Thursday, October 23, 2008

Family Update

and Just a quick update. My stomach is still bothering me. It will pass again, but then again when I don't watch what I eat, I'll be suffering again. It's surprising though just what gluten is in. I usually find out the hard way.
and I've had problems all my life, but every doctor I've ever visited told me something different. It was a birth defect in my small intestines that caused me discomfort, or I had colitis, or even that I was too high strung. One doctor ask me what I thought my problem was. I repeated what the last doctor said, which was nerves. The new doctor gave me tranquilizers. I was 16 years old at the time. After taking them for two days and having slept for two days, I pitched them in the garbage.
Then about nine years ago I went on a low carb diet, where I cut out most carbs, including bread. My stomach quit bothering me. I felt so good. Or should I say I didn't feel anything. And I didn't have the um..... Never mind, it's embarrassing. My first piece of white bread after weeks of dieting sent me straight to the bathroom, and in no time at all either. Needless to say, white bread is the first thing I cut out of my diet.
and So I bought my washer. When Jon got home the next day, he and Ed took the back seat out of the van. We went to Best Buy first. To my surprise every decently priced top loader they had was gone. The mates sat next to the empty spaces where the washers should have been. The boys had plans and it was late, so we went to the next closest store, which was Menards. I was surprised. I found what I wanted at the price I wanted. I still have a mountain of clothes, although it is shrinking.
and So Becki stayed in for a couple days between work. I spoke to her after her experience with the nut job and the brick. She said she was frightened. I think she was happy to be grounded. But then she took off with Crazy Ann once I let her out. Two expeditions later, one to a coffee shop in Berwyn, and next grocery shopping in Alsip, and suddenly the two are fighting again.
and Becki is back with Jen and Superbaby. But then again, she spends as much time with them as she can anyway. Speaking of Superbaby, he's getting big. Jen and Becki went shopping for his first Halloween costume. He'll be a pumpkin. Of course. I don't know one kid who wasn't a pumpkin at least once. They plan to take him out trick or treating. Superbaby is only a few months old, so you know whose going to eat his candy.
and One reason Becki has so much time to spend with Crazy Ann is because Jen is going to school every week night. She's taking message therapy. She always wanted to be a nurse and had planned to go to nursing school before she got pregnant. Times change and situations change. I hope though, that she'll try to get back to her original plans somehow. She'd make a great nurse.
and Tomorrow is Parents/Teachers conferences. It's hard to believe the first quarter is over. Becki thinks her grades should be decent. I hope so. Ed tells me his grades are great. I know Becki won't end up on honor roll, but maybe if Ed is doing as well as he says he is, he might make the Dean's List. Then I can get one of those bumper stickers for the van. You know the one: My kid is an honor student at UCLA. (That's the University Closest to LaGrange Avenue.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From My AOL Archives: The Life, Death and Burial of Edgar Allen Poe

and Since 1949, a mysterious person enters Presbyterian Cemetery in Baltimore, each year on the night of Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday. The stranger leaves 3 roses and a partial bottle of cognac on Edgar Allan Poe’s grave. The roses are believed to represent the three individuals buried in that plot; Poe, his wife Virginia and her mother Maria Clemm. What the cognac represents, no one is sure of except for that stranger. Several of the bottles are on display at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Baltimore.

and Poe is possibly best known for his poetry, and in particular, The Raven. He is also known for his short stories and tales of the macabre. He has taken the detective story in a new direction with Murder in the Rue Morgue. Rather than concentrating on the act of murder itself, Poe’s character, Detective Dupin, solved his crimes by analyzing the evidence before him. Dupin appeared in The Mystery of Marie Roget and The Purloined Letter. Dupin was later said to have been the ancestor of such characters as Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, and Earle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason. Poe also wrote several humorous stories, science fiction, and well as one novel, which made a bigger splash in England than in the United States.
and Quickly, Edgar Poe was born on January 19, 1809. His mother Elizabeth Arnold Poe died in 1811. His father, David Poe, Jr., died or disappeared before that. Both parents were actors. Poe was raised by John and Frances Allan. John Allan was a tobacco merchant by trade. Part of Poe’s upbringing took place in England. Although never adopted, Poe recognized his foster father’s influence by taking the name Allan as his middle name.
and Poe attended the University of Virginia and excelled at Latin and French studies. He was forced to withdraw because of unpaid gambling debts. At that point his foster father disowned him. Poe then spent two years in the military as a soldier, and then one year at West Point. He was expelled because he refused to do his duty.
and He then moved in with his father’s sister, Maria Clemm, and Clemm’s daughter, Virginia. He and Virgina, then age 13, married in 1836. Poe supported himself, his mother-in-law, her cat Cattrina, and wife, by writing and working as a literary critic. He edited the works of many of the day’s most famous writers, and offered written advice in the Philosophy of Composition
. This work didn’t pay well and Poe was often concerned with the possibility of going to debtor’s prison. Poe lived in Richmond, Virginia until 1837. He moved to New York, and very soon after that to Philadelphia. He left there in 1844. His Philadelphia years were considered his most prolific. He tried to publish his own magazine, but failed.
and Life changed when Virginia suffered a burst blood vessel in 1842, causing her to become an invalid. She contracted tuberculosis during that time, and passed away in 1847. After her death, Poe fell apart, succumbing to drugs and alcohol.

and In his last years, he reportedly suffered from depression and bouts of madness, and attempted suicide in 1848. He was in Baltimore in 1849. One story has it that he was offered a drink at a birthday celebration. That was September. Three days later he was found in dire straights, in a Baltimore gutter.
According to his attending doctor, John J. Moran, Poe was sent by carriage to Washington University Hospital on October 3, 1849. He was taken to the ‘tower’, a place where patients went to overcome the affects of alcohol without disturbing the other patients. It was later decided that Poe had not been drinking, but because of the state of his dress, he might have been mugged and robbed. It was even reported that Poe refused a drink of brandy, which was offered to him as a stimulant. He passed in and out of consciousness repeatedly. According to Dr. Moran, Poe uttered long monologues during his hospitalization. Poe reportedly said, “Language cannot tell the gushing well that swells, sways and sweeps, tempest-like, over me, signaling the 'larm of death'." And later, "My best friend would be the man who gave me a pistol that I might blow out my brains." Moran claimed that Poe called for “Reynolds.” Who Reynolds was, no one was certain. Poe died at 5AM on Sunday, October 7th. Moran reported that his last words were, “Lord, help my poor soul.” The official cause of death was ‘congestion of the brain.’ His doctors were unaware of a previous diagnosis of a weak heart and lesions on the brain. Moran made a career later in life writing and lecturing about Poe’s passing, and with each telling, the tale became more involved.
It seemed that Poe’s burial was just as questionable as the way he led his life and the manner in which he died. He was buried in a family plot in an unmarked grave in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Baltimore. In 1860, mother-in-law and aunt, Maria Clemm wrote to cousin Neilson Poe of Alexandria, Virginia. She said, “A lady called on me a short time ago from Baltimore. She said she had visited my darling Eddie’s grave. She said it was in the basement of the church, covered with rubbish and coal. Is this true? Please let me know. I am certain both he and I have still friends left to rescue his loved remains from degradation"
On her bidding Neilson Poe ordered a headstone, and Hugh Sisson carved it. It was a 3 feet high, Italian marble tablet. The epitaph read "Hic Tandem Felicis Conduntur Reliquae. Edgar Allan Poe, Obiit Oct. VII 1849." ("Here, at last, he is happy. Edgar Allan Poe, died Oct. 7, 1849.") The reverse read, "Jam parce sepulto" or "Spare these remains". Before it could be moved and installed, a train used to move stones from the monument yard, derailed and destroyed everything in sight. Nielson Poe could not afford a second stone.
In 1865, Miss Sara Sigourney Rice began a movement, collecting pennies from school children, and seeking other gifts from Poe‘s friends, to remember ‘Baltimore’s forgotten poet.’ Half of the money had been raised by 1871. The rest was given by Mr. George W. Childs of Philadelphia in 1874. A headstone designed by George A. Frederick, the architect for Baltimore's City Hall, was executed by the same Hugh Sisson who had designed the first stone. It simply read his name and the dates he was born and died, although his birthday was recorded as January 20, 1809 rather than January 19th. Poe was moved from his spot in the family plot, to the front of the cemetery. His wife, Virginia, was exhumed from where she was buried in New York, and reburied with him. Later Maria Clemm was buried with them.

Superstitions III - Friday, Friday the 13th and 13

and It is neither Friday today nor the 13th, but while surfing the net, I came across this info. I thought I'd rather share it than lose it. So in the spirit of Halloween, I am providing the origins and the superstitions associated with Friday, Friday the 13th and the number 13.
and A bed changed on Friday will bring bad dreams.
and Any ship that sails on Friday will have bad luck.

and You should never start a trip on Friday or you will meet misfortune.
and Never start to make a garment on Friday unless you can finish it the same day.
FRIDAY THE 13TH: How did Friday the thirteenth become such an unlucky day?
and Fear of Friday the 13th is rooted in ancient, separate bad-luck associations with the number 13 and the day Friday. The two unlucky entities combine to make one super unlucky day.
and There is a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla, their heaven. In walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki. Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. Balder died and the Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned.
and There is a Biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper.
and A particularly bad Friday the 13th occurred in the middle ages. On a Friday the 13th in 1306, King Philip of France arrested the revered Knights Templar and began torturing them, marking the occasion as a day of evil.
and In ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12. The 13th was believed to be the devil.
and Both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. In British tradition, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose.
and It is traditionally believed that Eve tempted Adam with the apple on a Friday. Tradition also has it that the Flood in the Bible, the confusion at the Tower of Babel, and the death of Jesus Christ all took place on Friday.
and Numerologists consider 12 a "complete" number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles of Jesus. In exceeding 12 by 1, 13's association with bad luck has to do with just being a little beyond completeness.
FRIDAY THE 13TH: How is fear of the number thirteen demonstrated?
and More than 80 percent of high-rises lack a 13th floor. Many airports skip the 13th gate. Airplanes have no 13th aisle. Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room number 13. Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery. On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 and a half. Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue. In France, socialites known as the quatorziens (fourteeners) once made themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate. Many triskaidekaphobes, as those who fear the unlucky integer are known, point to the ill-fated mission to the moon, Apollo 13. If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck. Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names.
and If 13 people sit down at a table to eat, one of them will die before the year is over.
GOOD FRIDAY: (The Friday before Easter)
and A child born on Good Friday and baptized on Easter Sunday has a gift of healing. If a boy, he should go into the ministry. Cut your hair on Good Friday to prevent headaches in the year to come. A person who dies on Good Friday will go right to heaven. Shed no blood on Good Friday, work no wood, hammer no nail.

H A P P Y H A L L O W E E N !

Monday, October 20, 2008

Miscellaneous Ghost Stories

and As published in the Blue Island Forum, 10/31/06 edition, and in my AOL journal.

and Over the years, I’ve heard stories from a number of people. Here are a few.

and The young man pointed at the bathroom window. “Had to block that off,” he told me. “Couldn’t stand it anymore.” A piece of plywood had been cut to fit over the window.

and "What’s that?” I asked.

and “Kept hearing a baby crying. Wouldn’t stop either.”

and “You call someone? Maybe it’s sick or something.”

and “No, You don’t get it. There is no baby. Not here, and not next store. There’s an old man living there. Thought I was crazy when I asked him about it.”

and She told of how she loved the sketch, and how she thought about hanging it in the entrance hall of her home. When she did, she said she heard footsteps walking across her living room. “I heard them a lot after that,” Mrs. X explained. “Especially when I knew that no one was in that room.”

and This went on for many years, and ended only when her home burned down. The fire caused significant damage in the front hall, right in front of the where the sketch hung, and consumed the sketch itself.

and After her home was rebuilt, she came across a book about the life of Ulysses S. Grant. Inside was a copy of the sketch. It was Grant in his early years. His nickname was Captain.

and Jon drove north into Chicago. “I’ve always wanted to see the Irish Castle up close,” he said.

and He pulled into the driveway at the Unitarian Church, and up to the Castle itself. “He was looking at something,“ Becki told me later. “When I tried to look, he just tore out of there. Really fast. All freaked out and everything.”

and I asked him about it. “There was a girl there, in an old fashioned plaid dress, and I could see right through her.”

and It took a bit of research, but I found out who the girl might have been. In the early 1900’s that building served as a school for girls. A flu epidemic took a large number of lives during that time, and apparently a number of girls from that school as well.

and A reference librarian told this story. "Every so often someone would be pulled over by Memorial Park for speeding. The cop would be driving an old Indian brand motorcycle. He’d stop the car, warn the driver, and then jump on his motorcycle and take off. When the driver reported it to the police, he was told that the Police Department hasn’t owned motorcycles for many years."

*Graphics by D's Designs

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Superstitions II

and It's very lucky to meet a chimney sweep by chance. Make a wish when sighting one, and the wish will come true.
and It is bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same match.
and Evil spirits can't harm you when you stand inside a circle.
and If a clock which has not been working suddenly chimes, there will be a death in the family.
and It's good luck to find a four-leaf clover. Clover protects human beings and animals from the spell of magicians and the wiles of fairies, and brings good luck to those who keep it in the house.
and It's bad luck to pick up a coin if it's tails side up. Good luck comes if it's heads up.
and To drop a comb while you are combing your hair is a sign of a coming disappointment.
and To cure a cough: take a hair from the coughing person's head, put it between two slices of buttered bread, feed it to a dog, and say, "Eat well you hound, may you be sick and I be sound."
and A cricket in the house brings good luck.
and One's bad,
and Two's luck,
and Three's health,
and Four's wealth,
and Five's sickness,
and Six is death.
and Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.
and A dog howling at night when someone in the house is sick is a bad omen.
and It's bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come into it.
and If your right ear itches, someone is speaking well of you. If your left ear itches, someone is speaking ill of you. Left for love and right for spite:
Left or right, good at night.
and If your right eye twitches there will soon be a birth in the family. If the left eye twitches there will soon be a death in the family. To cure a sty, stand at a crossroads and recite
and Sty, sty, leave my eye
and Take the next one coming by.
and If an eyelash falls out, put it on the back of the hand, make a wish and throw it over your shoulder. If it flies off the hand the wish will be granted.
and It is bad luck to cut your fingernails on Friday or Sunday. Fingernail cuttings should be saved, burned, or buried.
and A fish should always be eaten from the head toward the tail. Dream of fish: someone you know is pregnant.
and Throw back the first fish you catch then you'll be lucky the whole day fishing. If you count the number of fish you caught, you will catch no more that day. It's bad luck to say the word "pig" while fishing at sea.

and First Flower of Spring: The day you find the first flower of the season can be used as an omen:
and Monday means good fortune,
and Tuesday means greatest attempts will be successful,
and Wednesday means marriage,
and Thursday means warning of small profits,
and Friday means wealth,
and Saturday means misfortune,
and Sunday means excellent luck for weeks.
and If the bottom of your right foot itches, you are going to take a trip.

H A P P Y H A L L O W E E N !

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happy Halloween - From My AOL Archives

and There is a church here in the Southern Suburbs. I'm reluctant to give out the name simply because of the problems caused by teenagers looking for thrills on Halloween, and this particular parish has seen its share. This Church is the second oldest parish in the Chicago area, and has the oldest church building still in continual use. It is built on high ground, way above the roadway. Big gates lead into the church grounds. Many of the original parishioners are buried in the church yard. I've heard it said that to read the names on the grave stones is like traveling through any cemetery in Ireland.

and This parish was established to serve the Irish immigrants in the 1830's who came to this area to help build the I&M Canal. It connects the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River. With the addition of the I&M Canal, Chicago was able to springboard into contention as the most active inland port in the country.

and Anyway this Church and its grounds are haunted. One priest to serve the parish used to comment that he spent a great deal of time in the evening at his rectory window. He said that the ground where the graveyard is located seemed to have a pulse, moving steadily up and and down, as if breathing. There are several stories related to this place.

and Once upon a time a young priest served there. He fell in love with one of his parishioners, and that he decided to give up the priesthood. On the night that he planned to leave, he ordered a carriage to pick both him and his lover up. When the carriage arrived, she was inside waiting. He exited the rectory with his bags in hand and climbed in. They took off too quickly, taking a huge, hilly curve on their way to the gates. The carriage flipped, killing both the priest and his love. Sometimes late at night, the carriage returns for its passengers.

and Another strange sight is that of an old fashion hearse with prancing black horses, arriving at the back gates with a child's coffin in the rear. No one is quite sure who the coffin belongs to, or why the hearse returns again and again.

and A recent sighting involved an Illinois State Trooper. He was making his rounds one evening about this time of the year, when he passed the church. He pulled over to the side of the road, as was his habit, and shined a light into the woods surrounding the church. He he noticed movement. He honked first, and then got out of his vehicle. He yelled, but didn't get a reply. When he shined his light across the grounds, he caught a glimpse of what looked like a retreating person in a long dress. The officer called out again. The person ran. The officer followed uphill over rocky, holey ground. He said that whoever it was that he followed seemed to float easily over all the obstacles he tripped over. He used a flashlight. The other person didn't. When the officer crossed into the open gates of the cemetery and church yard, the person disappeared. He listened for the sounds of breaking twigs, or other sounds of movement, but heard nothing. He continued his search, taking in the entire grounds, but did not find anything. Eventually he gave up. In his report, he mentioned that he chased trespassers from the church grounds. What he didn't mention, was that he honestly believed that he might have been chasing a ghost.

and There have been quite a number of sightings over the years, and it has proven to be quite a challenge to rid the property of thrill seekers. The police were virtually ineffective. Then one of the monks to reside at this church came up with an idea. He let it be known that if caught, the monks would take the trespasser in, and make him kneel on raw beans, or ball bearings, or even uncooked rice all night long as he prayed for his soul. Very few thrill seekers came after hearing that. Those few who did encountered a decapitated head that screamed and screeched until the trespassers ran off. The priests didn't want to admit this, but the vision of the screaming skull materialized when a parish pastor hopped out from behind a tree. He flipped on a flashlight which he held at the tip of his chin, while screaming as loud and as long as he could. Over the years the thrill seekers are finding other outlets. In fact the gates leading onto church grounds are left open all day and all night.

and One more story, and I'm turning in early. In the City of Chicago, on the Southside, is a Catholic Parish famous for its All Souls Day haunting. Again I won't mention the name because of the problems this story has created with thrill seekers. This happened only once. On November 2, 1960, six monks appeared in the choir loft of this church during Mass. Three monks in white robes stood to one side of organ, and three monks in black or gray robes stood to the other side. It was reported that there were only about 18 or 19 people in the church at the time. The monks were noticed almost immediately upon their appearance. The parishioners backed away from the choir loft, heading to doors as far away from the choir loft as possible. These were fire doors, and they were locked. The parishioners pushed against the doors and banged on them. The monks rose into the air and flew about above their heads. People screamed and the monks sang and chanted. Finally one monk proclaimed to the parishioners, "Pray for us!" At that moment the doors flew open and the parishioners rushed out. At once, the priest gathered up his parishioners and made them promise not to mention the tale to anyone. You can see how far that promise went!

H A P P Y H A L L O W E E N !

Episode 236

Tag: Saturday SixPatrick @ 6:21 pm

and 1. Other than the state you currently live in, which state have you visited most often?
and Wisconsin

and 2. If you had to move from your current state, which three states would you most likely consider for a new place to live?

and Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin

and 3. Think of your home state: off the top of your head, do you think you could accurately name your state’s slogan, the state bird, and at least half of the counties (or parishes) that make up your state?

and Let's see: Land of Lincoln, the cardinal, the state animal is the white tail deer. We have a State mineral, although I can't remember what, and considering there are 101 counties in this State, no, I can't name 50 of them. Although I do know my county, what's called the collar counties, there are at least 5 of them, as well as several of the surrounding counties.

and 4. Take the quiz: Which State Should You Live In?

You Should Live in Alabama
and If you don't want to live in Alabama, you might also consider:

and Louisiana
and Mississippi
and South Carolina
and New Hampshire
and Tennessee

and 5. Which state do you have the hardest time seeing yourself visiting some day?

and Maine. I want to see Maine.

and 6. What’s the biggest tourist attraction or draw you’d mention to someone considering a visit to your state?

and Sears Tower, the Water Tower, Water Tower Place, Navy Pier, The Mag Mile, Lincoln's home, Lincoln's Tomb, The Lincoln Library, The Old State House, New Salem, Ulysses S. Grant's Home, Mississippi Palisades, Starved Rock, and Lowden State Forest, Bachelor's Grove, I could go on and on.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Happy Halloween!
and That day is just around the corner and I'm ready to celebrate right here, right now! My first entry for the Halloween season is on the subject of superstitions. Read, enjoy and don't leave the broom resting up against your bed or a hat in the middle of it.
and Seeing an ambulance is very unlucky unless you pinch your nose or hold your breath until you see a black or a brown dog.

Touch your toes
Touch your nose
Never go in one of those
Until you see a dog.
and Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry, As you twist the stem of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.

and An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
and If you cut an apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, you will also know how many children you will have.

To predict the sex of a baby: Suspend a wedding band held by a piece of thread over the palm of the pregnant girl. If the ring swings in an oval or circular motion the baby will be a girl. If the ring swings in a straight line the baby will be a boy.
It's bad luck to put a hat on a bed. If you make a bedspread, or a quilt, be sure to finish it or marriage will never come to you.
and Placing a bed facing north and south brings misfortune. You must get out of bed on the same side that you get in or you will have bad luck.
and When making the bed, don't interrupt your work, or you will spend a restless night in it.

Do not lean a broom against a bed. The evil spirits in the broom will cast a spell on the bed.
and If you sweep trash out the door after dark, it will bring a stranger to visit. If someone is sweeping the floor and sweeps over your feet, you'll never get married.
and Never take a broom along when you move. Throw it out and buy a new one.
and To prevent an unwelcome guest from returning, sweep out the room they stayed in immediately after they leave.
If the first butterfly you see in the year is white, you will have good luck all year.
and Three butterflies together mean good luck.
If a candle lighted as part of a ceremony blows out, it is a sign that evil spirits are nearby.
If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.
and Keep cats away from babies because they "suck the breath" of the child.
and A cat onboard a ship is considered to bring luck.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Catching Up on the Week

and Sorry I haven't visited new blogs, or even my own. I haven't been feeling well again. I have a weakness to gluten, and it seems that every so often it rears its ugly head. Without going into the nasty details, my stomach has been messed up enough that I haven't spent any time doing anything much.

and Watched the debate. Nothing new, nothing I found impressive or mind bending. I give John McCain credit for a few sparkling moments. When he told Barack Obama that if he, Obama, wanted to run against Bush, he should have ran four years ago. Now that was a show stopper. But then again when McCain started whining about how Representative John Lewis likened him to Gov. George Wallace, he lost points with me. McCain said his feelings were hurt. I'm sorry but I think that when Sarah Palin called Obama out for 'palling around with American terrorists,' she placed a target on Obama's back, which is as much as Representative Lewis said. It was as if calling for the maniacs out there to take aim. There are some who think that if they do something drastic, they can protect the country from depravity or terrorists, or whatever. Remember Squeaky Fromme? Mark David Chapman comes to mind, as does Lee Harvey Oswald. And what was the name of the man who shot Ronald Reagan?
and Placing that aside, I'll take this back to family. In preparation of having cable hooked up again, I took the opportunity to lay down some law. I ordered everyone to clean their rooms. Not just a cursory pick-up and time to tuck dirty clothes under beds or hide them elsewhere, but to pick up like they haven't since the last time I lost it over their messes. I even imposed the same conditions on our room. We took a day and made sure that everything, clothing and dishes, went to the proper places, and that old Sliders and MickeyD wrappers were trashed. We all found things we thought were carried off by leprechauns or fairies. My kids found clothes they forgot they owned, and brought me cups I haven't seen in months. (Note to self. No more eating in bedrooms. Right, like they're going to pay attention to me on the matter of food.) Anyway, it was badly needed. The result though, is a ton of clothing needing to be washed. Placed in baskets and stacked across from the washer and dryer, it looks like a new wall. (It's a very small room.)

and So Friday came and so did the cable man. I hate to admit this, and it's only because I have no life right now, but I missed it. I missed all my dumb programs; Ghost Hunters, Project Runway, Top Chef, Top Design, Deadliest Catch, The First 48, Dog the Bounty Hunter, and almost everything on the History Channel and the Food Network.

and One of those shows is Most Haunted on the Travel Channel. For those who are not aware, it is a British program with this chick, Yvette Fielding, who screams through most of it, as the 'team' wanders through haunted castles, homes, graveyards, factories, whatever, to see what they can
catch. Every so often the 'team' makes a trip to America to our most haunted sights. This week they visited Gettysburg, one of my favorite spots, and sought out Civil War ghosts. They went places I wouldn't have bothered with, but that's only because the woods about the borough of Gettysburg, which holds more interest to me, were off limits to them. But it was fun none-the-less.
and So here we were on Friday night. The boys were getting ready to go out and Becki was working. Bill took the front room TV and I found other things to do. He's a typical male, with clicker in hand, moving from channel to channel, and frustrating the hell out of me. After starting a load of laundry, and watching him with the clicker, I headed for our room. I almost fell asleep while listening to these people call out for ghosts in gray or blue to knock in answer to their questions.
and I smelled something like melting plastic. I blew if off at first, but then decided that maybe I should check it out.
When I opened my bedroom door, the hallway was thick with smoke. I glanced over at Bill, and he was sound asleep in his chair with the blanket tucked behind his head.
and "Jon!" When the boys exited their bedroom, they gasped. They and their friends followed me into the back room. Smoke billowed from the back of the washer. Ed was ready to panic and honestly Jon wasn't doing much better. Both were screaming they're going for water. "Don't you dare. This is electrical," I told them. "Jon go pull the fuses in the garage." I shut off the washer, Jon did as I told him and Ed went for a flashlight. (Or as the Brits on TV call it, a torch.) That took care of new smoke. We had hell getting the rest to clear. I was terrified that there might be an electrical fire in the wall or that if someone turned the power back on, it would ignite something else. Thankfully no.
and Needless to say, my washer is toast and the clothes are piling up more. I keep saying I'm going to go out today to buy a new one. Something always arises that knocks that idea back another day. Tomorrow though. When Jon gets home from work, I'll let him nap. Then him, Ed and I will go to Best Buy and pick one up. (Delivery is $90. Ouch. I might be able to scrounge enough money together now for a cheapo, but I have to skimp elsewhere.) Tomorrow. I hope.
and Last night Becki went out with Crazy Ann and her boyfriend. The boyfriend, apparently lives in Indiana. This doesn't make me happy. It's only about 45 minutes from here. I just don't understand why Crazy Ann doesn't lure in her prey from around here. Or maybe everyone in Illinois is aware of her trap. (The thought gives me the chills.) Becki didn't make it home until after midnight. On a school night no less. I was livid. Bill went to bed early, but every half hour or so, rushed from the room demanding, "Is she home yet?"

and "No." Finally I told him, "Yelling at me isn't bringing her home any quicker. You're really pissing me off. Go back to bed."
and Very soon after that she walked in. She was upset, too.
Apparently she, Crazy Ann and her boyfriend stopped at a fast food restaurant just this side of the State line. While there, this other crazy chick ran from the restaurant and assaulted Crazy Ann's boyfriend's brand spanking new truck with a brick. She said she wanted 'her' truck back. It turns out this chick was the boyfriend's ex. She and current boyfriend then decided to bate Becki and her friends, even threatening violence. Becki said they called the cops and then spent the next three hours with them discussing the incident.
and "That's why I don't like you hanging around with Crazy Ann," I told her. "She scares the hell out of me."

and "It wasn't her fault. It was that other chick."

and "No," I told her, "Maybe it wasn't her fault." Crazy Ann reminds me of one of my closest friends from when I was Becki's age. My friend never really did anything wrong either. It just that drama followed whereever she went. I like my nice, quiet life, and that includes having my daughter safe and away from brick toting nut jobs. So when Becki isn't working, she's going to spend time at home at least for a while. That way I'll know she's safe at least a short time during each day.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Debate # 3

As usual, I listened intently to tonight's debate. Can I declare winner? Maybe I'd give Obama an edge. They were again fairly well matched.
Something about John McCain tonight bothered me. Media types noted that he seemed crab
by or even cantankerous. To me, he looked to be in pain. He tried to make jokes, at one time telling moderator Tom Brokaw that he wouldn't hire him as Secretary of the Treasury. His attempt came off as angry and uncomfortable. He sounded as if he had been dealing with too much of the road. It was raining in Nashville tonight, and I guarantee that if I was there my arthritis would have had me stiff and would have made it difficult to move. McCain pranced a lot while on stage, back and forth and back and forth, his gait slow and awkward. He looked as if he were afraid if he sat, he'd stiffen up. It made me wonder about his health in general. And then it occurred to me if he were elected and something happened to him, Sarah Barracuda would take his place. The very thought of that gives me the willies.
Sarah Barracuda reminds me of the girls from the movie Mean Girls. I've heard it said that she has been assigned the position of attack dog in the McCain campaign, meaning that it is her job to verbally assault Obama with whatever dirt she can dig up. She seems to be enjoying it. I also heard that John McCain wants to keep himself above this. No doubt he remembers what the Bush campaign of 2004 did to him when they purchased air time to show ads questioning his behavior while incarcerated in Hanoi.
When she takes off on Obama about his relationship with the American terrorist, Bill Ayres, she sounds like an evil gossip. I wouldn't trust her with an open secret, let alone
something that matters, like turning the economy around or managing two wars.

I don't know who Barack Obama's friends are. He may very well be close to Ayres or Tony Resco. But I offer this as something to think about. A few years back two men in our town lived in the same house, but in different apartments with different egresses and exits. One was an older man who worked everyday. In the evening he coached youth baseball and football. He was well respected and had a sterling reputation. The other man was younger and came from a prominent family. He worked as a part time cop in two communities and as security for the school district. He was charming and very well liked. He also coached baseball and football. After several years charges were filed against the second man by parents of a boy who claimed that he was molested. As I said the man was charming, so managed to talk his way out it. A few years passed before charges were again filed. Parents of the boys that were coached by the second man wanted to know why the first man didn't stop it. The man said he didn't know anything about it. The parents couldn't believe that. After all, even if the men lived in two different apartments with two different entrances, they did live in the same house. Never mind that they didn't socialize outside of work or sports, or that neither of them could see through the walls. In the end the first man's reputation was ruined while the second man went to jail.
And then I hear Sarah Palin declaring at the top of her lungs that Barack Obama must be a terrorist because somebody he served on a committee with years ago was a terrorist. When Barack was 8 Ayers blew up buildings. That makes Obama guilty by association.
It seems to me that if he is, than so are we. Just check the web for sex offenders. There are numbers of them in almost every community. Talk to your neighbors. Some of them are liars and others are thieves. By her logic we must all be liars, thieves and sex offenders.
As I said, I don't know Obama personally, and I don't know his friends. Before someone makes charges like these, I think that person should have evidence in front of them that would prove that he, Obama, lit the match that set off the bomb that was meant for the Pentagon. Without that evidence, this woman guilty of character assignation, and in my eyes, I can't see how she can honestly serve in any capacity.
I hate Swift Boat politics. Last time we listened to a campaign making false charges against his competition, we wound up with W.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Here we go again: Wait till next year!

Bye bye!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

E-Mail Funnies

Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions. Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, three children: John Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

If this made you smile for even a brief second, please rise to the occasion and take time to pass it on and share that smile with someone else who may be having a 'crumby' day and 'kneads' a lift.

Patrick's Saturday Six

Saturday Six - Episode 234
Tag: Saturday SixPatrick @ 9:55 am

1. When was the last time you ate fast food?

Sometime this past week.

2. If you get a meal on the run, are you more likely to get something unhealthy, like a burger and fries, or healthy, like a salad?

Burger, fries, taco, Italian beef, steak sandwich, pizza.

3. Of the meals you’ve cooked at home in the past week, have they been generally more healthy or less healthy than what you would have ordered in a restaurant?

Definitely more healthy.

4. Take the quiz: What Does Your Burger Say About You?

What Your Burger Says

About You

You are very gluttonous. Even if you're full, you'll still clear your plate.

You are a very open eater. You like many types of tastes, and you'll eat just about anything.

You tend to gravitate toward strong, pungent foods. Even if it means having bad breath!

You consider yourself a healthy eater. But you're not about to sacrifice taste or quantity!

You are straightforward, honest, and ambitious. You tend to be direct about what you want when it comes to food.

You are emotional. You have a big heart, and you tend to go for comfort foods.

You have trouble making decisions quickly. Everything looks good to you... especially at a restaurant.

Some of this is so right, and some so wrong. I'm not gluttonous. Eating like that makes me sick. And I can make decisions.

5. What was the last meal you prepared for yourself?

The other night I made Polish sausage with potato pancakes, applesauce and peas. It was good.

6. When was the last time you exercised for more than 30 minutes?

Yesterday. I cleaned like I haven't in months.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Baseball and the Debate

Okay so I spent most of last night setting myself up at Blogspot. I'm disappointed. I have so many entries here and I will spend the next month trying to figure out what to do with them. But, I am not alone. We can collectively cry on each other's shoulders. Now I have an excuse to cancel AOL once and for all.

So, there are two things on my mind tonight, or maybe three. First off, Cubs lose 2 in a row and the Sox lose their first playoff game. I'm hoping that tomorrow will bring something better. Like I said the other day, I brag about the Sox and they lose. Like I'm a jinx.

Secondly, I hung onto the debate with as much interest as the last. And then I listened to the pundits explaining how well Sarah Palin did, and how this was her debate. I beg to differ. Truthfully as debates go, I don't think Biden was out debated. On the other hand when Palin started lecturing the American people about how we need to quit spending outside of our means and tighten the belt, and I had to restrain myself. I truly wanted to jump through the screen and scream. "You don't get it!"

I don't know about most people. I know about me, and I know about my friends. Most of us can't afford to spend money. It costs too much to fill the gas tank! Groceries are more expensive now. And God only knows how we'll heat this house this winter. Thank God we fixed the hole in the roof when Social Security came through three years ago. I could just see my heat escaping through the plastic we taped to the ceiling. You know when you can't afford anything else, you can't afford to keep things up let alone fix things. My water and electric bills are going up again. There are people losing their homes still. I know people who are losing their homes. I know people who have cut out essentials in order to pay their bills. I know people who are using their credit cards to pay their utilities. I know people who used their tax incentive to pay late bills. We've been living from paycheck to paycheck for a very long time now. So where do we cut back?

Now, on the subject of credit cards. I said it before. We have to fix the credit card industry before we will ever pull out of this. Credit cards were once passed out like candy. At least once a week I received two cards in the mail. I took advantage of one once. I charged $100. $100 became $300 by the time I paid it off. A few months later I was told I still owed them $300 because I was late with a payment and haven't cleared that up, so the debt continued to grow. I paid it off again. A few months later again, I received another phone call. When they tried to tell me again that I owed, I told them to f-off. I paid it off twice now, I wasn't paying it off again. That same company sent me another card within six months.

Now consider the idea that they were sending out cards to unemployed college students. It isn't bad enough that kids begin their working lives owing thousands on college loans, but credit cards had many of them in debt and behind because they thought they could actually use the cards. I'm dropping this discussion here because the next step is a rant over credit card companies charging 30% interest.

Another thing that pisses me off. Both candidates talked about money for college. My son was turned down last month for a Pell grant because they have already run out of money.

Does anybody besides politicians and TV pundits have any money?

Okay, before I copy this and post it again over at Blogspot, I have one other opinion I need to share. I hate buzz words. I'm tired of the expression about Wall Street vs. Main Street. I live on Maple. I'm not a hockey mom either. My kids played on Little League. And I resent the hell out of anyone who refers to the common middle class male as 'Joe Sixpack.' It sounds like they haven't got anything better to do than get drunk. Americans deserve better than that, especially from their politicians.