Tuesday, March 29, 2011


We are headed to Vegas on Thursday to help our daughter move to her new place.  There are some things we promised to bring over so I spent an hour or two loading the truck.  The hardest part is tying everything so it won't get bounced around.  The second hardest part is crawling around in the back of the truck on my hands and knees!  Let me tell you, knees aren't made for crawling after sixty. 

President Obama finally came out and talked about Libya.  He is being criticized for it being an incomplete plan and I'm reasonably certain he'd rather have a better plan as well.  He is certainly painstakingly thorough when he has the time.  I've read that the Brits helped make up his mind to participate in the no-fly attacks.  In this case I guess I'm ok with the attack.  Having a U.N. resolution behind the action makes me a LOT happier than going off on our own as we did under GWB. 

Politico.com had this to say:  (His careful response)" is part of his DNA — a response to the grand strategic hopes that accompanied the Iraq invasion and, indeed, a return to his first foray into foreign policy: his little-noticed, later crucial, 2002 opposition to the Iraq war. “I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars,” he said at the time, and he and his aides Monday sought to make the case that in a careful analysis, the war over Libya is worth it."

“I’ve made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies and our core interests,” he said. If there is any semblance of an Obama doctrine, it is that a president who clearly sees force as a last resort will nonetheless use it, but only after deep reflection and only under circumstances that he feels give him no other choice; it is a doctrine that makes sure above all that one size never fits all.

One of the things that isn't being emphasized enough in the press is that the Arab League supported intervention in Libya.  I cannot tell you how important that is to me and I hope to the world.  As an atheist I dislike and fear all religions.  Magnificent things have been done in the name of religion but so have awful things.  There are plenty of examples in the past but you hardly have to go there.  Just look in your newspaper; if Israel or Palestine is mentioned there is probably a death or deaths being reported.  What do you think the war in Iraq is all about?  (Aside from greed and stupidity!)

If I believed in anything or anyone, I'd be praying for a swift end to all this; including Iraq and Afghanistan(!) but I've no one to turn to except my fellow human beings.  But I think we are unpredictable and unreliable, especially when money ("oil that is, Texas Tea") in involved. 

Here's to peace; it's not just for holidays.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Just Doing....

On our last trip to California, I misjudged a service station entrance and bent the rear stabilizing jacks on the trailer.  Bought new ones about two weeks ago but it wasn't until this morning I installed them.  I just used the original self-tapping screws so it wasn't too tough. 

We also had the carpets in the house cleaned this morning.  Now that guy earns his money!  It's hard work bending over using that machine.  Moving all the furniture off the carpet is almost as tough though.  We'll probably spent part of tomorrow putting it all back.  (Oh my aching back also!) 

Finally we have an electrician coming in this afternoon to install a new switch for a light.  I guess I could do something that simple but we weren't sure what was wrong.  Sometimes the switch would almost work; other times nothing at all.  We had this guy out last week to replace a couple circuit breakers and he figured out that time what was wrong.  I figure it's only fair to let him replace it.  These days it's tougher than usual for these small business folks to make a dollar.

Gotta go.  I'm doing well working on the trailer.  There's always more!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Just Do It!

Wandering around other people's blogs is always interesting.  One of my favorites is Because We Can.  I started reading them because they were traveling around Europe; not exactly backpacking but pretty close.  Come to find out that they are full-time rv travelers when they are here in the U.S.  Then they traveled to Alaska which is one of my aspirations so I've just kept reading about their travels. The other day they linked to another site where the guy was exhorting people to 'just do it'.

It's a good philosophy.  Too often I get an idea for a great project then somehow it either never gets started or else it gets abandoned part way through.  For example, I want to redesign the way I store things in the back of our truck when we travel.  I've got half a dozen pencil sketches around but haven't completed the design; haven't bought any wood; haven't done anything.  Grrrr!  This is NOT the way to be a happy camper.  We've been talking about traveling in June; now my wife is suggesting maybe we should go earlier in May.  That is when I was going to be building this contraption; so I'm going to have to get with it soon!

So I'm going to just do it.  Tomorrow!  LOL  Have a good one.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


We are hoping that spring is finally here.  I've managed to run errands this afternoon with no coat; now if it will just keep being nice!  We have family from the Northwest visiting in a week so we need nice weather.  Being cooped up in the house for a week doesn't even sound like fun.

To make Spring official, we planted our garden last week.  It's not exactly a big deal:  the vegies are one jalapeno plant and one tomato plant.  That's one pot.  The other pot has basil, thyme and parsley.  The theory is that we'll be able to cart the plants along with us when we travel next summer.  That should be pretty funny!  I predict dirt all over the place.

One of the benefits of living here is that you get to see all kinds of individuals trying hard to be different.  Today I saw a nice normal, quite new, van with a homemade rack on the top.  The strange thing is that the rack was made of ordinary iron pipe bolted to the roof.  Can you spell 'ugly'?  Attached to one corner was a battery box with a wire led down into the vehicle.  Heaven only knows what that's all about.  There was no solar panel so that battery is going to get flat pretty quickly if there is a load on it.

One of our elected officials managed to get noticed again.  This time it's a woman who sent out a bunch of emails to various people including the Sheriff.  In the email she said she was frightened of the Latino men doing some construction next door to her office and asked that their immigration status be checked.  She had more of a racist rant but that was the basic deal.  Needless to say, people are ticked off.  Of course, the next day the construction companies posted memos on her door explaining that all of their workers are either US citizens or legal immigrants.  Our county, like the country as a whole, is about 16% Latino.  This woman was just elected in November so can't be recalled until next summer but someone is already starting a recall campaign.  I swear, these people are all crazy out here.  I'm just hoping that it's not catching.  Or at least that I have a good time & don't hurt anyone.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ah yes, local officials......

We now have proof that Pahrump doesn't have a lock on corrupt District Attorneys, Las Vegas managed to arrest one of their guys on cocaine possession.  Link here.  Make me feel much better knowing that the guy who takes care of all the high-profile drug cases knows exactly what is going on.

Now all I have to complain about is the weather.  It's below normal; it even froze the water in our new bird bath last night.  It was only a very thin layer but cold is cold!  High today should be around 60F (15C).  Even my wife is complaining that the winter has seemed longer this year.  The weather map is showing more storms coming in from the Pacific so we've got another week or more of overcast and the slight possibility of rain.

I've been wondering how the markets are treating Japanese companies & funds.  I used to own Mathews Japan Fund (MJFOX); I sold it because it was just gradually declining.  As it turns out , it is down about 10% from last January but I don't think that's bad considering!  Toyota is down from it's February highs but about the same as last January.  People and markets are being remarkably calm I think.  Good news!

Gotta go.  Have a good one.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fits and Starts

I find I often work in fits and starts.  The garage will obsess me for a few days, then I won't go near the place for weeks.  I'll be reading nothing on the internet except investing information; then I'll stop completely.  I'll visit about a hundred blogs; then ignore them.  You get the idea.  Are other people like that?  Are you?  Or am I as strange in this as I am in various other things?

Does anyone do programming for pc's any more?  Back about a thousand years ago I had a Pascal compiler for my pc.  (Well, the late 80's anyway.)  I wrote some neat little programs for that thing.  I'm going to see if I can't find another one.  HTML is interesting but I'm not sure it will do the things I'm looking at doing.  I guess that shows the depth of my ignorance of newer languages.  Hell, I even gave away my HTML book when we left Florida.  Guess I'll be checking out the library.

We did finally get a bird bath to go with the feeder. It doesn't seem to popular at the moment but the birds seem to take a few days to get used to things.  We decided to go with a conventional bath rather than a solar powered job for two reasons:  money and weight.  This one was under $40 AND heavy.  Even so it wobbles a bit in the wind gusts.  If I get wild and crazy I'll add a pump-solar cell arrangement later.  So far I think it scares more birds off than it attracts.

Talked to some folks having a garage sale today.  Boy, were they depressing.  They are certain that the world is in the hands of some group who are trying to end the world as we know it.  People start off on a rant about President Obama; I'm just not going to argue with them.  I agree he's screwed up some things but he inherited a huge pile of shit from Presidents Bush, Clinton & the rest going back at least 40 years.  Anyway, living here it's easy to laugh off any criticism of  the national government; I just point out that our local government is so lousy that I don't have time to worry about the nation.  It's not true that I don't worry, of course, but almost everyone will agree about our local pols!

Guess I'll go watch the news and get completely depressed.  Hope you are having a good one.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Obsessed with Japan

The news is rightly obsessed with Japan these days.  The news is so terribly tragic and it just seems to get worse.  I can only watch a certain amount.  Then there is Libya; another disaster.   So... I'm just hanging around trying to avoid the news. 

This dove was just checking out the world from the top of the hummingbird feeder.  It's a warm, peaceful place for him right now.  Hope you are having a good one.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fantastic morning here - tragic in Japan

We've got high little clouds yesterday morning and a lovely sunrise.  Had to share it!

But the news from Japan this morning is so horrific.  My heart goes out to all the people affected by the earthquake and the tsunami. 

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Getting nice

We are gradually warming up around here; highs are in the low 70's F (22C).  Nice stuff.  Unfortunately the weed seeds that have been hanging around since last year are turning into growing plants!  Grrr!  Ordinarily I like having our acre lot (about .4 hectare) but about this time I'm hating it.  Last year we bought $100 worth of weedkiller so now I've got to apply the darned stuff!  I can only do about a third of the yard at a time.  Bending over with the sprayer and trying to walk a straight line and not get the gunk all over me is hard.  I wish there was some other answer but I haven't figured it out.

Other than the weeds, life is good.  Our bird feeder is doing it's job.
They go through about three-fourths of the feeder every day.  Good thing bird feed is reasonably priced!

Our daughter is buying her first new house so we are trying to help her make good decisions.  It's interesting all the homeowner things that are all new for her.  From buying dishes to buying a garage door opener, it's all new to her.  Happily we've done this lots of times so we can offer 'expert' opinion.  She bought a cute little house and will be closing at the end of the month.  Our housewarming presents are going to be things like fire extinguishers, alarm systems & stepladders.  Things that most apartment dwellers don't consider requirements.

I went to an old-fashioned estate auction earlier this a.m.  And I thought I had a lot of stuff!  LOL  This person had at least one of every size channel lock plier made; five or six sets of screwdrivers; air compressors; welding equipment; at least four tool chests; sets of wrenches that were still in their original packaging.  Jeez!  A mechanic/pack rat.  They also had three 1950's era cars in various states of repair.  Very interesting but after an hour or so I just had to leave.  My casual interest wasn't enough to keep me standing out in the sun for the rest of the afternoon.  I was kind of interested in an old riding lawn mower that they had but it was going to be way late in the afternoon before they got to it.  Nope, I had to just say 'no'.

Here's a site I really love.  http://www.vpike.com/  shows you Google maps and photos of almost any place you can imagine.  Try it, you might like it.  Take care!