Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

The day began with gray skies. Ed was disappointed because he had plans to work on the truck. Since that wasn't happening, we did a little shopping, went for lunch, stopped by Freightliner to pick up a few parts and went back to the truck.

A little bit later, the sun came out but it was still sprinkling. You can see my view of outside from my perch at the dinette in the cab. Ed's lights and wiring and stuff he was working on are spread out on the dash. We ventured out into the rain one last time to get some Starbucks and then headed back to the truck for the rest of the afternoon.

It was certainly a cozy little setting inside the truck; me, Ed and the pitter-patter of the raindrops on the sleeper.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
As Seen On TV
Eddie Polishing His Chrome Friday
Traveling With Your Cat
Getting Wet In The Next County
Down With O.P.P.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

This Is What Sheer Joy Looks Like

I found this video as I was cruising around the internet and wouldn't it have to happen right after I put my makeup on - let's just say I had to re-apply my mascara.

This family is just BEAUTIFUL. Not only is their newly adopted son Johannes picture perfect, but so are they as you see the joy they exude in every photo. You can see it in the faces of Katie and Brad and their other two boys, Riley and Cole. I've watched this video three times already and can't stop looking at Johannes. His smile, his expressions, his eyelashes and his eyes...oh, those eyes. You can drown in those big, beautiful eyes!

I think adoption is wonderful and more people should do it. There are so many needy children out there, both in our country and others. How wonderful to give them a beautiful, loving home.

To learn more about the Dunlaps, check out their family blog

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I’ll Have The Tootsie Rolls And The Butterfinger And The Lollipop And The Gummi Bears And The Hershey Kisses And The Snickers Bar And The M&M’s And…
Meals On Wheels
Mercury Dropping
James Cameron For $79.99 A Night
The Town That Big Tobacco Built

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Weekend Full Of Bright Stars And Not Much Else

Well, it's Friday and we're still in California. There's nothing worth hauling on the load board, so it looks like we'll be here for the weekend. I don't mind, because I can always find something to do. Ed, although he'd rather be hauling freight somewhere, has already made a list of things he wants to do on the truck. He's been to Home Depot four times already; and that's just today.

I might do laundry, but it's more likely that the only thing I'll do tomorrow (since Ed will be working on the truck), is walk to the shopping center a half mile away and maybe get a manicure and pedicure and then head over to the Starbucks to sip a latte while I read the newspaper.

After that, I might take in a movie; there are a few I have in the truck that I've been meaning to watch. The first is Bright Star; I've been waiting to be alone to watch this movie because I really don't want to subject Ed to it. It's my kind of flick. Then I might see what's for rent on DirectTV or pick up something at the Red Box when I go for my walk.

It looks like it's going to be a leisurely weekend for me, which might stretch into next week if these people don't start paying more to haul their stuff all over the country. I've got food, water, satellite TV and the perfect "secret" parking spot in the cutest little neighborhood...I can stay here all week.

Stay tuned...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I’m Floored
Two Worlds Collide
Girl Crush
Silly Boys
It’s Nowhere Near Mexico, Y’all

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Doin' The Math

Today we had lunch at Farmer Boys Hamburgers here in California. We've been to this place once before and had a pretty good burger. But last time we were here, things were a bit different. Last time, they didn't list the calories next to each menu item.

The new law just went into effect this January 1st. Do you see The Farmer's Burger? TWELVE HUNDRED calories! TWELVE HUNDRED. That's the amount of calories you're supposed to have in a whole entire DAY if you're watching what you eat. This was just lunch.

OK, so even if I don't get The Farmer's Burger, which is their specialty, a Bacon Cheeseburger is still EIGHT HUNDRED calories. Add a large order of onion rings, at EIGHT HUNDRED and FIFTY calories and my lunch is now on the high end of an entire day's worth of calories. It would be fine if I were an athlete, participating in an Iron Man Competition. Or pulling a sled in the Iditarod. But I wasn't. I'm just a truck driver who will likely be sitting on my ass for eight to ten hours after I eat.

Holy mother of burgers with guacamole! I was having a heart attack just reading what I was planning to eat for lunch. Maybe if I ordered it without the guacamole? I was almost (but not quite enough) embarrassed to order. I should have been embarrassed, but I was there and I was extremely hungry. And they just sprung this whole calorie posting thing on me. I couldn't veer off course now. I knew I should have gone to El Pollo Loco. But here I was, getting ready to order La Hamburguesa Loca when I know I should have been walking right out La Puerta.

But I stayed. And I have to tell you, although I didn't practice any restraint this time, I truly believe that posting the calories like this will give pause to a lot of people. We're a bunch of fatasses. And eating a twelve-hundred calorie burger isn't helping. Standing there, with caloric information at your fingertips, it'll be a a lot harder to convince yourself it's "not that bad" when you're ordering something you really shouldn't be having. And it'll be a lot easier keeping track of what you do eat if you feel the urge for fast food. I think it'll help with making better choices.

I know they've been doing this in New York City, but I think this is the first time I've actually seen the menu boards with the calories right there, next to the menu item I'm eyeballing. And I am aware that the calories are printed on the packaging from McDonald's already, but by the time you have them in your hand, it's too late; it's easy to unwrap that Filet O' Fish and crumple the wrapper. I'm sure in some cases it won't matter, and I know that many of us are aware of the high calories in fast food already, but I really think when it's staring us in the face it will help.

"Farmer" Brothers should be figuring out how to sell delicious farm fresh veggies (OK, they do serve a mean fried zucchini) instead of pushing burgers that break the calorie bank. I think I'm pretty safe from this point forward because the thing I have on my side that helps?


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Well, Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit
I Even Have Time To Go On Strike
Teaching Them Young
You Gotta Be In It To Win It
Cinema Stupido

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Service With A Smile

After we delivered our load in California, we had a few things to get done. First, we had to get the truck washed, it was covered in road salt and looked terrible. What an amazing transformation once the guys at Little Sister’s gave her a bath. She was gleaming!

After the bath, we had to get the oil changed. That didn't take long and after we finished, we headed out to get a bite (priorities, people). Last on the To Do list was getting our windshield fixed. A while back, we got a little "star" chip in the windshield from a rock that kicked up from the road. This week with the freezing cold weather outside (so cold that the pipe in our sink froze!) after Ed washed the windshield and got into the truck, he noticed that the star had turned into a crack.

As we drove across the country, that crack started creeping across the windshield and then up, up, up. We were concerned that we would get stopped and DOT would see the crack before we had a chance to get it fixed. According to the FMCSA regulations, you can't have any obstructions above the steering wheel. At that point, it was still hovering just below the top edge of the steering wheel. Whew!

Once we got to California and the weather warmed up, the ice in the sink melted and when we stopped for fuel, got the name of an auto glass place that would come out and fix the windshield for us. We called them and made an appointment for the next morning.

So we made our way to our "secret" parking spot, set up camp for the night and set the alarm to wake in time for us to meet the glassman. He called to say that he was running a little late (calling automatically gave him extra points), that he had hit a little traffic, and he would see us just a half-hour after our original appointed time.

He showed up with a great smile and a great attitude. His name was Nick (that's him up there in the picture) and he was with Advanced Auto Glass, Inc., a family owned business. Ed was outside when he arrived and stayed there while Nick got his equipment together and started working on the truck.

He was one of the nicest guys we've ever done business with. He was chatty, personable, friendly and interested. He asked questions about our business, told Ed a little about himself and his family (yes, I was eavesdropping) and continued to work tirelessly on the windshield. He didn't have one shred of attitude, which is often what we come across in service industry businesses; people who act like they're doing you a favor. I would use this guy over and over again and recommend him to anyone in the area who needed windshield repair. It's kind of an odd situation, because how often does one crack a windshield? Still, I'd still tell people about the service we got from him and hand out his number in a heartbeat.

In no time at all, he installed the driver side windshield, fixed a little teeny star on the passenger side window and gave us a great can of glass cleaner - the "good stuff". I used it on my mirrors in the truck right away and they sparkled like glass. Well, because you know, they are glass.

Nick has now been immortalized on the blog and you've seen his friendly face, so if you're cruising through California and you happen to see him toting around shiny panels of glass, surprise him with an big 'ol wave!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Getting The Red Out, One Barn At A Time
How A Four Year Old Can Make You Feel Like Crap For Trying To Get Out Of Doing Yard Work
Florida Fro
Hail To The McGriddle Gods

Monday, January 24, 2011

From Blue Grass To Wine Country

The load we're under started out in snowy Kentucky. Along the way, among other places, we hit:

Omaha, Nebraska...

I-80 across Wyoming...Utah...
And finally, vineyards in Central California...
Next stop, Southern California...and the trip is done!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Plump With Fat Quarters
Eddie Out With The Old, In With The New Friday
You Can Get Them At Home Depot??
There Are Never Enough Hours In The Day To Do Anything When You Have A Baby
Tequila Sunrise

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Papa Can You Hear Me?

I listen to my iPod a lot while driving and Papa Can You Hear Me? is one of the songs that came on as I made my way across the country, with a bright moon and stars filling the night sky. It took my night driving to a whole new level.

You just can't beat Barbra's voice. Check it out HERE.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Err Erudes Them
2 YEARS AGO: Sorry, no post for this date.
When You Just Can’t Decide Between Dinner And Breakfast
Purple Industrial Skies

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Think I've Seen This Person On Facebook

Tennessee is still in the running for the place I most want to live, but since I don't have children I don't have to worry about them being taught at The Learning Academy in Murfreesboro.

Which also means I don't have to worry about my car being toad. As if that error isn't bad enough, I seriously don't get the confusion between your and you're; it actually makes my head feel a little like it's going to explode.

** I wish I had taken the picture of this Post-It note, but since I didn't, I thank the internet for producing these little gems.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Eating Crud Is So Much Tastier Than Eating Crow
Chihuly In The Trees
Is It Really SO Hard??
Snowball In Hell
The Southern Family Tree

Friday, January 21, 2011


Years ago, I bought a book titled If…(Questions for the Game of Life). In it, are five hundred provocative questions. I've pulled this book out at parties, family gatherings and dinner parties with friends. It's a great way to get conversations started and an even better way to get to know people.

I've decided to start a new category called "If" and use the book to choose questions, which I will answer here, and then ask you to answer in the comment section. So let's get started with the first question...

If you had to lose one of your limbs, which one would you sacrifice?

I think I'd have to go with my left leg. I couldn't get rid of my arms, because I need them to type, write, do crafts, cook, sew and anything else I'd be doing if I were sitting around with one leg.

I'm "right-legged", so I'd need to keep that leg. And it's my gas pedal leg. Of course, my left leg is my clutch leg, but I can always go to an automatic transmission and wouldn't need to use it to shift at all. But I still need that right leg.

How about you? Which limb would you sacrifice??

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
How The West Was Fun
Pecking Order
The Sympathy Train Stopped Dead In Its Tracks

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snowy Arrival

Our running partner Mark waiting to unload his trailer in the morning snow of Bedford, Indiana.

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Not A Pretty Sight
Marking This Day In History With A Vibrant Spot Of Color
Lighting To Do Laundry By
The Benefits Of Dating A White Boy
Shhhhhh, You’ll Wake The Driver

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Not So Wacky After All

It's really amazing what a little "organizing" of storage boxes will turn up...

Years ago, when I worked for the Westin La Paloma, a guest needed some assistance with something. Her request wasn't something I could do "on" the job, but I did take care of it for her on my own time, outside of the hotel.

She was so impressed with my going out of my way, that she wrote me a card saying it was "definitely above and beyond the call of duty but was a friendliness that made a very, very positive impression on a hotel guest and a first-time visitor to Arizona!" Not only was the hotel guest impressed, but my boss was as well.

She was a guest at the annual conference of the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology. She left me a book from one of their most prominent teachers, Rudolf Dreikurs. As I began thumbing through the little book containing his words of wisdom, I found many that struck a chord with me. Here are the ones I found to be most significant.

"It is better to be wrong in figuring out the meaning of a situation than to overlook it."

"Every untrue answer to a child's question endangers the child's confidence in you."

"Parents can't get along with their children if they assume that their children can be subdued."

"To establish language as a means of communication within the family would require the avoidance of talk whenever conflict arises."

"We make our experiences according to our life goal."

"We have harmony only among equals."

Seems like those shrinks really know what they're talking about.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Spreading The Word
He Had A Dream. Tomorrow We See It Come True.
Who Do You Know?
South Beach Blue
Jawl Spake Anglesh??

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Can I Appoint Myself The Baroness Of Cattle?

On Monday, we picked up our load in Arizona, heading out to Indiana. While at the facility loading, we met another driver named Mark who is leased to the same company we are. While loading the trailer, we all got to talking. Loading took almost all morning. By the time afternoon rolled into evening, we were all hungry and decided to take a meal together. That was our first meal of the trip.

During that meal, we decided we'd run together, all the way to Indiana. This is the first time Ed and I have done this on purpose; there have been other times that we've found ourselves loading at the same facility as another driver, going to the same place, but we've never consciously made a decision to drive with them. I guess we've just never liked anyone as much.

Mark was different, though. We really liked him. We all got along very well. It's the most I think I've ever seen Ed talk to anyone out here. And as far as truck drivers go, he was a real gem. He originally went to college to become an engineer and also got a music scholarship; he was a pianist. I've never met a truck driver who studied classical piano. Very interesting. He and I hit it off right away; he had a charm about him that made him very easy to talk with, kid with and converse intelligently over dinner with. We had a great time, the three of us.

Tuesday morning while I slept, Ed and Mark had breakfast together. A big, hearty, trucker meal. We drove all day and by the time dinner rolled around, Ed came up with the fantastic idea that we should eat at the Cattle Baron in Roswell, New Mexico. Ed had been to this particular restaurant before with his parents, and he and I had eaten at the Cattle Baron in Midland, TX. Best steak we've ever had. In the entire country. WAY better than our overpriced, overcooked, marginal steak dinner at McCormick & Schmick's. This meal, I was really looking forward to; as were the guys, since they're both steak lovers.

We found parking on the street right next to the restaurant (for two loaded semi's!) and made our way into the Cattle Baron, walking into a cloud of the most delicious aroma wafting from the open kitchen. We were salivating at this point. We finally got to eating; the salad bar was extensive, dinner was fantastic and delicious desserts topped everything off. We left sated and ready to put a few more miles under our belts.

We're expecting to deliver on Thursday and providing we don't hit any bad weather, that delivery time should stand. I'm looking forward to a few more meals together and I can tell you right now, I'm going to be sad when the trip ends. It's one of the most fun trips across the country we've made.

Mark has already invited us to his expansive spread in Ohio; little does he know that I may just be taking him up on that invite. Especially since he has truck parking!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This Time Losing The Wallet Really Means Losing The Wallet
Marley & Me
Eddie Gets Handy Friday
The Perfect Neapolitan Slice
The King Of The Flying Salmon

Monday, January 17, 2011

Now I'm No Longer Alone

"...without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own."

Picture taken in St. Augustine, Florida.

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1 YEAR AGO: Rings Of Spring
2 YEARS AGO: Map Schmap
A Willow Weeps In Arizona
Double Team
Turning One Million

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Again And Again And Again

Late last night, a friend of mine emailed this to me as he often does with Jim Shea's columns. In light of my recent post, I'm now sharing it with you:

Gun Control Is A Non-Issue

Read more of Jim Shea's blog

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Hood Ornament
Eddie Out Of Control Friday
My Boyfriend Simon Is Back In Town
A Little Taste Of Miami Beach
Oooohhhhhh, Jabra!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fun For Sale

My brother built this thing. I say "thing" because I'm not really sure what's it's supposed to be called; a car? a bus? a short VW van? All I know is that it's super-cool and the tranformation from "before" to "after" is just amazing.

It's been written about by
Hemmings, it's on auto-buying websites and this weekend, it's going to be auctioned off in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Russo and Steele’s Collector Automobile Auction.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a bidder with deep pockets!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Dublin Is Incredibly Corny
Welcome To Snowhio
When Big Hair And Denim Were King
Open 24 Hours
Lucky One Eye

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weeding Out The Assholes

All week we've been talking about the killings in Tucson. And about the gunman; how he just went out and bought a gun, and then went to two different Walmarts to buy bullets.

Then information came trickling in that he might not be mentally sound. Yet, he was still able to get his hands on a gun. And bullets. No checking. No testing. No "Hey, this guy looks a little too crazy to me, should I really sell him this gun?" moments.

When I decided I wanted to drive a truck and get a CDL (Commerical Drivers License), I had to go to a special school. In that school, this is how much time I had to spend on varying subjects regarding trucking:

  • 30 Hours of Classroom Training on General Knowledge, Air Brakes, Combination Vehicles, Hazardous Materials, Log Book, Map Reading, Trip Planning.
  • 40 Hours of Field Training on how to do a Pre-Trip Inspection, Straight Backing, Parallel Parking, 45 Degree Alley Dock, Coupling and Uncoupling, Sliding Fifth Wheel and Tandems.
  • 50 Hours on Road Training to learn Shifting, Highway Driving, City Driving, Right and Left Turns, Safety Procedurs and Defensive Driving Techniques
  • 33 Hours of Homework to work on my Pre-Trip Inspection, Safety Procedures, Log Book and whatever classroom assignments were given out.
  • 10 Hours for the Final Exam practicing and actual testing, both written and driving.

Now I'll be the first to say that 163 hours of training is nowhere near enough to understand how to drive a truck. That's why after I graduated from the school, I had to drive with someone sitting next to me providing further training, on the road and in the thick of real life situations for another 315 hours.

And even that isn't enough time to learn all you need to know to drive an 18-wheeler. In fact, there are veterans on the road right this very minute, people who have been driving more than thirty and forty years, who will tell you that they're still learning. They scoff at the "newbies" who are churned out of the schools and thrown into their own truck without any real idea about what to do. And they're right. You're given an 80,000 pound vehicle to drive. Willy-Nilly. All over the United States and Canada.

But I'm not finished...I also had to get (and pass) a DOT physical. And I'm required to get that physical every two years as along as I want to hold a CDL and as long as I plan on being behind the wheel of that truck. They want to know your health history. They want to know if you've had any illnesses or injuries in the past five years; any head/brain injuries, disorders or illnesses, any seizures or epilepsy, any eye disorders, ear disorders, heart disease or heart surgery; high blood pressure, muscular diseases or shortness of breath; any liver, kidney or digestive problems, any nervous or psychiatric disorders like severe depression, and loss of or altered consciousness, fainting, sleep disorders like sleep apnea, snoring or daytime sleepiness; missing extremities, spinal injuries, low back pain, regular or frequent alcohol use or any narcotic or habit forming drug use.

Then (oh yes, there's more), they check your vision. You have to have at least 20/40 (I have 20/15 in both eyes - that's better than 20/20!). Then they check your hearing - you have to be able to hear a forced whisper from five feet away, without any hearing aids. I can hear a pin drop. From a skyscraper. Then comes my blood pressure (120/82), my pulse rate, the good 'ol pee test to check for protein, blood and sugar in my urine. And once that's done, they start to check for actual abnormalities. That list is even longer.

Theeeennnnnn...after all that testing, I had to take more tests. I had to take a test to get my doubles/triples endorsement and I had to take a test to get my HazMat endorsement. That was a biggie. Not only did I have to take a written test, but I had to pay $90.00 to get my fingerprints taken and submitted to the state Bureau of Investigations. The TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) Hazardous Materials Endorsement Threat Assessment Program conducts a security threat assessment (background check) to make sure I'm not a threat; it's a program that was implemented to meet the requirements of the USA Patriot Act. The Patriot Act. I had to give MY fingerprints to be able to haul nail polish remover. Believe that??

So while I had to do all of this testing, pay all kinds of money, take written tests and skills test and let someone scan my Ten Little Indians, all that asshole shooter had to do was go shopping. Personally, I don't really think a regular person needs a gun. They don't need automatic weapons and they don't need extended clips. And you shouldn't be able to buy bullets in Walmart. But if someone needs a gun, must have a gun, won't feel complete without a gun....they should be
REQUIRED to PROVE they are capable, sound and skilled enough to use one.

Granted, people who pass all those tests might still snap, but the chances of weeding out the assholes are greater if you actually DO SOMETHING to weed them out.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Does It Fall Under Some Kind Of Secret Guy Code?
Over 140 Million Years In The Making
If “G” Means Good, Then “I” Must Mean Incompetent
Ft. Lauderdale Storm
You Don’t Need Makeup Or Starbucks

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reflecting On The Day

Our truck reflecting the desert landscape in our yard and the mountain in the distance. Looks like it could be a mural, doesn't it?

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Crunching The Numbers
Looking Grand At The Grand Canyon
Overshadowing Government
Miami International
Did You Check The Solenoid?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Next Project

After doing the sheds, the next project will be to connect the fence back to the gate. While they were working on the sheds, my brother kept closing the gate, saying he "didn't want the bees to get out."

Yeah, comedians.

Monday, January 10, 2011

MMXI At Full Throttle

I have never had an energy drink in my life. I've never even taken a sip of one. But after watching my brother and Ed work in the yard for the past few days, I think I need one. The boys emptied both of our storage sheds, removed the old bases because they were infested with bees and snakes, and poured two new concrete slabs to set the sheds back on.

All I did was watch, bring them water and make BLT's for lunch one day. I'm exhausted. Now that the concrete slabs are done, and the sheds are back on, all that's left is to go through all of our belongings, organize them and send the stuff we don't want off to Goodwill. Then we'll lock the shed and hit the road.

We've been home since just after Christmas and I think we'll head back to work next week. I'm stil hoping to catch more snow for the season and get in a visit to Nashville to see my best friend (sometime in the future).

I can't wait to get into the swing of this year. For some reason, I feel really excited about 2011 and want to get things rolling. I have a couple of cool things on the agenda and will talk more about them as time goes on. I recently read, or heard, someone say "Figure out what you want and learn how to ask for it." I think I may just have figured out what I want. But I'm not asking anyone for it; I'm going after it.

That I have energy for!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Maybe There’s A Reason Ed Never Lets Me Out Of The Truck
One Thousand Four Hundred Forty Minutes A Day
The Story Of The Uppity Barista: Otherwise Known As A Texan Gittin’ Above His Raisin’
Rock, Paper, Eddie

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Some People Are Just Fucking Nuts

While we were standing in our backyard yesterday, deciding on where we were going to put the new foundations for our old sheds, we heard sirens screaming in the near distance. We knew something was wrong and only found out minutes later, when my sister-in-called to tell us that our Congresswoman had been shot.

After getting more information, we found out that nineteen people were shot. SHOT. Just two miles from where we stood. Of the six people that died, one of them was a 9-year-old little girl who knew my brother's family and my nephews. It was horrible news.

I'm not really going to write much about the incident here, since it's being covered everywhere, but to me it really is about political rhetoric; how people process what they hear and how hateful speech coming from the right actually does affect people more than they think.

Bill Clinton gave a speech last year marking the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombings. He said, “The words we use really do matter. There’s this vast echo chamber, and they go across space and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike.” The writer of the article went on to say that you “never know exactly what hate speech produces, but why risk its interaction with underlying mental illness?” Mental illness or not, it doesn’t take much for someone, for instance, to take stupid Sarah Palin’s “cross-hairs” map seriously.

When you have MILLIONS of people (three to FIVE million) people listening to you everyday, reading your website or watching your television show, you do have a certain level of influence. It's unfortunate, and beyond comprehension, but people listen to Glenn Beck. They quote Bill O’Reilly. They show up to rallies put on by Sean Hannity. And they consider voting for Sarah Palin.

Our Sheriff Dupnik described Arizona as a “mecca of prejudice and bigotry”. From Jan Brewer on down, the hatred from the right doesn’t stop. From an article in our local paper, "Trent Humphries, co-founder of the Tucson Tea Party, says his in-box has been jammed since Dupnik’s remarks with messages telling him he has blood on his hands or that he and his family should have been the ones killed.”

See what I mean? In the wake of this tragedy, Teabaggers are saying the Sheriff’s family should be killed. Seriously?????

More people should follow Sheriff Dupnik’s lead and PUBLICLY denounce hate speech and violent political rhetoric. Right-wingers can deny it all they’d like, but all you have to do is watch video from a Tea Party rally to hear the disgusting way people talk, inciting hatred without anyone stepping up to tell them it’s wrong.

In the same article talking about Bill Clinton’s comments, I read that “Conservatives like to argue that these are isolated incidents carried out by lunatics and therefore carry no big lessons (unless the perpetrator is Muslim, in which case it’s terrorism); liberals view them as opportunities to address various social ills.”

That’s the damn truth. It’s NOT an isolated incident. All these little “isolated incidents” they speak of, are the result of SOCIAL ILLS.

And we should ALL be addressing them. Because the nuts aren't just the ones with the guns.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
7am In Beantown
Eddie Taking A Moment To Enjoy Nature Friday
Pull Up A Chair
Brad Blows
Expressly American

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Men (And One Little Man) At Work

Ed, my brother, and my youngest nephew getting ready to pour the concrete pad for the new shed. I'm so glad there are boys in my family, otherwise I might have been asked to wrangle the snakes and get rid of the bees. Ack!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Miss Me Like It’s Forever
Speak Already!
On The Hunt
Cash For Life
Nice Melons

Friday, January 07, 2011

How To Kill Bees

Behind our house in Arizona, we have two storage sheds, mostly filled with junk, old photos, Christmas decorations and clothes that no longer fit.

They also house bees.

Over the past few years, we've noticed more bees flying around the backyard area and last year we had a guy come out to spray some stuff that was supposed to kill them, but didn't. At that same time, Ed built a new floor for one of the sheds, clearing everything out from underneath when he did. Apparently, the bees liked that location and came back. This is what we found under that shed:

Here is a close up of the hive. I think it's creepy and alien looking. And since the bees were all over it, it looked as if it were moving.

Look at the honeycomb (although these were no honeybees!)...
Even closer yet. Check out those critters!

It was amazing seeing them huddled all in one spot. We read that they can't really move when it's cold, so we did this late afternoon, when the temperature had dipped. Ed and I also knew from hauling bees, that they're docile after dark when it's cooler.

After the first shed was done, it was time to move on to the second shed. This one we got on video. Yes, that's me talking on the video (the first male voices are of my brother and Ed and then you'll hear my mother and step-father). And yes, that's me screaming like a girl (I don't like flying insects or snakes). I never realized how high-pitched I sound when screeching.

I was talking loudly (until Ed told me to speak lower) and I also threw in a few colorful words (until my brother reminded me I was on video). I was shouting because I didn't want to stand near the camera, which was set up near the bees!

Be sure to watch closely as the wood base is lifted...there is a large snake in plain view on the ground when they pulled it up. I was so focused on looking for the bee hive, that I didn't even SEE the snake, which I discovered was a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.
You will clearly hear me the moment I noticed it. Check it out:

I think I have to go to a voice coach before I make any more videos; or stick with the Arkansas accent. Once both hives were exposed, we waited for dark and then came back with the secret bee killing ingredient; Soapy Water That's right, plain old soap and water.

They mixed a bucket of dish soap and water until it were nice and bubbly, poured it over the hive and ran! Once the bees were saturated and couldn't move, my brother scraped the hives off the wood with a shovel and tossed them into a plastic storage bin and put the lid on. This morning they were all dead.

As for the snake, I boxed it up and mailed it to...ok, I didn't mail it to anyone, but I know exactly who I'd send it to. The snake was taken care of by calling the local fire department, who scooped it up and took it away. A lot of excitement for one day, isn't it?

And all those people on the east coast are whining about getting a little more snow.


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1 YEAR AGO: A Mirage Of Sorts
2 YEARS AGO: Clouds Aflame
3 YEARS AGO: When You Get One Like This, Don’t Let Him Get Away
4 YEARS AGO: A Good Tipper Can Always Get Away With Being A Little Bossy
5 YEARS AGO: Like Day And Night In Utah

Thursday, January 06, 2011

You Don't Need I.D. To Buy Booze If You Have One Of These In Your Pocket

"Typewriter Eraser" by Claes Oldenberg and Coosje van Bruggen

When Ed and I were in Las Vegas in November, we saw this. Just knowing what it is, instantly ages you. Ed, the spring chicken, had no idea what it was.

I hadn't seen one in years and excitedly said, "It's a typewriter eraser!"

He said, "What's a typewriter??"

I'm kidding; he didn't ask what a typewriter was. But I did have to tell him that not only could I identify this object, but I've used one. In typing class. A class you say, for learning how to type?? Doesn't everyone come out of the womb these days knowing how to type? Geez, not every generation was born with a keyboard and mouse three feet from their crib.

Apparently this blast from the past makes Claes and Coosje some pretty popular guys. A smaller version of "Typewriter Eraser" sold at a Christie's auction in 2009 for $2,210,500.00!!

So seriously now...what mundane object from my generation can I make a giant sculpture of and sell for a cool two mil?

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The Pros Slip In And Out With Ease
Mine. All Mine.
No, You Can’t Fly It
Flying Parasols
Seattle In Motion

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

We Got Smashed

Ed and I discovered a new burger place!  It's called Smashburger and it's deeeeelicious! We were in Arizona getting ready to deliver our last load and decided to venture out to a place we usually eat at while in the area. On the way there, we got a little sidetracked when we saw this place.

"Wanna go there?" Ed said.

"Sure" I replied.

So we walked into this bright, simply decorated place and perused the menu. We both decided to have the Arizona Smashburger (Habanero cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onion, chipotle mayo and fresh jalapenos on a chipotle bun). On the side, we got one order of Smashfries (tender and crispy fries tossed with rosemary, olive oil and garlic) and one order of Sweet Potato Smashfries (sweet potato fries tossed with rosemary, olive oil and garlic). I also wanted to try their Smashwedge (wedges of crisp iceberg lettuce topped with applewood smoked bacon, diced tomatoes, red onions, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing).

Everything was amazing. The meat was thin (smashed!) and so very flavorful, and the fries tossed in the rosemary, olive oil and garlic were phenomenal - but the sweet potato ones rocked. I think I'm going to have to start making those in the truck.

I'm so excited to have discovered a new burger place, but the best part is that they aren't only located in Arizona. If you can find one near you, go check it out and let me know what you think!

Now isn't that a smashing idea??

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One Provides Light, The Other Just Stands There
Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!
C’mon In
Eddie Hits The Bricks Friday
Take It As It Comes

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

One Hand In The Air For The Empire State

One hand in the air for the big city
Street lights, big dreams all looking pretty
No place in the world that can compare
Put your lighters in the air, everybody say yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

I love both of these versions. First, a solo by Alicia Keys:

And then the other version that most people have heard if they are familiar with the song; Jay-Z and Alicia Keys:

Monday, January 03, 2011

Start With An Ollie, Finish With A Shred And Grind

This past weekend, Ed and I went to the skateboard park with my brother and my three nephews (that's my oldest nephew there in the photo!). That's right, ME in a place swarming with children. No, no, I'm okay. Thanks for asking.

But while watching and taking pictures, I felt like I was in a foreign country; grind, ollie, carve, half-pipe, trucks. I needed a
Skateboard-English dictionary. If I'm going to be the cool aunt, I have to know how to communicate.

The best part of the day for the boys (and by boys, I mean Ed, my brother and my three nephews) was the mini-sports cam we bought my brother for Christmas. They were strapping that thing on anything they could get it around; helmets, heads, thighs, chests, foot, etc. They made a video that makes going on a rollercoaster look like a walk in the park. I wanted to throw up just watching it, that's how disorienting it is.

But with geeky Ed on the laptop (yes, at the skatepark) and my nephews "shredding up" the skatepark, they were in heaven.

You know what I'm screamin', dude?

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1 YEAR AGO: Fire In The Sky
2 YEARS AGO: Free Advertising For Erectile Dysfunction
Mid-Winter Pick Me Up
Ripped From The Headlines
Our Truck Looked Reallllly Good…

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Bobbin' Around The Neighborhood

Look what I found in the driveway when I got home! This fierce looking bobcat was staring me down like I was a fat, juicy rodent! If I wasn't sitting in the car at the time I took this shot, I think I would've been a bit nervous.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

I'd Rather Get A Little Taste Of Mark Ruffalo Than Eat Swiss Chard

The other night we were watching The Kids Are Alright (starring Annette Benning, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo). First I have to say that it probably wasn't a really good movie choice to watch with my parents.

The main characters are lesbians. Now don't get me wrong, I love the lesbians, and the previews for the movie looked really great, but there was a little too much lovin' of the lesbians in it. Not graphic, just very suggestive. Awkkkwaaard. the movie, Mark Ruffalo was a restaurateur who also tended a small community garden. He was super cute and laid back in the movie. A little too "California" but just scruffy enough for me to decide to ad him to my celebrity crush list.

In one scene, he was in the garden and as he was walking through, called to one of his helpers to get the Swiss Chard he had left behind.

He looked so incredibly cute at that moment, that I exclaimed "I love Mark Ruffalo."

Which was followed by my mother saying, "I love Swiss Chard."

Is it any wonder I'm so obssessed with food? I have two parents who made food a big part of their lives; my father with his cooking skills, and my mother with her keen ability to watch a movie and spot the delicious produce.

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Two Very Different Ideas Of Fun
Caution: New Year Ahead!
Fresh Dreams. Clean Slate. High Hopes. New You.
Two Thousand Seven
Happy New Year!