Sunday, January 28, 2007

Lombardi Trophy is "Stolen"

I am sorry to say that I don't have anything original to write today but I have another blog to comment on. Dr. Sanity. You can jump to her blog by clicking on the link I have here for her always interesting postings.

On January 26 she wrote:

"The Democrats lost the 2000 election. Therefore it must have been "stolen".

The Democrats lost the 2004 election. Therefore it must have been "stolen".

The Democrats won back some seats in the 2006 mid-term election to claim a majority in Congress. Obviously it was a completely fair election process overall.

Notice any sort of a pattern here?"

So, did you notice anyone protesting that the election was rigged? Did the media question any of the results? No? Hmm. What does this say about the civility of some political parties? I am not going to say who I voted for, but I've never questioned the results of the balloting. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. My team did not make it to the Super Bowl - where the Lombardi Trophy is awarded to the winners. I don't think that anyone "threw" any games. Maybe I'm naive?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Snow Party

There is a columnist in the newspaper that I read and usually find annoying. His name is Garrison Keillor and writing has made him a rich man. On January 25th he started his column describing the postive aspects of winter, i.e. shoveling snow, feeling like you are freezing to death, etc. He said we "need winter to enjoy summer, just as your kids need to work lousy jobs for low pay in order to appreciate having a car and an apartment." On January 22 I woke up to find 9 inches of heavy wet snow carpeting my area. Branches were snapping left and right under the unnaturally heavy load. I disagree that the native acacia tree in my yard that split off 2/3's of it's being due to being too much a desert tree not built for snow needed that experience to enjoy summer. They say it has been 30+ years since this much snow fell here. I have been enjoying summer just fine without shovelling snow and freezing to death.

But what really toasted my bread was Keillor's comments about the poor. Somehow his column morphed into political commentary and he advised us about poor people and that their grooming is poor and how you would not want to attend a party in their home. I felt like vomiting. It must be nice to sit on his high horse and throw scraps to the rabble below. You know Keillor, when poor people have enough money to throw a party in their home, they actually tidy up as best they can, and one can have a really good time if you overlook the fact that your skinny butt is not sitting on real leather. I've been to gatherings with the high and mighty and with those who don't have much further to fall, and it is much more fun to sit among the warmth of real people than to sip champagne with the big wigs.

Friday, January 19, 2007


At exactly midnight this morning the first raindrops fell. All day it lightly rained off and on. Tonight the snow level is forecast to drop to 3500 feet which is just a hair above me. We haven't had snow in years. But maybe...tomorrow.

There has not been measurable rain here since I got home from my trip in October. The desert has been brown and getting browner. But this miracle will do a world of good.

My hometown is renown for rain and clouds which is probably the reason I moved to the desert. It has been a strange winter so far in many places. A jet stream driven wind blasted Europe, knocking trains off their tracks, felling huge trees, some fell on occupied cars and there have been dozens of fatalities. Ice has caused havoc in Texas and many other states. There was virtually no snow for Christmas in most places in the USA. But Colorado has endured unprecedented snowfall. Weather has always been a fascination for me. It ties in with my interest in plants and their cultivation. Last spring I planted my tomatoes outdoors in February. Other years we have had frosts as late as April 1. Drought has ravaged my orchard. What fruit the trees were able to produce was immediately ate by starving wild birds. I may plant nut trees this winter. Maybe they would be safer from birds.

In high school I studied Horticulture 3 years under a teacher who was nearing the end of his career. He retired and they discontinued the program. I was terribly offended. I was an "A" student.

After school I worked 5 years in a greenhouse growing every imaginable plant under glass. I had a green thumb. It has to this day remained my favorite job. And by far, my lowest paying. Every time the government raised the minimum wage, I got a raise. Then they had to give me a little bit more because I had experience.

I credited these experiences with my knowledge and interest in plant life, wild and domestic, and my refusal to give up on trying to grow green things in the desert. My choices have certainly been modified by the lack of regular rain miracles though!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

For the past few months I've been participating in a postcard swapping site know as Postcrossing. In just the last few weeks I've received cards from Italy, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Finland, Slovakia, Austria and Japan. Today I sent a card to Luxembourg. The county I live in is larger than that entire country. My county is not the biggest one in Arizona either. Things are much more compact in other parts of the world. There are pluses and minuses to that. But something much of the world has in common is that they are interested in Arizona. I guess we can thank Hollywood for advertising our wonders to the world. One postcard said she was fascinated by the desert but didn't want to live in one! I actually knew little about deserts when I moved here. I was more moved by the rugged mountains which contrast with the desert. They are some of the most difficult in North America. The mountain that looms over me is only the 3rd tallest in Arizona, but it is not uncommon to have to call out the search and rescue to find someone who has underestimated it. Of course there is no comparison here to the Colorado Rockies or the Alps. But that a person could get lost in a pine-fir forest in a state known for it's cactus, is not a well-known fact.

On the other hand, I've learned much about the rest of the world from the random postcards I've found in my mailbox. For example: they watch American TV shows, they write impeccable English, they complain about the weather too. Dogs are loved everywhere. But first and foremost: everyone loves mail!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Freedom of Expression

With their way of life collapsing around them, the common folk of Nazi Germany still had a sense of humor, although at a cost. This was a joke circulating in 1944:

Hitler and Goering are standing on top of Berlin's radio tower. Hitler says he wants to do something to cheer up the people of Berlin. "Why don't you just jump?" suggests Goering.

Sadly, I read that a Berlin woman, who worked in a munitions factory, was executed for telling this joke in 1944. How different it is today in the USA where anyone can express their opposition to the government's involvement of troops in Iraq and this is seen as normal and acceptable. People at the execution of Saddam Hussein certainly had opinions. They were expressed at a socially inappropriate time, but they had the freedom to do so and I don't think they should be punished. Having bad timing like this should not be illegal.