Saturday, September 30, 2006


Based upon what we know so far, do you think there should be a criminal investigation into the activities of Florida Congressman Mark Foley?

Friday, September 29, 2006

More Info on Fred the Cat

Remember last Friday we saw Fred the Cat hiding his face from the camera. We speculated that Fred might be in the Federal Feline Witness Protection Program. Perhaps he might be a spy or have his picture posted in the Post Office as one of the most wanted..

This photo adds to the mystery. It would appear that Fred the Cat is receiving some sort of secret message as he listens attentively to a seashell. Wonder if the NSA knows about this method of communication?

I must keep a vigilant watch over this creature and monitor his every move. He may be hatching some nefarious plan. I don’t like the looks of this.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Day of Change and Not a Good One

This is going to be a bad day here at Pop-ville. A bulldozer will be lunar-scaping the vacant lot next door. There are several dead pine trees on the lot. They fell victim to stress from the last three hurricanes to roll through here and then became infested with tree killing beetles. The owner of the lot feels it is more economically feasible to clear the entire lot rather than to take down only the dead trees and he’s probably right.

This lot is home to at least two black racers (snakes), several box turtles, at least one raccoon and several opossums, that I know of. Not to mention it is foraging habitant for birds of all sorts.

Where will these animals go if they survive the bulldozers attack? There isn’t much undeveloped land around this area for them to relocate to without harm.

Today the view from my kitchen window will be transformed from lush greenery to flat sand and dirt. It’s not going to be a good day for me and for the soon to be displaced animals who live next door to me. A change is coming and it’s going to be ugly and sad.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

So, What’s the Excuse?

There are no al Qaeda there. There are no insurgents there. There is no sectarian violence there. So why hasn’t there been more progress in the repairing and rebuilding of New Orleans and the surrounding areas?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Brand New Day

Isn’t this one of the prettiest new days you have ever seen? I took this photo from the balcony of our room when we were in Ft. Lauderdale the other week. I’m pretty sure that looking at it for a couple of minutes will lower your blood pressure a couple of notches.

The only sounds you hear on a morning like this are the occasional calls from early rising gulls and the gentle waves as they caress the beach. Simply Mother Nature and the rhythm that is good for the soul.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Weight of Reality

This weekend I kept the posts here light and airy. I felt I had to do that for you and for me. Sometimes the news and world events seem just too difficult to deal with on a daily basis.

Between the multitudes of deaths in Iraq, the attempt by Fox News to make President Clinton appear to be a crazy man and the news confirming that the war in Iraq has been a recruiting tool for terrorism, there isn’t much to feel good about.

I awoke early this morning and my mental processes wouldn’t let me go back to sleep. My brain wanted to make me think about the things I mentioned above. Sometimes my brain and its mental processes are not my best friend. It demands that I deal with reality even when I don't want to and think that I can't.

I know I'll deal with these realities as I always do, but damn, it sure would be nice to get a break and have some good news to think about, just for a change.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pet Peeves and You’re a Lawmaker for a Day

I think we all have pet peeves, things that drive us personally nuts. Some are minor, but aggravating none the less. If you were a lawmaker for a day and could make anything illegal, what would it be?

I would make it illegal to pour anything into a martini glass but a gin or vodka martini. None of this cutesy drink business, a pure martini is the only thing that is worthy of resting inside the hallowed walls of these fine glasses. Anyone who cracks their gum would risk being behind bars too.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Welcome to a New Season

Welcome Autumn. We have been looking forward to your arrival. You bring with you the crisp chilled air and the lovely colors. You give us time to think back upon our summer memories and look forward to the beauty of winter. You are the season which brings one year’s growth to an end and allows all living things to rest and prepare for the new life of the coming spring. Autumn we surely wish you could also bring with you the gift of peace.

No spring nor summer
Beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in
One autumnal face
-John Donne-

Now it’s your turn. What does Autumn mean to you?

(The picture was taken in my own back yard three days ago. The plant is native to Florida and its common name is appropriately enough, Beauty Berry.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Federal Feline Witness Protection Program

I learned something about Fred the Cat yesterday. Apparently he is in the federal feline witness protection program. Just as I aimed my camera at him, you can see what he did. He quickly covered his face with his paw.

I knew he had a life before he wandered up to my backdoor a few years ago, but I had no idea he was involved in something like this.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Swift boating Their Own

Seems the armada has turned some of its swift boats around and now they are attacking their own.

“Last night on the O’Reilly Factor, former New York Senator Al D’Amato (R) and Bill O’Reilly debated Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) insistence that the U.S. follow the Geneva Conventions in its treatment of all detainees. D’Amato said McCain should receive “a pass on this” because he was “so traumatized by the events that took place” during his captivity in the Vietnam War. The trauma, D’Amato argued, put McCain in such a mental state that he was not in “a position to consider the impact of what his restrictions would do.”

“Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) outspoken opposition to Pres Bush on the torture issue has elevated what was a low hum to an increasingly noisy buzz about the possibility that the freshman senator will draw a primary opponent in '08.”

Isn't it amazing what some Republicans will do to cover bush's criminal ass?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Three Questions

Seriously, what is going on with President bush? What makes him do the things he does? What do you think his real goals might be?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Here’s your Clarification

Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions forbids “outrages upon personal dignity” and “humiliating and degrading treatment.”

President bush wants a clarification of Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions.

I believe I can do that for him. Common Article Three forbids the sort of treatment he would not want one of his daughters subjected to in the rare event that one of them should ever enlist and be taken captive by the enemy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

When the Lavender Roses Bloom

Lavender roses make me think of my grandmother on my father’s side of the family. I have no real rationale for this, they just do.

Maybe it’s because their beauty is out of the ordinary. All roses are beautiful but there is just something about the lavender ones. My grandmother was like that, she had her own kind of beauty.

Of my little handful of happy childhood memories, times with her make up most of them. When she came to visit she magically always had a deck of Old Maid cards in the pocket of her house dress and even more magically, she seemed to always have time to play that game with me. If I asked, she had time to read to me too. She was so very dear and so very special.

Just like the lavender roses, she was different from the other people in my life and a different beauty in my garden of memories.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

In His Memory

In May of this year I posted a story about my friend. Yesterday I learned that he passed away August 29. I will not cry about his death but I will always celebrate his life and all that he shared with me. Because of my acquaintance with him I know I am a better person in so many ways.

If you weren’t with me when I originally posted about my experiences with him you may read it here.

He shared so much music and literature with me over the precious few years that we were friends. In his memory, I want to repost my favorite of all the poems he shared with me.

Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost

As I went down the hill along the wall
There was a gate I had leaned at for the view
And had just turned from when I first saw you
As you came up the hill. We met. But all
We did that day was mingle great and small
Footprints in summer dust as if we drew
The figure of our being less that two
But more than one as yet. Your parasol

Pointed the decimal off with one deep thrust.
And all the time we talked you seemed to see
Something down there to smile at in the dust.
(Oh, it was without prejudice to me!)
Afterward I went past what you had passed
Before we met and you what I had passed.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Coming Home to Torture Questions

We came home yesterday, a day earlier than we had planned. Frankly, we became sick of seven dollar bottles of water and fourteen dollar martinis. What a rip. If, as a guest of the hotel, you wanted to sit in one of the hotel’s chairs down on the beach, there was a fee to be paid. There was a fee for everything. We decided to come home where the martinis are cheap and the water is basically free.

I sort of tuned out on the news these past couple of days. You have to sometimes to hang onto your sanity, as I’m sure you too have learned. As we were packing to leave yesterday I heard the president was going to give a news conference in the rose garden. Due to the timing this would happen while we were in transit. After I got home I discovered C-Span was going to replay the whole thing. So I watched and listened.

Sadly, our country is debating how much, if any, torture we will condone. Where did we lose our way? Where did we lose our sense of humanity? When did we become such frightened children that we close our eyes to sensibility?

I have not heard one professional interrogator say that torture actually works to retrieve good information from those who have been captured. Torture gets you what the captive feels you want to hear. That’s what is so bizarre. We don’t need information that we want to hear, we need information that tells us something we didn’t know.

For the president to threaten that we will not be able to conduct interrogations if it’s not done his way is just short of blackmail. He says it’s his way or no way. That’s just not true and hopefully America will see through his rhetoric and bluff.

The president wants his illegal acts to be made legal. That’s not the way we do things in America. That is unless we are no longer living in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We must show this president that America is brave enough to remain free. We will not lose our souls to the enemy or to his administration. Our reputation as a country is far more important than covering his illegalities for him.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Day One in Paradice

You guys should see this hotel, very nice! What an icredible view of the ocean.

I already have some pictures to bring back. Also, I practiced drinking a martini on the beach last night. I'll practice again tonight and keep going till I get it right.

I watched Tucker try to dance last night. Hope he hasn't quit his day job. I was embarassed for him. What was he thinking when he agreed to do that show?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Watching it all over again

Yesterday I watched the rerun of the NBC’s coverage of the events of the morning of September 11, 2001. It was very interesting to view what was then live coverage with a more objective and clearer mind than most of us had that day. The perspective was so different.

I noticed that the very children, who bush didn’t want to upset when he was told of the events that morning, were used as a backdrop for him when he made his first statements to the nation. Even when our country was so upset and confused, someone thought to put those children behind him for whatever reason.

Another detail which I had missed that day, five years ago, was a report that morning by Andrea Mitchell that stated that the FBI’s first responders in their terrorists division were all out on the west coast at a pre-planned drill. She also said that at that time they were so frustrated because due to all planes being grounded, they had no way to get back to NYC. Don’t know when or how they got back. What luck for the terrorist, huh?

Because my computer is still having trouble with its email files, it must go back to the tube doctor this morning. He can keep it for a couple of days since Mr. Pop and I are leaving today for Ft Lauderdale for the duration of this week. Happily, Mr. Pop will be taking his laptop with him so hopefully I can continue to post daily. I may not post as early each day as I usually do since Murphy won’t be there to wake me before the crack of dawn.

While Mr. Pop is attending meetings daily I will explore the area and do the wonderful stuff you get to do when you aren’t at home. Things like shop, not worry about what’s for dinner, not make the bed and not be responsible for feeding the pets or much of anything else.

If for some reason I can’t post from down there, I will be posting again after we return and my computer comes home next weekend.

Anything you would like me to bring back to you? Let’s just say the sky is the limit, what would you like?

(Hopefully I can bring you some fun pictures too)

Monday, September 11, 2006

This Day, Five Years Ago

Where were you on September 11, 2001, and what were you doing when you heard what was happening?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tagged, so here goes

A book that changed my life
I’m not sure any one book changed my life. Lots of books have had a deep and emotional effect on me. Mostly stories I read as a kid because they allowed me to see that life could be much better than what I saw around me.

A book I've read more than once
“A Land Remembered” and also “Angel City”, both written by Patrick D. Smith, are the first two that come to mind.

A book I would take with me if I were stuck on a desert island
Some sort of survival guide because I would definitely need it. I’m not good at roughing it. My idea of roughing it is staying in a hotel that doesn’t leave chocolate on your pillow after evening turn down service. I’m kidding, sort of.

A book that made me laugh
Name any Hiaasen book here and it’ll fill the bill. Carl Hiaasen’s books take me out of this strange world we live in today and into and even stranger world, but that world is funny.

A book that made me cry
When I was little, my mother read "Black Beauty" to me and I cried. That was the first book that made me cry and I surely did cry a lot.

A book that I wish had been written
The Two Term Presidency of Mr. Al Gore and his Amazing Accomplishments

A book I wish had never been written
The Left Behind books because I feel they have given people false hope and distorted the view of a lot of innocent yet gullible people.

A book I've been meaning to read
"Hubris", by Michael Isikoff and David Corn. I will be purchasing it this weekend.

A book I'm currently reading
I’m in between books as of right now. The last two I read were “The One Percent Doctrine” and “Cobra II”. As soon as I get "Hubris" in my sweaty little paws that’s what I’ll be reading.

I was tagged for this by the following
Mimus Pauly

If I missed anyone please forgive me. Let me know who you are and I’ll sign your tab for all your drinks.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Nothing New?

After the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report was released, Tony Snow said the information it contained was nothing new.

Okay fine, if the administration knew all along that the information given to them by Chalabi was false, why isn’t Chalabi in jail? Why isn’t the man who gave them false information and caused this country to invade another country, being held to answer for what he did? His lies resulted in thousands of deaths among other tragedies. Why does he now hold a position in the Iraqi government? Was that his reward for what he did? Why didn’t the administration look into his motivations at the time he was giving them what now clearly has become false information.

It would seem to me that the administration should have become irate when they discovered that they had been misled into war. In any other walk of life what Chalabi did would be considered a crime, but if you recall, Chalabi was on the US payroll at that time.

Makes no sense to me. Something about all this appears to be very shadowy and seamy, but with this administration, that’s nothing new either.

(For background on Chalabi, here’s a long and very in-depth article written in 2004)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Computerette Goes to the Tube Doctor

Today, as soon as I post this, Mr. Pop is taking my little friend, Computerette to the doctor. Seems she has some problems with her “tubes”. She can’t find her email files and she’s kinda confused. Remember last weekend she went into a coma for a whole day and she couldn’t go online? The next day she came out of the coma but that was when she said she couldn’t find her email files.

She seems to need some technical attention so that’s why she’s going to the “tube” doctor today. Hopefully it will only be an outpatient visit and she won’t be sent to the hospital for the weekend.

I will miss my computer just as much as I will miss you guys.

So until Computerette comes home, be sweet to one another and let’s hope she returns with a clean bill of computer health.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Backyard Ballet

Look at them. Aren’t they beautiful? Four ballerinas all dressed in their beautiful white ballet gowns. Two of them twirl while two others look on. Maybe the two observers are students and they are watching and learning the dance.

Oh, you say all you see are toadstools? That’s too bad because you are missing such entertainment. Allow your imagination to take you to this lovely show. It will, you know.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wildlife Educators

Since the death of Steve Irwin, I have read where people called him everything from an aggravator of animals, to an idiot for taking his child in the pen with a crocodile. My own opinion is while he may have aggravated some animals, that aggravation went a long way toward educating the public about why the animals are important to our environment and why we must respect their future and allow them wild places to do their wild things.

Having spent some years working with wildlife at a wildlife rescue center, I saw how badly the public needed education about their own communities and the wild creatures who shared their neighborhoods.

I raised an orphaned baby opossum. She was a gentle creature from the day I took her into my care. At that time she was about the size of a mouse. After feeding her and encouraging her to go to the bathroom, she would wrap her tiny arms around my finger and sleep in the warmth of my hand.

She grew up to continue to be just as gentle. We would take her to schools and clubs to demonstrate what opossums were all about. I would pick her up and she would wrap one of her front legs around the back of my neck while sniffing the air around us. People would come up and pet her and talk to her. They were always amazed that her fur was very soft and she didn’t smell bad. I never bathed her, she took care of that just as cats do.

Okay, yes she lived in a cage at night and no she didn’t have a “typical opossum’s life”. She traveled around my house with my three cats following her, and I’m sure the cats were wondering what in the hell she was. She never showed any aggression toward the cats nor them toward her. She did not live a “normal” life but I know she did more for her species by being an educational animal than probably anyone else could have.

Little kids loved her as did adults once they got past their old ingrained ideas of what a opossum should be. I’m pretty sure when those kids grow up, they will not see opossums in the wild quite the way their parents did. They learned that they aren’t nasty vicious animals. They are just little animals trying to live and share the earth. One little opossum taught them that when no one else could.

So if Steve aggravated some animals but saved the lives of others in the process, then I think Steve was a hell of good guy! He only used a few animals to secure the future of so many more. Steve was not an idiot, Steve was an educator. He had a dangerous job but so do many other people. Steve made a difference for wild things and wild places.

(Some interesting things you might not know about opossums here)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


It’s Tuesday morning and I have a little sticker on my shirt that looks like it says, I OTED. Actually it says, I VOTED, but the “V” is kind of funky looking and its color blends too much with other parts of the sticker.

Yep, we were at the polls when they opened this morning. Not because we were so eager, but to avoid what I hope will be a rush later today.

Sadly, the incompetence of the people working our voting precinct was once again quickly evident as we walked up to the table where we are given our ballots.

The lady handling the books in which our last name would appear was very very old and obviously nervous. There were two books of names in front of her. One book went from names beginning with A through names beginning with D. The next book went from E through H. She looked at my voting card and driver’s license and then proceeded to pick up the wrong book. She scanned every name in that book and then looked up at me very perplexed. I suggested that she might try the other book. Then she opened that book and instead of scanning until she got into the ball park where my name might be, she began reading each name on each page until she finally got to my name.

Bless her heart, she was just old and not really the person who could be doing this expeditiously. Meanwhile, the lady who was to man the little machine that you feed your ballot into after your vote, was running around yelling that she didn’t know how to use that machine or where to plug it in. She was demanding that someone stop what they were doing and show her what to do.

This experience today was about par for the course in my history of voting in my precinct. Last time I voted, the person who gives you your ballot was a man and he questioned why my maiden name is listed as my middle name on my drivers license. I had to convince him that that is the way the state of Florida printed it on my license. He continued to look at me as if I might be trying to pull a fast one on him.

Here’s how I believe a lot of voting precincts could be improved. Give high school, Jr. college or college students extra school credit for volunteering to work at the polls. Get the ones who are responsible and dependable. This could serve two purposes. I think it would improve the flow of voting and at the same time it might get these people interested in the politics of their community at a fairly young age.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Caught in the Trap

Many American workers are finding themselves caught in a trap. The bait used in that trap were the tax cuts promised by bush when he ran in the 2000 election. Many Americans envisioned receiving these refunds and were blind to everything else about the candidate. They walked right into the trap.

Sadly, while they were munching on the cheese, this administration made it almost impossible for them to declare bankruptcy. If they got into debt over their heads, the escape hatch was all but gone. One door shuts on the trap, and hardly anyone notices.

Next, the interest on mortgages drops to some sweet smelling lows. Then the price of houses goes insane. A house that would have hopefully sold for $70,000 five or six years ago, would now easily sell for over $200,000. Most young families couldn’t afford such prices. So up springs the trick or treat mortgages. All sorts of tricks to get the prospective buyer to treat themselves to a home purchase. There were interest only mortgages and all sorts of adjustable rates and payment plans. This kept the workers and their families in the trap and lured them even farther inside.

The last door just slammed shut on the trap. The housing bubble is beginning to pop. The people who purchased the highly overpriced houses are now stuck with a house that isn’t worth what they paid for it and those tricky mortgages are creeping up on the homeowner. They are finding they can’t afford to keep the home and they can’t sell it for what they originally paid for it. Since bankruptcy is not an option to many of them, what can they do? Some are letting the bank repossess their home while others are having to find a third or fourth job to make ends meet. And, they are surely in no position to be able to afford to demand decent working hours, conditions, benefits or wages.

Sadly that last trap door’s noise, as it shut, was the only one anyone seemed to hear. While the administration crows about more people owning homes in the US than at any other time, they fail to mention that many of those homeowners are now in a position where they must decide how or if they can live with those homes. There seem to be few, if any, ways out of the working American homeowner’s trap.

(Woke up my computer this morning and clicked on a link to find that I am now able to get back on line. We haven’t a clue what happened. Maybe the magic computer fairy came during the night. This is very strange but very nice to be back in cyber world again.)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Computer FUBAR

I'm typing this from a secure undisclosed location because my own computer is FUBAR. It refuses to go online. No clue why.

Don't know how soon I'll get this baby fixed so that I may post again, but hang in there with me, I'll be back. Hopefully this problem is geek fixable and soon.

Nothing quite ruins your day like a F-ed up computer, right?

Hope your holiday weekend is going well and I'll see you again just as soon as I can.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Impeachment is Not Enough

Dan Bartlett, was on Hardball last night and said that he wants to know how the Democrats plan to get out of Iraq. I would turn that question back on him and ask what is the Republican plan for getting out of Iraq. How many more have to die before their plan kicks in? This stuff about our standing down when they stand up is pure bullshit. So many of them are getting killed every day that it seems like more of them are laying down in graves than standing up. Sadly our own losses keep increasing too. Will America be there until no one is trying to kill anyone else?

Mr. Bartlett also mentioned what bush said not so long ago, as he quoted one of the generals, that if we leave Iraq now the enemy will follow us home. Who will follow us home, the Shiite or the Sunnis? Osama already knows where we live and he’s still alive and able to give directions. And how in the hell will they get here? Are they gonna hop on their ships or their planes? We know they can’t bring their shampoo with them. We know they might or might not be on our no-fly lists. We know that Senator Kennedy was, for sure.

Enough already! They gotta stop with this desperate mindless drivel. Bottom line, they got themselves into a war without giving it a second thought and now they can’t get themselves out. Their plan to spread glory over the middle east was a dismal failure. It’s time for them to face the music. They failed our country miserably. They lied, cheated and stole from all of us. And now for the topper, they tell us if we question this blood bath they have created we are just like the people who “appeased” Hitler. When American leaders turn on the American people who disagree with their decisions and actions, you know they are desperate. Rumsfeld seems to feel he is infallible. He isn’t. He’s a very large part of the problem. He’s just one more of the crooks.

I won’t be happy with just an impeachment, I want the bastards in prison, and I want them there for the rest of their lives. By the way, that would still give them a longer life than most of our dead soldiers were allowed. No, impeachment is not enough, there must be imprisonment too.