My Novels

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Photos and latest update

I went on the "killer bike loop" this morning, between 9:00 and 10:00. Usually it takes a little over 30 minutes to ride the five miles, and yet it was already HOT this morning. I had to wait till the worst of the morning work traffic slows, but it would have been better to go around 8:00. Wish this heat would end, and allow us to have our mild Fall temps!

Day before yesterday I biked in another nearby subdivision, one I'd not been to before. It will be a good place to ride once winter is here, because it's less than a mile away and has some challenging hills. However, right now it's too darn hot to bike in early afternoon, and that's the only time I dare tackle this rural highway (lots of traffic morning/evening) in front of our house -- which is the ONLY route to the subdivision.

Oh, something funny: The other day one of our neighbors was here, he'd borrowed our tractor and brought it back. I went out to ride, got on my bike and yelled to DH that I was "going for a ride." DH later said the neighbor repeated to DH what I'd said, "The bicycle lady said she's going for a ride." DH said that the community must be calling me "the bicycle lady." Yeah, but maybe the neighbor politely left out the word "crazy" before "bicycle lady!" I hope not, but I know that I'm one of the VERY few who rides a bike around here. I've seen two guys out riding, both all suited up in biking outfits and helmets (I don't wear a helmet or special biking outfit, just some narrow-leg shorts and comfortable top). These guys ride expensive bikes and race like the wind, fast and furious! :-) They'd leave me in the dust, but nevertheless, I do ride as fast as possible, since I'm in it for the exercise/exertion. Still, I couldn't keep up with them!

I'm contemplating moving my cats from the front sunporch to the new back sunporch, since it'll be warmer there for winter weather. That will be a task I'll try to do next week, while DH is on vacation.

Here's two pictures of the new planters with artificial flowers beneath the picture window. The new rock walkway is also visible in one of the pictures.

Close-up of planters underneat picture window Posted by Hello

Planters underneath picture window Posted by Hello

Monday, October 25, 2004

Long weekend, though we didn't get much accomplished. Next week DH is off for vacation again, and we hope to finish up the last of our renovation on the enclosed backporch. There's not much left to do, but we want it completed. For now, we are using both rooms...just need to finish the painting, etc.

Saturday I finally got around to creating two long planter flower boxes and putting them beneath the picture window. I had been collecting artificial flowers for a couple months, buying them at various low-priced places like General Dollar and even the Salvation Army store. The two dark-green planters were on sale, since most garden shops were clearing out their summer stock. The overall effect is great, gives the house more "curb appeal." I'll try to get a photo soon.

Great weather here today, and I went on my bike ride around 2:00. I actually explored another nearby subdivison, but one which is in an opposite direction from the others I frequent. It is almost ALL uphill to get there, plus I have to ride about a half mile on this busy highway in front of our house. That's why I'd put it off. But the riding there is great, in that there's some challenging hills and NO traffic to speak of. Perhaps that will be my new destination, once the weather cools down more. Today it's near 80, almost TOO hot to be out riding at 2:00; but I needed the exercise.

The Presidential election is soon going to be 'history.' Today there's a news report which should make all people with half-a-brain KNOW that Bush and his cohorts are off-track badly in Iraq. Read it and weep:

U.N.: Tons of Explosives Missing in Iraq

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Several hundred tons of conventional explosives were looted from a former Iraqi military facility that once played a key role in Saddam Hussein's efforts to build a nuclear bomb, the U.N. nuclear agency told the Security Council on Monday.

A "lack of security" resulted in the loss of 377 tons of high explosives from the sprawling Al-Qaqaa military installation about 30 miles south of Baghdad, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said.

The IAEA fears "that these explosives could have fallen into the wrong hands," said spokeswoman Melissa Fleming.

The development immediately became an issue on the U.S. presidential campaign trail, with the White House downplaying the threat from the missing cache of weapons but Sen. John Kerry's campaign calling the disappearance a "grave and catastrophic mistake."

ElBaradei told the council the IAEA had been trying to give the U.S.-led multinational force and Iraq's interim government "an opportunity to attempt to recover the explosives before this matter was put into the public domain."

But since the disappearance was reported in the media, he said he wanted the Security Council to have the letter dated Oct. 10 that he received from Mohammed J. Abbas, a senior official at Iraq's Ministry of Science and Technology, reporting the theft of the explosives.

The materials were lost through "the theft and looting of the governmental installations due to lack of security," the letter said.

The letter from Abbas informed the IAEA that since Sept. 4, 2003, looting at the Al-Qaqaa installation south of Baghdad had resulted in the loss of 214.67 tons of HMX, 155.68 tons of RDX and 6.39 tons of PETN explosives.

HMX and RDX can be used to demolish buildings, down jetliners, produce warheads for missiles and detonate nuclear weapons. HMX and RDX are key ingredients in plastic explosives such as C-4 and Semtex - substances so powerful that Libyan terrorists needed just 1 pound to blow up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 170 people.

Last night I reread six chapters of a novel I'd worked on several years ago, but never completed. It was titled, "Savage Sport," and I had forgotten how well it was developing. Maybe once I finish the rough draft of the novel I'm working on now, I'll give it another shot. One thing that is always weird -- rereading something I've written years ago, it's almost like I've never seen it or read it, as if I'm reading another author's work. Eventually though the kernel of the plot idea comes back to me, and I know where it is going, how it'll end. Still, it's interesting to occasionally reread something I wrote long ago. I would guess all writers feel that way too.

Had a wonderful, fun visit with my sister Friday.

And that's it for today.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Just had to post an excellent essay I came across; it is well worth the time to read.

I went on a bike ride around 5:30 tonight, and got back just before dark. It was wonderful to watch the sun setting, and feel the cool, damp air as I rode. I didn't make the loop, for it was too late, but I enjoyed myself!

My sister is due to visit tomorrow, and I plan to drive her around the immediate area, since she's not familiar with our surroundings. It will be fun visiting with her!

Here's the essay:

By E.L. Doctorow

I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our twenty-one-year-olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the WMDs he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man.

He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the thousand dead young men and women who wanted be what they could be.

They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsol-able remembrance of aborted life.... they come to his desk as a political liability which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that rather than controlling terrorism his war in Iraq has licensed it. So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice.

He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to.

Yet this president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing -- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends.

A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappro-priate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the President who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the thirty five million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the forty percent who cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills -- it is amazing for how many people in this country this President does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest one percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the safety regulations for coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it.

But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneous aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over the world most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get us into, is his characteristic trouble.

Finally the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail: How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president? He cannot mourn but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Today I biked the "killer loop" -- over five miles of pure country highway! Whew! Though I'd been biking every day, just riding in the nearby subdivision and/or nearby road...was NOT keeping me in shape. This killer loop has some steep hills, some flat stretches, a good workout combination. It's overcast, muggy outside today, and when I got back from the mall, I decided I'd tackle the loop. I got VERY hot, but it was worth the effort. I hope I can start riding the loop almost daily, especially when it cools down again. I have to go between 1:00 and 2:00 when traffic is light, otherwise it'd be taking my life in my hands if I have to fight LOTS of late afternoon traffic.

Here's some good news about women who've taken the birth control pill in the past. I took it for over 10 years until I had my tubal ligation done at age 30. So it looks like I'll be HEALTHIER than those who didn't take the birth control pill.

Study: Pill Cuts Cancer, Coronary Risks

Overall, "there's an 8 percent risk reduction of ever having cardiovascular disease" among women who had ever taken birth control pills, said the lead researcher, Dr. Rahi Victory of Wayne State. "If you use oral contraceptives early on, you're probably going to be protected later in life."

Women on The Pill also had a 7 percent lower risk of developing any form of cancer - a small benefit that increased with length of use, Victory said. For example, women who took birth control pills for four years or more had 42 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer and 30 percent lower chances of developing uterine cancer.

Wow! Young ladies need to take these, if they want to help their health as they age, I suppose. I've heard that some medical insurance companies won't cover the cost of the pill...and if that isn't the stupidest thing I've ever heard of, I don't know what is. I mean, for God's sake, anyone KNOWS that it is cheaper to use the pill than to have a gaggle of snot-nosed kids!!!

I did some housework when I got back from the bike ride, and now have to fix a chef salad for our meal later. I am on a semi-diet, in that I want to lose a few pounds. I've gotten up to 105, and NOT happy about it!

I have downloaded a new, free program w.blogger that allows me to write offline, then post to my blog. This post is a test only.

I'm ready to head to the nearby shopping mall, have to buy a few items and get a prescription refilled. Hopefully I'll then have time to write more today. The modem is doing great since I put that line of script into the 'extra settings' under my HSP56 micromodem settings! Here's hoping it stays this way, best speed I've EVER gotten!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Modem/Computer Problems

I fear the gremlins have attacked my computer. Not that I haven't been preparing for this 98 model Compaq to hit the skids for some time now, but isn't it true the problems come when you are busy with other stuff?

The past week or so I've noticed my connection speeds getting slower and slower, and sometimes NO data at all coming in when I'm online. I get "Error" results on webpages, and also "Can't find URL," from Explorer. Yesterday was the pits, in that I couldn't get online with the Compaq, which is my desktop. However, I was able to connect with my laptop and my Palm, so apparently it's this computer. After trying connections via this phone line I use for the Compaq with the laptop/Palm, I concluded it is NOT the phone line. I emailed support for my ISP, and they said they had no issues. So...I've pretty much narrowed it down to the modem. I'm downloading a new driver, will see if that helps by updating the driver. But I don't have much hope of that solving the problem.

Yesterday I worked over half the day cleaning the outside of this aluminum siding; I hose/wash it down about once a month, then apply insecticide to help control pests --we have waay too many spiders here. And I HATE spiders! Anyhow, I was tired after that, then the puter pitched a fit, and I just gave up for the day.

I'm also putting all relevant material off this hard drive on a CD, just in case of a failure. Additionally, I'm preparing a special CD with all the photos from this house/land, new and old, as well as downloading all my online journal entries since right before we bought this place through this December to include in the "Time Capsule" I'm working on. I want to put the CD, all info about this house and previous owners, along with two recent newspapers and assorted stuff in a fireproof safe...leave it in the attic. Even in case of a fire, this would not be destroyed. I just think it would be an interesting touch for future find the CD, read the ups and downs of our lives before and after moving here, plus all the relevant historical details. I'm working on this constantly, and should be ready to put the safe with info in the attic by January. I will have a notice on the front not to open it till maybe...2050 or something like that. I've researched a bit on creating time capsules, so I should be able to create one that will be interesting.

It's rainy here, had serious thunderstorms all morning but now it's quiet. I painted more trim in the mud-room, but still have to put another coat on later this afternoon. While out there working, Bitty and City kitty kept me company, meowing and whining. Bitty likes to go out, but since it was rainy, she didn't want to get wet...yet kept whining! Go figure!

Okay, I got disconnected (AGAIN!) when I tried to post this, but had read a bulletin board with discussions about resolving modem problems. I added a modem string under the 'extra settings'...AT&FX&C1&D2%N1...and got connected at the highest speed ever. But don't know if it'll stay online or not. At any rate, I'm working on the issue...but I doubt I'll ever solve it completely.

Must run for now, and post this before I get disconnected! I guess I'll be looking for a new puter soon....

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Important articles and links

Since I had some time tonight online, I have been reading some interesting, intelligent articles. (Yes, there are some out there in cyberspace!)

Here's a link and excerpt to an important article that everyone should read:

The End of Easy Oil

We are headed into uncharted territory, led by a government that seems prepared to use force, when necessary, to preserve the current system. We face growing competition from other countries for a finite resource at a time of growing animosity toward the United States.

And here's a few more article links you might want to check out:

Oil and Troubled Water

Why 2004 Will Be Remembered as the Year World Oil Production Peaked

Marshall Auerback on oil surprises


Yep, some EXCELLENT food for thought. It is going to be a rough, violent, uncertain future for humans -- not just here, but worldwide.

Oh, and by the way, has anyone EVER dared suggest that perhaps, just maybe...curbing the overwhelming POPULATION could be a partial answer to the growing lack of oil? Why, of course not. That would be just too...REASONABLE.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

One-year Anniversary

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary for DH and I; we bought this old house and five acres of land one year ago! Though I've had some doubts along the way, I do believe we made the right decision. And we've certainly accomplished a great deal in the past 360 days with a lot of hard work and plain old elbow grease. Best of all, we still own the house in the city, so there's always an alternative place to live -- should we ever decide to move back there.

I try to think of this house (and the city house) as investments, to some extent. That is why I'm always planning projects for improvement and/or upkeep, since we must try to protect our initial investment. Yet each house is, in its own distinct way, the places we call HOME. I don't have any regrets really about purchasing this old house, or the hard work of renovation. But I am glad we are zeroing in on having most of it finished soon. We are thinking of waiting till spring to have a new roof put on, since that is not urgent.

Here's a picture of our latest sunroom addition:

View of sunroom from den, Bitty and City Kitty love it too! Posted by Hello

DH went back to work today, and I've been busy rearranging furniture, doing cleaning chores related to the sunroom/mudroom projects. We still have a few details to finish in the mudroom, but the sunroom is finished for now.

I went on my bike ride around 10:00 this morning, since it has been overcast with an occasional shower. Rather warm and humid too, but we needed the rain so badly I'm not complaining. A cool front is supposed to come through tomorrow, and possibly bring us our first frost by the weekend. Autumn is truly here...

I've been using my ski machine when unable to bike, due to weather. At any rate, I'm staying in shape, not dieting, and my weight remains between 100-103 lbs. Can't complain!

Won't be long now till election day. I would like to encourage EVERYONE to vote, regardless of your choice. It's a right we cannot always take for granted.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have more time online, and can write another update. For now I'll close with this interesting list I read by another journal writer:

100 Benefits of Journaling

Stress reduction:

* Reduces the scatter in your life

* Increases focus

* Brings stability

* Offers a deeper level of learning, order, action and release

* Holds thoughts still so they can be changed and integrated

* Processes your stuff in a natural and appropriate way

* Releases pent-up thoughts and emotions

* Empowers

* Disentangles thoughts and ideas

* Bridges inner thinking with outer events

* Detaches and lets go of the past

* Allows you to re-experience the past with today's adult mind


* Heals relationships

* Heals the past

* Dignifies all events

* Is honest, trusting, non-judgmental

* Strengthens your sense of yourself

* Balances and harmonizes

* Recalls and reconstructs past events

* Acts as your own counselor

* Integrates peaks and valleys in life

* Soothes troubled memories

* Sees yourself as a larger, important, whole and connected being

* Leverages therapy sessions for better and faster results

* Reveals and tracks patterns and cycles

Know yourself and your truth better:

* Builds self confidence and self knowledge

* Records the past

* Brings out natural beauty and wisdom

* Helps you feel better about yourself

* Helps you identify your values

* Reads your own mind

* Aids in connecting causes to effects

* Reveals the depths of who you are

* Reveals outward expression of yet unformed inner impulses

* Creates mystery

* Clarifies thoughts, feelings and behavior

* Reveals your greater potential

* Shifts you to the observer, recorder, counselor level

* Reveals your processes - how you think, learn, create and use


* Creates awareness of beliefs and options so you can change them

* Self-discovery

* Reveals different aspects of self

* Helps you see yourself as an individual

* Connects you to the bigger picture

* Is a close, intimate, accepting, trusting, caring, honest,

non-judgmental, perfect friend

* Accesses the unconscious, subconscious and super consciousness

* Finds the missing pieces and the unsaid

* Helps rid you of the masks you wear

* Helps solve the mysteries of life

* Finds more meaning in life

Personal growth:

* Enables you to live life to the fullest

* Is fun, playful and sometimes humorous

* Expresses and creates

* Plants seeds

* Starts the sorting and grouping process

* Integrates life experiences and learnings

* Moves you towards wholeness and growth, to who you really are

* Creates more results in life

* Explores your spirituality

* Focuses and clarifies your desires and needs

* Enhances self expression

* Enhances career and community

* Allows freedom of expression

* Offers progressive inner momentum to static unrelated events

* Exercises your mental muscles

* Improves congruency and integrity

* Enhances breakthroughs

* Unfolds the writer in you

* Maximizes time and business efficiency

* Explores night dreams, day dreams and fantasies

* Measures and tracks what is important

Easier problem solving:

* Eases decision making

* Offers new perspectives

* Brings things together

* Shows relationships and wholeness instead of separation

It’s flexible and easy:

* Can be applied to clarify any issue in your life

* Takes so little time to stop, pay attention and listen to yourself

* Meets your needs, style, processing methods

* Caters to left and right brained people

* Has no rules - messiness, typos, poor writing are all OK

* Is often self-starting and motivating and supplies its own energy

Enhances intuition and creativity:

* Improves self trust

* Awakens the inner voice

* Directs intention and discernment

* Provides insights

* Improves sensitivity

* Interprets your symbols and dreams

* Increases memory of events

Captures your life story:

* Teaches you how to write stories

* Soothes troubled memories

* Captures family and personal story

* Stimulates personal growth

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Work, work and MORE work!

We're still in the thick of our remodeling project. DH is out there working on replacing a huge chunk of the foundation that had almost crumbled. Originally this old house had NO underpining; it was supported ONLY by brick columns. Eventually they got huge rocks out of the nearby creek, and used mortar to cement them together for underpining/foundation. Over the years, there's been other owners who put in concrete pillar supports -- in the cellar and underneath the front part of the house. This has stablized it a great deal, but the old mortar/rocks are still here in about two sections lining the cellar. So DH is replacing those with cement blocks, and adding a window that will allow sunlight/fresh air into the cellar -- which is necessary to correct the musty smell.

Some time ago, we also created a screened, but open area at the top of the cellar steps, which comes out underneath the recently-built backporch; we keep a fan sitting at the foot of the steps to circulate air, ventilate it. Our central h/a unit is down there, though the ductwork/vents are in the attic. But we noticed a very musty smell coming from the air conditioning vents; I did some research, and learned that we HAD to have ventilation down there, as well as keeping it dry as much as possible so that the musty smell would be eliminated -- or at least kept under control. So far the remedies I've just mentioned seem to be working.DH also put some lime on the cellar floor, and that helped with moisture control and improved scent.

Saw the Vice-presidential debate last night, and though it wasn't nearly as unmatched in I.Q. factor as Kerry/Bush, it was still interesting. I think it was a draw, that both men presented an excellent debate. However, I DID agree with just about everything Edwards stated, regarding the Iraq war (a mess) and the economy and health care. I've read about Kerry/Edwards health care plans on their website, and I think it WILL be a vast improvement over "more of the same" by Bush & Company. Ditto on the Iraq war and economy.

If you want to find out what is REALLY going on in Iraq, here's a link to read some of the letters Michael Moore got from our soldiers over there:

Letters From Iraq to Michael Moore

Now I'll close with some excerpts by writers on our craft, and a quote:

Judith Guest, Author of "Ordinary People"

Judith Guest, 68, started writing when she was 10 "just to amuse myself" and never took any writing courses when she attended the University of Michigan.

After doing the crossword puzzle and drinking "about 10 cups of coffee," Guest spends her mornings writing in the front room of the 1913 brick-and-stucco house she shares in Minnesota with her husband, Larry, dog and cat.

The Guests and their three sons had just moved to the Minneapolis suburb of Edina in 1975 when she got a Mailgram from Viking accepting "Ordinary People" for publication.

"I didn't even have anybody to tell," Guest recalls. "I did go to my next-door neighbor, and she was ecstatic and she was wonderful, and she got a bottle of champagne and came over and we've been big buddies ever since."

Since publication, "Ordinary People"' has sold close to 90,000 hardcover copies and more than half a million paperback copies.

--Exclusive Authorlink Interview With Rachel Cline, author of What to Keep (Random House, April 2004)

AUTHORLINK: How does it feel to be a newly-published novelist?

CLINE: It's a great experience. I got what I always wanted. How many people can say that? What I hadn't expected, and what I am coming to terms with, is how hard it is to get read. There are so many novels on the market. I grew up in a world where novelists had the celebrity status of today's rock stars. Now, it's a different world.

—AUTHORLINK: Can you offer any advice to new writers trying to break into publishing?

CLINE: Try to find a way to be your own best friend! I have the best editor and agent anywhere, but I'm the one who has to keep me going, the one who has to do the work.

AUTHORLINK: How do you keep up your spirits?

CLINE: I try not to beat myself up when things don't go well. I remind myself that I'm not Proust. It's only as good as I can make it, and that's still pretty good. And I always try to have more than one project going—so if one thing is going badly I can work on the other thing.

AUTHORLINK: What are your writing habits?

CLINE: My routine varies. If I'm generating new material, I write for about 3 hours in the morning. I try to get a thousand words a day of new stuff, but sometimes its only five or six hundred. I usually do revisions and promotional stuff, answering e-mail, and other non-generative work, in the afternoons.

When I was a young boy they called me a liar. Now that I'm all grown up, they call me a writer. --Isaac Singer

Outta here for today!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Photos of remodeling project

Still working here, although we'll take a break today and head for the building supply. I swear that Marvin's and Lowe's are getting RICH off us alone!

I wanted to post some photos of the exterior of the remodeled, enclosed backporch; we need to finish up the painting yet (the steps/lattice and trim) but these show how much we've already accomplished.

Newsweek poll today shows the following stats after that debate Thursday night:

In the first poll taken since the Thursday night debate, Kerry was running even with Bush after having trailed him in the same survey last month. The Newsweek poll showed Kerry had the support of 47 percent and Bush 45 percent, with independent candidate Ralph Nader at 2 percent.

Hoorah!!! Now if those Nader voters would only get on board with Kerry. After all, Kerry's policies have way more in common with their issues than Bush. So if you are an independent, PLEASE consider voting Kerry this time around. We just might be able to oust Bush -- providing he doesn't steal this election like he did the last one.

Here's the photos:

Back of house now, with sunroom/carport Posted by Hello

Side view of enclosed porch and yard Posted by Hello

Entry from carport & catdoor Posted by Hello

Friday, October 01, 2004

Hope for the future

I must admit that I have never felt real confident about Kerry; I supported Gephardt in the initial primary. But last night, he certainly won me over entirely in the debate on foreign policy issues!

Aside from the fact that Bushie looked incompetent (which he is), Kerry asked so many of the difficult, painful questions I've wondered about since the beginning of the Iraq war. With each clearly stated question, I felt more and more confident in Kerry's ability to not only turn around the disaster that Iraq has become, but to restore America's shattered image in the world community.

I could run on for pages about how ridiculous Bush looked/acted, but if you saw the debate, I'm sure you know that already. Even if you are a die-hard Repub, and have half-a-brain, you couldn't have ignored Bush's inappropriate demeanor and lackluster performance (and that's putting it kindly).The ONE statement he kept repeating that annoyed and angered ME was, "It's a hard job," (referring to the Iraq fiasco). It damn sure is, but he's NOT the one doing the dirty, hard work: It's our soldiers on the ground over there, and NOT BUSH. I mean, how many vacations has Bush taken? How much time has he spent raising money for the Repub machine? How much time campaigning? And he has the NERVE to stand up there and almost complain that it's a hard job he has to do? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

At any rate, I now do believe that Americans have a CHOICE in Kerry. IF we want change, we MUST vote for Kerry. Even the independents should get on board for this election, and they can worry later about having an independent party. Those independents would be enough to put Kerry ahead of Bush -- by a good-size margin.I do have hope again, but I still fear that the Repubs will come out from under their rocks and vote in droves. However, IF there is even the slightest hint/taint of Bush stealing this election, I fear there will be resulting violence here by some citizens. I even read one post today by a person who said that if Bush steals this election, we should use force to get him out of office! NO, I don't advocate that; but I think if ever there was a time that an election MUST BE FAIRLY HELD, FAIRLY REPORTED, FAIRLY COUNTED VOTES...this is IT.

I must also add that I'm disappointed in the media/press simply because ALL the difficult questions that Kerry asked Bush, the press/media reporters should have long ago demanded answers to. I don't know if it's just that the media/press have become a SINGULAR multi-mega-owned corporation and the reporters are all afraid of losing their jobs, or they lack backbone, conviction, whatever...or they fear attacking a Prez who has a war going...but they should be ASHAMED of themselves!!!

Well...while that was going on, it appears an unrelated article I found will not even get noticed so I'll post it here. It's about that brain wasting disease (from Mad Cow) and some interesting/alarming news that happened in an Atlanta hospital. Let me say that I think this run-around about this disease NOT being a case caused by Mad Cow is bunk. I actually think that there are some (if not many) undiagnosed cases of Mad Cow already, but since it's very difficult to diagnose often it is passed off as senility.

Here's the article:

Patients Told of Possible Disease Exposure

ATLANTA (AP) - More than 500 patients at Emory University Hospital have a remote chance of exposure to a fatal disease similar to mad cow after a brain surgery patient tested positive for the condition, officials said.

Although they called their risk of contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease "remote," officials are notifying 98 brain or spinal surgery patients who may have had contact with the surgical instruments that were used on the infected patient. They also are informing 418 non-neurosurgical patients who had operations Sept. 10-27, although they are at lower risk.

Officials said Thursday that the infected patient's Sept. 15 diagnosis still awaits definitive test results and that could take weeks. The patient entered the hospital Aug. 24 with memory problems and other neurological symptoms, and officials would not say if the patient was still alive.

"Although we believe the chances of an exposure are extremely small, we cannot guarantee they are zero," said Dr. Allan Levey, Emory's chairman of neurology. "That is why Emory is taking every possible step to deal with this matter."

Affected patients began receiving phone calls Thursday. Emory said there was nothing they could or should do in response to the notification, but said it would provide counseling for those who need it.

The concern involves the naturally occurring, or sporadic, form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - not the variant form caused by eating mad cow-infected meat. Sporadic CJD, which has no known cause, causes dementia, loss of muscle coordination and eventually death.

There have been four known cases worldwide of sporadic CJD spread by neurosurgical instruments - all occurring in Europe before 1976, when most hospitals began implementing new sterilization procedures, said Dr. Ermias Belay, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

However, Belay added that more cases may have occurred, but it's often difficult to trace the source of the disease, which can take more than seven years to show symptoms.

Emory officials said they routinely sterilize all surgical equipment and have implemented an even more thorough sterilization procedure since Sept. 15.