Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Birthday 3rd Yungin!!

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday 3rd yungin, Happy Birthday to you!
I tried adding pictures, but I can't seem to get it to work. I'll try to edit later....
Happy birthday!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Holidays and Blog Changes for 2008.

Happy Holidays, Y'all!

Made some changes to the blog this week. New year is coming soon, so I'm thinking about what I spent my time on in 2007 and how I want to change that for 2008 (First change involves clickable photos on the right side of the posts. If you do NOT see Photobucket on a wave over a photo, give it a click; you might like (or not) what you find there.). Second change involves disassociating myself from some of the environmentalists who, IMO, have been highly influenced by Peak Oil activists. I'm not "into" the doomer scenario; had enough exposure to that with Y2k and noticed that the doomers from Y2k simply switched hats and moved on to the next doomer scenario when Y2k turned out to not result in their wildest dreams come true.

I have been and will be continuing to look into gardening ideas, including vertical gardening ideas that can be implemented for a song with no skills. Heh.

I'm trying to encourage No. 2 and # 3 to take part more in the blog this year (if their time permits) to pull in a more diverse direction (if diverse can be classified as a direction) of fun stuff.

As part of a resolution to cook less and have more fun, Em and I are leaving tomorrow for 4 days in Northern Nevada (to gamble) :-).

While I'm gone, I encourage y'all to check out the following videos:

Starting with Annie Leonard's Story of Stuff (21 minutes)>, move on, when you have the time, to a series of videos (hat tip to Delta Lady) which explain how the media influenced us to want more through the years. Each video is one hour long, so plan accordingly.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Almost forgot: No. 1 got 2 As and 2Bs, so her scholarship is renewed for another term. PHEW!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We've got gas...natural gas...the OTHER kind.

If you haven't been following the news on The Barnett Shale Formation, you might be unaware of the largest natural gas find in the U.S.

"enough to supply all gas-heated homes in the U.S. for more than five years..."

We hadn't paid much attention ourselves until a gas exploration company set up a town hall meeting in our neighborhood. We weren't able to attend the meeting due to prior commitments, but representatives from the company made the effort to contact us individually. Last night we signed.

This doesn't mean that gas drilling equipment will go up on our lawn or that we'll be another Real McCoy story. The drilling equipment will go up on the other side of I20 and we'll get maybe $35 to $200/month IF gas is found in our collective piece of the formation. The signing bonus will pay our natural gas bill for an entire year. Not bad for doing NOTHING.

Friday, December 07, 2007

My Fall Vacation...The Cliff Notes.

Had a really, really SUPER FUN vacation in Illinois around Thanksgiving. No. 2 and I spent several days together just doing stuff that No. 2 needed to do. Her work and school schedules don't stop just because Texas Mama comes to town, ya know.

After a few days, No. 2 dropped me off at the home of my good friends, Jud and Bob. I'd gotten tickets for a concert near their home, but I needed to help chop vegetables for Thanksgiving dinner if I was to expect them to attend.

Bob and I slaved away in the kitchen while Jud slept. I exaggerate only SLIGHTLY, despite her objections. Heh.

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Had a really great dinner at the home of Bob's dad and got to see Jud's family, as well.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Said farewell to my old friends with dinner at Davidson's.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Jen M squeezed in some time for me that evening, too: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Then, it was back to No. 2's place to spend the weekend with #3 and Heather while No. 2 and her roommate went off to a wedding. They acquainted me with Wii. We played tennis, bowled, and a few other things. My favorite was bowling, although my thighs hurt for 3 days afterward.

My last day in No. 2's world, we went to Ikea's. We love to poke around at that store and there isn't an Ikea store anywhere near us here (Closest is Plano). As per usual, we ate lunch there, with No. 2 getting the Swedish meatballs and me the salmon. I think we have another tradition going on with lunch and a poke at Ikea's. I bought four more cloth shopping bags there. I absolutely LOVE their cloth shopping bags. They're larger than normal, accommodate heavy items readily, and have long shoulder straps ... all for the low price of $1.99. I'd purchased one of Jewel's cloth bags during a shopping trip when I first arrived (for $1.00) and use it for produce shopping. She dropped me at the Metra Station before she left for school and I spent the last night of my trip at HI Chicago.

HI Chicago had an outing on my last night in town ... to Smoke Daddy's BBQ place/jazz bar. I joined 13 others who took the elevated train there for dinner. Two of the 13 were guides from the hostel. The fun I'd been having with friends and family now extended to fun with strangers, and I spent my last day downtown with one of the folks I met that night, showing him the sites of Chicago. Good times... good times.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Fall Planting.

My latest experiments in life include an attempt at being more of a locavore. Combining the crayola diet with cheapskating lent itself to growing stuff right here. We planted a few things before I left for a vacation in Illinois: blueberries and blackberries, respectively, for instance.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The blueberries need a mulch of pine tree needles and my old friend, Jud, came up with the perfect cheapskating idea for getting those. "Wait until your neighbors throw away their Christmas trees and snip off some branches." D'Oh!

We still have some raspberry bushes to plant, but we got the peach trees planted yesterday. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

That was WORK, as the holes needed to be pretty deep and wide. Em helped me and that little job pretty much drained both of us. We'll probably get the raspberry bushes planted this week; even have a hole all ready for ONE of them. They didn't arrive until after I got to Chicago, though, so they can still stand a little more acclimating to the local climate. There's a lot to be said for acclimation, IMO. For instance, we're still HERE:

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Chicago last week was more like HERE:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We still have highs in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s. Drops in temperature into the 40s have us turning on the heat. [Em turned the heat on while I was in Chicago, set to 74 degrees, and we still felt cold!] Sorry, Crunchie! Fortunately, the heat doesn't turn on often. Moved the rubber tree back inside. You might remember how pathetic it looked before spending this summer outside, but here's a reminder:

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It's back inside now (after a long internal debate on whether or not I wanted to let it be an outside rubber tree planted in the ground). I'll revisit that thought next year.
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I'm easing my way into post-vacation life this week. No. 1 came with Dave for a Boggle yesterday, so it's a very good thing we got the peach trees planted beforehand.

Made my last purchases of "Made in China" goods before vacation. Hadn't even noticed where the stuff was made before I bought it, but decided that "enuf is enough" after noticing. We don't celebrate Christmas, but No. 3 has a birthday on December 23, so he'll be the test case for whether Americans still make decent stuff, I suppose. Let me know, No. 3!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Next Stop.

Spent nine days in Chicago over the Thanksgiving holidays, several of those days spent with good friends of mine who have a son who entered the Project Direct film competition. I'll be blogging about that trip in the days to come, but for now, I want to ensure that y'all see this short film before voting shuts down.

Their son's entry is:

If you like it, go to Project Direct, click on the VOTE tab and cast a YES vote for The Next Stop. The way you cast a (YES) vote is to click on the thumbs up icon for the film. Click on "next video" until you see the subway scene shown above.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How'd Halloween Go For You?

No. 1 came with Ekans tonight to "charm" the trick-or-treaters.

She did a "pet the snake and get a piece of candy" hawk. lol. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Angelina Jolie as a child showed up at my doorstep so cute that I took 2 photos of her.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I'd say we had 100 kids this year; could have had more adolescent interlopers had we left the light on longer, but we were down to the last bag and a half of three musketeers (which are always saved for last because Em and No. 1 love them), so shut down the operation at 8:51. Em got home from work about 10 minutes after we shut down. He still hurts some, but hasn't had repeats of those spasms. That means life is good.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Your Mama Said There'd be Days Like This; There'll be Days Like This, Your Mama Said.

Forgot all about the wheat berries I've had soaking in the pantry for several days. The bushes are still sitting outside on the patio in their pots (which is okay for maybe up to 7 more days), and I have ALMOST 2 holes dug. 2 more holes plus soil amendments and we can plant those puppies.

It seemed kinda strange that Em had really bad cold symptoms last Sunday that went away by Monday morning (I'd thought) through the shotgun approach I took supplying remedies. He was fine the whole week up until Friday when his back started to bother him. Big day at the Racetrack on Saturday, working 9-9. His back was still bothering him in the morning, but he thought he could do the shift. Simply put, he couldn't. They drove him home about 2:30pm with spasms in his back. They'd wanted to take him to a hospital, but we're not hospital people.

We've been attacking the back problem probably as much as we can (or should) while it's still in the spasm phase. I have some familiarity with back problems having suffered from them over 20 years ago. We figure he'll be okay, but I'll be wondering for a while why he got this at this time and did it have something to do with the cold that he lost within a day that's lingered on in me for a full week now. Who Knows, right?

No. 1 came today to work on a paper for school. She has a plethora of papers due in the next few weeks, all in APA format. The one due this week is for her most anal-retentive professor, so it was kindof the test case and one that really required the services of anal-retentive mama. Who knew THAT feature of my personality would come in handy some day? APA format and Microsoft Word mix like oil and water. Her prof warned her, and we saw first-hand today. Frustrating doesn't quite describe the experience, but after a whole day we thought the product "good enough" and actually managed to save a copy without Word modifying the format. If she wants to (if she's anal-retentive enough), No. 1 will hunt down where the tab is 3 spaces instead of 5 and where the reference source is font 10 instead of 12). She's the one who needs to keep the 3.5 GPA to sustain her scholarship. Or, she can hope her anal-retentive prof is too busy or unforgiving to notice/care. Feeling lucky?

She stopped at the store for a few things for us on her way over and had the realization (fantasy?) that she's become part of the sandwiched generation without the bottom half of her sandwich. Now she's totally worried about us and talking about getting us on her cell phone plan. Of course, Em looked to be about 140 years old with his bad back and I had to ask her to help him out of the chair to come to the phone when his grandson called. The boy suggested he could call back. I had to tell him, "You don't want to get your grandfather out of the chair and then hang up." lol. Good times;good times.

Em's son mentioned coming to town next weekend. Might need to get the guestroom bed made up in case he spends the night here.

In the puzzle/game department, I've found online jigsaws. Right now I'm limiting myself to puzzles within the 50-70 piece category because they take less than 30 minutes to solve. That works for me. I like to mix my more obvious productive time with short sessions of non-obvious productivity and it's really kewl how online puzzles don't require any space in the home.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wheatgrass and Other Stuff.

Em teases me because I think it's important for us to eat from all the colors in a crayon box. Not the BIG 64 crayon box, but the small one with the 8 colors. The 8th color is green "other". Seriously; I read this. So, as mentioned previously, I decided to get "into" wheat grass juicing.

It takes a while to get the wheat berries "going", and it doesn't help when you soak 1/2 cup of wheat berries and put them into a container that will only accommodate 1/4 cup, then decide (2 days later) that there are too many wheat berries and rip the poor things out and put them into a second container. We live and learn, though. The roots on those things went through the drainage holes on the bottom after only a few days.

So, the process goes something like: soak the wheat berries for 24 hours (or 3 days if you're too lazy to move on to the next step). Drain them and lay them onto soil with good drainage. Cover. I drained and resoaked them every 8 or so hours using an old instant coffee jar with a knee-high nylon stocking and rubber band.

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In just a day or two the sprouting grasses started forcing their way through the small holes atop the containers. I waited until they got really forceful to open the lids permanently, but I still rinse them every 8 or so hours. I put the green grass outside if the weather is clear. Developmentally, here's the process from front to back:

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In other news, there's absolutely NO TRUTH to the rumor being spread about how I panicked when the fanbelt broke off the car on the way to Oklahoma last Monday. I heard Em say that he couldn't stop or steer the car and didn't scream ONCE. I spent the whole time (while miracle man drove to the car repair place) looking out the passenger window at the lovely Texas scenery. I was even so calm that we continued to Oklahoma once the fanbelt was replaced. We forgot to turn off the hazard lights when we got there, so killed the battery while we were there, but Casinos are good about fixing things like that.

Lots of things are going on this month and next if you look to the right of the blog for information. Em's job precludes us from attending most of these things, but maybe you can attend things in your area.

I've ordered a number of fruit plants to help us maintain our crayola diet. Ordered mostly 2 of stuff so they could pollinate each other a little... 2 peach trees, 2 blueberry bushes, 2 blackberry bushes, 2 raspberry bushes, 6 strawberry plants. Some repetition isn't necessary; for instance, the peach trees are self-pollinating, but we've been looking to put some trees in our backyard for a while now and one at each end worked for us. We'll receive the stuff when it's time to plant them.

Tomorrow or the next day we'll begin "harvesting" the wheatgrass for juice. I'll let you know how it tastes (plain, mixed with other juices, etc.) I'll also let you know if we can leap tall fences in a single bound after drinking a shot of the stuff.

Don't forget Halloween is this month. Lots of kids look forward to the community afforded by neighbors oohing and aahing over their costumes while stuffing their bags with treats.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Entertainment Week, Conspicuous Consumption, and Miscellany.

Em's going back to work at the end of next week, so we tried to concentrate on just having fun this week. We caught that Jodie Foster movie and enjoyed it. Drove up to Oklahoma for a day of gaming, and actually came home with more money than we took by some magnitudes for cheapskating gamblers. That was icing on the cake for us, because we just assume that $40.00 each is the price we pay for 9 hours of entertainment there. In the gaming department, I spent $20.00 on a PC game (my first) called "Cradles of Rome". I'd been playing the demo version (to my frustration), No. 3 advised me AGAINST buying this game, and I bought it anyway. No matter how much I try and how much time I throw at it, I haven't been able to get beyond level 3 or 4. The game has 100 levels, so I think I've got the game that'll see me through the rest of my life. lol.

Went out to dinner and a play. "FEED ME!" (giggle)

Em's grandson was selling the DFW Entertainment Passbook through his school, so we had coupons for dinner AND the play. One evening out paid for the book. Thanks again, Steff! We were gonna go to the American Airlines Center last night to listen to some free jazz outdoors, but we did a lot of grocery shopping yesterday and didn't really feel like it AND we couldn't bring any food/drink into the Center. THAT turns "free" into "need to buy a water" after a few hours and I didn't want to buy a water. No.1 gave us some reusable water bottles that she got free at school. Here they are, pictured with my "prize" canteloupe and a few cucumbers from the garden (BOTH volunteers from last year's planting). I'm meeting new neighbors giving away cucumbers lately when my "regular customers" aren't home.

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There's free jazz again Monday evening at UTA; their faculty is playing. Wednesday is "Drinking Liberally" again, and Thursday I'd like to attend a free landscaping class that our city offers. It's all over Friday, as Em goes back to work for two months.

I'm just about out of the "propellant"-sprayed oil (FINALLY...dang, that stuff lasts a long time!). Bob and Judy introduced me to their method last year, and it's definitely more environmentally conscious, so I've ordered one of these for No. 1, No. 2, and myself. It's not as easy to use as the stuff with the propellant, but if you think ahead to "I need to lift the pan so that I spray in a forward motion rather than a downward motion" and "I need to release the pressure on the nozzle when I'm done so the thing doesn't clog" and OF COURSE read the instructions on how the thing is only supposed to be filled HALFWAY or LESS, problems SHOULD be minimal or nonexistent and you never need to buy the "propellant" sprayed oil again. Just wash and refill.

Speaking of washing and refilling, if you're not yet to the point of using vinegar and baking soda for all your cleaning needs (Em still craves commercial glass cleaner), refills exist that are more environmentally friendly. Coupons are also available for those environmentally friendly refills fulfilling my cheapskating requirements.

Last in the conspicuous consumption department for me this week is THIS. My last visit to Illinois included No. 2 and I attending her gym and then stopping by a health bar to get juice. I think (like I can remember that far back) that we both got some protein-laden juice drinks and (in addition) No. 2 got a shot of wheat grass juice. So, I was reading Chile Chews one day and realized that I have wheat berries in my cupboard and could grow my OWN wheatgrass. Really, I'm just envious that Aunt Claire jumps over fences and I've never really thought about jumping over a fence (if I could FIND a fence), but... HEY... I wouldn't mind going bionic, too! So, I'm gonna try some of this juicing, and (by default) Em's gonna try some of this juicing, too. (smile). The dry pulp will go on the compost pile.

Last in the other department today is buying from China. When Lucky (my mom) was alive, she'd cringe at the thought of buying anything that wasn't made in the USA, but it's gotten to the point where it's pretty difficult to buy things made ONLY in the US, so we kindof (if we're channeling our mothers and/or entertain even the slightest jingoism) need to decide what countries we'll support and which ones we won't. I think OXO makes the cutest cooking things, but I refuse to buy their stuff because it's made in China. Yesterday, we went to Albertson's (one of three stores this week) with the thought of buying (for one thing) tilapia. "From China"? An Asian woman (customer in front of me) was the first to mention to the butcher that she didn't want to buy tilapia if it was from China. I was primarily interested in the chicken sale and asked if the chicken had been imported from China, too. The butcher marked down some tilapia (frozen in bags) to the price of the "from China" stuff because "We want you to come back." SHEESH! I forgot I need to separate and rewrap that chicken today. Later...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Who Knew?

Strange Stuff Worth More Than You Imagine. Did You Know About This? Excerpt: "Ambergris (Whale Vomit): I come across an article in the news about whale vomit every few years. A person is walking along the beach and comes across some disgusting blob and for some unexplainable reason has an irresistible notion to pick it up (while I’m sure hundreds of others have walked by it with absolutely no thought of ever touching it). Later they find out it’s whale vomit (also called ambergris) which is a highly sought after ingredient for perfume. If it is good-quality vomit (I have to laugh writing that), the ambergris can be sold for up to $10 per gram, with the finest grades fetching many times more than this."

Hat tip to Dawn C.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Obscenity runs in my family.

My mother was obscene and what she told me was that obscene was the ONLY way to be. I was obscene for many years, and if given the opportunity to go back in time, I'd be obscene for many years again. What's WRONG with some people?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

September 15, 2007 - National Day of Peace and Protest.

If you're so inclined, look for an activity near you.

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Em's competition for my heart reviews the General Betray Us/Crock report:

Update for Bruce:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bush Trellis; nature lends a helping hand.

We have two bushes in our backyard that get HUGE. We had one (not the one shown, but the same species) cut down to the ground and it grew right back. They take up space that could be used for growing vegetables, but I hadn't thought of them in a positive way until Em asked me what was growing up the side of one this summer. I didn't know at the time, as they were volunteers from last year's planting. NOW, I know, and my plan is to use these bushes (maybe trimmed up a bit) as trellises for heavy-fruited vining plants. Maybe we could shape them into Mickey Mouse heads with cantaloupe earrings?

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

In other news,

Saturday, September 08, 2007

LOOK, LOOK; See No. 1's "new" car!

Leftside, rightside, inside, outside, backside, frontside, here's No. 1's "new" car:

It's a 1997 Honda Accord EX, sporting 117,000 miles. Our nextdoor neighbor, Bill, (Thank you, Bill!) told us about it being in his "network". He'd told me that it was gold, and it turned out to be silver, but anyone could confuse precious metal colors, right? (smile)

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There it is...across the street! That black hulk in the driveway is the rental car Em's driving while the Mustang is in the shop. It's HUGE, bulky, and we don't know how to work anything, but it was all they had left to rent on the day he went. We went grocery shopping yesterday and couldn't figure out how to open the trunk. Then, on the way home, with the groceries in the back seat, we noticed the "Trunk is open" light was on. SURE! NOW you open up! D'OH!

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The interior is all leather and in perfect condition. It also has what they call a moonroof, but I can't say I know the difference between that and a sunroof.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If No. 1 still loves the car when she finishes school (2.5 yrs from now), maybe she'll decide to get the car's few warts fixed (as shown in the next few images). Right now, though, I suspect those warts have a little bit to do with why we didn't pay anywhere near the book value.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We took it for an oil change before we let her take it home. Next week, Em will take it away from her while he gets the coolant flushed and the brakes checked.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It has fancy wheel thingees that No. 1 feared would get stolen. The car guy started to demonstrate how easy these things are to steal using just a screwdriver (insisting, of course, that he knew this by word of mouth only), but he learned that there's a lock in place. That makes it hard to change a tire, but No. 1 doesn't change her own tires anyway.

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She'd removed her CD player from the car that was totaled and put it in this "new" one. She said the sound system is WONDERFUL and that she totally LOVES this car. Bill thought you might love it, No. 1. Thanks again, Bill!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Drinking Liberally.

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Tonight, we're going to "Drinking Liberally" in a town nearby after dinner. Does that bring to mind a picture of a Sot? <-- That's a word No. 1 taught me playing Boggle. I'm pretty sure it means someone who over-drinks. Some parts of the country have "Eating Liberally", and the picture that comes to mind is of over-eaters (like Ekans, for instance). Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

It's not about gluttony, but sharing time with other liberals.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Gonna bring my camera, so I'll update with any offerings that show promise.

Update: What a great bunch of people! This particular branch (Drinking Liberally Mid-Cities) serves a wide area, IMO. They meet at Esparza's Tequila Factory and Grill, 3314 Harwood Road (just off Hwy. 121) in Bedford, Texas. Esparza's is tucked into a little corner of a strip mall on the South side of Harwood, East of the Tom Thumb. It's kindof far for us to travel (@25 minutes by highway), and my plan is to learn from them how this thing works so we might start a branch closer to home. Todd and Kathleen did an excellent job getting this branch going, so I couldn't ask for better mentors. What I'm gonna need to do, though, is not get so attached to these people that I forget about how far it is to travel and my plan of a branch closer to home. They have a great mix of liberals, and I already look forward to the next meet.

Esparza's offers (apparently) the Drinking Liberally crowd an entire room off the entrance to their main dining area. There were about 11 people there when we arrived, sitting at two long tables.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket The woman on the right is running for some office in a town that isn't ours. Kathleen said that candidates oftentimes join them, not to speak, but to mingle. We got a U-shape going by moving furniture around after more folks came.

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I wore the shirt you sent me, No. 2. Em cut my hair before we left (BEST.HAIRCUT.EVER!), but I still had enough to hide the shirt if necessary. John and Heather (shown) are students at UTA, and John's a veteran of Drinking Liberally, having attended three different offerings. He thinks Mid-Cities is the best of the three and I can see why. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

In other news(bad), a pickup truck hit the Mustang while Em was stopped at a stoplight on the way to take No. 1 to school yesterday. Em wasn't hurt at all, the driver has insurance and admitted it as his fault, so the car will enter the shop today while Em gets a rental.

In other news(good), Bill (nextdoor) found a car for No. 1. It's a 1997 Honda Accord and she could have it as soon as this weekend, putting behind us the madness of chauffeuring her to school and work each day. Life is good!

(Thanks to No. 1 for the pics of Ekans eating on his veranda.)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

American People's Poll on Iraq (AKA Peace Rally) in Fort Worth, Texas.

There was a time when I protested the Vietnam War, marched for Civil Rights, and considered myself an activist. It's just since we've retired that I've picked up the "activist" label and stuck it on my forehead again. SO MANY YEARS passed inbetween! There was work, school (forever the student I was) dogs, child-rearing, gardens, divorce, travel, loss of my dad, Lucky, a move to Texas, loss of Lucky, new marriage, etc.

Feels kinda good, though, to pick it up again. Em's right there with me on whatever I feel I need to do. He's not sayin' he's gonna do it, too; he's just said that he's right there with me on whatever I feel *I* need to do. So, we went together to the American People's Poll on Iraq yesterday. It was a Peace rally held in Fort Worth, Texas.

I packed a lunch for us of tuna salad wraps with grapes and brought a few bottles of water in a small cooler. I still need to buy the reusable water bottles, as I'll not buy bottled water again, but I had a few bottles of water that we also needed to drink and recycle, so it's not yet environmental guilt-time.

'twas a GREAT day for a rally, and we had really good luck getting there and back. We left with just a little more than enough time to drive to the train station to catch the offering that would get us there at 12:30pm, waited through not one, not two, but THREE wrecks on 360 getting to the train station, and caught that train by a hair. Rumor had it that the folks from Texans for Peace someone would meet us at the station at that particular time and walk us over to the Convention Center where the rally was being held, but it looked like that hadn't been shared with the Texans for Peace folks local people in charge of that function. (Thanks for the correction, Alyssa!). Ran into a few folks we'd met before on the way to the rally. Heh. Most of us are too old to remember WHERE we met before, but we can at least recognize familiar faces, if not the names that go with them.

Arriving a little too early for the speakers, we checked out some of the booths:

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I was Jonesing on some of the offerings, but hadn't brought any money to spend.

We sat ourselves down in some of those chairs that collapse into over-the-shoulder bags that Em had just bought that morning at (hiding head in shame) Walmart! I know; I know. My indoctrination program isn't working on him. In his defense, though, he doesn't ROUTINELY shop at Walmart. He looked the day before for some ant killer, because someone online said that it would free up our kitchen faster than my homemade stuff, at Home Depot. When they didn't have it, he checked at Walmart. Hey, he was out shopping by himself and had nobody to stop him! I guess he saw the chairs at that time. Anyway, we sat down in the shade maybe 200 feet from the podium. We didn't have a view of the podium from where we sat. We had THIS view:

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The view from in front of the podium looked more like THIS:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

So, while we could HEAR what was going on, I walked around to SEE what was going on, and found: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket This last one was the group sent to protest the protest.

Apparently, I have a "Loves Sidewalk Fountains" sticker on my forehead that can't be seen when I look in the mirror, because THESE two women approached me, saying that they were gonna go 20 or so feet from where we were sitting to avail themselves of the cooling power of the sidewalk fountains, asking if I'd like to join them. DUH! Of COURSE (Heh!)!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Those "over the shoulder" chairs absorb water, so when your butt's wet it's gonna stay wet, and when your underpants are soaked, your butt's gonna start to itch. /Just sayin'. We caught the 4pm train home. We had NO obstacles on our way back home, and an easy dinner of garlic/chicken/herb ravioli baked with sauce, spinach, & grated cheese accompanied by refrigerator biscuits, which tasted great! Life is good!