Monday, October 29, 2007

Gimme A Brag Instead Of A Drag!

Today almost went by unnoticed and unheralded by yours truly. I've been up to my armpits in volunteer stuff AGAIN as well as holding early voting for my utility district's bond election in my garage. What nearly went by me was that TODAY is my 15th anniversary quitting cigarettes! Yea me!

15 years ago I slapped on the largest patch they made to quit the nasty habit and it and some willpower did the trick. I'd quit once before for over a year and picked it right back up like I'd never walked away so I was wise to the ways of the cravings and just like the AA crowd I knew if I smoked even one I'd be doomed to fail again. I recognize that my personality is clearly susceptible to addictions. When I ate I ate large. When I smoked I smoked large. I buy too much when I shop. Compulsive is my middle name. All my emotions are just under the skin, right up near the surface just waiting to bust out and greet the situation....I cry, I laugh, I feel deeply and often. I also take a prescribed drug daily to keep most of that in check. And clearly this is TIA to share with the world at large, but I'm feeling successful and expansive tonight.

I might of kicked the weed but damn if I don't STILL crave a butt from time to time. THAT'S the part that just kills you. The brain remembers the joy long after the lungs have forgotten the wheeze! It's no wonder how difficult it is to stop something you brain thinks is cool!

I gained weight after I quit. It's pretty much a fact of life that you have to stick something in your mouth. Most folks don't want the weight gain so they rationalize the need for the addiction. Being obese will kill you. Being addicted to cigs will kill you too. LOTS of things will kill you. I wasn't really worried about that...what worried me is not dying, but living to drag oxygen on wheels around everywhere I went. Plus it's too damned expensive to smoke. Screw that sin tax stuff! I'd rather spend my money on computers or CDs or vacations.

Okay, okay, I'll jump down off my soapbox now. No one knows better than me that you can't make someone do anything they don't damn well want to do. I guess the whole point of this post is that you can do it if you want to. For real, if *I* can quit cigarettes and lose weight so can you. Do it for yourself or not because life is too short to not do what's best for you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Say "YES" To Amendment #11

My buddy at the 1960 Sun, Brandon De Hoyos, who I've never met, wrote a letter to the editor of said newspaper and I'd like to reproduce it here...

While only a handful of voters will decide on this year's statewide constitutional amendments, I thought it was important to mention that we voters have a great opportunity to assert more accountability from our legislators this election.

Texas is one of only 10 states that does not require legislators to record their votes by name, which might explain how we get such bone-headed decisions in Austin.

This amendment is important as it would require a record of every vote by every legislator and then provide real time public access to those votes online.

Voting FOR Amendment 11 would only empower the voters by ensuring our legislators vote our way and not the way of their party or their lobbying buddies. I urge everyone to get to the polls and vote for Amendment 11.

I urge the passage of that amendment too! Please get out there and vote like you care even if you don't care! Voter apathy only works if you sit on your can and whine! Do what I do...get out and vote and THEN you can whine all you want secure in the knowledge that you are a good citizen and have earned the right to bitch and moan!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Huh? My Ears Are Stopped Up!

I swear it's getting worse too! It's been off and on for a couple of years, but the past 6 months or so my ears are stopped up more than ever plus I get off balance and stagger around like I'm enjoying some cheap wine!

So what do you do when you have a medical complaint besides complain? You go to the doctor. I made an appointment with an ENT and successfully completed a hearing test, a check on the pressure in my ears, an open MRI to make sure I have a brain and there is no evidence of anything blocking my ears from the brain side and finally an ENG test which was loads of cheap drunk feelin' fun.

I found out that I have a slight hearing loss in the high frequency range...I already knew that, but since the last test it hasn't gotten any worse and "considering I live in a metropoltian area and my age" it's no big deal. There is no evidence of anything untoward going on in my brain and YES I DO have one even though it "shows the usual evidence of normal aging". I was given an Rx for something mild to help with the dizziness and pretty much told it should all clear up "on its own" and to check back in 6 months. Ack! Oh and my OLD ears are "extremely" clear of wax which shot down my hope that it was a build up of crayons keeping me stopped up.

I don't want to take more drugs. I just want to hear or at least not have to walk around, correction, STAGGER around feeling like there are giant bubbles in both ears and not knowing if I'm talking too loudly or not talking at all! It seems worse when I do talk.

I know it's just allergies and the congestion is causing the eustachian tubes to block up and most people would just slug down a decongestant and be done with it, but I can't take decongestants since my MI. I take a generic Allegra every day for all the good it does. Sigh.

Oh and if I try to hold my nose close and blow it just makes it worse.

I'm bummed.

I think I'll go chew some gum. That sometimes helps.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Me And The Texas Ranger!

I've always wanted to meet a real Texas Ranger and now I have! He came out to talk to our Harris County Citizen Police Academy Alumni group tonight and he was just great. He answered all our questions about the organization and how it fits in with all the other law enforcement agencies in Texas.

Just like a good neighbor they don't just open the door and barge right in, they have to wait to be invited inside. Once inside they don't take over like they own the joint either...they work WITH for the best way to handle the individual situations.

The Texas Rangers are the oldest law enforcement organization on the North American continent with statewide jurisdiction and the premier law enforcement agency in the state.

He was a Texas State Trooper for 8 years before becoming a Texas Ranger and he holds the rank of Sergeant. He has worked all over the state before being assigned to Houston. Our group was honored and thrilled to hear what he had to say and I personally was tickled pink to get a photo of me with him!

Tomorrow I'm off to volunteer my time at a golf tournament for Women In Law Enforcement via my involvement with the Houston citizen Police Academy Alumni. That should be interesting too. I have a feeling sun screen will definitely be in order. Maybe I'll get some more pictures too.

Friday, October 12, 2007

RAD Revisited with Photos!

Awhile back I wrote my I'm Just A Gal That Can't Say No post and this is from yet another RAD class that was a huge success. These are a few of the photos that I took.... enjoy!

These are some of the instructors. The reason they are in black and white is for some reason there was too much yellow cast in the color copy and try as I might I wasn't satisfied with the corrections I tried to make on it so I said okay, there's more than one way to skin a cat...I'll just get rid of the color completely!

And these are some more of the instructors.

And if I have to explain this next picture then you're either a straight guy or a blind gal!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bargain Hunting, Deal Making, Buyer's Delight!

Back in the beginning when I heard about the World Wide Web I though 'phooey, bunch of hooey'...who needs's just an online Yellow Pages.

I was right! .... Sort of.

Now I buy a LOT online. I try and find bargains whenever possible. I belong to MyPoints and I'm using their portal when I can to make points to turn in for gift cards for my upcoming (2008) trip to the "islands".

I found this cool site that has the Most Popular Sites For Bargain Hunters. And down at the bottom of the page it was tons of other cool sites. It's a got-to-add to your bookmark list!

Here's a few more that I really like...

DVD Price Search - The Smartest Way to Compare DVD Prices Online! This is the granddaddy of them all for DVD bargains, but I also use to buy used DVDs and books and such.

DVDTalk - another site that's been around forever and has pretty much everything you'd ever want in the way of same and lots of reviews so you can try-before-you-buy although they'll be the first to tell you that some of the reviews are in the eye of the beholder and in some cases, the beholdings! That might be why some movies have more than one person reviewing them. It's doesn't take long to figure out who's just a butt kisser and who's really given it some gray matter.

AgentB - Shopping buzz with bargains galore!

Dealigg - a web2.0 community where members find and vote for the latest deals. Popular deals have received seven or more votes.

Judy's Book - you can search for deals near you!

Retailmenot - Coupons! Lots of coupons!

NextTag - is my favorite for comparison shopping and the one I turn to first

TechSelector - help you find the right product easily

- Compiles consumer research and opinions and gives out ranks

If there's some place that I need to know about, take a second to clue me in! I'm always up for some useful link clicking!

Just added:

Coupon Heaven - Who doesn't want to get to heaven and discover tons of coupons await!

Happy hunting, bargainers!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My Thoughts On The 2007 World Series

Well, for starters, dadgumit sure would of liked it better if the Astros were in the race, but maybe again before I'm dead and buried they'll make it back and make a better showing than their other appearance....

I'm sitting here watching the Boston Red Sox beat the livin' pook out of the Angels AGAIN and I think it's pretty clear to everyone including George (the meanest man in the world) Steinbrenner that it's going to be Boston vs Colorado for the whole enchilada this year.

That's okay by me. All I've ever said was so long as it's NOT the Yankees, who really gives a rodent's hind end....

I do. I've been wanting Colorado to win because I've got kinfolk in Colorado. I've also got a friend near Boston and she's a large Sox fan so that makes it tough. I'm not pulling for either team exactly, but I sure do like Josh Beckett. My first born knows him, sort of, and she said he's a real great guy...can't get into the details, but suffice to say he's got a lot of love in his heart for his family. May the best team win and hopefully the winner will be the best team...

I'm thinking this is going to be a very exciting baseball classic and the best team will prevail.

Now I'm going to kick back and watch the Yanks get beat. Come on Indians, make Roger earn all that dough!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Eating Out After RNY Gastric Bypass Surgery

My gosh it's not easy to eat out after the surgery. Now don't get me wrong, you can get the food and then get take home containers and even throw some of it away and walk away happy, but my query today is WHY can you get SUPERSIZED but you can't get SLENDERIZED meals everywhere?!

I've tried a couple of times to flash the little piece of paper I got from the surgeon saying how I can't eat a whole lot now and could I pretty please have a smaller portion even if I'm not under 12 and the request doesn't phase 'em. I was so happy when we went to Minute Maid and I discovered I could get a delicious BBQ meal deal from Lefty's. ONE meat portion with 2 sides and bread was $5.50, half the price of the much larger 2-meat $10.50 regular sized meal. Even at that I'd take a piece of foil and a plastic baggie to tote home most of the meat for a couple of other meals or give my "leftovers" to the nearest big guy with a hearty appetite.

When I made it a point to thank the man in charge for the ability to buy a smaller portioned meal he said that at first "they" were not crazy about the idea, but that he pointed out that all people had to do was buy one regular meal and then share it. We actually saw THREE adults share one regular meal one sunny afternoon at the ballpark.

My favorite Tex-Mex joint charges one dollar more for kids over 12 and adults for their "kid's meal" and they don't just have fried meat with fried potatoes like MOST of the kids meals you see. Subway is good now because they have a kid's meal with healthy choices and they aren't sticklers about age.

So mostly I just don't eat out much anymore. Or I'll get stuff to go so I can get it home and in the refrigerator quickly. I live in Texas and it gets mighty hot even in the winter especially in the closed up vehicles. Too hot for food to sit around without being kept cold.

All I'm asking for is the other side of the coin. If you can feed the kids less and healthier why not throw the old folks a bone too!
As the population ages I'm betting you'll see some more concessions made to help folks with smaller appetites, but I want it NOW!

Friday, October 05, 2007

How-To For YouTube to iPod Files

Thanks to my life has become so much simpler. I like some of the stuff I've seen on YouTube and wanted my own copies. You know the stuff. The stuff that might not be there next time you want to show it to someone!

So here comes my daughter riding on her white horse to my rescue because I knew how to convert the files to .flv, but I wanted something that would allow me to put those files on my iPod and she steered me to a 21 year old whiz kid from Sweden that this is what he's into...



It was easy as store bought apple pie to convert the .flv files into mp4 files and iPod love 'em!

Now I can watch my favorite TdashDub production of Attack Of The Killer Boxes anytime I want to, anywhere I happen to be!

Life is good.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

More Wildlife On The Prowl!

It's beginning to be like some kind of Twilight Zone around here. At the rate I'm going I'm thinking I should apply for a grant or something and become a wildlife preserve! Here's the latest....

When I met the deputy in my driveway I told him that Lucy had treed a RAT! Well once he shined his mega wickedly bright flashlight on the critter it was almost a rat, but not quite. Aren't his ears weird? I've never seen a possum up close like this one!

The deputy, who I call "Trouble", has been my hero on more than one occasion over the years! Thanks, Trouble, for taking that critter off my hands! Lucy might never recover. She wanted to kick some ass and there was no good end in sight. The possum couldn't get up any higher or down where he could run away. Lucy wasn't going to give up the hunt until forced to. She was jumping as high as the top of the bush the possum was in and barking like she was possessed....

Obviously the word on the bayou is that it's fun to visit my place and see the old lady jumping up and down shrieking along side the little white dog who's having conniptions in her own right! I'm better than HD TV to the creatures of the night!

Feel Better Fast Laws Aren't A Good Idea

I'm so sorry for the family and friends of Deputy Constable Jason Norling who was so tragically killed and is being buried today.

In both the Houston Comical and KHOU's report it has been said that the driver of the SUV that hit him was "thought to be using a cell phone" at the time and that has sparked an effort by the family to ban the use of cell phones while driving. That's just a feel better fast solution to a problem that has no solution if people don't have any common sense.

We already have the law that wasn't obeyed saying the driver of the SUV was suppose to slow down and give the deputy and the driver a wide berth. (A new state law requires motorists to switch lanes when they see an emergency vehicle along the side of the road. If they cannot switch lanes, they should slow down 20 miles below the speed limit. But that apparently did not happen this time, according to authorities.) Enforce THAT law please don't make another one.

Better to make it policy that people have to acknowledge the officer and then be instructed to drive to a place of safety off the highway entirely. Although, come on, there is no place of safety if it's your time to go. Now I'm the first to tell you, I don't know bean one about how to conduct a traffic stop, etc., but look more closely at the procedure and not at the millions that don't run over LEOs conducting traffic stops. People ought to have sense enough to pull over and yak on their phones without trying to do multi-tasking, but they don't. I don't. You don't. The deputy most likely didn't either. You can't stop people from taking and driving any more than you can stop them from drinking and driving. You can catch some of them and punish them, but you can't catch them all.

I hope and pray that this senseless death helps to educate some people about both the new law pertaining to emergency vehicles on the side of the roadway AND how dangerous it is to be distracted by something so easy to avoid, but no law will ever make it not happen again and again.

My biggest fear about the slow down or change lanes law is the danger of a rear end collision just trying to comply with THAT law. People, myself included, drive to fast and follow too closely and I'm pretty sure there are laws about THAT on the books too.

I apologize if this post offends anyone for any reason. I had to get it off my chest and I mean no disrespect to Deputy Norling's memory or his survivors. There's not a day that goes by that I don't worry about my friends that wear a badge and pray for their safety whether they are engaged in traffic stops or sitting behind a desk with their feet propped up OR talking on their cell phones while driving around the mean streets.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

One More Link I Like!


Who doesn't like FREE online TV!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Lucy And Ricky Together Again!

Well as you may know, my new adopted dog's name is Lucy. I tell people I named her that so that when I come home I can say "Lucy, I'm home" in my best Ricky Ricardo imitation. Well tonight RICKY came to visit with LUCY and he thought he really was home!

We were out for our walk and saw something run across the street and up my driveway and then up in my tree. At first I thought it was just a cat, but then it dawned on me that it ran "funny" for a cat. My neighbors were backing up and down in their driveway and they called out to me to be careful because it was a raccoon! When they got home it was in their driveway and ran under one of their parked cars.

It never ceases to amaze me just how much wildlife is right outside my door! No wonder Lucy cries for what I considered no good reason when we go outside at night. I figured she smelled cat tracks or even the possum that likes to poop on my porch. I had no idea a full grown raccoon was on the prowl! That thing probably weighs twice as much or more than Lucy does.

Hopefully I terrorized it enough with the flash on my camera to make it find new hunting grounds or another treetop motel. It probably scared it to death too that I was jumping around saying "sh*t, sh*t" for a good 15 minutes.

Biggio's Farewell - Favorite Photo

This guy was my kind of fan! And this is one of my favorite photos that I took Sunday, September 30, the day that Craig hung it up, cleaned out his locker and took home a piece of all of our hearts.

It was a sad day for the Astros fans, but we'll always have our memories of the way the game was played by Craig Biggio and that we were lucky to have witnessed it!