Sunday, December 31, 2006

So Long, Damn Saddam

I wasn't going to get into this. I was going to just ignore the whole thing. That didn't last long.

I'm FOR the death penalty and I'm amazed at just how fast they carried it out. Bravo! I watched a show on TV last night about a crime that occurred more than 25 years ago and the one that did it has never been caught. They think he might already be on death row for other crimes of that sort ...... TWENTY FIVE plus years on death row in Cali-weirdo-fornia! Give me a freakin' break! The woman killed was found horribly slaughtered by her youngest SON when he returned home from school and this clown gets to live on and on. There is no justice in America.

Back to the execution of the Butcher of Bagdad..... this is from a great site called ScrappleFace:

WMD Found Hanging from Rope in Iraq

(2006-12-30) — The Pentagon announced this morning that a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) was found today in Baghdad, hanging from a rope on a platform.

“This particular WMD,” a Pentagon spokesman said, “is known to have killed thousands of Iraqis, as well as Iranians, Kuwaitis and some U.S. troops.”

The weapon is described as “a nasty, corrosive agent which kills indiscriminately and without warning.”

“A lot of folks — including Hans Blix, the United Nations and the Democrats — said there were no WMD in Iraq,” the Pentagon source said. “Perhaps they were just looking in all the wrong places.”

According to Iraqi government sources, the WMD has been contained, neutralized and prepared for burial.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Way To Go Harris County's Finest!


$40 million of marijuana seized in northwest Harris County

Officials seized tens of thousands pounds of marijuana Wednesday night in northwest Harris County.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the narcotics unit got a tip that Louis Mendez was allegedly in possession of the drugs and driving a tractor-trailer.

A K-9 deputy saw Mendez driving away from a warehouse in the 7300 block of West Road without headlights and pulled him over. Officials said they found a small amount of drugs in the truck, giving them a reason to search the warehouse.

They found 502 bails of marijuana inside of the warehouse, valued at approximately $40 million.

"I think somebody's upset because up to $40 million in marijuana, $40 million out of the back pocket -- I believe I'd be a little upset about that," Harris County Lt. J.D. Glesmann said.

A vehicle and an assault rifle were also taken from the scene.

The drugs are encased in calcium carbonate, profesionally wrapped and covered in charcoal. It amounts to anywhere from 14,000 to 23,000 pounds.

"We're just shocked," Lt. Glesmann said. "I've been in narcotics since '93, and I've never seen a load of marijuana as big as this."

Investigators believe the warehouse was a distribution point. The bundles were labeled with "Camaro" and "Ford," which indicate they may have been bound for shipment in nondescript cars across the country.

Mendez has been charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

He is in the Harris County Jail.

Deputies will drill into the bales to take samples of the marijuana, and then they will burn the rest. (Hmm... everyone see that video that going around about the reporter reporting on such a thing and getting high as a kite? FunKnee stuff!)

BTW the Chronicle's version has pictures, but I'm not sure if I can 'steal' them for republication even though I'm super good about giving credit to everything I borrow.... the bad part if that link will die off pretty darn quickly .....

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Nebraska Jail Serving Up Farts To Inmates!

I love stuff like this!

Brian Bruggeman caused a stink at the Lincoln County Jail earlier this month and will now have to answer for it in court. Another inmate, Jesse Dorris, alleges that Bruggeman's flatulence, passed in close proximity to Dorris, sparked a Dec. 14 fight between the two at the jail.

Now Bruggeman, 38, faces a Jan. 11 preliminary hearing on the state's complaint of assault by a confined person. It's a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Bruggeman is accused of injuring Dorris, his cellmate, when he pushed him into cell bars. Dorris, 26, was not charged.

The two began scuffling, County Attorney Jeff Meyer said Tuesday, because Dorris was fed up with Bruggeman's flatulence.

Jail fights are common, Meyer said, but the cause of this one was rather uncommon.

"It's usually about someone hogging the newspaper or someone not happy about what's on TV," he said.

Bruggeman, of Hershey, is serving a 90-day sentence for violating a protection order.

"He compounded his problems," Meyer said.

Dorris, of North Platte, is awaiting a January trial on a charge of aiding and abetting robbery.

Hmmm..... I wonder if he said "Hey, Dorris, pull my finger!".......

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Or whatever you call your holiday during December..... don't want anyone to get bent out of shape over it.

It'll always be Christmas for me because Christ is the reason for the season. Instead of the traditional holiday songs they really ought to sing "Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus" because that would make more sense. I don't think that song would make me cry either not like hearing "I'll Be Home For Christmas"! That's the ultimate depression inducing song IMHO. When one gets old and has lost family and friends along the way it just GETS to you to hear it. People that can't get home are equally up the creek so to speak. But that's just the way the old fruitcake crumbles and I'm not going to wallow in it.

My kids are all coming over in a bit and we're doing a simple meal and gift exchanging and that will free them up so that tomorrow they can spend Christmas day in their own way. God love my daughter that has to work tomorrow! She's a hospice nurse and a Monday is just a Monday in that profession. I'm just happy that Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday so she could enjoy it with us .... same goes for her husband .... he works ALL the time and when he's not AT WORK he's on his cell phone because of work.

Everyone drive and drink safely and NOT both at the same time, please. You can always have another drink after you arrive safely, but if you get yourself killed the bar is closed in the hereafter! Don't let that last drink be your last drink!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Do You Believe In Angels?

I was reading about a poll that claimed the majority of Americans believe in angels. 'Course the highest majority of those are white evangelical Christians, but that's okay, I fit in that category. Another way it was divided is a tad trickier ...
Protestants, women, Southerners, Midwesterners and Republicans were the most likely to believe in angels, although strong majorities in other groups also shared that faith. Belief in angels declined slightly with advanced education, from 87 percent of those with high school education or less to 73 percent of those with college degrees. Overall, 81 percent believed in angels.

Well lemme see, I'm a woman, and Southern and have been known to swear, after Clinton, that I'll never vote for another donkey again. I've got some college .... just went long enough to earn my MRS degree. I guess I fit in that group too. As usual for pollsters they only asked 1000 folks what they thought and they didn't call me, but it's still enough inspiration to cause me to break out my keyboard and get fanciful.

I've known a few angels in my time and some devils too. It's more difficult to actually say what an angel is .... I think an angel is someone or something that watches over you, but it's not an invisible force field can still make a choice to endanger yourself and accidents are entirely possible. Come to think of it, I'm not too sure how many people believe in accidents now days. Seems that too many folks encouraged by the attorneys that dwell closer to the bottom of the pond have convinced people that someone has to pay for any and all affliction. Accidents are not profitable. Unless it's a TRAFFIC accident and then it's not really an accident it's an opportunity for someone. I wonder if anyone has done a poll asking who still believes in accidents and what the race and education breakdowns on THAT would be.

But, as usual, I digress. Angels keep us from being all alone. I like that notion. When I get lonely I like to think that's just a temporary situation and that I've still got my little angel keeping me company and gently guiding my paths. I think some angels used to be living beings and those beings led such a good life that God was pleased and let them decide if they wanted to sit around on a cloud all day strumming a harp or if they'd rather watch over people and get around more. Most importantly I'm sure that those that go before us keep an eye out on us as long as we need them and all you have to do to tap into that spiritual resource is to think of them.

Ok, I know that all sounds bizarre. I can just hear my pal now saying "oh, brother" and rolling his eyes. He prides himself on being the cool voice of reason and his picture is in the dictionary under "logic". He'll do everything but reach out and pat me on the head and say "now, now, calm down you're getting fanciful"... but what's wrong with my ideas giving me comfort. I'm a great believer in comfort. All I have to do is watch 20 minutes of the nightly news and I'll want to wrap myself up in some comfort and seal all the doors and windows to keep out the evil. I'm trying hard to lay off the food comfort these days so it's only right that I take my comfort where ever else I can find it!

I guess I'd better fess up and admit that I'm listening to Josh Groban on my iPod and one of my favorites is To Where You Are and he pretty much nails what I believe with these lyrics...
Who can say for certain
Maybe you're still here
I feel you all around me
Your memory's so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You're still an inspiration
Can it be (?)
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn't faith believing
All power can't be seen

As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
'Cause you are my
Forever love
Watching me from up above

And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave

Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

I know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

Merry Christmas to my forever love, John, my own angel, thank you for watching over me for another year.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It Was Time To Re-Up My Texas CHL

For anyone that doesn't know, "CHL" stands for Concealed Handgun License and they expire on your birthday every four years. This was the 2nd time I've had to renew. This year we went to Jim Pruitt's Guns and Ammo CHL class and it was great. The class is held by Jim's son Sam and he did a bang up job (every pun intended!). I wrote about Jim Pruitt back in October. When I went to his webpage today to get the link for this post I discovered a brand new look!

The history of the Texas CHL is interesting - this was published in 1998:

In most ways Texas was typical. The push started with proposed laws in 1985, 1987 and 1989 (the Texas Legislature meeting only on odd numbered years). The 1991 attempt came closer to passing, but failed to gain enough support in the legislature, and was amended to death.

In 1993 CHL was back again, and this time the big state media let loose with the typical "blood in the streets" predictions, both in quotes of anti-gunners and echoed on the opinion pages. They called for the people to contact their legislators.

We did. I really think the popular support for the law caught the media by surprise. Then the Governor, Ann Richards, weighed in with the news that she would veto any CHL law the legislature passed. Politically, that should have been the end, but popular support would not let the bill die. Trying to find something the governor would sign, the Legislature ended up passing a law that only called for a statewide referendum on CHL, not authorizing anyone to actually set up any program. Governor Richards vetoed it anyway, saying that the people of Texas didn't need to vote on something like CHL.

Two years and a new Governor later George W. Bush signed the 1995 Texas concealed carry bill.

Throughout the long struggle to get a concealed handgun law passed for Texas there were a number of people who risked their political lives to accomplish what many thought might be an impossible task. Two stand out.

One is Texas Senator Jerry Patterson, who sponsored and shepherded a number of the bills, including the successful 1995 effort and the equally important 1997 revision. He happens to be a classmate of mine from Texas A&M University, Class of 1969.

The other is Susan Gratia, who rose from the tragedy in Killeen to provide essential testimony at a critical time. She has since, as Susan Gratia-Hupp, become a Representative in the Texas Legislature.

The law went into effect September 1, giving the Texas Department of Public Safety about three months to write all the procedures, design the paperwork, and train enough Qualified Instructors to teach the required course DPS wrote. They did it.

A loophole creating a conflict between concealed carry rules and alcoholic beverage license regulations made a revision of the law necessary. That was accomplished in 1997, and went into effect 1 September of that year.

Two years after it started, with 1,800 instructors and over 180,000 licensed persons, the Texas violent crime rate continues to drop. As happened in all the other CHL states, concealed carry is working.

For me personally, when Ann Richards said she'd veto any CHL law that was passed a red flag went off in my brain. I pulled out my word processor and started firing off letters. I decided then and there to never vote FOR her reelection. I feel that she committed political suicide by taking such an ignorant stand on a person's right to protect themselves. One of the key reasons besides the Luby's massacre that made the licensing a reality was the 1991 death of Harris County Sheriff's Corporal Roxyann Allee.

Corporal Allee was off duty and shopping at Greenspoint Mall. When she left the Mall and headed towards her van she was abducted at gunpoint by three men. Her van was found burning on September 30th and her body was discovered about a mile away on October 1, 1991. Like all cold cases, this one will never be forgotten and maybe someday the person who hired the hit will be convicted. Her death impressed upon me as few have that she was a law enforcement professional and yet she was taken by force and killed. If it could happen to her what chance did the rest of us have? As the case unfolded and the years have passed it's become increasing clear that her abduction and death was not a random act of violence, it was a hit on her specifically. I never knew her, but I'll never forget her and I pray that her death will be avenged and that her soul will rest in peace. In the mean while I'll keep my right to bear arms and do the best I can to protect myself and refuse to be a victim. I urge all women in Texas to do the same!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Remembering December 1996

Ten years ago. Ten LONG years ago I had a heart attack one day and lost my husband the next. I've survived both losses. Don't know why I was spared and he was taken, but every day I thank God, my late husband and my cardiologist for the gift of continued life.

The 'scary' part about the heart attack was that it was 'silent'. No pain of any sort, just some shortness of breath on exertion. I thought I was just getting fatter and older, both of which would of been true and I didn't think any more about it until AFTER the fact. The night of the day my husband died I was trying to sleep and my heart kept 'bumping funny'....I'd lay there and could feel it bump and double bump and pause and then jump around some more. I thought to myself "self, that's odd" and finally decide to get it checked out in the morning. I even thought about going to the ER in the middle of that night, but for the fact that my kids were sleeping all over my house and they'd of panicked if I'd of taken the car out of the garage - not that I could of gotten my car out since all of theirs were blocking the driveway. There was NO way I was going to wake them up and voice any concerns for MY health either. They'd been through plenty that day as had I. If fact I kept telling myself that it was the stress that was causing the bumping and jumping. I'd just go to the family doctor and he'd give me some pills and I'd get through the ordeal of funeral planning and hold my family together in grief.

Well it seems that the family doctor heard something when he gave a listen and he sent me to the cardiologist. In fact he called ahead and got me in without delay. I was irritated, I went because I've been conditioned to do pretty much whatever a doctor advises, but I kept saying over and over to anyone that would listen that I had to make arrangements for my husband's funeral and I didn't have time for any of this. They'd just listen and murmur how sorry they were and then do what they had to test wise. The heart doctor ended up telling me he wanted me to go across the street to the hospital and have a cardiac catheterization and angiography. Again I said I didn't have time for any of this! He just sat there behind his desk and said he understood, but that'd he hate to think about me driving home and BLAM ending up in a ditch. When he said 'blam' he hit his own chest and the implications were crystal clear to me what he was inferring. AGAIN I thought my kids would literally shit a brick if something happened to me the day after something had happened to their daddy.

I guess I should really thank my kids everyday too because they were my prime motivation to get out of the hospital so we could have the funeral. I had that whole mom's stiff upper lip thing going, never ever show fear in front of the kids, it's in the Mom's and Dad's handbook that we SHOULD of been given when they were born. It's the same rule that applies when there's a terrible thunderstorm and if you had your druthers you'd be UNDER the bed with a stuffed toy, but because you are the Parent In Charge you have to fake it until you make it.

My kids have been a Godsend to me. They have all loved me, helped me, encouraged me, checked up on me, fought battles on my behalf and been the motivation that's kept me going. They've also smothered me, monitored my comings and goings, nagged me and panicked when they couldn't reach me immediately. I got a cell phone because of them and they fuss all the time because they can rarely reach me on it. I've told them a million times I got it in case *I* needed to make a call. My thinking was the occasional women calling the cops from the trunk of her own car scenarios. To me that's the ultimate in cool!

In 10 years time my life has changed in a thousand ways and yet I'm still me. I'm stronger than I ever dreamed I could be. Deep inside I've always considered myself a gutless wonder, but when life takes you by the scruff of the neck and gives you a good shake you can only pick yourself up and dust yourself off and give it the finger and go on or you can curl up and say 'I quit'. I might be a gutless wonder, but I'm by damn not a quitter. I'm going out kicking and screaming none of this "gentle into that good night" stuff. 'Course like everything else I reckon God has the final blueprint for my life and my job is just to live life to the best of my ability.

Monday will be six weeks since my surgery and I'm down 24 pounds since the surgery, 46 pounds since my first evaluation at the surgeon's and 53 pounds for the year 2006. My Hemoglobin A1c test was 5.2. That's consider within a normal range. I'm only taking one of my former 'heart' drugs and nothing for diabetes. No pills, no shots, no shit! 2 months ago I was taking SEVEN injections a day. Now they say my pancreas will begin to regenerate itself and my diabetes is in remission. It's a miracle to me. I'm in awe of my own body's ability to heal! I feel like the Energizer Bunny who got knocked on it's side for a few years, but then someone came along and put it back up and off it goes again! The wheels were spinning the whole down time, but it wasn't going anywhere and NOW it can make new inroads and see what there is to see and go where there is to go!

The Cure For Diabetes Type II Is Here!
RYN Post-Op Progress Report
Dogs & Hearts - My Own Story
Get Checked
A Single Dove

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sure Am Sorry To Hear About This One

The son of Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas is in trouble with the law again.

In 2000, Brent Grady Thomas faced charges related to the accidental shooting of a friend.

He got two years probation.

Thomas, now 26 years old, was arrested again Saturday. He was picked up by Precinct 5 deputy constable in Harris County.

He got out on a $2,000 bond.

He's charged with possession of less than a gram of drugs.

Thomas went to court Monday, but his court date was reset for Jan. 4.

Neither he or his attorney made any comment Monday.

A spokesman for the Sheriff's Office said the elder Thomas loves both of his sons and supports Brent while he is going through this process. Other than that, he said it is a family affair.

-lifted from

It is a family affair, but that doesn't stop me from saying I feel badly for the family! I hope young Mr. Thomas can get his act together and quit embarrassing his good name. My family has seen similar grief due to drugs,immaturity and unwise choices and the problem was resolved by the addicted one before the bottom or jail time was reached. You can lead a horse or lock them up or council the poop outta them, but until they decide to quit messing up it's just an exercise in futility and frustration.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Memories 3 – Presents!

I love getting presents. You can’t insult me with too many of them either. The best presents I ever got were from my husband of 33 years. He loved to give me jewelry and electronics. He almost never gave me clothes because the time or two he did I had to take them back and he hated that. He’d give me nightgowns, robes and houseshoes instead. One year he gave me a complete Cannon A-1 camera and all the bells and whistle attachments. I was stunned and thrilled. He said if anything happened to him and I had to work that maybe I could become a photographer.

He called me his ‘teddy bear’ and gave me hundreds of bears and bear related items over the years. All my friends and kids gave me bears too. I have display cabinets full of bears. Since his death I started collecting police memorabilia and my favorites of those are bears that are also cops! I need to add on a room just for my collections! It all goes hand in glove with my excessive-compulsive character quirks.

But I digress, the topic was supposed to be about CHRISTMAS presents. When I was young I got lots of dolls. Every year I got a doll and haven’t kept a one of them. I had dolls that cried ‘momma’ and wet themselves. They ate food and almost walked around. They were my confidants and friends. I had tea parties with them and spanked them when they misbehaved. To my Mom’s credit she would also give me some of the stuff I asked for… a microscope! I remembered sitting for what seems like hours trying to prick my finger so I could look at my own blood. NOW it’s nothing to prick my fingers for blood glucose testing, but I also have a handy, dandy pricker tool to use instead of the bare needle back then.

What I always wanted was a BB gun and an Erector Set. My brothers got those and I never did. I asked and asked, but that wasn’t gender appropriate…..they didn’t use those words (NO ONE USED THOSE WORDS BACK THEN!) but the message was loud and clear just the same. You are only a girl, you can’t have manly toys. So one day I married my prince and HE gave me guns! By then I didn’t need an Erector Set as I was into the baby making process and that’s all the construction I had the time or the energy for! I also inherited his Red Ryder BB gun and it’s an awesomely accurate piece of metal. To this day I’d rather hang out in a computer store or an office supply store or a gun store than any of the gender specific frou-frou shops!

The one thing I remember the most about my husband was how much he loved to give gifts. He’d get so excited he’d want me to open his gifts the minute he had them wrapped. The kids would be jumping up and down wanting to open all theirs early and he would be jumping up and down wanting me to open all his first. We’d allow the girls to open one present early and usually one more on Christmas Eve, but I wanted to wait and make Christmas Day special. We’d let the kids tear into theirs first and then it was our turn. I’d give him a present and he’s day ‘open that one’ and I’d say ‘open yours first’. The kids spent every Christmas watching us opening presents. Mine took forever to open because there were (are!) always so many. I’m surprised the kids don’t hate me to this day!

I love to give presents too, but I hate to shop. I don’t ‘do’ the mall. I prefer online shopping or just giving them green. I make fudge and sometimes chocolate chip cookies and those that I love the most get those to sweeten their gifts. I’m trying to cut back on the goodie making this year, but the whining has already commenced so I broke down and bought the ‘makin’s’ for a select few to appease their sweet tooths.

It’s taken me most of my life to realize that the joy in giving gifts is in the giving. What someone does with that present once it becomes theirs is their business. My husband never wanted anyone to part with anything he gave and I can appreciate that sentiment, but if you give a gift freely then it should be without any strings attached. You shouldn’t get all weirded out if someone doesn’t quite treasure your treasure the way you do. Your job was in the picking out and giving, now it’s their job to decide if they want the gift or can use it or if they want to return it or put it up on EBay or sell it at the next garage sale. It should not be a slap in the face or rejection of you as a person. It’s a difficult concept to embrace through, I’ll give you that.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christmas Memories 2

I remember going to midnight Mass and just loving the Baby Jesus in His manger and all the pomp and pageantry surrounding His birth. I loved smelling the incense too. I never understood much of the Latin, but when I fell away they up and changed everything and the last time I went to Mass I felt as alien as the last time I went to a non-Catholic service. I missed the old ways that I’d grown up with. So now my church is with me, it goes where I go, and that way God knows how to find both of us.

I remember my Daddy’s mom always got whiskey for Christmas from at least 2 of her 4 sons. I remember thinking that odd because I never saw her drink anything stronger than iced tea. I overheard her saying though that she drank 3 fingers worth every evening before bedtime. She lived to be 83 so I guess she was doing something good for her heart. There’s a LOT of heart disease in her side of the family.

My favorite grandparent was Josh. He was my Mom’s father and he wouldn’t allow us to call him “Grandfather” or anything else like that. He’d give me the change out of his pocket when he came home and say “Call me ‘Josh’” …… I loved getting his change and I’d of called him Mickey Mouse if that’s what it took to get rich! He always had a Fox Terrier dog that he named “Shorty”. Over the years there must have been a half dozen “Shorties”. The one I remember the most was a vicious little beast when he wanted to be. I was leaning over the bed talking to him (he was ON the bed) one evening and without warning he leaped up and bit me on the face. It stung and made me tear up, but didn’t do any lasting damage. I was hurt emotionally though because I thought the dog liked me. It was years later that I figured out he probably didn’t like me talking into his face and the air currents that produced. Or he could have just been a moody vicious little beast!

None of us ever knew our Daddy’s daddy because he died when my Daddy was just a boy. I always thought that was so sad because everyone should have a daddy. How does a boy learn to be a man without a man’s examples to follow? My Daddy didn’t play any sports that I can recall. He never threw a baseball to me, but he loved baseball better than any other sport. He kept statistics on the games. His mind must have been like a computer long before there were computers. When the Astrodome was built in Houston the slogan was “Make Your Home In The Dome” ….. Daddy took that to heart and did his best to live there until the day he died.

Back in Longview we had real Christmas trees because there just weren’t any artificial ones. I remember one year when we were startled awake to a loud crash and upon investigation discovered the tree had committed suicide. I was horrified and terribly worried that Christmas would be called on account of this unnatural disaster. As it turned out all it needed was up righting and adjusting and the broken ornaments replaced and Christmas was back on. Santa didn’t even know about it as far as I could tell.

Once we moved to Houston in 1960 Daddy went out and bought our first artificial tree. I’m not sure if the first one was the aluminum one or not, but that shiny silver tree was the one I remember above all others. This is what I found that explains the tree to perfection:

The mid-1960's saw another change. A new world was on the horizon, and modernist ideas were everywhere. Silver aluminium trees were imported from America. The 'Silver Pine' tree, patented in the 1950's, was designed to have a revolving light source under it, with coloured gelatine 'windows, which allowed the light to shine in different shades as it revolved under the tree. No decorations were needed for this tree.

I loved it when the tree turned blue, but all the colors were fun to watch. It was better than TV! I’d sit on the couch or lie on the floor and watch the colors changing for hours on end.

Once I got married we went back to real trees until my kid’s allergies made that difficult. The first Christmas in our ‘new’ rent home I sent my husband off with a friend to buy and bring home a tree. We’d discussed the need for a smaller tree as we didn’t have many decorations and the room wasn’t all that large. I felt confident that John would follow the plan since his friend’s vehicle was a Volkswagen bug and he was to bring the tree home atop the bug’s roof. When they rounded the corner after the quest for the perfect tree you almost couldn’t see the car for the tree! He ended up having to chop off more of the trunk just to make it fit our 8’ ceiling! He was so proud of that HUGE tree! It was a nice tree too. Our baby and soon all of us were coughing and sneezing and wheezing, but it was quite the largest Christmas tree we ever had. After that year I went with him to pick out the tree!

Here’s picture of Josh and a Shorty that got a hearing aid in 1969.

Christmas Memories 1

Attila The Mom at Cheaper Than Therapy wrote: “If anybody has a funny, touching, inspirational, silly, etc family story to share---write it up on your blog….”

Alas, the mood I’m in all the family Christmas stories I can think of are small slices of trauma from my earliest memories. Every year we drove from Longview up in East Texas to Houston so my parents could spend Christmas with their moms. We’d have to get up at the butt crack of dawn because Daddy wanted to get on the road early. Mom would drag around and make us late by Daddy’s schedule and that would set the tone for the entire journey. They’d snap at one another the whole trip. And they’d ask one another if the other had turned off the gas space heater and locked the doors. I remember one time when we turned around and went back just to be sure all was secured. I remember another time when they were fighting and Mom grabbed the keys out of the ignition, rolled down her window and let them fly! Daddy was really mad, but he never laid a glove on her. SHE would hit him, but he’d never strike her back. His way was more passive aggressive, but I didn’t know that at the time.

Around the half way point we’d stop and get breakfast. Invariably I’d pick pancakes and sausage with lots of butter and syrup then I’d end up getting sick from the motion of the car. The only way I could avoid motion sickness was to sleep. I can remember when my oldest brother would ride with us I’d be in the back seat with my Mom because *he* always got the front seat. One good memory was that I’d put my head on Mom’s lap and she’d stroke my forehead and play with my hair and I liked that a lot.

When we were probably an hour of so out they’d start fighting about whose mom’s house to stop at first. My Mom and I and sometimes my brother Bill would stay with my Mom’s mom and Daddy and my oldest brother would stay with Daddy’s mom. That never varied. I was convinced my Daddy’s mom didn’t like me. I was fat and she was always comparing me to my skinny neurotic cousin who’s parent would beg her to eat something…..she got chocolate milk especially prepared by her doting parents. I got regular milk. Half way through the meal my Grandmother would make it a point to tell that cousin she ought to eat like me. I don’t know if it was real or merely perceived by me but I swear I could hear “oink, oink, oink” instead of what she was actually saying. My cousin would give me a look as if to say “I don’t want to be FAT like you! Besides I get all this attention from being picky and YOU get ridiculed and humiliated by our own flesh and blood”…. I couldn’t wait until I could go to my Mom’s mom’s house and enjoy my food!

At my Mom’s mom’s house there was always LOTS of good food like cakes and pies and fried meats with mounds of potatoes and gravy. I could eat as much as I wanted however midway through those meals my Granny, who had Type II diabetes only then they called it “sugar diabetes”, would start in on how I was going to get IT like her and have to stick myself every day with NEEDLES. Then she’d offer me some more pie. That never varied either. It was either offers of calorie laden carbs or the needles in my future. She herself would eat pie in the kitchen as if that didn’t count so long as she wasn’t sitting at the table like the rest of us.

Food was comfort and love. Food never judged me. Food only made me sick when there was conflict in my atmosphere or motion that I couldn’t sleep away. My Dad was overweight and he loved to eat. I learned to like what he liked except for buttermilk and minced meat pie. His mom made the best potatoes I’ve ever had. They started out being mashed and then she’d put them in a loaf pan and probably added cheese and bacon pieces and cooked them into a loaf with a slight crusty, buttery top. I’ve never had anything like them since. I’m sure there was some sort of secret ingredient that only she knew about. I miss those potato loaves to this day.

I don’t remember where Santa Claus would find me. I know I got presents at both grandmother’s houses, but I can’t recall if my Santa stuff was hauled with us or if I got it when we went back home. I do remember messing with a present or two under the tree at Daddy’s mom’s and making the tiny hole bigger and bigger. I was very sneaky that way! My oldest brother who was a Nazi spy for my grandmother told on me when he discovered my deeds. I got fussed at, but mostly I didn’t like being exposed as a ‘criminal’. I’m sure my perfect cousin would have NEVER done such a vile thing to her presents.

Wow, this was not what ATM had in mind I’m sure, but Lord it was so cathartic I think I’ll write another one soon. Stayed tuned.

Here we are in my Grandmother's "dining room". From L to R is my Mom, my Daddy, a sullen 15 year old me and my Daddy's mom. I don't know where the food is....this looks like it might of been breakfast. The empty plate in the fore ground belongs to the Nazi spy, the official photographer and family historian. He still is. (A photographer not a Nazi .... funny how when I grew up HE did too!)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Suburban Goddess's Freedom Of Political Correctness

Suburban Goddess: Freedom of Political Correctness
Thursday December 07th 2006, 12:18 pm

"I was watching a Carlos Mencia (dee dee dee) comedy special about a year ago. At the end of his routine, he was ranting about freedom of speech, and closed his act with five minutes of racist, bigoted, biased nicknames for basically every single race & religion on the planet. He then challenged the audience to go into work on Monday & try to say the same things he had just said.

It was a brutal realization that I have absolutely NO freedom of speech. I couldn’t even get the first two out of my mouth before someone would grab me by the hair and hurl me down the stairs towards the HR Department. Not that I would say any of those things anyway, but honestly… even if you wanted to… you CAN’T. In ANY context. And that got me thinking just how hypocritical this country has become...” [Click the link to read the entire post].

At the bottom the Goddess said:
But it seems that political correctness is not helping anyone’s situation. Unfortunately, it does not appear that diversity & tolerance are two principals that can peacefully coincide. Rodney King was completely profound in his simple statement, “Why can’t we just all get along?”

Why can’t we?

I'll tell you why we can't. M-O-N-E-Y and P-O-W-E-R. For instance people in the upper echelons of the black movement [the ones that claim to be religious] are very apt at stirring the pot of hatred because it's to their benefit that they keep the division apparent. Good Lord can you imagine how difficult it would be for these men if they actually had to go to WORK to make a living? If everyone lived in peaceful harmony there'd be no more photo ops! There'd be no more speaking engagements! There'd be no more cash contributions!

And what's more you can substitute any other color and any other group and come up with the same bottom lines .... The Jewish Defense League, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), even the vile KKK. It's the same for any of the hot button polarized subjects ... gun control and the right to bear arms; abortion and the right to life and so on and so on .... the biggest of the big is Republicans vs. the Democrats. God forbid those two should reach common ground and actually work for the benefit of all the citizens!

It's the proliferation of hatred and fear that generate money. Division is a cash cow.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Blogger: Dashboard

Blogger: Dashboard: "Your new version of Blogger is ready!

The new version of Blogger now has all the original features you're used to, plus new post labels, drag-and-drop template editing, and privacy controls. And, it's a lot more reliable.

After you switch you'll need to sign in with your Google Account, but your blogs will stay the same. Their content and layout will not change."

Blogger is buggin' the crapola outta me over this whole new version deal. The key word is "beta". I don't want no stinkin' beta! Let someone else work out all the bugs and THEN maybe I'll switch (if I have to).

This is almost as irritating as the nag screens that MickeySoft can throw at a person. I'm not interested in any part of Vista until I have to be. I don't use the Internet Explorer browser unless I have to and it griped me royally to have to figure out how to get rid of the nag screen and not install it within the latest upgrade. I ended up going to the 'security center' and turning off automatic upgrades. I'm the original cut off my own nose to spite my face gal! I've been burned too many times to not have learned to leave the match playing to others!

HOUSTON METRO | | News for Houston, Texas

HOUSTON METRO | | News for Houston, Texas: "Since Houston annexed Kingwood 10 years ago, The Woodlands has been looking over its shoulder expecting a land grab.

But residents of The Woodlands who were against annexation could breathe a sigh of relief after an agreement was announced Thursday by Sen. Tommy Williams and Houston Mayor Bill White.

It’s a dream come true for residents of The Woodlands. Houston has agreed not to annex them, but because of that residents there might face higher taxes."
"Never" is a nice word in a case like that. My water district struck a deal with the city a few years ago and got a promise of not annexing any of us in the water district that aren't already in Houston for 25 years. Part of the deal was to furnish water to a section that is located in Houston's city limits and under development. I don't recall the exact details, but I know the city gets a piece of the utility district's taxes too. If I wanted to live in the city of Houston I'd of stayed in Spring Branch. My neighborhood is not the greatest in the area, but it's not the worst either and the location is great. I sure don't want to move out any further than I already am. It's taken years and years for us to NOT be in the sticks! Be it ever so humble.....

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Update - HPD's Comida Food Drive Is Here Again!

And I'm the lucky reluctant Store Captain for the Fiesta store located at F.M. 1960 and Hwy. 249. I'll be there the 30th, 31st, 1st and 2nd with cup in hand begging for moola and canned goods.

With any luck at all I'll have some other volunteers from the Houston Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association, various area churches and some good looking, well armed men and women in blue to watch me watch the cash.

I've exlained to the powers that be about my recent surgery and how I'm going to be parking it in a chair whenever possible so I can make the entire 8 hours each day and they said that was cool. In fact, they even said I didn't have to be there at all just agree to be the store captain. Duh? Huh? Isn't that like saying you'll have sex and then not being under some guy when the time comes? (Only *I* could bring sex into a conversation about canned goods!).

So hope to see you there. Or if not, go to the Fiesta store closest to you and give to a worthy cause. Thanks!

HPD & HCPAAA's Comida Food Drive & Me (December 7, 2005)


It's over for another year! Yea! We did pretty good at 'my' store too. Total for the 4 days was $1942.96 and 17 boxes of food. It wouldn't of happened without the help of 3 area churches who send a dozen or more volunteers to hand out flyers and generally gently bug people about giving. These same churches and more are also the recipents of the food drive. Months and months before the actual drive the churches submit their needs to the powers that be and get on the list of those in line for the benefits.

Thanks to the Houston Police Officers that worked along side of me too. I considered them my "hired guns" and felt much safer being in charge of so much money with them around. It occurred to me that people tend to be more generous when they saw the uniforms and badges and all the officers were friendly and helped hand out the stickers, pencils, pencil sharpeners and rulers leftover from HPD's DARE programs. Thanks to HPD Officers Bob Smith, Brett Tatum (and his lovely daughter!), Joe Pennington and Ed Hall for their time and help cleaning up each night, storing the 'goodies' and making sure I got the day's cash donations safely stored in Fiesta's vault.

Thanks to my fellow Houston Citizen Police Academy Alumni Debbie Harlow for coming out part of Thursday and Friday to help and keep me company. All the officers and volunteers nearly frozen our own cans off during the 4 days! It was truly a labor of love to endure the first really impressive Artic blast this year. We set up our table right next to the ready-to-eat chickens and often used the hot lights to try and keep our hands warm right along side of the poultry!

Katrina Is Still Causing Damage

This is difficult to write because I know for a fact that not all Katrina evacs are pieces of low life shit. Most have blended well into the environments they were thrust, went on to find jobs and slowly start trying to put their lives back together again. This post in no way reflects on them, they are a tough bunch of folks who deserve respect. This post is about the evacs that get the press for their criminal ways. They are truly pieces of shit not worth spit. Louisiana is better off without them and God knows Houston would be too.

One such family moved into a rent house four doors down from my own. They seemed like nice, quiet people. I'm not sure exactly how many were in the family, but I'd seen 2 or 3 male children, one female, a momma and a poppa at least. The mom was a teacher and the dad left the house each day and I'd assumed it was to go to work. There was one incident whereby the mother and one of her sons got into it in the street. I'd come home from the grocery store and found the teen sitting on the curb between my driveway and my neighbor's front yard. When he saw me turn in he moved across the street and again sat on the curb. His mom came out of their house and was hollering at him. He hollered back. She had a substantial stick in her hand and she advanced on him all the while chewing him like a cow with it's cud. He'd retreat, she'd advance. It was an odd game they played for about 20 minutes. I called one of our deputies on his cell phone and described it to him and he said not to worry. Seems the 'teen' was older than he looked and they'd had a lot of trouble with him. They'd been urged to just kick him out and they didn't follow that advice. After awhile the daddy came home and peace ensued once again.

Well the story today is about how one day they were just gone. They must of moved out in the middle of the night. I saw him a time or two checking the mailbox, but had no clue as to what had happened until recently. The owner of the house lives in the suburbs of Chicago. He'd cleaned the place up and redone it a couple of times after renters had left it badly. I've seen a couple of men in there working and thought they were not unusual since someone had again moved out and left the place in need of refreshing. Come to find out the evacs had been evicted after non-payment for 3 months. They evidentially did not take kindly to this legal move and yet they still had custody of the keys to the place. The landlord did not immediately change the locks. His bad. It seems that within days of their departure they went back inside and completely trashed the place.

They totally destroyed one of the bathrooms and severely damaged the other one. They knocked holes in all the walls. They busted out all the windows in the back of the house. They even took a hot iron to the carpeting. I don't know for sure, but I'll bet the homeowner didn't even try and contact the authorities. He says he'd bought the place as an investment, but now he's had enough of it. It's costs him money and he just wants to get rid of it. It should be on the market soon. That'll be three houses in a row for sale, but that's another story for another day.

Oh, one other thing. The neighbor on the North side is the kindest older man in the neighborhood. He's always got a smile and a kind word of everyone he sees. The daddy from next door knocked on his door and asked to borrow some jumper cables. The nice man went and got his and handed them over. The evac said thanks and starting walking down the street away from the house. The nice man hailed him and asked where the car was and he was told in Kroger's parking lot. To make a long story shorter, the evac was given a ride to his car and it was jump started off of the nice man's car. Then the evac asked if he could borrow the cables a day or two until he could get a new battery. He was granted his request and the nice man has never seen the cables since! That was a few days before they up and vanished. Jerk.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wow! Thanks For Stopping By, Y'all!

It's kind of difficult to see, but in the past week this blog has had 85 visits with the total pages viewed at 179! Usually I only get about 50 visits and those are all from my best friend and my sister-in-law!! hehe... 'Course the true test is how many of those that wandered in off of Google and such come BACK, but first things first, I'm happy to have the traffic.

Chart from Google Analytics, a cool FREE device useful for real blogs that sell stuff, etc. and have thousands of hits a day. You know it's cool if it lets me in with my tiny blog!

Obesity From Dragonfly's Metabolic Disease?

Clues About Human Obesity From Dragonfly's Metabolic Disease
26 Nov 2006

Parasite-infected dragonflies suffer the same metabolic disorders that have led to an epidemic of obesity and type-2 diabetes in humans, reveal the findings of research conducted at Penn State University that are due to be published in the 5 December 2006 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and also in the PNAS early online edition at The discovery expands the known taxonomic breadth of metabolic disease and suggests that the study of microbes found in human intestines may provide a greater understanding of the root causes of human metabolic dysfunction.

James Marden, professor of biology and an insect physiologist at Penn State, and Ruud Schilder, who in August 2006 earned his doctorate in biology at Penn State and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nebraska, are the first to show a non-mammalian species suffering from metabolic dysfunction in ways similar to humans. "Metabolic disease isn't some strange thing having just to do with humans," said Marden. "Animals in general suffer from these symptoms."

The work is also novel because it links metabolic disease to a supposedly harmless parasite living in the dragonfly's gut. The parasites, known as gregarines, belong to the Apicomplexa, a group of microorganisms that includes protozoa, which cause diseases like malaria and cryptosporidiosis. The dragonfly species that Marden and Schilder studied is Libellula pulchella. The microbes disrupting the dragonfly metabolism may hold clues for scientists looking for the root causes of metabolic diseases in humans, according to Marden and Schilder's paper

"All of these symptoms, and the underlying processes behind these symptoms that we're seeing in these dragonflies, are pretty much identical to what you see in mammalian metabolic syndrome and obesity," said Marden. "We're seeing it all relate back to this non-invasive protozoan in the gut." The work raises a fascinating question about what role microbial communities found in human intestines may play in human metabolic disorders like insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, and obesity. In mammals, these metabolic disorders are known to be associated with a chronic inflammatory response, thought to be triggered by an accumulation of fat.

In Marden and Schilder's dragonflies, the reverse happens. Parasitic infection triggers an inflammatory response and immediate changes in metabolism. Unable to metabolize fat, the dragonflies accumulate fat around their muscles. This finding begs the question of whether something similar might be happening in human metabolic diseases, the root causes of which remain poorly understood despite intense study.

"Might disturbances in the microbial balance of human intestines trigger an immune system response that leads to metabolic disease?" Marden and Schilder asked. "More attention should be paid to the microbial balance in the intestines of people who suffer from obesity," said Schilder. "It seems plausible that disturbance in the microbial community in humans might trigger these inflammatory responses."

There are some other clues indicating that this may be an important question. "What we're finding in insects is that they become obese when parasites cause inflammation that affects metabolism," said Marden. "That seems akin to what's happening in humans when they get type-2 diabetes. It's not because there's been a change in the genetic composition of the population. it's because something has changed in our environment." One change in the human environment is the dramatic increase in soft-drink consumption among Americans, estimated to be 500 percent over 50 years from the 1940s to the 1990s. "We looked in the literature and found that consumption of high-fructose corn syrup often is associated with gastrointestinal distress, which may be a sign that fructose affects the gut microbial flora," said Marden.

Another clue is that some AIDS patients, with compromised immune systems, have chronic problems with Cryptosporidium (a protozoan parasite closely related to the one found in dragonflies) that over time impairs their metabolism in a similar fashion to what Schilder and Marden found for infected dragonflies. "That information gave us the courage to connect the dots," said Marden. "Granted, it is a big extrapolation to think that our dragonfly results might have any relevance for human disease, but it would be irresponsible for us to not point out these possibilities. People who study metabolic disease should test the hypothesis that changes in gut microbial composition can cause these syndromes."

Marden's lab, which studies how insect muscles work and affect the animal's survival and reproductive capabilities, can mechanically isolate single flight muscles and measure their mechanical power output under conditions similar to those in nature. The researchers noted that the muscles of some dragonflies are able to perform at 80 watts per kg. while others of the same species could perform at up to 220 watts per kg. The life of a dragonfly and successful mating requires intense competition for pond territory, aerial contests, and high-performance flight. "These guys are the jet fighters of the insect world," said Marden. Flight muscle makes up 60 percent of their body mass. The large variation in muscle output was intriguing because natural selection, over time, would weed out the submissive, poor flyers if the trait were genetically based. When the researchers looked in the gut of the dragonflies with poor muscle output, they found parasites.

Healthy dragonflies can adjust their muscle performance according to how much fat they have available in their bodies, but the dragonflies infected with parasites weren't making that adjustment, Marden observed. He and Schilder began looking for an explanation and ultimately found many key differences between the tissues and performance of healthy dragonflies and parasite-infected dragonflies that match symptoms of metabolic syndrome in humans. One symptom involves the signaling molecule, p38 MAP kinase, a common indicator of stress response in humans and other animals. The signaling molecule was chronically activated in the flight muscles of parasite-infected dragonflies, but not in muscles from healthy dragonflies. Activation of p38 MAP kinase has been shown to be related to the development of insulin resistance and metabolic disease in humans. "What's more, we could induce this activation in muscles from healthy individuals by exposing them to excretory-secretory products obtained from the gregarine parasites," said Schilder.

The researchers also found that the muscles of parasite-infected dragonflies oxidized only carbohydrates instead of a carbohydrate-lipid mix. A common symptom of metabolic syndrome is that muscles metabolize fewer lipids. The researchers also found that unused lipids accumulated in the dragonflies' thorax. Humans with metabolic disease tend to accumulate fat around skeletal muscle tissue.

Marden and Schilder's experiments also found the hemolymph carbohydrate concentrations in parasite-infected dragonflies to be about double those of healthy dragonflies, and found insulin to have little effect on those concentrations. Insulin resistance is an abnormality associated with metabolic syndrome in humans. The researchers found the parasites rapidly caused effects in the dragonflies. Dragonflies that drank water containing trace amounts of excretory-secretory substances obtained from live parasites showed effects in two days. Abnormal blood glucose concentrations are a symptom of metabolic syndrome in humans. Marden and Schilder also concluded that insects may be useful models to understand more about metabolic disease in humans. Their work was supported by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
Penn State

Article URL:
Picture Borrowed from:
Wonderful Fat Lady from: (worth the trip just to see her genius!)

I had a discussion with my cardiologist not to long ago about how it's not just lifestyle and genetics that cause obesity......he said something else has to be happening and I agreed. Personally I've never been a huge overeater, I just made unwise choices. You hear about people that eat whole chickens and loaves of bread and such and I never did anything like that and yet I couldn't take it off and keep it off. It also seems that the less one eats when they are obese the more the body is determined to keep the fat at all costs. I find this study fascinating. I probably won't see a cure for obesity in my lifetime, but I just love the thought that maybe such a cure will be possible someday.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

This Blog is Rated "D" For Duh

I was poking around today bored out of my gourd (ohmygod how old a saying is that?!) and found this blog post entitled "Are You an A-List Bloglebrity?". I put the TexasGoodies URL in the slot and POW it came up with MY rating.

Are you sitting down? Good.

It was a D. DDDDDDDDD! D = dull? D = dumb? D = duh? D = Sadly Not C

D-List Blogger

Humph. Here's the official explanation of what the "D" rating means:

The Low Authority Group [D-List Bloggers]
(3-9 blogs linking in the last 6 months)
The average blog age (the number of days that the blog has been in existence) is about 228 days, which shows a real commitment to blogging. However, bloggers of this type average only 12 posts per month, meaning that their posting habits are generally dedicated but infrequent.

I'm personally THRILLED that ANYONE has linked my blog to theirs! I don't know how many have, but God bless 'em, I love 'em all!

If the key to blog success is volume, then yep I'm right up there with the lamers only having an average of 12 posts per month. Sigh. I'd like to claim that's because I have a real life, but who am I kidding? I'm strictly a go-with-the-flow, when the spirit moves me kinda writer. In fact, I can't even WRITE the word 'writer' without cracking up. Mostly what I do is babble. I'm pretty sure I make no bones about it, it's right up there for the whole world to see. I like to think I see humor in situations, but then I've been known to wise-crack in the MOST inappropriate places i.e. funerals, funeral homes, church, solemn occasions, during speeches, when I get bored, when I see phony people acting like big shots, when I see big shots acting like they care about anyone but their powerbase etc. It's both a gift and a curse. It's the bane of my kid's existence too. They'd love to loving stuff a sock in my face! (But that's another story for another day!)

According to what I could glean from the ratings, if this blog just hangs in there it might move up a grade. If I started posting my buns off it certainly would because for THIS rating it's all about how much rather than how inspired. I found a perverse silver lining though, it could of been rated "F" .....

These are the SWEETHEARTS that I know link to TexasGoodies:

Cheaper Than Therapy

If there's more that I don't know about, please let me know so I can visit!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Greenleaf, Idaho Passes Gun Law

This is too cool! Thanks to a pal for sending it to me....

GREENLEAF — After watching the chaos of Hurricane Katrina, Steven Jett, a city councilman in this tiny town founded by pacifist Quakers and carved between the Owyhee Mountains and mint fields, proposed a law.

Ordinance 208, passed by the City Council on Tuesday, asks Greenleaf's residents who do not object on religious or other grounds to keep a gun in the home.

Jett, a former Canyon County deputy sheriff, said citizens should be armed in case Greenleaf, which sits on high ground, is overrun by refugees in a Katrina-like flood.

The town is surrounded by three reservoirs and an earthen dam, Jett said. Plus, Idaho could see a major earthquake, he said.

"This is not an ‘it'll never happen here kind of thing,' " Jett said. "We could get refugees."

Greenleaf doesn't really have crime, at least as most cities define it. The most violent offense reported in the past two years was a fist fight.

"We don't have a crime problem," Jett said. "But this area is going to grow, and we're going to keep it that way."

Amazing and the wave of the future IMHO. Teach and preach and wish and dream all you want about nonviolence, but until the criminals lay down their weapons, people ought to have a fighting chance for survival. Those that would take the guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens would like to think that overnight crime would just fade away. What are they smoking?!? Cain didn't have a handgun and look what he did to Able! (The exact method of murder varies with some traditions proposing a stone, others a cane, and others by Strangulation. Medieval traditions viewed the murder weapon as being a plough.) We can't ever go back in time we can only move forward. We're never going to be 1950 or whatever it is that people yearn for again.

“Vishing” is a New Addition To Identity Thieves’ Arsenal

Texas Attorney General: "“Phishing” scams have been around since the early days of the Internet. They involve sending an e-mail that looks as if it's from a legitimate bank or merchant asking consumers to re-submit their personal information. Generally, phishing scam emails are intended to cause alarm by telling the consumer that they must resubmit personal information immediately or their accounts will be “suspended.” Consumers are then typically asked to click on a link that takes them to a legitimate-looking Web page in which they are asked to resubmit their personal information, such as account number and passwords.

In a new twist, “vishing” takes advantage of even newer technology to defraud unsuspecting consumers.

Like with phishing scams, vishing typically starts with the same alarming email which appears to be from a legitimate business or banking institution. But rather than instructing consumers to resubmit their personal information online, vishing emails tell the victim to call a phone number through which they can provide their information. When the consumer calls, an automated message identifies itself as the bank or retailer that sent the original email and prompts the consumers to key-in their personal information. Once this information is entered, the scam artist will be able to access the consumer’s account or open lines of credit in his or her name, thus causing considerable harm.

Consumers who by now are wary of dubious emails that link to bogus Web pages might not be as reluctant to call a phone number, especially if it appears to be a local call. However, identity thieves who perpetrate vishing often use new technology that enables them to subscribe to Internet-based phone service via Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP). This makes it possible for a scam artist thousands of miles away to set up a phone account that victims might believe is a local call. But just as in a phishing scam, victims will be submitting their sensitive information to a thief beyond the reach of law enforcement in the United States.

The warning remains the same: Never respond to an email that purports to be from your bank or other business that threatens “suspension” of your account or a similar drastic action unless you immediately re-submit your personal information, either by clicking on a link or calling a phone number. Legitimate businesses do not contact and threaten their clients in this manner. If you have any questions about such emails, contact the bank or business purportedly sending the email directly based on a phone number that appears in the phone directory or your statements. DO NOT call a phone number that appears on an email.

Texas Attorney General Sued Sony BMG

Texas Attorney General: "In November 2005 Attorney General Abbott sued SONY BMG alleging that approximately 50 titles of music CDs released in 2005 containing XCP copy protection software violated numerous anti-spyware and consumer protection laws. The lawsuit is still pending."

Click on the link above and read the whole thing. All I can say is good for TAG Greg Abbott!

My Favorite Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next. Amen.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

It's simple but effective. It's also extremly difficult for me to practice. I tend to worry. I worry about the past, the present and the future. I'm ingrained with the "do the job yourself if you want it done right" doctrine. I keep telling myself to QUIT IT, but myself is usually off worrying about something or someone. Sigh. I really need to work on this. OR adopt the Scarlett mantra "I'll worry about it tomorrow".

Picture borrowed from The Serenity Prayer.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

November 22, 2006

Pardon me while I get a little maudlin....

Today would of been my Daddy's 96th and my husbands' 66th birthdays. They were the two most important men in my life. I'm probably the last of the fems that was handed off from the father to the groom with no on-your-own time in between. NOW I'm having my on-your-own time. When I see little old ladies holding hands with their little old mates, I wonder why I can't be like that. I come home to my old dog and he doesn't even hear me coming in anymore. I still feel that both of them are watching over me so that helps.

I almost feel guilty today because this is the first for both of them that I haven't cried and cried. 'Course if I keep writing in this vein in might start the water works! I know they are both supposed to be in a better place and I'm not ready to visit that place, but it still makes me so mad that they had to go and so many scumbags are hanging on. Then when I stop and think about it, Daddy would of hated being 96 especially if he couldn't take care of himself and John wouldn't of been so crazy about being 66 for the same reason. So I guess I'll have to bow my head to the good Lord and say 'thanks for taking care of them for me'.

On the plus side my eldest daughter and her hubby are trying to celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary today. John's been gone 10 years in December so that's ten of those fourteen that they had to squeeze their joy into the sadness. Their wonderful accomplishment has been overshadowed and that's not right. The same can be said for my middle daughter and her husband who will celebrate their 11th 12th anniversary on the 10th anniversary of his passing, December 17, 1996. How weird is that?

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I'm looking forward to having a nice, quiet one with the "kids". I'm thankful that I have the kids! How sad it would be to be alone on a holiday! How lucky I am that all my children live close by and I can see them often. I think that surely heads the top of my Thankful List this and every year. John was called and he had to go, but he left me loving comfort in his absence. How good is that?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

If I Did It? Who are you trying to fool, fool?

News Corp. accused of offering hush money | - Houston Chronicle

My God there might actually be some decency left in the world afterall! Fox actually cancelled their interviews with The Killer and the sales of his book have dropped. Pity the fools that actually bought the thing, but they are the same people that clog the freeways oogling traffic accidents hoping to catch a glimpse of horror. I hope Nicole's sister and Goldman's sister live to be 110 and outlive The Killer so they can squelch his every effort to pretend he didn't do it and profit from their misery. Just because The Juice was juiced the night he committed the slayings doesn't make it not so, OJerk!

Monday, November 20, 2006

RNY Post-Op Progress Report

It’s been 2 weeks today since my Roux-en-y surgery and I’m still amazed by it all. I take one tablespoon of Tylenol with Codeine at night and that’s it. I still have some harsh gas pains from time to time that strike with no warning and take my breath away with their severity, but by and large I’m pain free.

When the doctor took my staples out (it was no biggie after all!), he lifted the No Lift, No Bend rule slightly. I can lift if it’s not more than 25 pounds and I’m not sure I could lift more than 25 pounds right now anyway! I can bend down to pick up the millions of every day items that women/moms have been picking up since the days of keeping the bones off their cave dwelling dirt floor! I had one of those old-people-picker-uppers and was using it regularly. I was quite the sight in my front yard wearing my gown and robe and using my rigid claw looking device to snag the newspaper. It worked great for the daileys, but was a tad trickier for the overgrown Sunday advertisement fest. For that I’d snag some of the plastic bag and pull it upright and then bend down ever so slightly and carry it in by the plastic bag. The main thing I have to watch out for is using my abs for the next 4 weeks. Heck my abs are the most unused muscles in my entire body anyway so that should be a piece of cake!

I’ve been allowed to drive for a whole week now and I went to the grocery store by myself Saturday. I’d forgotten that Saturday is the LAST day in the world anyone wants to go to the grocery store that doesn’t HAVE to! All those working people HAVE to shop then, I do not. I was a little tired by the time I got home and parked my buns in a chair for awhile to the utter consternation of my dog Cody who wanted to poop, eat and play in that order. I’ve washed a load or two of clothes and changed the sheets on my bed. I take out the trash with the help of my handy dandy rolling device. I’m doing whatever I need to and asking for help on the stuff that I don’t need to be doing.

I’ve been going through drawers and closets pulling out clothes that are already too big for me. A friend of my daughter’s came over Saturday and hauled off several plastic bags crammed full of stuff. She was delighted but not nearly as much as I was for getting more room in my closets and drawers. I was stunned at the sheer volume of clothes I own! I rarely wear anything out or ruin it but one gets tired of wearing the same old same old so I’d go shopping and drag home new. Like most women I also have 2 or 3 sizes because one always thinks they’ll be back in a smaller size just as soon as they trim down. Well dip me in flour and fry me in Crisco, I’m going to be able to wear those smaller sizes soon! Who would of thunk it!

When I run out of smaller stuff around here my kids suggested I go to the brand new Goodwill thrift store less than a mile away from my casa. I’m going to try and limit my clothes volume until I reach goal. Again thank God for not having to work because I can go around looking like Farmer Ted and be perfectly happy.

My official weight loss at the doctor’s was 10 pounds in 10 days for a total loss of 32 pounds in 4 months. Today on my scales I show 6 more pounds are gone. My scales never agree with any of the others, but it gives me hope that the fat is being burned in the great inferno called my body every day! Yea, me!

Next question to tackle is what exactly do I eat now. That’s a tough one to answer because it depends and it varies. Yesterday I had about ½ cup of chicken broth for breakfast, ½ of a very thin leftover half a pan seared pork chop for lunch with some asparagus, and a newly pan seared pork chop half with some more asparagus for dinner. When I got hungry around 9 or so I cut up some cucumbers and ate them with a little salt. They were yummy! I’m not supposed to eat snacks, but I couldn’t resist and I figured that cucumbers were the least evil thing I could snack on around here. The problem is that like the pork chops, one can’t just go to the store and buy 2 chops or a couple of slices of chicken. I’ve still got 4-5 pork chops in the package and they’ll go bad at my current rate of consuming ½ per meal. So I’m going to Sam’s Club and buy one of those devices that seals food in plastic to cut down on freezer burn and pop those puppies into my freezer. What I wish is that the grocery stores and such would delegate a section to those with a lesser need! I’d like to see lots of items for singles in addition to the giant family sizes! Just think, they could charge us more for smaller packaging! Now I know I could go to the butcher section and buy just one of something, but if you’ve ever looked at the selections they are HUGE too. I’m still working all this out, I’ll get back to you if I ever figure it out….

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Cure For Diabetes Type II Is Here!

….and I’ve gone and gotten it! It’s simply the Roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery. I’m not talking total cure, because once diagnosed one will always have the damn disease, but cure as in remission is very, very doable as I’m seeing with my own eyes.

I underwent the Roux-en-y surgery Monday, November 6, 2006 and today, 9 days later my blood sugars have not been over 93. I’m not allowed to eat any fat or carbohydrate and one would say “well, sure, no wonder you’ll lose weight and your sugars are good! So why don’t you just stay on that diet until you lose all the weight?” ….. and I’d have to say WILLPOWER. My daughter calls the surgery “surgical willpower” and she’s nailed it. I’ve been overweight my entire life. I’ve been on every diet you can imagine. I’ve counted calories. I’ve NOT counted calories. I’ve watched my weight and I’ve BEEN a Weight Watcher. I’ve done the Atkins thing and I was very successful except that now my kidneys are failing. True I don’t know if the diet was the cause or the diabetes for 13 and ½ years, but it gives one pause nevertheless. I'd lose 30 or even 40 pounds and put it back plus 10 more! I lost the same weight so many times I could almost call it my occupation. I don't want to be a super model, I just want to be healthy and feel like I look as good as I feel.

I’ve been told that I can look forward to saying goodbye to my CPAP unit for sleep apnea and my blood pressure medicine as well as my lipids medicine. I’m already off all my shots for diabetes and that was SEVEN a day for the past year and a half! In the past 4 months I’ve lost 31 pounds….9 of them since the surgery. I had to lose weight before I could even have the surgery as a testament to my resolve. For sure, one does not even consider doing such a drastic step if one isn’t totally committed to the belief that total change is in order. I’ve been going to a support group for Losers and I feel like I should have to stand up and say “Hi, my name is Edie and I’m a foodaholic!” BTW they call themselves ‘losers’ with pride because they are losing the weight and taking control of their lives, some for the first time in their lives like me.

My surgeon was Dr. Voravit Wongsa and he’s damned good. I’ve heard that he is rated one of the top 12 in the USA and I wouldn’t doubt it. He told my family I’d be in surgery for 1 and ½ hours and by God he took me at 10:30 a.m. and plunked me down in recovery at 12:05 p.m.! I was his 1367th patient to have some form of gastric bypass surgery. I wrote a lot about my surgery at

After I got home, as luck would have it, I developed a mild cold and pretty much kept saying ‘just shoot me’ to everyone within hearing range. I also had LOTS of bowel movements, each one more gross than the last. NOW I know why those that know me well have been known to say I’m full of shit! I’m not sure if it was the cold causing that grief or not, but as fast as it descended upon me it up and left. I discovered the joys of Tylenol with codeine about that time and that calmed my gut down and saw to it that I got some quality zzzz’s. I’ve had surprisingly little pain during this time. I’ve gotten some weird pain that I’d call “stitches” in my side, but absolutely no pain from the 6 little stapled holes that just sit there and grin back at me with their grills. They’ll lose their grills tomorrow when he takes them all out. I’m not looking forward to that, but I plan on doping up on the Tylenol with codeine before I go!

I told as few people as feasible that I was going “under the knife”. My mind was made up and I didn’t want to hear any horror stories. My job was to go in as calm as possible with a good positive outlook for my recovery. I did my job well and I’m still doing it. There are downsides to this surgery, but I truly believe that this was my last chance at a healthy and prolonged life. My mom died at 64 and my dad at 61. My husband died at 56. I want my kids to have to plunge a wooden stake in my heart to get rid of me! I want to sit on the porch at an old folk’s home and rock, fart and ogle the old men!

I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this subject as time goes by, but this blog is not going to turn into my R-N-Y Saga. If it was I’d rename the whole thing Me and My Walnut or something. So now you all know why I’ve been so quiet and this blog has been so inactive lately. I’m baaaaack now! If you've read all this, bless your heart and thank you too!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

On Message from Wagner Communications: A blog is a blog, a post is not a blog, and a commenter is not a blogger

On Message from Wagner Communications: A blog is a blog, a post is not a blog, and a commenter is not a blogger

And a stuffed shirt is not an A-hole, but that's another post for another day.

The whole post puts me in mind of the good old days of Commodore when my pal Chester and me were into scoring anything and everything we could get for our C64s. His wife, a very non-technical person who made no bones about her disdain for all things Commodorish overhear us talking about getting copies of some "spreadsheets" and she went ballistic thinking The Worst. She was sure something nefarious was afoot. We still laugh about and him that is.......she is marital history. Ah thems were the good old daze..... miss 'em, miss him too.

Some Of The Troops Answer John Kerry

May God bless them all and keep them safe!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

From My E-Mail InBox

I'm pretty sure ALL of these folks got indicted by our Grand Jury this term too....

A sadist, a masochist, a murderer, a necrophile, a zoophile, and a pyromaniac are all sitting on a bench in a mental institution, bored out of their minds.

"How about having sex with a cat?" says the zoophile.

"Let's have sex with the cat and then torture it," says the sadist.

"Let's have sex with the cat, torture it, and then kill it," shouted the murderer.

"Let's have sex with the cat, torture it, and then kill it and then have sex with it again," said the necrophile.

"Let's have sex with the cat, torture it, kill it, have sex with it again and then burn it," said the pyromaniac.

Silence took over...then everyone turned to the masochist and asked:

"So what's it gonna be?"

To which he replies, "Meow."

Constables Patrol Registered Sex Offenders

Harris County constables patrol registered sex offenders

That's all well and good for those that DO register and then reside where they say they are going to, but in my Grand Jury alone we've indicted 21 for Failure To Register. We're only 1 of 6 and we've got one more day to do our thing. Those 21 are the ones that Harris County knows about. How many are as yet undiscovered and living among us? All the zipcode look-ups in the world won't help if someone isn't living where they say they are. And each and every one of those 21 are "2B's"....meaning they still don't know where they are, they have yet to be picked up, they are under the radar somewhere. Personally I'll betcha that more than 3/4 of them are South of the Border.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ex-Astros knuckleballer Joe Niekro dies at 61

Ex-Astros knuckleballer Joe Niekro dies at 61

Ah, shucks. Rest in peace, Joe. He was one of my favs from that era. He owned the mound and he was fun to listen to when the game was over. I don't care if he did carry a nailfile, he was good for the Astros while he pitched here. 61 is too young to die, but at least he went out quickly and hopefully never knew what hit him. That's pretty much all we can ask for when our 9 innings come to a close.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Donations Needed for Injured Capitol Police Officer

The U.S. Capitol Police Department is accepting donations to help Officer Donna Boswell recover from a car crash earlier this month. Boswell's car was hit from behind while she was driving on Interstate 95. The impact of the crash broke Boswell's neck, shattering a vertebra and leaving her with no feeling in her hands, fingers, legs or toes. Boswell's insurance will only pay for 60 days of rehabilitation, according to Boswell's husband. After that, Boswell and her family will have to cover the bill.

To make a donation, contact the following: House Division of the Capitol Police: 202-225-0400 Senate Division: 202-224-4841 Capitol Division: 202-224-2985

Or send the donation to: Officer Donna Boswell Fund 12981 Queen Chapel Road Woodbridge, Va. 22193


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Some Grand Jury Moments

As you may or may not know, I'm currently serving on a Harris County Grand Jury. Our panel ends November 3rd and the time has just flown by. There is much I can't ever talk about, but a few generalities are on my mind.

Men are still sexually assaulting children. Their own, their steps, their nieces, nephews, cousins, grandkids, and foster kids. We've had few, maybe one or two, that involve the kid down the block or in the class or the troop or the congregation. What you have to worry about if you're a parent is the guy that sits at the table with you on Thanksgiving Day or the one that you take pity on and allow to sleep on your couch until he can get his act together. They present lots of excuses for their conduct: some say the kid enticed them; some say they were drunk and don't remember; some say they accidentally digitally penetrated the child. Some say they didn't do it period, but the children's statements given to The Children's Assessment Center are just too detailed to be imagined. Who else but one that knows first hand would describe semen as being "like egg whites"?

The rub is they can't be "cured". They CAN and should be punished, but the urges are always going to be there for them. They above all others make you sick when you hear what they are capable of doing to CHILDREN. They are animals.
My own personal "Good Job" goes to the ADA's that are prosecuting felons in possession of firearms. We've had dozens and dozens of those cases this term and it warms the cockles of my Lifetime Membership NRA heart to hear about them. I just hope that once their indictments leave our hands they are given the maximum punishments allowed by law by the judges. Fully 90% of these guns are in the vehicles with the felons when the police pull them over. As I understand it, five years AFTER they meet the requirements of their paroles they can keep a firearm in their residence, but NEVER EVER can they carry one concealed.
More to follow when the term ends. I'll need the purgative powers of the blog to free my soul.

This One's For Lainey!

And it's a dilly...... a silly dilly, but I knew you'd appreciate it before all others!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Body Parts In New Orleans

Suicide jumper's note leads to body parts in New Orleans

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — A note found on the body of a suicide jumper led police to a French Quarter apartment where they found a woman's charred head in a pot, her arms and legs in the oven and her torso in the refrigerator, police said today.

Zackery Bowen, 28, leapt from the seventh floor of a luxury hotel in the Quarter on Tuesday night, police said. His note, found in his pocket, identified the woman as his girlfriend but did not mention her name.

The body was found in the second-floor apartment that Bowen and his girlfriend, Adriane Hall, had shared on the edge of the Quarter above a voodoo shop, according to the landlord. Authorities said they were trying to find Hall, but did not speculate on the identity of the dismembered woman.

A woman who identified herself as Priestess Miriam Chamani in the Voodoo Spiritual Temple and Cultural Center below the apartment said today that the couple recently had moved in. guess is he was just going to make a big old pot of gumbo and then changed his mind. My granny was 1/2 Cajun and she made great jumbo, but it was never a good idea to ask her what was in it! NOT that she put any human body parts in it, but pert near anything that had fur or scales was fair game..... And I mean 'game' literally!

We used to have a lot of fun going crabbing on the pier in Kemah before you had to buy a license to catch what God provided. My granny would bring a mess of chicken necks and we'd tie them to twine and then tie the string off ever so often on "our" part of the pier. After awhile you'd slowly bring the neck to the surface until you saw the crabs feasting and you'd slide the net under them and haul them in. The blue crabs had huge pinchers and would sometimes stretch completely across the width of the net when they spread their claws wide. The only time I can recall getting pinched was by a tiny one that escaped the boiling water and ran across the kitchen floor and latched onto my toe and wouldn't let go. Ouch! I don't remember now which toe it was, so all ten of them are curled up in sympathy! I loved going to my granny's bay house in Kemah and eating her file gumbo.

I wish I knew how to make it too. Unlike modern recipes, she'd use both the file powder and okra. It wasn't spicy hot like folks make it these days. I like the spicy hot kind too. The best bowl of seafood gumbo can be found at Captain Tom's Seafood And Oyster Bar on F. M. 1960. Too bad they don't have rice to put it over like my granny did. But I digress, as I am wont to do.

The couple was profiled in several news stories after Hurricane Katrina as resilient residents who remained in the city after the devastating hurricane despite evacuation orders and a lack of power and water.

A story published by Newhouse News Service described the couple gathering tree limbs for cooking fires at night and trading beer and alcohol — easy to get because of their jobs as bartenders — for clean water. The couple also figured out a creative way to make sure police continued to patrol their house: Hall would flash her breasts at police vehicles to make sure they kept driving by, according to a profile in the New York Times.

Humph. I'm pretty sure if *I* flashed the cops they'd not only drive by real fast but they'd never come near my house again! Heck, they'd put up crime scene tape to WARN other po-leece about the potential hazard!