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Monday, April 30, 2012

NEWS FLASH

I have finally accepted that there is indeed man-made temperature increases.

Yes, according to recent studies, the wind turbines that are supposed to provide cheap, clean energy are believed to be responsible for the increase in temperatures in areas near four Texas wind farms.

A Professor Liming Zhou from the State University of New York examined conditions around these wind farms and reported in the journal Nature Climate Change that the temperature increased up to 0.72 degrees Celsius per decade at the wind farm locations compared to nearby areas.  It is believed that this change was caused by air turbulence generated by the turbines' rotor blades. 

The professor said that a large enough wind farm could affect local and regional weather and climate.  Unfortunately, he still believes that the impact of carbon dioxide emissions has a global effect rather than just a local one.  However, if we had more wind farms, wouldn't that have a more widespread effect?

I still believe the changes in the earth's temperature are cyclical.  Remember, back in the 70's, scientists were predicting another ice age.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Because it was so warm here on Monday, I've been in the process of switching my clothes from winter to summer wear and organizing my closets.  I've made many discoveries about myself.

First, I have too many clothes.  I've always liked clothes and rationalized that if I had a lot so that I wouldn't have to do laundry quite as often, but I seem to have gone overboard.  Every year I buy a few new things, but I don't seem to throw anything out.  I still have clothes from the early '90s.  Some fit, some I hope to get back into, but I like them so much they have to stay.  I have one top that is nice and loose and so comfortable, but it looks so bad that I only wear it when I know I won't see anyone.

I also have too many shoes.  I think this goes back to my childhood.  As a young girl, my feet grew and have continued to grow.  I remember walking along the avenue stopping in one of the many shoe stores trying to find something suitable for a 10 year old in a size 5 or 6.   As a result, now whenever I find a pair or two of shoes in my size, I scoop them up, sometimes the same style in different colors.  I can't remember the last time I bought only one pair.

Let's not even mention the pocketbooks.  I've been on a new pocketbook kick and now have several in different colors, again several the same style. 

I'm out of control!  This shopping has got to stop.  Although, I guess I have been helping the economy in my little way.

This has also made me realize how disorganized I've been.  I found summer clothes and summer shoes that I forgot I had.

This work on my closet has spread to my bathroom.  Again, thanks to my disorganization, I found several bottles of shampoo and conditioner that I didn't realize I had.  I won't have to shop for months, which should help my budget.

I feel so good when I look at my closets now.  I think I'll tackle the kitchen next, that closet is looking a little messy.  I may even find some ingredients for a good dinner or dessert.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Crash Speaks


Crash here.  I haven't posted in a very long time, I've been very busy.

Last year, mom hurt her back.  It's gotten a lot better even though she doesn't do her exercises.  I got tired of her complaints so I made up a game to get her to exercise.

Whenever she's on the computer, I come into the room and meow.  If she doesn't pay any attention to me, then I try to climb up her leg.  This really gets her attention.  Then, she offers to pick me up.  I pretend that I don't want to be picked up, so I run away.  As soon as she gets settled, I try to climb up her leg so she can bend over to pick me up.  I run away again.  I do this about 5 or 6 times so she can stretch her back, then I let her pick me up and I purr and purr.  All that stretching seems to be helping, she doesn't complain as much.

I also heard that it can be very dangerous to take a shower, although I can't imagine what you humans think is so great about having water poured all over your body.  Then you have to use that noisy thing to dry your hair.  But I digress.  To keep mom safe, I sit right next to the shower while she's washing.  As soon as the water is off, I leave.

I don't know what I would do if she fell.  Maybe Burnie could help me call 911 for help.

As you can see, I'm a very helpful and caring cat.  Don't believe everything you hear about us cats.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Buffett Rule

I see that in his campaign speech today, the president is again, or still, pushing for passage of "The Buffett Rule" which will increase taxes on millionaires.  This rule came about because Warren Buffett said it wasn't fair that his secretary paid more taxes than he did.

What he probably didn't mention was that he pays a lower rate because he lives on income from his investments, capital gains and dividends.  This money is indeed taxed at a lower rate which is fair since capital gains and dividends are the result of investing income which has already been taxed at a much higher rate.  We don't hear much about that though, do we.

Raising taxes on millionaires really won't do much for the deficit, it's just a drop in the bucket.

If Warren Buffett really wants to pay his fair share, he should make sure that his company, Berkshire Hathaway, pays the approximately $1 billion dollars in back taxes.

I'd like to remind Warren Buffett and anyone else who thinks it's fair to pay more taxes that the IRS will not object if they were to pay additional taxes, or maybe they should just not take advantage of the loopholes.

Isn't it strange that two of the president's friends' companies (GE and Berkshire Hathaway) don't seem to pay taxes. 

This idea of increasing taxes on millionaires who are the job creators is just another example of the current trend of punishing the successful and rewarding the mediocre.  There's just something backward about that.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Book Review - UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand

I love to read.  I have stacks of books that I want to read, that I've read and that I am, or should be, reading.  My favorite stories are biographies.

I just finished Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. This is the story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner in 1936 and a member of Army Air Force and prisoner of war in World War II.  It took me quite a while to get into this book because in his younger days, Louis was known to steal, a lot.  It bothered me that such a young child would steal.

Once I started reading about his racing prowess, he ran the mile in 4 min. 21 sec.(the fastest at the time), I was hooked.  Eventually, he enlisted in the Army Air Force and served in the Pacific.  His plane was shot down and he and two other members of his crew drifted 2000 miles in a life raft in the shark-infested waters of the Pacific, until he was "rescued" by the Japanese and sent to a prisoner of war camp.

The story covers all the indignities, starvation and beatings he and his fellow prisoners suffered at the hands of their captors.  After the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaka early in August 1945, their lives were spared.  Orders had been given to kill all the prisoners on August 22, 1945.
 
All the while he was in prison, his family thought he was dead, although they wouldn't accept the fact.  When he returned home, he couldn't forget the horrors of his internment and the most cruel guard who they had named "the bird".  He was so haunted by those memories that he tried to drown them in alcohol.  Eventually, after hearing Billy Graham speak, he gave up the alcohol and turned his life around.

This is a wonderful book and I strongly recommend it, if you can bear to hear about the torture our boys suffered at the hands of their captors.  It's also a wonderful story of survival, recovery and forgiveness.

I was reading this book on a bus ride to Atlantic City and was so engrossed in it that I was surprised at how quickly we got there.  I also thought about forgetting about the slots so I could read, but when I saw those machines and heard the bells, I decided to play and read later which I did.  I continued reading when I got home and didn't put it down until I finished it.

Those who served during WWII were truly the "Greatest Generation".