The $27,000 Phone Bill

I know that a lot of NFL football fans will go to any lengths to keep up with their beloved team, whether it be the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers or, in this case, the Chicago Bears. Wayne Burdick [Article Link] was about to embark on a cruise to the Caribbean when he decided to watch the Chicago Bears – Detroit Lions (alleged football team) play on his laptop(internet connection to his slingbox device). His cruise ship was still in port while he watched the three hour game, according to the news article. That was all well and good. He finished watching the game, turned off his laptop and enjoyed the cruise.

When he came home, he had a bill from "AT and T." Imagine his “shock and awe” when he discovered the bill was for $27,788.93!!! It appears "AT and T" thought that international roaming charges were applicable even though his ship was still in port. Of course, Mr. Burdick wasn't going to pay that ridiculous amount which was roughly about $9,300 an hour!!! I'm as big a college football fan you will meet. But, no way I would even think about paying a fraction of that amount!. I don't particularly care for the pro game. Anyway, Mr. Burdick finally got the nearly bankrupt "AT and T" to understand that the international charges could not apply since he was in port and not in international waters. I can't even imagine how upset he must have been. I get upset if I feel I've been slighted a few cents. $27,000? They might as well bury me. .


President Obama's Citizenship

I've got to say this issue of President Obama's legitimacy as President of the United States is disconcerting at least. It is a constitutional matter at worst. I remarked in an earlier blog entry this issue should have been dealt with BEFORE the national election in November. Now, that their guy didn't win, they want to change things. Let me state right now, I have no love for President Obama. He represents all that I am against; big government, out of control spending, high taxes, pro-abortion, pro-illegal immigration and on and on. So, I am certainly not among the cult members who hold this man in high regard. If he runs for president again, I most likely will vote against him again.

Having said this, this article [article link] about a second soldier in Iraq challenging President Obama's legitimacy as president is something that causes worry. Scott Easterling, the soldier who has filed the lawsuit, said "Until Mr. Obama releases a 'vault copy' of his original birth certificate for public review, I will consider him neither my Commander in Chief nor my President, but rather, a usurper to the Office – an impostor.” The issue seems to be if President Obama was born in Hawaii and WHEN he was born. Why the hell weren't these questions asked BEFORE the damn election?!?!? There are several examples of private citizens who have also expressed doubts about the citizenship status of President Obama by filing lawsuits. It seems that many believe that President Obama has yet to provide a valid birth certificate. I simply find that hard to believe. Surely, people have to recognize that at least one case will be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court. If that happens, President Obama will be required to provide his birth certificate (on the assumption he has not already done so). I can not believe the Obama Administration would let this “issue” get to that point. Provide a valid original birth certificate and let's move on.

The big worry to me, as this article linked hints at, is that US soldiers may not obey a man they have questions about concerning his legitimacy as President. I can't tell you how disturbing that is to me. That would be the breeding ground for a military coup. The U.S. Constitution would disappear overnight. Don't laugh, it came perilously close to happening in 1962. Being a veteran of Vietnam, I know soldiers, sailors have to follow orders from their Commander in Chief. But, what if they have questions about the man occupying the Oval Office? Will they follow orders? This is a minor blip on the radar screen right now. But, so was a botched breaking and entering at a hotel in the early 70s that led to the downfall of a sitting U.S. President. The Obama Administration needs to settle this quickly before it snowballs out of control. So far, their answer has been to ignore it. That may or may not be the best tact to take. But, I've got to believe these people, who think he is not a legitimate president, are not going to quit.


Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun!

There are a number of different spots in this video of dogs just having the time of their lives. Some are hard to believe. Some are a bit on the edge. But, it is an overall enjoyable video. Enjoy!


Tuesday's Rambling Thoughts – February 24, 2008

Like so many other people right now, I have decided to refinance my home mortgage. My current interest rate is 6.25%. I am very confident I will get it lowered significantly. I say this especially in light of the “Stimulus Bill” that President Obama has signed into law. I have mixed emotions about taking part in this. On one hand, I feel guilty because children that are not even conceived in the womb will be paying for this. But, on the other hand, I would feel like a fool if I don't take advantage of interest rates that could lower my mortgage payment significantly in the years a head. Not to mention how much of a savings in interest this will be. I don't see how President Obama can cut the deficit by 2/3 by 2013, as he has stated. Not with the trillions of dollars that are being spent now. But, they are just smarter than I am, I guess. I just don't see it.

After prices rose for the past couple of weeks, I am seeing gas prices drop back down to the level they were about a month ago. I got gas yesterday for $1.57/gallon. Last week gas prices were $1.84/gallon. That is a significant decrease. It had to happen. The price of a barrel of oil continues to drop. I have read where many think it will bottom out at $25.00/barrel. Last year, at this time, that would have been unimaginable. Last year, with the gas shortages, many were predicting $12,00/gallon price of gas. Some in Florida were actually paying $8.00/gallon. There was no way the economy could sustain that kind of price for gasoline. I think the economy will slightly rebound in my amateurish opinion. But, I don't see it happening this year. This is the worst recession (or depression, if you prefer) in my lifetime. And I have always thought the one that lasted a couple of years in the early 80s was as bad as it gets. I was wrong.

Here, in Mobile, AL, it is Fat Tuesday. This is the last day of Mardi Gras. Thank God. I know it is a lot of fun for the kids and young adults also. But, on average, there is one person killed every Mardi Gras. I have not heard of one as yet. But, there is still time for this unfortunate fact to occur. I enjoyed Mardi Gras at one time myself. So, I can't complain about others enjoying in their youth. But, looking back on it now, I try to figure out what was so much fun about it. It never failed that fights would break out. Usually it was over Mardi Gras beads that merchants give away and rock candy that is sold $.50/lb. I just could not deal with it now. But, I'm happy for those that still enjoy it. I'm just thankful it comes once a year.

Finally, I have been searching for a new yard man since the one from last year has moved on to better things. I have hired this 14 year old boy to do it. I have reservations about a kid mowing my lawn. I told him this very fact. He has promised me he would do a good job. And, if I was not pleased with the work, there would be no charge. I was a bit stunned to see such a business-like attitude by someone this young. Of course, I would pay him no matter what. My lawn does not need mowing as yet. But, the leaves were all over the place. This young man did a far better job of getting them up than the previous guy. He did such a good job, I gave him an extra five dollars. He would not accept it. The young fellow said we agreed on $50.00. I think he has a fine future a head of him.


An Instant in Time

Saturday, I went to the local Steak 'n Shake. Rather than go to the drive-up, which is customary for me, I decided to go inside. There was a line of people, I guess about 5 people in front of me. I was thinking coming inside was not such a good idea after all.

As I was waiting, I noticed this stranger glancing at me on at least two different occasions. I didn't think nothing of it at the time. I was just trying to figure out what came over me to want to come inside when I could have already gone through the drive-up. But, when this guy looked at me a third time, I realized this was not a "stranger" at all. He finally came up to me and asked if I was David Weldy. I told him yes...yes I am. Before he even identified himself, I knew right away to whom I was speaking.

I'll just refer to him as "Dan" since I do know some locals do read my blog. "Dan" and I used to go to the same church back in the early 90s. In fact, we both ushered together every other Sunday when our names came up. I always thought he was a nice, friendly guy. I remember he had a wife and two small girls. From all reports, he was and, probably still is, a good guy. Dan got caught up in one of life's episodes where you spend the rest of your life wishing you had it to do over again. Many times in my life things have happened to me that I wish I could do over again. I suppose many or most people can say that. But, in Dan's case, it went to a much higher level. You see, Dan's lapse of good judgment cost the life of a 8 year old girl back in 1993.

Dan was in a hurry one morning, in 1993, to get to work. He had been late to the office twice that week and knew he would be in trouble if he was late a third time in one week. It was a school morning, which meant school buses were picking up children at bus stops. This was happening all over the country that morning, just as it is any early March morning. As is law in the state of Alabama, all traffic must come to an immediate halt when a school bus pops out the STOP flag. That means traffic in both directions, two lanes, four lanes or whatever, MUST stop. As I said, Dan was in a hurry and was impatient. The school bus was taking too long. Dan saw that children from both sides of the bus had gotten on and were seated. Yet, the school bus still had the STOP flag out and was not moving. Dan, in an instant in time, without thinking things through, abruptly changed his life forever. Not willing to wait another second, Dan pulled around to the left of the car in front of him and was speeding down the other lane of the two lane road. What Dan did not know, was that the bus driver was waiting on young "Melissa" to catch up with the bus that morning. Dan could not see her as she was running to cross that lane he was speeding down. He saw her too late when she emerged past the tree that blocked his view. He hit her going 35MPH. Melissa was killed instantly.

Dan was charged with involuntary manslaughter. He was found guilty and served 3 years of a 5 year sentence in prison. His wife divorced him while he was in prison and moved to Texas with their two small daughters. He, of course, lost a high paying banking investment job which was well paying (now...not so much) at the time. Now, Dan told me he does landscaping when he can get the work. It was the first time I have seen him in 15 years. He is a broken man, as you can imagine.

As I said, Dan is or was a good man. He had a momentary lapse of judgment that cost the life of a child, a child that never had a chance to have boyfriends, go to the prom or go to college. It caused the father of that child to commit suicide in 1995. So many people were affected by that brief instant when an otherwise normal person did something stupid. Dan said goodbye to me and I wished him well. I could see that although Dan still is living.....he has lost his life as well.


"A Nation of Cowards"

The subject line is how Attorney General Eric Holder described [article link]Americans in a speech to Justice Department employees. He said this is in response to February being Black History Month. Attorney General Holder went on to say that average Americans do not talk to each other about race, that there are "unresolved racial issues" not discussed. Holder went on to complain about our being "segregated" on weekends and in our private lives.

I'm not going to lose any sleep over this kind of comment from someone who is supposedly the nation's highest ranking law enforcement officer. It is obvious he was referring to "white America," the same "white America" that just three months ago voted in the first African-American President of the United States. So, I am quite curious what "unresolved racial issues" Mr. Holder was referring to. Is it the Affirmative Action "racial issue" that gives precedence due to skin color? Is it about having an entire month dedicated to one people based on their race color and ethnicity? Are these the "unresolved racial issues" Mr. Holder so painfully cried about to his employees? Or is it an unresolved issue of never having an African-American as Attorney General of the United States? Oh wait...that's already been laid to rest also! As to "segregation" on weekends and private lives; Mr. Holder may not understand, but as an American citizen I can spend my private time in any manner I wish as long as it doesn't break any law. But, I'm not going to take responsibility of some vague and generalized "racial issues" that Mr. Holder didn't even elaborate about. Fact is, there is little in the way of "unresolved racial issues" in this country in 2009. This is a fallacy perpetrated by the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of the world. I am sad to see our Attorney General fall in with this fine twosome.

Since Attorney General Holder was so indescript about the "unresolved racial issues," I have to ponder if it was deliberate on his part. Maybe it was to make points with his new employees. Or maybe it was just to pander to the leftist mentality of the Obama Administration. That being the case, one has to wonder who the real coward is, Mr. Holder.


When a Lie is Not a Lie?

You ever hear tell of someone who lies so much until he or she starts believing their own lies? Apparently, that is the case with Herman Rosenblat [article link] who had claimed he met his wife at the notorious Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald. He waxed eloquently how his wife sneaked apples and bread to him so he could survive. Only thing about it, it was a flat out lie intended to publish a book (Angel at the Fence...which was pulled before it could be published) and, most likely, a lucrative movie deal netting him millions more. You'd think Mr. Rosenblat would be humble and contrite after being revealed for being the liar he is. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Rosenblat said on the "Good Morning America" show that he had "no regrets about the lie and would do it again if given the chance." This guy even appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Even though the suddenly political Oprah criticized Rosenblat, his story is still listed as the first example of "Love Lessons from Amazing Couples." So, basically, Oprah is promoting a known liar for love lessons. And the very first example at that! To me, that speaks volumes about Oprah. As for Rosenblat, he stated that he believes his own lie. In fact, he now believes it happened. I think Mr. Rosenblat, in a way, dishonors the memory of the people who perished through the holocaust with this story. He was trying to make money off of this tragedy in world history. That should be enough for the Oprahs and GMA hosts to trash him mercilessly. Yet, outside of a few sarcastic remarks, not much in the way of ridicule was heaped on this charlatan. And that's a sad commentary on the news media.


Matrix Revisited: Puppies versus Cat!

This is one of the more funny videos out there. If you have seen any of the Matrix movies, with Keanu Reeves, you'll understand the significance of the almost identical puppies in hot pursuit of "Mr. Anderson." Enjoy!

(turn UP your speakers!)


Tuesday's Rambling Thoughts – February 17, 2009

There is more evidence this powerful recession is hurting my hometown. Goody's Family Clothing store is going out of business. I didn't know until yesterday the chain had filed bankruptcy. I have been there many times and gotten some really good deals on blue jeans, shoes and so forth. I think what contributed to Goody's woes is that they are adjacent to Wal-Mart. But, prior to this year, they always seemed to do well. There are two other locally owned businesses that have also put up their going out of business signs. Also, there are four gas stations within two miles of my home that have shut down. You know things are bad when gas stations are shutting down. President Obama better hope his Stimulus Bill works. The stimulus package that “W” pushed through was said to be “urgent” also. Funny thing, the Presidents' Stimulus package didn't seem so urgent after it was passed. He took a weekend visit to his Chicago home.

The Heimlich maneuver came into play at Cracker Barrel last Friday. A man apparently got choked on a piece of chicken. I noticed he grabbed his throat, and stood up gasping for breath. A woman behind him performed the Heimlich maneuver on him, out pops the chicken. I never saw someone turn that red in the face. An ambulance came and took him to the hospital anyway since he complained of feeling faint.

What little winter weather we have, is about to leave. Living here on the gulf coast, we really only experience about 4-6 weeks of winter. There are times when we have temperatures drop down into the teens. But, that is usually at night. During the daytime, it is rare, extremely rare for temperatures not to climb back, at least, into the 50s. I simply don't know how people can co-exist with snow and ice 3-5 months a year. Of course, people up north probably can't figure out how we co-exist with the threat of hurricanes six months a year. I'm starting to try and figure that one out myself. I am really tired of worrying about hurricanes.

Finally, I am happy to report that a neighbor's son has come back home safely after being deployed to Iraq for about nine months. His detachment was no longer needed in Iraq. The majority of his detachment was heading for Afghanistan after going home for about a month. I made a post about this last year [story of faith]. I watched him leaving as his mother cried. Matthew, my neighbor's son, has finished his time in the U.S.Army. He was pushed to reenlist, which he declined. He refuses to discuss what transpired during his time in Iraq. I tactfully suggested to his family they not ask him about it. I know from personal experience, it's best to let someone discuss combat on their on time and their own terms. I'm just glad the boy made it back home safely in the loving arms of his mom.


Unemployment: Good For You?

I like to read over news items during the weekend as I relax in my easy chair with my laptop. Sometimes, I see a story that defies all logic or explanation. Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, stated in The London Times that losing your job [article link] is “good for you.” His rationale was that people need to get off the treadmill of life and explore what their life really means. He further stated that he didn't know who he sympathized with most; those that lost their jobs or those that had their jobs but carried bigger work loads because of downsizing. There isn't much I can add to that last comment.

This tells me that the good Bishop of London has lost all touch with the working people of London. I daresay if he asked his parishioners if losing their jobs was a good thing, they would very quickly enlighten him as to how difficult it is to feed a family without an income. Or to pay bills. Or to pay tithe to a church. Just when you think you have read or heard it all, someone without an iota of life experiences says something this idiotic. People don't know where their next meal is coming from these days. People don't know how they will pay the mortgage or send their kids to school. You have people like Bishop Chartres making ludicrous comments about losing your job being in your best interest. I'm curious of the Richard Chartres thinks losing his position as Bishop of London would be good for him. Maybe he should resign in sympathy to those that have no idea of how they will have an income over the next few months. Somehow, I don't think the good Bishop will do that.


S. African TV Station Announces George W. Bush Dead

A South African TV station mistakenly broadcast [article link] that former President George W. Bush died Wednesday. The TV station had a moving banner that ran across the screen informing viewers of this astonishing news. ETV News later said it was all a mistake. Someone had "pressed the wrong button." I'm not sure how something like that can happen unless you already have a story like that wrote up. That, in and of itself, is terrible. I still don't see how it can happen unless something somewhere was already wrote up. But, what happened afterward was appalling.

Just minutes after the news was broadcast, jubilation ensued in the streets of the state capital, Pretoria, tens of thousands marched, began to sing, some openly wept in joy. In Johannesburg over 750,000 people were shooting off fireworks in celebration and joy over the "death" of President Bush. I can't put into words how disgusting I find this. I find myself in the uncomfortable and unpleasant position of defending "W" who I have continually chastised on this blog since it's inception. But, in this case, it's a no-brainer. Why the hatred for W? Joy over his death? George Bush no longer has any power. He is a private citizen of the United States now. And, what did W ever do to South Africa? He declared open warfare on America's enemies after 911. In this case, it is the only shining moment of his failed presidency. This country was not attacked after 911. That is his legacy insofar as success. But, the raw hatred that was on display in the cities of South Africa is puzzling. And stupid as hell. Maybe a deeper analysis would reveal just hatred for all things American in this "celebration."

Over 60 million Americans voted for President Obama. The socialists in the US and around the world applauded. All the people who believe in big government got what they wanted in last year's election. But, the continued hatred for George W. Bush is mystifying to me. You see it everyday in the news from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Now, we are seeing it from a simple "mistake" made by a TV station in South Africa. The people of that nation need to reflect on what is really important in their lives. To quote Chuck Palahniuk, “When we don't know who to hate, we hate ourselves.” Basically, that is what these "citizens" of South Africa have next on their hate agenda.


Dolphin Suicide

A report [article link] Tuesday that dolphins beached themselves by the "hundreds" in Manilla Bay, The Philippines. Officials are estimating at least 200 dolphins have beached themselves near the towns of Pilar and Abucay. Officials say that this is usually a sign of a underwater disturbance such as an underwater earthquake. They become disoriented and can't get their bearings, Philippine officials say. If their eardrums are damaged, like any mammal, they will float to the surface. At least three of the dolphins have died as Aquatic officials are trying to save the lives of all the dolphins beaching themselves.

This is behavior I have seen before. When I served in the U.S. Navy (many years ago), I was stationed in Naples, Italy. A pilot whale beached himself at the beach in Naples. He was about 15 feet long, as I recall and weighed about two tons. People there tried to save him by keeping him wet and a bulldozer was brought to the beach to push him back out to sea. They were successful in doing just that. But, the pilot whale came right back to the beach and this time, he died while they tried to push him back out a second time. This above dolphin episode made me remember that incident. There were Italians, Swedes, Germans and Americans all working together trying to save that whale. None of us could understand each other. But, we all understood we had to try and save that pilot whale's life. We were all silent as we just looked at the dead whale that late afternoon. We all knew we tried our best to save him. But, that didn't seem to matter at the time.


Polar Bears and Huskies

This is one of the more fascinating videos I've seen. Normally, I would have thought the polar bears would view the dogs as prey. But, not in this video. They play together, hug each other. In fact, in one part of the video, one polar bear plays a little too roughly. I thought it was all over for the husky. But, the polar bear did not hurt him. I don't know if the polar bears are accustomed to the huskies or the men that own them. No way the polar bears are pets. I don't think they can be domesticated. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video. it is simply amazing.


Tuesday's Rambling Thoughts – February 10, 2008

According to a news article (click article) this new Stimulus Bill could reach to almost 10 Trillion dollars. Think about that...10 (ten) Trillion dollars. This could windup being enough to pay off 90% of home mortgages in the USA. Now, that all sounds utterly fantastic. Of course, that's not going to happen. But, we better rethink all of this. I am not an economist, nor do I pretend to be one. But, this much of a bailout spells disaster. Just with my limited knowledge, this means a lot more money will have to be printed to meet this bailout goal. That means the value of the dollar will shrink even further into the pits of hell. I hope our elected officials know what they are doing. If they don't, we will sink into a depression that will make the 1930s Great Depression seem like a day at the beach. I greatly fear for our country right now.

I think I've made my position clear on illegal immigration several times on this blog. I think it should be stopped and stopped immediately. But, what about 16 illegals suing an Arizona Rancher (article link) because he held them at gunpoint due to them killing his cattle, trespassed on his property and broke into his home. The “ Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund” is representing these 16 Mexican Nationals in court against the rancher. He is said to have "violated their rights." It is unbelievable the gall the open borders crowd has in some of the outlandish things they are doing to give rights to criminals who are invading our nation. And that, basically, is what it is; an invasion. Now, if you want to protect our borders, you are called “nativist” at best and “racist” at worst. You can call me both if you wish. I don't give a damn. It's time to put National Guardsman all along our southern border and send the bill to Mexico. I can't put into words how this infuriates me about an American citizen who is unable to even protect his private property.

As I stated in my blog entry of yesterday, I have taken up jogging. My first experience with it Sunday led to my being embarrassed by an old friend. Monday, I didn't fare much better. According to my little odometer, I ran about seven-tenths of a mile. And, I was winded, had to sit down on a bench before I could struggle back home. I had no trouble yesterday morning with my normal treadmill routine. But, let me start jogging and it is almost more than I can take. At least I jogged at a slower pace by myself. My friend tried to make me stay up with her and I had to stop after about half a mile. I'm going to keep at it. No sense in giving up this quickly.

Finally, as reported in my blog entry Friday, my little beagle, Ralph, got into a humdinger of a fight (Ralph Versus Freddie the Opossum) with an opossum who was a nightly regular to my backyard. I'm happy to report Ralph does not have rabies as was a possibility. He is still covered from floppy ears to his tail with scratches, some of them deep. He whines like hell when it's time to have the salve put on him. But, he knows he's got to do it, so he stops struggling after a while. I don't know if Freddie the Opossum is doing ok. Last time I saw him, he was jumping over the fence with a bloodied face. I said at that time I didn't think he would come back into my yard. It appears I am correct. He is a nightly visitor and I have not seen him since early Friday morning. I hope he's doing well.


My New Routine: Jogging

As I have said several times in this blog, I am an avid exercise junkie. I am now carrying weights (20lbs in ankle weights, 10lb dumbbells in each hand...do the math) during my morning treadmill routine. It has enabled me to lose quite a bit of weight as I have said before. I try to do this twice a day, schedule permitting. But, as of late, it has become something of a bore. Oh, I still do my workout on the treadmill. But, for my second set of exercises, I am going to start jogging.

I do about 2 miles a day with the above weights on the treadmill. I have talked with a friend who has been jogging for the past six years. She stays as trim and fit as anyone just half her age (she is 52). So, I decided I would go with her on her early Sunday morning jog. She jogs about 3 miles a day, give or take. I figured I could do that easily with no weights. So, I met her at the predetermined location and off we went. To make a long story short, I was sucking wind after about half a mile and could go no further. Jogging is much, much more demanding than I originally thought. I thought I was in pretty good shape and I am, by most accounts. But, I'm going to have to dive into jogging a bit slower than I anticipated. Of course, my friend, showed me no mercy. She jogged backwards the last half mile smiling and waving at me as I sat on the grass trying to recuperate.

I won't give up. But, I think I need to go into this jogging routine by myself. No way I can keep up with her, especially at the pace she set. And, no, she said I would have to keep pace with her. With friends like her...


Ralph Versus Freddie the Opossum

Since I live in a heavily wooded area that just so happens to be in the city, I see a lot of wild animals in my back yard at night. I have had Rocky Raccoon, who probably weighed about 30lbs or more, and was killed by a car one night. I have had many feral cats, once of which I named Old Yellow who was picked up by an Animal Control Officer (I'm still hot about that since I had grown attached to the cat) and an assortment of wild dogs, and opossums. If they come often enough, I wind up giving them names.

There is this one big, bad male opossum who has frequented my back yard since just before Thanksgiving of last year. Like all opossums, he has a bad disposition and is ready to fight on a moment's notice. He doesn't care if you walk up on two legs and outweigh him by about 170lbs. He'll take on all comers, one at a time or all at once. So, I named him Freddie the Opossum. We have been out in the back yard on two different occasions and he stood up as if to fight me. I respectfully declined. However, my nine month old beagle, Ralph, is under no such restrictions. Like Freddie, he'll fight anyone who dares to come onto “his” property. So, I have made it a point to make sure Ralph is inside the house before it gets dark. Darkness brings out Freddie, since opossums are nocturnal and I don't want to see them fight. Plus, opossums are known to carry rabies as well. So, I felt it was best I never find out who would come out the winner.

This morning, about 4AM, I heard Ralph whining like he does whenever he needs to go outside to potty. Well, he does that once a night. But, this is usually about 1-2AM. I had already let him go outside to do his doggy business at about 2:15AM. I didn't want him peeing all over the floor. So, I got my house shoes on, housecoat on and off we went to the back door. He was very anxious to get outside. He doesn't do this ordinarily. I open the door, Ralph FLIES out the door and before I know it, he has jumped on Freddie the Opossum who was sitting on my back deck. Momentarily stunned, I just stood there as they were wrapped up together and twisting around one another like two angry tornadoes. I came to my senses, grabbed the water hose and turned it loose on them! Freddie wanted no part of the water, so he jumped the fence and took off. I noticed his face was bloodied quite a bit. But, RALPH...well, he got the worst of it. He's got so many scratches this morning, and is bloodied from his floppy ears to his tail. I've tried to put some neosporin on him. But, Ralph will have none of that. I called the vet's emergency number and they said if it isn't life threatening, they would schedule me in first thing this morning at 8AM. So, I've got Ralph laying on some old newspapers and keeping him quiet. Other than the scratches, he doesn't seem to be hurt. But, I'm not taking any chances.

I took Ralph just last week to the vet for a stomach virus (as I was fighting the flu) and now I have to take him back after his climactic fight with Freddie the Opossum. Ralph has been wanting a piece of that opossum for a few months now. I guess he got what he wanted. I doubt Ralph will want any more of Freddie. And, truth be known, I doubt Freddie will be back for round two with Ralph.


Few Comments Regarding This Blog

I will be coming up on my one year anniversary of this blog on April 5th. Honestly, I didn't think I would be going this long. I did all this on a lark after a couple of my “friends” pressured me to put my thoughts into a blog. So, I did just that. It started slowly at first. But, it appears that Alexa (which is a highly controversial way of determining rankings) and Google seem to like it. But, I have made mistakes in this blog.

One of those mistakes I feel is that chat box. I thought this would be a way for people to comment about this blog since it appeared I wasn't getting many comments after posts. Instead, that chat box has become a source of frustration to me. I don't mind people dropping by to let me know they were visiting or “smiling” at all. I appreciate my visitors. What I don't like are people advertising their product or site at my expense. I have deleted quite a few as a result. But, I have X amount of hours in the day to contribute to this blog. I have begun to give serious thought to just deleting the chat box once and for all. I just have not made up my mind as yet.

People asking to exchange links. I still believe this is overrated insofar as SEO. In fact, Google will punish you if you have too many links as they will think you are a link farm. If I exchanged links with everyone that has requested, I would have about 1000 links on both sidebars. Of course, I'm not going to do that. What people can do is leave a comment on a post linking their site if they want a permanent link here. I don't delete my posts. So, the link will always be there. I can understand people who are just starting out or are trying to improve their Alexa ranking or Google ranking (although I just have a PR3). But, I simply cannot exchange links with everyone. I do have about four of my favorite sites listed on the left sidebar. But, those are mostly for my benefit in that I enjoy reading their blogs. And now that I have posted this, it will be totally ignored, I know.

Problems. If anyone notices a problem...like a popup, something that is causing the site to load up slowly, please let me know about it. My email address is in the upper left sidebar. Or you can simply leave a comment after a post, if you prefer. I have been working to get this thing loading faster since there are still quite a few people who still have dialup access. But, there is just so much I can do. Blogger has some issues that simply can't be fixed just by me.

Also, this blog will undergo a much needed face lift in the weeks ahead. I have already changed the template on my other blog, “Diary: Alone on Earth.” Now, it is time, past time actually, to change the format on this one. If you have any ideas on what you think would be a good template, I would appreciate your input. It has to be 3 columns. I will not deal with 2 columns again.

Again, I appreciate all visitors here...especially, my repeat visitors.


Dachshund Puppies on the Loose!!!

This is a video of some Dachshund puppies...well, just being puppies. I owned two mini-dachunds (black and tan) during my abbreviated marriage. Unfortunately, I had no choice but to get rid of them due to some unforseen circumstances...such as not having a place to live. But, the minis were a lot of fun. It was very difficult to train them. And, the best thing about them, they were EXCELLENT watch dogs. If the wind blew too hard outside, they would let you know about it. Anyway, I hope you like this short video.


Tuesday's Rambling Thoughts - February 3, 2008

I've watched a lot of football games in my life. I've watched high school, college and pro football games too numerous to count. I've seen many great games over the years. But, that Super Bowl game this past Sunday has to rate as the best football game I've ever seen. Mind you, I don't care for pro football normally. I will watch some NFL playoff games and then the Super Bowl. For the most part, the Super Bowl has been known as the "Super Bore" since the games are usually mismatches. But, the game Sunday with Arizona and Pittsburgh was outstanding! Seriously, how many people game the Arizona Cardinals a chance against the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers? Few, if any thought they would come within 10 points of the Steelers. But, if not for a miraculous catch by a Steeler's receiver with about 30 seconds left, one of the great upsets if football history would have occurred. I thoroughly enjoyed the game.

Now, we hear a second Cabinet nominee, in the Obama Administration, has not paid his taxes. Wow...who would have thought that? Former Senator Tom Daschle, in line to become the next secretary of health and human services, has not paid $120,000 in taxes. This follows the revelation that Timothy F. Geithner Treasurer Secretary nomination was more heavily scrutinized due to Mr. Geithner not paying taxes. I believe it was President Obama who referred to this as just a "hiccup." Now, press secretary Robert Gibbs refers to this latest "oversight" with "nobody's perfect." Well, that is very true, Mr. Gibbs. But, I can't help but wonder if Geithner and Daschle would be all fired up to pay their taxes if it had not been revealed during the nomination process. Most likely, they would have not.

I'm not sure how they are going to be able to do it. But, India is set to sell the $10.00 laptop to enable the poor to also have access to the internet, I suppose. This process has been three years in the making. In the USA, we have the American One Laptop per Child project which supposedly will sell for $100.00. I certainly don't see how they are going to be able to do this either. In fact, I know they won't be able to do it in this country. I think it is good idea to help the poor become computer literate. But, I would imagine most of the poor would prefer a good paying job and a home they can call their own.

Finally, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday which means there are six more weeks to go in this already long and bitterly cold winter. The mood was much more jubilant due to the number of Pittsburgh Steeler fans in the area. This always reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day, with Bill Murray. I have watched it over, and over, and over, and over...


Cold and Flu Season: Recovery Stage

As I said in my Friday post, "Cold and Flu Season," I have my first case of the flu since February 2003. That was, at the time, the worst case of the flu I have ever had. But, this flu I have now made me almost wish for death Friday night. I had a temperature of 103.5...and it would not go down. I was thinking of calling my sister when a voice from the past entered my thoughts. I could hear my mother saying, "Go drink as much ice water as you can get down. And keep drinking it all night!" I'm not joking about that. It may have been because I was delusional due to the high temperature or maybe it was my mother still looking after her oldest...even in death.

The problem was that I had the dry heaves for about two hours Friday night. Any water I would drink would come back up. But, I decided to drink the ice water anyway...and eat some jello in the fridge that my sister had left me. I ate the jello (why oh why did she make GREEN jello???) and did as my mother told me. (ok, I know I still sound delusional...but bear with me) I must have drunk about half a gallon of ice water from 9PM Friday night to about 2AM Saturday morning. My temperature had come down to 100.2 by 2AM. I believe the fact I had something on my stomach (jello) helped me also. It may have been the Tylenol or maybe a combination of everything. I don't know.

I fell asleep, I guess, around 3AM or so. I did not get back up until about 10AM Saturday morning. I was still weak (and still am). But, I felt I would survive. It was a horrible experience. I'm typing this up on Sunday night. I feel "better." But, I am still weak. But, thank God, I think the worst is over. It's been six long years since my last encounter with the flu. I think I am willing to wait another six years...or maybe much longer. My nine-month old beagle, Ralph, is basically fully recovered from his bout with a stomach virus. His appetite is back with a vengeance and he is back to being Ralph; he's grabbing my house shoes and hiding them again.

The flu shot, at least this year, was a waste of my time.

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