Wednesday, January 31, 2007

On the shelf....(aka what I've been reading lately)

I seem to be on a bit of an adventure, suspense kick at the moment.

Rage by Jonathan Kellerman. Alex Delaware is still doing consulting work for the Police Department, it's not a serial killer this time..just one person bent on revenge. It keeps you wondering who the "person" is until the end..and even then your left with the question..who is the good guy and who is a bad guy..and when did that line turn grey?

On the Run by Iris Johansen, I have loved this author since the day I mistook her book Ugly Duckling, for a romance by Susan Johnston..and this one does not disappoint. It has everything a girl could want in a story intrigue, a handsome leading man, well rounded supporting characters, guns, a sheik, oh and HORSES... The thing I love about Ms. Johansen is that she's like a black hole...she sucks you in and doesn't let you go, even on the last page your disappointed the story is over and your ready for another one.

The Power Broker by Stephen Frey. This one is for all of you conspiracy theorists out there. Who really decideds who runs for president? And can one man stand up to those powers even if it's two groups pulling in opposite directions..and come out the other side a whole man? I don't' know the answer yet as I'm still reading this one. It is keeping me guessing and I sure can't figure out how this one is going to end. I usually shy away from political stories (for obivious reasons-see why I'm not allowed to read the newspaper), But Mr Frey does an excellent job of well rounded characters and keeping the plot moving so it doesn't become stagnant. I can imagine that this story moved up the ranks from reader to publishers desk in a hurry.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

a couple of observations.....

two things happened yesterday that made me laugh for a bit and I thought I would share...

While in the sprint store I over heard this " Do you have a phone I can use?".

And while driving home on the interstate I saw this.

"LaborReady...Safety first, second and always..." written on the side of one of their vans, just under that comforting phrase? A HUGE dent!

Just thought I'd share...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Holy Coinage, Batman!

My friend Matt lives in Arizona and is paying much attention to the Arizona state quater to be released next year. See options here . My interest in coins has increased since I started working at the bank, I have to admit. And in this case I am with Matt's choice. The Navajo Wind Talkers deserve a quarter. So do the Tusgee Airmen.

Until yesterday...I never knew that the buffalo nickel has two options 1) realistic with the ability to urinate 2) sans the ability to urinate. Personally I don't see what all the huff was about, but keep your eyes out and put back the realistic ones..they will be worth more.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

An Over Looked Lunch Choice.

Today, as I tried to master six errands on lunch break and still manage to eat, I decided to try an old favorite of mine...the fish sandwich. Now this could be a "Bk your just weird thing" or a "southern thing" but I love a good fish sandwich. It isn't very fattening, it's good for you and when you want a jolt of brain's a good choice.

I remember, growing up, watching my Mom enjoy a fish sandwich for lunch. If we had fish patties the night before and any where left, Mom would just get out the bread, a little mayo if tarter wasn't available, the fish, and wahla..she was a happy camper. Then when I started Middle School fish sandwiches were offered on the menue a few times a week, with or without cheese..I always went cheese.

Today I had a fish sandwich from Burger King. Now Burger King makes their sandwich with some mayo and a little lettuce. I also had Onion Rings with their "zesty" sause, which was okay, if your a fan of horseradish. I am not. But I digress.

McDonalds actually beats out BK in the fish sandwich department. Theirs comes with Tarter sauce. Although the patty from McDonalds is smaller than the one Bk serves. McDonalds also doesn't give lettuce, though I'm sure they would if you ask for it. They also don't serve Onion Rings.

So, although Burger King is my choice when it comes to a Burger, McDonalds wins the fish sandwich compition in my book.

Anybody else know where I can get a good fish sandwich?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tortia Lines or America: the Country Everyone Loves to Hate!

There is a reason the people in my house duck for cover when I reach for the newspaper. For a while it got me banned from being allowed to read the paper. I tend to be a little opinionated and will share my beliefs loudly if I disagree with something or think it's just plain stupid.

Over time, I have worked hard at curbing these outburtst..but sometimes I see something that just drives me insane! Like a piece I read off of an AP wire the other day. Oh, they tried to hide it from me. It was only about a paragraph long and buried on like page 7 of the front section. Somehow I managed to zero in on it though.

Basicly it said that Tortia prices in Mexico are on the rise, and their goverment is blamming the U.S.. According to the article the U.S. supplies much of the corn used in Mexico, but the amount of corn we are shipping out is decreasing. This is apparently due to our rising use of Eythonal as an alternative to oil. So we get yelled at for being oil hungry, and then, when we start looking for means, we get yelled at for that too? OMG!!!

For those of you that heard me go off about this on the phone..I apologize, but apparently...I'm still bitter.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Taxes? We Don't Need No, Stinkin Taxes.....

Floridians do not like taxes. We hate taxes. We are one of the few states in the Union to not have a State Income Tax. Heck, we hate taxes so much that, even being in the Bible Belt, we elected to have a lottery before allowing a State Income Tax. In the county next to mine, they continued to vote themselves a dry county for avoid the tax people wanted to place on alcohol. They just drove to our county, bought it, and drove home.

So when a local business man got popped for Income Tax evasion, we most likely would have just let it go. Oh, we would of punished him...a little, cause the Federal Goverment said we had to. But it most likely wouldn't have been much. Heck he was semi applauded for trying to take the entire rapp himself, saying that his partner had nothing to do with it. The Judge would not accept his guilty plea how ever and forced the issue to trial. The fact that his partner is his long time friend and former lover (with whom he has a child) just made the story more juicy. We southerners love our gossip and scandal. Where he messed up though was in giving away his daddy's land. This is something no southerner will forgive.

You can rob your neighbor, your business partner, cheat on your wife, cheat on your taxes, but you never ever steal from your parents! The man was slick. He traded the land for a beach house with a high class lawyer and a former senator (who also got popped for tax evasion and a few othe land swindle deals), but in order to hide it from his dad, had a life estate clause in the deal. Basicly Daddy would live on the land for the rest of his natural life at no cost. Daddy only found out the first time when he went to pay his property tax and was informed he didn't own the land. Well he raised quite a fuss and to shut him up they put in the life estate clause. Telling Daddy the land was his again. Would of worked too...except for the IRS and their sneaky tax evasion investigation. They let Daddy know real fast what was up.

If your curiosity gets the best of you, you can
read the details.

And ya'll thought life in a small town was boring....

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Grave site vistits..the new cheap gift

In my family the birthday train starts rolling in October and doesn't end until March. Janruary is a hard one for us with my Cousin (sorry I ment to call but completely mind wiped when I got home), Two of my Sons, my Nephew, my Father, and One of my Grandmothers. Yep that works out to one birthday a week. So unfortunatly they sometimes get skimpy gifts.

This year my 12 year old, knowing money is tight and this is the big 13 comming up asked for what he thought would be a very cheap present. Last night via paper air plane sent down the stairs after lights out, I get this:


For my birthday can you take me to see Edgar Allen Poe's grave? That would be really cool.

Love, David

Now for those of you thinking this is morbid hold on. David has recently been introduced to Mr. Poe's work and is very much impressed by him. Dave until recently didn't like to read much aside from goosebumps and loves horror films. So when he got the collection of Poe I didn't think he would take to it. But like any good boy he found the Tell Tale Heart and The Raven and took to Poe like a duck to water. I love that he is reading and concidering he is my only child that still likes getting action figures for christmas..I was really suprised and pleased by his birthday request.

However, we live in not really a cheap present. After you figure in gas or plane tickets, hotel cost, food, and I guess a t-shirt from the gift shop..would be Birthday, christmas, and any other gift giving occasion for about 2 years or more. Maybe I can just find a book of local ghost stories for him and then take him on a local tour...we have plenty to go around.

Now for those of you wondering how can I get my kids interested in history. Make history interesting. On our way to court today, an hour drive one way, Allen and I were discussing Wal-mart and how soon they will start selling cars and pre-fab homes. This lead to me saying innocently " Wal-mart is today what Sears & Roebuck used to be." Chris asked what I ment. That lead to a game Allen and I played on U.S. companies that have been around for more than 100 years and services they provided. Sears, Pullman (led to a brief discussion on unions and the Pullman strike) Pinkerton (branched off the strike conversation), Coleman, Levi, and Ford to name a few.

History is a story. It can be a really good story if you use the right voice, and the right "hook" to get your audience interested..and once the bug doesn't tend to let go.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Enjoy the little things.

Many times in life we get caught up in the day to day grind, and we miss the little things. The next thing you know your kid is 16.

Check on them before you go to sleep.
1) this can cut down on the sneaking out of the house that will happen.
2) seeing them asleep you can pretend for a moment that they are still small and you are less inclined to wring their necks during waking hours.

Take 5 minutes and paint your daughters nails or surf myspace with her tagging celebrity spaces.

You are never to old to play video games, especially when your goof up can keep your kids laughing for hours.

Brownies are the best when your licking the batter out of the bowl.

Always say " I love you" it doesn't lose it's meaning and you never know when it might be your last chance.

Yesterday we were back in court with my oldest child. We still have court again tomorrow, for the grand theft auto charge (joy riding ). This time however the boy really had not done anything wrong (other than sneak out of the house,but broke no laws) an old detain order was still on the books from several months ago, before he was released from probation. While in the court room awaiting our turn, a girl was called up in front of the judge. Her mother went and stood near her, but not by her. The mother informed the judge she didn't want to pay for a lawyer for her daughter, didn't look at her daughter, and left the court room with out looking at her daughter. The girl could only cry and call out "Mommy" in a voice that broke my heart.
As angry as I am at my oldest for his choices lately and as heart broken as it makes me, or frustrated, never could I see myself at the point where I could turn my back on him like that.
I know nothing of what she was charged with, nor what drove the mother to that point, and I pray to God I never do.

Enjoy the little things.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

They say answers come in the weirdest ways.......

Sometimes I will be struck by odd, random questions. Usually brought on by things happening around me. Today one of those instances occured.

I was on my way to work, following my normal route and trying to be mindful of my speed. The local police like to hide at the bottom of a certain hill and pop speeders as they come down. Coming down the hill, applying brake to slow the speed of the car, I suddenly thought of someone in a buggy or wagon trying to make it down that same hill. And how they would need to apply the brake so the wagon wouldn't run the horses over. This thought led to another. Did the cops bust people for speeding back then? How would you know if someone was speeding? What if their horse just happened to be faster than yours? Or if the speed limit was say 20 miles an hour, but your wagon was pulled by 4 horses did you have to go twice as slow as others on the road so as not to exceed the speed limit?

I got to work and proceeded about my day, this random stray thought tucked away in the random drawer. Until I went to lunch.

As I waited for my food I occupied myself by reading a little newspaper/newsletter left for patrons to puruse. At the bottom was a "Random Fact" portion. It informed me that President Grant ( yes as in Ulysses) once recieved a speeding ticket for going to fast in his buggy. So there you are. If asked correctly all questions recieve answers, even random ones asked in your head, in your car while on your way to work...

Personally I think the Big Guy was just reminding me that he was still with me and even my little thoughts matter to him...what a great thing to know :)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007!

New Years Eve, marks so many different things: The end of a year, the end of the holidays, the end of a cycle and so many new starts as well. For 2 months solid the focus is on spending time with family and friends. A time to rebond with one another, to create new memories, to shore up our batteries for the on comming year. And so the new year starts and with it new goals, new oppertunities, new risks, new lessons, new growth.

New Years day for me growing up was about parades, and food, and family, and of course football. My sons' aren't that into football, so that has fallen by the wayside, but the food, family, and parades remain. I am not sure if this is a "southern" thing or not, but on New Years day certain items are expected on the menue. One of my favorites growing up was the dish of black eyed peas. You had to have at least one bite, this is supposed to ensure that you don't go hungry durring the next year. Personally I thought it was to remind you that if you get hungry enough you will eat anything...even vile black eyed peas. To sweeten the deal as it were, my grandmother would hide money in the peas. My sisters, cousin and I would eat the required "bite" then dig through the rest to see what coin we could score. This year dinner will be a small affair, my family and my youngest sisters family, but still a time to come together and remind ourselves what is truely important in this upcomming year and that is each other.

I am not making many resolutions this year. Mainly because I tend to be a slacker in that department, but I do have a few.
1) To make sure I spend quality not quantity time with my family and friends
2) to keep writing, this blog for one and to try and finish the one story I have started and a few others that keep sneaking into my head.
3) To take a little more "me" time from the rest of the world. From something small like buying myself something to the larger an afternoon lost in the art museum...if I am lucky I can tuck number 1 into part of number 3 lol.

So take a little more time today and say I love you to your loved ones and get ready to face 2007 head on, with your head held high and shoulders back.