Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

October 28, 2008


I've been tagged by Daisy, of Daisy's Dead Air, for a couple of memes. I'll tag some of you to do them, or not, at the conclusion. I enjoy reading memes because you get to learn new things about your friends. The photos used are from Google Images.

So without further adieu:

Where would you have your 8 homes, if you were as insanely rich as the McCains?

List them. You don’t have to list your reasons, but if you do at least for a few of them, it would be more fun. And remember that the only rule is: the homes must be within the borders of the United States of America or else, within the borders of the country you live in, so as to utterly emulate the McCains. When you’re done, tag 8 people, so that they may join in the self-indulgence, forgetting about the crappy property market and the equivalent of The End of Pompeii on Wall-Street. You could spend your time hammering your doors and windows shut in preparation for the apocalypse instead, but it would be much less fun.

1. Point Roberts, Washington. This is a tiny slice of Washington State that can only be accessed by way of crossing into Canada, then crossing back into Washington. It's close to Vancouver and to the Tsawwassen Ferry to Vancouver Island. Since I can only name homes within my own country, this is the best compromise to get me as close to Victoria, BC as possible, otherwise I would choose to have a home on Vancouver Island. The black arrow shows Pt. Roberts.

2. Lake Quinault, Washington. Since we had to sell the "albatross" property we owned near the Lake in 2006, I would definitely buy a gorgeous but tasteful home on Lake Quinault, which is on the very remote Olympic Peninsula.

3. Juneau, Alaska. We would winter in Juneau, in a beautiful log home with big stone fireplace.

4. Springhill Beach, E. Sandwich, Massachusetts. I would have to have a lovely cottage on my fave beach in the world.

5. San Francisco . We'd own a home in the Richmond District, which was the neighborhood in which we lived, in the early 90's.

6. Fort Bragg, Mendocino County, California. Not to be confused with the military installation at Fort Bragg, SC. This was our fave vacation spot when we lived in CA and we always felt so at home there.

I'm getting really hard pressed to come up with 2 more locations.....

7. Camp Meeker, Monte Rio or Occidental, Sonoma County, California. Again, more fave places we visited frequently when we lived in Marin. Camp Meeker, Occidental and Monte Rio are right near to each other, so any of them would be satisfactory.

8. Glacier, Washington. Between Bellingham and Mt. Baker, near the Canadian Border, again, we'd have a log home with views of Mt. Baker. This is a home that's been for sale for quite awhile in Glacier. I would LOVE to own it.

MEME #2:

Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.*

Share 6 / 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.*

Tag 6/ 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.*

Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog .


1. I was on "Entertainment Tonight" with Brian, in September, 1989. We were on our way into Golden Gate Park for a free Bob Weir/Rob Wasserman and Jefferson Airplane concert, which was also a canned food drive. We were dressed in our finest Deadhead gear as we were going to see the Dead that night as well. ET stopped to ask us some "man on the street" questions. We never gave it another thought till the following week when our phone started ringing off the hook with friends and family who saw it.

2. I used to answer the request line at WZOU radio in Boston. Except the position was called "Phone Research". Here's an industry secret: Requests rarely, if ever, get played, unless the song is in the regular rotation. Once in awhile the DJ would tell me he'd take the next call, just to put a caller on the air. The rest of the time, I just sat there w/ a list of all the songs in rotation and would put a mark next to each one that was requested, then turn it into the programming department who would decide what songs got played more and what ones were dropped.

3. I've seen "Paper Moon" so many times I can do huge chunks of dialogue by all the characters.

4. Co-Class Punk Rocker of Sandwich High School's Class of 1982. For the first time, they had to break with tradition of electing just one female and one male to this particular category of the Senior Superlatives list. Apparently the class was equally divided as to who should have the honor, me or my best friend Liz. In 1982, Liz & I shared the honor, along with our friend Doug Ewer.

5. Famous People I have met: John F. Kennedy, Jr., The Clash, Elvis Costello, Bob Weir, Jerry Garcia, "Red Green" (Steve Smith), Phil Donahue, James Coburn, Robert Urich, Wavy Gravy, Native American authors Mary Brave Bird and Ed McGaa, and I talked to Bill Mumy on the telephone. Saw Gene Rayburn (game show host in the 70's) in a gardening shop on Cape Cod, and saw Paul Kantner (of Jefferson Airplane) at the Safeway grocery store in the Richmond District, SF.

6. I have brewed beer. Brian supervised and helped me with heavy lifting, but I did the entire batch on my own. I brewed it for the "Queen of Beer" contest. Although it didn't win in Queen of Beer, we submitted it under both of our names for 2 other contests (in Indiana and Southern Cal) and won Certificates in both.

TAGGING: Fancy Schmancy, Drowsey Monkey, FenwaysPal (so that she'll update her blog), Bryde (if you feel up to it), Val, and Kris.

October 26, 2008

America: Where Anyone Can Run for Office

In addition to our presidential election on 11/4/08, there are lots of other offices and measures on our ballots. This is the first year that County officials can be voted on by "first choice, second choice and third choice". Instead of just voting for one, the second choice person will also be counted.
Locally, we get to vote for Pierce County Sheriff. Paul Pastor has held this position for about 7 years or so, and he was appointed. This year, he faces competition from 2 other candidates. One being Jesse Hill. He is so outrageous and his antics are so amusing, that Brian's decided to make Jesse his first choice for Sheriff. I chose Pastor for my first choice and Jesse as my second. I don't think Paul Pastor has anything to worry about, but can you imagine if Hill were to actually win and beat Sheriff Pastor out of the job? lol!!! Check out this article about Hill, it's pretty funny.

Robert 'The Traveller' Hill outspends incumbent Pierce County Sheriff
by Ian Demsky, The News Tribune

A dark horse candidate running for Pierce County sheriff is outspending the man who has held the job for the past seven years, recent state campaign filings show. According to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, Jesse Hill has spent $28,059.59 to Sheriff Paul Pastor’s $23,812.22.

Earlier in the month, records put Hill’s spending 60 percent above Pastor’s.

Hill is better known to the public as Robert “The Traveller” Hill, a gadfly who is frequently kicked out of Tacoma City Council meetings, who agitates on behalf of female masturbation and who was convicted earlier this year of scrawling a judge’s signature on a restraining order.

Pastor, who is running for the first time for the post to which he previously was appointed, said Hill’s spending isn’t changing the way he’s running his campaign. “I’m not really keeping track of him,” Pastor said. “I’m running on my experience and track record, and I think voters will be smart enough to recognize if someone is trying to use dollars to buy an outcome.”

That track record includes more than 20 years of law enforcement experience while Hill says in the voters’ pamphlet that his professional qualifications are “Basic Sexual Assault Awareness Training.” The race’s third candidate, R.P. Kollu, says he’s qualified for the job because he will “meet legal requirements for sheriff.”

Public records raise additional questions about Hill’s candidacy.

In addition to the forgery case, Hill has had a host of minor run-ins with police over the years. In 1998, for example, he was stopped for a traffic violation, but challenged the officer’s authority, rolled up his window and dialed 911 from his cell phone to report a man with a gun outside his car, a Federal Way police report says.

Earlier this year Hill twice tried to buy a .38 Special revolver from a local gun store but ultimately was denied “for mental health reasons,” according to a Tacoma police report. “I don’t see where I’m not able hold office at this point in time,” Hill said, pledging to pursue the required law enforcement training if elected. “There exists no health basis to limit my access.”

Hill’s filings say every penny of his election contributions was given to the campaign by Hill himself. Such affluence seems to clash with personal financial statements filed with the state, across which Hill repeatedly wrote the word “Indigent!” and on which he lists no job or other sources of income.

So, where did the money come from? Hill says he sold some gold coins he has collected. “I’ve been buying them over the last 20 to 25 years,” he said in a recent interview. “Or, more accurately, trading them for Federal Reserve note dollars.” He said that he didn’t believe the coins needed to be listed on the disclosure forms, which ask for sources of income over $2,000, real estate holdings, bank accounts over $20,000 and intangible assets such as stocks and bonds.
Much of that money went toward campaign mailings and radio spots, but Hill also reported spending:

• $1,850 on two campaign offices.
• $400 deposit on four phone lines and $632 on phone service.
• $222 for “BEER.”
• $180 to Bill’s Towing and $228 to Rainbow Towing for impound fees.
• $280 for car insurance.
• $200 for “guard-dog food” purchased from JAG Auctions.
• $500 to bail a campaign volunteer out of jail.
• $60.93 on fourteen sunglass necklaces.
• $294.85 for two battery chargers from NAPA Auto Parts.

“We weren’t sure all that money was spent to benefit his campaign,” said Lori Anderson, spokeswoman for the PDC, which oversees candidates’ filings. “But it’s his money and he reported the spending was for the campaign. We’re not going to argue with him.” Anderson noted it was a busy time for the office and that officials had limited resources for policing the candidates. If Hill’s disclosures turn out to be inaccurate, he may be asked to amend them.

Hill’s sudden prosperity raises additional questions. He said he couldn’t pay for his own attorney in the May forgery case and was represented by a public defender. Hill says that at the time he didn’t count the gold coins as assets. “The court doesn’t use lawful money anyway,” he said.

Presented with the disclosure filings, Michael Kawamura, the director of the Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel, said he will ask for an official inquiry to see whether any of the county’s expenses should be recouped. “We’re not in the business of representing people who can afford their own attorney,” he said.

October 22, 2008

Mystery Solved.....

We were having a good time on Facebook over the weekend, when I finally scanned pictures from my college years and my old friends from high school and both colleges could see them. We were cracking wise for quite awhile. It's been a long time since I looked at these photo albums, and now that I am staring down the barrel at *gag* "middle age, I look at them from a different perspective and hope that my freshman niece isn't doing the things I did when I was a freshman & sophomore.

Let's just say that the mystery of my mediocre (at best) grades, has now been solved. I now present to you what, apparently, was my favorite class:

Underage Drinking 101
St. Joseph's College of Maine

Jessica, Tammy & Deb

Nancy, Tammy & Kathy

Chris & Jackie
These next few were taken during my sophomore year.

Karen & my roomie/BFF/sister, Michelle.

Here I am, hoisting my beer, proudly. I don't even like beer. I've never liked it. I drank it quickly to get buzzed and I usually cut off my sense of taste as it went down.

Me & Michelle hung out w/ guys, for the most part. Here's a shot of Dave, Michelle & Dwayne, partying in Dave's room. Did I mention that co-ed, inter-room visitation, known at St. Joe's (and other Catholic colleges) as "parietals", was an offense punishable by a 10 day off campus suspension? Can't tell ya how many times she and I found ourselves stuffed into closets or hiding under desks when the Assistant Dean decided to take a stroll through the boys' townhouses at around 10:00 pm. to make sure there was no hanky and/or panky going on.

Dave & Pete.

Me & Michelle. Note my natural hair color. lol
Ugh, Budweiser out of the can. Ew.

Back home for the holidays, Holly & I went to a New Years Eve party with all of our friends from high school who were either in their senior years, or freshmen in college. Here is my friend Andy, who I've known since he was in 5th grade and I was in 7th. He was still in high school in this pic. Over the weekend, on Facebook, he assured me that it was just a big glass of cider. Yeah. Right.

Me, Rob & Bridget. Rob was also still in high school.
Holly and I toasting the New Year 1984.

October 15, 2008

Destined to Never Have Kids from an Early Age

When I was a tyke, and for as long as I can remember, I have never wanted to have kids. I never said "When I have a baby" or wistfully looked an infant, longing to hold it. People used to say to me, "When you grow up and have children....." and I'd say, "I dont' wanna have children" and I'd get a patronizing smile and "You'll think differently when you get older". After I got older it was, "You'll think differently when you find the right man." Found the right man, and fortunately for me, HE didn't want kids either. Dodged a bullet there.

Years ago when we went back east for a visit, we had dinner w/ Jef's ex, and mother of his then-infant son, Cody. Lisa said, "Hold him for a sec for me?" and just handed Cody to me. He was 11 months old. I held him, under the arms, away from me, bewildered of what to do next, hoping he wouldn't leak some fluid on me. I gave Brian a stricken, "HELP-ME-WHAT-DO-I-DO-WITH- IT-NOW????" look. Fortunately, he came to my rescue and scooped him up, shaking his head. As Ross said to Rachel in "Friends", "He's a baby, not a bomb." Needless to say, apart from taking a couple of pictures, I steered clear. (Although my reader Kathleen will be happy to know that I actually didn't shy away from holding her properly when she was 3 weeks old. Fortunately, your mom was right next to me, ready to jump in.....).

Surprisingly, I was a very capable babysitter, as long as I didn't have to take care of a child still in diapers. My mom even came down to change a diaper one day for me b/c she knew I was not doing....WOULD NOT DO..... it and she helped out for the sake of the kid, not b/c I asked her to. Sure, she could have put her foot down and told me to take responsibility for my charge and DO IT, but I think she knew me well enough by then to know that I was too stubborn and would rather lose the job than change the diaper. From then on, I only accepted babysitting jobs if the kid was toilet trained or in kindergarten. To this day, I have NEVER changed a diaper. And I don't plan on it either.

I lived in absolute fear and dread that my parents would have another kid. While I wouldn't have minded having an older sibling, a younger one was out of the question. I made a silent vow that if another kid came along, I was NOT sharing my room and I was NOT babysitting, changing diapers or helping in any way. I just cannot relate to infants at all. Once they can walk and talk, that's one thing, but I just don't have it in me to coo and purr over human babies. Stuffed animals, yes. Puppies, yes. Kittehs, yes. Baby animals of any kind, yes. Human babies? Not so much. The sound of a baby crying and screaming sends my blood pressure soaring. Julie calls it "ugly sound."

When I would go over to my some of my friends' houses, inevitably the "what should we do now?" question would come up. They always enthusiastically suggested, "Let's Play House!" or "Let's Play School!" I'd counter with, "Naw, Let's Go In The Woods And Explore!" which was always met with a recoil of horror, to which I then said, "Oh OK, we can play school....I guess", meanwhile I'm thinking, "This is gonna be a loooooooong afternoon. Should I pretend to get sick so mom will come get me?" Small wonder I preferred to play with the few girls who enjoyed the woods and exploring as much as I did.

I wasn't all too fond of most my dolls either. A shrink would have a field day exploring why I used to beat the crap out of them, tell them I hated them, and then me and my stuffed animals would shun them. I used to take Baby Tenderlove and spend hours outside, tossing her over the power line that ran from the street to our house, over the front yard, and laughing as she bounced on the ground, till one of my parents caught me and told me to knock it off. But I think they were more concerned about my ripping the power line down than they were about the doll's welfare.

My mom tells the story of how creeped out she was when she'd go get me in my crib in the morning, and I would greet her with a maniacal, toothless smile and giggle, while holding the head I'd pulled off of one doll. She wailed to the pediatrician, "WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY BAYYYBEEEE??????" That actually had a decent explanation. The doll was one of the first mechancial walking dolls and it was too heavy for me to lift, so I pulled it's head off and carried it around.

I had some baby dolls that you could give a bottle to and then it'd "pee" and you could change it's diaper. I think I gave it a bottle once. Once.

I also had a doll carriage that I used to turn upside down and spin all 4 wheels with my hands to get them going as fast as they could. My mom would repeatedly turn it right side up and tell me to push the carriage with my doll in it. I couldn't steer it. It always tipped over. So I went back to turning it upside down and spinning the wheels. One day, the carriage mysteriously disappeared after my mom came in the living room and found me spinning the wheels again, except this time I had a shoelace around the neck of one of my dolls, and had it wrapped around the wheel so that it was choking to death. Another call to the pediatrician, "WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY CHIIILD??????"

That's not to say that I didn't have dolls that I liked. I had Triki Miki, whose arms and legs all had joints, and she came in a jumpsuit. All the clothes for her were really trippy, 70's patterns and go go boots. Half the time I had her dressed like Pippi Longstocking w/ her hair braided so it stuck out each side of her head. I'd have her ride my fave stuffed horse, Trax, as she was the perfect size. My 2 Dawn dolls were cool too. But baby dolls? Not so much. I couldn't interact with them like I could w/ the dolls that were grown up looking like Triki Miki and Dawn. I had a Barbie & Ken but I didn't play w/ them that much and Ken's smooth molded bump really confused me. lol

I don't mind little kids though, and I adore all of my friends' kids (Holly: I really need to see more pictures). It's just that 2-3 year diaper/non-verbal stage that I cannot deal with very well.

The following photo is the only one that exists of me playing inappropriately with a doll. It's my absolute fave picture of me from when I was little. It was taken on Springhill Beach, on the Cape, some time in 1967. Note the sick grin as I water the doll, which lays naked and twisted on the rocky beach.

Good thing I never had any kids, eh?

October 11, 2008

It's mid-October already!!

Not much going on up here, other than watching our investment and retirement accounts hemorhage money with each day that the stock market crashes. Many of our clients are wiped out financially. Then we find out that a yacht/boat maker in Everett is closing it's doors, letting over 800 people go. That city is depressed enough and really cannot absorb 800 more people out of work. "And so it goes, but where it's goin', no one knows...."

So to keep my mind off the situation as much as possible, I've been egg hunting on Facebook, which is by far one of the most addictive games. Over 400,000 people have the application. Not everyone actively plays, but tens of thousands do. I've met the nicest people on that game. We help each other to collect the special editions. So far, there are 35 of them. It's fun. 6 Halloween eggs were released on October 1 and it's been a mad dash to find them.

Brian had an interview the other day, so PLEASE keep your fingers and toes crossed that he gets called back for round 2. He has worked w/ a bunch of people that are at this particular place, so I'm hoping that the person he talked to will go around and talk to the other employees. Workers Comp Claims is a fairly small community and it's not at all unusual to work with the same group of people, but at different places. It doesn't seem like they are doing "cattle call" interviews, so we're hoping that will give him more of a chance of getting called. The job is a little further north than where he worked in Federal Way; it's near SeaTac Airport. Not near as bad as going to South Center or Seattle so that's a good thing.
The weather's finally turned quite chilly, which is fine w/ me. The warm September weather was getting more than a little bit old. The snow level has dropped below pass level. Woke up to the first frost today. Everything was all sparkly. When I was a kid, I used to love to go exploring in the woods on clear, cool fall days like this. Most of the time Diane was spending the weekend w/ me so we'd both go as deep as we could till we either reached the edge of the salt marsh to the east, or the railroad tracks to the west. We'd be out for hours and hours and my mom never worried because there never was a need to worry. We'd come across really old, low rock walls, in New England they are called "settler's walls". We assume they were put there by the first settlers of East Sandwich, before the trees and scrubby brush grew and obscured them.

I will never forget the late fall afternoon when Diane and I were toiling to get up a very steep hill. We were in our early teens. When we got to the top, it dropped off into this perfect circular depression, and growing from the center was a HUGE, old tree still covered with bright yellow leaves. The wind couldn't get to most of the leaves b/c of the sides of the pit, so it was the only tree in the woods w/ leaves, much less foliage. I remember us both going, "WOW!!!!" and tearing down the side of that pit to check out the tree.

Unfortunately nearly all of those woods have been torn down into developments. It breaks my heart. And nowadays with all the wack jobs, I wouldn't want to venture into the woods, even as an adult and not unless I was armed.
Has anyone, besides Bryde, been watching "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"? We LOVE that show. It's really good. Of course Fox is making noises about canceling it. They always cancel the good shows in favor of the garbage t&a crap, and why they resurrected "90210" is beyond me. T:SCC is great; if you can, check it out b/f it gets canceled.

Anyone have any plans for Halloween? We don't. I haven't even decorated. I'm just not in the mood to drag all the crap out of the closet under the stairs. I have to first pull all my craft stuff out first then haul the tub of decorations out....I'm just too tired. We usually go all out with seasonal decorations, starting at the end of September, through December 26. But things are so bad this year. I saw a statistic that said 80% of Americans are under crushing stress. I just find the need to want to just come home and hang out, play on line, and let my brain go to mush.

The past few years we have only had a couple of kids come to the door. No matter what we did to try to entice kids to come up to our door, we were unsuccessful. We would change out the porch lights to black lights. I carved pumpkins and put them in the window upstairs, on either side of a large black Halloween tree with purple & orange lights. We hung purple bat lights in the windows. Covered the downstairs family room in candles. No one wants to hike up our dark, steep driveway. When I was a kid I would have climbed Mt. Everest to get candy, but I guess kids today are less discriminating. Brian did scare the bejesus out of a little girl a couple of years ago...I blogged about it, and it can be found in the November, 2006 archives, dated November 1, 2006. It was a very funny story.

Of course we can't be caught without candy, so I will be getting the Reese's variety bag, Smarties and the Nestle's Crunch/Kit Kat variety bag. It is, of course, strictly a coincedance that those happen to be our fave candies. And if we get no kids, oh well.....can't let all that candy go to waist. I mean waste.

I want to wish our neighbors to the north a very Happy Thanksgiving, as Canada celebrates it this Monday, which is our Columbus Day unless, of course, you live in the Bay Area, where it's "Indiginous People's Day".

There's something wrong with Sagan's right leg. He's been limping a lot. We had the vet check him out on Wednesday when he went to day care, but the vet found nothing wrong. Yet, he's limping all over the place. He runs and jumps normally and seemingly w/o pain, he races around the yard like a maniac w/ Pepper. We've both gently palpated all up and down his leg and paw, and he never pulls away or winces. Did the same to his shoulder and neck and he seemed fine. Yet when he walks away, he limps and when he stands still, he lifts his paw off the floor. I hope this is something simple however I have a feeling this may take some costly diagnostic tests to figure out, but we can't bear to look at him limping around.

Well, I'm gonna go colour a picture in my Seasonal Mandala Colouring Book. I also have over a month's worth of stuff to catch up on, in my journal. Last time I wrote it was Labor Day. Brian's making us a delicious dinner of meatloaf, baked potatoes and corn. We have college football on, the dogs are snoozing. The only thing missing is the old "ABC's Wide World of Sports."

October 10, 2008

I am humbled...

My new Deadhead blogger friend, Fancy Schmancy, bestowed on me this award:

I am truly honoured. I know I haven't been writing that much lately, thanks to being caught up in the 3rd round of the Hatchlings Egg Hunt (it's addictive, trust me), so that makes this award mean all the more.

The instructions say that I must pass this along to 7 other bloggers and link them here. Those 7 are supposed to pass it on as well. And let me tell ya, this is going to be really, really hard to do b/c I love each and every one of you.

I still can't figure out how to just write the person's name and have it automatically link to their blog. So, sorry for the "old fashioned" linkage, below.

So, to pass along my favourite weblogs, we have, as follows:

Bryde's blog at:

Kris' blog at:

Drowsey Monkey's blog at: Am quite enjoying her tour around Ontario with Olga the Traveling Bra, which is another extremely amusing blog about the travels of Olga the Bra.

Fellow Deadhead and politico Annie's blog at:

Another fellow Deadhead and politico Daisy's blog at:

Another extremely funny blog, by Maureen in Canada, at:

And of course I couldn't pass out an award without including at least one Vincent D'Onofrio themed site, my dear friend Val, at:

Runners up include the wonderful gals at the Valentine Cat, Fancy Schmancy, Susan's "Life with Michigan and Loganne" (you REALLY need to update your blog, Susan!!), and of course the ubiquitous Axe and her "Here Be Monsters" blog. As most of you know, Axe actually has a lot of sites to choose from, besides her blog.

And honorable mentions to Eliza, White Rabbit, VPDZOO's "My Words" and my friend Averie, whose blog is set to private/invite only, or I would have linked her.

Have a wonderful weekend ladies.