Friday, April 24, 2009

Specialist - new badge

Got a call from Specialist today and he received his Expert Field Medical Badge today. 400 soldiers showed up for training and 29 actually passed...and our Specialist is one of them. His feet are completely trashed after the 12 mile forced ruck march...3 hour limit with a 30 lb rucksack plus all their other usual accoutrements they have to carry. It entails 5 days of testing...the 5th day is the march. Wiki has a pretty good description of it. He told me last night that he had passed it all and was going to make today's march come hell or high water (and since he was at Ft. Campbell, high water was a chance!) as he was NOT going to return to do it all again. Apparently there were some soldiers that were on their second go-round for it.

When I read up on the training that he is doing (he doesn't explain all of it to me), or view some of the things that he wants to do...I am astounded. For starters, this is one of the kids we couldn't get interested in Boy Scouts...apparently he has no patience for 'amateurs' (LOL!) Anyway, when I look at these badges and the training/testing entailed, then look at others, I am moved to tears by the dedication of our military forces. And their humility. Specialist says he and a couple of buddies will be out having a meal somewhere and a large percentage of the time, the waitress will tell them that the tab has been taken care of, just leave a tip. He says he gets frustrated at times because he'd like to be able to say thank you...I told him just accept it as thanks for what he does...because most of us wouldn't do it. I didn't, his father didn't, both of his grandfathers did...takes someone special...and he's special.

A very proud mama signing off here :D

So, Specialist has a new badge

Thursday, April 23, 2009

24 Fan - and other shows

I'm a big 24 fan. I didn't watch it last season (2 yrs ago) as I was not impressed with the writing...still reserving judgment on this season, but I'm watching every episode. No spoilers here, as I imagine everyone knows that Tony is back, but I received a 'tidbit' yesterday in my comments that will have me watching this week on of the actors looked familiar...that naggy feeling? That feeling has been explained to me now so...hmmmm. I have NO idea where they will go with this...and what have they done to my Tony? He and Bill Bennett were my favorite characters next to Jack--what is NOT to love about a handsome man with a gun? Even if he does carry a murse?) Anyway...I guess we'll see what happens. Maybe 5 hours left? What WILl they do? Couple of new characters this season that I'm not crazy about...mostly as I don't care for the actors so...

This weekend I finally finished watching Season 10 of Stargate and the movie that wrapped it up. One thing that is fun is when actors from other shows appear on the ones that I watch. Adria was an actress from Firefly and Serenity--okay, technically Firefly was a Fox show, but didn't get a decent chance. And for those that have not seen it...basic premise is a Western set in Space! What is NOT to love??? And being a Joss Whedon production, it is well-written, funny, engaging characters and terrific actors. Another character that was in Season 10 for a couple of shows was the cafe owner from Eureka (Vincent). Lexi Doig (Andromeda) appeared in a couple of seasons as the base doctor, also the daughter of the general played by Beau Bridges. To make it more complicated, Michael Shanks has also appeared on Eureka and is married to Lexi Doig in real life...confused?

We have a few shows we do watch. The basic premise would catch my eye, and we'd get the first season(s) from the library and decide if we liked it. Or we would catch a marathon on a cable network. In Plain Sight is the newest one for us. USA network. US Marshalls in the Witness Protection Program, based in Albuquerque. Really good. Good chemistry between the characters, etc. Saving Grace on TNT--wasn't sure about that one...Holly Hunter (boy she's a tiny thing) is a cop in OK...she has issues of her own and a guardian angel named Earl ;D That's been a hoot, but you wonder about her character...they give hints and finally explain it all in the last episdoe of the first season.

The Closer - Kyra Sedgwick - cop transplanted from Atlanta to LA...meets with great hostility, but definitely wins over her team, including the guy who was supposed to get that position.

Psych - huge fan and waiting for the new season. Burn Notice - very well written, funny characters, great chemistry AND Bruce Campbell!

Chuck - another one that we got the first season on DVD...very funny and I love Adam Baldwin (nope, no relation--I like him much better than most of that crew).

Castle - Nathan Fillon from Firefly and Serenity (apparently on Desperate Housewives one season)...very engaging character. Successful crime novelist who is wanting to do research for a new book series...I've heard it described as Murder HE Wrote, but it's not. For starters, I would rather watch Nathan Fillon than Angela Lansbury ;D Other famous novelists have made cameo appearances for a weekly poker recognizing them from their book covers.

Of course NCIS - Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly...again, handsome men with badges and gun. (see a theme?)

I've been watching Lie to Me on Fox also...amazing learning little 'quirks' that people give off when they are not telling the truth...and hilarious recognizing the politicians they flash when they giving 'examples' of deceitful 'tells'. At least they are bipartisan about it...although I think Clinton has made the most appearances...but Pelosi, Reid and Dodd were up there...I think that was Blago this week...didn't get a good look as I was stitching.

And we like to check out different British shows....they do cop dramas REALLY well...and historical? Foyle's War...hands down. I'd love to have that in our library. Follows a British inspector over the course of WWII...1940-1945...incredible writing, characterizations...just tremendous to watch. MI-5 also. More brutal but it seems that the British are not afraid to call a terrorist a terrorist instead of a man-made diaster or whatever that idiot called it (sigh)

With summer coming on I'm not sure what we'll be doing. Deep Space Nine is on the horizon to watch, but not sure what else. I'll have to peruse the files and see what I can come up with...any suggestions? Twilight is on the summer reading list and so is the movie. But I have furniture to refinish and repair so we'll see.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More Susan Boyle

A friend of mine contacted me last night and told me about another Susan Boyle video…her appearance on Larry King. I’m not a fan of King, he’s rather pompous, but the short bit I watched was okay.   Here is her a capella performance of My Heart Will Go On..I’d love to hear the whole thing though…perhaps on her CD that I’ll be rushing out to buy as soon as it is released. Simon is apparently helping her find a producer, etc.

The next video is Cry Me a River from the CD that her church put out for charity. They only made 1000 and I imagine they will go for a lot of money on Ebay. I am guessing that the video portion is from the Britain’s Got Talent and the vocals from the CD. But that is just my guess.

So many people are learning a lesson from that we seem to need to be reminded of…don’t judge a book. She’s got a marvelous sense of humor, I think she is probably the definition of ‘cheeky’ and the kind of person that you really want to know. it would be a real privilege to be her friend. She seems to be the kind that can always be counted on any time you need a friend. Of course, I can probably be romanticizing the whole thing, but good for her.

And the two young ladies in the audience whose pics have been beamed around the world on the youtube video…learn a lesson ladies.

From one Susan to another…honey, keep it up and you show the world what you’ve got. You have a HUGE cheering section that has your back.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Metamorphosis Monday

Once again, since I can’t get photos out of my real camera, we have to look at what I can capture on my cell. We hit the nursery the other day, looking for vermiculite. Home Depot no longer carries it. It has ‘toxic’ ingredients. Who are these people listening to? I mean, besides that font of scientific knowledge Al Gore? Or maybe Lauri Davis? Sheryl Crow? Anyway, it is a mineral that, when heated, ‘pops’. We are planting a garden this year and needed it to use for starting seeds. Apparently the fact that the mineral is inert, does not absorb  into the soil, seedlings or plants is immaterial. So we had to go to the nursery and pay twice as much for it. BUT (I do have a point here), I was prowling around in the ‘scratch and dent’ area and found this lovely clock. Look at the original price on it and then what I paid for it!. So, here is my ‘metamorphosis’.





Am I not absolutely AMAZING? Thought we could all use a Monday giggle. Now take your bad self over to Between Naps on the Porch (one of my very favorite blog names as I am a ‘napper’ and come from a family of ‘nappers’.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Britain's Got Talent

I like to read the UK's Daily Mail. It is a sort of paper/tabloid.

I've just read about Susan Brody. She auditioned (I guess that is what it is) last week for the show, Britain's Got Talent. Honestly, it is a bit of a freak show and some of the acts (and I use that word loosely) that audition are just plain weird. She came on the show last week. Not particularly graceful in her walk, unattractive (I'd love to get some good conditioner on her hair), unruly hair, wild, thick eyebrows, and at 48 years of age, older than many contestants....but she had a wonderful attitude about giving it a try. But she walked out on the stage with a confidence that was good to see, Simon called her cheeky. Wonderful attitude, funny...kind of person that I would like to have. You can imagine what sort of unkindness she'd had to put up with growing up. She honestly owned that stage when she walked out there. She knew what she was potentially in for, and I liked her for that. Susan told Simon that her dream is to be a professional singer. She wants to emulate Elaine Paige. (I confess I had to look her up...she's apparently been called the First Lady of British Musical Theater). Audience members smirked, laughed out loud and generally were incredibly unkind. The female just was pretty snarky in her attitude, the way attractive women (no idea what her talent is) can be towards their lesser-favored sisters. That lasted until Susan opened her mouth. The place fell silent, Simon's right eyebrow launched itself off his face. Her voice is just that amazing. Brought tears to my eyes with the beauty of it...and I'm not a crier over a maybe, but not a voice. She is absolutely amazing, astonishing. She was getting a standing ovation by the audience before she finished the song. The camera guys did a great job of capturing the judges' faces...first shot of the other male judge (Piers?) made him look close to tears, the female judge (Amanda?) was on the verge also. Simon was astonished....and the people in the audience...flashed back on some of the ones who were making fun of her...they were not making fun any longer.

Here she is on youtube, and there are several others. I don't watch reality shows (unless you consider some of the stuff on HGTV reality shows) but I'll be following this one in the Daily Mail. I sincerely hope that a music producer or someone contacts her and gives her a shot. Outward appearances are just that...outward appearances, but the voice of this woman is amazing. Hair and eyebrows can be fixed, that voice cannot be faked. I'd buy her CD in a minute.

PS: And if someone can explain to me WHY I can't imbed a link in the post by using the link thing at the top....

Friday, April 10, 2009

Surly and thanks.

Thank you all for your so kind condolences. JessicaDog was a real one of a kind...her last day she got up and moved from the den to the living room, stopping by the water bowl on the way. She left us a parting 'gift' by peeing on the carpet ;D She went and laid under the library table we use for puzzles and settled in. We couldn't get her to go back to her crate in the den, so I went and brought it into the living room. Yeah, that's my decor, dog crates, cat hair, kid toys and half-finished window treatment in the den. I took the crate in and put it down...and she looked up with that goofy smile. I won (again). Yeah you did. ;D The house is kinda empty and I'm not quite sure Caleb has figured it out.

More dog adventures. I spent my 'stimulus' portion that was in my paycheck last week. Our 'share' of it will buy me ONE 20 oz. cup of plain ol' decaf once a week. The sweet girls at the Human Bean gave us a dog bone for Caleb. He proceeded to 'bury' it between the blanket and the seat back. I fought him back from sticking his head between the seats and saw him 'digging' for it. So I grabbed it out for him. He 'buried' it again. Then he started pulling the blanket back while looking for it. Then he pulled the blanket back too far and exposed the bone. Then he tried to 'bury' it again under the blanket, only the blanket was pulled back too far. He had a rather frantic look on his face. Then a 'solution' occurred to him, and he moved the bone closer to the blanket and tried to use his nose to shove the blanket over the bone again, but he was standing on the blanket (sigh). Sometimes I think he is a bloomin' idiot. Sweet dog, but an absolute moron.

And that was the brightest point of the day til I got off work computer went rebooted itself around 60 times or least. It would go to reboot and would reboot the reboot! And I was trying to make phone calls and get into the computer long enough to answer some email and print out things that I can use next week. If I am lucky, corporate IT will get it back to me by Wednesday or Thursday. (sigh).

I'm SO glad this week is over.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

RIP JessicaDog

Well, for the first time in our marriage we had to have a pet put down. We’d had her for half of our marriage. She was an Australian Cattle Dog, the freaks of the dog world. Seriously. She was definitely Cabinet Man’s dog, but she was rather protective of the entire family. When Sunshine was a baby, Jess would lie in the hallway outside the door while she napped. The the boys and their friends came in the door, she was up, hackles raised and letting them know that they were on Her turf and she was protecting her baby.

ACDs are rather amazing dogs. She didn’t have a tail, which seems to be an American preference. She could jump 6 feet, straight up, from a sitting position for a piece of cheese. She wouldn’t do it for a dog biscuit, MAYBE for a piece of steak, but she’d do it every time for a piece of cheese. Jess also belonged to College Dude. She was his other ‘person of choice’.  A good friend of the boys had a lab that was incredibly well  trained.  So the boys figured if Cowboy could hold a sit/stay with a treat on top of his head, then Jess probably could. So they taught her to hold a piece of cheese on her head  until they ‘released’ her  and she could toss it up and catch it. Well, they underestimated how smart ACDs are…she figured out pretty quickly that if she ducked her chin, the cheese dropped to the floor and she could eat it with no effort.  We’ve often joked that if the breed had opposable thumbs, and could use a hammer, they would run the world. We got a male ACD about 2 years ago as we thought Jess would be gone by summer (she showed us!)

She’d been ill for a while, and on Friday, she didn’t want to eat (even cheese) and the expression on her face was “okay, I’m done”. We can tell that her presence is gone and we miss her.  But over 80 years in dog years is a pretty good run. She did well when we took her to the vet, they were very kind to her and us. We’ve got good memories of her and that is what matters.

Here is a link to a site about ACDs and an incredible story that I ran across at the Daily Mail UK website.

Okay, I'm smiling

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Using Live Writer/ER Series Finale

Well, let’s see how this works. Not bad so far, but I’ll have to use it for a bit to see how it works. And get it on both the computers that I use to blog on. I know a number of ladies are excited about it and I’m willing to try it. Blogger is a bit ‘clunky’ when it comes to seeing what you are doing as you write it.

Just finished the series finale of ER. We stopped watching it probably 8 years ago or so…sorta scary that for the most part, we knew what was going on, and I have to admit, it is one of the better season finales that we’ve watched. (as opposed to these TV's 10 Worst Series Finales I rather wish that I had watched the entire retrospective beforehand, but we were watching Open Season with Sunshine and College Dude and I made a library run. Among other things, I picked up Bernie Goldberg’s newest book, slobbering love affair : the true (and pathetic) story of the torrid romance between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media. I’ve managed to refrain from starting the book…otherwise I’d be up all  night long reading it. But the office is empty next week so I’ll get it read then…or maybe this weekend. No, I have to get window treatments up this weekend. It is supposed to snow…winter storm advisory for tomorrow night so…we’ll see. We were supposed to get a bunch on Tuesday so…we’ll see. If we have it, I’ll post pictures. But I am ready for spring. Why didn’t we get this snow back in January when I WANTED IT? It is all about me, ya know.

I’ll be putting together a couple of lists this week and weekend. I want a list of summer projects and a summer reading list. I figure that if I actually put Atlas Shrugged on a reading list, then I’ll commit to reading it. I was going to this winter, but just didn’t get to it.

Okay, this is 3 posts in one day…actually within a few hours. And this is too many. I do have a few things to say about Ward Churchill’s victory today, the innumerable protocol screwups that The One has committed in London while at G-20. I have to get this one off my chest…NO American president EVER bows to the leader of another country…EVER! It is symbolic of putting a nation under the yoke and authority of that nation…and American presidents NEVER do that. So what did Obamalamadingdong do? He BOWED when meeting the Saudi King. Great. Good job guy. Is it possible to be any less presidential? And don’t get me started on Michelle as a ‘fashion icon’ like Princess Di or Jackie O…please.

Okay, off to bed. Sweet dreams all.

Refinishing furniture by George Grotz

They were written back in the early 60's. I can't find any information as to whether or not he is still alive. Mr. Grotz has the most amazing author biography. I found several of his books through my local library system...the one I am currently reading is Decorating Furniture with a Little Bit of Class. Original cost on it was $1.95. He talks about finding old furniture for $2-15 But he talks about older techniques for repairing and refinishing furniture...absolutely charming and funny way of writing. I picked up The Furniture Doctor at a library sale for $1...I suspect that I'll learn a lot from his books. And since I plan to work on a few projects this summer...let's see how much I can use!

Here is part of his bio:

"...When not writing his 'fictional nonfiction' (a genre he falsely claims to have invented), he messes around with his many hobbies: swimming, photography, flamenco dancing, embroidery, hopping, skipping, hairsplitting, and being married to a movie star."

Attention Job Applicants

Dear All Job Applicants:

When you fill out a job application, please make sure that you are paying attention to the application itself. Little things like...can you work overtime? Are you legally eligible to work in this country? Can you prove that you are eligible to work in this country? If you cannot fill out an application properly, do you really think that we are going to trust you behind the wheel of a piece of heavy equipment? Especially when you should have answered YES to all the questions, not NO!

And when you are going to apply for a are a few suggestions.
1. Take a shower.
2. Wear clean clothes.
3. Take a shower.
4. Do not show up with an attitude.
5. Take a shower.
6. I don't care if you ARE applying for a job as a truck driver. TAKE A SHOWER!

I swear I had some bad days over the last couple of weeks. The days themselves were fine, but the folks who came in to fill out applications. Goodness. I finally broke down and asked my boss to buy some Oust for the took an entire afternoon after one guy came through. And no, he didn't get the job. Not because of personal hygiene issues, but because he didn't bring in all the paperwork. Now I just hope that he doesn't show up next week when I am there by myself.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Specialist is coming home on leave!!!!!! May 1.....I'm so excited I can't stand it....but I have to share!