Friday, October 28, 2005

A Day of Mourning

This is a very sad day in American history. A top official in the government has been indicted for an act that falls just short of treason, legally (though I firmly believe it is treason). This official either leaked or confirmed the leak of a CIA agent's identity, thus endangering her and ANY OTHER AGENT SHE WORKED WITH, as well as any agent who ever worked for the dummy CIA company that she worked for.

Why did the official commit this criminal act?

While we may never know for sure, the evidence points to this outing as being an act of petty revenge against the agent's husband for daring to expose the lies about WMD that led up to the war in Iraq. In short, at least one top government official put CIA agents around the world in danger to hide lies about Iraq.

The case for the Iraq war was built on lies. The war itself was poorly executed and has made the world a much more dangerous place, and emboldened terrorists all over. Because of the Iraq war, resources that were desperately needed in Afghanistan were pulled, and the terrorist leadership responsible for 9/11 escaped unpunished.

The officials in the American government who were involved in creating the lies that led to the Iraq war are traitors. They should all be taken to Gitmo and left to rot for the rest of their lives under the conditions that THEY think are appropriate for terrorists - because they helped the terrorists far more than any other people in the world, they deserve the same punishment.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Happy Birthday Lisa!

And a very happy birthday to my favorite little sister, Lisa, who is turning ... um, I'm not supposed to mention that, am I? Anyway, happy day to you and I hope to see you soon. Maybe at the Androgum party this weekend?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

First Christmas Ad of the Season

October 19th, 2005, about 10:59 pm. It was a Carnival Cruise ad with a definite Christmas theme, complete with sleighbells, snow, and red ribbons. *sigh*

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Cat - Bird - Squirrel

So I was sitting here contemplating life when I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye out the front window. Focusing on it, I spotted the cat who likes to leave us cat seeds standing stealthily on one of the stumps, looking up into a tree with a wicked stance. Hmmmm.

Focusing more, I could hear that something was chirping a loud and angry warning. I doubted that the cat could get high enough into the tree to cause any damage to whatever it was glaring at, but I never pass up an opportunity to scare the cat-seeder out of my yard. It's good for the cat's cardiovascular system.

I moved slowly to the front door... but I think I could've walked normally, the cat was so intent on the tree. I flung open the door and for an instant the cat was frozen in shock as it looked over to me, then *vwip!* it was down the stump and across the yard, tripping only once on the branches that the missionaries left it its way.

I grinned and stepped out onto the porch, and the cat stared at me from the street. Whatever was chirping was continuing to do so, so I stepped off the porch to see what it was. The cat raced away like demons were chasing it.

The chirping was not coming from the same tree that the cat had been looking at, so I tried to spot the mysterious chirper elsewhere. I wasn't terribly surprised to see a squirrel at full alert up in another tree, and when the next chirp came I confirmed it was coming from the little beastie by seeing its chest move. Definitely the culprit. But what had the cat been looking at?

I didn't spot it right away, but after looking at the tree the cat had been looking at for a moment I saw it clearly. A bird. And it seemed to be hanging off the side of the tree without any support. The neck was grey, head kind of black. The chest was white with black spots. I stepped into the yard to get a closer look, and was surprised when it didn't fly away. Injured? Or just scared? I looked up, and could see that the underside of the tailfeathers were red. And the beak was long and pointy. Maybe this is the woodpecker I've been hearing? It finally made a move to another branch and I could see it wasn't injured. Then it flew off. The squirrel stopped chirping.

Ah, the joys of living in the great Northwest.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Mighty Machete Missionaries

I wasn't sure whether or not to expect them, what with the rain coming down. But they came, four of them again, and competed with each other climbing the trees to finish taking down branches. Two of the guys were different from last week, I think, and listened to the first two guys stories about last week's antics.

While two of them climbed trees and cut branches, the other two started to work on the piles of leftover wood from last week. They cut a lot of the wood into firewood for future use. If we get our woodburning stove checked out and solve the backdraft problem, we'll have a LOT of wood to burn.

As with last week, I made them cookies and put out some water. I offered hot cocoa, but they were managing to work up a sweat despite the rain and declined. One of them kept saying how drained he was after hanging from a branch for a minute while the others scrambled to put the ladder underneath him.

When they left, the front yard was pretty much full of branches, which they've promised to come and cut up next week. I hope so, as the mess is going to be a problem. They've blocked off the usual routes down to the mailbox.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Mighty Mowing Missionaries

They visited again yesterday, four of them, with the strong desire to delimb the trees in the front yard enough that the house would get more light. They brought a handsaw, a couple of machetes, and a pitchfork. Hmmmm.

One of them also had a long belt with latches on the end. I'd say it was 15 feet long, maybe. They started the work by trying to swing it over the lowest branches they wanted to remove and hoping it would stick. Didn't work. Even when they got it over the branches, there was no way to secure it. It just wasn't long enough.

The trees aren't exactly climbable, although they gave it some real tries. The one they were intent on getting up into was smooth enough that they slid down every time they tried, even using the belt to secure themselves. I nearly got a very funny picture of a missionary hanging by the belt from the tree when he slipped, but he got out of the mess before I could get into position to snap a picture.

Finally, one of them climbed up to the tree next to the one they were trying to work on. I'm still unsure how he managed it, as there simply are no low branches. He got high enough to hook the other tree then secure the belt, then he slid down the tree... good thing he was wearing jeans.

But it still wasn't any good. They now had a belt hanging from a tree branch way above their heads, and the ladder I have wasn't tall enough to do anything but grab the bottom of the belt. So they did what they often do in this situation. They went over to the neighbors and borrowed an extendable ladder.

The extendable ladder reached just a few feet below the branch they were trying to get to, so one of them climbed up the ladder and started to haul himself up. Then he said, "take the ladder away!" which they did. It appeared to me that he was using the adrenaline from no having the ladder to go back to get himself up onto the branch. Since I was already working on my fifth or sixth panic attack, I just decided it was best for me to go inside and make some cookies for them. I did put the first aid kit out by the door, just in case.

A short while later there was the crack! of tree limbs coming down, and occasional whoops of approval from the guys on the ground. The light in the front room gradually brightened as they removed the branches that really block the sky. They got glares from passing cars as the branches came down within a foot of the street, but as far as I could tell none of them actually hit the road. The guys on the ground chopped smaller branches off the limbs and put those in the yard waste bin. At one point another guy climbed a different tree and cut down a couple of branches that were over our driveway.

I put out the usual cookies and Gatorade, and watched as they finished up cutting branches off the tree. It looks a bit barren now, but the additional light in the house is really nice, and the tree itself has a lot more branches further up. I hope they didn't kill it...

Well, I thought that might be it for their efforts, but the original missionary who started the job wants to continue it. He says that working on people's yards is much, much better than getting doors slammed in his face.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Supreme Court Choice


Ok, she's never been a judge, so why on EARTH would she be qualified to sit on the Supreme Court? For all I know, she's got exactly the same views as I do, but the initial commentary indicates that she simply isn't qualified. What's ol' shrubya up to now?