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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Birthday day

This is a big day in my family. Bruce, E and Penni's daughter all have a birthday today.
Grinnygranny talks about this night 28 years ago on her blog.

Bruce used to tease E when he was growing up that E stole his birthday.

Been watching lots of football today. Cowboys didn't play well, but then nobody expected them to. Chicago played a good game to keep New Orleans out of the playoffs. Hard to imagine that those two teams played in the NFC championship game last season. Colts aren't doing much better than the 'boys.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Days of relaxation

S and girlfriend spent another night with us, but are now living with other friends. Their puppy got along alright with Watson, but Lucy wouldn't leave him alone and they had to be separated.

Our poor kitty is sneezing his head off. He's still eating so it's most likely allergies instead of a cold.

Grinnygranny and I went to do some after Christmas shopping. We got E his birthday present and decided to get new sheets. We went to Macy's because I had a coupon good for 15 dollars off. We got two sheet sets that at regular price would have been $120 and our jaws dropped when it rang up for only $22. Eating in the food court cost more than that!

We got a new board game for Christmas called Dread Pirate. We've played it once and it was fun (at least for me -- I won), but so far haven't had a chance to play it again. Now that our house guests are gone we might play it more.

Right now we're watching Octopussy on our marathon of James Bond. My how much technology has changed in the last forty years!
Grinnygranny and I agree that Roger Moore was the best Bond, even though two of the worst Bond movies were his. (Moonraker and View To A Kill)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Day after

I sincerely hope that everyone that visits the Family and Friends blog had a Merry Christmas or holy day(s).

We had a nice morning of pancakes for breakfast, opening presents, rested a bit and then a nice dinner. Tried to call Mom and Penni, but got no anser. We also have a tradition (if we're home) a having a James Bond marathon. We start on Christmas Eve after watching the Home Alone movies and A Christmas Story. Today we are finishing up the Sean Connery movies and moving into the Roger Moore phase.

E, his girl friend and her two-year-old son were here as well. They went out in the evening to spend time with Penni's step-son "S".

S and his girlfriend needed a place to stay for the night so they slept on the couch. That'll teach me to whine about not having enough family here for the holiday! All eight of us went out for breakfast this morning. S and girlfriend are moving in with her mother for about a month and plan on moving to Arizona where he is supposed to have a job. I had him call his father, but there was no answer, he left a message and said they talked on Christmas.

Anne Littlewolf called and we had a nice talk. She is getting a lot more work done in her studio with 2 1/2 feet of snow keeping her close to home. She's hoping to have a gallery in Alaska start stocking her drawings and painting soon. It got me thinking I need to line up some book signings after the first of the year. Here's another one her paintings.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Thoughts

Grades are entered, room is ready to turn off the lights and being forgotten for two weeks. Still four hours before I can leave. We are having a faculty luncheon to say goodbye to all those who've found greener pastures for next semester. Grinnygranny justed texted me (I want to sh**t the idiot that came up with this idea) that she's getting off at 2:00pm. We might head out to do some shopping before it gets dark.

So now I'm just sitting here listening to Jim Brickman's Christmas CD and thinking about how different this Christmas is compared to others.

  1. First Christmas without Dad, this is going to be tough. He really loved dressing up in his Santa suit, passing out presents to the grandkids.
  2. First Christmas where we are all alone in Albuquerque. After Penni and her family moved, and then Mom and Dad, we still had Grinnygranny's Mom. Now she's in Nebraska and there's no other family here. For so many years we always had to figure out and take turns at whose house we'd have Christmas, then we'd all get together sometimes twelve or more for that special meal, drinking punch, egg nogg, hot Dr, Pepper, watching all the kids play with their new toys, listening to music, the men talking politics trying to solve all the problems of the world, the women talking women stuff, taking pictures. Then going to Walgreens on the way home (the only store open on Christmas) so the kids could spend some of the money their grandparents had given them. As much as it's nice not to be traveling it seems rather lonely with just the four of us.
  3. First Christmas without seeing our grandchild. We'll have him for the summer, and E is going down to spend time with him between Christmas and New Years, but we will miss his infectious, mischevious smile.

Wouldn't you know, a student just showed up to take a final. Guess it's a good thing for the student the skies clouded up and it's too cold and windy to golf.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Time to Rest

Just gave my last final, had a nice lunch, came back, graded the last papers and posted the good or bad news (as the case may be) for the students. I had quite few absent yesterday and today.
Tomorrow is make-up day for those who have a valid reason for missing their final (this is the only school I've ever worked at that does this, and it lets the kids play the system too much)
It does give us (teachers) a whole day to grade papers, average grades and close down the room. It drives me crazy because I stay on top of my grades and I can do all of the aforementioned in an hour -- which makes me sit here and twiddle my thumbs all day just in case a student that missed the last two days deigns to show up and take a final.
I thought about using one of my many sick days -- which is what most of the teachers do, you just have to leave copies of your finals so someone else can watch the students take the test and they'll be waiting for you to grade in Jan., but it looks like we're getting a storm tomorrow and Sat. with rain and snow in higher elevations. If it's not a good day to go out and golf I might as well come to class. I guess I'll play it by ear in the morning.
Grinnygranny and I thought back over the year a few days ago and it dawned on us that every holliday of three days or longer in this last year we were on the road to either Texas or Nebraska. No wonder we're pooped and in need of a rest.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Soap Box time

Thanks to Yikes for the cartoon.

I love Arianna Huffington's analogy:

With Mike Huckabee's continuing surge, the Republican Party now has an Iowa front-runner who, like George Bush, is anti-choice, born-again, against gay-marriage, and gets political advice directly from God. So why is the Republican establishment suddenly in a state of near-apoplexy? They've been cultivating evangelicals and fundamentalists for 30 years. Now they finally have a candidate who's truly part of the movement. Which, it turns out, is precisely the problem. The evangelical crowd was fine when it was just a resource to be cynically exploited every few years in demagogic anti-gay get-out-the-vote campaigns. But now the holy-rolling monster the GOP's Dr. Frankensteins have created has thrown off the shackles, fled the lab, and is currently leading in Iowa. And the party doesn't know what to do.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Home stretch

  • We now have our Family Christmas pictures in. We'll be mailing a bunch out in the next couple of days to all our scattered family.

  • Grinnygranny and I did nine holes yesterday, we were just a little tired the rest of the day. Really out of shape, but the weather was nice if just a little nippy.

  • Just talked to Mom. Penni's hoping to go home Thursday, but the blood clot they've been giving her blood thinners for isn't going away. Mom's sore from the rehab, but it's not as painful as before the surgery. She's going to start working on getting up and down stairs tomorrow and the doctors will discuss when she can go home on Thursday.

  • Last couple of nights we've been playing Scipbo and Uno. E joined us Saturday night. It was nice having all of us together.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Talked with Mom this morning. She had surgery Thursday and sounded much better than the last few times we talked. She sore and in some pain, but nothing like she had before the surgery. Now with some rehab she'll be able to go home and return to normal.

Penni is still in the hospital with another bowel blockage. She's scheduled for more chemo next week.

Melissa begins working at Wendy's tomorrow. She's excited right now, we'll see how much enthusiasm she still has after six months.

Last week of the semester. Finals on Wed & Thurs. Don't have to go back until Jan 8. Hope the weather holds and I can get some quality time on the golf course. This time of year I tend to put on weight and it doesn't come off.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Son's ex-wife

If there is anything my ex-DIL is capable of doing it is turning everything upside down on a moments notice and then saying, "Never Mind!"
She called E yesterday and wanted him to come and get Ritchie (this is her Christmas with him) as she and her husband (I think they're married, that's why she divorced E?) were having problems and she didn't want Ritchie caught in the middle. E looked into taking the weekend off so he could go, but this time of year that is a near impossibility at the last moment. Yesterday and today are his regular days off, and as it was too late to drive out last night that would mean a 14 to 16 hour drive today. Auntypesty doesn't have orientation for her job until Friday, so she volunteered to drive down with E to share the driving. They were set to leave and 0500 for the all day trip. Grinnygranny and I were looking into someone to watch our Grandson until Christmas break. Then at midnight ex-DIL calls and said that things have been worked out and E doesn't have to come get him. A bit of a relief, a bit of a let down (it would be nice to spend more time with him at this age), and more running around at the last minute for absolutely nothing.

Called and talked to Mom. Needed to let her know that the on-again/off-again trip with the three guys is off-again. She's in rehab with a crumbling vertibra, and can't get the doctor to come in and talk about surgery. She has to have rehab three hours a day in order to stay in the facility, but it is extremely painful. There's also concern that her heart wouldn't be strong enough for the surgery. What a wonderful medical system we have, Medicare will pay for your care financially, but you'll have to endure three hours of torture every day.

ps. Mom called today and she is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. Bruce is down there, which means he got through all the ice in Oklahoma. Penni is back in the hospital with an infection.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Some Good News

Auntypesty starts her first real job Friday. She's through the interview process and finally has a job. For some reason I didn't think this day would ever come, not all her fault, she has been tied up with family concerns.
Had to laugh at this one.

Monday, December 10, 2007


What I know that's going on in Texas is that Mom is in rehab. The back doctors that were to determine if she needs surgery didn't show up today.
Penni is home and having good days and bad days.
The trip with E, S & M is off as S couldn't get off work.
They're working on trying to get out there, but I'm not sure if it's in the cards.

One regular week and then finals. This semester is finally going to be over, it's already felt like an entire year. I'm needing some rest.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

For a laugh

I'm Joshua Abraham Norton, the first and only Emperor of the United States of America!
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

You are Joshua Abraham Norton, first and only Emperor of the United States of America!

Born in England sometime in the second decade of the nineteenth century, you carved a notable business career, in South Africa and later San Francisco, until an entry into the rice market wiped out your fortune in 1854. After this, you became quite different. The first sign of this came on September 17, 1859, when you expressed your dissatisfaction with the political situation in America by declaring yourself Norton I, Emperor of the USA. You remained as such, unchallenged, for twenty-one years.

Within a month you had decreed the dissolution of Congress. When this was largely ignored, you summoned all interested parties to discuss the matter in a music hall, and then summoned the army to quell the rebellious leaders in Washington. This did not work. Magnanimously, you decreed (eventually) that Congress could remain for the time being. However, you disbanded both major political parties in 1869, as well as instituting a fine of $25 for using the abominable nickname "Frisco" for your home city.

Your days consisted of parading around your domain - the San Francisco streets - in a uniform of royal blue with gold epaulettes. This was set off by a beaver hat and umbrella. You dispensed philosophy and inspected the state of sidewalks and the police with equal aplomb. You were a great ally of the maligned Chinese of the city, and once dispersed a riot by standing between the Chinese and their would-be assailants and reciting the Lord's Prayer quietly, head bowed.

Once arrested, you were swiftly pardoned by the Police Chief with all apologies, after which all policemen were ordered to salute you on the street. Your renown grew. Proprietors of respectable establishments fixed brass plaques to their walls proclaiming your patronage; musical and theatrical performances invariably reserved seats for you and your two dogs. (As an aside, you were a good friend of Mark Twain, who wrote an epitaph for one of your faithful hounds, Bummer.) The Census of 1870 listed your occupation as "Emperor".

The Board of Supervisors of San Francisco, upon noticing the slightly delapidated state of your attire, replaced it at their own expense. You responded graciously by granting a patent of nobility to each member. Your death, collapsing on the street on January 8, 1880, made front page news under the headline "Le Roi est Mort". Aside from what you had on your person, your possessions amounted to a single sovereign, a collection of walking sticks, an old sabre, your correspondence with Queen Victoria and 1,098,235 shares of stock in a worthless gold mine. Your funeral cortege was of 30,000 people and over two miles long.

The burial was marked by a total eclipse of the sun.

Dust is settling

Mom called Tuesday, they've diagnosed her with a crushed verteba in the upper back. They're going to try rehab before doing any surgery. It's always a relief knowing the problem over the guessing game that seems to take forever. That will keep her in the hospital for some time, but it's the same hospital that Penni goes to for tests and treatment. I tried to call Mom last night, but only get her voicemail, I'll try again tonight.

Auntypesty put in job applications yesterday, and then we went golfing before picking Grinnygranny up from work. It was overcast and cool. The news said it was going to be sunshiny and warm and that the storm wasn't supposed to come in till the weekend. Wish they would get it right!

E is planning on taking a trip out to Canton week after next with S and BIL's brother M. They couldn't go with us at Thanksgiving and all want to spend time with Mom and Penni.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I've been fooled.

First things first. When I called Bruce this morning he's back in Oklahoma, but had made arrangements for Mom to be transferred to the hospital in Dallas. Which is as much as I know right now.

We bought the latest DVD package of The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Yesterday in the afternoon we watched the movie for the millionth time and auntypesty played some of the games in special features. The rest of the evening we listened to Christmas music on Satelite and I started reading the book that came with the DVD. It starts off with a lengthy set of introductions by Goldman explaining how he spent a long time recovering from Pneumonia as a child and his father reading the story to him and it had changed his life. How when his own son turned ten he wanted to get a copy of the book as his birthday present and there is an intersting story in tracking down a copy and how his son hadn't liked it so he read it himself and decided it needed to be abridged from the original by S. Mortgenstern. He gives a detailed account of all the problems in getting a studio to make the movie, his failed marriage and then taking his ten year old grandson to Florin City for a visit. They walk through the Mortgenstern Museum looking at the sword made for a six fingered man, a mold of Fezzik's hand twice the size of Andre the Giant's, going into the study and looking through Mortgenstern's diaries and going on and on about how these people actually lived and that the story was true. He even places Florin and Guilder as two small countries between Sweeden and Germany. I read the first hundred and fifty pages of the story, where he talks about deleting an entire chapter because it was just about the argument of Humperdink and his cabinet about marrying a commoner and him making her the Princess of a small area of the Kingdom, what it took to teach her court etiquette. There are chapters on Inigo Montoya and his father, the life of Fezzik and so on and so forth.
Now I knew a Florin was the money of Florence durring the Renaissance, and a Guilder was the Dutch currency which created Capitalism during the Reformation. But the way Goldman intersperced such personal detail in his introduction he had me believing that there actually were countries called Florin and Guilder, that there actually was a S. Mortgenstern and that Goldman had only abridged the original story.
So having pricked my curiosity I Googled Florin. No surprise most of the entries were about the currency, and a number of cities in the United States with this name, but I did come across a link to Florin City. I followed that link anc came across some critiques of the novel. LOW AND BEHOLD the introduction and abridgement were all make up! I think Goldman must be getting a perverse pleasure as people for the last thirty-five years have fallen for his hoax and he laughs his head off at the gullibility of the reading public.
The critique then went on to explain the allegory hidden in the story (It's about economics). I found it fascinating and read it to Grinnygranny.
She was not impressed. "It's just a story, don't try to make so much out of it."
I argued back, "You could say the same thing about Jonah. It's a story most children can relate to and understand, but at that level it's little more than a just a story, but when you look at it as allegory with Jonah representing the Hebrew nation, Nineveh the Gentiles and how Jonah refused to deliver God's message to the Gentiles he flees and is swallowd by a big fish, with the big fish being the Babylonian Captivity. That Nineveh repenting representing Christianity and salvation being open to Gentiles. The story makes much more sense. There's no need to try and find a fish big enough to swallow a man -- that wasn't the point of the story!
Grinnygranny just moaned and said,(referring to Princess Bride) "It's just a story, don't make so much out of it."

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Yesterday brother-in-law called, Mom is in the hospital (small town in Texas) as she cannot move without great pain. Penni is also in the hospital (in Dallas) having a bad reaction to the chemo. Bruce drove down and I talked to him for a few minutes. They think it's Mom's Siatic Nerve that's the problem, but it would be ten days before that hospital could do the test. He will most likely have her transported to Dallas to be in the same hospital as Penni. So far today he hasn't called back to let me know what's happening. Something needs to be done about the situation out there, but I don't know what it is right now.

Took auntypesty to Southwest writers today. She seemed impressed with the meeting and the speaker today talked about journal writing. I bought the speaker's book entitled Journal Writing for Women. Maybe she'll start doing some writing now she's home.

Grinnygranny has finally blogged again and has an interesting letter that eveyone should read.