Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Last Week Quiz

I hope you do better on this than I did since I got only 3 of them right. It's an interesting quiz from the NYTimes Op-Ed page. See how you do on it if you want to HERE.

I am such a total and complete basket case about this election and will not be able to relax unless Obama wins. I don't know any Democrats who aren't nervous wrecks no matter what any poll says or pundit predicts. Yes, we were spooked by the last two elections. This is the most organized and best funded Democratic campaign I've ever seen even though they have driven me crazy writing, calling, and emailing asking for money. I've contributed quite a bit for me. I credit Howard Dean with doing such a good job leading the DNC, and Obama with running a well-oiled machine. Impressive!

Crazy Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

World Series

I saw something on the news about the Phillies winning the World Series, and I didn't even know it was going on. I've tried to do that before, but this time I really wasn't aware of it at all. That's another advantage of having a DVR. I record and watch shows later in order to fast forward through the commercials, and I generally skip the sports part of the news. How 'bout this?


Unfortunately, I'm semi-retired!

Return to Walking

I skipped yesterday and walked around the lake again today. Maybe tomorrow I'll do two miles but didn't happen today. Here's how it looks going toward the end of the mile.

And here's the one-mile mark on past that bridge going up the hill.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

DWTS - Results

Good-bye, Cloris! It was time.

cloris leachman Pictures, Images and Photos

DWTS - Week Six

Our local ABC station showed a Titans game last night and postponed DWTS until midnight. The DVR recorded it, and I'm just now watching it. Michael Flatley (Lord of the Dance) was a refreshing addition as a substitute judge while Len Goodman is taking a break. I wish we could keep him instead of Bruno or Carrie Ann, depending on which one gets on my nerves the most at the time.

Michael Flatley Pictures, Images and Photos

And now for the dancing!

Maurice Green and Cheryl Burke
Dance: Viennese Waltz
Score: 21

Maurice shaved off his mustache for some reason and looks better without it. He had trouble learning this dance and wasn't as smooth at times as it could have been but was pretty good. Carrie Ann said that he and Cheryl don't have chemistry, which I can understand. Michael said it was unbelievable to watch the fastest man on earth do something slow, elegant, and graceful. I thought that Jamaican runner Bolt was faster - different events, I guess. Who knows what Bruno said, but it was something about surfing on land.

Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer
Dance: Jive
Score: 27

They went to this place where 'N Sync used to rehearse, and Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick came to see them. Joey gave him some pointers when they had a "man-to-man" as Lance called it. Appropriately, they danced to "Tutti Frutti" and did a good job. Sir Dancelot (as Joey called him) took direction well and jived! Michael said something I need to remember, "Confidence comes from hard work, determination, and self-belief." He has class and consideration when talking to the dancetestants.

Susan Lucci and Tony Dovolani
Dance: Mambo
Score: 23

Tony took Susan to a mambo club to help loosen her up. Her skin-tight leopard print slip dress made her look pretty loose. She always looks as if she has memorized the steps and keeps her face passive, which I can totally understand! She smiled once and snarled like a cat once. Bruno said her timing was off. Michael thought she was intoxicating and said several other complimentary things. Tony showed off his waxed, spray-tanned, buff chest again. I can deal with that.

Brooke Burke and Derek Hough
Dance: Rumba
Score: 26

Brooke hurt her foot last week and had several kinds of therapy on it. They performed a sexy, passionate rumba. She must do yoga, pilates, and something else to be so limber and graceful. Michael said she took his breath away and was sensational. Carrie Ann and Bruno said it wasn't her best dance because they know what she can do and that her pain held her back some. They gave her 8's, and Michael a 10! Derek said he likes Michael Flatley! Me, too.

Cloris Leachman and Corky Ballas
Dance: Cha-Cha-Cha
Score: 15

Corky gets frustrated with Cloris because she won't listen and do what he says. I know that feeling! He was at his wit's end and called in her ex-husband George who was supportive but firm telling her to pay attention to Corky and try. She listened to him; however, this was just sort of a cha-cha. It's time for her to go. She's too much about "look at me - notice how cute am I - see me, see me" and it falls flat and gets old after a while. Michael said his father told him he'd better not say a bad word to her but that she was fortunate to have a young man work with her and get her to this place in the comeptition. Woo! Carrie Ann said we lost Toni Braxton for THIS? Big meow!!

Cody Linley and Julianne Hough
Dance: Samba
Score: 23

Julianne has to have surgery this week (appendectomy) and has endometriosis. Edyta will work with Cody this week and will dance with him if Julianne isn't able to return next time. She needs to take care of herself. Cody seemed more focused this week learning and rehearsing the dance. His attempt to get into the character of a passionate samba dancer went too far with Bruno, who said his attitude was more like a pasa doble. I could see that. The music lent itself to intense,forceful movements, though. He keeps improving.

Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson
Dance: Rumba
Score: 25

Since Brooke is injured, Warren feels he might have a chance to take a lead. Their rumba told a story, and the judges said he conveyed it well. They said he rises to the challenge of getting into the character of each dance. Warren said he likes that new guy (he gave him the 9).

Once again this has become Dancing with the Patients!

I Walk Alone

Since Tina hasn't walked with me since Friday, I told Doggybloggy that I walked alone. He immediately launched into singing "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and said I was like Green Day but walked along the lake of broken dreams. Now I can't get that song out of my head. Listen if you dare and join me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another Day Another Mile

It's chilly out there today! I had a cold walk! Here's the halfway mark on the trail. Notice that the leaves have changed in just a couple of days! It's supposed to be 31 tonight and a high of 50 tomorrow and a good time to make soup and chili!

Tony Hillerman

It is sad news that Tony Hillerman died yesterday. He was 83. I got to know Navajo police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee through his mystery novels set primarily in New Mexico. This is his obituary in the New York Times.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Walking with the Ducks

It gets easier every day to walk around the lake. It was a beautiful day, and I didn't get out there until around 4:30. Here's a picture of one of the ugly ducks I took with my cell phone camera. I took some with my camera but will have to work on those before I can post any of them.

Check This Out

Look what I will get soon by answering Harris Poll questions! It's the Germ Guardian Plug-In Air Sanitizer! How about that? Check it out here. We redeem points we earn for free gifts.

I recently bought a large air purifier (Hunter PermaLife Air Purifier 30748) I haven't used yet, so this one can go in another room. This is the first time I'll have purifiers that have filters that have to be cleaned instead of replaced. I'm not sure how I'll like that but will see. Do any of you have that kind?

I don't mind answering most of the Harris Polls, but some of them ask about things I'm not that interested in. I wish they'd ask me about TV shows and movies and politics, but too often they ask about products and technology that I don't use. Anyway, I like to give my opinions on things, so that gets to happen occasionally, AND I get some neat gifts for doing it.

I've gone from politics to air purifiers. I see a connection. LOL Now I must go for a walk and take some photos of ugly ducks for you.

My Sentiments Exactly!

Larry David (Senifeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) wrote a piece that reflects the way I'm sure most of us Democrats feel. It's hard for us to feel optimistic no matter what any poll indicates because we know if anyone can mess up an election and pull the rug from under our own feet, we can. We also have been spooked by the last two presidential elections and are not really sure some of the voting machines weren't rigged and that some other nefarious methods might have been used. So here is what Larry David wrote:

Larry David Pictures, Images and Photos

Waiting for Nov. 4th

I can't take much more of this. Two weeks to go, and I'm at the end of my rope. I can't work. I can eat, but mostly standing up. I'm anxious all the time and taking it out on my ex-wife, which, ironically, I'm finding enjoyable. This is like waiting for the results of a biopsy. Actually, it's worse. Biopsies only take a few days, maybe a week at the most, and if the biopsy comes back positive, there's still a potential cure. With this, there's no cure. The result is final. Like death.

Five times a day I'll still say to someone, "I don't know what I'm going to do if McCain wins." Of course, the reality is I'm probably not going to do anything. What can I do? I'm not going to kill myself. If I didn't kill myself when I became impotent for two months in 1979, I'm certainly not going to do it if McCain and Palin are elected, even if it's by nefarious means. If Obama loses, it would be easier to live with it if it's due to racism rather than if it's stolen. If it's racism, I can say, "Okay, we lost, but at least it's a democracy. Sure, it's a democracy inhabited by a majority of disgusting, reprehensible turds, but at least it's a democracy." If he loses because it's stolen, that will be much worse. Call me crazy, but I'd rather live in a democratic racist country than a non-democratic non-racist one. (It's not exactly a Hobson's choice, but it's close, and I think Hobson would compliment me on how close I've actually come to giving him no choice. He'd love that!)

The one concession I've made to maintain some form of sanity is that I've taken to censoring my news, just like the old Soviet Union. The citizenry (me) only gets to read and listen to what I deem appropriate for its health and well-being. Sure, there are times when the system breaks down. Michele Bachmann got through my radar this week, right before bedtime. That's not supposed to happen. That was a lapse in security, and I've had to make some adjustments. The debates were particularly challenging for me to monitor. First I tried running in and out of the room so I would only hear my guy. This worked until I knocked over a tray of hors d'oeuvres. "Sit down or get out!" my host demanded. "Okay," I said, and took a seat, but I was more fidgety than a ten-year-old at temple. I just couldn't watch without saying anything, and my running commentary, which mostly consisted of "Shut up, you prick!" or "You're a fucking liar!!!" or "Go to hell, you cocksucker!" was way too distracting for the attendees, and finally I was asked to leave.

Assuming November 4th ever comes, my big decision won't be where I'll be watching the returns, but if I'll be watching. I believe I have big jinx potential and may have actually cost the Dems the last two elections. I know I've jinxed sporting events. When my teams are losing and I want them to make a comeback, all I have to do is leave the room. Works every time. So if I do watch, I'll do it alone. I can't subject other people to me in my current condition. I just don't like what I've turned into -- and frankly I wasn't that crazy about me even before the turn. This election is having the same effect on me as marijuana. All of my worst qualities have been exacerbated. I'm paranoid, obsessive, nervous, and totally mental. It's one long, intense, bad trip. I need to come down. Soon.

Look What I Did!

Doggybloggy sent me a video which I shared with some of you. Please look at it here. It's worth it. Really! I can't embed it on my blog because it doesn't personalize it that way.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The World Vote

Check out the world vote. I wish the whole world COULD vote! If you want to, it's at this site. I stole this from Ell's blog. If only those percentages would happen in this country!!

One Step at a Time

I walked another mile today around the lake. Here are some photos I took with the camera on my cell phone. It's a beautiful fall day, and I walked by myself today. There are houses all around it and ducks and geese in it. I'll take some pictures of them later on. There are several different kinds of them - some are really pretty and some incredibly ugly. You'll see. As you can see, some of our trees are beginning to turn colors but most are still green. Some leaves are falling off before they are colorful. I just love fall! It's my favorite season!

I have a goal of walking a mile a day (like Jimbo's mom) and then going to the gym for strength training with weights and trying that zumba class again. When the weather is bad, I'll walk on the treadmill. I want to have good news for the Flabby Dust Bunny Friday Report! This time I did get to say that I got my blood sugar readings down. That also makes me feel like crap when it's too high, Charlie. So getting that normal and my blood pressure lower should give me a better attitude! I already feel better today.

From the beginning where I start.

From that part to the right on past that little tree in the first photo.

From close to the end circling back to the start.

Autism Research

Did you hear about the research that might lead to the cause of autism? This is hopeful! Here's an excerpt from this article:
Specific brain protein required for nerve cell connections to form and function

CHAPEL HILL - Neurons, or nerve cells, communicate with each other through contact points called synapses. When these connections are damaged, communication breaks down, causing the messages that would normally help our feet push our bike pedals or our mind locate our car keys to fall short.

Now scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have shown that a protein called neurexin is required for these nerve cell connections to form and function correctly.

The discovery, made in Drosophila fruit flies may lead to advances in understanding autism spectrum disorders, as recently, human neurexins have been identified as a genetic risk factor for autism.
Sarah Palin mocked research done on fruit flies and made fun of it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Better Day

Today has been better. I slept well last night and fell asleep with the sound of the rain on my roof. I like that. When I went to my doctor's appointment, I got an additional prescription for blood pressure meds because mine was higher than it was when I was there two weeks ago. I'll go back in two weeks to see how this works. I hadn't lost any weight which is discouraging, but my blood sugar has been lower for almost a week and a half. That's important, and I WILL lose weight.

My homebound student had a bunch of work she'd completed and took two quizzes. We're meeting again tomorrow and for several days in a row next week, so we can catch up. If she keeps on the way she did today, we'll make it.

I talked with my son today and feel better. He calls me on getting too far out on the ledge and knows me so well. I am so fortunate to have the family I do.

Thanks so much for the encouragement, support, and compliments! I appreciate all of you very much and am smiling now because of you! Thanks again!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yikes and Woe! It's a Pity Party!

I'm feeling sort of failure-like lately.

Work: My homebound student is way behind, and I need to go over there more often and help her catch up. We got off to a late start and keep lagging farther behind all the time. I need to go to CWHS to spend more time mentoring.

Home: My house is still a disaster. I got rid of some clutter but brought more stuff into the house. It's a candidate for Clean Sweep just as its been for years. There are some things I can't find, too.

Health: Doing better here with meals and keeping my blood sugar down but haven't walked the last two days. I have plans to walk tomorrow. I get tired of eating four or five meals a day (small meals or snacks) and hate sticking my finger. I wish I could just eat two meals a day, but this works and that didn't.

Family: I'm the worst here because I don't go see my mother and daughter often enough but do talk to them on the phone several times a week. I don't see my son and his family often enough either and need to learn more about autism, so I can help them more.

See what I mean? I need to do better in all aspects of my life.

failure Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Equilibrium at Last!

Thanks to Kim for adding herself to my Follow this Blog and making that rectangle even! Yea, Kim! Now I'm a happy blogger!

And look,Charlie is a shadow of his former self over there.

Holidaze Decorating

As we're getting close to the holiday season, the decorations come out earlier and earlier. One "holiday" season runs into another with some people decorating their houses and lawns for every occasion. They decorate for winter in general, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Anything I forgot? Some are quite elaborate, some sort of cute, some pretty, and many gaudy. If that's what they want to do, that's fine. I barely decorate INSIDE my house for Christmas and never at any other times. Why? Because what goes up, must come down.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

DWTS - Results

Well, Cloris sticks around another week and maybe more. We say good-bye to Toni and Alec. I just can't get that excited about any of them this season. It's like whatever for the most part. Yet I will continue to watch and recap.

Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo

When I was at the meeting yesterday, we were talking about lessons and activities for Brendan. Somehow during that part, I mentioned being addicted to DWTS and Project Runway. The special ed director laughed and said, "You and half the country!" Then she asked if Cloris were still on. I said she was. Then Brendan's teacher for his autism class whispered to me, "Korto was robbed!" I smiled and agreed with him. He was an Eagle Scout and seems like he'd be fun. We really like him and so does Brendan.

Monday, October 20, 2008

IEP Meeting

We had another meeting today at Brendan's school to add some new goals. The autism specialist we all love is wonderful, and we have her on a pedestal. This is all a whole new world to me, and I learn something from every meeting. She gave suggestions to the teacher and to us because we all want to reinforce what the other does. They are really working with his social skills, and she said that could be the difference between his becoming Bill Gates or unemployed. We all want him to be the best Brendan he can be.

Brian, Melissa, and I had lunch together after the meeting at Sky Blue Coffee & Bistro about a block from the school. I've eaten there twice now and enjoyed both meals very much. Then Melissa and I stayed and visited after Brian had to go back to work. Then I stuck around until Brendan got out of school and went with them to the city park right across the street from the school. We walked around the indoor track but had walked outside in this beautiful weather earlier. Brendan said I could leave when the laps were off. He has gotten to know people there, speaks and calls them by name, and has conversations with them. I love that boy!

We were glad to see each other and sang a few songs. He asked if he were going home with me. When I said not today, he asked, "Tomorrow?" I said later, and he said next time. We agreed on that. While we were walking around the track, he held my hand and told Melissa to walk by herself. She told him not to be rude to his mother. I told him I was glad that he was happy to see me and that I was delighted to see him, too, and that we could all walk together. He didn't buy that. Aspies are transparent because they don't lie. If they say something, you can usually believe them. Usually, I say, because a friend of Brian's and Melissa's asked him something one time, and after Brendan answered, he asked Brendan if he were lying. Brendan said, "Yes." Gotta love him!

They'd been using markers in class because he had various colors all over his shirt. I asked what he did in school today to which he answered, "I made two bad choices." He didn't want to elaborate, so I asked him what good choices he made. After some thought he said he helped his kindergarten teacher. He is such a sweetie! Grandchildren are wonderful!

That community center is awesome! Check this out.

DWTS - Week Five

It's narrowing down now. This week showcases four new dances that haven't been in this competition before. Descriptions of the dances are not on the website, so I can't help you (or me) with that here. We'll wing it. Apparently, so will some of the professional dancers. Some are champions in them and some clueless. Should make an interesting show. All right! Let's dance!

The dancetestants are divided into pairs who do the same dance, which makes it easy to compare them with each other.

Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer
Dance: West Coast Swing
Score: 21

Lacey's father Buddy Schwimmer "The King of Swing" brought this dance to the ballroom world and was west coast champion in 1977, and Lacey is a West Coast Swing world champion. They went to her father's studio and had him help. He's one of those types that Craig Ferguson loves - fat people with little feet. He thinks they are so cute. I think of Charles Durning. Ol'

Lance sort of stumbled through this at times and did OK for parts of it, but Lacey was really good. The judges all said that Lacey showcased herself and her talent more than she choreographed to show Lance's strengths. Yeah, that's what happened. The dancers are supposed to make the stars look as good as they can and do the best with what they have to work with. Don't we all?

Ha! George Hamilton was in the audience, and the camera panned over to him. When he realized it, he removed his glasses! Too vain and funny - and so HIM!

Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo
Dance: West Coast Swing
Score: 22

I don't quite get this dance yet. It's not like swing dancing I've seen, and Bruno said it wasn't exactly the west coast swing. Carrie Ann said it's a difficult dance and not quite it yet. Len said they need to regroup and come back strong. So much for specific advice. Hope it's some kind of code the pros understand. Alec said, "Michael Jackson song - you gotta do a moon walk." Sounds reasonable to me, but what do I know?

Susan Lucci and Tony Dovolani
Dance: The Hustle
Score: 22

Susan remembers partying at Studio 54 in the 70's and dancing the hustle. Go, Susan, lady with a past! (pot = kettle) After having pain in her foot from when she hurt it before, she went to the hospital to get it checked. Welcome to DWTS: ER. She discovered that she fractured a bone in her foot, and the doctor (or an actor playing one) said the only factor is if she is able to dance through the pain. WTF? She is doing that in gold fringed boots and a gold sparkly dress and of course her boobs that have a zip code of their own. Susan is smiling and dancing through the pain. Tony's blindingly white teeth are, too.

Len wants Tony to quit treating Susan like a china doll. All the judges want her to wow them and get down and really dance! I see what they mean. She and Toni are both sort of aloof/detached with their dances in a way. That might not be the word for it. What do you think?

Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson
Dance: The Hustle
Score: 25

The competition is getting to Warren. He's tired and is pushing himself. I thought he rocked it, AND so did the audience and judges! Way to go!

Cloris Leachman and Corky Ballas
Dance: The Salsa
Score: 21

Cloris is happy to have made it to the half-way mark and wants to stay. I want to win the lottery. She didn't do as well as last week with the tango but moves much better than many people much younger. Not mentioning any names. Bruno said she actually did a salsa and entertained. Len said he likes her because she's the only contestant whose been on there who is older than he is. Cloris asked him how old he is and he said 64. ("Will you still need me? Will you still feed me when I'm 64?") She said he's just a baby, which makes me feel younger already. I thought he might be older, but no. They are giving him a break and having a guest judge sometime they said so he can rest. He and Bruno fly back and forth to London each week to judge the DWTS there as well. Ah the life of jetsetters must be getting to Len. That much overseas travel would wipe me out.

Cloris is a vegetarian and has stayed active. I'm glad to see her performing the dances the last two weeks instead of hamming it up so much. She's shown that she can do it.

Maurice Green and Cheryl Burke
Dance: The Salsa
Score: 28

Cheryl spoke strongly and fussed at Maurice. Well done, Cheryl! She said he was lazy and didn't care. He disagreed and vowed to show her that he wants to win. It turns out that she's trying to get a reaction from him. She's using her various teaching methods on him. Also she was having some problems figuring out the choreography and teaching it to him. It looked really good to me, but I was watching Cheryl more than I was him. Why does something about him bother me? It does though. Carrie Ann hugged him, and Len and Bruno said he was great! They also said Cheryl needs to do to him what she did this week because it worked. All 9's!!

Brooke Burke and Derek Hough
Dance: The Jitterbug
Score: 29

Derek has never done the jitterbug before in his life and did internet research. He's a quick study. They performed a fun dance to "Don't Be Cruel" which brings back good early Elvis memories. The judges praised Brooke again and said it was a stylish rendition of American Graffiti. Kudos all around! Two tens!

Cody Linley and Julianne Hough
Dance: The Jitterbug
Score: 28

The jitterbug is also new to Julianne. The Hough siblings are ignorant of the ways of this dance! No internet research for Julianne, yet ever the pro, she did it! The judges raved and said he was suited for this dance, which was fun and entertaining. Well done, Julianne for the choreography and Cody for performing it! I have never jitterbugged either but have done the bop. Who else has done that dance?

Hmmm, now who will get my votes? I can't get excited or enthusiastic about any of them all that much. I wonder what the dances will be next week?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Thanks to Frogponder for signing my Follow this Blog. Now I need one more person to make that rectangle even! No, I don't have OCD. Why do you ask?

I am still sort of obsessed about the wide margins on these blog pages, though. We need narrower margins, so we'll have more room to post stuff. Who do we know who can tell us how to do this? Rik is a computer genius. He made 100% on that computer geek test and is a Computer God. It's true. I wouldn't impose on him and ask, though. I just wanted you to know he's technologically and linquistically brilliant ... and Welsh like his father Aled who speaks many languages. That's what I'd like to have for my super power - being able to speak all the languages in the world. But I digress.

Colin Powell

Every word out of his mouth was just perfect! I've admired Colin Powell for a long time and respect him. Frogponder said just what I think on her blog. In this video Gen. Powell gives his reasons for supporting Barack Obama. Wow, wow, and wow again!

By Any Other Name

This is another silly little quiz thing but sort of fun. I'll do anything to avoid work but am going to turn this thing off soon for the rest of the day! We'll see, right? LOL

What Joy Means

You are fair, honest, and logical. You are a natural leader, and people respect you.

You never give up, and you will succeed... even if it takes you a hundred tries.

You are rational enough to see every part of a problem. You are great at giving other people advice.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.

You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.

At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.

You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.

You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

What's Your Name's Hidden Meaning?


She said what I think again!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Jon Stewart Quote

A sincere congratulations to everybody out there who pays taxes in the United States. We just bought an insurance company! (9/18/08)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blog Question

I wonder why they have all this space on each side of these templates? The actual space for the post is smaller with everything crammed into the middle of the page with all this wasted space on the sides where we could have had a wider part for the post and some space to post photos, links, etc. Just wondering.

Election Question

If John McCain is so proud of Sarah Palin as a running mate, why won't he let her talk to anyone except a carefully chosen group at those rallies? Joe the Six-term Senator Biden was on Good Morning America discussing the debate the next morning. Diane Sawyer announced after that interview that Gov. Palin was invited to appear on the show but the McCain campaign wouldn't allow her to. Any other vice-presidential candidate would have already been on the Sunday morning political shows by now as well as any talk show s/he could get on. Not so with her! They can't take a chance of her being off the script they have for her. If I were she, I'd be insulted and offended. Just saying.

Computer Geekery

I'm surprised I did this well on that quiz because I really don't know squat about computers. I wish I did - thence the accurate description, I guess. I totally like knowing computer people and have an ex-husband and friends who are. Also, my son and daughter-in-law are self-professed geeks. I accidentally learned some of the information on the questions when I was first married and my husband was in computer school in the US Navy Submarine Service (I still have my dolphins, a pin for family members like the ones the sailors earn). The curriculum was designed by Admiral Rickover and was grueling. I was around when he and his friends studied Boolean Algebra (logic) and the other computer technology stuff. He was an FT (fire-control technician) which means he maintained the computers that guided the Polaris missiles on nuclear submarines.

My computer geek score is greater than 35% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

Overall, you scored as follows:

64% scored higher (more computer geeky),
1% scored the same, and
35% scored lower (less geeky).

Compared to those in the same age group as you:

74% scored higher (more computer geeky),
1% scored the same, and
25% scored lower (less geeky).

What does this mean? Your computer geekiness is:

You are a wannabe computer user, but, alas, that is not possible with you.

Anyway, I did cheat on a few of the questions but answered the others the best I could. I wouldn't have known some if my son hadn't played video games and if I hadn't had help from my mentor Scaryduck when I wanted to make changes on my blog. I've asked questions to my cyber friends and former students and really do spend too much time on the computer, but I don't have to tell any of you that! LOL I like gadgets but don't really know how they work.

**OK, I took it again without cheating even though I did remember those answers I googled about those men and the inventor of Pong. Hey! There was a question on there that asked if we googled, so they must expect a certain amount of that.

Have a great weekend and let me know how you do.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


As many of you know, my grandson who is five has Asperger's, which is on the autism spectrum. We're having a hard time with him in school, so I've been preoccupied with that for a while now. I'll tell you more about it later, but for now, please know what a blessing he is for my son and his wife and how difficult this is for them, too. He's definitely loved and cared for.

Their blogs are on my list over there on the right if you want to read what they have to say. My son's is Homologous Trend, and my daughter-in-law's is The Perky Skeptic.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sad but Expected DWTS Results

Well, we knew it would probably happen. Rocco is gone. He left with all the kindness, grace, class, and humanity he's shown all through the show. I'll miss him.

Rocco DiSpirito and Karina Smirnoff


Great News!!

My blood glucose reading this morning was 117! Yes!! I slept better last night than I have for a long time, too. I really wanted a mocha latte yesterday but resisted. It's working.

The most important part is to keep blood sugar within a safe range with no spikes and dips. Mine has been too high for months and months because of my irresponsible, slothful ways. Then it definitely peaked too high and stayed too high over all. I felt like crap.

The trouble with sweets is that once I start eating them, I crave more and more. If I quit eating them, after a while I lose my taste for them until I have some chocolate or other sweets again. So I have to be strong! Eventually, when I lose weight, am exercising regularly, and have good readings, I can have some if I'm careful. It's all about balance, as Jimbo said.

I've found that I do better following a plan between the diabetic meal plans and the low-carb ones. So based on comments from Rachel and the excellent Debster, I'm on the South Park Diet. How many jokes can we make out of that?

More About DWTS

Here's an article about the judging last night with commentaries that isn't that long and is interesting if you want to read it. Then we can comment about that, too, if you want to.

Charlie wanted me to post the information about the dances. I copy and paste it from the DWTS website. I don't know all that about the dances, but I can do research and pass it on!

I thought there were too many scores that were the same last night and wonder about those judges sometimes! This season doesn't have anyone who excites me the way it has before. I agree with Charlie about Cloris and with Chris about scores and enjoyment. It's not as entertaining, is it?

Monday, October 13, 2008

DWTS - Week Four

The dances this week are the Samba and the Tango. Scores from last week will be combined with this week to determine who leaves tomorrow night. Total scores in parentheses. They are adding four new dances next week they haven't had on here before: the salsa, west coast swing, hustle, and jitterbug. That should be fun!

Samba Fast Facts:

- The Samba is an all-out party dance with origins from Brazil's Rio Carnival. It is made up of many different South American dances incorporated into one. It is very rhythmical with lots of hip action.
- Walking Samba steps and side steps are the basic components of this dance. The major characteristic of the Samba is the vertical bounce action. Steps are taken using the ball of the foot. The accomplished dancer is made to look effortless and carefree with knee action, body sway and "pendulum motion."

Distinctive moves:

- The Basic step is a Volta (a crossing action in front of the body, where you step across with the bounce). You will see a bouncing action predominantly through the knees.
- Look out for the Samba roll a rolling movement from the waist up. The upper body circles as you create a six-step turning group.
- Many Sambas have a move called a Botafogo, which is a traveling walk with a change of direction from left to right or right to left.
- There should be lots of outstretched arms.
- The samba has a distinctive climax, it ends with throwing of heads back and arms splayed out to side.
- There should be a good balance of moving steps and stationary steps.

Tango Fast Facts:

- The gauchos (cowboys) of Argentina wore chaps that hardened from the foam and sweat of the horse's body, causing them to walk with flexed knees. Of a night they would go to crowded night clubs and ask ladies of the night to dance but since the gaucho hadn't showered, the lady would dance in the crook of the man's right arm, holding her head back. Her right hand was held low on his left hip, close to his pocket, looking for a payment for dancing with him.
- No rise and fall in the steps. This should be a very level, flat dance. The legs are therefore always slightly flexed (i.e. the knees should be slightly bent at all times).

Distinctive moves:

- The Tango is a very emotional dance and this should be conveyed.
- Must see lots of clipped movements.
- The action must always be staccato.
- Look out for sharp head turning and stops.
- The hold is different in the tango. The man's left arm is more towards head level. The general hold is far more compact and the couple are much tighter together.
- Walks - Should be done with the heels leading.
- Rock turns - the dancers should rock while turning.
- Look out for the Links - these are the sharp movements in-between the walks (the head turns from the girl). These are also known as staccato movements.

Maurice Green and Cheryl Burke
Dance: Samba
Score: 20 (44)

As Bruno said, they looked like Mr. and Mrs. Jackie Brown with the costumes and wigs. The judges weren't so happy with the performance. The more I see of Maurice, the less I like him but can't quite describe what it is. The part with his daughter was sweet, though. I always like Cheryl.

Cody Linley and Julianne Hough
Dance: Tango
Score: 23 (44)

Julianne had his high school principal talk to him and help him focus. Her main problem with him is his ADD. The judges were pleased with their dance. He tripped some on her costume but managed a proper tango, according to the judges. He's a cute kid and keeps on trying!

Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo
Dance: Samba
Score: 22 (44)

Toni said her doctor reported that her heart was stronger and blood pressure was down and that the dancing was helping her heart. Great news! Did I mention that I like looking at Alec? Now that Maks is gone, I have to focus all my lust on Alec. The judges praised her performance except for some mistake I missed. They really do look good together. She's beautiful and he's hot. Bruno said she was a delicious morsel of sugar and spice. Bruno and I are awful!

Cloris Leachman and Corky Ballas
Dance: Tango
Score: 22 (38)

Cloris does not want to go home and asked Corky to teach her technique so that she could perform a good dance. Their nickname is now Clorky. They were at the bottom of the list last week but really danced without gimmicks this week. Rocco might be the one to go since he had the lowest score from the judges and the audience. The judges are praising her technique this week and saying how well she danced. She is wearing on my nerves. I hope Rocco improves.

Rocco DiSpirito and Karina Smirnoff
Dance: Samba
Score: 18 (38)

Karina got his mother to come to a rehearsal to encourage Rocco to have fun. Well, I don't know. He's doing some of it much better but I'm not sure if it's enough. Oh my, the judges no likee. Too sad. Truly. He's just so nice, but he doesn't dance as well as many of the others. I'm glad he got to be here another week. Karina isn't being her impatient diva self with him the way she has been with some who don't dance well. He's too kind and classy. How could she?

Dance: Tango
Score: 24 (45)

Tony told her to let Erica Kane dance the tango, and she did. I thought she did really well. Len said it was her best dance so far, and the other judges all gave her 8's.

Brooke Burke and Derek Hough
Dance: Samba
Score: 26 (54)

Brooke is the best dancer on there this season and kept up the pace tonight. Bruno and Len argued again because Len didn't like the gimmicky part. Bruno said it was raunchy and he needed a smoke. I'll say it again - she'll probably win.

Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer
Dance: Tango
Score: 26 (48)

They did a sort of goth tango, which was interesting. He's doing better, but I still don't like them that much. The judges liked their dance. I did, too. It was a proper tango and entertaining.

Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson
Dance: Samba
Score: 22 (47)

The big ol' dancin' teddy bear did it again! He was light on his feet and had fun. It wasn't his best dance, but he's always entertaining. The judges said so, too. I must be getting better at this!

Somehow this isn't that fascinating a recap but maybe because nothing that exciting happened. Maybe that is OK.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Health News

I walked this morning before my low-carb breakfast and am getting ready to go to the lake and walk there soon. My reading was still too high this morning but was lower than yesterday by about 30 points. As the day went on, it was on track and doing well. I think I'll make it now!

I'm doing a combination of South Beach and Protein Power diets. They are similar, and I can do it.

Yes I Can! Pictures, Images and Photos

American Revolution, Part II

Check out Kalilily Time for some provocative and scary posts. I didn't see that racist with the stuffed monkey with an Obama sticker on it at the McCain/Palin rally, but she has a video of it on there. Naomi Wolfe's interview about revolution and how we need to go about it. Here's an excerpt from Kalilily's post:
Now, she warns that America is already a police state and intimates that only a revolution can give us back our liberties. In her previous book, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, she listed the 10 steps necessary for a state to take control of individuals' lives:

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.
2. Create secret prisons where torture takes place.
3. Develop a thug caste or paramilitary force not answerable to citizens.
4. Set up an internal surveillance system.
5. Harass citizens' groups.
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release.
7. Target key individuals.
8. Control the press.
9. Treat all political dissidents as traitors.
10. Suspend the rule of law.

In her interview, above, she explains the ways these 10 steps have been completed in America.


I also bought the book My Healthcare is Killing Me, written by some people in Nashville who also created the website change: healthcare. Here's the website for the book, which you can read online. It's a valuable resource for making sense of the healthcare options we have available now. I haven't read the whole book or checked out all the website yet, but they look good.

Saturday Fun

The Southern Festival of Books was fun. There are fewer vendors each year, which is sad, but we attended some great sessions. One of the booths had audio tapes for $5 each or five for $20. Here's what I bought: Best Jazz Age Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald (2 cassettes), Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters (4 cassettes0, Great American Writers with stories from Ann Beattie, Arthur Miller, Joyce Carol Oates, John dos Passos, Isaac Bashevis Singer, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Wolfe, Langston Hughes, Jack Kerouac, and others (6 cassettes). The last two are read by a group of impressive actors such as Ossie Davis, Sam Waterston, Edward Asner, Julie Harris, and many other good readers. I'm looking forward to listening to those. The two others are Roosevelt and Churchill: Men of Secrets by David Stafford (8 cassettes) and The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by Jonathan Alter (whom I've seen on MSNBC and NBC news shows and read in Newsweek). This one also has 8 cassettes and is something I thought might make me feel better to hear right now since we're in the same situation in our country we were when he took office. Here's what the back cover had:

Instead of becoming the dictator so many wanted in those first days, FDR rescued the banks, put men to work immediately, and laid the groundwork for his most
ambitious achievements, including what eventually became the Social Security Administration. Alter explains how FDR's background and experiences uniquely qualified him to pull off an astonishing conjuring act that saved both democracy and capitalism.
These audio books will keep me company while I work on decluttering the house. And yes I did teach American Literature and US History.

The sessions we attended were interesting. The first one had a panel with Marshall Chapman, Tommy Womack, and R. B. Morris, all singer-songwriters who have written books. Marshall Chapman has been around Nashville for about forty years when she came to Vanderbilt as a student and stayed as a songwriter. She's a hoot, a great entertainer, and interesting person. Tina and I cracked up at Tommy Womack. His wife was passing out bookmark-type things that had when his appearances would be and books. I told her I was glad to see which one he was, and she said, "Yeah, he's the charactery one," and he definitely is! He's quirky, creative, funny, articulate, and intelligent. I loved this song he sang titled "Alpha Male And The Canine Mystery Blood" from his CD THERE, I Said It! I found it on You Tube, and Marshall Chapman is on stage with him. I gave him a standing ovation after it all by myself.

Sherman Alexie was next and is quite a storyteller and very entertaining. He wrote the book and screenplay for Smoke Signals which he said has been seen by 99.9% of American Indians. I love that movie and his writing. He also wrote The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Toughest Indian in the World, and many more. He was absolutely hilarious and engaging. If you ever get a chance to hear him, please go.

Our last session was with Rick Bragg, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, whose memoirs All Over but the Shoutin' and The Prince of Frogtown chronicle life with his mother and abusive, alcoholic father and then his experience as a stepfather and wanting to hear some good stories about his father. I enjoyed hearing his personable, honest presentation.

It was a very good day but a little too hot, so it felt good to be in the War Memorial Auditorium during the afternoon. They have their schtick down pretty well by now. We went to Hot Kabobs after the festival for a tasty meal.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day One

I will try not to bore you with details of all this, but I'm starting on the South Beach Diet Phase One. I'll post my usual stuff but need to be accountable to someone. I just finished an omelet with spinach, artichokes, and feta cheese in it and really enjoyed it. Now I'm going to get ready to go to the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville with Tina. Report on that later!

My ship is setting sail! Phase One lasts two weeks, so sticking to that and walking every day will take me to my next appointment with my internist. He didn't fuss but scared me yesterday, which is much more effective. Besides, he's never had me come back in two weeks like this. He said if this keeps on, my blood sugar could get out of control, and we don't want me to have to take insulin. He said he considers himself a failure if one of his diabetic patients has to go on insulin. We can't have that. Dr. Ross is a nice guy and likes me. He's probably around my son's age, and we can talk about all kinds of things. He gets my Monty Python and Mel Brooks references and liked it when I said, "Oh no! The dreaded Krebs Cycle!" when he launched into why it was so important to walk to lower blood glucose and get lactic acid out of muscles. Help me here, Perky. Isn't that the one?

Now, let's all look at the pretty sunrise and feel inspired.

sunrise_balharbour.jpg Pictures, Images and Photos