Monday, March 31, 2008

Regarding the Mortgage Meltdown

Seems to me that this administration watched leisurely as the barn door came open and the horses began to stampede out. Some in the administration even encouraged the horses to escape.

Now that all the horses have left the barn the administration is simply looking at the barn door and pretending they don’t know how it came open in the first place.

Most Americans could see what would happen with all those magical mortgage offers we saw advertised on our TV, in our mail and on our voice mail. You could see it coming a mile away, yet the government just sat back and watched as crimes were committed. Yes, I think some of those magical mortgage promises were lies and crimes. Sure, there were the speculators and there were even some ignorant people who were preyed upon, but a lot of the families facing foreclosure today were just plain duped.

However the mess became as large as it is today, the horses are out of the barn and until the government tries to find them and corral them, I believe fixing the barn door can wait.

Friday, March 28, 2008

One Concerned Cat

Jeez, some human beings make me want to rip up the couch cushions with my claws.

I heard that about 20% of Hillary supporters and about the same number of Obama supporters, say they will vote for McCain if their candidate loses.

How selfish is that? To say they would take a chance on punishing our country for four more years just because they didn’t get the democratic candidate the wanted. Folks look at the big picture here. Deep inside you know full well that either democratic candidate is a zillion times better than John, bomb Iran, McCain.

And maybe you could have some mercy on me. I don’t want to live through four more years of hearing Pop yell “duck” every time the president of the United States is speaking on TV.

I’m keeping my feline eye on those people who threaten to vote for McCain and hoping they realize that it’s not about them, it’s about all of us, our country and our future.

Have a great weekend and please take time to enjoy the wonders of nature

Fred the Cat (the cat who loves you guys)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Senator Clinton’s new plan?

Someone on the tv yesterday said for Senator Clinton to win she would have to take the Tonya Harding approach. Meaning she would have to kneecap Senator Obama.

Senator Clinton’s plan seems to be unfolding. First this from Slate.

“What the hell is Clinton doing meeting with reporters and editors of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review? The Tribune-Review is a money-losing fringe publication published by Richard Mellon Scaife, a bilious and wealthy crank who spent the 1990s manufacturing vile innuendo about the Clintons. If the "vast, right-wing conspiracy" on which first lady Hillary Clinton famously blamed her troubles can be said to exist, its chairman and chief executive officer was Scaife. Scaife gave the American Spectator $2.3 million to dig up dirt on Bill Clinton, and he used the Tribune-Review to spread, among other things, the reprehensible allegation that Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster, a clinically depressed deputy White House counsel who committed suicide in 1993.”

Then yesterday I heard that Senator Clinton was going to appear on Fox News last night.

She has aligned her life experience with that of Senator McCain. President Bill Clinton aligned her love of her country with that of Senator McCain. I’m thinking maybe Senator Clinton’s new plan is to run as a Republican.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Truthfulness Challenged?

Lets say that I post a story that tells you that ten years ago I was going to the food market and when I arrived there I was caught in the middle of a gang fight. Bullets were flying everywhere and I had to run from my car to the market door under fire from the gang members.

Okay, but you being the wise person that you are, you locate the security camera tapes from that market that particular day and discover there was no gang fight there that day. You also discover that I have never been caught in a gang fight. Would you accept that I made a “mistake” when I told my story, or would you call it something else?

Senator Clinton said she made a “mistake” when she said her plane landed under fire in Bosnia. She said she misspoke. Sure, anyone can make a mistake but if Senator Clinton never landed anywhere in a plane that was under fire, how can this be a simple case of misspeaking?

In my own opinion when someone tells a story this far from the truth it calls for a stronger word than “mistake”.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A first for me

Growing up poor, I learned quickly to become frugal. I have been pinching pennies since I was old enough to know what a penny was and what it could do.

When Mr. Pop and I married we lived with a new frugality but never the less, we practiced the art of frugality with precision. We did without and were careful when and where we spent our money.

I’m telling you this because I did something yesterday that I have never before done in my life. I have been wearing glasses since I was in high school. Often times I would go for years without upgrading my prescription. Again the frugality thing. When I did have to upgrade my lens and frames that was a major big deal. Because I needed prescription sunglasses too, I would always have them put my new sunglasses lens in my old regular glasses frames. By doing so, I saved the price of buying two new frames.

Over the weekend the lens popped out of my regular glasses and there was no way Mr. Pop or I could repair them. So yesterday morning bright and early we set out to the optometrist office for a repair job.

We arrived at his office and handed off the glasses to be repaired. Instead of having a seat and waiting like Mr. Pop did, I went wondering around where they keep all the glasses frames on display.

That’s when it happened. I saw the most beautiful sunglasses frame I have ever seen. They were made of something that but appeared to be tortoise shell, but of course it wasn’t. They looked like Audrey Hepburn should be wearing them. I was in love with these big brown gorgeous frames.

I tried them on and ask for Mr. Pop’s opinion. Nice favorable comments from him were forthcoming. When the girl who handles that department arrived I asked her if my prescription lens could be made for these frames. She said they could and proceeded to measure and all for the order. I was so damned excited. God, when was the last time I felt like that?

So in one week I shall be wearing my first ever sunglasses framed in the frames that I picked out, not the ones that frugality handed to me. Yeah, I splurged on the cost, but sometimes it feels good to reward yourself for all your past efforts. Do I feel a tinge of guilt? Yep, but damn, I’m gonna look good.

Monday, March 24, 2008

We did not participate

We did absolutely nothing Easter-ie yesterday but it sure was a good day.

When the rain finally stopped around noon we headed over to the beach to see what was up. Mostly all that was up were milky white tourist lolling on the beach under dreary dark clouds.

Then we stopped by the lagoon to see if there might be some nature activity there. Ah, that’s what we were looking for, several dolphin swimming lazily around. From the size of the dorsal fins, we could see that there were at least two juveniles and several adults. Watching something like that on a cloudy silent Sunday will sure bring your blood pressure down to just about zero.

After tearing ourselves away from the lagoon, we headed for Barnes and Noble. And no we don’t have any locally owned bookstores here anymore.

We walked into the wonderful coffee scented atmosphere of one of my favorite sorts of stores. I picked up a copy of Barack Obama’s “Dreams from My Father”, and we headed home.

About three in the afternoon I snuggled up with my new book and an unhealthy slice of heavenly tiramisu. Does it get any better than that?

This was one of my best Easters ever, Sometimes you don’t have to participate in tradition to make a holiday wonderful.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring, for Fred the Cat

Yesterday Pop asked you guys what Spring means to you. Today I’m going to tell you what it means to me.

Spring means I’m going to do my yearly thing and shed a ton of fur. I’ll shed it on the screened in patio. I’ll shed it in the house. I’ll be a shedding machine.

I know what you’re thinking, why doesn’t Pop just brush me and brush out all the old winter fur? Here’s why. If she even gets near me with a brush I’ll make her hands look like they were in a blender set to puree. Nope, I don’t like a brush and I’ve made that known on more than one occasion. In this house, cat plus brush equals Band-Aids.

You could probably make a total body wig for three cats with the fur I’m about to shed, but I’ll do that shedding on my terms. I don’t need no stinkin’ brush.

Have a great Easter weekend and don’t eat too many chocolate bunnies.

Fred the Cat (the cat who loves you guys)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It’s Spring!

What does Spring mean to you?

To me it means flowers, baby birds and all things beautiful.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Senator Obama’s Speech

Hopefully by now you have had a chance to see or read Senator Obama’s speech that he himself wrote and gave in Philadelphia yesterday on the subject of race.

He took that subject that has been infecting our country for so long, ripped the scab off of it and cleaned it out. He exposed all the elements to the light of day. He showed us all why the infection was there and how we can make our country well again. He also said if we do not tend to it now, the infection will return.

I thought it was one of the most eloquent amazing revealing speeches I have ever heard. I really can’t understand how anyone could not feel that we must elect this man as our next president. If we don’t, I’m afraid we will be missing a great opportunity for our country and our future.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Erasing the ugly, at least for a little while

Yesterday morning we all woke up to hear that something had indeed hit the fan on Wall Street. Kinda made you wish you could exchange that first cup of coffee for a real morning martini, didn’t it?

Because I fluster easily I began to worry about all things financial. What would happen to our investments? What about our savings? All these questions swirled around in my head and turned me into a true nervous Nellie.

Mr. Pop left for work and I remained all worked up. CNBC was discussing the calamity on Wall Street. Fox News was all a twitter about Obama’s association with Rev. Wright and MSNBC had Larry Kudlow on saying that everything financial wasn’t as bad as it appeared. The combination of all these reports was enough to make my head spin.

I made a wise decision and turned the damned TV off. I walked outside to the backyard and was standing there allowing my thoughts to simmer down.

That’s when I heard a familiar sound. I looked up to see a gorgeous sight. Above me were six scissor tailed kites. They were calling and soaring on the wind currents. This is the third year these birds have shown up in the neighborhood at this time of year. If this is like the previous years, they are about to begin their nesting season and share the neighborhood until sometime around the beginning of July.

Watching those birds was like a liniment to my nerves. All the tension drained away and I found myself smiling.

What a beautiful way to end such an ugly day’s beginning.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Where do we go from here?

Five years ago this week the US invaded Iraq. Some call that a “mistake”, I call it a crime. Think about all that has occurred during those five years.

As we are all painfully aware, our country is in economic misery right now. There isn’t much if anything we can point to that makes us feel positive today.

We know of the events of the past five years. With that in mind, what condition will our country be in five years from now? Where do you think we go from here?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fred the Cat copes with lots of “ducks”

What a weird week this has been! First, Pop’s computer connection went on the fritz, then her little coo coo clock followed suit, and finally her icemaker began to fail.

You do not want to be around this house when Pop can’t use the computer and can’t rely on sufficient ice at happy hour. You hear more “ducks” than you can imagine.

I have kept a low profile, my friends (said in my best John McCain cat voice) I decided she didn’t need anymore frustration, so I have been on my best cat behavior. No hairballs littering the floor. No teasing her pretending that I’m going to bite her. I think I should get an extra bag of Cosmic catnip for my sweetness and understanding, don’t you?

This weekend the clock will go to the clock doctor and the man will come next week to fix the icemaker. Hopefully the “ducks” can take a rest real soon.

I hope your week has been lots better than ours has been. Here’s to each of you having a grand weekend filled with fun.

Fred the Cat (the cat who loves you guys)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The good. The bad. And the frustrating

If I started telling you the many frustrations we have had this week trying to get out computer back on line, I think I might explode. So much time was wasted due to the fact that the first person we talked to at tech support didn’t know or didn’t care what she was doing. We were on the phone with her for 45 minutes last Saturday and waited four days to receive the cable she said she would send out.

Finally we decided to give it another stab and we called support again. This time we got a great guy, he diagnosed the problem in less than five minutes, and sent out the new modem via UPS overnight. Now that’s professional service!

Trouble is the new modem didn’t work. So today a tech came to the house and bingo chango, I’m back on line.

I kinda had mixed emotions about being computer-less. I missed the hell out of knowing what was going on, on the net, and finding out what you guys were up to, but I did find myself with lots of time to do lots of things that had been patiently waiting for me to get around to them.

So two good things came from this experience. I have a shiny new DSL modem and I have a shiny clean house to match.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Damned Computers!

I am sitting here in Mr. Pop's lab office on Saturday afternoon typing this because my home computer threw a fit today. Support says it may be the modem or a dozen other things, so the goddess of computers only knows when I can post again.

Please hang in there with me and let's hope this mess gets fixed before the week is out. Damned computers! You can't live with them and you can't live without them.

See ya when all computers things return to normal.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Fred the Cat with a comment

Oil is over $100.00 a barrel. Two wars are still going on and people are still dying in each of them. Americans die because they don’t have proper health care here in the US. The president is allowing your phones to be tapped without a warrant. All this and so much more, yet we are hearing that Rush Limbaugh and Saturday Night Live are able to influence the way the country is voting?

What the hell is going on in the human world? Have a lot of people allowed their brains to atrophy? Why aren’t they using them these days?

Sorry folks, but I’m just a Florida feline, but even I can see that things are horribly, terribly, worrisomely “ducked” up.

I don’t mean to be snippy this week but I’m frustrated as hell with the human race.

Having gotten that off my furry chest, I wish you a pleasant and hopefully sane weekend.

Fred the Cat (the cat who loves you guys)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Varoom! Varoom! And transformers too!

We managed to stay out of the eye of the motorcycle storm in Daytona, but we couldn’t avoid the thunder completely.

The inn where we stayed was off the beaten motorcyclists path but we did find something interesting. Wednesday morning we went into the dining room for breakfast. Like many such dining rooms at inns, it was decorated with antique furniture. There were antique linens on the table along with fine old china. Everything about the breakfast experience was very refined and sedate.

There were gentlemen having breakfast there who appeared to perhaps be retired doctors or lawyers. They blended in with the ambiance of the room perfectly.

Later in the morning these same gentlemen emerged from the inn in a transformed persona. They were dressed all in leather. Harley Davidson bandanas were placed securely over their silver locks. They went outside and opened the trailers behind their cars. From those trailers they led out some of the most amazingly beautiful motorcycles I have ever seen. These bikes were truly works of art. They revved up these machines and right before our eyes, these courtly gentlemen from the genteel breakfast table became bad assed biker dudes. Varoom! Varoom! With their transformation complete, they rode away leaving their own thunder in their wake.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Guess who is going to Bike Week

This is Bike Week in Daytona Beach, Florida. Thousands of bikers will be there and having all kinds of fun and frolics. Guess who’s heading up there today. Yep, Mr. Pop and yours truly.

It just so happens that Mr. Pop needs to attend a meeting up there tonight and another in the morning. When the meetings were scheduled, no one noticed the date coincided with Bike Week. And no, Mr. Pop nor I have ever ridden a motorcycle.

I’m guessing the traffic will be a nightmare. We know the rates at hotels and B&B’s are double their usual rate. Finding one with a vacancy is difficult. We just happened to get lucky and landed a reservation at a little inn where we have stayed before. Restaurants will be jammed as will just about everything else during Bike Week.

This could be interesting. And just for the record, I have no intention of publicly exposing any parts of my female anatomy no matter what anyone promises me in return.

See ya back here Thursday.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sad Economic Indicators

We were out running errands Saturday and also stopped by the salon so that I could get my hair trimmed. I had an appointment and when I walked into the salon there was only one other customer there. This time of year, down here in Florida, that place should have been buzzing with customers.

I asked the cosmeticians who work there, what was going on? Why so few patrons? The told me that due to the economy, a lot of people were putting the cost of going to a salon on their luxury list rather than their routine list.

This beauty salon is in financial trouble. Also, two of the ladies who work there are doing battle with Countrywide regarding their homes. One of the ladies is smart but Countrywide is messing with her head to try to justify a huge increase in her fixed monthly mortgage payment. The other lady made a stupid mistake and as a result, her home is in foreclosure.

This is so depressing. Two upscale well know furniture stores here have gone out of business. There are houses for sale, houses in foreclosure, and abandoned houses on every street. Small businesses are dropping like flies. Something is happening and it’s not good. When large businesses and small ones are closing, you have to wonder, where do we go from here?

I’m curious, besides the glut of empty homes, have you noticed anything in your area or town like what I’m seeing here?

(I’m posting this Monday post on Sunday night because my computer has been acting a little freaky when I wake it up in the mornings. Rather than screw with it in the morning, I’m posting now, Sunday night, while it’s wide awake and not a bit freaky.)