Proud members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. We strongly believe in personal freedom, responsibility, and gun rights. We also believe in the 90/10 theory. That means that 10% of the people have 90% of the talent. Unfortunately, we are not in the 10% category. However, the rest of us are still better than 90% of the politicians.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hillary gets a ticket

Hillary isn't so special to a London traffic warden who wrote her a ticket for non-payment of parking fees.  

And his boss backed him up;

Cllr Daniel Astaire, Westminster City Council cabinet member for business, told MailOnline: 'Despite our traffic marshal being questioned by the secret service for just doing his job, he was in the right.
'The former US Secretary of State was parked for nearly 45 minutes without paying. I’m sure she will understand that we have to be fair to everyone, regardless of their status on the world stage.

Any bets on how long that lasts?


Columbus

The Oatmeal dissects old Christopher and suggests a holiday change.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tribute to Spike

Spike passed on today. 

Born on Christmas Day, he was a gift to Mom from BBB and SIL.  She loved him from the start and certainly could have had no better companion than that little guy.  Always easygoing, he was still protective of her and as she was dying he stayed by her and offered constant comfort.  Her first thought on awakening was always, "Where's my little dog?"

Spike brought the same comfort to LBB and me throughout her illness and when she passed.  I don't know how God managed to fit such a huge heart into such a little dog, but for us Spike was a miracle.

When LBB first came to help care for Mom he thought he didn't like dogs, but Spike cured him of that.  Not too long after arriving he had to admit that Spike was pretty special.  He said, "I don't really like dogs, but Spike loved me so much I had to love him back."

That never changed.  Spike was accepting when we added Julie's dogs to the household while she was dying, and never complained at the permanent addition of Peter's dogs after his death either.  He seemed to know that they were in need of a home and just accepted them.  He just continued quietly being the loving little guy he always had been. He actually guided and helped the two old dogs, Porter and Rocky, until they passed and seemed to be as sweet to them as to us.  He was also kind enough to allow Peter's Josie to continue to think she was in charge, though we all knew better.

He was only obstinate about one thing.  His morning walk was a Sacred Ritual and he brooked no interference with it.  When we fenced in a quarter acre for a back garden to keep the dogs safe while outside he refused to adjust.  In the morning he would just sit looking out the fence at his usual path and wait until we gave in to his walk.  You could practically hear him singing Don't Fence Me In.

We couldn't have had a better, sweeter, more loving companion through the years and now he's with Mom again, and has no fences and all is good.  But we're really going to miss him here.



Friday, October 4, 2013

Well, I decided to risk it...

so now let's see if I can actually get to attend something I signed up for and want to attend.


Come early. Stay late! Sea and Sand...Calamari Crime.
Innovative Programming in Noir, Thriller, Historical, Cozy, and just about everything Mystery! Champagne Awards Luncheon, Opening Reception and special events!


US Guest of Honor: Cara Black International Guest of Honor: Louise Penny
Toastmaster: Brad Parks

Fan guest of Honor: Sue Trowbridge
G is for Guest: Sue Grafton
Lifetime Achievement: Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
- See more at: http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/2013/08/left-coast-crime-march-20-23-2014.html#sthash.GrsiIU8s.dpuf
Come early. Stay late! Sea and Sand...Calamari Crime.
Innovative Programming in Noir, Thriller, Historical, Cozy, and just about everything Mystery! Champagne Awards Luncheon, Opening Reception and special events!


US Guest of Honor: Cara Black International Guest of Honor: Louise Penny
Toastmaster: Brad Parks

Fan guest of Honor: Sue Trowbridge
G is for Guest: Sue Grafton
Lifetime Achievement: Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
- See more at: http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/2013/08/left-coast-crime-march-20-23-2014.html#sthash.GrsiIU8s.dpuf
US Guest of Honor: Cara Black International Guest of Honor: Louise Penny
Toastmaster: Brad Parks

Fan guest of Honor: Sue Trowbridge
G is for Guest: Sue Grafton
Lifetime Achievement: Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
- See more at: http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/2013/08/left-coast-crime-march-20-23-2014.html#sthash.bVWkaiZn.dpuf
It's a mystery lovers convention, again.  Yes, I know, Californica, but I have family there that won't come visit me so I have to break down every once in a while and head that way.  Plan is to attend the convention, then head down the coast for a visit with my sister and her family.  The twins and Mik are growing all the time and I'm missing it.  Plus, I miss seeing the rest of the family.

And, anywho, this looks like fun.  Lifetime Achievement Awards will be given to Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini, Guests of Honor will include Sue Grafton, Louise Penny and Cara Black. And the attendee list is beginning to get more interesting.  Plus, books.  New, yet to be released books.  Usually there are enough of them handed out to pay for the convention.  Did I mention access to new books? And authors.  Who often hand out books.  After signing them.  And book people, real readers, not the ones who struggle through the NYT bestseller of the month because it's chic.  Oh, and free books. 

Come early. Stay late! Sea and Sand...Calamari Crime.
Innovative Programming in Noir, Thriller, Historical, Cozy, and just about everything Mystery! Champagne Awards Luncheon, Opening Reception and special events!


US Guest of Honor: Cara Black International Guest of Honor: Louise Penny
Toastmaster: Brad Parks

Fan guest of Honor: Sue Trowbridge
G is for Guest: Sue Grafton
Lifetime Achievement: Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
- See more at: http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/2013/08/left-coast-crime-march-20-23-2014.html#sthash.bVWkaiZn.dpufIt
Come early. Stay late! Sea and Sand...Calamari Crime.
Innovative Programming in Noir, Thriller, Historical, Cozy, and just about everything Mystery! Champagne Awards Luncheon, Opening Reception and special events!


US Guest of Honor: Cara Black International Guest of Honor: Louise Penny
Toastmaster: Brad Parks

Fan guest of Honor: Sue Trowbridge
G is for Guest: Sue Grafton
Lifetime Achievement: Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
- See more at: http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/2013/08/left-coast-crime-march-20-23-2014.html#sthash.bVWkaiZn.dpuf
Come early. Stay late! Sea and Sand...Calamari Crime.
Innovative Programming in Noir, Thriller, Historical, Cozy, and just about everything Mystery! Champagne Awards Luncheon, Opening Reception and special events!


US Guest of Honor: Cara Black International Guest of Honor: Louise Penny
Toastmaster: Brad Parks

Fan guest of Honor: Sue Trowbridge
G is for Guest: Sue Grafton
Lifetime Achievement: Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
- See more at: http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/2013/08/left-coast-crime-march-20-23-2014.html#sthash.bVWkaiZn.dpuf
Come early. Stay late! Sea and Sand...Calamari Crime.
Innovative Programming in Noir, Thriller, Historical, Cozy, and just about everything Mystery! Champagne Awards Luncheon, Opening Reception and special events!


US Guest of Honor: Cara Black International Guest of Honor: Louise Penny
Toastmaster: Brad Parks

Fan guest of Honor: Sue Trowbridge
G is for Guest: Sue Grafton
Lifetime Achievement: Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
- See more at: http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/2013/08/left-coast-crime-march-20-23-2014.html#sthash.bVWkaiZn.dpuf
Come early. Stay late! Sea and Sand...Calamari Crime.
Innovative Programming in Noir, Thriller, Historical, Cozy, and just about everything Mystery! Champagne Awards Luncheon, Opening Reception and special events!


US Guest of Honor: Cara Black International Guest of Honor: Louise Penny
Toastmaster: Brad Parks

Fan guest of Honor: Sue Trowbridge
G is for Guest: Sue Grafton
Lifetime Achievement: Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
- See more at: http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/2013/08/left-coast-crime-march-20-23-2014.html#sthash.GrsiIU8s.dpuf
Come early. Stay late! Sea and Sand...Calamari Crime.
Innovative Programming in Noir, Thriller, Historical, Cozy, and just about everything Mystery! Champagne Awards Luncheon, Opening Reception and special events!


US Guest of Honor: Cara Black International Guest of Honor: Louise Penny
Toastmaster: Brad Parks

Fan guest of Honor: Sue Trowbridge
G is for Guest: Sue Grafton
Lifetime Achievement: Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
- See more at: http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/2013/08/left-coast-crime-march-20-23-2014.html#sthash.GrsiIU8s.dpuf
Come early. Stay late! Sea and Sand...Calamari Crime.
Innovative Programming in Noir, Thriller, Historical, Cozy, and just about everything Mystery! Champagne Awards Luncheon, Opening Reception and special events!


US Guest of Honor: Cara Black International Guest of Honor: Louise Penny
Toastmaster: Brad Parks

Fan guest of Honor: Sue Trowbridge
G is for Guest: Sue Grafton
Lifetime Achievement: Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
- See more at: http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/2013/08/left-coast-crime-march-20-23-2014.html#sthash.GrsiIU8s.dpuf

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Geek or Nerd

Turns out it's all in the wording...



So far the comments are too fun, check them out.

Wonder how this will play out

Despite the fact that it was his mother who turned him in, the father of a murdered 12 year old is suing the parents of her 15 year old murderer.  He says Justin Robinson's parents should have known he was troubled and sought treatment for him.  He also says they shouldn't have exposed him to domestic abuse. In court it was admitted that Justin saw his father choking his mother multiple times and this was referred to as learned behavior, thus making it partially the fault of his parents when he choked Autumn to death according to Mr. Pasquale.  He is suing for pain and suffering, wrongful death and funeral fees.

However this case goes, a sentence of 17 years with possibility of parole in 14 seems a little light for someone capable of choking a 12 year old to death to steal her bicycle.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Banned Books Week

It's banned books week.  Yeah, I know it seems odd in this day and age when anyone can see anything on their TV or computer that there are still banned books.

But then these are mainly not just banned books, they're banned ideas.  This week is about "Celebrating the Freedom to Read" for all people in the world.

Because the first response to something you don't like should always be to keep it from everyone else, right?

Some of the books that have been banned are also on the list of books that helped shape America, like these;

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 1953
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, 1966
Moby-Dick; or The Whale, Herman Melville,1851 
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck, 1939
The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane, 1895
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1960
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak, 1963

This isn't an old problem, mainly gone away, as I write this the Chicago Public Schools have removed Persepolis, a book once featured in CPS-endorsed “Speak Truth to Power” Human Rights Curriculum from said curriculum.  I guess it doesn't "Speak Truth to Power" any more. 

So this week defy the censors.  Choose a book from a recent list, buy it and read it. Don't be afraid of being exposed to ideologies you disagree with, having the facts as presented by the believers will give you a better argument.

Here's a start;

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

How many have you already read?


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Just sitting around reminiscing today...


When I was a kid the family did a lot of fishing and diving off the coast of Mexico.  I remember when this one wasn't even that unusual.