Saturday, August 30, 2008


John McCain announces his running mate for the Republican's who??? I was shocked but not surprised that McCain announced a woman for his running mate. What shocked me was that I had no idea who this woman was. I was not surprised because it just seems logical that the republicans would pick a woman. Who best to steal disappointed Hillary Clinton fans with but another woman. After all, a republican would reason, these women's libbers will vote for any woman regardless of party affiliation.

The new Vice Presidential candidate has the distinction of being in politics since 1992 and being a year younger than me. Now, I's hard for me to be so sarcastic of a woman but come on.....seriously. Her political history starts off with her being on the city council of a small bohunk town on the coast of Alaska called Wasilla (1992 population ~ 5,000 souls). After that four years she graduated to mayor. Not a real big leap. At that time she fired the Police Chief (who also served as the library director because their just aren't that many people in Wasilla!!!!). She was sued for wrongful termination as it was alleged that she fired him because he supported her opponent.

Somewhere around here the Republicans noticed her. Probably not for her political distinction but because Pat Buchanan noticed her on a visit to Wasilla and her right wing views turned his crank.

After a 4 year dry spell of a couple failed elections she somehow managed to win the gubernatorial post of the State of Alaska. She took office in December of 2006. Yes, that's what I said, less than two years ago.

For the record, her name is Sarah Palin. Don't bother remembering it. She'll be but a minor footnote in history, perhaps even a trivial pursuit question.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

By My Bed.....

used to be my handheld football "video" game, a glass of water, an Archie comic book and an alarm clock with a little and big hand. That was a long time ago. As I grew up those things on the nightstand by my bed (and under it...) have changed. Today there are eye drops, a digital alarm clock, moisturizing creme, my Carmex, the book "Eat, Pray, Love" and a bottle of sleeping pills.

Eye drops -- laser eye surgery and dry eye sometimes at night
Alarm clock -- it has a temperature read out, too, so when I feel like I'm on fire in the middle of the night I can consult the clock and see what the temperature is and curse the fact that we don't have air conditioning
Moisturizing creme -- I wake up at night and my feet are dry and hot. Weird...but true
Carmex -- can't sleep without my lips all nice and soft with Carmex
sleeping pills -- well, frankly, I live in the USA where you are go, go, go and never relax
Eat, Pray, Love -- see above. I am searching for balance.

What's beside your bed?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


We've been watching the Olympics quite a bit. I was stunned the other night when the finals for Women's Trampoline came up. How long has trampoline been an Olympic sport? I have always considered trampoline a kids plaything that they do in the backyard to occupy their time and hopefully not break their neck doing it.

It's quite an irritating sport to watch actually. I do use the word sport loosely in that sentence. I mean, they jump up and down, up and down, over and over again and my eyes kind of get a little bouncy and I get a little dizzy. Then flip, flip, flip and its over. I suppose its a combination of diving and gymnastics but an Olympic sport?

As for the Olympics in general, I'm enjoying them but I felt the judging for gymnastics and a few other of the discretionary sports were skewed towards the Chinese. But, hey, what do I know? I'm only an armchair judge. Well, that's all I have for now.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What message are you sending?

So, I'm walking into the little cafe in my building in downtown Los Angeles. You know the cafe....they are in most highrises on the Terrace or Ground level and people get their lunch, breakfast and snacks there. Just ahead of me entering the cafe is a young black kid about 11 with his mother and younger brother standing outside. He's carrying his lunch box and appears dressed for day camp or something. I follow him in and he walks up to the condiment area and grabs a bunch of packets of Ketchup and Mayo. Just before he turns to walk out the owner of the place says, "what are you doing?".

At this point I'm standing there a little surprised by the audacity of the whole thing but yet mildly amused as I know how this is going to play out. The kid says, "I need some ketchup for my lunch.", the owner says, "so you're just going to take it?". The kids says, "um, may I please have some ketchup packets?". This almost made me giggle. So, stealing is ok if you ask nicely?

You can see the progression of this story and the outcome was expected. The mother yelled from the door, "Well, (huff and puff) I'm never going to buy lunch here again." and stormed away. The owner told me that she never buys lunch and that last week they snuck in and stole some ketchup before he could come out of the kitchen. Do you think that the kid learned that what he was doing was wrong? Yeah, I doubt it too. When you're being reinforced from your parents that stealing is ok and you should be upset when you don't get what you feel you're entitled to, then that is sending the wrong message.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cruising in the Porsche

This weekend Dena and I escaped for a few days onto roads less travelled. I'd thought we'd covered pretty much all the roads in Southern California, but apparently we missed a few. On the way to Palm Springs I read the owner's manual to Dena and together we discovered a secret compartment, how to pop the Targa fin up in the back, all about the on board computer and a variety of other things. It amazes me that my girlfriend has been cruising around in this Porsche 911 for three months and hadn't a clue how the AC worked. I suppose that old adage "all about the journey" rings true right about now.

We cruised through the high dessert and low dessert from East to West and eventually made our way to La Jolla. A beautiful and pretentious beachside town catering to the rich but invaded by the upper middle class. Kind of amusing. Saturday night we discovered a band that I'd love to use for our wedding, if one ever happens. They are called "The Trip Band". A stupid name, but they were good, playing Sister Christian, Cheap Trick and Guns & Roses pretty darn good.

The picture of the painting up top is something that really struck me in a La Jolla gallery. It's called Streetwise by Paul James (UK). What struck me about the painting (giclee) was that it said so much. Here is a duck amid so much urban sprawl and scrawl. How humankind has ridden roughshod over all that was there before and how species have had to adapt or disappear. This Mallard duck is thinking about grabbing that can of beer and cigarette stub and saying to the world, "well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Frankly, the painting moved me to tears as it is a depressing statement of what we've become.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Summer Harvest from Farmer Dawn

Here I am, a simple Snowback from Canada with my Los Angeles summer harvest. Figs and green grapes right from our backyard. I couldn't hold the blueberries and tomatoes. Not enough hands. Nothing like some fresh, homegrown, organic, delicious fruits and veggies to make your day.