Saturday, February 28, 2009

Top Chef The Finals

The main lesson I learned on Top Chef this week is that the most talented person doesn’t always win the contest. That it isn’t always how good you are but sometimes it is more important when you are good! The other lesson I took away from the show this week is that sometimes it is better to go with what you know and not listen to the advise of others. Imagine playing the same lottery numbers for several weeks in a row and then this week a friend talks you into new numbers and your old numbers win. How would you feel?

The challenge for the finals was simply for the contestants to cook the best three course meal they could cook. The did have help. They were given sous chefs to help with the meal. The sous chefs were previous season’s runner-ups. Helping Hosea was last season’s runner-up, Richard. Helping Stefan was season 2 runner-up, Marcel. And Helping Carla was season 3 runner-up, Casey. Right before they were to cook the three course meal an appetizer was added. Hosea won the right to pick which proteins the cooks would use for their appetizer by getting the baby out of the King Cake. He stuck Stefan with alligator. The meal was to be cooked at the famous New Orleans restaurant, Commander’s Palace and for an all star group of chefs, including last week’s elimination, Fabio.

Carla won the people’s choice as who they would want for their Top Chef but she finished third in the finals because she took Casey’s advise and went away from what she knew. It killed her with the judges. Stefan had the best dish of the night but was up and down. He was definitely the best chef this season. For the finals Hosea was the most consistent, cooking preveraltty even dishes throughout the night. Here is how I graded the chefs:

Carla - Appetizer -A
Course 1 - A
Course 2 - C
Dessert - D Overall: B-

Stefan - Appetizer- A
Course 1- C he froze his fish big mistake.
Course 2- A
Desert - C Overall: B

Hosea - Appetizer - A
Course 1 - B
Course 2 - A
Course 3 - A Overall: A- (Venison instead of desert)

The finals were close but season five’s Top Chef is HOSEA!

Although this season’s Top Chef was the highest rated season ever I didn’t like it as much as last season. First, there was nobody to really dislike. I can’t remember her name but last season there was a female chef that we all hated and we wanted either Richard or Stephanie to do her in. This season Stefan came the closest to being unlikable but he had a lot of likeable moments. Even in the finals he was the one to comfort Carla when she cried. Second, there was nobody to like enough to really root for. They were all kind of vanilla. Last season Stephanie was so likeable we were all rooting for her.

What is on your plate today? How do the Top Chef fans view this season’s rsion?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Update Me/Unexpected Friendships

Today is my favorite day of the week, update day. The day when you tell Uncle and Brother Bill about your life. What is going on with you right now. How your elderly parents are. How your children are. Joys you have had in the past week. Sorrows that came into your life. And if you are new to the blog this is a good day to make new friends and introduce yourself. None of the posters here bite (I do sometimes) and they will welcome you with open arms and computers.

For today I am going to combine update day with a question for the day. Have youy ever did something that you were absolute sure was going to make someone angry with you only to have them react in an unexpected positive way and became friends with them?

First my update. Mom has a virus that has been going around the Portland area. A serious virus that takes about three weeks before you completely get well. Last night I took Mom dinner (soup and 1/2 sandwich) and stayed until my nephew got there. Man I was worried about her. She looked on death's door. I am at Mom's today all day. I got here at 8:30. She made a marvelous improvement overnight and is about 50% better. She is improving. I'm being Nurse Rached today, since she is on the rise I want the rise to continue. Mom says I have healing powers. I'm positive she will even better tomorrow. The reason that I am here today is that the job is going better. I'm getting much faster now that I've learned their procedures. I'm becoming very productive. With the economy the tax returns are coming in slower. I ran out of work yesterday. So I took the day off with their approval. I wanted to concentrate on Mom. I can get another job, I can't get another Mom.

It was the 80's. My first week on a new job as an internal auditor for an insurance company. An internal auditing job is the pits. You can't win in the job. The bosses always think you are being to easy on the employees and the employees always think that you are being to hard on them. A classic no win situation. My first assignment was to audit the marketing department. A man several years older than myself, Norm, was the head honcho of the department. I audited his department and turned in my report. The report was very critical of home office. They didn't communicate with branch offices about the polices they wanted enforced and then when the branch offices didn't follow the policies the home office got upset. My conclusion was communication works two ways and home office needed to communicate their wants and needs to the branch office in a more pleasant and effective way.

They day after the report hit the CEO's desk here came Norm walking towards my office. I braced myself for an argument befitting of a fight between cats and dogs. I was in a state of shock when Norm entered my office and said "That was the best report I've read since I've been here and I've been here ten years." Apparantly Norm had been telling his bosses the exact same thing that was in my report. Norm and I became friends. When I quit the insurance company to start my own business, Norm became one of my first clients. I did his tax return for over twenty years.

The last few years we would either go to lunch or breakfast when he brought his tax return information in. I always enjoyed our chats. Norm's son-in-law is a pretty famous mystery writer. Hits the New York Time's best seller list every time when a new book comes out. To protect their privacy I am keeping their last names out of this entry. I guess what happens is before a new book goes out to the general public, the publisher prints 500 marketing copies of the book with a game plan to promote the book. They are pretty valuable if you can get your hands on one. One year when Norm came to get his tax return done he brought me one of those five hundred books. I still have it. What an insight into the publishing industry!

Thursday while at work I got a phone call from Norm's grandson. Norm passed away Wednesday night while in his sleep. Norm you will be missed.

“ Each man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. ”
— John Donne.

The blog is now yours. OK give it up, tell me all your secrets.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things I Enjoy, Things I Miss, Things I Worry About

Certain things in life bring with them things you enjoy but also take away the time you used to have to do other things you enjoyed. Caring for an elderly parent is a time commitment that takes time from things that you used to do for yourself but also comes with rewards. Starting a new job brings with it several things you enjoy and again takes away time that was once used for other enjoyable things. Going back to work after years at home because your spouse lost a job? Lose a job? After years of self-employment your business tanked causing you to re-enter the job market? Or more a myriad of other reasons your life has changed in such a way that you quit doing things that were good for you? Sometimes the things you enjoy and the things you miss are conflicting. The enjoy and miss list also results in a worry list. Here is a partial list the things I enjoy, the things I miss and the things that worry me.

Things I enjoy:

Spending time with Mom.
Feeling needed.
Feeling wanted
Feeling important to someone.
Having more money.
Being busy.
Paying bills without taking money out of savings.
Getting up in the morning and having a place to go.
Being reviewed.
Completing work projects.
Learing new things.

Things I miss:

Time to travel
Morning Walks
My pedometer (haven’t had time to buy a new one)
Going to one or two movies a week.
Getting up in the morning and staying home
My annual contact with my own clients.
Being my own boss
Running errands at my leisure
More dinners and lunches with Mom.
The driving range.
Breakfast with Ted and The guys.
Doing things I am familiar with.

Things that worry me:

My Mom’s health
My Mom’s memory decline
How good of job I am doing at work.
What the future is going to bring.
Having my life changed by others’ actions.
Feeling trapped.

OK, now it is your turn. In your life right now, what are the things you enjoy? You miss? You worry about?

Hope today will bring you less worries, more enjoyment, and missing fewer thing!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Show Me Your Undies

And I won't give you a ticket or take you to jail. Here is an article paraphrased from Tuesday's February 24th, OREGONIAN. You can read the entire article at "Portland City Council members on Wednesday are expected to settle two lawsuits stemming from a former Portland police officer's misconduct during a traffic stop. In the early hours of a day in 2006, officer John Wood told the women to lift their skirts and show him their underwear or he would arrest them for drunk driving and take them to jail." Both women complied and Wood completed the stop without giving eith one a ticket. Although the article doesn't mention their ages if memory serves me correctly the women were in their mid twenties to early thirties. The amounts the women are expected to receive from their settlements are $53,005 and $52,200 for damages from the traffic stop.

What makes this story even more interesting is in 2005 Wood was accused of acting in a similar "deviant sexual manner" toward another woman while on duty and the city kept him on duty.

In late 2006 Wood pleaded guilty to two counts of official misconduct stemming from one of the two traffic stops, agreed to resign as a police officer and to give up his police certification. He was placed on two years probation and ordered to perform one hundred hours of community service.

I find this story troubling in several ways. First, I think any man that uses a power position to satisfy his sexual needs is a scumbag. I mean I like looking at women in underwear as much as the next guy but to hold jail over them to get women to perform the way he wants them to is a disgrace to the male gender every where. Second, the police officer shouldn't have even been on the force at the time of the traffic stop. He should have been fired in 2005 after the first instance or at minimum sent to counseling. Third, I am kind of stunned that the women complied. My sister probably would have told the officer to go ahead and arrest her. Then after getting out of jail she would go after the officer full force with complaints and lawsuits. Fourth, I'm not sure the dollar amount of the settlement is enough or to much. Fifth, I think the officer should have gotten jail time.

So the questions of the day are: 1. How do you react to this story? 2. Should have the officer been fired after the first incident? 3. What would you do if you were placed in the situation these two women were placed in? 4. Did they get to much of a settlement or not enough? 5. Was the officer's sentance enough?

Remember Top Chef fans the final is tonight!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Day Off

I'm taking a day off from my blog to regenerate my creative energies. I'm accumulating subjects to write about. Not in any order but one day we may talk about things you enjoy and things you miss. On another day we may talk about why parents would put their talented female basketball playing daughter under the private direction of a coach that was a known sex offender and the only reason he wasn't in jail is when the offense came to light the statue of limitations had expired. Then there was the recent review of the Portland Police department mostly positive but also some troubling stuff in the report. There may also will be some talk of taking care of elderly parents and how the stress of the bad economy puts more pressure on both the elderly parent and the caregiver. Of course the finals of Top Chef is this week. I also plan on getting back into The Amazing Race! And I might post the wonderful story that Ellen gave us a link to last week. And there is always update day!

But for today my blog and I are going through a minor separation. What are you plans for today? Have any ideas for subjects? I'm open for suggestions.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Summary

It was an interesting night last night. The new format had its moments. I really did like the way they presented the acting awards. What they did was for each catergory is to have five winners from past Oscars introduce the nominees in the catergory that they had won in. You had Sophia Loren talking about Meryl Streep's talent, for example. What I didn't like about the format was everything else. The show dragged on at mid-point. I even came to the conclusion that had Larry Mark and Bill Condon produced Sixty Minutes it would be on the air for three hours.

The highlights:

Heath Ledger's win as Best Supporting actor and his family accepting his award. His dad, mother and sister accepted the award that will be given to his daughter Matilda and had even me shedding tears. It was the kind of moment that keeps me watching The Oscars.

Hugh Jackman was a great host.

Ben Stiller imitating Joaquin Phoenix was hysterical.

Jerry Lewis was regal and gave the perfect acceptance speech for the the lifetime achievement award. His speech was short and sensitive.

Kate Winslet gave an acceptance speech as classy as she was dressed.

Sean Penn gave an eloquent acceptance speech. He used the platform to champion rights for all. Good for him.

Dusting Lane Black gave a very stirring acceptance speech after winning the award for Milk for Best Original Screenplay.

Penelope Cruz a surprising win as best supporting actress was a classy as classy could be and gave wonderful acceptance speech.

Slumdog Millionaire a movie that was originally to go straight to video won the night with several wins. The crew from Slumdog was fun, charming, and having a great time just being there.

My predictions were a decent 80%. Here they are:

Best Supporting Actress:

Winner: Penelope Cruz for "Vicky Cristina Barcelone"

My will win: Viola Davis for "Doubt" 0-1

Best Original Screenplay:

Winner: Dustin Lance Black, Milk

My will win: Dustin Lance Black , Milk 1-1

Best Cinematography:

Winner: Slumdog Millionaire

My will win: The Reader 1-2

Best Supporting Actor:

Winner: Heath Ledger My Will Win: Heath Ledger 2-2

Best Original Score:

Winner: "Slumdog Millionaire," A.R. Rahman Will win: Slumdog Millionare 3-2

Best Original Song:

Winner: Jai Ho" Slumdog Millionaire," A.R. Rahman and Gulzar

My Should Win: Jai Ho 4-2

Best Director:

Winner: Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire." My will win: Boyle 5-2

Best Actress:

Winner: Kate Winslet, "The Reader." My will win: Winslet 6-2

Best Actor:

Winner: Sean Penn, "Milk"; My will win: Penn 7-2

Best Movie:

Winner: "Slumdog Millionaire." My will win: Slumdog Milllionaire 8-2

The award season is now over so the blog will go back to talking about elderly parents, jobs, life, Amazing Race, Dancing With The Stars and the Top Chef final!

May you have an award winning day today!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Oscar Predictions

Today is the Super Bowl of Movies. The Oscar Telecast is tonight on ABC at 5:30 p.m. with the Red Carpet starting at five. For really dedicated award fans you turn on ABC at the in the afternoon for "Evening at The Oscars" or you can go to the TV Guide Channel at 2 p.m. for an academy award preview and the stay on the TV Channel until the Oscars start by watching "Countdown To The Academy Awards." Not yet satisfied well then turn to the E! Channel at two o'clock for the Red Carpet and Countdown to The Oscars. Something for everyone!

As I do every year today is the day I give my predictions. And Red Whistle DEFIANCE was nominated in one category, Best Original Score.

Here are my predictions:

Best Original Score

Nominees are:

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Alexandre Desplat
"Defiance,"James Newton Howard
"Milk," Danny Elfman
"Slumdog Millionaire," A.R. Rahman
"WALL-E," Thomas Newman

I want to win: Defiance. Should win: Slumdog Millionaire. Will win: Slumdog Millionare

Best Original Song:

Nominees are:

"Down to Earth" "WALL-E," Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman
"Jai Ho" Slumdog Millionaire," A.R. Rahman and Gulzar
"O Saya" "Slumdog Millionaire," A.R. Rahman Maya Arulpragasam

I want to win: Down To Earth Should win: Jai Ho Will win: O Saya

Best Original Screenplay:

Nominees are:

Courtney Hunt, "Frozen River"
Mike Leigh, "Happy-Go-Lucky"
Martin McDonagh, "In Bruges"
Dustin Lance Black, "Milk"
Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter, "WALL-E."

Want to win: Dustin Lance Should win: Dustin Lance Will win: Dustin Lance

Best Cinematography:

Nominees are:

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,"
"The Dark Knight,"
"The Reader,"
"Slumdog Millionaire."

Want to win: Dark Knight Should win: The Reader Will win: The Reader

Best Supporting Actress:

Nominees are:

Amy Adams, "Doubt"
Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona";
Viola Davis, "Doubt";
Taraji P. Henson, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button";
Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler."

Want to win: Henson Should win: Henson Will win: Davis

Best Supporting Actor:

Nominees are:

Josh Brolin, "Milk";
Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder";
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt";
Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight";
Michael Shannon, "Revolutionary Road."

Want to win: Hoffman Should win: Shannon Will win: Ledger

Best Actress:

Nominees are:

Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married";
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling";
Melissa Leo, "Frozen River";
Meryl Streep, "Doubt";
Kate Winslet, "The Reader."

Want to win: Leo Should win: Streep Will win: Winslet

Before going on to the best actor category I will tell you right now that after his performance yesterday at the Independent Film Awards I don't want Mickey Rourke to win. He was insulting, crude, rude, and now wonder it took him so long to get back into the movies.

Best Actor:

Nominees are:

Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor";
Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon";
Sean Penn, "Milk";
Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button";
Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler."

Want to win: Langella Should win: Penn Will win: Penn

Best Director:

Nominees are:

David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button";
Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon";
Gus Van Sant, "Milk";
Stephen Daldry, "The Reader";
Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire."

Want to win: Van Sant (Portland) Should win: Fincher Will win: Boyle

Best Movie:

Nominees are:

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,"
"The Reader,"
"Slumdog Millionaire."

Want to win: Frost/Nixon Should win: Frost/Nixon Will win: Slumdog Milllionaire

Just a shout out to a couple of movies and actors that didn't get nominated. GRAN TORINO was as good as any of the nominated films and Clint Eastwood's performance in it deserved a best actor nod. DEFIANCE was another good movie that should have received more nominations. Michael Sheen's performance in FROST/NIXON was worthy of a best supporting actor nod.

Hope this is a five star day for all of you and that your day is filled with entetainment and awards from all those in your life!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Overconfidence, Second Chances, & Top Chef

Second chances are nice but sometimes they end the same way the first chance does. Confidence is charming, overconfidence is a set up for disaster. Being humble is sometimes charming. Those are three of the lessons that I learned from Top Chef's semi-final this week. Before talking about Top Chef a couple of questions. Have you ever reached a stage in a relationship or on a job or in life where you are overconfident? And if you have what has been the result? First, relationships. I'm not the expert on relationships but I'm a very good observer of them. What I notice is that if you have confidence in yourself and in your partner that breeds trust and leads to better things. But I have also noticed that if you get to the stage where you are overconfident in the relationship it leads to you overlooking the details that got your relationship to point of happiness and trust. Maybe you don't bring flowers anymore. Maybe you forget to tell your partner that you love them. Maybe you forget to tell your partner they look nice. No more surprise gifts. No more spontaneous moments. That kind of overconfidence leads to sadness and one or both partners not feeling appreciated. Which leads to separation. What has been your experience with confidence and overconfidence in a relationship?

Second chances? Have you ever given someone a second chance? Has it worked out for you? Have you ever been given a second chance? Did you do better the second time around? Now on to the show that sparked the questions for the day.

This week on Top Chef was the semi-finals with Carla, Hosea, Stefan, and Fabio. The Oscar for being the most overconfident cook goes to Stefan. The Oscar for the cook in the role of second chances goes to Jeff. Jeff? Yes, Jeff. The Quick Fire Challenge this week didn't involve any of the semi-finalists. Instead coming out to compete in the Quick Fire Challenge were Jamie, Leah, anbd Jeff. With the winner getting a fifth spot in the semi-finals. Guest Judge for the semi-finals was the known to almost everyone in the world chef, Emeril Lagasse. The second chance Chefs had one hour to create a dish featuring Crawfish. Jeff learned from his past mistakes and went with a simple dish, shrimp & grits and a salad. He won the heart of Emeril and a chance to compete in the semi-finals. The one kicker though was to go to the finals Jeff had TO WIN the semi-finals.

The elimination challenge was to cook three dishes for 100 people attending a masquerade ball in the great city of New Orleans. One dish had to be a drink. One dish had to be cooked Creole style. The winner of the semi-final not only moved on the final but won a car! A Toyota Venza. The surprise top three for the night were Carla, Hosea, and Jeff. The even more surprising bottom two were Stefan and Fabio. Stefan's overconfidence finally got to him, with Tom telling him you have to live up to your confidence. The winner of the challenge? The one that did the simple dish and the only one to do a non-alcoholic drink. Shrimp & andquille beigne with Creole aaioli. Carla won the car. She humbly thought she didn't do that well but Emeril quickly corrected her. Carla won the car. Since Carla won, Jeff even though he was in the top three, was sent packing. Stefan barely made it as the judges sent Fabio packing.

The finals are next week and competing will be Carla, Hosea, and Stefan. Internet rumors are saying Hosea pulls off the win. I'm going with Carla. Who are the Top Chef fans here going with?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Your Weekly Update Is Going To The Movies!

Sticking with a movie theme for a few days. Today is update day. The day when you tell me what is going on in your life. How your elderly parents are doing or how any of your other relatives are doing. Or most importantly, how you are doing. If you are new to the blog now is a great time to introduce yourself. If anyone has concerns or questions fire away not only am I willing to try to help and answer questions so are the wonderful group of posters here! Or if you just want to discuss anything let us know what you want to discuss. Got any important events coming up? Let us know what they are.

OK, now the movie theme. After you update me on your life I want to know that if there were a movies of both your life story and your life right now what would be the titles of those movies? What actor or actress would you want playing your part? If you were doling out awards to the people in your life who would you give Oscars to? Daughter, friend, relative, doctor, spouse?

My week was different. I learned I don’t really want this job. That my best times and my best performances are when I work on my own. It is definitely something to consider. As you probably remember I couldn’t work Monday and Tuesday because they didn’t have a computer for me to use. Monday I went to lunch with a former client and had a great time. Then the firm that bought my business gave me a bunch of work to do. Tuesday it was lunch and dinner with Mom. Wednesday and Today work at the new firm. That was after a doctor’s appointment this morning. I haven’t had a cold or a viral infection in over fifteen years. I have one today. An upper viral infection and a bronchitis. They gave me some antibiotics, said I wasn’t contagious so I could work, and said the antibiotics probably wouldn’t help as much as time. The doctor said that once you got to the coughing stage the infection was half over. So I’m about half way there. He also said this has been the biggest year they have ever had with people having infections. Stress levels due to loss of jobs etc, lead to infections. The effect of the bad economy goes to so many places!

My life story would be titled “He Never Gave Up” and the actor playing me would be James Spader. If the story was about my life right now it would be titled “Multiple Mister” because depending on the day of the week I would be Mr. Boring, Mr. Dedicated, Mr. Lonely, Mr. Responsibility. Again the actor playing me would be James Spader. I would award Oscars to my Mom for aging gracefully, My sister for doing what she can despite living a thousand miles a way, My Nephew for being my most dependable relative, the main caregiver for Mom (Susan) for always making mom and I feel better about ourselves and of course all the posters and visitors to this blog for always being there for me!

Your turn.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ten Movies To See Before You Die

This is Oscar week. Sunday on ABC is the Oscar Telecast, The Super Bowl of The Movies. That makes this a week to celebrate movies. And that is what we are discussing today! Movies to celebrate!

The People that read the following web site:

Voted on their top ten movies to see before you die. Those movies are as follows:

Shawshank Redemption - loved

Witness - suspenseful

Mama Mia - barf

Life Is Beautiful - lovely but intense

Amelia - didn’t see

The Deer Hunter - to violent

The Others - didn’t see

It’s A Wonderful Life -ahhhhhhhhhh

Citizen Kane - pseudo intellectual kind of movie

The Notebook - my mom and dad’s relationship

While I like some of the movies on the above list I am not sure I would classify most of them as movies to see before you die movies, my list would be as follows:

Shindler’s List - intense, heroic

Dr. Zhivago - beautiful music

Sound of Music - ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

The Graduate - Dustin Hoffman

Atonement - romantic and disloyalty all in one

The Godfather Series - let me make you an offer you can’t refuse.

Sting - the entertainer

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid - entertaining

An Affair To Remember - romantic to the ultimate level

To Kill A Mockingbird - why this isn’t one everyone’s list is beyond me.

I could do so many more! Which list do you like best? What movie that you would drag people to that is missing from the above lists? Do you have a Top Ten movies to see before you die list? Who is your favorite actor? (For me it is Dustin Hoffman), Who is your favorite actress? (Kate Winslet/Meryl Streep/
Sandra Bullock).

May this be an entertaining day for you and may everyone make you feel like a star today!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Tarot Reading

I haven't got much to write about today so I went to and had a free tarot reading done. It doesn't cost anything and shows up immediately on your computer if you enter your name, the type of deck you want, and the type of reading. I chose the Rider-Waite Deck and The Celtic Cross. I'm really not a true believer of the occult but I think it is fun to dable in and once in a great while you can get some guidance from the cards. However, they usually aren't that right on.

My life in General?

The Celtic Cross spread is one of the most popular Tarot spreads, providing varied insight into many aspects of a complex situation and your role in it. The Rider Waite Tarot is the most widely recognized Tarot deck, and the first deck published in the 20th century. It was created by members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and is especially suited to questions of a mystical nature.

The card not shown but at the center of the cross, represents the atmosphere surrounding the central issue. Two of Cups (Love): The perfect harmony of union, in romance, friendship, or business. A deep and palpable connection radiating joy and contentment. A great concordance or pledge of fidelity. The joining of male and female interpreted in the broadest sense. The sanctification of the natural through that which exists on a higher plane. May indicate the meeting of a kindred soul, marriage, engagement, merger, or partnership.

The card visible at the center of the cross represents the obstacle that stands in your way - it may even be something that sounds good but is not actually to your benefit. Seven of Swords (Futility): An opportunity to withdraw from a hopeless situation and fight another day. Disengagement from a struggle you should never have been involved in. A desperate attempt to resolve a matter without conflict. The use of cleverness or outright deception to turn the tide in your favor.

The card at the top of the cross represents your goal, or the best you can achieve without a dramatic change of priorities. Eight of Wands (Swiftness), when reversed: Too much force applied too suddenly. A flash in the pan. A foolhardy and untimely plunge into the unknown. Impatience leading to poor decisions in love, business, travel, or spiritual growth.

The card at the bottom of the cross represents the foundation on which the situation is based. Nine of Pentacles (Gain), when reversed: Bad luck attending material affairs. Elitism and snobbishness. Lack discipline resulting in the erosion of security and stability. Contempt for the exact labors that brought one to a position of refinement. Dishonesty in financial matters.

The card at the left of the cross represents a passing influence or something to be released. The Magician: Mastery over word, mind, and matter. The ability to turn ideas into actions, handle problems, and control one's life. The initiation of new projects, great works, or a new way of life. Eloquent and moving communication. Arcane and eldritch technologies.

The card at the right of the cross represents an approaching influence or something to be embraced. Four of Cups (Luxury), when reversed: New and unusual relationships and opportunities. The reawakening of your appetite for life or love. The path of excess leading to spiritual rejuvenation and the appearance of novel ambitions.

The card at the base of the staff represents your role or attitude. Ace of Swords, when reversed: The seed of defeat - perhaps as yet unseen. A challenge met with the invocation of force, leading to disastrous results. Reason and intelligence misdirected or cast aside, resulting in injustice and falsehood. An excessive power abused. May suggest new ideas or information with dangerous implications.

The card second from the bottom of the staff represents your environment and the people you are interacting with. Seven of Wands (Valor), when reversed: Failure to stand up for your beliefs in the face of a hostile majority. A self-fulfilling fear of failure or embarrassment. Great challenges met with cowardice. Quarrels, perplexity, and indecision at a crucial moment.

The card second from the top of the staff represents your hopes, fears, or an unexpected element that will come into play. Eight of Swords (Interference): Chagrin at the unforeseen consequences of prior decisions. Criticism, censure, and the imposition of external restrictions. Confusion leading to powerlessness. Inability to focus on the crux of a problem and free oneself from a difficult situation. Being hamstrung by a past failure or humiliation.

The card at the top of the staff represents the ultimate outcome should you continue on this course. The Emperor, when reversed: Weakness in character leading to tyranny and abuse of worldly power. Loss of confidence and ambition, coupled with the cold execution of the unthinkable. The inability to carry out plans or command respect. Being unreasonable and prone to fits of rage. A deceiver or demagogue.

Any comments? How do you feel about the occult? Devil's play or guidance? Would you like a reading? You can either go to yourself or email me your name and birthdate and I will email the reading back to you.

Hope you day is full of all the right cards!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Writing & Your Bests

We have a local publication called the TIMES PUBLICATIONS. It is a weekly publication that comes out every Thursday. On March 19th they are publishing an insert called "The Best of Washington County." They asked for submissions and asked submitters to be creative as to "the bests", best relative for instance or best night with your dad our spouse. I submitted and entry and from the emails I received, one thanking me for the gift, my entry has a really good chance of being published. Here is my entry:

"My mom is by far the best 93 year-old I know. Sure she has the physical pains that come with aging but her mind is a sharp as can be. She reads two to four books a week, does all the puzzles in the morning paper, and does all her own finances. She beats me at scrabble (there goes my ego) and then when I take her to lunch they ask if I am her husband (there goes my self-image). Sometimes a tough task master (she wouldn't let me use tawk in scrabble as the way New Yorkers pronounce talk), but every day she teaches me how to age gracefully, and not a day goes by when I don't feel her love. My life is blessed with the best 93 year-old there is! "

The picture I enclosed was the one of her and myself on her 93rd birthday that I posted on the blog here:

OK, as you all know I enjoying getting to know you more than I enjoy talking about myself. Tell me your bests. Be Creative. Best pet? Best Husband? Best moment? The day you were most proud of your children? Let's hear it. I already know that you are all really good writers. So write away!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Economic Stimulus

Trying once in a great while to use my blog to be informative I thought I would post today about the economic stimulus plan.

Here is a web page that has a pretty easy to understand explanation of the stimulus package:

Othere sources include and

Workers will start seeing about a thirteen buck increase in their pay check starting in June. A new four hundred dollar credit for singles and an eight hundred dollar credit for couples will be doled out throughout the year through the pay checks instead of a one time check. The credit will be for two years, 2009 and 2010, and be four hundred dollars or eight hundred dollars each year depending on your marital status.

First time home buyers that buy a home prior to December 1st will get an $8,000 credit. People that buy cars will get to deduct the sales taxes on the autos.

Workers that lose their jobs and lose their health insurance as a result of the job loss will get some help from the government. Under the stimulus package, the government will pick up 65 percent of the total cost of that health insurance premium for the first nine months.

Hospice was given help by delaying 134 million dollars of cuts in Medicare to help pay for dying patients.

Those out of work will see unemployment checks immediately increase by $25, up from the average benefit of $200 a week. And eligibility for benefits will last 46 weeks, up from 26 weeks.

Small businesses will benefit from a provision in the bill that will allow them to carry back their 2008 losses for five years, leaving them with more capital to spend. Some critics question the effect of this and other business-friendly tax breaks, because in a recession business may not have enough tax liability to take advantage of the deductions.

Those receiving Social Security will get a one time bonus payment of $250.

Another web site worth checking out is:

They have a chart of where the money is going. According to that web site, the top five cuts in the stimulus plan are:

Health Care: About $141.3 billion
New Tax Credit: About $116 billion
Infrastructure: About $89.7 billion
Education: About 87.3 billion
Energy: $86.2 billion

Hope your energy level is high and that your infrastructure is sound and that you have a great day! Let me know what stimulates you! That is today's question. What stimulates you either financially or emotionally?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Work, Private Eyes, Billboards, and Races

Next week may be a short week at work. Friday the old computer they gave me crashed. So I couldn't do anything and had to go home after one hour. They instructed me to call them before coming into work on Monday to make sure the new computer is ready to go. So far on this job in two weeks there has been a concussion, a snow storm, and a computer crash. Maybe the Gods are trying to tell me something.

Valentine's Day was peaceful for me. There was a news report on last night that just made me feel so much better about being single. Did you know that Valentine's Day is the busiest day of the year for Private Eyes? I didn't either. I guess that is hire a private eye to catch your spouse cheating day as well as Valentine's Day. According to the report cheating spouses will have lunch with their mistress or mister and dinner with their spouse to keep everyone happy. The cheating spouses become easy prey for the private eyes. What happened to loyalty and trust in marriages? Where did that go anyway? I can't help but wonder if a Valentine's Day gotcha didn't result in this billboard in New York. The billboard was on the east side of 7th Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets (near Times Square):

Hi Steven

Do I have your attention now?

I know all about her, you dirty, sneaky, unfaithful, poorly-endowed slimeball. Everything's caught on tape.

Your soon to be ex-wife



I paid for the billboard out of our joint back account.

Way to go Emily!

Now on to more normal things, The Amazing Race 14 starts tonight. According to a newspaper article that I read the show will now focus less on airports and ticketing at airports and more on scenery. There were numerous complaints the last few seasons about the amount of time the show spent in airports. Since the ratings for the Amazing Race was down the last time the producers decided to make some changes. The focus will more on the places they visit. Should be an exciting season. Starts tonight on CBS at 8 p.m. Pacific and Eastern Time, 7 p. m. Central Time.

Any billboards in your future? Have you ever hired a private eye? If I paid for a billboard it would be to announce something happy not to announce a traumatic event in my life. I have hired a private but for a client and it was to track down someone to let them know their siblings were trying to find them because their mom was in ill health.

Hope this will be a peaceful and wonderful Sunday for you!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day, A Special Birthday, Your Last Meal and Top Chef

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone. Hope the love in your life does something today and everyday to let you know how much they appreciate you! Today is also a special birthday. Today the State of Oregon turns one hundred and fifty years old! Oregon was founded February 14, 1859. Happy Birthday to our great state.

This week on Top Chef it was last meals, which of course brings up two questions: What would you want your last meal to be and who would you like to cook it? One of the things I learned this week from the show is that simple is often better and I am really simple! My last meal certainly would be. I would love my last meal to be the Jumbo Burger and homemade fries at the Helvatia Tavern in Hillsboro, Oregon. Check out this site to see what I want! ,If the meal was home cooked it would be baked ham, scalloped potatoes, string beans, and chocolate chip cookies. I’m not to choosy as who would cook it for me. Doesn’t need to be anyone famous. Heck it could be anyone of the readers of the blog! I’d be fine with that.

Now on to the Top Chef Summary. The guest judge for the Quick Fire challenge was Wylie Dufreshe owner of the W-D 50 restaurant in New York. Wylie a lover of eggs had the cooks cook eggs in a way that would surprise him. On Top Chef and in life as well, simple is often better. While Leah, Hosea, Stefan, and Fabio tried to create multiple items and dishes Carla stuck with one item and a simple one at that. Carla won the Quick Fire Challenge with a Dr. Seuss inspired green eggs and ham! Winning gave her an advantage in the elimination challenge. An advantage that she chose not to use,

The elimination challenge was to cook the last meal for famous chefs. The contestants drew knifes with famous chefs names on it and what they wanted their last meal to be. The draw, the chef, and their choice for their last meal:

Fabio - Lidia Bastian - roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, leafy salad.

Hosea - Susan Ungaro - shrimp scampi with tomato provencal

Stefan - Marcus Samuelson - roasted salmon and spinach.

Carla - Jacques Pepin - Squab and peas

Leah - Wylie Dufreshe - Eggs Benedict.

As winner of the Quick Fire Challenge Carla had the choice to switch last meals and chefs with any of the other contestants but chose to stick with the famous Jacques Pepin.

Again simple almost won. Playing hurt did win. The winner of the elimination challenge was Fabio. Despite breaking his hand Fabio refused to go to the hospital and stuck in there and continued to cook. The trooper won. He know goes on to the final four in New Orleans. Finishing second with another simple dish is now the dark horse to win it all Carla.

The bottom three were Stefan, Hosea, and Leah. Leah’s not done to perfection Eggs Benedict left the judges a little wanting and she was finally sent home.

The final four of Carla, Hosea, Stefan, and Fabio now pack up and head to New Orleans for the semi-final and final. Be in interesting next couple of weeks!

Hope this day brings you love and a winning lottery ticket.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Favorite Day of The Week, Your Day

Today is the day when the readers and visitors to the blog update me on their lives and what is going on with them. It is also a good day for those that have been following the blog for a while and not posted to introduce themselves to a great group of people that reside here. Go ahead and tell us a little about yourself. Anyone that wants to vent do so here. Got an exciting event coming up in your life? Tell us about it. Have some concerns about an elderly parent? A lot of posters here are at the ready to help. Just doing the normal stuff that we all do, errands, family get togethers. I’d love to hear about them. Questions for me? Shoot I will try to answer any of them honestly. This is the posters can do whatever they damn well please day. Whatever strikes your fancy go right ahead and post about it.

For me it has been a traumatic two weeks and a learning experience. First last week started off with a concussion and then this week started off with a very small snowstorms and icy roads. What I am learning is I really prefer to work on my own stuff and work out of my house and that is something I will consider next year. The good things about the job are 1. I am improving daily. 2. The people there are really very nice. 3. I do like the interaction with people. Of course it does bug me because I think they do way to much work on the returns. Despite that their fees are very reasonable and may even be low for the amount of work they do on each return.

I was able to spend some time with Mom. Sunday her, the caregiver, and myself went to a movie. Tuesday I spent the night there. Wednesday I took her for dinner. Monday and Thursday she was on her own, Today, I don’t know what it will bring. I might go over on my lunch hour and play her a game of Yahtzee.

As to myself there is the normal errands we all do. Gas, dry cleaners, home depot, grocery shopping, replace a cell phone that fell out of my pocket into the commode, schedule a lunch for Monday with a former client, watching Top Chef, dream a lot, complain a lot, and smile a lot. Pretty boring really.

OK, DR is on the road in her RV getting a much needed respite from care giving and some well deserved alone time with her husband. Kaye has a busy social calendar, is training a live-in caregiver, working on her jewelry business, and her job. Then one of the posters has a story to end all stories and I hope she shares it with us here. A normal trip to visit her mom turned into one really exciting experience. Thank goodness she is alright.

OK, the blog is now yours.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Do I Dare To Dream?

OK, I admit that I am not above stealing ideas from other blog to use here. However, I usually like to give credit where credit is due. On two of the sisters had dreams that bothered them and asked the blog readers to interpret the dreams. I have been having a lot of dreams lately covering animals, women, and relatives. While the idea to ask you the readers to interpret my dreams isn’t really original the dreams certainly are! These are dreams that I’ve had all in the last week:

Let’s get the animal out of the way first. A cougar. My dad and I were having a cup of coffee in his living room. We decided to go for a walk. We opened the front door and as soon as we opened the door an angry cougar came running towards the door with teeth showing. Dad quickly shut the door. Then we watched through a window as the cougar just sat there watching the door. Dad and I hugged and then watched out the window for the longest time. I remember asking dad, “what are we going to do?" Then I woke up.

My dreams covered two women. Two women I don't really know. The first involves a woman that went to the same high school as I did that I haven’t seen since high school. Well maybe once at the ten year reunion but I don’t really remember. Some background first. I wasn’t that popular in high school. I didn’t hang out with the social elite because I was so shy. I didn’t hang out with the reject tough kids because I didn’t smoke. I was in limbo pretty much by myself. Maryann the focus of the dream was extremely popular. She knew my very popular brother but I don’t think she knew I existed. Now the dream. I am at a restaurant. It is Sunday brunch. I am alone, reading the newspaper. Maryann comes over, sets a plate of food down in front of me, and said “I’ve been watching you and thought you could use this. It is so crowded in the buffet line I thought as long as I was there I would get you a plate.” Everything I liked was on the plate. Then I woke up.

The other woman is one of the blog hostess of a blog I go to. I’ve never met her or her dad. There is a motorcycle in the drive way. I’m apparently at her parents’ house. I am walking through a long hall way and see her dad sitting in a bedroom. I go in there and confront her dad. “You have been extremely mean and confronting since the minute I got here. You have treated me like crap and I’m here to tell you that I’m not going to take it anymore.” Then I woke up.

Now the relative and that would be my brother. I’m at home. My brother is sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast. I ask him how he got here. He doesn’t respond. I told him that he couldn’t live here because there just wasn’t enough room. I didn’t even ask him what happened to his wife. He starts to cry. I wake up.

OK, now that I’ve bared my dream soul, it is time for to tell me if I need to seek out help! What do you think those dreams mean? Why would I dream of two women that I don’t really know? What does the cougar mean? Where does my brother fit in? Be kind or brutal but be honest!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Is Hate Learned

Sunday night Mom, her caregiver, and myself went to a movie, NEW IN TOWN, a good chick flick that I might review later. The reason for the post is a discussion we had after the movie that I thought was interesting enough to post here and see what you all think about the subject.

We were talking what kind of movies we all liked and of course mom picked romantic movies with happy endings, the caregiver picked romantic movies with realistic endings, and I picked artistic movies with a message. Mom and Susan pretty much called me a movie snob. I went on to explain to them using the movie THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS as an example. In PAJAMAS, set in World War II, a Nazi General and his family move to the county in Germany, where the general is to watch over a concentration camp. The camp is hidden in a forest a small distance from where the German family resides. Their son, maybe third grade age, goes on a walk through the forest and comes upon the concentration camp. He befriends a Jewish boy his same age that resides in the camp. They become friends. The German boy brings the Jewish boy food almost daily. They talk. They play. The German boy doesn't know he his supposed to hate Jews, he hasn't been taught it. I told Mom and Susan the movie was a perfect example how someone is born free of hate but learns it over time. They learn it from parents. From teachers. From Peers. From Lovers. From News Reports. And sometimes from life experiences.

Mom agreed with me that generally people are taught to hate but the caregiver thought there could be instances where someone is born into hate. She used a young black being born into a poor neighborhood ruled by gangs. I disagreed. That too is learned. You aren't born a Blood and taught to hate Crips. You hate Crips to survive the neighborhood. that you live in. Learned hate. Learned by life experiences.

So here are my questions for the day. The fun one first, am I a movie snob? Now the serious ones: Is hate learned? Can someone be born into hate? Were you ever taught by parents, peer, teachers, friends to hate a group of the population? How did you break the cycle? Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snow, Blogs I Read, Upcoming Subjects

It is snowing outside so I have to leave for work early and that leaves little time for a good blog post. Subjects to come this week if time allows are: 1. A discussion of whether or not hate is learned. 2. I'm going to ask you to interpret some wild dreams that I have been having. 3. There is always my favorite update day. 4. Maybe a review of NEW IN TOWN.

Today I am just going to list some blogs that I read and recommend:

Bev's blog covers everything:

Learn about Sian's life on a small island:

Dona writes well about life:

We are blessed to have a lot of good writers reading this blog, Mary Z being one of them. Check out her blog here:

Add Snug to the well written list:

Symply writes about jobs and family at:

Mary and Ellen also have outstanding blogs but require passwords so I will let them post a link in the message section and how to contact them if they so desire!

Here are some other blogs that I read but don't really know the blog owners but are informative blogs:

Five sisters write about life:

The oldest sister branches off with an informative international news blog:

The youngest sister branches off and writes about life as a mom and a wife:

While I'm off battling the snow, well more battling the drivers that don't know how to drive in the snow than the snow itself, check out one or two of the blogs above and let me know what you think. Hope today is stress and snow free for you!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Dancing With The Stars Lineup

Should be an intesting season for Dancing With The Stars with the youngest competitor, the first married couple and nobody over 80! Here is the lineup announced last night:

BELINDA CARLISLE - Belinda Carlisle is not only known as the lead singer of the Go-Go’s, the most successful all-female band of all time, but also as one of the late 80’s most glamorous adult pop soloists. 2-1

A DAVID ALAN GRIER — Grier is often recognized for his work in television and film - in TV he is known from roles in “In Living Color,” “Life with Bonnie” with Bonnie Hunt, “DAG,” and most recently, “Chocolate News” for Comedy Central. A Yale School of Drama trained actor, 100-1

JEWEL — She grew up on a remote ranch in Alaska where her family were original pioneers. From poverty and teen homelessness, to the triumph of international stardom. Her debut album Pieces of You, became one of the best selling debut albums of all time, going platinum twelve times. 5-1

SHAWN JOHNSON - The youngest ever competitor on “Dancing with the Stars,” 17 year-old Olympian Shawn Johnson was the gold medalist in balance beam at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. 20-1

LIL’ KIM - Born Kimberly Denise Jones, Lil’ Kim, is a Grammy Award winning multi-platinum rapper, singer, actress, and fashion icon. 75-1

GILLES MARINI — Gilles Marini exploded onto the scene as Dante, the Casanova living in the beach house next door to Kim Cattrall’s Samantha in the “Sex and the City” movie.

TY MURRAY — Ty Murray has been labeled the most accomplished rodeo athlete in the century-long history of the sport, his nickname is “King of the Cowboys.” Now retired from competition, Murray spends his time with his singer-songwriter wife, Jewel, on their 2,100-acre private ranch in Stephenville, Texas. 100-1

STEVE-O — Stephen Glover, When MTV rejected his more dangerous ideas, Steve-O produced his own “too hot for TV” video series and stage show with the “Don’t Try This At Home Tour”. Steve-O also starred ihis own show for MTV - “Wildboyz.” 200-1 first to be eliminated.

NANCY O’DELL - The co-Anchor of Access Hollywood.. Covers The Oscars, The Emmys, The Grammys and The Golden Globe Awards, 60-1

DENISE RICHARDS — Known for her roles in films such as “Wild Things” and “Starship Troopers,” She was cast as Bond girl and geo-physicist “Christmas Jones” in the 1999James Bond film The World Is Not Enough. Charlie Sheen's ex. 175-1 2nd to be eliminated.

LAWRENCE TAYLOR - Widely regarded as the greatest defensive player in the history of the National Football League, Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor rewrote the record book and built a legendary following during one of the most storied careers in the history of American sport. 10-1

CHUCK WICKS - A gifted songwriter and vocalist, Chuck Wicks made a compelling impression with his Top 5 smash, “Stealing Cinderella.” 50-1

STEVE WOZNIAK — A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for the past three decades, Steve Wozniak, a.k.a. “The Woz,” helped shape the computer industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products, the Apple I and II, 170-1 third to be eliminated.

It really seems to me that there is more talent among the women in this lineup than the men. But maybe that is just because I like women better than men!

For Dancing With The Stars fans who do you think will win? A woman or a man? And just which one? For you non Dancing With The Stars fans tell me your favorite TV show or you can even tell me you favorite movie! My favorite movie is also my favorite book, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dancing With The Stars

Tonight on ABC from 8-11 p.m. (7-10 central time) they will announcing this season's lineup for Dancing With The Stars. The regular shows will be intterupted with announcements from beginning of prime time until the end.

The rumors have been many as to who the celebs will be. Here are some of the rumors that I've heard, my odds of the rumor being true in parenthesis:

Stevie Wonder (50-1) the famous pop sinter.

Cindy McCain (100,000-1) Senator John McCain's Wife.

Donny Osmond (50-1) Can he fit in Dancing While doing a Las Vegas Show?

Football Hall of Famer, Lawrence Taylor (1-1) (Ashton Kutcher started this rumor on his blog after the Super Bowl)

Sexiest man alive, Austrailian Actor Hugh Jackman (5-1)

The View's Sherri Shepherd (25-1)

Misty May-Treanor returning this year affter having to quit last season (100-1)

Stevie O from JACKASS. (2-1)

Model Heidi Klum from PROJECT RUNWAY (40-1)

Former CHEERS actress Kirstie Alley (10-1)

Paula Abdul (100,000-1)

Britney Spear's ex Kevin Federline (50,000-1)

Often ABC will put out false rumors to keep the true names hidden until the official announcement. Maybe one or three of the above list will make it but I think this is a false list put out by ABC. The name that I haven't heard as rumored to be on but think she very well could be is Alica Menshaw from All My Children.

Who are you dancing with today? I'm not dancing with anybody today but right now the plans are to take Mom and the caregiver to NEW IN TOWN.

Hope you all will dance happily through this week!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Miscellanous Stuff

I'm not doing a Top Chef Report his week because, frankly, it wasn't that great of an episode. My idea of good t.v. isn't watching something that still has eyes being cooked or eaten. I'm not a big fish or seafood eater anyhow. In fact my idea of good seafood is salt water taffy. I will say that Jamie was eliminated and that makes it unlikely that a woman will win this season of Top Chef. I honestly don't know how Leah keeps lasting. Carla could sneak in there and win but I think the odds are more likely that Stefan will win this year.

Some of you were talking about dealing with insurance companies and there was a very troubling article in today's Oregonian. Read the article here:
The sum of the article is that the 25 year-old man that killed two teenage girls in downtown Portland found it easier to get a gun then he did to get health insurance. I'm not an anti-gun activist. I think those that qualify should be able to own a gun if they choose, although I will never own one nor will I ever hunt but come on folks shouldn't health insurance be as easy to get as a weapon? This man has been trying to get help for his mental problems since 2000. That is just tragic.

Another interesting news article that I found online states that for the first time in history women outnumber men in the work force. But before you get all excited about the end of discrimation and glass ceilings read the articlle for the reasons why at:

In a bit of local news. The famous Columbia Gorge Hotel closed. A beautiful hotel sitting on the Columbia River in The stunning scenic Columbia Gorge was host to presidents and celebrities and from guests worldwide. Known for the perfect place to have a wedding, immaculate grounds and for an amazing Sunday Brunch the hotel is a victim of the economy. Weddings already scheduled at the hotel may have to be cancelled although there is a report that a firm in California is buying the old gal. Want to see a picture of this beautiful lady? Go here:

On to something more positive. As you know last Sunday I had a small super bowl party for my Mom and her caregiver. Susan, the caregiver, sent me the most wonderful card. "Thanks for the "Super" Party. That was so fun and I haven't gotten to do something like that for so long. You are the best son a mother could ever have. God will bless you for the honor you have given your parents." Wasn't that just about the nicest thank you card?

For Top Chef fans who do you think will win now? For others Is the economic downturn closing famous tourist sights in your neck of the wood? Are there more women at your place of work than men? Inquiring minds want to know.

May this be a great weekend for all of you!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Your Updates On Your Life Are Welcome Here.

My favorite day of the week is here again. The day when you update me on what is going on in your life. There is no time frame, so you can respond to this post for days to come! It doesn’t matter if you are caring for an elderly parent or not. I’d like to hear about your joys and concerns, If you have questions there are a lot of really nice helpful posters here. If you want to just vent this is the day and place to do it. Heck even if you are looking for a job you are welcome to post what kind of job you are looking for and maybe someone looking for someone will read it and it will be a match made in heaven! If you have been reading the blog for a while or are just new to the blog and want to meet some nice women and one weird dude this would be a good day to introduce yourself.

Been a different week for me. Had a great Sunday watching the Super Bowl. A traumatic Monday with the concussion heard around the world. Tuesday a recovering day. Wednesday back to the work market. Thursday a meeting at work where I discovered I was not doing the tax returns properly. I was supposed be using a program called Numbermate. The only problem was I didn’t have the program on my computer. It was kind of frustrating having to do a tax return over again. There was one dinner out with Mom and one day I went over on my lunch hour and played a game of Yahtzee with her. It has to be really boring for her to sit alone all day. My headache is 95% gone my leg is still pretty sore but getting better. I have one week at work down the drain. I hope to finish two projects today. Nine weeks to go to touchdown.

That is my week in a nutshell. Now the blog is your. Tag you are it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


First, I am doing much better, still a little bit of a headache but it is almost gone. Second, ethics for accountants revolve around a rule that says "if something appears to an outsider as being wrong, then whether or not what you are doing is wrong, in the eyes of ethics it is wrong." That is a paraphrase of the rule.

That is how I look at scandals. As you all know I am a pretty strong President Obama supporter, however, I think all three of his cabinet appointees that didn't pay their income taxes should have resigned not just two of them. In the current times we need to trust our politicians and every politician should behave like they are living in a glass house. They should be above reproach. They shouldn't even do something that appears to an outsider as being remiss. We need honest, ethical, folks to lead us out of the mess that has been created the last sixteen years. We didn't get that with the three appointees that didn't pay their taxes. I will say it was extremely refreshing to hear President Obama say "I made a mistake", that is a good start to restoring trust with me.

Wells Fargo is holding an extreme expensive retreat at the most expensive hotel in Las Vegas and that is just wrong. Yet, the Wells Fargo executives are defending it. How can we support giving them more bailout money when we can't trust them to use our money in a judicious manner.

In the City of Portland the current scandal involves the first openly gay mayor in the city's history. Before the election he denied having a relationship with a teen intern. After being elected he did admit to a sexual relationship with the intern, but stated that sexual relationship was after the teen turned 18, the age of legal consent in Oregon. Both the teen and Mayor Adams admitted to kissing twice when the teen was seventeen. To me the gay issue is a red herring and doesn't mean a darn thing to me, what does matter to me are two things 1: Does relationship between the young teen and Mayor Adams when the teen was 17, appear to be wrong. My answer is yes. 2. Would have Mayor Adams been elected had he not lied about the relationship and was honest about the relationship before he got elected. I don't think he would have been elected. Mayor Adams now is being investigated to see if his relationship with the teen broke the law. Under Oregon law kissing can be considered a sexual advance and when one party is under 18 and the other party is twenty years his elder it can be considered illegal. I've come to the conclusion that Mayor Adams should resign. He has lost the support of some of the city council. He lost the support of a lot of the city, although there is a good share of city residents that still support him. I just think I'd rather read in the daily newspaper about what Portland is doing to improve its economy than the daily dose of the current scandal.

What is your take on the scandals? What do you think needs to be done to restore out faith and trust in politicians?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Off To Work/Signs Of A Concussion.

I'm doing much better this morning and the second day should be a little less dramatic then the first day.

The signs of the concussion are pretty much gone. My leg and ankle are a little sore but I'll be sitting most of the day so should be fine. I've an ice pack to put on my ankle while at my desk.

The good thing about the first day is I was able to accomplish a lot. I learned quite a bit. Also they were extremely caring when I fell. Another good sign.

I honestly don't know how I fell just that I did. I don't know what I hit my head on but it was either a cement floor or a door. I worked for about an hour after I fell. Then got a headache and was a little dizzy. So I went first to an Urgency Clinic. My blood pressure was really high. 170/100. I guess when you have a concussion your blood pressure goes up and that is what causes the dizziness. Since my blood pressure is never that high the doctor at the clinic was worried about bleeding on the brain. What was a little scary after he suggested that was he started describing brain surgery. Now talk about something that causes your blood pressure to go out of sight maybe a talk like that would do it, no? He gave me transfer orders to go to the emergency room at the hospital with orders for a Cat Scan. I always thought that you had to lose consciousness before they would say you had a concussion and that isn't so. At the emergency room they again tested my blood pressure, lower but still high enough for them to be concerned, 160/90, so they did do a cat scan. Which was negative. I was diagnosed with a "minor closed head injury without loss of consciousness" and a "probable concussion without loss of consciousness". Hoping to use the blog as a teaching tool here is the orders they give you after a diagnosis of a probable concussion:

1. You are not to be alone for 24 hours.

2. Watch for certain signs and if any of those signs appear you are to get your buns back to the emergency room, those signs are:

Repeated Vomiting. Nope didn't have that.

Severe or worsening headache. Minor headache not a severe one.

Severe or worsening dizziness. Nope.

Unusual drowsiness or unable to awaken as usual. Woke up every two hours.

Confusion or change in behavoir in speech. Not any more confused than usual.

Unequal pupils. Nope.

Convulsion. Nope

Increasing scalp or face swelling. A little cut on my nose.

Redness, warm or pus from the swollen area. Clear.

So I am off to work and hope to make it a full day today. I am going to call my doctor today and have a followup with him. Hope things go well for all of you today and that nobody falls!

Monday, February 2, 2009

An Eventful First Day

Fall. Emergency Room. Low grade concussion. Have to be watched for 24 hours. Leaving for Mom's. Will report in and respond to messages in a couple of days. Only yours truly can be injured the first day on a job at a CPA firm.

Commercials And More

It really was a Super Sunday. I had Mom and her caregiver over to my house for a small party. I made some snacks and small sandwiches. It was a really great time. Mom was the best she has been in a long time. She loved being at my house, playing games, watching the Super Bowl, snacking. She never once got antzy. After three hours neither her or the caregiver wanted to leave but they had to leave to get to evening church services. It was really a great positive experience to end the phase of spending a lot of time with Mom to transitioning to my job and a temporary withddrawal from Mom.

Super Sunday is so much more than football. Yes football is the centerpiece and it was one of the best games in the history of the Super Bowl with the Piitsburgh Steelers scoring a touchdown with thirty-five seconds left in the game to beat my Arizona Cardinals 27-23. The Cards were doomed when I picked them to win. Besides football the day was about honoring and the tremendous ovation of the crew of Flight 1549. It was a coming out party after an terrible tragedy and a tremendous ovation for Jennifer Hudson who sang an absolutely beautiful version of the national anthem. It was the Boss at halftime, Bruce Springstein rocking on stage. And of course the day was about commericals.

First let's get the worst commercials out of the way. had extreme sexiest commercials that made me shaking my head wondering if anyone at that company looked at the commercials before letting them air. The worst was the one about an enhancement hearing where big breased women testify that they weren't enhanced, except for the last one who admits it. What this had to do with the services that offer is beyond me. Another sexiest one shows an average looking woman receiving flowers that aren't that pretty and someone telling the woman that "no one wants to see you naked." Come on Teleflora, you can do better than that.

There were a couple of commercials that showed the signs of the times. A really good Bud Light commerical showed a meeting of executives in a corporate board room talking about eliminating bonuses. Well done. had a commercial about the bad economy with William Shatner.

There were also take offs of famous commericals. One famous Super Bowl Commercial. One currently famous commercial. One of the most famous commericals in Super Bowl History is when Mean Joe Greene of The Pittsburgh Steelers and a little boy are in the locker room and after the boy offers Greene a soft drink, Greene throws him a jersey. Coca Cola did a really funny take off on the commerical. The take off on the currently famous commercial was a commercial for The Conan O'Brian show, which among other things shows Tina Fey saying "if you have a Conan for more than three hours, call your doctor." I have to tell you while the Conan O'Brian commercial was funny the commercial that it was a take off on drives me nuts. I mean come on people no man in his right mind is going to call a doctor if he has one of those things for more than four hours. I'm not calling a doctor, I'm calling a P. R. firm and a photographer.

Other commericals that were interesting but maybe not my favorites were:'s hate going to work; H & R Block's Grim Reaper (death is coming to someone that missed out on deductions that H & Block found); SoBe.Com guys at first doing ballet to Swan Laker transforming in to rock dancers; Cars.Com had amazing man Dave Abernathy doing amazing things like telling the doctor when he was born that he did a nice job, being dean at an Ivy League school at 18. While Dave had a ton of confidence in anything that he did, he had none when he went to buy a car; Doritos had a physical one where an employee throws a ball and hits his boss in the groin, another employee saying "promotion is not in your future."; E-trade's commercial with two babies was well done as were Hyundai Genesis commericials, Subway's five dollar footlong one, Gastrol Edge's grease monkey one, some of the Bridgestone Commericals, and a few of the Pepsi commercials.

My favorite commercials aren't going to rank high with others because I'm wired a little differently. My second favorite commercial was a McDonald's ad, where a little girl gets a penny from her hiding place, goes to a McDonalds and donates it to the Ronald McDonald House. My favorite commerical was a Bud Light commerical called "horse love", where a white horse is taken away from her Romeo to perform in the circus. Romeo escapes goes to the circus to rescue her and they ran off together.

How was your Sunday? What are some of your favorite and least favorite commericals? They don't have to be Super Bowl commericals, they can be any commercials. If you were to write a commerical about yourself what would you highlight?

May the day after Super Sunday be a Super Monday for you.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Of Miscellaneous Stuff

The job starts tomorrow and as an excessive worrier I have several concerns about it. They do things completely different than anything I am used to and I’m a little fearful that I might not be able to learn it as well as I would like to. It will also be the first time in a number of years that someone will be reviewing my work. I hope that I can react to that appropriately and learn from it rather than let my ego get damaged. Then there is the concern about Mom. How is she going to react now that I won’t be able to spend as much time with her as I have in the past? The next couple of months could be really trying for her. She is aware of it and says she will do fine. My plans right now are to take Mom out for dinner on Tuesday nights and lunches on Saturday and Sunday. Also sister and brother-in-law are coming February 17 for a week to ten days and for that period of time the worry will subside. I also wonder if I will be to busy the next couple of months with the blog, the job, mom, working with the guys that bought my business, my writing and if I fit it in the comedy class. I do know the next couple of months will go fast. My plans now are to bite the bullet do my best for the next couple of months and when the busy time ends start an extreme plan to find the one with profiles up and down the West Coast and on a couple of dating sites and maybe even a plea on my blog! I want 2009 itto be an exciting year!

On to the next subject, movies! Went to FROST/NIXON on Friday. I really, really enjoyed . For you young ones that don’t remember the incident. David Frost was an obscure British TV host. President Richard Nixon resigned and went to his retreat in San Clemente, California to avoid the public eye. Frost came up with the idea to interview President Nixon. Everyone discouraged Frost from going for the interview because he wasn’t a journalist but rather a talk show host. Not being able to get a lot of his own funding Frost invested millions of his own money in the interview. President Nixon wanted to come back in to the public eye to redeem himself. It was a match made in heaven. The movie really is three parts; Frost trying to find funding and a place to air the interview, the relationship that develops between Frost and Nixon, and the actual interview. It is a nice piece of history that some Republican talking heads alive during that time have said is “ ninety-percent accurate”. The movie, one of the five nominees for an Oscar for best picture, is directed by Ron Howard and scripted by Peter Morgan. It is fast moving and very deserving of your time. Frank Langella was nominated for best actor for his characterization of Richard Nixon. It was an Oscar deserving performance but Michael Sheen as David Frost should have also been nominated for an Oscar. His role has been undervalued from the beginning of award season. Kevin Bacon also gave a worthy performance as Nixon assistant, Jack Brennan but his part fell just short of being Oscar worthy. One football for direction, One Football for Langella, One football for Sheen, One Football for the scenery that captured the time that the movie took place, and one football for the best scene in the movie when Nixon calls Frost before the last segment of the interview.

For you non-football fans, I’m sorry but I cannot not mention the Super Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday. Arizona 19 Pittsburgh 17! Sometime in the next couple of days I may report on the commercials we see during this year‘s super bowl! Heck I may even mention how I feel about that ugly non Super Bowl Commercial, you know the on that tells you to call the doctor if you have something for four hours.

Just some summaries of Update Day and things that I know are going on with the bloggers. Mary Z, I hope your Jesse is home and enjoying some peace. Pat, I hope the transition of your mom out of Hospice is going as well as can be expected. DR, I hope that Deb will soon be on her way and that you will be able to attend the Hamfest right on time. Red, hope things are well with you. Lisa, I bet you are happy being home after what seemed like a long trip. Kim, I hope everyone is resting after your daughter’s birthday. Mary, my best for a good tax season for you! Dona, I’ve been rooting for a long time that things are getting better for your dad. Snug, good luck with your parents and may your dad keep on improving well enough to keep visiting! Sian I hope the kitty comes home. Kaye may the new caregiver for your mom work out for you! Symply, hope the job, school, and daughter are all well! And last but not least Bev, I hope the puppy is comfortable enough in the new home that he stays there forever and I hope you eyesight is improving after your surgery! If I’ve forgot someone please forgive my, I haven’t had my coffee yet!

Any advise for me on my concerns about starting the job? May Super Bowl Sunday be a Super Day for you!