Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Boy, I'll Drink To That...!

Most of us have suspected this for a long time!

Heck, even Willie Nelson had a line in one of his songs that said "there's more old drunks than there are old doctors"! I never knew that there was any proof until I read this story in CNN!

Why Do Heavy Drinkers Outlive Nondrinkers?
By John Cloud Monday, Aug. 30, 2010

One of the most contentious issues in the vast literature about alcohol consumption has been the consistent finding that those who don't drink actually tend to die sooner than those who do. The standard Alcoholics Anonymous explanation for this finding is that many of those who show up as abstainers in such research are actually former hard-core drunks who had already incurred health problems associated with drinking.

But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that — for reasons that aren't entirely clear — abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one's risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers' mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers.
(See pictures of booze under a microscope.)

Moderate drinking, which is defined as one to three drinks per day, is associated with the lowest mortality rates in alcohol studies. Moderate alcohol use (especially when the beverage of choice is red wine) is thought to improve heart health, circulation and sociability, which can be important because people who are isolated don't have as many family members and friends who can notice and help treat health problems.

But why would abstaining from alcohol lead to a shorter life? It's true that those who abstain from alcohol tend to be from lower socioeconomic classes, since drinking can be expensive. And people of lower socioeconomic status have more life stressors — job and child-care worries that might not only keep them from the bottle but also cause stress-related illnesses over long periods. (They also don't get the stress-reducing benefits of a drink or two after work.)

But even after controlling for nearly all imaginable variables — socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support and so on — the researchers (a six-member team led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin) found that over a 20-year period, mortality rates were highest for those who had never been drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers and lowest for moderate drinkers.

The sample of those who were studied included individuals between ages 55 and 65 who had had any kind of outpatient care in the previous three years. The 1,824 participants were followed for 20 years. One drawback of the sample: a disproportionate number, 63%, were men. Just over 69% of the never-drinkers died during the 20 years, 60% of the heavy drinkers died and only 41% of moderate drinkers died.

These are remarkable statistics. Even though heavy drinking is associated with higher risk for cirrhosis and several types of cancer (particularly cancers in the mouth and esophagus), heavy drinkers are less likely to die than people who have never drunk. One important reason is that alcohol lubricates so many social interactions, and social interactions are vital for maintaining mental and physical health. As I pointed out last year, nondrinkers show greater signs of depression than those who allow themselves to join the party.

The authors of the new paper are careful to note that even if drinking is associated with longer life, it can be dangerous: it can impair your memory severely and it can lead to nonlethal falls and other mishaps (like, say, cheating on your spouse in a drunken haze) that can screw up your life. There's also the dependency issue: if you become addicted to alcohol, you may spend a long time trying to get off the bottle.
(Comment on this story.)

That said, the new study provides the strongest evidence yet that moderate drinking is not only fun but good for you. So make mine a double.

Now that we have that all settled, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit, OK? Raining outside, so it's too wet to sit on the patio!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Some Pictures Of The Family...!

All in all, Saturday was a good time and a good gathering!

Plenty of folks were there, and most all of them brought food! That's always a good thing, ya know? The main thing about all that food is that it's hard to find a stopping place!

I've put a few pictures here, but I've got so many I may have to publish a few of them at a time!

The first one is a picture of Mom working on a baby quilt. She loves to quilt, as you can tell if you saw her sewing room and her quilts in the den!

In this next one, a couple of my grand nieces are petting C.B., the smallest of my cats. Once the cats decided that the kids weren't going to eat them, they didn't mind the petting! Surprised me a lot!

Here is a picture of Mom with nearly all the great grand kids! Out of all the grands and great grands that were here, all were girls! Don't know why somebody doesn't have some boys...! It sure would help to even things out.

Lastly, here is a picture of Mom, my sister "B", her daughter and daughter's husband, and their kids!having twins is tough, but having twins that are two years old...OUCH! Double trouble!

That's all the pictures I'll put on today. Later, I'll show some more. Don't want to bore you too much at one time! I'll bore you a little at a time, I promise!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit out on the patio this morning. I'll show you some more hard copy pictures, if you want!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Soothing Sunday...!

Since I don't really have a post for today, I'll cheat and put this video on instead!

This is one of my favorites. I know you have seen it before, but I'll show it again anyway! Hope you enjoy it!

If nothing else, it might just help wake you up and get the juices flowing.

How about some fresh coffee outside? Before it gets too hot, ya know?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Smile Because It's Saturday...!

I figured that being Saturday, you might just need tis to get through the weekend!

Some of them might even be fun to quote in a crowd! If nothing else, folks will look at you funny and give you a pretty wide berth!

Sardonic Wisdom

(and maybe a little sarcastic too!)

Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.

It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced,
you can't be promoted.

Always remember that you're unique.
Just like everyone else.

Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive,
try missing a couple of car payments.

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

If at first you don't succeed,
skydiving is probably not for you.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving .

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.


Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

There ya go! Just something to make your weekend a little bit better!

Now, my friends, how about some fresh coffee on the patio? I'll shut up, I promise!

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm Telling You, I'm Not Dead...!

Sometimes the simplest of things seem to take forever to get straightened out.

Paperwork errors are the biggest threat to many agencies and individuals, especially those that deal with thousands of cases. However, when a mistake is found and pointed out, you would think it would be a simple matter to get it resolved. Not so, as this story in the Chronicle points out!

Disabled vet wins war over VA blunder

Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle
Aug. 25, 2010, 11:14PM

John Paul Scott wasn't sure he'd heard correctly.

"It's in the computer system that you're deceased," repeated an official from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"What are you talking about?" Scott asked.

The 39-year-old Army veteran from Houston had been calling the VA's hotline twice a day for weeks to check the status of his disability claim. This time, on July 12, the VA official who answered the phone informed Scott he would no longer be receiving benefits because, according to VA records, he had passed away in April.

Scott suffers from vision problems traced to his service in the first Gulf War. In 2008, the VA had cut his monthly disability check by $2,000. Scott appealed. On June 25, he had finally won.

Now a bureaucratic blunder meant that Scott faced a Kafkaesque dilemma: As far as the VA was concerned, he was dead. His disability payments instantly halted. His medical prescriptions stopped. Scott, already in dire financial straits after the reduction in his benefits two years ago, feared he would end up on the street.

First thing the next morning, Scott went to the Houston VA Regional Office on Almeda Road and spoke to a woman at the front desk. Scott gave the woman three forms of ID and filled out a form: "I was told by the Department of Veterans Affairs that someone entered in their computer I was deceased," he wrote. "I am not. Please reinstate my benefits immediately. Thanks, John Paul Scott."

The woman took the IDs and paperwork and returned 10 minutes later to inform Scott that his status on the computer had been corrected from dead to alive. But his disability benefits remained at zero.

Scott said VA officials told him they would pass on the corrected information to the finance section so his benefits could be restored.

A few days later, however, a disconcerting letter from the VA arrived at Scott's home. The letter, dated July 14, was addressed to the representative of the estate of John Paul Scott.

"We are sorry to learn of the death of the beneficiary and wish to express our sympathy," the letter stated.

Delay after delay
In the next paragraph, the letter explained that any money received from the VA after the date of death must be returned. Since Scott supposedly had "died" in April, his estate would have to repay two months worth of disability payments sent to him since then, for a total of $2,002.

Scott continued to call the VA hotline twice a day, only to be told the VA was still working on his case.

"They'd say, 'It only needs maybe two more signatures and it'll be finalized,' " he said. "And they were telling me that for like a month and a half."

In desperation, Scott sent the VA a copy of a default statement from his mortgage company.

"Please forward this to the holder of my file and I can only pray that the error is corrected in time before I become a homeless veteran," he wrote.

VA officials contacted by the Houston Chronicle could not explain the mistake .

"A thorough review of Mr. Scott's records indicate that his benefits were erroneously terminated during a batch processing of death claims on July 9, 2010, at our Hines, Illinois, facility," VA spokeswoman Jennifer Heim said in a written statement. "A veteran is added to the batch-processing list when Department of Veterans Affairs receives the First Notice of Death from a family member or their designee. We are unable to determine what initiated Mr. Scott to be on this list."

'Damage control'
The Houston VA Regional Office and the VA "take incidents like this very seriously and took immediate action to rectify the situation," Heim said.

Scott said his benefits were restored only after a Texas Veterans Commission advocate told VA officials in Houston that Scott had scheduled an interview with the Chronicle. Within days, the VA deposited more than $40,000 in retroactive payments in Scott's account, including his regularly scheduled payment for the month of August, newly increased from $981.50 to $3,039.

"They were afraid of what was going to be reported in the article and at least by correcting it, they could minimize the damage," Scott said. "That's all it was. They jumped into damage control."

He's relieved that his ordeal is over, but Scott worries about the untold number of veterans in financial distress because of incorrect records and red tape.

"It's disgusting, and I hate it because when I think about how much I have to do to get this corrected, there's a lot of older veterans out there who may not have the patience or the time or may not be in physical health to do what I did," he said.lindsay.wise@chron.com

You know, we all make mistakes and I can certainly understand how such a large organization such as the VA can make a few now and again. However, fixing them should NOT take an act of Congress or an exceedingly long time, when a person's very existence is dependent on the outcome!

I'm a very strong supporter of the VA, as you all know...but in a case like this, I wish they could be a little more proactive in their efforts to solve such problems!

Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside. We can wait for the promised cooler weather to show up!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This Is Bad, Really Bad...!

I always hate to hear a story like this in the news.

When ever an old disease makes it way back into the news after causing a death, it's a sad thing. As if we didn't have enough tragedy in our lives today, this ugly killer comes back from our past to call attention to itself by doing what it does best...killing!

In most cases here in the states now days, the proper treatment can bring health back into the picture. But, as we all know, this is one sickness you can't mess around with. Left untreated, death is certain!

Louisiana reports first human rabies death in 60 years

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said a Hispanic field worker died over the weekend of rabies.

The victim was initially taken to a hospital in New Roads and transferred to New Orleans, where he later died.

Lisa Faust with DHH confirmed the case is the first human death in Louisiana attributed to rabies in more than 60 years.

The department reported it has contacted the victim's co-workers and tested them.

"We are in the process now of discussing the case with members from the hospital as well as his co-workers," said Marilyn Reynaud M.D. with the Office of Public Health.

Health officials are continuing to follow up on their treatment.

DHH added the man, who is unidentified at this time, contacted rabies in Mexico and brought it to the U.S.

"Rabies is rare in the U.S. Because of the incubation and the time from when he entered the country we are reasonably sure this was most likely contracted while he was still in Mexico. The epidemiology investigation is still going on. That investigation actually is in participation with Mexico through the Center for Disease Control," added Reynaud.

Disease experts with the CDC report all mammals are susceptible to rabies, but only a few species are important as reservoirs for the disease.

In the U.S., distinct strains of rabies virus have been identified in raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes.

Several species of bats are also reservoirs for strains of the rabies virus.

Transmission of rabies virus usually begins when infected saliva of a host is passed to an uninfected animal.

The most common mode of rabies virus transmission is through the bite and virus-containing saliva of an infected host.

One thing about any disease is that it doesn't care whether you're rich or poor, or what country you're from, or what you're politics are! When it strikes, it does so with equal abandon, respecting none.

Let's just hope that the old saying is NOT true...that "Misery loves company"!

Let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit. Maybe we can see a silver lining hiding in some of those clouds above!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's Going To Be Crazy...!

My big sister "B", is in town from North Carolina for a week to visit Mom.

In order to celebrate her visit and uphold a family tradition, we are having a family get-together this coming weekend! Really, it started off as a memory celebration of my Father's birthday. However, over the years it has been changed, both in date and in focus in order to accommodate every one's schedule and all the other reasons, like out of town relatives.

Anyway, because we are having a family party this weekend, and because this song has been bouncing around in my head the past few days...I wanted to play it here to see if, by playing it, I can get it to go away for a day or so!

I'm sure that a lot of you probably remember this song, if not the movie! I like it...and can't stop tapping my foot when I hear it!

Now you know what the reason is, in case I don't post for a day or two! I'll try and get some pictures up on here while my sister is here!

Now, how about some coffee in the kitchen? Raining outside, which is nice for a change!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So You Think Our Traffic Is Bad...?

Just when we think about how crazy things are getting for us, a story like this points out that other countries are having a rough time as well!

This story in Reuters points out that crazy is the same all over the world! Now, this goes a lot further than anything I've experienced as of late, but as much as I hate to stand in line, I can certainly feel sorry for those involved!

Chinese drivers sit it out in 9-day traffic jam

Credit: Reuters/Jason Lee

BEIJING | Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:31pm BST

BEIJING (Reuters) - The end may now be in sight for frustrated drivers who have endured a nine-day, 100 km- (60 miles) long traffic jam on a highway leading into Beijing, state media said Monday.

The snarl-up has been caused by roadworks, which are not expected to finish for another month, state news agency Xinhua said on its website.

Drivers, mainly of freight-carrying trucks, have had to kill time playing cards, and have complained that local people are taking advantage of them by selling food at inflated prices, the report said.

The traffic stretched back all the way into the nearby provinces of Hebei and Inner Mongolia, it added.

But state television said the situation had now "basically returned to normal."

While China is spending billions of dollars on infrastructure such as roads and railways, it is still struggling to keep up with the demands of the booming economy, and traffic jams are common.

(Reporting by Maxim Duncan; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

I guess that just because a country controls the majority of the money in the world right now doesn't mean that they have figured out their traffic problems any better than we have. Sort of seems to bring us all a little closer together, doesn't it? Then again...maybe not!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit. Not much traffic outside today in my neighborhood!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Novel Approach To Punishment...!

I think that this dad had the right idea about just how to most effectively punish his daughter!

Not only does he not have to worry about the PTB interfering with his right to punish, but I'm sure that the daughter would hate to have this type of behaviour made public again.

This may just be a case of "once being enough" and if it works then it's something that more parents might want to try!

Dad buys newspaper ad after daughter breaks curfew

Aug 20, 11:18 PM (ET)

SOUTHLAKE, Texas (AP) - A Texas teenager who broke curfew is headed for a reluctant adventure in baby-sitting.

Robert Rausch placed an advertisement offering his daughter's free baby-sitting services in the community newspaper in Southlake, a wealthy suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth that is home to business leaders and professional athletes.

The advertisement names Rausch's 16-year-old-daughter and says, "Want a FREE BABYSITTER for a night out?" It explains that she is in trouble for missing her curfew and offers 30 hours of free baby-sitting.

Rausch says he wanted to discipline his daughter and help others at the same time. And it appears his daughter has already learned a lesson. She says she won't violate curfew again or throw any more late-night parties.


Information from: KXAS-TV, http://www.nbcdfw.com

So simple that it's a beautiful idea! It might just get the message across! Personally I think it's a win-win situation! More power to Dad on this one!

How about some coffee on the patio this morning?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Now This Is A Big Cat...!

Normally when someone says "big cat", our first thought is something like a lion or tiger.

However, this particular cat is of the house cat variety! As such, I would say that it's definitely a really big cat! I'm glad I don't have to pay the food bill of a pet like this!

Fat cat gets photo in 'Ripley's Believe It or Not'

The new Ripley's Believe It or Not! title, Enter If You Dare!, includes an entry on a weight loss clinic for pets. Sounds like a great concept for the TV series.

In 2009, the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals started a fat-fighting club for animals with weight problems, and Socrates the cat was one of nine chosen animals.

The fat cat from Newcastle, England, loves to eat cheese-and-onion potato chips and weighs a massive 22 lb. This is more than double his ideal weight and makes him "morbidly obese."

Now, I feed my cats pretty well. In fact, sometimes I feel that they eat better than I do.Lucky for me, neither of them seem to like potato chips and, judging from the above photo, that's probably a good thing!

As long as they stay out of my coffee and my chocolate...we'll get along just fine!

Now, let's get some coffee ad sit in the kitchen for a bit! Too hot to be outside!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I'm Gonna Make Your Day...!

Just in time for your week-end, I'm gonna give you some news that should help you to enjoy yourself even more!

In an article I read at CNN, both chocolate and coffee have some positive health effects for you!

That got your attention, didn't it? I'm going to put the two parts that deal with both chocolate and coffee right here, but for the other so-called "bad habits" that may be good for you...you can read the whole article right here!

A daily chocolate fix:
Our experts gave a hearty thumbs-up to nibbling a little chocolate every day -- as long as you stick to a square or two of the dark kind, to minimize sugar and fat intake and maximize the benefits. (The temptation to overeat this sweet treat accounts for it not making it into the top three.)

Dark chocolate and cocoa may help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke, and provide other cardiovascular benefits, multiple studies have shown.

"Dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids, believed to improve the flexibility of blood vessels," Goldberg explains. "That can help lower blood pressure and also make blood vessels more resistant to plaque buildup."

Chocolate's rep as a go-to comfort food when you're upset has science behind it, too. A study published late last year found that eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced stress hormones in highly anxious people. Check for at least 75 percent cacao content to get the most bliss for your bite.

Your morning java:
It's completely OK if you need it to pry your eyes open in the a.m. A wealth of research suggests that coffee doesn't just pick you up -- it fights heart disease and some cancers, and it may even help you push through harder, longer workouts.

Moderate coffee-drinking in middle age has been associated with lower risks for dementia and Alzheimer's. And a 2009 review of more than four decades of research found that for every additional cup of coffee you drink each day -- high-octane or decaf -- your risk of developing type 2 diabetes shrinks by 7 percent, possibly because chemicals in the beverage improve your body's insulin sensitivity and increase metabolism.

Enjoy up to two cups a day; more than that may leave you jittery or rob you of that precious number-one pleasure -- sleep

Now that should make your days off just a little more guilt free, or at least a tiny bit more enjoyable! Just trying to do my part!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside! It's good for ya, remember?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Some More Bad Guys In Texas History...!

Here is a little more Texas history involving outlaws, crooked law enforcement folks, and the strange ways of justice!

Texas has changed a lot in many ways...and stayed the same in many more since all this took place! Sometimes the wheels of justice roll slowly, but sooner or later what goes around, comes around!

This story from yesterday's Chronicle explains the whole thing, except for how a guy that was sentenced to 25 years for killing at least 14 people, got out of prison so early and then, to top it off, was able to become a lawyer!

Today in Texas History: Lawman kills John Wesley Hardin

On this date in 1895, a crooked constable named John Selman killed the notorious mass murderer John Wesley Hardin in a gunfight at El Paso's Acme Saloon.

Hardin was born in 1853 in Bonham and was known for his violent personality at a young age. In 1867 he stabbed another youth in a schoolyard squabble, and at age 15 he shot and killed a man during an argument.

In the fall of 1868 he claimed to have killed three Union soldiers and another soldier the next year. As he made his way up the Chisholm Trail, Hardin killed at least ten men and then four more upon returning to Gonzales County.

Texas Rangers tracked him down and captured him in Pensacola, Fla., in 1877. Hardin was tried for murder, convicted, and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

He was pardoned in 1894.

Hardin had been studying law while in prison. After his release, he was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Gonzales County and then in El Paso.

In El Paso, he began seeing a woman married to one of his clients. When the husband found out about the affair, Hardin hired several law officials to kill him.

Constable Selman, an Arkansas native, was one of the hired killers, and was rumored to have killed Hardin because Hardin never paid him. Selman was tried for Hardin's murder but released when the trial ended in a hung jury.

Selman died shortly thereafter in a gunfight.

Hardin and Selman are both buried in El Paso's Concordia Cemetery.

Did you noticed that the Texas Rangers tracked Hardin all the way to Florida and arrested him there? Gotta love those Rangers!

Let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit! We can swap some historical facts!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You Dirty Rat...!

This may be a good idea or medical tool in the future, but for some reason, I'm just not comfortable with it!

Call me crazy, call me old fashioned, but there's something about having a big rat the size of a dog close enough to me to be sniffing around that just makes me nervous!

To me any rodent that's bigger than a rabbit is NOT something I want to be around! Maybe that's just me, but I have a feeling that I may not be alone in this!

Dog-sized rats sniff out TB in patients
Eric Nathan

Yes, it's nearly as big as a chihuahua but don't be afraid. Rodents of unusual size, such as this one, could save your hide. A pilot program in Tanzania has trained them to detect land mines and also sniff out tuberculosis.
Chris Tachibana writes: Could a giant, spit-sniffing rat save your life? Maybe — they can be better than humans at diagnosing tuberculosis.

A pilot program in Tanzania is using trained rats to smell TB in sputum samples. Up to 1,000 samples a week are collected from local hospitals by APOPO, a nonprofit that also trains rats to sniff out landmines. Although the TB samples have already been checked by a human under the microscope, the rat pack’s sniff tests have improved disease detection by 44 percent because the clever rodents often find TB that was missed.

While the World Health Organization estimates that 2 billion people around the world are infected with TB, it can be hard to detect under a microscope, particularly in those who are also HIV positive. That’s where the giant rats can help. They might turn out to be just as accurate at finding TB. They're low-tech and could screen for TB in resource-limited countries. They’re also faster than the standard microscope test, says Bart Weetjens, APOPO founder. A human with a microscope can process 40 samples a day. A rat can do 40 in seven minutes, he says.

Weetjens, who was inspired by a childhood pet rat, started APOPO in the 1990s to train giant pouched rats, which are native to sub-Saharan Africa, to detect land mines in the region. The rats were so good at sniffing out hidden bombs that in 2003, APOPO started training their nosy little friends to smell TB in a spit sample. Currently working with a team of 30 rats, APOPO is now optimizing their unique program, so in the future, it might be used in other communities.

Rats aren’t the only creatures making medical diagnoses. Dogs can also be trained to find disease in humans, like smelling urine samples for signs of cancer. (One little terrier recently chewed off his owner’s big toe after sniffing out a dangerous diabetes-related infection.)

But in a nose-to-nose contest, Weetjens says rats are better than bomb- or disease-sniffing dogs.

"Whatever dogs can detect, rats can detect equally well," he says, noting a rat can be trained for one-fifth the cost. "They're more calm than most small animals, very intelligent and social, and they love humans."

Rats’ reputation as disease-carrying vermin is exaggerated. Weetjens says that in 12 years of working with the giant rats, no one at APOPO has gotten sick from them. The rats themselves are resistant to TB and many tropical diseases. "They're really lovable creatures," says Weetjens. "Like a pet you can work with."

I know that a fear of things like big rats is a little primal, but regardless of how long that fear has been around, I still don't mind admitting to having it firmly seated in my genes...

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio. No rats around that I can see!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Little Airline Humor...!

As much as I hate flying, I really enjoyed this sampling of airline humor sent to me from my baby Sis!

I figured you might like a grin this morning as well, so I wanted to share it all with you! Maybe you can use them next time you fly!

Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg. Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced,
"People, people we're not picking out
furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"

On another flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."

"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."

"Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."

As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"

After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo, a flight attendant on a flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."

From a Kulula employee: "Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't
know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."

"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favourite."

“ Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember,nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines."

"Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."

"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings.

“Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.."

And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"

Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landing in Cape Town: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."

Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town, on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"

Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing:

"We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his plane into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment.
Finally everyone had got off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question? "Why, no Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?"
The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"

After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg , the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tyre smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.."

Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today.. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of Kulula Airways."

Heard on a Kulula flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."

A plane was taking off from Durban Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.
Welcome to Flight Number 293, non-stop from Durban to Cape Town, The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight.. Now sit back and relax...
OH, MY GOODNESS!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my trousers!"
A passenger then yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine!"

You have to just love an airlines that can laugh at itself! Now if we could teach Congress to do that, that would be something!

How about coffee on the patio? We can sit in the rain, while it last!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Now This Is "Tough Love"...!

You don't see this very often, and it's a shame that we don't!

In my day, this is exactly the kind of "tough love" that I would expect from my parents in a case like this!

Of course, that was a different time. That was in a day when the rules were well established and the boundaries were clear! I knew that when I screwed up, I would be punished...period!

My parents were not mean, but they insisted on obedience and truthfulness. If I got in trouble at school, I got in trouble again at home! That's the way things were, and I was aware of that from the git-go! If I did wrong, it was on me and I had to face up to it!

Angry mom refuses to bail out teen son accused of car theft

August 2, 2010

BY KIM JANSSEN Staff Reporter kjanssen@suntimes.com

A teenager accused of stealing a pizza delivery guy's car was chewed out by a judge -- and his mom -- Sunday morning in court.

Ravontay Hutchins, 17, allegedly stole the 1996 Acura Integra after the driver left the keys in the ignition and the engine running outside Pompeii, 1531 W. Taylor, at 9:20 p.m. Saturday.

Two cops on a lunch break at the restaurant heard about the theft and quickly put out a description of the stolen car, which the delivery guy was following in another car, police said.

Hutchins and a 14-year-old accomplice were soon arrested after a brief foot chase in the 1300 block of South Albany, prosecutors said.

At a hearing Sunday in Cook County Criminal Court, Hutchins' mother told Judge Peggy Chiampas that Hutchins' father was serving with the military in Iraq and that she'd done everything she could for the boy, who was "spoiled."

When Chiampas set Hutchins' bail at $25,000, his mother told the judge "I've got [the money to bail him out], but he's staying here, locked up!" and stormed from the courtroom.

Chiampas praised her, saying, "I want to know why there's not more parents like this. ... I applaud her for her truthfulness."

As Hutchins was led back to the cells, she told him, "You think about that, while your dad's in Iraq."

In addition to a felony charges of possession of stolen motor vehicle, Hutchins, of the 1200 block of South Throop, also faces a misdemeanor battery charge and several traffic citations.

Maybe if more parents and care givers did this kind of thing, there would be fewer numbers of kids in serious trouble! Time to go back to "do the crime...then do the time!"

Let's have some coffee in the kitchen this morning. I'm too tired to fight the heat!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Little Jail House Justice...!

I'm just guessing, but I think this may only be the start of this inmates future fun-filed days behind bars!

Seems like even the bad guys have their own ideas of punishment for some offenders, and this particular inmate may just wish he had stayed i Honduras before it's all over with!

Try as I may, I somehow can't feel sorry for this guy!

Inmate needed stitches after attack

Aug. 15, 2010, 11:32AM

A Harris County jail inmate awaiting trial for murder beat up a young illegal immigrant accused of robbing and fatally shooting a 14-year-old girl in the back as she was walking home Aug. 6.

Melvin Alvarado, 22, one of two men charged with capital murder in the death of Shatavia Anderson, was beaten Thursday evening, sustaining serious enough injuries that he required a trip to a hospital and stitches, said Alan Bernstein, with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Alvarado is in the U.S. illegally and has been twice deported.

Accused in Alvarado's beating is Robert Williams, 38, Bernstein said.

A volunteer inmate crew at the county jail on San Jacinto entered Alvarado's cell about 5:30 p.m. Thursday to clean it during the one hour he is allowed out of it daily.

Williams "pushed his way" inside the cell and assaulted Alvarado for "a few moments," Bernstein said.

A detention officer pulled Williams off Alvarado, but not before Williams beat him, leaving him with cuts, swelling, bruising and injuries to a right eye and left ear, Bernstein said. He was unsure which particular injury required sutures or how many were required.

Alvarado was taken to LBJ Hospital for treatment; Bernstein was unsure if Alvarado's care required him to stay overnight or when he returned to the jail.

Alvarado was back in a cell Saturday — at a different jail, on Baker — and treated in the medical unit there, he said.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office did not bring charges against Williams because he already is facing a higher-level murder charge, Bernstein said.

Williams will, however, face the jail system's in-house discipline, under which he could lose credit for good time served, commissary privileges and visitation, Bernstein said.

Also charged in the girl's murder is Jonathan Lopez-Torres, 18, a native of Honduras and a lawful resident of the U.S.

Shatavia's family earlier this week publicly called for tighter restrictions on immigration.

The girl, who would have been a freshman at Nimitz High, was discovered the morning of Aug. 7 in a field adjacent to the apartments where she lived in the 1100 block of Langwick.


Maybe the courts will start to catch on that sending some prisoners to jail in Texas is a good way to help them see the errors of their ways! But then, maybe not!

I hope he heals fast, because like I said...I think this is only the beginning!

How about some coffee in the kitchen? Too darn hot outside!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Now This Really Sucks...!

Do you believe in vampires...?

Well, here's one you can definitely believe in and stay away from! These things are ugly, especially up close! I've seen them in the Houston zoo, and I don't want to be around them at all!

Killer vampire bats attack 500 people

Rabid vampire bats have attacked more than 500 people in Peru's Amazon, leading to the deaths of four children.

The attacks occurred in the village of Urakusa, in northeastern Peru, where the indigenous Aguajun tribe lives. At least four people are believed to have succumbed to rabies as a result.

Medical supplies and vaccines to treat those infected with rabies have been sent to the tribe.

Rabies, a virus that causes acute inflammation of the brain, is usually spread to humans by dog bites and has an incubation period that can last several months.

Health teams are looking for people in communities within 6 miles (10 km) of the outbreak who were attacked by bats any time in the last six months.

Jose Bustamente, a Health Ministry official, said 97 percent of the 508 people who were bitten have begun receiving an anti-rabies vaccination. It is expected that the rest -- some of whom have rejected treatment -- will be vaccinated in the next few days.

I guess the main thing to remember here is that a lot of different animals can carry rabies, so please...PLEASE have all your pets vaccinated!

So now, my friends, let's have some coffee on the patio! Don't have to worry about bats around here...except the ones in my belfry!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Practicing To Be A Zombie...!

Just when you think you have seen all the different types of cruelty that folks can heap on one another and on defenseless animals, there pops up a story like this one!

Thanks to this story I found in the Houston Chronicle, we can safely assume that the "Zombies" are out there and functioning just fine in their own sick way!

One of the scariest parts about this, is that the guy was actually driving around the streets! Just imagine if he suddenly decided that he wanted to have a young child for supper!

How in the world did his guy manage to slide under the radar without someone seeing some kind of danger sign that this sick-o was anything but normal?

I'm thinking we should double up on the chlorine in the gene pool! I can only hope he didn't have a chance to reproduce!

Cat saved from alleged torture in trunk
Associated Press
Aug. 10, 2010, 4:26PM

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Police say a traffic stop led to animal cruelty charges after they found a live cat “marinating” in oil and peppers in the trunk of a car.

Buffalo police say officers heard the cat meowing when they stopped 51-year-old Gary Korkuc of Cheektowaga to ticket him for running a stop sign Sunday night.

They say they checked the trunk and found 4-year-old Navarro in a cage, his fur covered with oil, crushed red peppers and chili peppers.

Police say Korkuc told them he did it because Navarro was ill-tempered. Korkuc was charged with cruelty and released; his phone number isn’t listed.

Police say he told them he was going to cook Navarro. But they say Korkuc also complained that the neutered male cat got pregnant after he was spayed.

Animal advocates have cleaned Navarro and put him up for adoption.

All I can say is that it's a good thing they got lucky and got this deranged idiot off the streets before he started on people! One more example of just how far away from sanity a few of us are!

Looks to me like maybe we should open "Zombie Season" a little early, ya think?

Let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen. Too hot to go outside this morning!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Do You Fear Friday The 13Th...?

If you do, you aren't alone. This fear, called Triskaidekaphobia has been a problem for a long time!

Many stories and myths surround the origins of the belief that Friday 13Th is an unlucky day, and it's really hard to pin down exactly when the myth started. There are, in fact, so many different origins reported that I couldn't put them all here!

What I did was to choose two that I feel make the most sense, if there is such a thing when it comes to superstitions like this!

Anyway, it makes for some good reading!

The actual origin of the superstition, though, appears also to be a tale in Norse mythology. Friday is named for Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility. When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished in shame to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil — a gathering of thirteen — and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as "Witches' Sabbath."

Another theory about the origin of the superstition traces the event to the arrest of the legendary Knights Templar. According to one expert:

The Knights Templar were a monastic military order founded in Jerusalem in 1118 C.E., whose mission was to protect Christian pilgrims during the Crusades. Over the next two centuries, the Knights Templar became extraordinarily powerful and wealthy. Threatened by that power and eager to acquire their wealth, King Philip secretly ordered the mass arrest of all the Knights Templar in France on Friday, October 13, 1307 - Friday the 13Th.

So there ya go! A little something to think about while we have some coffee on the patio! Don't worry...no bad luck here! Cross my heart!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Baited Breath" Or "Bated Breath"...?

Dizzy Dick asked the question the other day "what exactly is baited breath?"

Not knowing what the answer was, I decided to do a little research and found some interesting facts about this idiom! I always hate NOT knowing the answer to something when folks ask me, ya know?

Sometimes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing! You'll see what I mean as we go along, so stay with me!

The correct spelling is "bated breath", not "baited breath" which has become the most common use. Bated is actually a shortened version of the word abated, which means paused or shortened! William Shakespear was the first writer to be known to use the idiom in his writings.

"Moneys is your suit.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
"Hath a dog money? Is it possible
A cur can lend three thousand ducats?" Or
Shall I bend low and in a bondman's key,
With bated breath and whispering humbleness,
Say this:
"Fair sir, you spat on me on Wednesday last,
You spurned me such a day, another time
You called me dog; and for these courtesies
I'll lend you thus much moneys?"

Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice, act 1, sc. 3, l. 119-29.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet.

Nearly three centuries later, Mark Twain employed it in Tom Sawyer: “Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale”.

This actually makes more sense when you stop and wonder just how one would "bait" their breath! This does, in fact, pose an interesting question...and the answer can be found if you look hard enough!

For instance, Geoffrey Taylor humorously (and consciously) captured it in verse in his poem Cruel Clever Cat:

Sally, having swallowed cheese,
Directs down holes the scented breeze,
Enticing thus with baited breath
Nice mice to an untimely death.

It's all in how you look at it, I guess! One of those things that we sometimes wonder about for most of our lives! So there ya go...another one of life's little mysteries solved for ya by the Hermit!

I know what you're thinking! That the Hermit has way too much time on his hands! You're probably right, but exercises like this help to keep me off the streets and out of the pool halls! I wonder if that's a good thing or a bad thing!

After all, I used to learn a LOT of new words at the pool hall! Don't think I should include most of them here, just in case!

Coffee on the patio before it gets too hot this morning. Oh, and bring any extra rain with ya if you have any, OK? We need it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Now For Something Completely Different...!

The instrument is a Theremin! This instrument was invented way back in 1927 and despite this, a lot of folks have never heard of it!

In the hands of an accomplished player, it can make some beautiful music! It creates a very haunting sound, and is played without ever touching!

Anyway, I thought I would put a couple of videos of the Theremin in action. See what you think?

Like I said, very unusual music from an unusual instrument! Helps to slow down the mind and lets us appreciate the beauty in a simple tune or melody!

Now, let's get some coffee and sit on the patio. We can smell the roses together, OK?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Are You Crazy...?

Somehow this report doesn't surprise me one little bit!

I mean, I always thought that most folks in prison had to have a mental problem in the first place...and this story does indeed point out just how scary this situation is.

One of the really bad things about it is that the majority of these people are going to be released without treatment of any kind! Reason enough to worry, but consider that there is probably many more just as bad that are already walking the streets!

If you don't believe that, just read any paper or watch any newscast! Parents killing or beating their children, home invasions, carjackings, kidnapping, rape...the list goes on and on! My friends, these are NOT the actions of totally sane individuals!

When you figure in the complete collapse of the moral fiber that once was the rule, other than the exception, and it should come as no surprise that so many are suffering from inner demons! Probably would be an act of kindness to put a lot of them out of their misery, but then who is going to judge them?

The Justice system is so broken in this country right now, that a slap on the wrist is becoming more and more the action of choice. This is NOT justice and is by no means true punishment!

So, get ready for another wave of crazies to be running the streets and rural roads around your homes, courtesy of the totally screwed up system now in place!

16 percent of Texas inmates suffer mental illness

© 2010 The Associated Press
Aug. 7, 2010, 7:03PM

SAN ANTONIO — At least 16 percent of Texas inmates are mentally ill and some counties in the state don't follow a law passed last year requiring a swift psychiatric evaluation of those suspected to be mentally ill, according to a newspaper investigation.

The San Antonio Express-News reported Saturday that courts are supposed to order the exams before proceeding with trials in a process designed to usher inmates who need help into treatment. Instead, many inmates languish in their cells for months or years, waiting for hospital beds to become available.

In the Bexar County Jail, about 21 percent of inmates suffer from mental illness. About 100 of the jail's inmates are waiting for beds at the state hospital, Bexar County Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz said.

But such beds could soon become even more scarce. The state Health and Human Services Commission has proposed slashing 183 beds from five state hospitals in the next two years, including 44 beds in San Antonio. It's part of a statewide cost-cutting move in the face of budget shortfalls.

The problem isn't just in San Antonio. Statewide, there are about 350 nonviolent inmates on a forensic bed waiting list. Such beds are for defendants deemed too mentally ill to stand trial.

"I've got 103 in jail right now waiting to go to the state hospital," said Ron Stretcher, criminal justice director of Dallas County.

Information from: San Antonio Express-News, http://www.mysanantonio.com

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside! Maybe it's still safe for a little while, ya think?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Taking The Day Off...!

Sorry...I need a break. Gotta take a day off!

Sorry for the inconvenience, folks!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ticketing The Dead...?

I realize that a lot of cities are having a hard time making their budgets stretch, but this report makes me wonder!

Sometimes I wonder if these folks are really paying attention to what's going on around them. Judging the circumstances, I'd have to say "NO"...!

This whole thing sounds like a real comedy of errors from the get-go!

Dead man gets ticket for parking too long in 2-hour zone

By Jill Kimball
Seattle Times staff reporter

A parking-enforcement officer unknowingly gave a parking ticket to a dead man in the driver's seat of a car Tuesday afternoon.

The officer had marked cars with chalk at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and returned just after noon to find one car with a chalk mark still parked in the same place. The zone where the car was parked, on the 1700 block of Airport Way South, was a 2-hour parking zone.

The driver, a 36-year-old man, was seemingly asleep in the driver's seat. The officer rapped on the window to wake him and tell him to move the car, but she got no response. The officer assumed the man was a sound sleeper and put a $42 parking violation on the car's windshield.

About a half-hour later, police got a call from the man's girlfriend, who with a friend had found his car. She'd called a car dealer to get the vehicle's GPS position, police said. The girlfriend found all four doors unlocked, the sunroof open and the man unresponsive.

Seattle Fire medics pronounced the man dead at the scene.

The cause of death is unknown, Seattle police said, and there was no sign of violence. Fire Department medics said the man probably had died early Tuesday morning, hours before the parking-enforcement officer marked the car's tire.

The man's girlfriend said she had last seen him at about 9:45 Monday morning, according to a police report. She'd tried to call his cellphone at about 12:30 p.m. that day, but when the phone picked up all she heard was music before the call was disconnected. When she tried to call back, she got the man's voice mail and assumed the phone's battery had gone dead.

A witness reported seeing someone moving around in the car Monday, when it was apparently parked in the same place. Later that day, around 4 p.m., the same witness returned to see a man apparently asleep in the driver's seat. When the witness returned at noon Tuesday, he saw the same car still parked on the block and the man in the same position.

The man's girlfriend and some friends drove around Monday night trying to find him or his car, but had no luck.

Police never found the man's keys, wallet or cellphone in his clothes or anywhere in the car.

Jill Kimball: 206-464-2136

Somehow, I don't feel any better knowing that the ticketing officer couldn't tell the difference between a sleeping driver and a dead one. I guess it's a good thing they don't work anywhere in the medical field!

Sounds like another prime candidate for a government job to me! What do you think?

Let's have some fresh coffee on the patio today. Sure could use a rain shower!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Permit Police" Go After The Children...!

Sometimes the absolute absurdness of how far the PTB are willing to go just to feel powerful shows up clearly in their actions!

I guess that dealing with and trying to push around the grown-ups was a bit too scary, so the next step was to go after the children! Of course! What else can you expect from the jerks who make a career out of harassing innocent people just trying to make a little pocket change?

When the agents and inspectors and high stepping "Defenders of the Rules" start taking on the children...I think it's time for us to help them make an attitude adjustment!

Ya know, it's bad enough for those of us that are older to be continually robbed and shoved and prodded and hassled, but when you start trying to do that to our children and grand children...you best be ready for a fight! That's what one of the bosses realized what was ahead!

Oregon girl not bitter after lemonade stir
Shut down by county officials, she's back in business

Aug. 6, 2010, 4:26PM

Julie Murphy, 7, shown at her lemonade stand in Portland, had to pack it up at an arts fair when a county inspector found she and her mother didn't have a restaurant license.

PORTLAND, Ore. — After a county inspector squeezed out a kid's lemonade business, so many Oregonians puckered up in disgust that the county chairman had to pour on a little sugar.

The apology sweetened up some sour feelings and made Julie Murphy, 7, eligible to resume selling her Kool-Aid-and-water concoction for 50 cents a cup.

Last week at a local arts fair, Julie and her mother were surprised when a county inspector asked to see their restaurant license.

They didn't have one. The inspector told them they would face a fine of up to $500 if they didn't stop selling lemonade.

Other vendors urged Julie and her mother not to leave. A second inspector arrived and the two inspectors were surrounded by a crowd of vendors supporting Julie and her mother.

Ultimately, Julie and her mother packed up the stand, and Julie left the fair crying.

But Julie has prevailed.

Jeff Cogen, chairman of Multnomah County, says the health inspectors were "just following the rule book," but they should have given the girl and her mom a break. On Thursday, he talked with Julie's mom to apologize.

"A lemonade stand is a classic, iconic American kid thing to do," Cogen told The Oregonian. "I don't want to be in the business of shutting that down."

And how does Julie feel about this?

Her mother, Maria Fife, said she and her daughter appreciates the apology.

But the sweet and sour tale of lemonade stands at the Portland art fair might not yet be over.

According to the Oregonian, one vendor at the local arts fair is planning a "lemonade revolt" the next time the fair is held — later this month.

Cogen says he doesn't know what he'll do if a bunch of fair vendors try selling lemonade without a license.

As it turns out, lemons may present county officials with something of a pickle.

Maybe the "permit police person" was just trying to audition for a job with the fedgov, ya think? Lord knows, with an attitude like his, he should fit right in with the others of his kind!

Now, let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit! I need something to get this bad taste out of my mouth!

Friday, August 6, 2010

If Life Gives You Lemons...!

One of the easiest fruit trees to grow in many areas is the humble lemon tree!

A good, productive lemon tree can give you way more lemons than you think you can handle. However, if you want to know how to get the most out of your lemons, here are just a few suggestions. Hey, it certainly beats trying to drink all that lemonade, right?

For a sore throat or bad breath, gargle with some lemon juice.

Clean discolored utensils with a cloth dipped in lemon juice. Rinse with warm water.

Toss used lemons into your garbage disposal to help keep it clean and smelling fresh.

Use one part lemon juice and two parts salt to scour chinaware to its original luster.

A few drops of lemon juice in outdoor house-paint will keep insects away while you are painting and until the paint dries.

Remove scratches on furniture by mixing equal parts of lemon juice and salad oil and rubbing it on the scratches with a soft cloth.

To make furniture polish, mix one part lemon juice and two parts olive oil.

To clean the surface of white marble or ivory (such as piano keys), rub with a half a lemon, or make a lemon juice and salt paste. Wipe with a clean, wet cloth.

To renew hardened paintbrushes, dip into boiling lemon juice. Lower the heat and leave the brush for 15 minutes, then wash it in soapy water.

To remove dried paint from glass, apply hot lemon juice with a soft cloth. Leave until nearly dry, and then wipe off.

Rub kitchen and bathroom faucets with lemon peel. Wash and dry with a soft cloth to shine and remove spots.

Fresh lemon juice in rinse water removes soap film from interiors of ovens and refrigerators.

Create your own air freshener: Slice some lemons, cover with water, and let simmer in a pot for about an hour. (This will also clean your aluminum pots!)

Fish or onion odor on your hands can be removed by rubbing them with fresh lemons.

To get odors out of wooden rolling pins, bowls, or cutting boards, rub with a piece of lemon. Don’t rinse: The wood will absorb the lemon juice.

Save lemon and orange rinds to deter squirrels and cats from digging in the garden. Store rinds in the freezer during the winter, and then bury them just under the surface of the garden periodically throughout the spring and summer.

After a shampoo, rinse your hair with lemon juice to make it shine. Mix the strained juice of a lemon in an eight-ounce glass of warm water.

Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with two tablespoons of salt to make a rust-removing scrub.

Before you start to vacuum, put a few drops of lemon juice in the dust bag. It will make the house smell fresh.

Get grimy white cotton socks white again by boiling them in water with a slice of lemon.

Clean copper pots by cutting a lemon in half and rubbing the cut side with alt until the salt sticks. Rub the lemon onto the metal, rinse with hot water, and polish dry.

Suck on a lemon to settle an upset stomach.

OK, now that we have taken care of the over abundance of lemons...what say we get some fresh coffee and sit out on the patio for a bit? Like a piece of lemon pie with your coffee?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Break Out The Rope...!

Once in a while, there is a crime that just screams for strong, strong justice!

I count among these two of these worst I know of ...crimes against children and crimes against older people! Especially helpless, bed-ridden older people! There is a special place in Hell for people that not only commit this type of crime, but think it's funny to do so!

I would like to be the one in charge of deciding what the punishment would be, but I can't say what without offending some of the readers of this article!

Suffice it to say, what I have in mind is not for the squeamish!

Greasy prank at Calif. nursing home leads to 6 arrests

© 2010 The Associated Press
Aug. 3, 2010, 9:14PM

UKIAH, Calif. — Six former Northern California nursing home employees are under arrest on charges they covered several elderly patients with cream to make them slippery as part of a prank against their co-workers.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced the arrests Tuesday, calling the alleged abuse "despicable behavior."

All of the patients at Valley View Skilled Nursing Facility in Ukiah suffered from dementia, Brown said, and were unable to object to their treatment.

The six employees have been fired. They face one misdemeanor count each of injury to elder or dependent adult; battery committed on elder or a dependent adult; conspiracy; and battery committed while on hospital property.

Bail has been set for $7,500 each.

I'm not sure what kind of sicko finds any humor in this, but I would caution you NOT to laugh at this type of action when my friends and I are around! You might be in for a very nasty surprise, believe me!

C'mon, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside! Climbing up to another 100 degree day, so we have to hurry with the first cup!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Way To Look At Age...!

Some days I feel my age more than I do on others, but I guess it's the same for every one.

This video helps to look at age in such a way that it somehow doesn't seem as bad! After all, it's all in how you perceive it, don't you think?

Maybe this will help to soften up the edges of those days when age seems to be winning the battle! Just a thought!

Now, my friends, how about some fresh coffee on the patio? It certainly can't hurt!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gotta Watch Those Nursing Home Vitamins...!

As all of us age, we know it's important for us to get our fair share of exercise.

It helps the circulation and the muscle tone, not to mention the cardio!

As far as the choice of exercise, it just depends on doing whatever you decide on and doing it on a regular basis! One thing to watch out for is to not over-do. This old guy might be able to handle a little more exercise than a lot of us, certainly more than I could handle!

Check this out...!

If you notice some of the older members of your family acting like this, you might want to check and see what kind of vitamins they have been taking...not to have them stopped, but to order some for your own use! What ever this old guy is having, I need some for myself!

How about some coffee on the patio this morning, my friends? Dance if you want to!

Monday, August 2, 2010

This Too Shall Pass...!

Just when you think you've heard all the stupid things that people can do, something like this comes along!

The greed and ignorance of some folks just simply amazes me...daily! Why in the world would someone take this kind of chance with their life? The money wasn't even that good considering the possible outcome!

Trafficking suspect held
He's accused of swallowing 85 cocaine condoms


It took five hours and four minutes, but a suspected drug trafficker finally surrendered the spoils: 85 condoms of cocaine he allegedly swallowed and intended to smuggle from Houston to France.

Housrou Kedji is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Friday after being caught as he tried to board an Air France flight leaving Bush Intercontinental Airport. He is charged with two counts of drug-trafficking.

The 42-year-old citizen of the African nation of Togo gave up 2.2 pounds of his illicit cargo while sitting on a special no-flow toilet under the eyes of federal agents and doctors at a local hospital.

Kedji's undoing apparently began when tried to board the Flight 639 four weeks ago.

He was so nervous he drew the attention of Customs and Border Protection inspectors questioning travelers, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

The night of his arrest, Kedji's hands were shaking, his heart was racing, and he gave conflicting stories of what he'd been up to while visiting Houston, the affidavit says.

He supposedly confessed that he had traveled to Houston from Togo, and was headed to Switzerland. His pay for the job was to be 5,000 Euros, or nearly $6,500.

The cocaine was parceled into packets of a few grams apiece and wrapped in the condoms. Suspicions were confirmed by a hospital X-ray machine.

One risk is death
Known as "swallowers," such traffickers face risks on two fronts.

Getting caught by federal inspectors could mean prison. Having a condom break could unleash a brutal overdose death.

In other instances, swallowers have been known to use the sliced off tips of latex gloves.

It is unclear how Kedji will plead to the two trafficking-related charges when he is brought before a magistrate.

Kedji requested a French interpreter. His lawyer, Melissa Martin, declined to comment.

Problem for Houston
Mike Vigil, a retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was the director of international operations, said the arrest underscores how Houston is a trampoline for sneaking narcotics not only into the United States from South America and Mexico, but on to Europe and elsewhere.

The odds of catching Kedji were about zero, if he had just stayed calm and blended into passengers leaving the country, Vigil said.

"A lot of these guys may be a first-time courier," he said. "They are perspiring and do stupid things to bring attention to themselves.

"You get these guys thinking, 'I am going to get caught, going to go to the jail,'" he said. "They are at the point where they are shaking."


Stories like this almost make you ashamed to admit that these folks are part of the same species! We can only hope that this kind of stupidity isn't catching!

Almost wish one of those condoms had sprung a leak!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen. It's way too hot to sit on the patio...sorry!