Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And So It Begins...

Destruction. Of my bathroom, hall bathroom and laundry room. Today. Bang Bang.

Kitchen counter demolition slated for one week from tomorrow.

Will get some pictures going here soon.

Meanwhile, I've refined my Reelect the Governor speech for tonight's Candidate Night in White Salmon. I hope to be home in time for Jon Stewart. If my speech comes early in the program, I will be. I've heard everyone else's spiels already.

Wish me luck.

Update: Man, I worked so hard to get my speech to 3 minutes, chock full of good stuff to counter the 'misinformation' coming from the other side. I got to the event, and the county Gregoire coordinator was there (he wasn't supposed to be) and took my spot. Dang. I was READY. He was okay but he didn't know what was coming...the same guy was there for Rossi. And he was even nastier than last time. I guess I'll turn my speech into a letter to the editor, instead. Humph.

The good thing was, I got home in time for The Daily Show. It was THE BEST EVER, with Bill Maher as guest. If you missed it, go online and watch.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Players at Fenway

Had I not checked the Boston Globe today, I might've missed this!

Fenway Park hosted its first ever naturalization ceremony on Thursday. Standing along the first base line in the box and loge seats were 3,032 new citizens. Check out the pictures.

Another reason to LOVE FENWAY.

Bottle Shock

Bottle shock is what can happen to wine during shipping. After a bumpy journey, it will need time to calm down. It's also the name of a nifty Indie film now showing (hopefully) in a theater near you. It stars Bill Pullman and the always awesome Alan Rickman in a true story about how CA wines won top prizes in a contest in Paris back in 1976. You'll recognize a lot of other people in this film. It's a delight.

Friday and Saturday nights, Andrew's Pizza and Skylight Theater had an opening event. Five bucks got you five one ounce tastes or one glass of a local wine, plus the movie. I love this place. You sit in a cozy theater, either in a theater seat or on a couch (or a floor pillow if you want), and watch a film while eating excellent pizza and quaffing a microbrew draft or a glass of local wine.

Last night, I was pouring for Wind River Cellars, so we had to rush back from our Portland adventure (another story coming soon). I hadn't eaten all day, save for a baggie of almonds and a half cup of cottage cheese for breakfast. Arriving just before the crowds, I had just enough time to slam down a piece of mushroom pizza (thanks Chris) so I wouldn't pass out breathing the fumes of Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. Cathedral Ridge and Wy'East were there, too. It was a fun evening. An hour of tasting, then on to the film.

It's playing all week, so to my friends in the area, GO SEE IT!

If it comes down to a time crunch and you have to choose between the previously noted 'Obsession', and this, it's hands down worth the bridge toll to go over to Hood River.

And watch out for the brown Chardonnay....

Have a Little Hate with your Sunday Paper

Anyone else get a free sample in your morning paper?

We opened our Oregonian today and a "free one hour pre release" dvd Obsession: Radical Islam's War on the West fell out. I peeled back the dvd to reveal the hidden message under it. "The threat of Radical Islam is the most important issue facing us today." (really? I think there might be a few more.) "But it's a topic that neither of the presidential candidates, nor the media are discussing openly." (really? I hear enough about it. And I live in the boonies.) " AH, here's the bottom line: "It's our responsibility to ensure we can make an informed vote in November."

The excuse the publishers are using is that it is like any other piece of paid advertising and they could see no reason to reject it. Freedom of speech and all.

Hate speech.

Just to show my open mind, I will watch this important piece of advertising, and let you know what I think. I'm afraid it's just another sound bite, scare em to death, kill the muslims piece of swiftboating trash. Maybe I'm wrong. But the list of papers receiving this free entertainment are in such places as Florida, MI,OH, NY, CO, NH, Iowa, NM and WI. That says something. Only people in these states deserve to see this movie????? HMMMMMMMM.

Way to ruin my morning newspaper and coffee ritual. Thanks, The Clarion Fund. And Oregonian. I'm writing you next.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

1,4,8,9,27 and...6

Your trivia question of the day. What do these numbers have in common?

Clue: Doerr, Cronin, Yastrzemski, Williams, Fisk and...Pesky

The Red Sox are retiring Johnny Pesky's number on Friday, before the game with the Yankees, to the upper deck facade, alongside his teammates Bobby Doerr and Ted Williams. Pesky will be 89 years old on Saturday. He still has a locker at Fenway, and can be found in the dugout before games. MLB rules on the number of coaches allowed (2003) prevent him from being there during game. What a shame. Dang rules. They'll get you every time.

Since 1940 (except for a WWII service break, and a stint with the Detroit Tigers), Pesky has had just about every job you can think of in 57 years with the Red Sox: player (shortstop), coach, manager, front office employee, broadcaster, and currently, a 'special assignment instructor'. His name is known to current generations for a landmark in Fenway:

Pesky played 1,270 games in the Major Leagues, producing a .306 average, 17 homers and 404 RBIs. Several of those homers were said to have clanged off the foul pole in right field at Fenway Park, which is a mere 302 feet from home plate. Nowadays, that pole is called "Pesky's Pole."
The Pesky Pole was dedicated, with a plaque at the base, for Johnny's 87th birthday. To sit in the first seat on foul side of the pole, ask for Sec 94, Row E, Seat 5.

Congrats, Johnny, and Happy Birthday! See a nice slide show here.

For serious baseball trivia fans, your challenge question:
Whose number also joins the above on the right field facade? Hint: 42

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Warning: 30 seconds

After spending yesterday holding down the fort at the WRC tasting room, I went to the Lyle, WA Candidates Night at the Lions Club. I stayed away from doing any tasting myself, it's half an hour drive to Lyle. I haven't had so much fun since I crashed a GOP candidates night in the land of sugar, when I signed in under an alias.

Some of my Fort Bend Dem friends will not be surprised to learn that last night, I was also a poser. I did use my real name to sign in, but my mission was to make a 3 minute statement on behalf of Governor Chris Gregoire, who obviously was not going to make the 4 hour journey to Lyle. The good news was, I didn't have to go first. That honor went to Bob, who was stand in for Obama. He ran out of time to say anything of substance really fast. Then came a stand in for McCain. He didn't have too much to say either, so it was good he stopped after 3 minutes.

Finally, George Fearing, who is running against Doc Hastings for Congress, was the first REAL candidate. Doc was a no show (no surprise there), so George had his 3 minutes. Not enough time to say much of anything, but George was good. There was supposed to be Q and A, but for some reason the moderator 'forgot' to have George take questions. Following George was the McCain guy, also the stand in for Dino Rossi, who is running against Gregoire.

Then me. I wasn't nervous. I'd spent time at WRC when there were no customers working on the speech. It's easy to talk in front of a room full of people when you don't know most of them. Besides, I just pretended they were wine barrels. We stand ins didn't have to take questions. THANK GOD. The way it was going, I'd have run screaming from the room. By the end of the night, my friend wanted to combine many questions and comments into one glorious query:

If the White Salmon River is 38 degrees and if Obama is a Muslim and if polar bears lived in sustainable forest trees and presidential candidates debates were on melting ice flows with spotted owls that conflicted with local candidates nights, would good common sense be on the endangered species list?

By the time the guys running for state legislature came up, the moderator was allowing Q and A. Then he realized, or someone reminded him, that George Fearing had not been allowed to answer any questions, which could be answered with another 3 minutes. Crucial time if you're trying to get out your message and show you know your stuff. So they called George back up for questions, a little awkward.

Lea did a great job, fielding many more tough questions than her opponent for County Commissioner. And poor Jerry had the last spot, so he didn't get a lot of question time to get his message out. Everyone was in a hurry to either leave or go badger their favorite pol. My carpool buddy and I fled, hoping to find a place to have a burger and a beer, but alas, we were in Lyle. The only thing open at 9 pm was the Lions' Club. No nourishment there!

Bingen was pretty much dark; besides the only burger joint left is McD's and they don't serve beer. I don't want to break my record of never having eaten there (I did use the restroom once, though). And White Salmon was tucked in for the night. The brew pub isn't open on Monday nights yet. So my buddy went home for at least a beer from her fridge, and I got home for my well deserved glass of wine. After being around lots of vino all day, I was more than ready!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Unk

Today would have been Uncle Dick's 77th birthday (I'm pretty sure!). And he celebrated by watching from his sky box seat as the Sox beat Tampa Bay 13-5 IN Tampa Bay (finally), tying them for first place in the AL East. I always remember his birthday, and try to do something special to celebrate. Usually I'd make something for dinner that he liked. Grilled swordfish, or hamburger casserole...and always cold shrimp with cocktail sauce for starters. I celebrated it last year by writing about him. It was one of my first blogs. This is Unk with Alina during one of our home leave trips from Africa. We always had a great steak dinner at The Stockyard before going back. It's the handiest photo I have without going to the scanner.

He's been gone almost 10 years now. Hard to believe. I also always remember the year of his death. We had moved to Mandeville Louisiana from Nigeria the summer before. Our first major hurricane back in the states, Hurricane Georges, came in September as Unk was spending his last days with my parents at our home near Boston, after a too short battle with pancreatic cancer. I had to wait for the airport to open to get a flight home. We were lucky with Georges, he took a quick right jog just before hitting New Orleans and a projected path right over our house. Biloxi took the hit. We had no power for 3 days, but were none the worse for wear. I liked to think Unk was looking out for us. His middle name was George.

We moved to Houston before Katrina.

This week is full of hurricane news again. This time in Houston, which I just left last summer. I'm seeing a pattern here. Last year, we dodged Rita, which took a quick jog just before hitting Galveston and a projected path right over our house. Unfortunately, Ike didn't take that jog. I'm hearing from friends, little by little, as their phones come back on, or they get some power, or they find a place with wifi. It's going to be a hot and sweaty week, but so far, everyone is safe.

When we lived in Houston the FIRST time, I worked in Galveston. When Hurricane Alicia hit as a cat 3 that hot summer of 1983, we bunkered down in our house in Missouri City, trying to sleep as the winds and rain pounded our little neighborhood. The damage to Galveston was unlike anything I'd ever seen. It was days before I could go to work, and weeks before we had power there at Fort Crockett. I saw Fort Crockett on the news the other day. It sits right behind that big San Luis hotel all the journalists and VIPs were staying at. It takes a pretty good punch, that old building. But I'd rather not go through all that again.

I'm not too superstitious, but there may be another factor besides Unk watching out for us. There was this rain god we bought at a shop in the middle of nowhere Tanzania. Lloyd had this drought thing following him since he left CA in 1977. Everywhere he went, he brought drought. So when we were in this shop, the guy told us it was a rain god, so we took it home with us. I'm thinking maybe it also kept dangerous hurricanes away from us. It has a special place on the wall by the front door in our mudroom. So here it is for all my friends in hurricane areas who don't have the spirit of Unk looking out for them. Copy it, print it out, put it on your fridge or something. It can't hurt!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Live, From New York...

You knew it was coming the minute you saw Sarah Palin in her 'Tina Fey glasses'. The opening sketch last night was priceless. If you missed the return of Tina with Amy Poehler's Hillary, or if you had no power back in my old 'hood, I finally learned how to embed videos. Skip the rest of the show. I felt bad for Michael Phelps. It was all downhill after this!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fan Mail

Dear Fran,

I am so mad, I feel like I've been strapped to a spit over hot coals.

For years, I've put up with the wise cracks about my weight (fat as a....), my appetite (...out), my ear (which some jerk wanted to use for some kind of purse after that pit bull tore it off), my tail (it doesn't look or feel like human hair, trust me ), my inability to levitate (when...fly), and various parts of my anatomy that are consumed or turned into sporting goods of the NFL variety. Oh yeah, I hate the term 'lard a--".

I don't want my congress critters to lobby for pork, and I don't want them to bring home the bacon.

It's been bad enough suffering because of my species. Now I feel marginalized because of my gender and my color. It's a good thing I keep my religion to myself, but I'll give you a hint, we don't eat you know what.

But this is the last straw. Now they're on me for my lipstick. Tell them to knock it off, please.

I don't know where else to turn.


Your friend, Minnie

Dear Minnie,
Pat Oliphant agrees with you.
You are not alone.
Love, Fran

Is Lipstick on Your Collar...or On Your Pig?

Before I write my next installment of day trips in paradise, I have to vent a little. Just a little. So if Mom is reading, skip this entry or I won't be responsible for your blood pressure. I am responsible for mine, so here goes.

Susan is irate this morning. I don't blame her. This is why I have to take hiking and fishing breaks from the insanity. One day I'm going to unfold my paper and see discussion of ISSUES on the front page instead of popularity contests. I hope.

So tell me why it's okay for John McCain to use the term 'lipstick on a pig' when referring to a policy of Hillary Clinton's, and it's NOT okay for anyone else to use it when referring to his and his running mate's policies? Does the GOP own the word LIPSTICK??? Come on. He's apparently used the term several times before, as has Dick Cheney. Does that qualify it as common usage? I guess so, as long as a Republican is the one using it.

The front page of the Oregonian headlined 'Palin's appeal redraws lines in campaign'. I find NOTHING appealing about her. I fall more along the thought process of Gloria Steinem, who had an excellent piece in the LA Times last week. As my friend K said after reading it, "She still knows exactly what to say". Titled "Palin: Wrong Woman, Wrong Message", she begins with a tribute to women's involvement in politics:
Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.
Then goes on to say:
But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.
By the third paragraph, she serves up that pie:
Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."
I'm keeping my legs.

Back to today's news. I turned to 'please see A6' to finish the Palin article, only to find that the McCain camp is outraged that when asked if her election would mean a step back for women, Biden answered:
"Look, I think the issue is: What does Sarah Palin think? What does she believe? I assume she thinks and agrees with the same policies that George Bush and John McCan think...and that's obviously a backward step for women."
The RNC called his remarks "appalling and arrogant", and "better suited for the backrooms of his old boys' club". Pot, meet Kettle. This is why I have to keep taking hiking and fishing breaks. Thank goodness both Obama and Biden are hitting back at the baldfaced LYING that is going on. FINALLY. We need lots of backbone these next two months. CALL OUT ALL THE LIES. I liked this response ad.

There. Now I feel slightly better.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A New Activity for Fenway Fran's Day Camp

Enough is enough.

Today we escaped. Ran away. From phones, radios, tv's, computer, internet. Threw the fishing rods and waders in the car, along with the dog and a picnic lunch, and headed up the road to explore the Ice Caves and Natural Bridges in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

We had all the suggested gear except hardhats and gloves. So down we went.

The caves were pretty cool, literally and figuratively.

There was still snow and ice in the main cave, though it's supposed to be gone by now.

There were several smaller caves that Lloyd and Brindle explored.

I'm not exactly a good scrambler on big rocks. Especially in small, dark, cold spaces. I stayed topside and got photos of them going in and coming out. Brin needed an assist to get out.

When we were done with the caves, we hiked down the forest road that leads to Atkinson Sno Park, where we'd skied last winter.

It sure looked different without 4 feet of snow and 6 foot snow banks.
Now we know which blue diamond turnoff to take to get to the Ice Caves once the snow returns. We want to see the big icicles in winter!

Next installment: Natural Bridges

Monday, September 8, 2008

Red Sox Nation Makes Dream Come True

You might remember reading about the medical flight helicopters that crashed near Flagstaff, Arizona on June 29. Maybe not. If an accident like that doesn't impact you, you don't even think twice about it. Seven people were aboard the helicopters, only one survived. But James Taylor, Jr, had broken every bone in his body, and died a few days later. He left his wife and three young sons, all huge Red Sox fans. He'd promised the boys a trip to Fenway in August to celebrate his 37th birthday. Get your hankies, and read this wonderful story. And check out the pictures here. Makes me real proud to be a Red Sox fan.

Oh yeah, Sox over Tampa Bay today, 3-0. Half a game back, baby!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oh Happy Day In White Salmon

THE BREW PUB IS OPEN!!!!! So we're off to Everybody's Brewing for dinner. Heard there was a line out the door on Thursday, so we want to get there early. I guess they were overwhelmed with the response, since they didn't advertise the opening. Review to follow....

Update: The place is beautiful! And there's a biergarten out on the back deck. We sat outside at the communal picnic tables. Sit where there's room, meet your townfolk (and a few Portlanders). Since I'd already had a few wine samples when we stopped up at WRC for the previously scheduled but not happening Run for the Bulls Tempranillo event (winemaker went to Seattle for the football game I guess), so I ordered a glass of wine. They aren't making their own beer just yet, some water issues or something, so they have some regional guest brews on tap. Lloyd tried a Rogue Dead Guy. What a name. He said it was tasty. The menu is good pub grub, simple, just enough choices. One popular choice, sweet potato fries, were not available...everyone wanted them, so I'm sure that will be remedied. I'm not a big fries person, but I ate every one that came with my grilled chicken/roasted red pepper/muenster/caramelized onion/aioli on ciabatta. Lloyd started at the beginning of the menu and had the burger. Two thumbs up on the food. We vow to become regulars.

Dept. of Disastrous Design

This was too funny not to share. As if they weren't getting enough press about their premier journalism alumna, The Oregonian today reported that the Idaho Vandals football team is removing the letter "I" from the seat of their players' pants, after a 70-0 loss to the Arizona Wildcats. The caption was Dept. of Disastrous Design. I found the original article here. Other blogs were even more creative. I couldn't find a photo of the awkward pants, though.

Apparently, no one realized how the logo placement in the center of the players' butts would look once the pants were on. Just imagine...

The school athletic director said that there was 'miscommunication with equipment supplier Nike over the placement of the logo'. It was supposed to be higher up, closer to the belt line. Nike says they signed off on it, so they're all still 'negotiating' over the problem.

Meanwhile, the Vandals' pants will be logoless for the game today with Idaho State. I'm not sure how they are going to accomplish that. Anyway, I hope the lack of a logo stops the losing 'streak'.

Update: The change in seat design apparently helped. They won 42-27.

Noble Endeavors

I don't know about you, but I've spent many years doing all sorts of community organizing and volunteer work, from PTA's, neighborhood associations, literacy council, arts council, meals on wheels, precinct and caucus organizing, not to mention preschool boards, swim teams, theatre boosters, heck, I was even a MUD (municipal utilities district) board director once. Every activity, whether it was at the board level or the worker bee level, involved a level of responsibility. I thought Sarah Palin's crack about community organizers was a little snarky. So did someone else, who got right to the point in a classy way. A picture is worth a thousand words.
update: the video has been removed from You Tube. Too bad. It was classy.

It's Trudy's Day

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Step Two

OK, Blackberry Wine update:
The yeast has been added. In 24 to 48 hours we should see evidence of fermentation in the form of froth on the must. Sounds exotic. Or else someone has a lisp.

After a fun day on the computer reading breaking news, editing and printing some brochures for the Dem booth at the Huckleberry Festival, and helping set up the booth, we're chilling tonight. Perhaps we'll hit the Huckleberry Festival tomorrow. Seriously, it's a small town, OK? Smaller than Wasilla, if you must know, though if we combine Bingen and White Salmon, we'd about equal Wasilla. Only we don't have a big hockey rink. Or a famous ex-mayor. And 'splain to me how we go about getting us some earmarks?

Huckleberries? They're kind of like blueberries. We picked some last week up near Mt. Adams. Took a LONG time to get any volume, if you know what I mean. Not like blackberries. So I guess that's why they are such a big deal around here. There are signs on the road back from the picking areas that scream out We Buy Huckleberries. So if all else fails, we'll take the buckets and go get lost in the Pinchot National Forest and pick till we drop.

Anyway, the Huckleberry Festival has not only Huckleberry goodies, like pie and ice cream and smoothies and jam, but they have local music and awesome brats with kraut, and the most excellent Dem booth they've ever seen. Oh, they've never seen one before. Oops. Times, they are a changin'.

We're having almost as much fun as Jon Stewart. If you missed him this week, or last for that matter, while he covered the conventions, you really owe it to yourself to go take a peek. He covered both with wreckless abandon and glee. My hero, tilting at windmills to fight hypocrisy.

I love the internet. Especially since I live in such a small town far from the pahk. Merci to the Mariners, who beat the Yankees tonight. And merci beau coup to Toronto, who beat Tampa Bay. And a bigger woo woo to Beckett and Lowell coming off the DL so the Sox could pound Texas 8-1. Baseball happiness tonight. Great way to end the day.

New Project

I've had it with blackberries. I've made enough jam to stock a small market. My freezer is full. I've made a gallon of blackberry vinegar. I still have the bottle of blackberry vodka I made last year. I can not eat another bite of pie, crisp, muffin or sorbet, lest I need to buy a new wardrobe in a large size. What's a person to do? It kills me to see the big fat berries go to waste. Unless of course you like sun dried blackberries, picked right off the vine.

We had an AH HA moment this week. And hied off across the bridge to the brew and wine supply store, where we bought a winemaking kit and various chemicals. Then spent two days picking the 20 lb of berries needed for 5 gallons of wine. All our local vines are pretty well picked over, so yesterday afternoon, while Lloyd raked out a load of freshly dumped gravel over the driveway, I took the dog and went to the marina area, where there are tons of bushes with big fat berries. Some were in clusters so big, you couldn't pry the individual berries apart. I was attacked by giant new growth thorns, wishing I'd brought the machete with me. Yes, I have a machete. It was a going away gift from friends in Nigeria, part of the 'gardener's supply kit'. It beat raking gravel, though, and I was back home in time to do the crush before dinner.

So here's to the 2008 vintage. I have no idea how long this will take, or whether it will be potable. All I know is, my hands and fingernails are still purple. How attractive.

Update: After 24 hours of yeast, the must is foaming. That's a good sign.

Headline News: Bingen Goes Blue!


This is truly headline news in these parts.

The Democrats have a Headquarters for Election 2008! Here's Lea, our candidate for County Commissioner District 1 doing her best Vanna imitation to show us all the new vowels and consonants painted on the windows. How BOLD!

The owners of Antiquities and Oddities have graciously donated space in their Bingen Station Coffee Haus for our motley crew, a computer, a printer, brochures, and lots of signs.

And we do share space with the cigar store Indian.

We've started Wednesday Brown Bag lunches, inspired by Fort Bend Dems' Friday Lunch Bunch. Of course, being an antique store, we have lots of choices for chairs and tables.

This week we had more than a dozen people show up from as far away as Klickitat. I went through Klickitat on our way to the river last week, it's a lot of $4.00 a gallon gas away! Grandma Betty came. She's 87, and has lived in Klickitat for 83 years. Needless to say, she knows everyone in town. And she wants SIGNS. A lifelong Democrat, she's absolutely energized for this year's elections.

So stop in for a cup of joe, and pick up some signs. Come at noon on any Wednesday and meet some local Dems. They're coming out of the woodwork, I tell ya! Just look for Betty Boop on the main drag through Bingen. Open Daily for your fix of Democracy!

Proof Positive

For those who don't believe I'm actually Gone Fishin' when I put that sign on my door and my AIM message, here's proof. I've always thought of myself as an LLBean woman, mainly because of the extremely casual nature of my wardrobe my entire life. The waders are, in fact, from LLB. The fly rod, Cabela's. The Klickitat River, mother nature's. Photo credit, Jill.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy September

In honor of Labor Day today, I did no labor. I went fishing. Didn't catch anything but some sunshine, but it was fun none the less. And it kept me away from the radio and teevee and internet. Man, I needed a break from all that breaking news. And breaking non news. I plan to do the same tomorrow.

Just one more thing, to clarify what I'm doing here. Some days I feel like writing fun stuff, some days I like writing about what I'm doing, some days I get really upset when people who want to run the country make what I consider bad decisions and want to say something about it. Just my opinion, nothing personal. Most of the time, I hold back on that last one. And every day I count my blessings that I had such a great role model for my mom. Everyone should be so lucky.