip side is now that its not raining, my yard will be prime feeding territory. The wild strawberries are flowering. The wild morning glory is also starting to bloom.

Spring is truly spring up here on the mountain. I'm looking forward to the wisteria blooming. There is an old oak tree near me that has a wisteria that twists around the trunk to the top of the tree - a good 80 feet. When it blooms it is a site to behold.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Moment of Sunshine

Let me start off saying that I know nothing about any bunnies with missing ears. Ditto for any AWOL Peeps.

The sun came out long enough to grab some pictures on my deck. The dogs are enjoying the sunshine too. The second picture is looking north from my deck. The honeysuckle I bought last year is sprouting new leaves and you can also see the new maple leaves. Creek is still churning out all of the water upstream and still has a lot of silt. It normally runs very clear.

We got 1-1/4 inches since last night putting my total rainfall so far at 74 inches. The sunshine feels great but is, alas, only temporary - more rain on the way followed by some cold temperatures according to the weather dude.

I've got a boneless leg of lamb in the oven, with slivers of garlic embedded on all sides. I rubbed it first with lots of pepper and other spices and am slow roasting it. Naomi is going to make her fresh asparagus in addition to her fabulous rice with mushrooms. The smells coming from the kitchen are keeping the dogs underfoot.

Wishing you and yours the joys of Spring renewal.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

We Need To Listen To Our Retired Warriors

I found this article via Crooks and Liars. It is from the Seattle Times and is written by a former Marine Captain who served two tours of duty in Iraq.

From the article:

"Three years ago, I was a Marine Corps captain on the Iraqi/Kuwaiti border, participating in the invasion of Iraq. Awestruck, I heard our howitzers thunder and watched artillery rockets rise into the night sky and streak toward Iraq — their light bathing the desert moonscape like giant arc welders.

As I watched the Iraq war begin, I completely trusted the Bush administration. I thought we were going to prove all of the left-wing antiwar protesters and dissenters wrong. I thought we were going to make America safer. Regrettably, I acknowledge that it was I who was wrong."

Go read the rest of the article. It is a powerful "boots on the ground" perspective of the quagmire that is Iraq.

6 retired Generals have come out and called for Rumsfield's resignation, a rarity in military tradition. Active duty members of our Armed Forces are PROHIBITED from critiquing the Administration, so it falls upon our retired warriors to tell the truth.

They have served us well in the past. We need to listen to their words and heed their message in these troubling times.

Token and Goldie

It stopped drizzling and the sun came out for a minute or two. I snapped this of the dogs on the deck. Token is checking to make sure no persons or critters are on what he considers "his bridge and creek". Goldie is enjoying the sun.

Now its clouded over again and feeling like more rain is on the way. The doppler radar is showing showers headed this way again.

Saturday Morning After

Spent the evening at The Blue Sun, a restaurant in town, that was having a gospel group in for the night, Additionally, my friend, Naomi's art show, a 2 day event, is being held there. That house was a'rockin!

The Mellonaires are a great 8 man gospel group with a old time Motown look and sound to them. They reminded me of great groups like the Temptations, or Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, all dressed in matching suits and ties with a style and polish that comes from years of performing. The singers included a Bishop, Deacon, and Reverend backed up with drums, bass, electric guitar and keyboard. Oh, those fantastic voices and harmony had everyone on their feet, clapping and swaying to the music. Sunday churchifying on a Friday night. Wonderful!

I have never been in a restaurant before where the dinner guests were dancing either in their chairs (literally) or while standing near their tables and all the wait staff and kitchen staff were dancing in the aisles as they brought food and beverages. The chef even came out of his kitchen and was groovin to the music! Ohmygoodness, what an evening! I would say the youngest person last night was about 8 months old and the oldest had to be at least 80. A fine time was had by all.

Naomi sold 3 pieces (whoopie-ki-a) and her show continues tonight. The Blue Sun is a cafe during the week and only does dinners twice a week, Friday and Saturday. Each weekend has a different musical group for each night's dinner - tonight, George, my mechanic, and his band are playing. He is one heck of a harmonica player (in addition to being able to fix the VW). George also plays occasionally with my neighbor, Barry's band. Barry and Naomi are wonderful neighbors and good friends. Now that they are staying at my house while remodeling theirs, we are almost like family. Now I understand those hippie communes back in the 60's more.

No picture this morning. It is cold and drizzly (got another 1/4" of rain overnight) and my knee is too sore to be out and about with the camera this morning. I actually turned the heater on this morning, even though it is April. I usually turn the heater off April 1st and refuse to turn it back on until after my birthday, mid-October. But this morning is damp and cold and I need the heater to warm me and my knee up enough to be able to bring in firewood and start the woodstove.

I'll have to make it up to all 3 of you that read me tomorrow with a bonus picture.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Living In The Clouds

We got 8 inches of rain in two days. My cabin is on fairly flat ground (pretty rare around here) and I sit on bedrock (fingers and toes crossed that I'm not jinxing myself) so my biggest danger now is falling trees. Even after the rain stops, the ground is still saturated and prone to slippage. Santa Cruz County has been added to Ah-nolds Emergency Declaration. One of the 17 Santa Cruz homes mentioned in that article (near the bottom) includes a Boulder Creek home less than 1/2 mile from me. This picture, which I copied from Boulder Creek dot com shows the mists and clouds in the trees that are common up here during and after rain.

On days like today, I wonder if this is what it is like to live in the clouds? If so, I do find it pleasing. The creek is lower than it has been for several days. However, the weather dude says showers this afternoon, rain tomorrow afternoon and a cold rain Sunday. I like rain. I love living in a temperate rain forest, surrounded by redwoods, ferns, moss and ducks. I just checked my rain gauge out on the deck. I've gotten 72-3/4 inches so far this year. Last year I got 68-3/4 inches. With more rain to come. More records to be broken; March had more rain days than previous Marchs and April looks to be on the same record-breaking track.

Now that I'm retired, I love the rain. I used to seriously dislike pretending to be a traffic signal, at night, during a power failure, in the rain, standing in a circle of lit flares, hoping the drivers of the cars could see me. Glad those days are behind me. Now, I enjoy the rain, sitting in my little cabin on the creek in the redwoods.

I was standing on my deck this morning, sipping my coffee, watching our local ducks in the creek and river. The she-duck was with just one of her male consorts today. Ms. Duck must be quite a hottie in the duck world as she usually has a following of 3 to 4 males with her. As much as I like watching them swim up or down stream, it is breath-takingly beautiful watching them flying just above the water. I've never seen a duck fly from above until moving here. The ducks like to hang out in the pool beneath the wood bridge. That is also where the steelhead come to spawn. Next winter, I'll try to get pictures of at least one of the spawning steelhead. There was not as many this winter as last. I hope that is not a sign of bad things to come.

Last winter, I walked alongside the creek from the river until our beach ends just before the south end of my deck, keeping pace with a steelhead headed upstream to the bridge to spawn. So determined! Most of the time, the creek flows with a lot less water and there are several ledges of bedrock that create small waterfalls they must jump. Additionally, the creek runs fast due to the degree of slope from the bridge to the river - all uphill to the steelhead.

Found this cute little The Anagam Generator while surfing. It's fun! From the site:

"Did you know that rearranging the letters of "George Bush" gives "He bugs Gore", "Madonna Louise Ciccone" gives "Occasional nude income" and "William Shakespeare", "I am a weakish speller"??! Now you can find what lurks within the letters of YOUR name, and that of your boss, employer or anything else you want! "

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Yes, it is still raining up here. I checked the rain gauge early this morning and it read 5-1/4 inches. That's a lotta rain! We've gotten slightly more than 6-1/3 inches since Monday night. The creek is holding up well, draining out the water very fast, and the water is up to the base of the fallen tree. In the picture downstairs (in a previous post), you can see there was plenty of space between the tree and the water line.

The mountains are saturated! The flood watch and voluntary evacuation order on the San Lorenzo River down in Felton has been lifted. Currently, Highway 9 is closed with a mud/tree/wires slide down in Ben Lomond. That leaves me only 2 ways out of the valley - Bear Creek Road east up to the ridge and then down to Highway 17 at Lexington and/or north on 9 up and over the mountain and down into Saratoga.

Whoops, Just checked the CHP web page and sure enough, Bear Creek is closed with a mudslide of trees and poles and 9 also has a mudslide on the Saratoga side of the hill. Good thing I am hunkered down for the day since all 3 ways out of here are closed.

I'm waiting for the power and/or cable to go out again. With the hills this wet, the ground is moving all over the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast. Today's rain does not appear to be as heavy as yesterday's, but the day is still young. If there is a break in the weather while typing this post, I'll run outside and try to get a good picture to post.

I've gotten fairly used to the power outages. Have a transistor radio, flashlights, candles, battery powered lanterns, lots of stockpiled batteries, a gas range and a wood stove. I can stay toasty warm with candles, and have lots of canned goods in the pantry. I stay out of the fridge as much as possible to keep the food there cold. Cell phones with car chargers are a necessity up here since the phone lines are taken down with the power and cable when the trees fall.

UPDATE: It stopped raining long enough to grab this two shots off my deck. The second is a close up of the first. The whitewater you see just in front of the tree is where the water is rushing up from under the tree.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Raining Again

It's raining again so I've been playing around with TTGB (the Comments Section in particular) and have added a bunch of new links. We should get anywhere between one and three inches out of this storm. I would prefer less only because a friend is pouring a concrete foundation today. Luckily, the work is indoors and he is using a pump truck but it would be better if it was not raining while they do the pour. I've had sunshine the past couple of days and it sure was nice. Nicer still was the news on all the networks, including cable (FOX even - gasp), about Bush's culpability in the leak of classified information for political and partisan reasons. I was glad to see several stories that mentioned the quandary Fearless Leader now finds himself in, having previously stated that any leaker in His Administration would be fired!

Be sure to check out Ivy's Boulder Creek Birdcam (during Daylight hours) or Boulder Creek to find out what is happening up here. Ivy gets more birds than I do but it gives you a glimpse of what life up here is like. Lots of eye candy with redwoods in the background!

Boulder Creek is described on its website as "A Compendium of World Wide Web Links to the town of Boulder Creek and Environs, California". They have their own web page that will tell you our current weather conditions. The snow on the redwoods on their home page was from our recent storms. Snow all around me but none at my cabin. Might as well as had snow here since all three roads into and out of the valley were closed and I was unable to get off the mountain and "over the hill" into the San Jose area.

Regarding Comments: What I have discovered is that if you wish to comment, click on comment (button at the end of this post). A separate page or window will come up. At Post a Comment, it asks you to Choose An Identity.

If you are registered with Blogspot, your name should show up as the first option and it is selected. There should also be the options of: Anonymous and Other. If you click on Other, it will show Name and Your Web Page boxes, filling in of which are OPTIONAL. Just put your name (for example, Jennifer), in the Name box, leave the Your Web Page blank (unless you have a web page, then certainly fill that it and I will come visit it from the hyperlink it creates) and Blogger will automatically fill in your name at the end of your comment, just as it does when I post a comment.

Sure makes it easier and you don't have to register with Blogger (who will try to get you to create your own blog).

If you select the Anonymous, then you have to include your name in the body of the post in order for me to know who it is from.

Earlier in the week, I mentioned I was looking for a picture of Token and his sister, Goldie and would post it when I found it. Ron emailed some to me (thank you Ron) and Barry and Naomi, Goldie's owner, gave me several too (thanks Barry). Blogger has been difficult and is not allowing me to upload. I'll just have to do it later when Blogger is not hiccupping.

UPDATE: Blogger finally allowed me to post Goldie and Token's picture. This was taken this past winter at Goldie's house. They were between the heater and the dining room table. Have I mentioned how smart they are... (laughing)

Goldie is the blonde on the left and my little guy, Token, is on the right. She takes after their mother, Pager, in most everything, including appearance. Token, however, looks just like his dad. Goldie is a Princess. Token wants to be a Big Dog. Goldie sat somewhat up for the picture but Token is just laying there looking grumpy at being disturbed. At least they were both looking at the camera at the same time.

My cat, Bailey, is rather camera shy. When I capture a good picture of her, I'll post it too.

Monday's View

Today, I am posting a closeup of the 80' oak that fell into Bear Creek. The tree fell just as the creek makes a hard right turn from this vantage. Three of the four main branches are underwater but hidden by the maple leafs in the foreground. You can see the high water mark on the trunk from our last big storm.

As this tree fell, it was originally headed for a house across the creek (4 houses north of me) but was deflected, thankfully, by another tree. The root ball (part of which is shown here) is between 10' and 15' tall as it lays on its side.

I've recorded 66 -1/2 inches of rain so far this year. Last year, I recorded 68 -1/4 inches.

My Father The Veteran

Today would have been my father's 80th birthday. He died three and a half years ago from leukemia. My dad served with honor in the United States Navy for 20 years and retired. He then served the Army in a civilian job as a butcher in the Commissary at the Presidio, San Francisco until he retired from that job too.

The cuts to Vet benefits dishonor my father and all vets. My father would be livid if he were to see how our government is treating its veterans. They are nickle and diming our injured soldiers, docking their pay while they are receiving medical treatment for service injuries, and then cutting them loose, telling them they are discharged (and therefore, no longer of interests to the government). So long, see ya, don't let the door hit ya in the ass on your way out!

My father was an honorable man. When he was serving, our Government made promises in return for his service. The G.I. Bill of Rights is based on those promises. My father honored his committments, just as our soldiers today do. Unfortunately for today's vets, our Government is no longer honorable and breaks its promises to those that have kept theirs.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sunday Morning

This is a picture of the view from my deck, that I took last summer. Its looking past my deck, above Bear Creek and towards the San Lorenzo River. The junction is just a few 100' south of me.

This is a picture of Token. It was taken this past winter by my friend, Ron. Ron has also taken a picture of Token and his sister, Goldie. I'm looking for that picture and will post it when I find it.

Next is a view from my deck, looking north up Bear Creek. If you look under the bridge, you will see the 80' Oak tree that fell into the creek a couple of weeks ago during one of our downpours. Luckily, it wasn't one of our redwoods. We got over 3" of rain that night.

Next is the view this morning looking south from my deck. The water in the foreground is Bear Creek and the water further back is the San Lorenzo River. Bear Creek runs year round and sometimes has more water in it than the river.

Sunday Morning Talk Shows

Today is going to be a good one on the Sunday morning talk show circuit. Former Ambassador Joe Wilson will be on ABC's This Week and retired General Zinni, former US CenCom chief, is going to be on CNN's Late Addition, along with Sy Hersh.

Wilson is sure to have something to say about the Libby filings, Fitzgerald's responses, and the information just disclosed that Libby said that Cheney told him that Bush authorized the leak.

Zinni is telling like it is on the ground in Iran.

Hersh has just published his investigative report The Iran Plan online which asks this question:

"Would President Bush go to war to
stop Tehran from getting the bomb?"

Click on this link or you can read it starting 04/17/06 in the newstand edition of The New Yorker. According to Hersh, Fearless Leader and chums are already well on the road to a possible nuclear war with Iran.

Sure to be an informative Sunday morning.

FOX NEWS SUNDAY 9 am: Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) and Zalmay Khalilzad , U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

THIS WEEK (ABC) 9 am: House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and actress Bernadette Peters .

FACE THE NATION (CBS) 10:30 am: Reps. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) and Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.); Rick Wagoner , chairman and chief executive of General Motors Corp.

MEET THE PRESS (NBC) 10:30 am: Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Reps. Henry Bonilla (R-Tex.), Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.), and J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.).

LATE EDITION (CNN) 11am: Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.); retired Gen. Anthony C. Zinni , former U.S. Central Command chief; New Yorker magazine reporter Seymour M. Hersh and Khalilzad.

All times Eastern.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Presidency A Cancer On The Nation

"It all has an eerily familiar ring, but something is very different this time around. We’re no longer talking about a cancer on the presidency, but a presidency that’s a cancer on the nation."

That is how the editorial of the Scranton, PA Times Tribune ends.

For those not old enough to remember, John Dean during the Nixon years:

“There is a cancer on the presidency,” Mr. Dean famously said, advising Mr. Nixon to come clean with the public and begin distancing himself from the “plumbers” who carried out the break-in and other “dirty tricks” against the president’s political and ideological enemies. Mr. Nixon, of course, refused.

FireDogLake has more, including:

For President, First a Leak; Now a Jam (NYTimes)

The Leaker In Chief (The Louisville Courier-Journal)

Bush’s Leak (The Boston Globe)

Spin Cycle Springs a Leak (LATimes)

Critics Label Bush Hypocrite for Authorizing Leak (Houston Chronicle)

Another White House Is Buying Silence (Boston Globe)

White House Defends Leak as "In the Public Interest" (NYDaily News via San Jose Mercury News)

Leak-Hating President as Leaker (ABCNews)

Too bad King George 43 doesn't read papers. I wonder who is brave enough among his staff to tell him what has finally happened - the American Press appears to have gotten off their lazy, cocktail weinie asses and are actually reporting, instead of just repeating the Republican Talking Points.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bush Uses Annon. Source to Defend His Leak of Classified Document

From the Washington Post (hat tip to Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo):

"A senior administration official, speaking on background because White House policy prohibits comment on an active investigation, said Bush sees a distinction between leaks and what he is alleged to have done. The official said Bush authorized the release of the classified information to assure the public of his rationale for war as it was coming under increasing scrutiny." (emphasis mine)

How typical of this Administration, and Bush in particular, to use a senior administration official speaking on background to a reporter to defend Bush's use of a senior administration official (Libby) speaking on background (as an annonymous former Hill staffer) leaking a classified document (the NIE) to a reporter (Judith Miller).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bush Approved Leaking

I spend the day out of touch of the news and my computer and *wham* come home to learn that Bush knew all along about the leaking - he approved it!

The President Who Is Above The Law (according to the United States Attorney General) already has a bad track record regarding torture, illegal wiretapping of Americans on American soil, the false information given to Congress and the American people in the lead up to the Iraq War, issuing "signing statements" when he signs laws that he has no intention of following by attaching a statement of non-intention after the press leave, and now it comes out he authorized the disclosure of an undercover CIA agent to a reporter. He outted an undercover spy for OUR government to a reporter because of a potential political problem for his more than one year away 2004 re-election campaign.

That President wants me to trust him? I trust him about as much as I trust my second ex-husband, another lying, manipulative control freak.

It is this life-long Republican's point of view that Bush needs to be impeached for high crimes against the American people. A sitting President cannot be tried in a criminal trial while still President. There is no such protection for the Vice President. Indict Cheney. Impeach Bush.

Clear the liars and self-serving politicals out of Washington. Dismantle the K Street Project and stop ripping off the American people to line their own pockets. I am in favor of MY representatives in Washington spending their time representing ME instead of raising donations for their next election campaign.

Boxer gets it regarding Feingold's Censure Motion. When is Feinstein going to? I just got her email newsletter and NOT ONE WORD is mentioned about it. When is enough enough? Isn't the incomplete list of items I mentioned in my first paragraph enough?

Old Voices

Was nicing reading comments from some old friends here at TTGB. Sorry about missing TF in the invite I sent out - I was worried about AOL and their TOS. Right after 9/11 I sent out an email to many friends in NYPD/FD/EMS and got TOS'd over the number of email addresses on one email. When I called, their "customer service representative" agreed that the email I sent was not spam and reinstated my account. I was not able to get an actual number from AOL about how many are allowed.

Anyway, to those of you who I forgot and were forwarded, like TF, please accept my apology for not including you. It really was not intentional.

Let's use this Old Voices thread to catch up. Just click on the comments button.

And, for all 3 of you that read this, I had added to the link section in the sidebar. So far, the links are those that I check each day. All cover a variety of issues and are very well written. Except for that CHP link - that's just for us Callyfornian's futile attempt to figure out if we can get there from here and how bad it is going to be.

GOOD NEWS: Jennifer and Mike have found a 3 bedroom place! For you old voices/fonts - sit down. Are you ready? I actually like my daughter's boyfriend. What a shock! Nice guy even if he is a Coastie instead of Navy.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Helping A Friend

Tonight I tried to help a friend and do what I hope a friend would do for me in the same situation. Hopefully, my friend will understand.

Monday, April 03, 2006

More Links (and Shorter Why's)

Yeup, I've added more to the Links section.

Crooks and Liars is one of the places I check for updates regularly. John Amato's "On-Line, Virtual Magazine" has many subjects covered and the majority of the posts have video clips and/or transcrips. A great resource and he gets multiple checks during the day for updates..

Skippy, as Jon Stewart says ""When I want news, I turn to CNN...and Skippy...the Bush Kangaroo." Skippy, the roo's roo, get's checked regularly for updates also. Skippy's based down in Southern Ca but I won't hold that against them. If it wasn't too far to travel, I would love to attend one of the SoCal blogger's events, just to be able to taste one of Cookie Jill's magical creations.

Digby's Hullabaloo, another well reasoned Californian, who's site I check daily. Digby is also down in Southern California.

Atrios is sometimes referred to by the blog name, Eschaton. Wish he would write more on his posts but when he does, Wham!

All of these sites are great at keeping me up to date on news, political items I'm interested in (especially those that catch the Bush admin lying and/or breaking the law) and are well written with a humor twist. Hopefully, the more I blog, the better my writing will become and I too will be able to make people laugh and learn at the same time.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Figuring Out Blogrolling - FDL and Debsweb

As my BlogRoll on the right sidebar shows, I'm figuring out how to blogroll. As I add to the blogroll, my plan is to tell you a little about each one, so you will know why I added it, and maybe you will learn a wee bit about me. These first ones, though, are special to me so I'll share a little bit more of the why on them.

Firedoglake and Debra

I mentioned Firedoglake below thread so I'll start there. I started reading FDL around a year ago (shortly after my friend Debra came over and turned me onto FireFox and RSS feeds - Debra created a monster). Jane was blogging FDL solo at that point and I liked her style and content. I started reading her regularly when she started including some bits of her email exchanges with a former prosecutor using the aka Reddhead regarding BushCo outing an undercover CIA agent for political purposes. FDL is my #1 place to get all things political. FDL is now the first place I hit on the web, and the last I check before logging off (now that I have my own blog I expect that will change slightly). They get a lot of page clicks from me, checking for new threads and comments.

FDL has grown, with Redd now blogging under her real name, Christy Hardin Smith, and they recently added Pachacutec. Besides deliciously snark-filled commentary and great eye-candy pictures ( sometimes they cause me to spew my coffee) FDL has expanded and became a major political blog, including the Progressive movement, trying to kick-start the Democrats into growing spines and build what they call the "net roots" of political activism. A fantastic comments section exists there relatively free from trolls. Very creative and intellectual resource. They are much more than the short bit I put up here. Click on the link and enjoy!

Debra - DebsWeb was also mentioned below. Besides creating the aforementioned RSS feed monster and being the first person to list me on her blogroll, she is more than a friend. Debra is many things; she is a Professional Personal Chef and an Acupuncturist. She was formerly with the Army, is a former Republican Democrat, and has an insatiable appetite to learn. She is the first person I turn to for Computer Geek to English, along with Medical to English and Science to English translation. She has a dry, witty, razer sharp intellect along with a kick-ass memory. LOVE going to concerts with her and we disect "24" every Monday night on the phone. Don't really get a lot of her science fiction stuff but I don't hold that against her. Go read her blog and see the world through her glasses. They are not rose tinted and she cuts right to the chase in her observations. She has the kindest heart of anyone I know but I would not want to piss her off. Did I mention she is a VietNam-era Army Vet?

Jane, Redd, and Debra are what inspired me to start this blog. Debra kept after me, "Why don't you blog" was something she would mention every month or so. After stubbornly refusing, (laughing), I started TTGB - send all complaints about TTGB to her (laughing). After Redd joined FDL, I watched her posts develop, grow, saw FDL growing into a major blog, have heard both Jane and Redd (yeah, I know its really Christy but she'll always be Redd to me) on radio and/or tv, well, they inspired me cyber, just as Debra does in person and on the phone.

Google News came with the blog. Who knew?

The CHP website because its still a pleasure to sit here, in a small valley on the mountain in a temperate rain forrest, nestled in my cabin near town, surrounded by redwoods and ferns, overlooking the creek and its junction with the river, a steady, heavy, non-stop downpour drumming on the roof and deck, all warm and toasty with a fire going in the wood stove, Token sleeping in my lap, a hot cup of coffee on the desk, KPIG on the radio playing "Cows with Guns" (or maybe Stevie Ray Vaughan or some Janis) and surf through CHP's current incidents page while they are out working in the rain. California drivers forget how to drive in the rain. California drivers forget how to drive in the fog. Hell, California drivers forget how to drive on sunny days.

I still remember when rain on a day off was a good thing. Thank goodness I no longer have to doff my banana suit over my wools in a futile attempt to stay halfway dry while serving those who paid my salary. I sit here, watching the CHP list of details growing, listening to when I don't have KPIG on, and smile. I still miss the job but I sure don't miss working in the rain. The best thing about being retired is waking in the morning, hearing rain, and rolling over to go back to sleep until it is warm enough to get up!

I did not work for CHP but spent 24 years and one day, working for one of the 5 largest cities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hard physically and emotionally demanding job but very rewarding. Now, it is just part of my past, like the legal secretary I was before that - but I do enjoy the CHP pages. They have a glossary link (on the right side of the page Resources menu pull down that usually reads Driving Tips) for those that need CHP to English translation. If you click on an incident in the top half of the page, a reverse chronological incident detail as entered by their dispatchers will show on the bottom half.

That's my blogroll for now. More links, but less explanation to follow.