Saturday, September 29, 2012


This morning as I was reading the various blogs I follow, Crash came into the room.  She was pushing for attention and I couldn't understand why.  She had been fed, had her treats and we had even played the game where I try to pick her up and she runs away.  We usually do this several times before I win and pick her up.

She had had all this attention.  I finally asked her what she wanted and I think she understood me.  She got up to leave the room, then looked around to see if I was following her.  I decided to follow and see what she was up to.

Several times she turned around to see if I was still following.  She finally went into the bathroom and sat before her water dish.  She looked from me to the dish to the faucet, then back to the dish.  I took the hint and gave her fresh water which she promptly drank.

It looks like she's getting smart in her old age (11 years), either that or she's got me trained.  I don't know which.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I've been hearing for quite a while that we are in an inflationary period and that we shoud be prepared for higher prices for food.  I must admit that my food bills have not gone up over the last two years.

I did notice, however, that I really am getting less and less for my money.  Last week I found a sale on chunk lite tuna packed in water, which I always buy.  The cost was 10 cans for $10.  That seemed reasonable, until I picked up a can.  It seemed smaller, then I looked more carefully.  The net weight used to be 6 oz and a fraction.  Now it's 5 oz.  Same price, smaller can.  A few months ago, I noticed that there was more water and less tuna in a can.

Today I was melting some chocolate wafers to mold into candy.  I didn't get as much as I usually do.  I wondered if I had done something wrong until I checked the bag.  In the past the  bag contained 14 oz.  Now it contains 12 oz.  The price is the same.

I wonder how many other products are being packaged in smaller containers that are made to look like the old size.  That's just dishonest.  I really hate being lied to. 

Whether we realize it or not, inflation is here.  Just check the groceries in your pantry.  You may be paying the same price you've always paid, but you're getting less for your money.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back to Seattle

During my trip to Seattle last month, my son asked what I wanted to do.  I told him I'd like to take a trip to see Mt. St. Helens.  Even though it was a three hour drive each way, he willingly took me.  It was a long ride, but seeing all those mountains made it seem to go fast, for me anyway.  I wasn't driving, but he didn't complain.
As we neared the mountain, I kept seeing these white things along the side of the mountain.  They looked like tombstones, but I didn't think they were.  As we got closer, I could see that they were the stumps of trees that had been knocked down by the force of the volcano.
They show up as white dots on the above photo and you can see some white lines that are the trees that had been knocked down.
When we got to the Johnson Ridge Observatory and parked the car, this is what welcomed us.  They look like sentries guarding the area.

The first thing we did when we got to the observatory was see a short film of the eruption and its aftermath.  And I'm so glad we did.  It was quite informative.  When the film was over, the curtains behind the screen opened and this is what we saw, but it looked much closer than this.

My son had been here before and he commented that the lava dome looked larger since the last time.
I got some good shots of the devastation and the recovery.  

The vegetation is coming back.

It looked to me like the mountain is burping some steam.

I never cease to be amazed at the force of nature and the way part of the mountain has been sliced off.

Yet, the forces of nature are bringing about a regrowth.

There was even some wildlife.

On the way back we stopped at this little restaurant, the only one we saw on the road.  They had a wraparound deck for outdoor dining, but there was no room.  We ate inside where I had an elkburger (my first).  It was delicious, very moist even though it was not as rare as I like it.  For dessert we had cobbler.  I had a peach which was also delicious.

It was a wonderful day.

Now I have to start thinking of places to see on my trip next year.  I think I'll try to fine something closer to the city limits and not push my luck that he will always be so willing to take me where I want to go.

We did some other things, but that's for another day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Middle East Riots

I've been watching the news coverage of the riots in Cairo and Libya and am disgusted, not only by the riots, but also by the lame excuses given for this behavior. 

The CLAIM is that a little known movie about mohammed sparked the "outrage" by members of this religion of peace.  This movie has been available for viewing for about six months, but they only became outraged by it on September 11.  Isn't that interesting?

Why are we hearing apologies for someone's exercising his freedom of speech instead of what we Catholics hear when we are offended, "It's art".

A few years ago  an "artist" had his depiction of our Holy Virgin Mary depicted as a black madonna (no problem there) who was surrounded by images from blaxploitation movies and close-ups of femal private parts cut from porn magazines and elephant dung attached to the painting (big problem there) had his painting exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum.  Catholics protested, but there were no riots and no apologies.  We were told this was art to be appreciated.

This same Brooklyn Museum had a video depicting ants crawling over the body of a stylized Jesus.  Again, no riots and no apologies.  It's just art, freedom of expression.

There is a movie being planned which is based on a book Jesus of Nazareth which was written in 2010.  This movie depicts Jesus, not as the son of God, but as a politician who was the product of a rape of Mary by a Roman Soldier.  There were no riots about the book and I'm sure there will be none about the movie.

It's time to face the fact that the residents of the Middle East DO NOT LIKE US and no matter how much we apologize to them or give them things, they never will like us.  We shouldn't strive to be liked, we should strive to be RESPECTED.

To use the phrase that Christians hear when we find movies and paintings offensive, "Get over it, it's art".

My prayers are with the families of the four killed by Libyan savages.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


The temperature here has cooled down a bit and I couldn't be happier.  I don't like the heat of summer.  I've also recently discovered that even though it's been many, many years since I went to school, I seem to plan my activities around school days.

Summer has always seemed to be such an unstructured season.  While I loved having my sons home during the summer and enjoyed their company, I was so happy when they returned to school.  It meant that everyone got up at the same time, had meals at the same time, etc.

Now that I'm retired, I miss that structure.  I still try to get up at the same time each day and have my meals at the same time, but, I find that I don't accomplish much else during the day.  I think I'm going to have to make a schedule for myself.  One day for laundry, one day for shopping and meal planning, etc.

There are so many things I want to do - I want to finish my German lessons.  I had been very good in the beginning.  Everyday at 3:00 PM I would sit down and study until at least 4:00 PM.  I should also schedule an hour of reading every day.  There are so many projects I want to do or have done around the house too.

The week is almost over and, of course, the weekend is free time (no homework), I think I'll start on Monday morning with my German lessons, then move on to reading.  Sounds like a plan.

Once I get that routine settled, I can start on some of the other projects, like cleaning my office and garage.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Today is the 11th anniversary of that horrible day of the attacks on our World Trade Center, Pentagon and the heroics of the passengers on flight 93 who brought the plane down in a field and did not allow the terrorists to inflict further damage.

We all remember where we were on that day.  Since I had gotten into the city early that day, I had to decide whether to look at books in the World Trade Center or try to buy a pair of shoes at the Easy Spirit store a few blocks from the Trade Center.  To this day, I thank God that I made the decision to buy shoes. 

I know that I would have physically survived that day, but I don't know how I would have gotten through it mentally if I had actually been in the building.  Being a few blocks away and then feeling my building on the other side of Manhattan shake when the second plane hit was traumatic enough.  I still look up when I hear a low flying plane.

That day has changed so many lives.  We all know someone, either directly or indirectly, who was killed by the terrorists.

Let's say a prayer for the deceased and ill from that day.

We should also never forget what happened and vow to never let it happen again.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Yesterday I mentioned our trip to the Evergreen State Fair and the animals we saw.  While we were at the building with the goats, we saw a crowd around these young kids.  There was a gate covering an opening in the fence.  One of the kids squeezed through the holes in the gate and trapped himself.  He couldn't turn around.  I remembered my camera and took these two videos.  Hope you enjoy them.
I'm new at this, hope you can access them.