Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

It was an absolutely beautiful weekend - each day was a gem. We bought flowers, put geraniums in the cemetery, worked in the yard, just generally grooved on the start of the summer season. There was a big soccer event -huge- at the Keystone fields. We've never ever seen so many cars and people there. As a consequence, downtown was booming too - lots of foot traffic. At the marina everybody and his brother was putting in and taking out.

Memorial Gardens had all of their flags flying again this year - very inspiring. Barbie did her annual great job with the floral decorations. Dick thinks that Donald's marker needs to be replaced.

Dick is doing his usual great job of planting flowers, mowing, trimming and fertilizing! He works so hard that it makes me feel like a slug. I'm the Weak Sister of the Universe. But I'm happy to be able to be out and about to feel the sunshine and enjoy the flowers.

Since today is Memorial Day there naturally has been a lot of Iraq talk and military talk - even more than usual. Our local veterans set up a mini-cemetery of white wooden crosses in the Open Space.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Rosie and Elisabeth (You Probably Don't Care)

I freely admit that I like to watch The View. I have always enjoyed it, but especially so since Rosie joined the panel. I used to watch the Rosie O'Donnell show as often as I could, and was sad when it left the air.

I admire Rosie for her generous spirit, her love of children (all children), her loyalty to her friends, and also because I agree with her politics and she is an enthusiastic spokesperson. She's not particularly well-educated and her facts are sometimes incomplete, but her heart is in the right place and she's not afraid to stand up for what she believes.

E.H. is also on the panel. She impresses me as being an ill-informed Republican lackey. She is gullible and susceptible to all of the fear talk that comes from the White House. It's alarming to me that it seems she actually believes the outrageous things that she says. The fear she feels is palpable...she sees a terrorist behind every bush (so to speak). She supports whatever comes out of W's mouth. It's not even believable to me that she can do that. When she gets into a heated conversation it's obvious that she is very earnest in her statements. It's also obvious that she parrots everything from the White House and from Fox News.

Wednesday R & E got into a heated argument about terrorism, our troops, and Iraq. It was scary to watch how angry they were with each other - they were both close to coming to blows or to tears. I felt a little depressed all day because of it - hate to admit that I was that affected by their argument.

Here's an article explaining what happened:

A couple of the comments at the end of the article explain how I feel better than I can verbalize:
Posted By: kathypsf1 | May 24 2007 at 09:22 PM

Tigerz, the easy answer would have been to conduct the war where it began - in Afghanistan. I can't believe we as a country do not even get what the real issue is here. Osama bin Laden was not in Iraq, and he is not in Iraq. Afghanistan gets worse by the day because Bush missed the boat by being an idiot and sending troops to Iraq instead of conducting a full scale campaign in Afghanistan and the border of Pakistan and has completely neglected the true seat of terrorism. He has so misled and misconducted this whole war on terrorism and has instead created a huge and undoable mess. It has nothing to do with isolationism. People just can't support a complete blunder like this.

Posted By: biggy | May 25 2007 at 12:42 AM

In case you don't started back when Elizabeth was asked to speak at the Republican Convention (their way to get back at the very "Liberal" opinionated show called the View.) It was, I felt, a way the Republicans could "stir it all up". Now Elizabeth feels obligated even more after the White House dinner invite with the Queen. Let's face it, we invaded a country that is not one that had WMD, we've destroyed their country, and most importantly, made the terrorists more mad than they were to begin with. Deep down I believe Elizabeth feels this way but can't get out from under the position they have put her in.

Posted By: mugwomp | May 25 2007 at 02:08 AM

Yeah, pretty comical Trump couldn't resist keeping his fat trap shut on this one. He insulted both of them, (class act, that guy) anything for publicity for whatever b.s. he was doing yesterday. Elizabeth is typical of the kind of American who believes what she's told, obeys, and if you think for yourself, you're a commie. People like her scare me.

OK, that's enough. I could go on forever. For what it's worth (not much) Donald Trump called Elisabeth the dumbest person on TV.

OK - once again - that's enough!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Shelly's Wedding Day

Before the festivities, we met at Scot's for dinner with some of the out-of-towners
- John, Sharon, Doug, Odette, Tom, Kevin, Amy, and Derek. It was great
- we had a nice view of the harbor - and the food is always good at
Scot's. At the end we were surprised because Sharon and John picked up
the tab for everyone! What a special treat - thanks John and Sharon! It
was splendid.

The wedding was a private ceremony at Shelly's
house with only immediate family there. There wasn't a best man or a
bridesmaid, but there were three adorable flower girls. The reception
was for all of us - and what a great party it was!

Tom was here from San Diego, Kevin and Amy came from Phoenix, Derek from
Minneapolis, Dave and Beth from Indiana, and Doug,Odette,Roger and
Megan from Rochester Hills, John and Sharon from Lansing - and of course Peter and Melissa from Kalamazoo.

The DJ was great (I love that country music), the dancing was such fun to watch, and the company was outstanding. Lauren and Fay really got into the spirit of things on the dance floor - I enjoyed watching them almost more than anything. The report was that when Lauren (pre-school) was put to bed she said, "I could have danced
all night long!" Brooke, Autumn and Lydia were dancing up a storm too -
those children really had a good time.

I especially enjoyed talking to Odette, Adam, Peter, Kevin and all of the Steigers at our table and the neighboring table - which was also full of Steigers.

Shelly and Chris seemed to be having a great time - as time went by, Chris took off his white shirt, and underneath was wearing a shirt that said "Under New Ownership". It cracked us up.

There was an after-glow at Shelly's and Tom went over there - I think it was 2:30 when John brought him home.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Petoskey Run

It was a yucky day for doing anything outside - cold, misty, damp and gray. Our plans were to meet Tim and Susie near Petoskey, do some caches, and then visit Don in the Hospital. So what did we do? Press on regardless! Off we went through the mist, and everything went off just as planned, and it was a bunch of fun. We had a ton of enjoyment and a lot of laughs, and only one DNF (did not find).

Don should be home by now - they were planning on discharging him today. I hope they sent him home with good pain meds. He seemed to be in good spirits.

After a great lunch at the Mitchell Street Pub, we tried some more caches and had some success - but this was certainly our day to run into muggles. Who would think so on such a wet day?

This is the log that Dick wrote when we got home - it's a hoot:
5/16/2007 You found Bear River (Traditional Cache)

On a cold (42°) misty, rainy day, we teamed with the Dino Duo on a Capt. Bud rescue mission. We had been notified by the First Mate that the Captain was imprisoned with out proper sustenance in the Petoskey Hospital. Although spinal surgery left him with some discomfort, being deprived of his namesake nourishment had put him in excruciating pain that even the most potent of pharmaceuticals could not numb. We ramped up for our mission by acquiring this and a few other caches and then assaulted the Hospital grounds. Our appearance had an almost immediate effect because a physician appeared to consult with the Capt. and agreed that plain H2O was not having the desired effect and, after agreeing that he should be released forthwith, began to prepare the discharge orders.

Our successful rescue team followed his instructions to proceed to his favorite Pub and hoist a Bud on his behalf. We did as ordered and the only fact that kept this from being a completely successful mission was that the waitress, extremely cooperative in all other ways, refused to place the libations on the Capt's tab.

Petoskey is a truly beautiful city with many amenities, and a wonderful waterfront/park area. The road construction made navigating around downtown a little difficult, but I have to give the people of Petoskey credit for creating an impressive town.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Day in May

This morning we closed out Mother's accounts and split up the funds - sent cashier's checks to Jim. It was kind of a bittersweet transaction.

We had lunch at Bubba's - it was excellent. I love that place.

The cherry blossoms are adrift out on the peninsula. It was the perfect day to go for a drive. It was so scenic - try to visualize bright blue sky, white, white blossoms, fields of bright yellow dandelions under the trees in the orchards - what a gorgeous sight.

We even stopped at Bardon's for a Wonder Freeze on the way home. It really has been a most excellent day.

Today's headlines according to MSN:
News Navigation As of 4:26 p.m. EDT
• Iraqi president says U.S. troops should stay
• Cheney warns Iran to keep sea lanes open
• Graduation bittersweet for Va. Tech families
• Taliban releases French aid worker kidnapped in Afghanistan
• Record number of U.S. foreclosures lures opportunists
• U.S. postal rates set to rise as 'forever' stamp goes on sale
• Work begins on Brad Pitt-backed New Orleans homes

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Clean Screens

My cold is improving. Thanks to Dick and neighbor Tom I contacted the clinic and got some good meds. Dick is busy washing all of the screens and windows.

As of 5:09 a.m. EDT • Suicide truck bomber kills 19 in Iraq
• Wildfire burns in middle of Los Angeles
• Cheney makes unannounced visit to Iraq
• Store clerk tip key to Fort Dix plot
• Fidelity brokers fined for misleading U.S. military personnel
• 'Encyclopedia of Life' to list all 1.8 million species
• 'Axis of Evil' comics get laughs during time of war

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Dylan's Movies

I finally figured out how to put Dylan's digital movies on the blog! Dick suggested YouTube, and the first time I tried that I couldn't make it work. But today I got lucky, and here is my favorite movie from the cruise - this was in Belize at lunch after visiting the Mayan Ruins. The special effects are by Dylan - what I really enjoy is the conversation and the live marimba music:







Sunday, May 06, 2007

Royal Visit

Visit of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen was in Virginia this week to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown by English settlers. We've visited Jamestown, and we saw how tenuous their hold was on life in the New World. Everybody knows about the hardships they faced and the death and disappearance of the whole settlement.
This current English settlement anniversary reminded me of the Randy Newman song about the Great Nations of Europe, and how they ravaged the native populations through conflict and disease:

Great Nations of Europe

The Great Nations of Europe
Had gathered on the shore.
They'd conquered what was behind them
And now they wanted more.
So they looked to the mighty ocean
And took to the western sea
The great nations of Europe in the sixteenth century.

Hide your wives and daughters,
Hide the groceries too,
Great nations of Europe coming through.

The Grand Canary Islands
First land to which they came.
They slaughtered all the canaries
Which gave the land its name.
There were natives there called Guanches
Guanches by the score.
Bullets, disease, the Portuguese,
And they weren't there anymore.

Now they're gone, they're gone, they're really gone.
You've never seen anyone so gone.
Some pictures in a museum,
Some lines written in a book.
But you won't find a live one no matter where you look.

Hide your wives and daughters,
Hide the groceries too,
Great nations of Europe coming through.

Columbus sailed for India,
Found Salvador instead.
He shook hands with some Indians
And soon they all were dead.
They got TB and typhoid and athlete's foot
Diphtheria and the flu.
Excuse me - Great nations coming through.

Balboa found the Pacific
And on the trail one day
He met some friendly Indians
Whom he was told were gay
So he had them torn apart by dogs
On religious grounds they say.
The great nations of Europe were quite holy in their way.

Now they're gone, they're gone, they're really gone,
You've never seen anyone so gone.
Some bones hidden in a canyon,
Some paintings in a cave.
There's no use trying to save them
There's nothing left to save.

Hide your wives and daughters,
Hide your sons as well.
With the great nations of Europe you never can tell.

From where you and I are standing
At the end of a century
Europes have sprung up everywhere as even I can see
But there on the horizon is a possibility -
Some bug from out of Africa might come for you and me,
Destroying everything in its path
From sea to shining sea.
Like the great nations of Europe
In the sixteenth century.

I know that Randy got the century wrong - but I think it's a most profound statement on the effects of colonialism and imperialism.