Wednesday, December 30, 2009

quote of the day

There are three kinds of people. The ones who learn by reading. The ones who learn by observation. And the rest, who have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Our Christmas

Everyone one made it to our house through the snow and the slippery roads. It snowed all Christmas eve and stopped somtime during the night
We woke up to this sight.

Who's that peeking around the corner?

It's Hunter


Pulling the sled behind the car

Playing the new Rockband. Marly on the mike, Hunter drums, while Jenna wails on the guitar

Every year we all get new pajamas. Here's this year's picture

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

bracing for the blizzard

The latest forecast for our area is 6-9" of snow. That's a lot for us. We're hoping all the kids can make it in for Christmas before the roads become slick. Once all are present and accounted for we'll be cozy and comfy and who cares if we get snowed in. Dorothy's made enough pies and cookies and candy to last us for days

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

what i'm reading now

I'm a fan of John Irving. Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany were excellent reads. I really haven't been able to get into some of his novels published in the interim between Owen Meany and this one, but with Last Night in Twisted River I found the great story telling and plot twists that I so enjoy with his books. It's a tale about a father and son who become fugitives after the 12 year old boy accidentally kills someone. The novel spans five decades and introduces some of the most interesting characters that can be found in a work of fiction. Here's a quote from the book: "We don't always have a choice how we get to know one another. Sometimes, people fall into our lives cleanly--as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to Earth--the same sudden way we lose people, who once seemed they would always be part of our lives."

White Christmas

It rained this morning and I was able to catch this patch of blue in the west before the snow storm arrives tomorrow. It looks like we will have a white Christmas this year. That's uncommon in these parts.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

daring do

Dorothy called me from work and told me our local department store had Zhou Zhou pets. Only one to a customer.

"OK, I'll go and buy one. Are you going to get one on your lunch break? And maybe Rachel can get one on her lunch break," I told her. (Then we will have one for each of our youngest grand children)
"No, you go buy them all," she replied.
"Isn't that against the rules?"

So, I went to the store. There they were with a sign indicating only one per customer per day. I bought one and took it to my truck. Then, I went back and got another one, went to a different check out line and took that to the truck. Then back into the store for the third Zhou Zhou. I felt like that guy in the movie Midnight Express who was caught trying to smuggle cocaine out of Istanbul, except, I didn't get caught. That was the most daring thing I've done since that time I returned a video to a rental store without rewinding it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Marley's Birthday Party

Marley's tenth birth day party had the Amazing Race as its theme. Here she is (center) with her pink team, including her dad. On the left of the picture you can see the Travelocity Gnome cake Dorothy made for the occasion.
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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

quote of the day

Banks know a fatter hog when they see it. And that hog is the consumer credit business (nobody has figured out yet that consumers need paychecks before they can consume anything, on credit or otherwise ). To that end the Federal Reserve has logically set a low interest rate policy. And in true accordance with banking logic, the banks took the Fed's money, then raised the annual percentage rate (APR) on credit card purchases and cash advances and on balances that have a penalty rate because of late payment. Next they raised the late fee. What the hell? If Americans are on the ropes, struggling to make their payments on time, then the logical thing to do is to stick it to them. Bleed 'em for all they're worth. It's an American free market tradition. We the people do not complain. We expect no mercy. America is a business and the American concept of business is pure ruthlessness.

--Joe Bageant

Saturday, December 05, 2009

what i'm reading now

If you liked Freakonomics then you will probably like the latest book by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Superfreakonomics. Steven Levitt is an economist who can sift through mountains of statistics and come up with plausible reasons for the cultural trends in our society. He asks (and answers) such questions as:
  • How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa?
  • Why are doctors so bad at washing their hands?
  • Did TV cause a rise in crime?
  • Are people hardwired for altruism or selfishness?
  • Can eating Kangaroo save the planet?

If you like books that spur you into out-of-the-box thinking then you are in for an entertaining read.