My Novels

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

As usual, I spent the entire morning busy. I got up at 7:30, after a shorter night's sleep. I watched the movie, "Nurse Betty" last night, after I went to bed. I had recorded it earlier, and unfortunately the last 30 minutes was missing! Bummer. But it comes on again today on USA network, so I'll record the missing part and watch it later. It was a strange movie, funny sometimes and sad at other times. All the actors/actresses are great though. Anyway, I didn't get to sleep till around 1:00 and that meant I got less sleep. I feel pretty good though.

After my breakfast of cereal, I went on the bike ride -- and ran into the fat guy who is the caretaker. Once again, he drove his pickup all the way into the park, blocking the bike trail because he's too damn lazy to walk to the restrooms to do his work. I don't equate ALL fat people with being lazy, but some sure are! At any rate, I went riding on the streets -- up and down the steep, steep hills. Better exercise really, yet my knees can't take too much of the steep inclines.

When I got back home, I tackled cleaning up the stray cats' feeding area. I have an older wood picnic table with a cover over it, and underneath a wood box upturned where I put their feed/water. I usually move this around between about three spots so as to prevent the grass dying underneath, and treat for pests. I cleaned the feeding box, turned it upside down and swept it clean, then put some Sven dust there to stop ants, spiders, etc. All that took over an hour, but everything is fresh and clean, plus I sprinkled Sven dust along the fence where the strays walk and/or lie so they'll get some on them and it will help prevent flea infestations. I hosed down all the feeding/water dishes, scrubbed out my other cats' litter boxes...quite a task, all in all.

After my shower, I had some housework to do...and finally got to the computer. I printed out a sample flyer I'm thinking of posting, about the part-time pet sitting work. I need to make a few adjustments, but I may post it sometimes before this weekend. Goodness knows I am capable of caring for critters! And VERY experienced!!!

I'll close with something light and funny...but with a bit of truth too. This is taken from Clintonholics Website -- for GOP who can't seem to shake their obsession/addiction to bashing the Clintons!

The Twelve Steps of Clintonholics Anonymous

1. We admitted we were powerless over Bill Clinton, and although he is no longer president, our obsession with him had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of James Carville as we understood Him.

4. Stopped making searching and cowardly moral inventories of others and got our own hypocritical houses in order.

5. Admitted to Henry Hyde, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have Gawd remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Bill to forgive us.

8. Made a list of all Clintons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to the Clintons wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, unlike Rush Limbaugh, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our inner Bubbas as we understood them.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to Clintonholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

And that's all she wrote today!

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

DH is back to work today, and I finally have a little time to update this journal. It's been a busy day though, since I had to catch up on housework, went on my bike ride early this morning (still at 90 lbs!) and then run to the library.

We got all the spring cleaning done here, as well as built the nice, larger back deck with a roof. I scrubbed the cats' sunporch one day, cleaned their quarters thoroughly, and that looks so much better. I have a small room-size air conditioner for the sunporch (since it is not connected to our house central heat/air) and we took out a high window, installed it to stay there. The cats don't need it all the time in the summer, but occasionally when the temps are very hot (as it can be here in the South), I turn in on around noon and let it run during the hottest part of the afternoon. Spoiled silly cats, huh? :-) But I do love 'em all. I also cleaned out my kitchen cabinets one day, a huge chore!

Speaking of pets, I'm debating the issue of starting a part-time pet sitting business. I could advertise freely on bulletin boards at the vets and pet shops, the library here...and even run an ad occasionally in a widely distributed community shopping guide. I don't know how much demand there is for this kind of service, but our area has grown tremendously in population in the past ten years. We have a great many upscale, very expensive, exclusive suburb/neighborhoods bordering the main city (where I live). I could advertise my service for only in the city or nearby communities, so that the gas expense would not be prohibitive. And I'd like to charge less than it costs to board ONE pet at the vets/kennels... I would go out once or twice a day for those who are on vacation and/or traveling for business, and feed/take care of their pets in their home. However, I'm not much of a dog lover so I'd specialize in cats and small animals, like bunnies, birds, fish, iquana, etc. There is one other such service, but the lady doesn't advertise very much. Anyhow, I have written a tentative flyer, and may start posting it around town by the end of this week. I'll report any progress here.

We have not learned any more about the property/house in the country, so I doubt that we'll get it after all. And that's okay. I'm more of a city slicker, not a rural type person! Though I love my critters, pets...I don't like farming or even working in gardens, etc.

I did, however, put out some shrubs to block the neighbor's houses...where our six-foot high wood fence ends! Yep, I like my privacy. I also put out some pompass grass, and hope this batch lives. I got some last fall, planted it...but it died over the winter. I don't have much of a green thumb!

I went to the library earlier, got some fiction and a book about small animal care. I'll have something to read/study now!

Hot here today...near 85. Oh, we had a 4.9 earthquake in this general region of the South this morning. Unheard of, almost! I didn't feel a thing, but apparently some living further north did. I think there were even some trees downed, and other minor damage. Weird.

DH and I took a nice trip on Sunday: We went about 150 miles south to a very small town, looking for some of his ancestors who were supposedly buried in a graveyard in that area. Didn't find them. But I DID get some more cemetery and church pictures, which I'll put in my photo album soon.

That's it for now!

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Just a few lines today...been a hectic, busy week. DH has been on vacation, and we've been working around the house. He built a new, larger deck on the back of the house, and I cleaned cabinets, etc... I have most of my indoor spring cleaning done, but still have a few chores to finish up.

Good news! One of the houses/acreage we looked at in a rural area, which was in foreclosure, has finally become available. There were all kinds of deed/legal/mortgage problems, but that seems to be settled now. We went and looked at it again today, and there's 21 acres...although the house needs lots of work. We can do that ourselves, and though it would be rough work...the price is unbeatable at $66,000.00!!! We'd offer only $50,000.00 though, as an initial offer. We'll see, I guess.

And that's it for now. More when I have time.

Friday, April 18, 2003

Whew! What a day! I had to go to Wal-mart, NOT my favorite shopping trip. But there ARE a few items I can buy there that I find reasonably priced, and can't seem to find anywhere else in this town. At any rate, I got up early, took a shower, washed my hair and when it was dry, headed out for a hiking trip in the cavernous Wally World building. I figured I didn't need to ride the bike today, and when I drove by the park on my way home, a baseball game was in process -- so that meant I wouldn't get to ride the trail. Too noisy, too many kids...and I'd already had that experience in Wally World (screaming youngsters pestering their moms to buy them something!).

When I got home, I had housecleaning to do (can't stand a messy house!) and even ended up mopping the floors. So finally I was able to get to my computer, and spend some time online. I'm tired!

Yesterday I rejoined the Humane Society; I'd paid the dues several years ago, but neglected to join last year. They kept sending me all these 'free' gifts and I felt SO guilty for not paying the dues, so I finally did pay online yesterday. I just can't do much at our local shelter, for I cannot endure seeing the many animals that are put down each year. I do my part by feeding strays, which IS expensive, plus taking good care of my own SEVEN cats -- all strays at one time. But I DO support the efforts of the Humane Society, so I sent in my dues.

I noticed that the animals in the Iraqi zoo weren't being fed during all the war disaster, and in one picture I saw, the lions looked terribly skinny. But soon that's supposed to be taken care of -- or at least that is what was stated in the news article. I HATE seeing hungry critters, and will always have a soft spot in my heart for any critter that needs food. :-(

I'm going to close with this quote from an online journal I read frequently; it is the BEST description of Colin Powell I've ever read!

A random thought, spurred by the recent events in Syria: Secretary of State Colin Powell is like that weasly kid who hung around the class bully in grade school, who would take you aside during recess and say, "Come on, if you don't give Butch your lunch money, he's just going to beat you up tomorrow morning and take it anyway. Come on, do us all a favor and just give him your lunch money. It'll be a lot easier for everyone that way."
--J.P.'s Journal

More tomorrow, I hope!

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Not much to write about today. Just wanted to say that I FINALLY updated my CR journal, link on the right sidebar.

Ah, life does go on...and on...and on.

Monday, April 14, 2003

I got my check today for the article I wrote -- nice, fat check, I might add. Whoopee! Now I have some extra money to spend...all on myself, since any additional income I make is either for savings or myself. That's the benefit of being 'retired.'

I decided to delay my vacation till next week, so DH will be able to take a week of his vacation time too. We have many necessary chores to do around here, like painting the garage, spring cleaning inside and outside the house, etc. But we will make time for at least a one-day trip somewhere -- probably an historic place not too far away. We love to visit such sites, and tour the grounds, or the historic buildings.

It is gorgeous weather here today...mild 70s, beautiful sunshine, no wind. I went on my bike ride this morning, and again had the park trail all to myself. Perfect! I'm staying at 90 lbs, and can't complain (more on this in my CR journal maybe).

Sunday afternoon DH and I went on a drive through the countryside, and ended up at a riverside park, where I took some great photos. I added those to my photo album -- link in the right sidebar if you want to see those.

I have to add a link here to a hilarious website I discovered for cat lovers. It's called My Cat Hates You and it has many, many pictures of cats that testify to that fact! I don't know what is funnier -- the cat pictures or the funny captions! Check it out if you like cats! The first cat I got after marrying DH lived to be 20 years old, Punkin, and she always had the most hateful look on her face. She was a gray-striped tabby, and had tiny white spots above her mouth that made her look as if she was snarling at you. And she also had a contrary nature, would haul off and scratch me (or anyone) without any provocation! I should submit one of her pictures to that site! :-)

And that's it for today. As for Iraq, "I ain't gonna study war no more." Spring is here, and all is fine with the world so far as I'm concerned: "See no evil, hear no evil, do no evil," my new motto.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

The weather here has been glorious the past couple of days, and I was able to ride my bike in the park. I went early this morning, and enjoyed having the park all to myself. In the 70s today, and clear, sparkling sunshine.

Not much to write about, but I am feeling in a better mood. I am thinking of going on vacation for a couple weeks, so if this blog isn't updated it means I'm on hiatus.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

I am still feeling depressed -- or just have a case of the 'blahs.' It has turned unseasonably cold here, only 39 today and overcast, occasional I'm stuck indoors. Plus, my knees are still giving me pain, so I haven't been on the bike ride for three days. I don't dare aggravate my knee troubles, compound the damage, so I can't ride. And this contributes to my depression; I like getting out in the fresh air, being outdoors for a short time every day. The biking gives me that opportunity. Alas, I'll just have to survive.

I weighed 90 lbs this morning, and ate lightly yesterday too. My weight seems to fluctuate between 91--88 lbs, and I suppose that's mostly water-weight gain/loss. At any rate, I'm not dieting nearly as much, although still watching what I eat, trying to stay below 1,500 calories per day.

Hmm, looks like finally the war in Iraq has made at least some small measure of progress. However, after seeing all the awful looting and mayhem in the cities, it sort of makes you wonder what the future will hold for the Iraqi people. Nothing like "liberating" people so they can kill and steal, huh? I guess time will in about 20 years we'll know the end result.

What else? Nothing much to write about, I don't feel inspired. That's the way it is with the blahs...but here's some interesting facts about American foreign policy you may not know, curtesy of "Bowling for Columbine."

1953: U.S. overthrows Prime Minister Mossadeq of Iran
U.S. installs Shah as dictator

1954 U.S. overthrows democratically-elected President Arbenz of Guatemala.
200,000 civilians killed

1963: U.S. backs assassination of South Vietnamese President Diem

1963 --1975: American military kills 4 million people in Southeast Asia

September 11, 1973: U.S. stages a coup in Chile. Democratically-elected
President Salvador Allende assassinated. Dictator Augusto Pinochet installed;
5,000 Chileans killed

1977: U.S. backs military rulers of El Salvador. 70,000 Salvadorians and four
American nuns killed

1980s: U.S. trains Osama bin Laden and fellow terrorists to kill Soviets. CIA
gives them $3 billion

1981: Reagan administration trains and funds 'contras' 30,000 Nicaraguans die

1982: U.S. provides billions in aid to Saddam Hussein for weapons to kill

1983: White House secretly gives Iran weapons to kill Iraqis

1989: CIA agent Manuel Noriega (also serving as president of Panama) disobeys
orders from Washington. US invades Panama and removes Noriega 3,000 Panamanian
civilian casualties

1990: Iraq invades Kuwait with weapons from the U.S.

1991: U.S. enters Iraq. Bush reinstates dictator of Kuwait

1991- present: American planes bomb Iraq on a weekly basis. U.N. estimates
500,000 Iraqi children die from bombings and sanctions.

1998: Clinton bombs "weapons factory" in Sudan. Factory turns out to be making

2000-01 U.S. gives Taliban-ruled Afghanistan $245 million in "aid."

September 11, 2001: Osama bin Laden uses his CIA training to murder 3,000

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Unfortunately some bad news: my cat, Tiny, had to be put to sleep. I let her stay in the house last night, because her breathing was so labored (although she is not an outside cat, had stayed on the sunporch with the other cats). This morning she was in really bad shape, so I called the vet and took her in. She had a virus that causes fluid retention, and there's no cure for it. The good news is that she didn't have leukemia, which I'd feared since a couple of my other cats had that. At any rate, I am sure going to miss her -- she'd been here over five years, and was a stray I took in.

I didn't go on my bike ride today, since the vet visit took most of the morning. Plus, my knees are sore and need at least a day's rest from biking. I weighed 88 lbs this I can afford the break.

War in Iraq continues...and today I read reports that the U.S. had bombed the building in Baghdad where journalists were staying. And also that a bomb hit a couple of Arab media/news outlets. I guess soon there will be NO credible news coming out of Baghdad, and the killing can go on unabated -- of civilians and whoever happens to be in the way. It is disgusting, sickening to have such total destruction/killing of humans taking place at the hands of the U.S and G. W. Bush. History will not be kind to the U.S. or Bush when all is said and done in this period of time.

Guess that's it for now. I'm rather depressed and sad about losing Tiny, not to mention the war casualities...and don't feel much like writing any more today. I'll close with this quote:

"Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups." --Anonymous

Monday, April 07, 2003

Another pretty day here in the South, although there's predictions of storms later this afternoon. I went on my bike ride early, had the park all to myself, as I did yesterday morning also. I weighed in at 89 this morning, although I ate a hearty meal yesterday evening. Guess the exercise helps. More in my CR Journal, if I have time to update.

I'm reading a great novel: "A Parchment of Leaves" by Silas House. It is set in early 1900 Kentucky, and the prose is so lyrical, poetic...that I find it necessary to read and reread certain passages. The storyline is interesting also, and I am over halfway through already. It's a joy to actually find a good novel these days, especially with such amazingly gifted prose.

The war in Iraq goes on...and on...and on. I rarely watch any of the U.S. media coverage, but do read international news websites. Here's an interesting article I found about a few independent (not embedded) journalists complaining about their treatment by U.S. troops:

Coalition Forces Target Journalists, Charge Press Watchdogs

Meanwhile, both the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) expressed concern that reporters who were not "embedded" -- that is traveling under the protection and control of coalition forces -- had been poorly treated by U.S. forces.

Christian Science Monitor reporter Phil Smucker, for example, was deported to Kuwait after an interview on CNN in which he offered what the U.S. charged was too much information about their location. Unlike "embedded" journalists, he had not signed an agreement beforehand to withhold such information.

Similarly four other journalists -- two Israelis and two Portuguese -- were arrested March 25 by U.S. troops, accused of spying, and detained in a jeep for 36 hours without access to outside communications, despite the fact that they displayed their press accreditation, according to RSF. One of the four, Luis de Castro of Portugal, claimed to have beaten and suffered broken ribs while in U.S. custody.

"The US soldiers said we were terrorists and spies and treated us as such," said Dan Scemama, who works for the TV station Israel Channel One. "They want all the journalists in Iraq to have one of their liaison officers with them to supervise the footage they are broadcasting. There is no doubt that this is why they treated us so cruelly."


Actually, those reporters NOT embedded are the ONLY ones in Iraq that are being objective, insofar as their material. It's sad that several journalists have already died over there, but that IS part of the territory when you are covering any war. I am sure they knew the risks, but were anxious to go to the war front. Nothing quite like the prestige of being a 'war correspondent.'

You know, if I see ONE more news report about having found "the smoking gun" of "chemical weapons" and it turns out to be false (as they all have thus far) I don't think ANYONE will give the U.S. media any credibility. Come on, wait till CONFIRMATION before reporting this BS; it just makes Bush & Company look desperate to justify the war. Here's a link to the latest fiasco on that:

"Smoking gun" WMD site in Iraq turns out to contain pesticide

A military intelligence officer for the US 101st Airborne Division's aviation brigade, Captain Adam Mastrianni, told AFP that comprehensive tests determined the presence of the pesticide compounds.

Initial tests had reportedly detected traces of sarin -- a powerful toxin that quickly affects the nervous system -- after US soldiers guarding the facility near Hindiyah, 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Baghdad, fell ill.

Mastrianni said: "They thought it was a nerve agent. That's what it tested. But it is pesticide."

The turnaround was an embarrassment for the US forces in the region, which had been quick to say that they thought they had finally found the proof they have been actively looking for that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction.


I mean, give me a break! If they can't find WMDs, then does that mean all those innocent civilian people (and troops) died for nothing? Nah, couldn't happen, could it? It did in Vietnam. 'Nuff said.

I also read a recent news article that stated the U.S. plans to bring Iraqi 'war criminals' to trial -- ominously by a U.S. tribunal/military undertaking. And what about our own 'war crimes?' I am sure that all the Iraqi civilians killed by American troops would be glad to testify at such a trial...alas, we will never hear from them. I find this quote accurate about that issue:

"A policy that sets the United States above and apart from the rules that other states are expected to follow is ultimately unsustainable and self-defeating. Perpetuating U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons as a key component of protecting U.S. security will only make the acquisition of nuclear weapons more attractive to others, not less." ~~ Daryl G. Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association

One of my older cats, Tiny, seems to be ailing. I think she is suffering from allergies, since the pollen here is thick. Her breathing is somewhat labored, so I may take her to the vet tomorrow, if she isn't better.

And that's a wrap for today!!

Saturday, April 05, 2003

I didn't go on my bike ride today, since Saturdays are usually the day kids and/or baseball games are going on in the park. I got up late, put on a roast in my crockpot for our evening meal. I have been eating more or less fairly balanced meals lately, as well as having a small desert each night...and haven't gained any, still at 90 lbs. I attribute this partly to regular exercise (biking daily) and the supplements I take that help convert food into energy, as well as fat-burning pills. See my CR Diet Journal for more on that, if you're interested; link in the right-hand sidebar.

I had to run a few errands in town...then when I got home, I used the exercise bike I bought for five bucks at the Salvation Army store the other day. I used the machine for 20 minutes and went 3 1/2 miles. Fortunately it has a mileage gage, as well as a speedometer; stayed around 15 miles per hour too. I got hot, and it seems to work fairly well. I still haven't decided if I'll sell my Nordic Track ski machine, but I probably will eventually.

Otherwise, life goes on! The war in Iraq still rages, though the media here would have us believe it is all but over. I don't think so!

I'll close with this quote from Charlie Reese's column regarding the U.S. news media not showing the dead bodies of our own soldiers; I agree with his viewpoint totally.

"It is not the job of journalists to protect the sensitivities of people or to participate in American propaganda. Those ugly pictures of young Americans, their faces mutilated by bullets and shrapnel, are the true face of war. That's what war is: death, mutilation and destruction. Why hide from Americans what they wanted? The polls say 70 percent or more support war. Well, you should be willing to look at what you support — all of it, not just a censored, prettified version of it." --Charlie Reese

Friday, April 04, 2003

You may have noticed that yesterday I made no comments on the war in Iraq. When I read that Peter Arnett was being considered for charges of treason, I really had to step back and consider how far down this country, America, has fallen. It's scary, and in fact, I'm almost afraid to write my opinions here...because who knows who lurks out there, ready to pounce upon me for voicing a "different" opinon. Perhaps the Bush Gestapo will come after ME next...?

Here's some links to the Peter Arnett fiasco. If I were Mr. Arnett, quite simply, I'd stay in England or Australia or Canada (all of which have a better democracy AND social programs than the USA). Who the hell needs America, as it is now run by neo-conservatives? I'd move to either Canada or England, had I the financial means. But alas, I'm like MOST people in the world: born, bred and likely to die in the same place. I'm so sad about our country, and feel that someday all that is transpiring will be an ugly episode in history -- rather like the McCarthy Era.

Here's the links/excerpts:

Senator who requests treason for Arnett

"I think Mr. Arnett should be met at the border and arrested should he come back to America," said Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky. "We all firmly believe in the First Amendment which protects the freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly. However, no U.S. citizen should be allowed to provide aid, and comfort, through false information, to the enemy during wartime."

'I think he should be brought back and tried as a traitor to the United States of America," Bunning said. "If this was 200 years ago, I'm pretty sure Peter Arnett would be hanging in the village square."


Erm, is he suggesting, a "witch trial?" What bunk!


In feedback to the Poynter analysis, Danielle Jenkins wrote that it was wrong for Arnett to be fired, saying news organizations are caving in to the White House and Pentagon.

"It troubles me that we bash Iraqi TV for broadcasting only what they want their people to hear and the news media here in this country are doing the same thing. I don't want to hear just the party line of the White House and Pentagon. ... It's what I call whitewashing by the White House!"


For a more balanced column, read this:

Was Arnett's Firing Fair?
Perhaps I'm missing something here, but how is Arnett's interview with Iraq's state operated televison network different from the heavily censored reports provided by American "embedded" journalists? I fear the American media will lose credibility as it moves ever closer to becoming a new form of war technology, one used to disseminate the Pentagon's official line.


And this by a journalist:

by Ted Frederickson, University of Kansas

As an 18-year member of the Society of Professional Journalist's Ethics Committee, I have been very disappointed by the reaction of Bob Steele and others in the world of journalism to Peter Arnett's firing. Whether a reporter covering a war should provide opinions about that war is a debatable issue, but certainly not the most important ethics issue in this controversy. I am most concerned by what this incident tells us about whether journalists covering that war are able to act independently, as the SPJ Code requires.
When I hear NBC or ANY journalist suggesting that Mr. Arnett should not have allowed himself to be interviewed on Iraqi state television because it would give aid and comfort to the enemy, I find myself wondering what that means, exactly. Does it mean journalists covering a war have an obligation to provide aid and comfort to a designated good guy and avoid doing that with the designated bad guy? I think a strength of our democracy and our free media is that we not only tolerate hearing unpleasant truths but benefit from views that do not follow the spin desired by our own government. While I don't know whether Peter Arnett's opinion is correct or not, I know that many others share his views and it is useful to hear the thoughts of an American reporter in Iraq. Also, those of us who care about ethics frequently applaud the actions of reporters who seek out and report unpleasant truths despite the wishes of their employers. I remain convinced that NBC was upset not because Arnett expressed opinions, which Washingon reporters do virtually every Sunday, but because he openly expressed opinions in Baghdad that were politically unpopular with the U.S. government and with his own PR-conscious network. Had he applauded the U.S. war effort on Iraqi television, he would still be reporting for NBC. I find that troubling. It is clearly a warning to other journalists who hope to act independently and report important truths about this and other wars.


And this:

The termination of someone who was a credible journalist and a Pulitzer prize winner, shows me that no one is exempt from error, and that network stations will cut their losses to keep their clients happy. As all journalists probably know, what the news has become is far from where newspapers have their roots buried. --Posted by Catherine Wallace 4/3/2003 1:32:34 PM


We're living in STRANGE times, and it's scary when you can realize just exactly what is happening. But as I stated earlier, I'm a bit afraid that the Bush Gestapo will be after me any day now. Let's hope not.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

I had a busy, busy day. Had to run errands in town, then went by the Salavation Army store -- I like to buy the cheap throw pillows there for my cats to lie on in the sunroom. I found a GREAT bargain, a stationary bike that I can use when I can't go biking. And I only gave $5.00 for it! Of course, that can't compare to the joy of riding my bike on the park trail, (which I did when I got home) but at least when it's raining or such, I can exercise indoors. I plan to sell my Nordic Track ski machine, because my knees hurt when I use it.

I also went to the library, and got some good reads. I found several books about anorexia, which I will read soon. I also got some novels, and hope these prove worth reading.

I have finished the article I was writing, and sent it off to the magazine. That was a great relief, just getting it completed. I don't think I'll have to do any rewrites, since the editorial staff handles that stuff. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for the check! :-)

That's about it for today. I'm tired, and will spend the evening relaxing. More tomorrow. I'll end with this quote that I find very apt:

"A man came up to me on the street and said, "I used to be messed up out of my mind on drugs but now I'm messed up out of my mind on Jeeesus Chriiist." --George Carlin

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Another picture-perfect day here in the South. I went on my bike ride around 9:30, since I slept till 8:00 this morning. I needed the extra sleep, since I haven't been sleeping well the past few nights. I had half-a-cup of wine last night before trying to sleep, and that helped alleviate my insomnia.

Well looks like we Americans are having an orgy of celebration today -- of a premature victory in the war on Iraq. Premature in my estimation, since they still haven't taken Baghdad... At any rate, the good news was the rescue of the American MIA girl (who, no surprise, comes from one of the poorest, high-employment rated areas of this country in West Virginia); and the bad news is they found 11 bodies that have yet to be identified, but suspected to be American MIAs. And then of course, we see more air bombardment, ground troops moving toward the north, so there's a lot of gloating going on in the media here.

You know, just call me weird, but I really don't understand the gloating/pride in defeating a third-world country that is, almost essentially, without any armed artillery, etc to fight our troops. Were the majority of Americans SO traumatized by 9/11 that it is necessary to beat up on Iraq in order to feel 'superior' again? Unfortunately, that seems to be what is happening.

Frankly, I get no pleasure/pride in seeing Iraqi civilians being mowed down by our jets bombing them. There had to have been a better way to remove Saddam, but Bush has no diplomatic sense -- or patience for the U.N. to have done their job. Hence, we have lots and lots and lots of deaths on our hands now, mostly the Iraqi citizens.

Here's an excerpt from a Charlie Reese column about what will happen in the future of Iraq, that I think is apt:

We will establish a military occupational government, and that will create a quagmire. Iraqis will fight us any way they can, and eventually they will drive us out, just as the Lebanese eventually drove the Israelis out. They will drive us out by making us pay a price that is more than the American public will tolerate.

I wish I could be more optimistic, but we are seeing today really the only part of the American government — the military — that works well. We are diplomatically inept and far too naive as a people to be a successful empire. President Bush has risen above his level of competence, and there is not a single member of his administration anybody would call wise. I'm afraid electing Bush president was like handing a loaded gun to a 6-year-old.


And here's an excerpt from an article in USA Today about Bush showing the strain of war -- which was so bad I thought it must have originally been written by The Onion:

He's being hard on himself; he gave up sweets just before the war began.

He's a cheerleader who encourages others not to lose faith in the war plan.

Bush believes he was called by God to lead the nation at this time, says Commerce Secretary Don Evans, a close friend who talks with Bush every day.


Scary stuff. Next Bush will be promising our soldiers 100 virgins awaiting them in heaven if they die in a war, I suppose.

And finally, this excerpt from a superb piece about the media/news we see/hear in America:

On the cable outlets, concentration is already apparent: two owners, Comcast and AOL Time Warner, serve 40 percent of cable households. All of the cable news networks — CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox, MSNBC, CNBC, CNNfn — are owned by three conglomerates: AOL Time Warner, GE, and News Corporation. Direct broadcast satellites? Two companies control virtually the entire industry, and recently, one of them (EchoStar) tried unsuccessfully to buy the other (DirecTV). Thus, most sources of news are tapped from the same old barrels.--Columbia Journalism Review

So, how impartial is the news we Americans get here? You tell me.

Oh well, just another day in our mad, mad world.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Beautiful day here in the South, perfect for biking. I went on my ride early, and had the park trail all to myself, great! I thought maybe the ride would improve my mood, since I am beginning to feel the start of a depression. I don't know exactly why, but I do have these deep, dark spells that start with just a blue mood, constant, dismal thoughts, and wind around down until I'm thinking about suicide. Not that I've attempted it outright, but I think some of my past starvation/anorexia and other health-related self-destruction are forms of suicidal behavior. It's not the world situation, or my life...(and not hormonal, for I'm past most of that stuff)...rather, just a dark feeling about the human condition/existence in general.

I see that the pentagon is trying to get Geraldo out of Iraq, saying he endangered the troops by something he said/did on camera. Now that IS wrong, and no credible journalist would do that -- but then, Geraldo is a showman, not a journalist anyway. Is Faux News taking responsibility for his actions? Don't know, since I never watch it long enough to find out; I think that's one of the most irritating news channels on the air. I did see that Peter Arnett has another position, though not with the American media.

I'll close with this quote, which sort of sums up my feeling these days:

"What does it matter to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?" ~ Gandhi