Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Great Answers!

Bravo to all of you for playing along; I had such a great time reading your guesses. Thanks for the fun! Here is the rest of the story...

#1. Me: "That's cool...wonder what that is?", as I take a picture. Willi knew what it was. Do you?

Maybe if there was a bike hooked up to this I would have caught on a little more quickly. Probably not. Then of course I got close enough to read the sign. Enough said about that.

#2. This had a life of it's own, and some pretty powerful sound effects. Have you
seen heard this before? I hadn't.

I know bathroom humor is really not politically correct. Butt, I had neither seen nor heard "chrome push button dual flush technology". Our fixtures here are over 50 years old, and original. I really do need to get out more often. Although I managed to surmise the intended use, I had no idea that the force and sound would resemble a rocket launch. Willi's reaction was "3... 2... 1... FIRE IN THE HOLE"!

#3. This was pretty cool...but I bet it's not what you think!
Give it a guess...

These wonderful characters are actually bourbon bottles and were part of an exhibition at Louisville Stoneware coinciding with a conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. No wonder they use the acronym NCECA.

They also had a companion exhibit of shot glasses called "By the Ounce". Here was Willi's favorite.

#4. Sounds like a scary place, but what the heck is a fallover?
And if you are not responsible, who is?

Ah, Debi you sly one. You Googled! Me too - as soon as we got home; the curiosity was killing me. You are is as sign on the wall outside the garage door of The Fox Den, Louisville's first and only drive-thru biker bar! I believe a fallover would be what happens when your bike tips over. I was nowhere near there when that happened.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Sheltered Life

Willi and I decided late Friday afternoon to take a road trip to Louisville and spend St. Patrick's Day with Tim Krekel. Luckily the folks at the doggie hotel complied and off we went. I have to admit that for two old farts the spontaneity was pretty impressive. At least I was impressed, although that probably doesn't count.

We found some neat stuff to keep us busy Saturday until showtime. I'll post some highlights a little later in the week. For now it's late Sunday (late for me anyway) and Monday will come all too early, so I'll leave you with these thoughts.

My mom used to say that I led a sheltered life; particularly at those "duh" moments I was prone to have. Well, I guess that so many odd years later I'm still having those "duh" moments.

Here are a few...

#1. Me: "That's cool...wonder what that is?", as I take a picture. Willi knew what it was. Do you?

#2. This had a life of it's own, and some pretty powerful sound effects. Have you seen heard this before? I hadn't.

#3. This was pretty cool...but I bet it's not what you think!
Give it a guess...

#4. Sounds like a scary place, but what the heck is a fallover?
And if you are not responsible, who is?

Stay tuned for the answers to these burning questions, and more. Actually they all made sense to me. Eventually.

Monday, March 12, 2007

WWC: No Time to Waste

So now we are looking at the Army's decision to privatize building maintenance and support at Walter Reed with IAP, a contractor with connections to Bush and Halliburton. This after Army auditors, in 2004, refused estimates by the Army that said it would have been more cost-effective to keep the service in-house. They were directed to come back with a more appropriate bid which called for 23 additional staff and another $16 million to their cost. As a result, the White House's Office of Management and Budget pressured the Army to privatize. What the heck is with that? So here we are. Who loses? Our veterans.

In the mean time, Bush has ordered a "comprehensive review" of government hospitals which are now overwhelmed with injured troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The commission will be led by Bob Dole and Donna Shalala. Shalala said yesterday that "(Soldiers) don't have time to waste while we debate who's responsible here. They want that care now, and they want it to be of the highest quality."

I agree. Kind of.
I want quality care for our troops, now.
Then I want to know who is responsible this mess.

Courtesy of Odd Mix, the words are Steadfast and Gracious.

Our government has not been very gracious
in their care of those who have remained steadfast.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Champion of the People

That was the headline in yesterday's paper. It hovered over the article about Indiana State Senator Anita Bowser. Her funeral was Thursday. You might remember me writing about her in this post. I did not know then that she was struggling with breast cancer. That was one battle she did not win; although she "died with her boots on". Still hoping that she would make Monday's morning session, she remained in Indianapolis in hospice, rather than return to her home in Michigan City. She had only a week's absence and had more bills heard this year than any other. They buried her with a copy of the Indiana State Constitution.

I cried when I read the said news of her passing in Monday's paper. Even today when I read over the accounts of her various debates on the Senate floor, I am moved to emotion. Why? After all, she was not from my district. She did not represent me, right?

(Michael McArdle/Post-Tribune file)

Wrong. She said what I feel. She spoke for me. They called her "the conscience of the General Assembly". They said "No one could thunder with more passion and indignation...". I wish I could have heard her.

I wish I could have heard her the last time at the podium when she condemned the proposed amendment to the state constitution banning same sex marriages. Senator Earline Rogers said she argued that the state constitution was designed to preserve rights, not take them away. I wish I could have heard her when she told them that the Indiana Constitution does not talk about intolerance, and asked "Who next is going to be on your hatred list?"

I wish I could have heard her scold fellow senators who were afraid to vote against the proposed gay marriage ban for fear of losing in the next election. "You're compromising your integrity for a vote. Does not your conscience bother you about that?"

It was reported in this article, that the Senator "with cancer in her bones and a broken pelvis, was so determined to speak against the resolution that she'd had to make her way to the Senate floor in a wheelchair."

Senator Bowser considered herself a conservative on constitutional issues, but "on social issues, yes, I guess I'm a liberal. I don't think it's bad term, I think it's a Christian term," she said. On Tuesday, flowers covered an empty desk while those that worked beside her remembered her "as perhaps the most intelligent, progressive voice in the body".

There is a pattern in the accounts of her life...a friend to the little guy, an advocate for the less fortunate, a champion of the people. I wonder who will fill her shoes. I wonder who will say what I think. Who will stand up for the downtrodden? Now who will be the champion of the people?

I will miss you, Senator Bowser.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

WWC: Just Another Day in the Hood

This is the view from the window over my kitchen sink on a wintery Saturday morning. I grew up with this view. In fact I took it for granted up until the time I moved into a house with a wall where the window was supposed to be. This was a great delight in moving back to the house of my childhood.

One of the first things Willi and I did when we settled in was to replace the feeders and fill them up with seed. Ever since then we have had a steady stream of visitors.

There is a definite pecking order in this neighborhood. Very seldom do I see two Cardinals feed at the same time, although they will share the same space with some of the smaller birds.

Mostly they hang out on the corner waiting around for their turn. Sometimes this row of evergreens is full of Cardinals and other critters.

This guy appears to be hitting on the chicks although they don't look too awfully impressed.

Of course, why would they make a hasty decision when there are so many other good lookers fluffed up and ready to go?
We are inundated with squirrels. They are the interlopers in this neighborhood; knocking down the feeders and scaring the birds away. They're not afraid of much which makes them a year round pest. This one I am familiar with only because his tail, or lack thereof, makes him quite noticeable.
These two bad boys caused quite a ruckus this morning. Can you see them? They are so far away that my camera and I are both struggling. They are actually across the creek, but their presence definitely does not go unnoticed.

Here is a little better view of the Red-tailed Hawks. I think they are hungry and waiting for breakfast. But I don't think they have seeds in mind...

Courtesy of Odd Mix, the words are Civilized and Barbaric.

This little guy appears to be so civilized as he contemplates his next move. Maybe the circumstance in which he lost the majority of his tail has given him a somewhat calmer approach to life... opposed to this barbaric acrobat, who prefers climbing down from the roof!

Just one more picture: Frosty Crabapples on a foggy morning.

Hope your week is a good one!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

New Tunes: What a Song

Ruthie Foster is Phenomenal, and that's the name of her new CD. I found her a few years back while paging through a No Depression magazine, which is a great way for Willi and I to keep up with the music we are so fond of. In fact, before XM Satellite Radio, No Depression was about all we had; well that plus the internet. Absolutely none of the other radio stations played what we liked, and they still don't. Not even the Chicago stations.

Well anyway, Willi found out there was another offering from Ruthie and headed on over to our internet connection for new tunes, Village Records. Our local vendors don't really carry much that isn't mainstream. Within a few days it was in our mailbox. Yippee!

What first drew me to Ruthie Foster was the strength of her voice. I don't go much for wimpy sounding women singers. Willi says I am too hard on them, but if they don't have some grit and guts in their voice, I'll pass. What a wonderful thing to play Phenomenal for the first time and get the same thrill I heard a few years back.

The title track, Phenomenal Woman, grabbed me as soon as I heard it but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. While playing it for my daughter and her husband, he recognized the song right off the bat as a poem written by Maya Angelou. It was truly a "Duh" moment; I should have read the liner notes. Maya Angelou is an awesome woman and Ruthie Foster sinks every bit of herself into this song. It is one of those moments that just can't be topped. Well, I think so anyway.

So here is the song, and the lyrics, for your perusal. Hope you enjoy them. Warning to the guys: this would probably be considered a "chick song".

by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a model's fashion size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips
The stride of my steps
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please
And to a man
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees
Then they swarm around me
A hive of honey bees.
I say
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth
The swing of my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back
The sun of my smile
The ride of my breasts
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say
It's in the click of my heels
The bend of my hair
The palm of my hand
The need for my care.
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.