My Novels

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Having trouble with my darn printer today. I got a real bargain black ink cartridge off Ebay, and decided to use this older printer instead of buying a new one -- at least for now. Anyhow, the cartridge is fine, but the printer is acting up. Woe is me, if it's not one thing, it's another. I DO want to get all the research/history of this house printed and put in a frame, so I can hang it in the living room -- eventually.

Rain, rain and more rain today. Used my new air-bike this morning: 25 miles, 40 minutes, 1,800 calories.

I took this online test to determine what kind of blogger I am, and here's the results:

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few

Till next time! (DH is off next week for vacation, but he'll be working on converting the garage to a saddle-shop, and I won't!)

Monday, November 29, 2004

We finally had great Fall weather today. Brilliant blue skies, sunny, just a slight chill in the air. I got out and took some pictures of the house, yard, etc which will be posted below.

One of my cats, Bob, had an adventure tonight. The back door wasn't closed tightly and he got out. I didn't realize it until about 30 minutes later, and when I went out to look for him, I feared he might have run off. However, as I shone the flashlight underneath the porch, I saw him crouching there, directly beneath where he stays. He wanted in, but naturally didn't know how to go about getting back inside.

Or so I thought.

After coaxing, cajoling, even offering some cat treats, with NO results, DH came out and went near where Bob was, and Bob ran out, went DIRECTLY to the back door where he'd come out and tried to climb in! I hurried inside and let him in...end of saga. Whew! We'll have to be more careful when we go out and in the back doors from now on!

Got an early birthday gift: DH gave me a great indoor air-bike, which I really LOVE. Now I can use it when the weather is bad -- like it has been lately, lots of rain. The traffic also is a big drawback to biking here, so I may not bike for regular exercise, just now and then. Using the stationary air-bike, I'll still get a good workout. It has an electronic readout, and today I biked 15 miles in 45 minutes; the handlebars are also like rowing, and that provides an even better workout.

Without further ado, here's the photos:

Autumn leaves beyond the barn in the pasture Posted by Hello

Corner of backyard where we cleared out tangled vines/bushes Posted by Hello

Princess watching the birdfeeder from the back sunporch Posted by Hello

Rear of new addition, and window where cats sit Posted by Hello

New addition and side of house, with new cellar window in the repaired foundation area Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Couldn't resist this article, and a snide comment.

If you want to know who voted for Bushie, look no further. This article will clue you into the mentality of Bush supporters:

Cheese Sandwich Bought for $28,000

MIAMI (Reuters) - An online casino won the eBay bidding for a decade-old cheese sandwich bearing what some people consider a likeness of the Virgin Mary and immediately began hawking Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese T-shirts.'s bid of $28,000 was the highest offer for the sandwich when bidding closed late on Monday, the Internet casino's Web site said.

The seller, Fort Lauderdale, Florida resident Diana Duyser, says she made the cheese sandwich 10 years ago and after taking a bite, saw "the Virgin Mary staring back at me."

In her eBay ad, Duyser said the sandwich has been kept in a plastic case for a decade and has developed no mold or bacteria. "It is like a miracle," she said.

"I would like all people to know that I do believe that this is the Virgin Mary Mother Of God," the ad said. "That is my solemn belief, but you are free to believe that she is whomever you like, I am not scamming anyone." said on its Web site that the "sacred sandwich" had received more than 1.7 million hits since being posted on eBay. The company's chief executive, Richard Rowe, said the sandwich would be used to raise money for charity.

The T-shirts, in various styles bearing a picture of the sandwich and a logo, sell for $19.99.

"We believe that everyone should be able to see it and learn of its mystical power for themselves," Rowe said.

Note how many hits this cheese sandwich on Ebay had? 1.7 million hits. No wonder Bush won!

The world (and USA) are in SERIOUS trouble, folks, with lunatics like this in charge. Or is it just me that finds this incredibly stupid?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Excellent op-ed column in today's New York Times:

Abosolute Power Erupts

Absolute Power Erupts

Published: November 21, 2004


They're fragile and frazzled, depressed and self-doubting.

Trapped in their blue bell jar, drowning in unfulfilled dreams, Democrats are the "Desperate Housewives" of politics.

The image of Republicans as the Daddy party and Democrats as the Mommy party came roaring back in 2004, with a chesty President Bush and Dick Cheney prevailing by making the case that they could protect America from vicious terrorists and uxorious gays better than the Brahmin they painted as a sissy. In politics, as on TV, political correctness is out and retro is in. Hillary's bid to be president suddenly appears more wobbly, and the class of new senators looks like a throwback - with half a dozen white male conservative Republicans front and center.

At the Republican governors' conference in New Orleans, Ken Mehlman, the Bush campaign manager, answered the question, Who's your daddy party? "If you drive a Volvo and you do yoga, you are pretty much a Democrat," he said. "If you drive a Lincoln or a BMW and you own a gun, you're voting for George Bush."

Of course, W. was swaddled by three strong women - Laura Bush, Karen Hughes and Condi Rice - who cleaned up after his political messes.

Yet Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney boldly projected the image of confident - if overbearing - husbands who would guard the family home from intruders, while casting John Kerry as the feminized guy who couldn't get his sports references straight, the sort who would sashay about in Yves St. Laurent pajamas, dithering, whither-ing, and fetching bottled water for Teresa while the burglar alarm rang.

Democrats were furious to learn last week that Mr. Kerry had squirreled away $15 million in primary donations that he could have spent turning out the vote in Florida and Ohio. Once more trying to have it both ways, Mr. Kerry wanted a nest egg in case of a recount or legal challenges - not exactly the killer mentality that Democrats need.

Having gutted their opponents, Republicans are pretending to patch up divisions as they ruthlessly consolidate their gains. Democrats are turning the other cheek. At the opening of his presidential library, Bill Clinton assured the audience that Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry were "good people" who "just see the world differently."

The Republican Visigoths are crushing checks and balances and driving Democrats (and moderate Republicans) into subservient, obedient roles, sticking antiabortion provisions into major spending bills. Even the suggestion that Congress has an advise-and-consent role on judges caused the Visigoths to slap Arlen Specter into stocks, until he whimpered he would do their bidding.

The party of moral values deemed that crime pays, shielding Tom DeLay with a rule that someone facing a felony charge can still be a leader.

The ultracreepy Mr. DeLay de-pantsed Democrats on Friday, sneering: "I understand the Democrat Party's adjustment to their national minority status is frustrating, but their crushing defeat ... should show them that the American people are tired of the politics of personal destruction."

Well, yeah. Watching Bush supporters shred a war hero into a war criminal was tiring.

This most secretive administration wants to stop the public from getting any facts that might challenge its story line.

The Department of Homeland Security is making employees and contractors sign pledges barring them from telling the public about sensitive but unclassified information.

Porter Goss has warned C.I.A. employees that they should support the administration and "scrupulously honor our secrecy oath" by letting only the agency's public affairs office and Congressional relations branch talk to the media and Congress.

Senate Republicans have voted to allow Bill Frist, the majority leader, to fill vacancies on powerful committees, rather than abiding by the seniority system - a sword over moderates and mavericks.

The White House says it wants greater harmony, but it's acting like the thought police. Having run into resistance in their bid for global domination, the president and vice president are going for federal domination, pushing out anyone with independent judgment who puts democracy above ideology.

It's a paradoxical game plan: imposing democracy abroad while impeding it here.


And here's a quote that might provoke some reflection on the state of the world today:

If only it were all so simple! If only there were
evil people somewhere insidiously committing
evil deeds, and it were necessary only to
separate them from the rest of us and destroy
them. But the line dividing good and evil
cuts through the heart of every human being.
And who is willing to destroy a part of his
own heart? --Alexander Soizenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

For lack of anything much to write about, I'll post a couple of Zen stories that make you THINK....

Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors

Not Dead Yet

The Emperor asked Master Gudo, "What happens to a man of enlightenment after death?"

"How should I know?" replied Gudo.

"Because you are a master," answered the Emperor.

"Yes sir," said Gudo, "but not a dead one."


A Useless Life

A farmer got so old that he couldn't work the fields anymore. So he would spend the day just sitting on the porch.

His son, still working the farm, would look up from time to time and see his father sitting there. "He's of no use any more," the son thought to himself, "he doesn't do anything!"
One day the son got so frustrated by this, that he built a wood coffin, dragged it over to the porch, and told his father to get in. Without saying anything, the father climbed inside. After closing the lid, the son dragged the coffin to the edge of the farm where there was a high cliff.

As he approached the drop, he heard a light tapping on the lid from inside the coffin. He opened it up. Still lying there peacefully, the father looked up at his son. "I know you are going to throw me over the cliff, but before you do, may I suggest something?"

"What is it?" replied the son.

"Throw me over the cliff, if you like," said the father, "but save this good wood coffin. Your children might need to use it."


The Present Moment

A Japanese warrior was captured by his enemies and thrown into prison. That night he was unable to sleep because he feared that the next day he would be interrogated, tortured, and executed. Then the words of his Zen master came to him, "Tomorrow is not real. It is an illusion. The only reality is now."

Heeding these words, the warrior became peaceful and fell asleep.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Local Ghost Story

While the war in Iraq rages on, killing and mayhem unabated, life does go on -- after Bush & Company's re-election. No, I'm NOT happy about it, but then again, what can I do? Nothing. And yes, I'm still a bit depressed -- but some of my mood is due to the seasonal doldrums. Ah...that wonderful time of year when we're supposed to remember those we choose to forget the rest of the year. (Sarcasm intended)

Anyhow, I found an excellent article about a local ghost story and want to include it here. This took place in 1939 near a small community railroad crossing -- the SAME place I ride my bike occasionally. The crossing is about three miles away from our house, so I'm planning on including this in my "Time Capsule."

Here's the article excerpt, concerning local ghost stories on Halloween. The "Beeline Highway" also happens to be the four-lane we travel each time we go back and forth to the nearest larger city, so it is also pertinent. Pictures follow of the area too.

The year 1939 seemed to be a year for tragedies, with at least two events that to this day cause some to pause or think twice about getting out of their car on a certain stretch of highway.

Bee Line Highway

For a short period in 1939, Haynes said a number of people were killed on a short stretch of the Bee Line Highway south of the city. "Almost every day or every other day there was a fatality on a certain stretch of this road," Haynes said. What is odd about the deaths, Haynes said, is that most of them occurred outside of the vehicle.

Reports from (newspaper name eliminated) in 1939 reported two such incidents on that stretch of the road where deaths occurred. One woman was killed while standing between a stalled car and a guardrail. Another car struck the one she was standing beside and she was crushed. A boy was struck by a car while crossing Bee Line Highway walking toward the railroad tracks.

"I do know that there are some folks who absolutely will not stop on this stretch of road even today," Haynes said.

Train Wreck of 1939

While's there's been no report of ghostly aberrations, Haynes said he and his brother are suspicious of a horrific train accident that occurred about a half mile north of the (name removed) railroad crossing. Two black men died at the scene of the accident when 23 cars loaded with steel for the war effort crashed after a broken car came apart.

When rescuers arrived at the scene, one of the men was already dead and the other near death, Haynes said reports show. "They dying man claimed that there were 15 others aboard the ill-fated train," Haynes said. "But no other bodies were recovered."

Haynes said he and his brother have come up with at least two theories to explain the fact no other bodies were recovered from the track.

One theory is that the man was confused. "He had just been in a train wreck, after all," Haynes said.

On the other hand, "Why would this man lie?" Haynes asked.

The brothers' other theory is that taking into account the racial mindset of the 1939 Southerner, there's a chance any other bodies might have been buried close by while the steel was collected as quickly as possible to be sent ahead for the war effort.

Haynes said he and his brother recently conducted an investigation at the scene of the accident. "We have evidence of some sort of activity that is attached to this area," Haynes said. "We have recordings of a voice that apparently wants to communicate something to us. We have to conduct an extended investigation in this area before we can go into further detail."

Railroad Crossing at the small community where ghost story takes place -- and where I ride my bike often. Posted by Hello

Looking north -- about half-mile up the tracks where train derailment took place in 1939. Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Not much to write about here: Just the same old, same old. We have FINALLY finished our last project, and I'm looking forward to a peacful, quiet week next week.

Monday I must take Kitten to the vet to be spayed; have to get her there by 9:00, so I plan to spend most of the day in town. I want to visit the library, a long, leisurely visit to find some good reads. Then I will shop at the Salvation Army store for more used blankets/pillows for the cats to enjoy during the cold winter nights.

I MISS being in town, shopping or going to the library, whenever the mood strikes. At least I do have the nearby mall, which is easy access for groceries, etc. Still, it's not like living in the city.

Nice weather today, and DH went horseback riding. I did some serious housecleaning, finished up with mopping the floors. The cats are finally settling in on the back sunporch, and I'm keeping Bitty inside now too. City Kitty didn't seem to like being indoors, and I let her go back outside; she's sleeping in the hay barn, and I feed her only during the day, so as not to attract the pesky raccoons closer to the house. I still feed them, but a good distance from the house.

I went on a short bike ride earlier this morning, enjoyed the cooler weather. Sunny and bright, perfect fall day here. I think my biking is going to be sporadic during the winter, and I'll use the ski machine instead. It's not too boring, if I strap on my stereo headphones!

That's about it from here today.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Couldn't resist displaying this -- which I found HERE Posted by Hello
It's official folks: There are now a majority of morons in the USA, and they elected Bush. No doubt now the Moron-in-Chief will be even more aggressive, arrogant and possibly do more damage than can ever be undone -- at least in my lifetime. However, there is NOTHING I (or most of us) can do now, except sit back and watch the train wreck. Glad I don't have any kids around the draft age, cause you can bet your a** that is coming soon.

Hey, at least I don't have to change the name of my blog, "Mad, Mad World" which I chose when Bush & Company attained power back almost four years ago! ;-)

Busy, busy here. Just about to hit the home stretch though, and be finished with ALL remodeling projects till next Spring. Thank goodness!

More when I have time!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Oil, Gas & Voting

If you want economic prosperity, lower gas prices and a better world for us all, get out tomorrow and vote for KERRY. This article demonstrates abundantly WHY, including the fact that Bush has been adding to the national oil reserve, buying it at the exorbitant prices now. Isn't he just helping his oil buddies get richer? You bet.

Speculators Bet on Kerry Win, Oil Falls

Monday November 1, 3:17 PM EST

By Richard Mably

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices fell sharply on Monday on speculation that a U.S. election win for Senator John Kerry could ease the geopolitical friction that has helped fuel this year's record-breaking rally.

U.S. light crude settled down $1.63 to $50.13 after diving as low as $49.30 a barrel, breaking below $50 the first time in nearly a month. U.S. crude peaked a week ago at $55.67 a barrel.

In London, Brent crude lost $1.92 to $47.06 a barrel.

Energy analysts said a win for the challenger Kerry in Tuesday's U.S. presidential election could mean lower crude prices than if President Bush were reelected. Latest opinion polls can barely separate the two.

"Under a Kerry administration we'd likely have a much more interventionist SPR policy," said Jamal Qureshi, market analyst at PFC Energy in Washington. "And when you look out a bit further, Bush is more likely to be aggressive in the Middle East, particularly in Iran."

The Bush administration continues to add crude to the SPR, the national strategic petroleum reserve, despite high prices.

Kerry says he would stop filling the reserve at current prices to keep more crude on the market. That difference is important for a world oil market suffering a shortage of light, sweet crude, which makes up about 40 percent of the SPR.

"A Bush status quo results in somewhat higher oil prices both in the short and the longer term, in my view," said Tim Evans, senior analyst at IFR Energy Services.

PFC is forecasting an average U.S. crude price of $43 a barrel in 2005 should Kerry win, compared with $48 a barrel in the event Bush triumphed. It sees $52 on average in the first quarter 2005 under Bush compared with $45 under Kerry.

PFC said a Bush win could stoke nervousness about U.S. policies in the oil-producing Middle East, while Kerry is seen as more likely to work through diplomatic channels.

A Kerry victory could also mean more financing for renewable energy sources and trigger a push for tighter mileage standards for gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles.

"Conservation, in my opinion, is the only way to get us out of this hole which we put ourselves in," said Fadel Gheit, senior energy analyst at Oppenheimer & Co.

Kerry backs a 10-year, $30 billion energy package that includes $10 billion to build cleaner coal-fired power plants and $10 billion to help U.S. auto makers retool to build more fuel-efficient cars.

Traders also are wary of economic data showing signs that higher energy costs are eating into economic performance, curtailing oil demand growth.

All you independents, get on board with Kerry or suffer another four WORSE years with Bush as the Prez.