Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Tyrany of Gardening Implements

Why is it that when adversity strikes, more of it comes to bash you over the head? With Paul not only still recuperating from the lung surgery followed by a whacking great pneumonia that has rendered him so weak and physically unable that he's almost lost interest in even looking out of the window to see the grass growing taller and the weeds spreading and winding around everything, then this is the time that the things I depend on to put our yard in order decide to give up the ghost too. First the ride-around mower spooks a front wheel--wobbly and a flat tire--then the dependable little upright mower that always works when the ride-around gets temperamental gets a hole in its gas tank, forces me to use duct tape to repair a loose handle, and then finally grinds to a halt and dies. It's now up to me to come up with the right approach to these mysteries. I call Sears and renew the ride-around's warranty for another year and make a repairman appointment--he can't come for ten days!. Next I visit the local Sears and buy a new upright. and Wendy transports it home for me in her pickup. But it won't work properly. It scrapes the ground, stops at the smallest bumps, and throws grass in clumps. I wait a couple of days. The grass grows longer. Phil and Kim return from their Memorial Day camp and save the day. They raise the wheels on the mower, show me how to convert it from mulching to regular, and are furious with the salesman at Sears for not explaining how the mower should work. As quick as a wink, P and K were all over the grounds, Kim mowing, Phil weed-whacking, while I make coffee and ice-cream waffles to refresh them. This morning I have what we call the field and the orchard left to mow and weed whack, and I think it will be a pleasure. Hope so.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bush Embarrasses Blair

Yesterday George Bush in his awful retarded way tried with his limited vocabulary to defend Tony Blair against criticism at their final press conference Instead of looking happy while receiving praise, Tony looked as if he wished the floor would open up and enclose him. An embarrassed grin was plastered to his face. One of the comments I read just about sums up the awful truth about George Bush's crimes against humanity and the moment in history we are in:

"You start to think that surely all of these remarks critical of George are nothing but partisan hyperbole. Then you watch the clip...oh god...this is the kind shallow bullying cretin you would petition the school board to remove as the coach of the junior high football team. George's utter lack of presence )much less charisma), woefully inadequate speaking skills and rudimentary vocabulary always bring me up short. ...[This] shallow, mean spirited and inarticulate buffoon who routinely lies, betrays colleagues, bombs civilian populations, fixes elections, spies on the citizenry, disdains the constitution (it's just a god damn piece of paper"), went AWOL and avoided combat, guts essential social and environmental programs, censors and suppresses science, tried to make a glorified law clerk a supreme court justice...and on and on -- IMPEACH THIS CRIMINAL AND FRAUD NOW!"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Some Snark on the GOP Debate Last Night

I was watching House (a new episode about a 16 year old genius) and so did not see the second GOP debate. Here are some snippets from Digby who did watch:

"It was quite interesting watching the Republicans debate down in South Carolina tonight. ... . These guys have just spent the last fifteen minutes of the debate trying to top each other on just how much torture they are willing to inflict. They sound like a bunch of psychotic 12 year olds.

" The biggest applause lines were for faux tough guy Giuliani demanding Ron Paul take back his assertion that the terrorists don't hate us for our freedom, macho man Huckabee talking about Edwards in a beauty parlor and the manly hunk Romney saying that he wants to double the number of prisoners in Guantanamo "where they can't get lawyers." There's very little energy for that girly talk about Jesus or "the culture of life" or any of that BS that the pansy Bush ran ran on. (Brownback's position, forcing 14 year old girls who've been raped by their fathers to bear their own sibling, will have to suffice for the compassionate "life" crowd tonight.)

"John McCain is the only adult on that stage and that scares the living hell out of me considering that he's half nuts too. Wow.

"I think Rudy won it. These people don't care if he's wearing a teddy under his suit and sleeping with the family schnauzer as long as he promises to spill as much blood as possible."

[For the full column go to Digy's Hullabaloo blog]

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Five Dead, Three Missing

Sat May 12, 2007 at 07:05:08 AM PDT
From The Daily Kos

The escalation continues:

Seven U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi army interpreter came under attack Saturday morning during a patrol of a Sunni insurgent stronghold south of Baghdad, leaving five dead and three missing, the military said.today.

Troops who arrived later found five of the soldiers dead. The other three members of the patrol were gone, according to the statement, from Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq.

Thoughts or prayers, whatever your preference, for those missing men and their families.

Seventy-five women soldiers have been killed in Iraq so far.

U.S. troops killed since the escalation began: 265

Willie Nelson for Secretary of State?

A clip from Welcome to Pottersville [ http://welcome-to-pottersville.blogspot.com/]

"From his endless faux pas to the deliberate alienation and inevitable guilt-by-association suffered by our allies, George W. Bush has proved to be America’s Mrs. O’Leary’s cow and the presidential candidates of both parties had better give some serious, pre-emptive thought as to how to go about repairing these crucial international relationships should they get elected.

"Last Monday’s Marx Brothers night at the opera with QE II was a mild but classic example. On top of praising a figurehead monarch for her “leadership” in our trying times and getting her age wrong by a century and a half either accidentally or deliberately, Bush didn’t even think a rare visit from the Queen of England herself merited a white tie and tails. If one had a flair for the poetic, they could easily see in the crowned Queen a Lady Liberty extremely aged and wearied by this administration.

"The new and official 43rd president, especially if s/he is a Democrat, will have to deal not only with wary and alienated allies and tyrants expectant of the same deferential treatment but also equally wary right wing nut jobs like John Howard, Canada’s Stephen Harper, Mexico’s Calderon and now France’s Sarkozy.

"Add to the mix Iran’s and Iraq’s leadership, Hugo Chavez and other avowed enemies made during Bush’s reign of error (to borrow a phrase from Krugman) and it’s easy to see that the next president won’t have as many ready-made friends in the international community. Obviously, the incoming administration had better choose a kickass Secretary of State, someone with the knowledge of a Kissinger, the wisdom of King Solomon and the likeability of a Willie Nelson."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Richard Price to Terry Gross

On the car radio as I did my shopping rounds in Montrose, Richard Price was talking about his life as a novelist to Terry Gross on "Fresh Air." The conversation was already under way but what I heard made me think, "Why haven't I read any of his books? The announcer said at the end that the program had been recorded years ago and was included in a celebration marking the 20th anniversary of Terry's gift to radio, her always fresh and astute interviews on "Fresh Air." Price said in growing up in the Bronx, he knew only Catholics, Jews and Italians and until he went to college he had never met anybody from the Midwest, never met a WASP person. In the Bronx he was a rare specimen--a kid who grew up and went to college. It changed his life, transformed him, and made him desperate to become a writer. Noting that a writer's best subject is what he knows best, he knew he had to put down his early life on the Bronx's mean streets. "But what could I say, after Philip Roth?" he said. He had a point. What more could he say about growing up that Roth hasn't said already about life in New Jersey in 1942 in The Plot Against America? What he did also say though was that he always knew he would be an artist and that he knew that he could not go through life undistinguished.