Wednesday, March 17, 2010

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Our Very Own German And A Winch

What with all my pontificating of late I forgot to mention that we are participating in a high school exchange program organized by my son's very industrious German teacher. Tomorrow, I head off to the airport to collect as many German Gymnasium students plus luggage, as I can fit into my SUV. We get to keep one of them - at least for the next 5 weeks. Our Very Own German (VOG). In June, my son will go to Germany to become a German family's Very Own American (VOA).

We are very excited - this is the first time we have done something like this, however, I am totally freaking out because the house is a mess and I really need to clean the carpets. I know how Germans are having lived among them for some time - and if there is anything you need to know about Germans it is that Ordnung muss sein. You just won't get around that one.

In other, unrelated news, I have bought myself a winch from Northern Tool. The reason I bought it is because it was only around $10 and they seemed to be very excited about their $10 winch and as I was buying a rain barrel anyway (to collect a bit of the downpour we had been having for summer watering - which stopped the second I clicked "Buy" in my shopping cart - sorry Southern California), I decided to purchase the winch as well.

It has now arrived and it looks much like a giant pencil sharpener without the outer casing and grinder thingies, but is quite sturdy and I am sure is quite useful for something. I am getting a real kick out of the fact that I am now officially "a wench with a winch" and am off to Amazon now to look for a book on "Fun With Winches" or "The Top 5 Useful Things To Do With A Winch".

I would love to brag about my new rain barrel but I am afraid that if I do, I will cause another drought here in SoCal, and then everyone will be mad at me.

Ta for now,


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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can't Find A Job? Try Gardening


To provide stipends to low income day laborers being trained in the field of sustainable low impact gardening and landscaping. The goas is to secure permanent, unsubsidized employment upon completion of training - term of contract from October 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010 - total amount $200,000

2-18-10 - Contract Attested

The city of Los Angeles is in the process of laying off around 4000 people. Guess they want to have their replacements all trained up and ready to go.

Paid for by taxpayers of course.


Follow up

  1. WELFARE COSTS FOR CHILDREN OF ILLEGAL ALIENS IN L.A. COUNTY OVER $48 MILLION IN JUNE = $576,000,000 per year for Los Angeles county alone. That's half a billion dollars... for LA county alone. Source
  2. IRS Cracking Down On Tax Cheats!
    It's about time, isn't it? Those who owe need to pay up pronto, starting with this guy: IRS visits Sacramento car wash in pursuit of 4 cents

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Laughable Luddites Lament Library - A Poem

Larry and Lisa lingered outside,
their local library soon to demise.

Where can I find the knowledge I seek,
lamented Larry then Lisa now for a week.

Such a spectacle they made with laments so loud,
they caused the formation of a curious crowd.

What have we before us?
cried the crowd now in chorus,
No need to fret, it's all on the net,
Libraries you see, now only bore us!

Leave us alone with your laments for libraries,
lest we so tire of listening we set fire to your library.

Then they all took their mices
to their electronic devices
and logged on online
which suited them fine.

Leaving Larry and Lisa lamenting their library.

Lingering doubt, unsure what about,
left Lenny quite queasy,
but since it was easy, he connected now quickly,
to read all the news,
so much from to choose,
he soon was besotted
with an item he spotted
of a forthcoming storm
and the need to keep warm

He failed to take heed
of the most urgent need
to quiet the ire
and stop the hot fire

Set by the crowd to the library.

Up in black smoke went the knowledge of nations,
amid cheers from the crowd,
could be heard growing loud
the rumble and grumble of deafening thunder.

Then a bright flash
that caused all to dash,
from the rain and the wind,
that now did descend,
on the crowd with their mices
and electronic devices.

The powerful storm lasted less than an hour,
but the damage was done,
it had taken the power.

Where can we find the knowledge we seek?
cried those with the mices
and electronic devices,
who now tried in vain
to lessen their pain
by logging on quickly
to learn news of the sickly
and ways now to cope
but alas there's no hope!

It no longer suffices
to have electronic devices
rendered useless and dark
by one little spark.

The End.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I Want A Healthcare Bill - And I Still Support Obama

We have health insurance through my husbands employer. They pay for his insurance and he pays the premium to cover me and the two kids. This amounts to around $960 per month or $11, 520 per year.

It must be one of those Cadillac policies they talk about, right? I don't think so - if I compare it to the policy I had when I was 20, it seems to cover less. It also has a 10% pay-it-yourself clause. That doesn't seem like much until you consider what it means to have any kind of surgery or major illness treated. A coworker of my husband had surgery on his ankle which cost $200,000 - making his part of the bill $20,000. Those are the types of costs that we are trying to insure against! Not to mention the fact that $200,000 ankle surgery is much like the $600 toilet seats of the 1980s.

Here is my opinion - call it the GenX, white, female, housewife, home-based business and 2 dog owning, with kids vote. Get your bloody acts together, sit down and have educated, adult conversations, negotiate and get something done. I personally support a public option because I have seen it work. What we have now is failing miserably and I am not the least bit satisfied with our current coverage, the availability of medical treatment or just about anything to do with medicine in general.

You know what the problems are, both sides have valid concerns on the issues and those issues must be addressed - both sides must be heard. That means one side has to shut up and listen, and the other side has to open their stupid yaps and say something besides "Start Over". You had your chance to do something and did not and if there is one thing I hate, it is a bunch of idiots who sit around and do nothing when the ship hits an iceberg and then rant, rave and scream about the life boat effort.

I have my own problems and kids to look after, I need medical insurance that is actually medical insurance - not a get rich quick scheme for the health care industry, nor a convoluted social program. Do your jobs, you bunch of losers!

Now, concerning Obama. I read a lot. I read newsletters from the right, left and in between. I hear a lot of name calling, accusation slinging, stupidity etc as well as good information, important facts, etc. Here is what I can't seem to wrap my mind around. For all the horrid things being said about Obama and his socialist tendencies, when the guy opens his mouth to speak, a lot of sense and reason comes out. I can not seem to reconcile the accusations made against the man, with what the man actually says.

He is trying to address a problem that drastically needs to be addressed. If you don't like what he is saying, become part of the conversation. But make no mistake, no solution is not a solution and will not be a victory for republicans. At least not with the GenX, white, female, housewife, home-based business and 2 dog owning, with kids vote.


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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Historical Revisionism - US History As It Never Happened

The other week-end I conned my son and a buddy of his into driving up to Carmel with me to help my sister and her family move. On the Saturday night we were all hanging out together in the new house and I happened to pick up a textbook on US history that was lying around. My son's friend had brought it along to get some studying done - at least that was probably the idea.

As I started flipping through the pages, I noticed that I had never heard of many of the people who had been given prominent and significant real estate on the pages of each chapter. Not only that, but it appeared that American history had happened almost entirely without the involvement of the white male, and that any historical figure worthy of admiration had been a democrat. On the front cover, out of about 20 portraits of America's past, Ronald Reagan was the lone republican and his picture was down toward the lower left-hand corner of the page - probably squeezed in as an afterthought

I was particularly horrified by the chapter on World War II. Stalin, the guy who managed to kill around 24 million of his own citizens was practically glorified for 2 of the 3 paragraphs dedicated to him, discussing how he set about turning the Soviet Union into a model communist utopia, before it mentioned his brutal stranglehold over Russian society. Then there was an entire chapter on the Holocaust, which is a major event in history, to be sure - but it is not US history.

What I found most offensive, however, were the pictures chosen to represent the American GIs. There were two pictures of GIs in the book and in both pictures every single man was black. Even Rosie the Riveter was depicted as a black woman. Now there is nothing wrong with including pictures of black GIs per se - they were there too, they existed, fought and died right along with the rest of our boys - an accurate portrayal of our history would be incomplete without them. But I can imagine a reasonable person coming away with the impression that there were no whites in America at the time, or that America had sent black people to fight WWII for them.

Then there were the countless portrayals of insignificant women and minorities who were there simply because they were women and minorities and not because they had much to do with the shaping of events at the time. The book dedicates more material to Some Black Guy I've never heard of than to George Washington - you know, the "Father Of Our Country" and first president of the United States of America. In fact, Some Black Guy kicks off the chapter and it is not for 5 or 6 pages that we meet George - who shares a sidebar column with some other guy.

This book is not a history book, it is propaganda and it has no business being used around children. It is an insidious assault on the foundations of our society. Check your kids' history books - look at what they are teaching your children because what they are trying to do is to destroy love of country - thereby ultimately weakening the resolve to defend it.


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Anyone Have News About Chile?

I have a good friend in Valparaiso that I am worried about...Anybody know how the city of Valparaiso, Chile is doing?

Pablo, get in touch if you can!


Follow up: I did get in touch with my friend in Chile, and he said he and everyone he knows came through OK, that was per email - but haven't heard much since.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Amazon Tax - Another Nail In California's Coffin

Leave it to the government of California to know exactly how to make a bad economy worse. Here is the letter sent to its California based affiliates:

February 19th, 2010 Letter Terminating California Affiliates

Not only will the leeches in Sacramento not receive any sales tax from after they dump all of their California affiliates, they will also lose any income taxes those affiliates would have paid to the state. This is going to put lots of home based businesses out of business.

See, the thing about the Internet is that it matters not where a person lives - A person living in India or China, Russia or the Cayman Islands can be an affiliate of Amazon or

When these greedy know-nothings in Sacramento decide to go for a cash grab, they don't care how many livelihoods they destroy in the process. It is just so painful to watch them destroy the livelihoods of so many thousands of people in California for absolutely nothing.

Amazon and Overstock will not collect any sales tax for the tax thugs - but they will keep right on selling their products to California residents - the only difference being that the affiliates who don't live in a Pariah state will get the income those poor saps in California used to earn.

This is possibly the fastest way known to man to destroy jobs. All it takes is a click of a button for Amazon, Overstock and many other companies to de-affiliate themselves from California - in fact, you have spent far more time reading this blog posting than it will take for thousands of California affiliates to become paupers.


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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Charity Scams Start At Home

The other day I got a call from a fellow raising money for the local troubled teenagers program run by the county sheriff. I thought this was a worthy cause, so I agreed to give $20 - won't change the world, I know but I am a bit short these days - (see previous post).

My fund raising fellow then brought a lady on the call who proceeded to read me the fine print of the terms of my donation, the most relevant part being that only a portion of my $20 would find its way to the charity. After she had finished speed reading her legal mumbo jumbo and had left the call, I asked my fellow just how much of my $20 would wind up helping troubled youths. His answer floored me.


Just $2.00 of my $20 - or 10% would be given to the charity. Now I understand that it takes money to make money, and there are expenses - but seriously. If it had been $2.00 in expenses and $18 going to the charity, that would have been jolly good by me. As it stands, the charity cited in the phone call is what I would call "pretense expense" for a company whose main line of business is phoning up folks and asking them for money. When people do this in person, it is called "panhandling".

The moral of this story? Know your charity - find them before they find you, and give directly to them - do not respond to random requests for money, by phone or by mail (no matter how many nickels they send - keep 'em.) Money is tight these days and the need is bigger than ever - distribute your donation dollars wisely.


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