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

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mom's Home

Mom was scheduled to be released yesterday, but she had a dizzy spell in the morning and they kept for another day of observation. She was supposed to be sent home first thing in the morning today and we finally got out of there at 4pm. Makes you wonder if they were going to release her in the afternoon, would we be leaving at midnight?
She was planning on taking a trip to visit friends in Farmington this weekend, but the doctor squashed that idea. I'll be spending time with her for a few days until she gets her strength back and regulated on her blood thinner medication. Other than that things should return back to normal.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Mom's still in hospital and will be for a few more days. They're starting her on injections of blood thinner and she can't leave until they have the pill form regulated. There was a possibility that she could go home and a home hospital doctor could come to give the injections and get her regulated on the pills, but her insurance wasn't the right kind to be provided this program.
She was alert and moving around yesterday and will be a handful if she has to stay there for many more days.

There's a really good possibility that the case I'm working on will end this week. The ADA has finally looked at the evidence and is realizing that he doesn't have a case. He was given the case right about the time my firm took it over and will most likely drop the charges.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Spent most of the day Thursday in the emergency room with Mom. She was feeling dizzy and her tongue was numb. She's had TIA's (mini strokes) and nine years ago had a heart valve replaced, so I took her to urgent care, they couldn't do anything so we went to the emergency room at the hospital for a CT scan. Bloodwork and CT and X-rays didn't show anything, but the doctor wanted to admit her for the night. We got to the emergency room at 9am and she wasn't in her room until after 7pm. They are slow as molasses in January in that ER.
We thought they'd release her in the morning. I needed to go in to work on the case so daughter went to be with her. The heart doctor they brought in found a blood clot in one of her lungs. She was fighting with them about her medications and I think they needed to keep her still for the blood thinners to work so they sedated her. She called late evening and we talked. She called me this morning and didn't remember that we'd talked last night. I'm leaving in a few minutes to check on her.
Wife e-mailed her condition on the convention prayer list and we appreciate the concern and prayers offered on Mom's behalf.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Anne and Engelbert

When Anne wrote about how she grabbed the guy who owned Sassy by the shirt and told him to let her have him. I'm sure he was wondering where the buzz saw wearing a skirt came from. Which reminded me of what happened many many moons ago while we were in college together.

Wayland Baptist College (now University) is located in Plainview, Tx between Amarillo and Lubbock. The late Grady Nutt of Hee Haw fame attended there for one year and in his comedy routine said it's a, "typical Baptist college 40 miles from the nearest known sin."
The school usually has between 1500 to 2000 students every year which is smaller than most of Albuquerque's high schools. There are no secrets on campus. At that time there was a SUB with a recreaction room for ping pong, billiards and two tv rooms with some couches and chairs.
Anne was peacefully sitting one afternoon by herself in one of the tv rooms crocheting and watching an Engelbert Humperdink special when as she puts it, "Three boys ran in and changed the channel to a football game!"
Those boys didn't know who clobbered them, but in the dorm later that evening one of them said it was, "Like getting hit by a buzz saw." They learned a lesson about getting between Anne and Engelbert.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Anne sent me some pictures of her horse, Sassy, that she wrote about in the previous post. A gorgeous horse. I'm so glad Sassy is back where she's loved and happy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Guest Post

You've seen her artwork all the time. My spiritual twin Anne Littlewolf read Michael Mannings post where an Arabian Horse that he had grown fond of had died. She tried to put a comment, but not being a blogger I'm posting it here.

HI---I know exactly what you mean about the loss of a dear horse friend. It's a devastating loss, but the memories are beyond measure.
There's lots of bad press out there about Arabian horses, and most of it is from people who have neither owned, known, or loved one. Like any animal, you get what you give, what you put into the relationship is what you get back, and I sure get tired of people hassling me about my favorite breed. They're beautiful, intelligent, loyal and loving, and FAR more so than most people you'll ever know. I just got my beloved mare, Sassy, back and she showed me once again why I absolutely adore her very hoof-prints.
I had rescued Sassy from an idiot owner who wanted to destroy her. She had been starved to the point of emaciation, but she was pregnant, due to foal any minute and while her corral-mate was up for sale, the people who owned her wanted her to foal, then breed her back immediately and sell her as a 3-in-one package (one mare, 2 colts= 3-in-one pkg) Never mind that the poor horse was a skeleton and barely on her feet. In due course she foaled, but the little guy died after struggling 30 hours. Sass couldn't feed him, she was unbelieveably hungry herself, and the kid who owned her wanted to shoot her because "she's a bad mother". I grabbed his shirt and told him to get his damn hands off MY horse. That was 16 yrs. ago.
About 2 yrs ago, Sass hit 20 years old, which is reasonably old, so I sold her to the neighbor girl thinking she would have a soft retirement in the hands of a 12-yr-old girl who had serious Horse Fever and desperately wanted a good horse to learn on. Sass was only a couple houses down from my place, so I could see her every day. She was well looked after, until the girl discovered boys and hormones, then Sass went by side. The girl's mother called, made arrangements for me to take her back again, nice and tidy. Two days later the girl threw a king-sized hissy, ordered??!! her mother to get HER horse back again, and meek little mom came and got Sassy. (since when do kids order parents around? not in my world!!)
For the next two months, Sass was dazed. She thought she'd done something INCREDIBLY, HORRIBLY bad, but couldn't figure out what. She'd been as good a horse as she knew how to be, she was back home with me and her daughter, Sky, and was happy just being home again. But now she was away and miserable, and in her mind, she bore the blame for something she understand, but she knew she had to have been really bad. She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't drink much, she just stood and grieved over a mistake she must have made, else she wouldn't have sent away from home.
She dropped from 800 lbs. (she's a fairly petite, delicately built horse, so 800 is a good weight for her) down to about 675---a rack of bones. The folks thought her teeth were bad (can happen w/ older horses) and that she need vet care. They bought special food, pampered her this way and that and the poor old girl just didn't care. In her mind she'd been unforgiveably bad, so she wasn't going to live with the shame she felt.
One Saturday the Mom wanted to go riding, so I picked her up w/ my truck & trailer and off we went. When we came back, Sassy was absolutely SURE beyond all measure that I"d come to get her. When (new) "Mom" didn't load her up into my trailer, Sass hung her head over her overflowing feed bin and just about cried out loud. All night she stood, her head drooped, her whole body dejected, and "Mom" finally said ENOUGH! in big red letters. She wasn't about to watch that poor old horse die of sorrow and she ripped into her daughter.
About 10:00 a.m. the next morning, here comes Mom, Daughter and a dejected old mare, sure she was never going to be "home" again. I watched from my front window and from their house to mine, Sassy moped and hung back and didn't really want to walk down the road, but obedience is in her very bones, so she came along. When they turned into my driveway, that sweet old girl perked her ears, her eyes lit up and she hoped things were going to be better. SHE WAS HOME! She nickered and talked and rubbed and loved on me as hard as she could to say she was so glad to be here, so sorry for whatever she'd done wrong, and please, could she come home forever????
Well, that was a month ago. The Old Girl is back home and being treated to every delight I can think of. She's gained a good 50 lbs. and while she's not hale and hearty yet, she's well on her way. (and only just a teensy-weensy teen-ninesy bit spoiled--just a smidgen, y'know!!)
Today we went for a little ride together, just Me-n-Sass, like the old days, and y'know, there were two old ladies who were incredibly happy this morning. We managed to do a little gallop together, we climbed a couple small hills (she's part mountain goat, I swear) and we were just us, the way it's always been between. She's not ready for a whole lot of work yet, at 23 (that's about 85 in people years) it takes a while to come back to full capacity, but she knows now she's really, really REALLY home for good and she can still work and do good things for me just like the "old days" when we both were young and sassy. Neither of us can barrel race any more, we can't race down the road at 35 mph (had her clocked out one time) and we can't climb the mountains quite like we used to but by golly we'll ride until one of us drops, and be grateful for a true friend. She's HOME, that's all that matters. ger ran into some difficulty.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tolstoy Today

Scott Horton is in fine form today on his No Comment Blog

He reviews Tolstoy's Resurrection.
I'm not that into Russian authors and other than War and Peace am not knowledgeable about Tolstoy's other works. this analysis by Horton caught my attention.

Its author (Tolstoy) has grown weary of a political debate that pits conservative upholders of autocratic rule against liberal reformers convinced they can shape a just system by issuing laws and regulations

Sounds like the last thirty years of American history.

Tolstoy does not really share the revolutionary vocation either—at least not the vocation of the Social Revolutionaries, Anarchists, and Communists of his own age. His vision restates the problem. The way a society treats those who are held entirely in its power—prisoners—tells us a great deal about the character of that society. Is the fundamental humanity of these prisoners recognized? Are their essential human needs attended to? Is serious attention paid to their guilt or innocence? Or are they simply made into scapegoats for the social and political problems of the day?

Tolstoy renders a compelling portrait of the criminal-justice system of his day. A woman clearly innocent of the crime of which she is accused (being an accomplice in a theft and homicide) is run through the criminal justice system. The prosecutor managing the case quickly realizes her innocence. Still, his major concern is securing convictions and bettering his record. There is, after all, a death, and someone must atone for it. The prosecutor knows exactly how to wield the system—how to empanel a jury that will convict, how to maneuver the case before a judge who will smooth his path, how to forestall defense counsel from raising legitimate doubt about the accused’s guilt in the minds of jurors. The judge, likewise, soon reveals that he also realizes that the accused is innocent. But his concern is primarily for his own career and the prospect of judicial advancement. The public needs a conviction for the crime, and this woman may be innocent, but it’s unlikely that the public would understand the subtle arrangement of facts that lead to that conclusion. It’s much easier for the judge simply to allow the case to glide through to a conviction. A jury will, after all, decide the question of guilt or innocence. Tolstoy’s presentation of the appeals process gives us a similar tug of war for the conscience of judges—they all recognize that the accused is innocent, but a majority of them nevertheless find their way free to upholding the conviction and sentence, driven, in the case of the decisive vote, by astonishingly petty considerations of social caste. And though Tolstoy describes his own times–the final decades of Tsarist rule over the Russian Empire–it strikes me that his prosecutors, his judges, his jurors, his prison guards, could just as easily populate a federal court in America today. They present much the same foibles, weaknesses, vanities and political machinations.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just for laughs

He hasn't done much as a golfer in quite awhile, but John Daly is still a colorful character.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


It seems a criminal case doesn't have near the paper work that a civil case does and I have a few days off waiting for more discovery to arrive. I got to play nine holes yesterday and had a nice w2w meeting in the evening.

Stayed inside today, getting nearly up to 100, best to stay cool.

I've been watching the History Channel's series on the Revolution. I can't believe what they left out. I realize they couldn't put everything in, but still they could have mentioned the when William Prescott was on Breed's hill, Isaiah Putnam was dug in on Bunker Hill and that Prescott repeatedly requested Putman join him or send him more powder and shot which he never sent. The loss of American lives would have been much less if "Old Put" hadn't been such a coward.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Back to work

Started another case as a legal assistant. This one has a lot less paperwork and with the new database software it's going to be a lot less like grading papers.

Yesterday Mom called just as I finished the first nine on the golf course. She was in a rear ender and the lady who hit her was screaming like a banshee. I cut short my game and went over to check on her. She got to her house the same time I did so we went out for lunch and I took her to the hospital for an infusion. She was planning on doing it herself, but with the little fender bender she was rather frazzled. She'll need a number of massages to handle the whip lash, but other than that she's okay. There was minimal damage to the bumper of her car and it's doubtful that the lady that hit her has insurance or that they'd pay to fix it. It'll also cost less than her deductable.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Knuckled Under

I bought two of the PAperback versions of Optimus so that they would publish it in this format. The list price will be $9.95. The soft cover and hard cover is now back to a list price of $27.95. They are going to have a mass market hard back that will list at $14.95, but I'm not in the position to buy five or more copies so they'll put it in that format. Not sure I want it to tell the truth. They don't give an author's discount on these and I had to pay full price plus shipping. I don't think I'll be stocking a lot of these books.

Still all in all if any reader is interested in the book they can now go to a book store and special order it at a fairly reasonable price.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Fireworks galore

Son and his family were gone last night and we didn't buy fireworks. Even before it got dark around here the neighbors started setting off fireworks so we went outside and were entertained by all the stuff going off around us.
Grinnygranny is proof reading my second novel and with a few other alterations I'll have it ready to send off for a publisher.

Publish America just e-mailed me and they're not going to discontinue my book in soft cover. The still want me to buy a bunch to get into the cheaper paperback version. Which I might do in a couple of weeks, but not right now.

Going back to work as a legal assistant sometime this week, nock on wood, thought I'd be back at it last week, but legal things have their own time table. I'll call tomorrow and find out when to report.

We've watched 1776, my choice, and Independence Day, wife's choice, as our way of celebrating the country's birthday. I can't believe how many blogs are becoming negative on this. I'm not into the "My country right or wrong" mindset, but I'm still proud to be an American and live in this country.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Presidential Picks

Here is the top ranking of presidents:
Results of Siena College Research Institute Presidential Ranking Survey
Top Ten Presidents to see the whole ranking of best and worst presidents click here.
1 F. Roosevelt
2 T. Roosevelt
3 Lincoln
4 Washington
5 Jefferson
6 Madison
7 Monroe
8 Wilson
9 Truman
10 Eisenhower
I'm no presidential scholar with a PHD to back up my picks, but I thought I'd play the game anyway.
My picks based on what they accomplished in office:

1. George Washington - I'm not a real fan of his military ability. He had some real blunders in the Revolutionary war, but he got the job done. Why I rank him numero uno is that he (a) created the office and set its traditions. He could have done what many generals throughout history have done when given this kind of power and become a dictator or become emperor put the constitution in a museum and that would have been that. He had to be begged to run for his second term saying he'd rather dig ditches. (b) By putting down a tax rebellion he established the federal government's authority. (c) He set the tradition of two terms for presidents that lasted over a hundred years and led to the term limit amendment. (d) He advised agains military alliances with other countries which would drag us into wars we don't want to fight. WWI is when we stopped listening to that advice for either good or ill. (e) When he became impatient with congress dithering on legislation started sending his own for them to vote on leading to presidents being the initiator of laws instead of just being a tribune that says yea or nay. (f) Chosing the best people possible for his cabinet and then let them do their jobs. He played referee between Hamilton and Jefferson, but the interesting part of the history books on Washington's presidency is that he is mentioned very little. His cabinet is center stage. All other presidents are center stage for their terms.
Hence without Washington leading the way for the office our republic would not have been established.

2. John F. Kennedy - He's not even on the experts top ten list.
Sorry experts, but without Kennedy's cool head and being able to trust his brother to fight against most of his cabinet, the military and intelligence agencies none of us would be alive today. The Cuban missile crisis nearly ended all life on this planet. I shudder to think about how close the election was in 1960 and what Nixon's decision would have been if he was sitting in the oval office in October of 1962.

3. Franklin D Roosevelt - My grandfather believed in three things: God, FDR and Henry J. Kaiser. (He worked at Kaiser Aluminum). Until our peace and prosperity made the general electorate insane with greed letting the Reaganomics destroy our economy again; Roosevelt's New Deal and financial regulations allowed capitalism to win WWII and the cold war. He didn't do it single handed. Obama would love to restore the regulations that were dropped, but he doesn't have a congress and supreme court to back him like FDR did. William Manchester in his book The Glory and The Dream states that in 1942 after Pearl Harbor 40% of the men who reported for induction into the military were deemed 4F or unfit for military service due to berry berry, an eye disease due to malnutrition in childhood and rickets, the bowing of legs due to lack of calcium in childhood and that if Hoover had been reelected in 1932 to continue letting the market fix itself the U.S. might not have been able to field an army for WWII.

4. Abraham Lincoln - He preserved the union. All that needs to be said. He did not free the slaves. The 13th amendment did that after he was dead. There is a part of me right now that wishes he had listened to some back in that day who didn't think the South worth fighting for and thought good riddance.

5. Theodore Roosevelt - Do we ever need a trust buster today! Do we ever need someone who cares about our natural resources and ecology.

6. Harry S. Truman - W may have called himself "The Decider," but of all the decisions any president has ever made the one to drop the atomic bomb has to be number one or two if you count Kennedy's decision not to invade Cuba avoiding a nuclear war. He also knew when threatening to use it was effective. He made Stalin back down from his planned invasion of Turkey with a single telegram.

7. William Jefferson Clinton - Oh stop groaning. Who gives a fuck about him having a groupie?He held office for eight years of relative peace and prosperity. He was the first president since Andrew Jackson to create a surplus.

8. James Monroe - the second most popular president of his time. Only Washington was more popular. He presided over the "Era of Good Feeling" respected and admired in both North and South. A time of peace and prosperity before the shit hit the fan over slavery and tarriffs.

9. Thomas Jefferson - Most historians include him here because of the declaration of indepenence, but that doesn't count on his presidency. I include him because of the Louisiana Purchase. His presidency was really a matter of bad timing. The Napoleonic wars forced him to stop all shipping with the embargo act leaving him with a huge black mark on his time in office.

10. James K. Polk - Maybe he provoked Mexico into war, but he did add California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and Utah to the union. That has to count for something.

French and Spanish Aid

Click here for a nice little artilce about the French admiral De Grasse's victory in Chesepeake Bay which led to the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

Coming up on our Independence day celebrations we so often forget about the help France and
Spain lent us so we could achieve it. From France we were given muskets, cannon, shot, powder and troops under two generals. Spain provided an army and aide from Florida. What is little known is that there was fighting between the French and English in India, Spain and England in central and South America and a combined fleet from Spain and France beseiged Gibralter. One has to give credit to Admiral Howe. He bungled his advantage when Washington was trapped on Manhattan and Long Islands. I mean without a fleet the American army was trapped on two islands surrounded by the greatest navy in the world only a complete incompetent would let them out of such a trap. But when the one spot on the globe Britain absolutely could not afford to lose was threatened he provided England with the most brilliant naval victory prior to Nelson's victories agains Napoleon.
The writer of the article mentioned above credits Chesapeake Bay as the battle which really won the war for America. I think it was Gibralter. It was a victory, but Parliament was faced with continuing this war and it expanding to another global conflict similar to the Seven Years War (French and Indian War) with no end in sight. At this point the cost of the war was greater than they were willing to pay just to compensate the British East India Company for some lost tea.
When will we ever get to that point where our involvement in Western Asia has become too costly in men, money and military dominance to prop up Exxon, Shell, BP and Aramco?