Monthly Archives: December 2010

It’s almost 10:00

UPDATE:  It’s half past ten and I guess all of the grandchildren in the neighborhood have gone to bed, having spent their poppers.  It’s only downhill from this but it’s better not to let them know, I guess.

I know the title should be “It’s almost 12:00″ but it’s not.

There are random fireworks going off, per usual.  The pups are a little nervous, but from what I can tell, most of the kittens are ok with it.  Fanny and baby were playing and all the rest of the OKs are off sleeping wherever.

The next two plus hours will be a little tough for the pups and me, but thankfully I have thumbs and money and can take a couple of pre-emptive aspirin.

As I type it starts in earnest.  I’ve never understood the need to set off fireworks in the city limits.  When I was a kid, we had fireworks, but it was always out in West Texas on the farm and we never set them off near other people’s houses.

At least we got a good rain this week and everything is still damp.  I will stay up to make sure that both the pups are ok and that the house doesn’t burn down.

I have a dilemma

The weekend before Christmas or somewhere around in there, my family had our cooking day, and when I left the house, I left one lamp and a little radio on.  Just to keep the pups company.  When I got home neither was on.  I checked the power cord, etc. and the plug is dead.  I can deal for now, but I would rather have it working.

I paid in advance earlier this year to have an outdoor ceiling fan installed in my garage without actually having the ceiling fan because I wanted to find one NOT made in China.  Well since the plug went out, I did some more research and just couldn’t find one. I wanted to call the electrician out to change the plug and install the fan.   I pulled the trigger on a very cheap fan and hoping that the vagueness of the website would turn out to be something not made in China.  It arrived and I was wrong.

I haven’t called the electrician yet.  Today I see that a question I left on a fan maker’s web site was answered.   Their fans are manufactured in the USA of imported parts.  I can live with that.  The company is Fanimation.  I can get that fan, along with a light kit, for just a little more than I paid for the Chinese one.  I could get it online or I found a local store that sells their products.  The problem is that I have already gotten rid of all the paperwork for the fan I bought.

In writing this post, I think I should check Amazon again.  I bought it there, along with signing up for some special thingy that got me free shipping which I don’t need anymore, but maybe it has something about returns. . .

Even though I’ve already broken down the box the fan came in, I still have the one the dehydrator came in, so I could send it back.  I’ll figure this out by Friday.

Today was a rain day.  Poor miserable outside kittens.   Tomorrow won’t be such a rain day, so I can clean the garage and work in the yard.  Friday will be another rain day, so I can go out and look at fans, mail back the fan I have if I can and look into some crushed gravel for the walkways between the beds.

If I can’t send the fan back, I’ll sell it, along with the tiller and generator in the spring.

Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the the Confederacy

Yeah.

When the Rebs stop celebrating that, I’ll give African Americans a little break about reparations and such.

It’s one of the lowest points in Texas history.  Having won against a dictatorship in Mexico, Texas went on, because of money, to join the states and then join the confederacy.  Our state is still under scrutiny wrt civil rights, as it should be.  These republicans can’t be trusted.

They are feeling their oats to the point that they are even trying to knock off their own speaker.

While I don’t think that will happen, it could.  My hope lies in Jessica and Garnett.  They have proven their leadership.   Let the Republicans destroy themselves.

The worst the republicans can do is voter ID.  And that could get tripped up mightily legally.

They may try to get guns on campus, but I don’t think UT or UH or Rice will go for that and will fight it tooth and nail.

And while the republicans got a Hispanic elected to Chet Edwards seat, they got a whitebread fat boy elected in the valley, so their diversification is a wash.  They maintain the white wash in the state legislature.

The GOP in Texas is still very white and crazy.

Coming back around to my premise:  when white boys stop celebrating their traitorous civil war, I’ll  come down on African Americans.

The former is not gonna happen.

In a Shift

They used to make fun of my cooking, but now, I’m the one doing most of it.

Perhaps it’s because cooking is less important.  I tried to keep everything warm, but everyone but me and mom was diddling at something other than eating.

The turkey was good, but didn’t get the ooooo-aaaah that I had hoped for, so next year is a straight turkey.  No fancy British crap.

My brother pulled off the Santa thing in a big way this year — he put together a trampoline and hid it from my nieces until morning — fighting wind and cold rain.  He’s a great dad.

The long trial of whether I could come through with the book my middle niece (and kindred spirit) came to an end today.  I and her sister insured her worry over whether I had secured it for weeks.  Today she opened it first.  I have to admit that the books she likes encourage her to write, and I think that she has the imagination to do it.  She was also the only one to get skates — her dad told me she is the only one co-ordinated enough to handle them.  I told her the secret to skating — I had thought I might donate my skates, but I might keep them to skate with her.

Little one got a baby that eats and drinks and poops and pees.  I guess this is a step forward for all of us.  At four she knows how to take care of a baby.  Sort of.  That damn doll is sure to give me nightmares.

And while my Christmas was good, I know that there are people out there whose Christmas was not so happy.  There are people in hospitals, people without much to eat, people braving the freezing temps tonight.  My thoughts and hope go out to them.  It sucks.  At some point Christmas may not be so happy for me, but not this year.  And when it isn’t, I won’t be whining about it.  I will just tell it like it is.

This year was a good year and I don’t mind saying it.

Does that make me a conservative?

Happy Christmas!

I’m a non-believer, except for Santa, whom I have been following on NORAD.  (As I post this link, he’s in a city I have visited.  I hope to do more traveling in the future — I don’t want to wait until I’m a little old lady like my mom.)

ANYWAYS:  The electricity went out briefly and after the refrigerator scare of Wednesday, I worried over the little fridge which now holds the freaking bird I roasted today.  I even watched a freaking Jamie Oliver video, hoping for help about carving this damn bird he vaguely told me how to make to little avail.

I wanted the greatest Christmas turkey ever.  Perhaps I should have googled Ramsey.

I’m ok with vague while cooking and Oliver is that.  BUT how do I carve this bird with stuffing under the skin?  And will it kill my family if I do?

ANSWERS I demand!!!1!11!1!!1!

There are none.

So.  Tomorrow will either be a nice dinner or an unintentional mass suicide.

Pre-emptably, I leave the outside kittens to Michael Berry, Dora to Roberto, and let Tammy and Murphy roam free in the neighborhood.  Cisco and Caroline will eat what is left.

I hate Christmas.

It’s all about money and who gives who what crap.  Last year, I gave my sister a computer.  It took her almost a year to even plug it in.  Seriously.  At least the bitching about email stopped.  She had the solution in front of her.

Tomorrow will be yet another day that I gratefully play my part:  the worst person in the world to my sister, alternately the hero or clown depending on the turkey, and some time funny person to my nieces.  My brother and sister-in-law, as well as my mom, just try to dodge the hate coming from my sister.  I’m ok with this.

Sunday, I’m back in the garden and front yard, working hard and planting cabbage and lettuce.   Monday, I start the fruit tree beds.

Live through tomorrow.

Happy Christmas!

I’m Doing the Turkey

In the past, my mom has bought a turkey for Christmas dinner.

We only had to reheat it.

This year I am making this roast turkey.  I’m not going to go all Jamie Julia, but I do want to chronicle it.  I’ve made a Thanksgiving turkey before, but have never had my whole family counting on me for the bird.

At the moment, I am dehydrating the bread for the handful of crumbs I’ll need in the morning, along with some tomatoes.  It’s Mrs. Baird’s bread.  I’ve got a big plastic zip lock ready to put it in.

I chopped the pork already.

The rest will wait until the morning.

As well pictures.

Achievements Day by Day

Well, I looked back on my vacation today and had some trouble remembering what I had gotten done last week.  This week is a very different story.

This is what part of the deck in the backyard used to look like:

(Junie!  My scenario is that someone trapped her in the same mass trapping sceme that caught Big Guy, that someone realized she is tame,  and that she is now happily and inside cat.)

This part of the deck was 16′ x 8′.  I pulled all 34+ boards and stacked them in the driveway.

I’ll haul them out for the next heavy trash (non-tree!) which I think will be in February.  The feral kittens have used it as a place to play king of the hill the past few days.  I will try to get some video of that.

Behind the stack are the bushes I cut down — two were responsible for the aphid invasion of last spring — which retarded my bean patch —  and a couple of weed bushes that I let get out of control.  Those will go out in the tree-trash the first week in January.

Back to the deck.  Taking out the planks left three supporting posts that I needed to dig out.   I guess I could have left them in the ground, but I want to plant two fruit trees in this space, and given that I am gardening without chemicals and the posts are pressure treated wood, they had to come out.

The post in the center (still in the ground) I dug out first.  I was just trying to see where the bottom was.  The trench in the lower right corner is the result of my recalculation.  The posts were too heavy for me to pull up out of the ground even after I had freed them.  I decided to dig in a way that let me roll them out using the crowbar.

(My sometimey helper Harry there!)

The second two were easy to roll out.  I went back and dug a slope for the third one and finally got it out.

Rolling them out of their holes was harder than it will be to roll them out to the ditch in February.

Backfill:

Learning to use a trowel while I was in college — doing an archeological dig of the changes in slave to freed in Brazoria county — has been a life long treasure to me.  I swear I can clean more space with a trowel than anyone can with a shovel.

So.  Let’s have a look at the garden, shall we?

Beets and rutabagas.

Carrots.

These two will make their way to Austin and then be made into a happy side dish for Christmas dinner.  YaY!

We’ve almost come through the blight on the squash plants.  I have been spraying them with a water and milk solution.  I lost the winter squash after harvesting only two :(

Finally, the kittens.  I didn’t get pics of all of them, but here are three:

Dot.

Fanny

Sweet Harry.  Crazy tomatoes.

Imagine I Wrote a Post about the Birth of the English Bible, the Potential for War in the Ivory Coast and the Legislation Passed in this Lame Duck Session

Way too many things to write about and far too many troubles to get into here.

Christmas dinner is saved from the unfortunate temporary death of the refrigerator.  My Christmas turkey plans are back on. I’m going to make this turkey.  Doesn’t it look pretty with its little sprigs?  I wasn’t familiar with Jamie Oliver since I don’t have cable or satellite.  However, I have it on good authority that he was shamed by Americans, so I will follow his recipe :)

I took apart part of the deck and have added about 32 square feet to my garden.  Now I just have to dig out the posts.  (Pics tomorrow)

The family of feral kittens like the stack of timbers from the old deck.  They all lounged on it while waiting for their dinner.  My baby boy Harry preferred what’s left of the deck.

I’m at the tasked that just take time and brawn: digging out posts and cleaning out beds.

It should rain Friday, but that’s ok, I will be cooking the turkey and pickling peppers and perhaps canning some tomatoes, or at least making some sauce.

I’m off to watch Dexter season whatever one that Rita dies.

Cheers!

Breaking up the radio monopoly? That sounds good.

I saw this article earlier today and it made me stop for a second:

Submitted by jonathan on Sat, 2010-12-18 15:21

With the clock ticking toward the end of this year’s Congress, the Senate on Saturday passed a new law which will enable community groups, churches and schools across the country to establish new non-commercial, low-power FM radio stations in their cities and towns.

The Local Community Radio Act, which will allow the FCC to issue possibly thousands of new noncommercial LPFM radio licenses, earned broad, bipartisan support after some ten years of organizing by grassroots media democracy advocates from coast to coast. Backers of the bill included a stupefying range of civil rights groups, religious organizations, musicians, unions and garage-bound radio dreamers around the country.

Washington State elected officials played a pivotal role in passing the bill into law; Senator Maria Cantwell championed the bill in the Senate, and House cosponsors included Washington Rep. Jay Inslee.

“This is a huge win for communities across the northwest and across the country who have been pining for more and better local radio, more support for local music and more diversity on the airwaves,” said Jonathan Lawson of Reclaim the Media, a Seattle-based media justice organization which has worked alongside many other advocacy groups since 2002 to expand community access to media, including LPFM. “Senator Cantwell deserves our thanks for seeing this through to the end.”

The FCC initially created the Low power FM service radio in 2002, as a way to counter the dramatic consolidation of radio ownership which followed the 1996 Telecommunications Act, and the resulting drop in diverse programming and local voices. However, pressure from commercial broadcasters quickly led Congress to impose substantial barriers to LPFM, so that only a relatively small number of stations were able to launch, and mostly in rural areas.

The new law removes most of those barriers, creating the opportunity for many more stations to occupy unused space on the FM dial. LPFM stations are noncommercial, must be operated by a local nonprofit, religious organization or public institution, and are limited to 100 watts.

Northwest groups who have been able to build and launch LPFM stations have demonstrated the tremendous utility and power of low-power radio. In Woodburn, Oregon, KPCN allows immigrant farmworkers to share news, information and music in Spanish and several other Latin American languages. Spokane’s Thin Air Radio and Idaho’s Radio Free Moscow provide those communities with local public affairs and homegrown music programs—while providing new broadcasters with a place to learn the tools of the trade.

The new law is a landmark achievement for public interest media advocates who have been working on this bill for years. Galvanized by the trailblazing work of the Prometheus Radio Project and the Media Access Project, a host of other groups deserve credit for helping wage the struggle for LPFM: the Future of Music Coalition, Media Alliance, Reclaim the Media, the Chicago Independent Radio Project, Free Press, United Church of Christ Office of Communication, Inc, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Media and Democracy Coalition, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, the Benton Foundation and many others.

This is where radio is going. People are tired of radio being monopolized by a few voices.  Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck across the country is slowly coming to an end.  And those who think they can ride that train will find that AM radio is almost dead.  Give it 5 years and it is dead.

Kroger has a Pet Food Recall; I’m all whew. . .

The press lease is here.

I bought dry food for the Outside Kittens from Kroger last, but thankfully, I hadn’t thrown the bag away yet.  Though it was the same size, the sell by date nor the UPC date matched.

What a relief!