Monday, November 30, 2009


Here is part three Rachael Bachman's story on Kenny Wheaton. It is my favorite part of the story.

Let's talk forgiveness today. Do you forgive easily? Does it take a while for you to forgive someone? I think all of us can forgive more easily than we forget but do we really forgive until we forget?

In the story the brother of Kenny Wheaton was killed by someone the Wheaton family had taken into their home and helped raise. Could you forgive someone close to you that killed a relative? I'm not sure I could.

What if someone asked if they could go home with you? Would you immediately worry about what they might steal from you? Would it motivate you to start a foundation to help people like that person that asked if they could go home with you?

That part of the Kenny Wheaton story reminded me of a scene in The Blind Side. For a month or two Michael was sleeping on the Tuey's couch. When it was decided that he was going to be living in the house on a more permanent basis, the Mom told Michael. "This is your room." "I've never had one before." "A room." "A bed." oesn't that just break your heart? A high school student that had never had a bed. Just like Kenny Wheaton found forgiveness in the three part story, in that one moment Michael found forgiveness of the way he was previously treated.

A hungry person steals some money from you so they can eat. That would be easy for me to forgive. A gossipy person spreads a false rumor about. They come to you and apologize. Maybe a little more difficult to forgive but still doable.

I think I forgive pretty easily. Although there was one thing in my past that I haven't really forgotten or forgave the in-law involved. After reading the Wheaton story I have finally decided to let it go. It is the final part of a tragic part in my history that I need to let go. I now forgive that relative for the cruelty of the letter sent me at the worst point in my life. Time to move on.

Anything or anybody in your past that you need to forgive or move on from? Today is the day, you can do it right here on the blog. And also tell me how easily your forgive and whether or not you think you haven't really forgiven until you have forgotten?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Holiday Update

Part two of Rachael Bachman's story on Kenny Wheaton, entitled, "Run To Daylight."

Update Day is here again. I am adjusting to sister being here and my health is improving everyday. We had a nice Thanksgiving Dinner. I purchased one of those prepared meals from Safeway. Sis put it together. Her first holiday here I didn't want her slaving over the stove all day so I did the prepared meal thing. It includes a twelve pound turkey, a ton of mashed potatoes, a green bean casserole, a dozen rolls, dressing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. In addition I purchased a Boston Cream Cake. It only takes about two hours to put the dinner together and it tastes damn good. In attendance were Mom. Sis, Brother-In-Law, Nephew and his wife, One of Nephew's Daughters, and yours truly. Total of seven. Christmas is going to be even more here because my brother and his wife will be visiting from Wyoming. That means borhter's youngest daughter and her family will also be here. So for Christmas we will have fourteen to twenty.

Friday night I went back to Mom's for a leftover dinner and to watch The Family Feud with the troops. ThenI came home and hit the hay. Best night's sleep that I have gotten in ages. Even at one point during the night I slept for four hours straight. I never do that. A good sign.

Late yesterday afternoon the weekend continued. Mom, Sister, Brother-in-law, and I took off at went to the 3:50 showing of The Blind Side. I had already seen the movie and thought it was one of those rate movies that Mom wouldn't get offended by. Absolutely no swearing in the movie. Good characters and good stories. We went to the Tigard Regal Cinemas because they are the most handicap friendly movie house in the Regal chain in the Portland area. The other troops got there right when the previews started and the theater was packed. I got there early and bought the tickets. Everything fell into place. When I bought the tickets I got a free popcorn. There was one handicap parking spot left but it was the closest one to the theater. When we gave the older gentlemen our tickets as we went into the theater he said "without a doubt the best movie in the house." We took mom in to the theater (like I always do when I go to movies I had a small flashlight along) and we found the perfect place for mom to watch the movie from in a wheelchair. When brother-in-law and I went out to get refreshments for everyone, we didn't make it all the way to the concession stand because this kind of attractive young woman grabbed my arm and said "you don't have to stand in line, I set up a small stand here." She had everything in a little food cart, same prices, same stuff as the concession stand. Those people standing in the four lines, each at least ten deep, at the concession stand must have been eating their heart out. As soon as the movie started about two minutes in to the opening credits Mom said "this is a good movie." It really was too. I noticed things in the second viewing that I didn't in the first. Also when I went the first time there were maybe four people in the theater. This time it was a sell out, meaning a lot more laughter and applause at the end. I really knew Mom would like the movie but I wasn't sure about sis and her husband. They all loved it. Mom of course said "it was the best movie I've ever seen." Brother-in-law who never says much, said "that was a good one." Sister said, "that was the best movie I've seen this year. Just think how many students we fail that don't get the help he did." Adding to my review from a few days ago I can now add the words "family movie. Grandparents and Grandkids alike will enjoy it."

Today the weekend continues. First Breakfast with the breakfast boys. Then tonight we are taking my brother-in-law to Dave's Famous BBQ for his birthday. It just opened up here a couple of months ago and the birthday boy being from the heart of Texas lives and dies on BBQ ribs.

Entertainment update. Semi-finals of The Amazing Race tonight. Semi-Finals of Top Chef Wednesday night.

That was my holiday week. Now tell me about yours. Throw in some secrets if you so desire. And since it is your day, post anything you damn well please.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Run To Daylight

There may not be a Who Am I for the next few days because I am putting together a Christmas Contest for the blog which will be based on the Who Am I's. I may throw in some surprises and some new ones in the contest but a lot of the questions will be about the women and men we have discovered of the past several months. I will announce the contest and the rules one day next week. Unlike the past contests anyone will be able to enter this contest whether or not they have posted on the blog. The contest will be announced between now and next Friday. And once the contest is announced unlike past contests you will have short time to enter. Keep your eyes open and maybe bring home the win that will make your Christmas Shopping a little easier! The answer to yesterday's Who Am I is the first woman dentist, Lucy Hobbs Taylor.

What is the big story in your state? In your city? What is going in your state of residence?

The big story here is The Civil War. No, not the one with North against the South. The Civil War is what the football game between Oregon and Oregon State is called. Each year for over one hundred years they have played a football game for bragging rights in the state. Beaver fans (Oregon State's nickname) hate Duck fans (University of Oregon's nickname). Never in the over one hundred years of the game has it meant as much as does this year. This year an Oregon team will represent the Pac 10 in The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Yes, that is right, the winner of the game between Oregon and Oregon State takes on Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. The last time the Oregon State Beavers played in the Rose Bowl was in 1965, The last time the Oregon Ducks went there was 1994. In over their one hundred years of history Oregon has only been to the Rose Bowl four times and Oregon State three times. One of Oregon State's visits to the Rose Bowl was in 1942 when they played the game at Durham, North Carolina against Duke University. The game was originally scheduled to be in California but after the attack on Pearl Harbor just a few weeks earlier there was a fear that Japan could reach the West Coast with some of their bombs. There was a fear of an attack on any venue that attracted large crowds. Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt recommended that the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl festivities be canceled. The Rose Bowl committee originally planned to cancel the game. On December 16, 1941, Duke University invited the game and Oregon State to Duke's home stadium in Durham, North Carolina. Duke was so heavily favored that some didn't think Oregon State should even bother to make the trip. The Beavers made the trip and upset Duke 20-16.

Because the game has more importance than any other game in the history of the rivalry we are getting overloaded with game history and game stories. There is a huge amount of hype leading up to this year's Civil War which will be played next Thursday on ESPN at 9 PM Eastern Time.

Kenny Wheaton is a former Duck player who with one play and one moment in time is said to have changed the history of two schools. For years the Ducks had struggled with their football program, having one losing season after another. In his freshman season in 1994, he made arguably the most famous play in Ducks' history known as "The Pick." As time was winding down the University of Washington was driving down to the Oregon nine-yard line. With a Washington score they win the game. Wheaton intercepted a Damon Huard pass and ran it back ninety-eight yards for a touchdown to save the game. Oregon went on to become a national power and Washington struggled.

Rachael Bachman is a reporter and one of my favorite writers for The Oregonian. Today she completed a three part series about Wheaton. A story of pain and forgiveness that has nothing to do with football but everything to do with life. A murder of a loved one by a loved one. A story of pain but also of support and charity. I will bring you the three part series to the blog during the next three days. The series is titled Kenny Wheaton's Run To Daylight. Today is part one:

A hint for the readers of the blog. If you want to go shopping when there aren't any crowds and you just might be the only one in the mall. Come to Oregon and Next Thursday at 6 PM West Coast time head out to the malls. Because everyone living in Oregon is going to be in front of their TV sets then.

That is the big story of the week in Oregon. Now tell me the big story in your neck of the woods.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Danger Lurks

No, danger doesn't lurk because I am dating a woman that views Lorena Bobbitt as an idol. In the interest of good judgment I'm not. First question I ask is, who are your idols? And no danger doesn't lurk because I plan on being in the most dangerous place in America today, the shopping malls. I'm not. I'm taking Mom and Sis to The Blind Side with those newly received gift cards. But according to here are places you might want to avoid:

Number one on the list is Camden, New Jersey. The rest of the top ten:

2. St. Louis, Missouri.
3. Oakland, California.
4. Detroit, Michigan.
5. Flint, Michigan.
6. New Orleans, Louisiana.
7. Birmingham, Alabama.
8. Cleveland, Ohio.
9. Jackson, Mississippi.
10. Memphis, Tennessee.

It kind of surprised me that Los Angeles didn't make this list. Compton in the LA area was number twelve on the list. On to the most dangerous states:

1. Nevada.
2. Louisiana.
3. South Carolina.
4. New Mexico.
5. Florida.
6. Tennessee.
7. Alaska.
8. Arizona.
9. Maryland.
10. Michigan.

Because I believe in safe blog. Here are the safest cities:

1. Ramapo, NY.
2. Mission Viejo, CA.
3. O'fallon, Missouri.
4. Newton, Massachusetts.
5. Brick Township, New Jersey.
6. Clakrstown, New York.
7. Amhearst, New York.
8. Greece, New York.
9. Allen, Texas.
10. Colonie, New York.

The Safest States?

1. New Hampshire.
2. Vermont.
3. Maine.
4. North Dakota.
5. South Dakota.
6. Montana.
7. Wyoming.
8. Iowa.
9. Rhode Island.
10. Connecticut.

You can read the whys and wherefores of the rankings here:|htmlws-sb-n|dl2|link4|

Does anything about the list surprise you? It looks to me like we need to hire bodyguards for DR. & Mary Z. It also looks like the safest places, both the cities and states, are the ones with the smallest population. Apparently, people bring danger. Do you feel safe in your city/ In your state?


Yesterday's answer: Frances Perkins first woman cabinet member.

I was born in 1833 and died in 1910. I brought a smile to many faces and really brought teeth in to my occupation. I was born in New York and began my working career teaching for ten years in Michigan. In 1859 I moved to Cincinnati with good intentions of entering an advance program but was refused admission due to my gender. I began a private program studying for the occupation that advance program would have qualified me for. I started my own practice in 1861. I soon later moved to Iowa where I spent three years. In 1865 I finally gained full recognition and was allowed to join the occupation's professional society. I earned my doctorate degree in Iowa. I moved to Chicago and married a man with a name that will remind you of a famous singer. Since he really couldn't sing I convinced him to join me in my occupation. We practiced jointly until his death in 1886. After my husband's death I ceased work in my chosen occupation but became more active in politics, campaigning for greater women's rights, until my own death. By 1900 almost one thousand women had followed me into my occupation that I was the first to perform in. There is an award named after me that is presented annually in recognition of professional excellence and achievements in advancing the role of women in my chosen occupation. Put your teeth into it and tell me Who Am I?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving.

I'm thankful for all of you. Pat, DR, Dona, Mary, Mary Z, Connie, Kaye, Kim, Snug, Ellen, Bev, Red Whistle, Sian, and I am sure I am forgetting someone. Posters to and readers of my blog have a special place in my heart. Thank you for sharing your time with me.

I am thankful that I still have my Mom and for how she makes me feel. To her I am the most handsome man in the world that always looks nice. God love you, Mom.

I am thankful for the Dad that I had.

I am thankful for having the ability to earn a living even in these tough economic times.

I am thankful for my Sunday Breakfast boys.

I am thankful for grateful clients. This came home recently when a friend of the family told me that the accountant that did her son's 2008 tax return had him owingd over four grand to our lovely State. She asked if I would look at the son's return. I did. He was a merchant marine. Department of Revenue considers merchant marines military. Military doesn't pay state taxes in Oregon. They ended up not only not owing a dime for 2008 but getting refunds for two other years. I didn't charge them. Today not only was there a check in my mailbox but two hundred dollars worth of movie tickets. I would have been happy with a simple thank you.

I am thankful for my friends.

I am thankful for my Sister and that she is now here sharing the duties with Mom.

I am thankful for my Korean dry cleaner that always has a smile for me and always asks the question "how is the stock market doing?"

I am thankful for the employees of the Sherwood Safeway and the Sherwood Walgren's. They always smile and say hi Mr. Dahn or Bill. Even if I am just passing through on a walk and don't buy anything.

I am thankful for all the authors that write wonderful books that I spend time reading.

I am thankful for the creative folks that write and produce movies and allow me to get lost in their talents for a couple of hours.

I am thankful for those in the military, police and fire departments, EMT's, and all those that keep me safe.

I am thankful for all the waiters and waitresses that make my Mom feel special when we are out enjoying a meal together.

I am thankful for the dude that has been delivering my morning paper for the last six months. It is there before I get up every morning. When I pay the bill I give him a small tip. Next day after he gets my payment there is a note in the paper "thank you for the tip." Makes my day.

I am thankful for good stories like this:|htmlws-sb-n|dl5|link4|

I am not thankful for my memory because that means most likely on this day to give Thanks that I have forgotten something or somebody that I am thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Now tell me what you are thankful for?


Yesterday's answer: Gertrude Caroline Ederle

I was born in 1880 and died in 1965. I was born to the owner of a stationer's business. I spent much of my childhood in Worcester. I attended a Classical High School and graduated from college in 1902. I went on to get a masters in sociology in 1910. Between the B.S. and Master years I taught high school. I married in 1913 but kept my birth name. I held various government positions in New York including being chairwoman of New York State Industrial Commission. In 1929 Governor Roosevelt appointed me commissioner. When Frankie when to a higher office he took me with him where I labored as a cabinet member. I held the cabinet position from 1933 to 1945, the first woman to hold that position. I helped pull the labor movement into the New Deal coalition. Myself and Interior Secretary Ickes were the only original members of the Roosevelt cabinet who remained in offices for his entire presidency. During my reign I championed the forty hour workweek. Some people say my most important contribution as a cabinet member was as chairwoman of the President's Committee on Economic Security. In this post, I was involved in all aspects of the reports and hearings that ultimately resulted in the Social Security Act of 1935. In 1939 I came under fire from congress for refusing to deport the Communist head of the west coast International Longshore and Warehouse Union. When my cabinet position was over Harry asked me to serve on the United States Civil Service Commission, which I did until 1952, when my husband died. When I was done with the government I remained active as a teacher and lecturer. I had one daughter with my husband. Both had manic-depressive symptoms. Who Am I?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lifelong Achievement vs. One Moment To Shine.

What is more important the body of work or how you perform in the championship game?

For example, maybe a football team goes undefeated in the regular season. Another team loses five games. They meet in the Super Bowl. The team with five loses wins the game. Do they give the until then undefeated team the championship trophy? No they give the trophy to the team that performed the best that day.

There is a cooking contest. All your life you have made great recipes and improved the pallet of everyone that tasted a spoonful of your food. You don't do your best work in the contest and finish second to someone that isn't quite as good of a cook as you are. But that day, the recipe they made is better than yours. Did your past matter in the contest that you are in that day?

All your life you have made good movies. But each year someone else makes a movie just a little better than yours. You never win an Oscar because when the game starts your history doesn't matter because each year there is a movie better than yours. You might win a lifetime achievement award but until you make the best movie that year you will never win an Oscar for best picture. History doesn't matter.

The only one I didn't really want to win Dancing With The Stars was Donny Osmond. I thought Mya should win because all season long she was the best dancer. I wanted Kelly to win because from the start of the season until championship night she had improved the most.

Then the Championship nights came. Neither Mya or Kelly performed their best. Mya was let down by her partner who taught her a cheesy ass free style dance. Dimtri didn't go for the gold with a talented partner. They didn't perform the best in the championship game. Kym Johnson went for the gold. Her and Donny's free style was not only the best free style in the championship round it was one of the best free styles in the history of Dancing With The Stars. While maybe Donny wasn't the best of the three finalists during the season he was the best in the championship game.

While I give both Kelly and Mya season long achievement awards, Donny played the best game in the championship round and deserved to win. I congratulate him.

The question of the day. What would you prefer, a lifelong of achievements or winning that one night, that one game, that one moment, when you are simply the best, when the world celebrates you?

Give me the lifelong achievement award. You can have the trophy.


Yesterday's answer: Alice Guy Blaché, the first American woman film director.

I swimmingly could be called the first woman channel surfer. Born in 1905 to a German immigrant who ran a butcher shop in New York I was taught by my father to navigate the water. I was the Queen of Waves. Esther Williams and I learned at the same place. I won a gold medal at the 1924 Summer Olympics as part of a relay team and bronze medals for finishing third two different freestyle races. At twenty years old it took me seven hours to be the first woman to navigate a famous channel but was
.disqualified when my trainer had someone recover me from the water. One year later it took me fourteen hours and thirty minutes to navigate that channel. My record until 1950. During her twelfth hour into the channel I was so bothered by unfavorable winds that someone on board, called to me that I must quit. I asked what for? Only five men had been able to surf the same channel before I did. Their best time had been 16 hours, 33 minutes. The first person to greet me on my famous trek was a British immigration officer who requested a passport. A fall down the steps of my apartment building in 1933 twisted my spine and left me bedridden for several years, but in 1939 I recovered well enough to appear at the New York World's Fair. I was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1965. I had poor hearing since childhood due to measles, and by the 1940s I was completely deaf. I spent much of the rest of my life teaching deaf children. I never married and died in 2003 at the age of 98. Who Am I?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Blind Side/Every Day Heroes.

This is more of an inspiring story than a good story but still worth the read:|htmlws-sb-n|dl1|link3|

The Blind Side is a movie based on the book of the same name written by Michael Lewis. The movie is directed by and screenplay written by John Hancock (The Rookie) and stars Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. Both the book and the movie are based on a true story. The synopsis:

"Taken in by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance at life, a homeless teen grows to become the star athlete projected to be the first pick at the NFL draft in this sports-themed comedy drama inspired by author Michael Lewis' best-seller "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game." Michael Oher was living on the streets when he was welcomed into the home of a conservative suburban family, but over time he matured into a talented athlete. As the NFL draft approaches, fans and sports radio personalities alike speculate that Oher will be the hottest pick of the year."

At the time that I first wrote this review, the movie had received about an average rating of sixty among critics. However, in the last twenty-four hours that rating has increased to seventy-four. I liked the movie even better than the higher rating. While football is one of the themes of the movie, the movie is about so much more than football. The movie knocks your emotions around from crying to laughing. If your heart isn't tugged at when Leigh Ann finds Michael’s Mom and asks for permission to adopt Michael even though he has been a ward of the state for years then you have no heart at all. Despite being from different social classes the two women are both mothers and relate with the other over what was best for Michael. The buzz is that Sandra Bullock gives an Oscar performance as Leigh Anne Tuohy. While that may or may not be true there were definitely performances in the movie stronger than the one she give. Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher is the movie. He shines in it. In a lesser role Jae Head is absolutely marvelous as young S.J. Touhy. Friday Night Lights fans will remember Jae in his recurring role as Bo Miller. Tim McGraw gives an understated performance as Leigh Anne's husband. Kathy Bates was off of her game as Michael's tutor. My favorite role in the movie was Kim Dickens in the role of the teacher that took an interest in Michael. Mrs. Boswell discovered he really wasn't dumb, he was just never taught. Lost fans will know Kim Dickens as Cassidy Phillips. I'm sold on this movie and think everyone should see it. Even though this breaks Pat's length meter by six minutes with a running of one hundred and twenty-six minutes I'd still recommend it to her. Acting is marvelous. Story is inspiring. Five footballs from this kid. One each of Bullock, Aaron, McGraw, Jae Head, and the biggest football for Kim Dickens.

The questions today revolve around teachers and everyday heroes. Michael Oher was a lost cause. He had a .06 grade point average. In one year he was sent to seven different schools. That changed when two things happened. A teacher, the one played by Kim Dickens in the movie, fought for him. She saw something in him that others didn't. She took extra time with him. The other thing that happened is that a woman took an interest in Michael. She brought him into her house. Her friends made fun of her. Her family accepted the student into her home. Michael Oher raised his grades to 2.65 to gain admittance to college. He graduated. Became a first round draft choice and signed a multi-million dollar contract with the Baltimore Raven. The teacher, the real life Mrs. Boswell, and the wealthy woman, the real life Leigh Anne Touhy, are heroes in my book. Everyday heroes. Without those heroes Michael Oher would proabably either still be homeless are worse dead, killed in a gang shooting.

When you were in school did you have a teacher that influenced you in a positive way? A negative way? I had two that inspired me and one that almost ruined me. The two that inspired me, Ms. Howe and Mr. Foster. Sixth grade and Eighth Grade teachers respectively. The one that almost ruined me, Mr. Phelps the Seventh Grade teacher. Ms. Howe was really hard on me but she was fair. She made me work hard and made me feel like I could do anything. Loved her. Let me tell you a story about Mr. Foster who was also the eighth grade dean of men. We had a rule that we couldn't leave campus during lunch hour. Being a typical eighth grader I wanted to get another student's goat and told him that I had snuck out during lunch hour. I told him how to do it. But you see I didn't leave campus, I was just joking with the kid. The kid went in and told Mr. Foster that I violated the rules. During the class after lunch I got called into the dean's office. Mr. Foster asked if I had left campus for lunch. I told him no. He said "you've never lied to me before, I believe you. Go back to class." That encouraged me the rest of my life to follow the rule, honesty is the best policy.

Now the bad teacher. The assignments he gave were incredibly easy. I'd finish hour assignments in ten minutes. Even back then I had this incredible fear of rejection, even from people I didn't like. I didn't think any assignments that easy could possibly be right. So I didn't turn them in. I hid them in my locker. Good old Mr. Phelps told my parents that I was basically to stupid to learn and belonged in a special school for the slow. Before such a drastic measure was taken at the encouragement of Mrs. Howe and with support of my parents I was given an IQ test. I had the second highest IQ in the State for my age group. I got a new teacher.

This is your day to thank those teachers that made a positive impact on you. Thank you Ms. Howe and Mr. Foster. It is also your day to thank an every day hero that helped you become who you are. Thank you Dad and Uncle Frank. And if you so desire you can stick a pin in a voodoo doll to get even with a teacher that put you in the wrong box. You can guess who gets my pin.


Yesterday's answer: Nellie Taylor Ross first woman Governor.

I was born in 1873 to French parents who were working in Chile where my father owned a chain of bookstores. My mother returned home to give birth to me in Paris. For the first few years of my life I was left in the care of my grandmother in Switzerland until Mom moved me to Chile where I lived with my family for about two years. I was then sent to boarding school in France and was a young girl entering her teens when my parent returned from Chile. Shortly thereafter, my father and brother both died. 1894 I was hired by to work for a still-photography company as a secretary. The company soon went out of business but my boss bought the defunct operations inventory and began his own company. That company soon became a major force in the fledgling motion picture industry in France. I joined his company. That led to a pioneering career in filmmaking spanning more than twenty-five years and involving h directing, producing, writing and/or overseeing more than 700 films. I am considered to be the first filmmaker to systematically develop narrative filmmaking. In 1907 I married a fellow employee who was soon appointed the production manager for s operations in the United States. After working with my husband in the USA we two struck out on our own in 1910. Within two years we had become so successful that we were able to invest more than $100,000 into new and technologically advanced production facilities in New Jersey. My husband and I eventually divorced and our business partnership ended. Following the separation I went to work for William Randolph Hearst's International Film Service. I returned to France in 1922 and a never made another film. Instead I gave lectures on film and wrote novels from film scripts. In 1953 the government of France awarded her the Legion of Honor. I never remarried and in 1964 returned to the United States to stay with one of my daughters. I died in a nursing home in 1968. I am considered the first American woman film director. Who Am I?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Heavy Hearts.

He didn't make me feel like an idiot because I didn't check. The air conditioner didn't work at Mom's house. A firm believer in giving business to friends or those that have given business to me I called my good buddy Dave. He owns a heating and cooling company. We had our football night at the home offices of Dave's business. He is a long time friend. Today his heart his heavy and my heart joins him. Dave sent out his lead repair man, Dan, to Mom's house. Well dressed in the perfectly pressed company uniform Dan quickly diagnosed that the problem was that someone had shut off the master switch to the air conditioner. Apparently my brother-in-law when doing some work when they were visiting Mom had shut off the switch, forgot to either turn the master switch back on or tell us that he had shut it off. I said "well that was pretty stupid of me not to check the master switch before calling you." Dan said "these things happen." He treated Mom with the utmost of respect. My time with Dan was fleeting but rewarding. He loved to go motorcycle riding with Dave. He took care of his mother until she had died just a little over a year ago.

Last Saturday a man was a passenger in a car driven by a nephew that he was helping move. They stopped at a red light. A car pulled along side with his windows down. Seven shots rang out. The car with the shooter in it took off with police units in fast pursuit. The chase ended when more shots rang out and the shooter was dead,

The man helping his nephew move? He was transported to the hospital were he later died. Dan was 55. A self-taught carpenter. A father of three. He lived four doors down from his sister. According to Dave the best employee a company could have. According to one neighbor "he was the nicest guy in the neighborhood. He'd see someone who needed help and he'd come running."

The shooting was random. There was no connection between Dan and the shooter. The shooter had no criminal history and there appears no apparent motive for the shooting. They did find some mescaline in the shooter's house but until toxicology reports come back from the State they won't know if the shooter was on drugs.

You just never know do you? You could just be out for a ride. You could just be at a stop sign rocking out to your favorite CD. You could be doing something for someone else like helping a nephew move. Then your life ends.

I'm asking you to send good thoughts, good prayers, good vibes not only in the direction of Dan's family and friends but also into the direction of Dave and also into the direction of Dave's Heating & Cooling company because they also lost a family member. Then let's follow Dave's advise in a message that he posted on a message board yesterday:

"Dan was a great guy and someone that was just great to be around. He always had a smile and a dumb joke to tell. He will be missed. Give your loved ones an extra hug today."


Yesterday's answer: Jeannette Rankin

I was born in Missouri in 1876. I was considered the first woman to serve this political position beating Ms. Ferguson by sixteen days. When I was seven we relocated to Kansas when our house burned down. When moved on to Nebraska where after graduation from high school I attended a teacher training college for two years before teaching kindergarten. I married a shopkeeper in 1902. We moved to Wyoming. My husband became a leader of the Democratic party in that state and ran for office many times. However, he was defeated many times by Republican candidates. After finally winning a election he died an year and a half into his term. I was nominated to run for that office in the special election held after his death. I never campaigned but still easily won. I continued my husband's platform calling for tax cuts, assistance for poor farmers, bank reform, and laws protecting children workers, women workers, and miners. I urrged my state to ratify the amendment prohibiting child labor and advocated the strengthening of prohibition laws. When I ran for reelection I was narrowly. I think it was because I again refused to campaign. At the 1928 Democratic National Convention, I received 31 votes from 10 states for vice president on the first ballot. I also gave a speech seconding Al Smith's nomination. After the convention, I served as vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee and as director of the DNC Women's Division. I was the first female director of the U.S. Mint. I served five full terms until I retired in 1953. I made my last trip to Wyoming when I was 96. I died in Washington D.C. at the age of 101. I was not a feminist and did not identify with suffragists of my era. My biographer wrote of me "While [she] did not begin her adult life intending to 'do it all, she ended up successfully managing a family, the governorship, lecturing in the Chautauqua circuits, a role in national politics and a federal career because her life was divided into several distinct periods that allowed her to concentrate on and enjoy each aspect of her life in turn." Who Am I?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Going For The Gold.

First the good stuff. The first link is to a video on you tube. It really tells you what I like about Portland, Oregon. See what the staff at Providence St. Vincent Hospital here is doing for breast cancer awareness. The second link is to a good story. What the woman did wasn't all that difficult but in today's society if she hadn't stepped in something awful could have happened to the poor kid. Makes her a hero in my book.

The video that will make your day:|htmlws-main-n|dl3|link4|

The story that will make you both cringe and be thankful for citizens like the guardian angel:

Have you ever gone for a championship? We all dream of that moment when the crowd chants our name as we hit the winning basket or make the winning recipe, or win the race against all odds. I've been there once. A church league basketball game my senior year in high school. I had quit the high school team for what I thought was unfair expectations. I went from the sixth best player on the high school team to the best player in the church league. The Fighting Methodists went from a so-so team to being in the league championship game. Two days before the game my grandfather had died. Grampa Goldy was really a step grand-dad but he was the only grandfather I knew. In his honor I was going sit out the game until my grandmother said I would honor him more by playing. Game starts and our center, Randy, wins the tip. The ball always went to me, I was the court general. I was standing a good distance from the basket, when the opposing coach yelled to the player that was guarding me, "don't go out there, nobody in this league can make it from there." I looked at my coach, who shook his head indicating yes. I shot. Swish. The next time we got the ball, I went to the same place on the court. Nobody came out to guard me. Coach says yes. Swish. Third time we had the ball. Nobody comes out to guard me. Coach says yes. Swish. Granddad would have been proud. Then I made a dumb mistake. I turned to the opposing coach, "are you going to guard me or not?" Every time the rest of the game that I touched the ball there were two or three people around me. I couldn't breath let alone shoot. We lost, we finished second. While I did set a league record for rebounds in that game I only made two more baskets. Had I kept my mouth shut we could have won the gold. I could have been a hero. I am pretty sure my granddad would have still been proud of me but I always thought I could have honored his memory more by following his example of quiet excellence.

Why am I writing about championships on Update Day? Because in all of the reality shows that I have been writing about we are at crunch time. The Amazing Race and Top Chef are in the semi-finals. The championship of Dancing With The Stars is this week. Crunch time. Going for the Gold. Who will win? Who will blow it? Who is going to beat the stress and take home the gold?

The finals on Dancing With The Stars will be between Kelly, Mia, and Donny. Mia is probably the favorite. My odds for her to win are about one to one. Her strength is that she is an incredible dancer. Her weakness is she has the furthest to fall. Donny is probably five to one to win it all. His strength is that he is an incredible entertainer. His weakness is that he is the worst dancer of the three remaining contestants. Kelly is the underdog, probably ten to one to win it. Her strength is drive and determination. Her weakness is that she sometimes takes a step back to where she was before she started the show. Who do I want to win? Kelly. Why? Because she has improved the most. Because she is the only one in the finals without dancing experience. Because it has been absolutely enchanting watching a woman going from being a woman rough around the edges with the vocabulary of a sailor to being a somewhat elegant lady. Who are you rooting for?

On Top Chef this week they move to Napa Valley, California for the semi-finals. The four finalists are the V brothers, Kevin, and Jennifer. Jennifer started her comeback this week winning the Quickfire Challenge. Eli was eliminated just short of the semi-finals. Kevin won the night and thirty grand. I think Michael is the favorite and I place him at two to one to win it all. His strength is creativity. His weakness is overconfidence. In my ratings Kevin comes in second at five to one. His strength is simplicity. Simple dishes done well. His weakness is the lack of creativity. Bryan comes in third at ten to one. His strength is quiet excellence. His weakness is that he would rather beat his brother then win. The underdog is Jennifer at fifty to one to win it all. Her strength is sea food. Her weaknesses are the lack of confidence and the ability to let stress beat her. I want Jennifer to win. Why? Because I have a crush on her.

This week on The Amazing Race the father and son team was eliminated. The final four are the interracial couple, the globetrotters, the gay brothers, and the dating couple. The favorites are the brothers in my ratings. About ten to one to win it. Their strengths are good athletic skills. Their weakness is letting emotion and anger beat them. Coming in second are the Globetrotter at fifteen to one. Their strength is physical fitness. Their weakness is a tendency to have to much fun. Coming in third are the married couple at twenty to one. The strength is really her because of how competitive she is. The weakness is how damn nice he is. I love him for being the nicest dude in the race but this is a competition and when at the finish line go for the win not the niceness. Bringing up the rear are the dating couple at twenty-five to one. Their strength is they work really well together. Their weakness is that they will often choose the wrong of them to do a road block. I really want the interracial couple to win. Niceness rules. I just don't think it will happen.

Have you ever gone for a championship? If you have, have your ever blown it like I did in that church league game? If you are watching any of the reality shows who do you want to win? If you are not watching youn can still tell me if it is more important to be nice or competitive in a competition? And since it is Update Day, catch me up on your lives. What is going on with you? It is your day so post anything you damn well pleas.


Yesterday's answer: Azie Taylor Morton


I died of natural causes in 1973. I was born in 1880 in the same state that the owner of The Dahn Report was born in. I was the first of seven children born to a rancher/lumber merchant and a former school teacher. In 1902 I graduated from college with a B.S, in biology. In 1908 I moved to New York where I started a career as a social worker. From there I moved to Seattle where I enrolled at the University of Washington and joined the suffrage cause. I lead the efforts that gained women in Montana the right to vote, which they gained n 1914. Two years later the Big Sky state sent me to Washington D.C. to represent their state in a famous house. The first female to do so. I was often referred to as The Lady Of The House. A lifelong pacifist, I voted against the entry of the United States into both World War I and World War II, the only member of Congress to vote against the latter. Despite my vote against entering WWI I devoted myself to selling Liberty Bonds and voted for the military draft. While serving as a field secretary for the National Consumers' League I campaigned for legislation to promote maternal and child health care. I was the founding Vice-President of the American Civil Liberties Union and a founding member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. An admirer of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968 I led more than 5,000 women who called themselves "The Brigade" to the United States Capitol to demonstrate their opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Coretta Scott King and Judy Collins were among the other well-known women who attended. I bequeathed my property in Watkinsville, Georgia to help "mature, unemployed women workers." I am still the only woman from Montana to serve in Congress. Who Am I?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Women In History

I love the emails I get from everyone. The reactions to the Who Am I's featuring mostly women in history have been pretty positive. Some are surprised that they have never heard of some of these ground breaking women. I loved this email yesterday from DR and I think it could serve as very good subject to discuss.

"I really think it's almost criminal that our history books and classes in grade, middle and high schools don't include women like the ones you've featured on your blog. What fabulous role models, particularly as several, like Sabin, also left a "history" of caring and sharing with fellow workers, students and others. You know, if we'd "met" these women when we were in middle and high school, I suspect we'd have many more women today who would have similar bios. However, we were taught only about men and, even in the early sixties, women weren't a part of history and were expected to be teachers, nurses and wives and mothers. Can you imagine what the business and political landscape might look like today, if we'd known of these women, many of whom overcame incredible odds, many of whom were doing a hundred years ago the types of research, teaching, "politicking" and business that women have only very recently been accepted in? Thinking back, about the only women who were mentioned in history courses I recall were Betsy Ross and Clara Barton, with a nod to Grandma Moses and a passing reference to Harriet Beecher Stowe. Even today, these women you've introduced us to aren't mentioned. And what would it mean to the black community, if their children were introduced to and made acquainted with the black women you've found? And take it further and let's include the many black men who made profound differences in the lives of this country."

"Sorry for the soapbox, but tonight it just seemed to hit me that our social studies programs were sadly lacking in terms of being "well rounded" and I don't think that's changed much today and I think that's doing a disservice to our children, just as it was a disservice to us. Thank you for the incredibly informative history lessons you've provided and leading me to further explore these individuals. Even if I don't recall each one's particular contribution(s), there's the fact that they're wonderful examples of what women have and can accomplish, when they begin destroying boundaries and parameters and step outside the box."

Questions for the day. What did you learn about women in history when you were in school? What women did you learn of? If you have children in school today, what women are being taught about? If we had learned more about these groundbreaking women would that have that impacted society?

Besides the women above that DR mentioned we learned of Florence Nightingale in high school and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in college. However, I don't remember anyone else we learned of. I do think had we learned a lot of the groundbreakers like the first woman attorney, the first woman doctor, the first woman to break the sound barrier, the first African-American to become a cabinet member, the first woman to run for president, and so forth it most definitely would have inspired young female students to go for goals they might not have thought otherwise were available to them. What do you think?


Yesterday's answer. The one that sparked DR's email. Florence R. Sabin


I was born in 1936 in Texas to a mother who was deaf and didn't speak. I didn't know who my father was. My first job was in the cotton fields. I was raised by my paternal grandparents. I attended high school at an all black high school in Austin and graduated at age 16. I then went to an all black college in Austin and graduated cum laude with a B.S. degree in education. I tried to go to the University of Texas graduate school but didn't have enough credits, when I applied to their undergraduate school to get up to speed I was denied entrance due to their policy of not allowing African-Americans in their undergraduate program. I went on to a successful career and was hired in 1957 as a staff member for the new Texas AFLCIO, a major labor union. I later moved to Washington to serve on President John F. Kennedy's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, beginning twenty years of service in the public sector that culminated with my appointment in 1977 to a job once held by Alexander Hamilton. The first African-American to be so appointed to this cabinet position. I was responsible for the receipt and custody of government funds. Among other things I was a member of the American Delegation to Rome for the Enthronement of Pope John Paul II, and chair of a People to People Mission to the Soviet Union and China. Through a scholarship named for me, I will be remembered as a person who worked across racial, religious, and ethnic lines, and loved working with young people. In the Austin American-Statesman newspaper, Lavon Marshall, friend and colleague of mine, said, "She tried to share with them her hardships growing up and tried to encourage them to do better." I married in 1965. We had two daughters. I died shortly after my husband in 2003 from complications of a stroke. Who Am I?

Friday, November 20, 2009

An Exit Recalls A Reunion.

Your were raised by an Aunt. All your life you had been told your mother had died when you were young. Then one year it is the day before Thanksgiving and you receive a call. "Would you like to meet your mother?" The call is from the producer of a television show, a famous television show. They are doing a reunion show for the upcoming holiday season. They would like to fly you to Chicago so that you can meet a Mother that you thought was dead and two siblings that you didn't know you had. The woman that raised you, your aunt, had lied to you all your life. Your mother was alive and had been looking for you for a number of years. Just recently your mother enlisted the help of the TV show in finding you. The show will fly you to Chicago, put you up for a few days, then on the show while you are telling your story of how you thought your mother was dead, your Mom will walk on to the stage. A few minutes later two siblings will follow your mom on stage. A daughter meets a Mom and a Mom sees her daughter for the first time in forty years.

Remember last year the former girl friend that visited me? The one where it didn't work out? The above is her story. She was living in the Los Angeles area at the time. She flew first to Oregon to spend a couple of days with me and then went on to Chicago to appear on the show. I suppose having a former girl friend on the Oprah Winfrey show is better than having a former girl friend on the Jerry Springer show.

Why am I recalling this now? Because yesterday it was reported that the Oprah Winfrey Show is ending. After twenty-five years on the air she is calling it quits. On today's show she will announce the date of her final show. Some of the reports said she may resurface on her own TV network called OWN that is in development as we speak. Another icon moves on. There were so many memorable moments on Oprah. Tom Cruise jumping up and down on her couch. The show were she gave away a car to everyone in her audience. Three hundred cars at a seven million dollar price tag. Her book club making authors millionaires. Interviewing Liberace three weeks before he died. Michael Jackson stopped by for a chat. She chewed out James Frey for making up most of the stuff in his autobiography, which was a book her book club chose.

She interviewed presidents. She interviewed celebrities. She interviewed the unknown. So many memories. But the memory I most hold is the show my former girl friend was on and what she told me about the show. She was treated like a star and between filming there was no change in Oprah when she was off camera. Just as nice and interested in her guests as she was on air. That is what sets the Oprah show apart from all the other talk shows that currently are on. She asks questions of her guests. Listens to them. Doesn't interrupt. Treats the stars and the not so famous the same.

The show will be missed. What is your memory of the show? Is there a rising star out there that can fill the void she leaves?


Yesterday's answer: Dorothea Lange

Born in 1871 an died in 1953. I was a pioneer for women in science and was the first woman to hold a full professorship at a famous school of medicine which now has four of its colleges named after me on its campus. I was also the first woman to head a department in an Institute For Medical Research named after a famous wealthy New York family. My research focused on the lymphatic system, blood vessels and cells, and tuberculosis. I was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, another first. After retirement I was a public health activist in Colorado. I graduated from Smith College in 1892, then attended a medical school and became the first woman to graduate from that medical school. In 1902 I taught anatomy at John Hopkins. In 1917 I was appointed professor of histology. In 1924 I was elected the first woman president of the American Association of Anatomists and the first lifetime woman member of the National Academy of Sciences. Who Am I?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Glob Of Human Matter.

I received this email from DR last night: "Please thank everyone for their prayers. Just talked to Deb, who'd talked to Lake, but hadn't called because she thought it might be too late. Surgery went fine, no surprises, Alice is doing well, Lake stayed at the hospital until about 10:00 and headed home to get some sleep and return in the morning. We'll probably know more tomorrow or the next day, but please thank everyone and let them know the surgery went well and Alice is doing well." Keep us updated, DR!

I am recharging my batteries each day with the new found freedom. I am feeling a little emotionally attached and I guess that is normal. I crashed this morning. I got up, read the morning newspaper. Then I sat down and with most of the emotional weight I've been caring for so many years off I crashed. Just didn't feel like doing anything. Before when Sis was here I knew it was temporary and that the stress would return within a week. I'm sure there will still me stress but it won't be daily or hourly as it sometimes was. That relief made me just not want to do anything but sit and think about possibilities. Which I did for most of the morning.

Now a news story that I find quite disturbing. The Grinch may be stealing part of Christmas:;_ylt=Aly6Y9Iy1DBkgP5qkUjq8LGs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNiYWwwZ2IwBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkxMTE5L3VzX3NhbnRhX3NfbWFpbF9jYW5jZWxlZARjcG9zAzEwBHBvcwM3BHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5faGVhZGxpbmVfbGlzdARzbGsDZ3JpbmNobm9ydGhw

Have you ever been in stressful situation that when it was over with, you lost your energy and crashed? Where you melted into a glob of human matter just taking up space? And does the above story make you want to try to talk some sense into the idiots in charge, so that a Christmas tradition will continue?


Yesterday's answer: Christine Quintasket

I am best known for my Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration
I was born in 1895 and died of esophageal cancer at age 70. I developed polio at age 7. Like many other polio victims, before treatment was available, I emerged with a weakened right leg and a permanent limp. When I was 12 my father abandoned mother and I. I was educated in my expertise in a class taught by Clarence H. White. I was informally apprenticed to several New York studios. I later moved to San Francisco and shortly opened a successful studio. I married a painter in 1920. We had two sons. When the Great Depression came, I quit working inside and went outside to do some very famous works. My studies of unemployed and homeless people led to my employment with the federal Resettlement Administration (RA), later called the Farm Security Administration (FSA). I divorced in 1935 and remarried a professor. Together with my new husband we documented rural poverty and the exploitation of sharecroppers and migrant laborers. My best known work is called Migrant Mother. In 1941, I was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for excellence. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, I gave up the prestigious award to record the forced evacuation of Japanese Americans to relocation camps. To many observers, my image of Japanese-American children pledging allegiance to the flag shortly before they were sent to internment camps is a haunting reminder of this policy of detaining people without charging them with any crime or affording them any appeal. I was inducted into The California Hall Of Fame in 2008. Who Am I?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Freedom - Day One

Not much today. Just a couple of stories. I am not sure I would classify them as a good stories. I would probably classify them as interesting stories.

First is a father and son united:|htmlws-sb-n|dl1|link3|

Next is a surprise gift for a city:|htmlws-sb-n|dl1|link5|

I would also like all of us to muster up our famous healing vibes and send them in DR's and her sister-in-law's direction. Her s-i-l, Alice, has spinal surgery today. So let's all hope for the surgery and the recovery to go well.

Since I am enjoying my first day of freedom and really haven't thought about any provoking or interesting questions, tell me what is on your mind today. I do wonder about the father and son story above on with the father's background whether he should be reunited with his sons. What do you think?


I am a Mourning Dove that was born in 1880's in Idaho and died in 1936. I was the daughter of an Okanogan and a Colville. I received a sporadic formal education and spent many years working as a migrant field laborer around the Pacific Northwest. My mother died when I was 14 and I had to raise my siblings. As an adult I was plagued by chronic illness and poverty. My first marriage failed. By 1912 I was living in Portland, Oregon where I began my efforts to write a western romance novel based on my life. A small Boston firm, The Four Seas Company, agreed to publish the my first novel. It appeared in 1927, In one my novels features a spirited, mixed-blood woman who has returned to her brother-in-law’s ranch in Montana from the Carlisle Indian school. She soon finds herself torn between two forces: the traditionalism of her grandmother and the modern ways of a man that courts her. A quote about her childhood:

"There are two things I am most grateful for in my life. The first is that I was born a descendant of the genuine Americans, the Indians; the second, that my birth happened in the year 1888. In that year the Indians of my tribe, the Colvile (Swy-ayl-puh), were well into the cycle of history involving their readjustment in living conditions. They were in a pathetic state of turmoil caused by trying to learn how to till the soil for a living, which was being done on a very small and crude scale. It was no easy matter for members of this aboriginal stock, accustomed to making a different livelihood (by the bow and arrow), to handle the plow and sow seed for food. Yet I was born long enough ago to have known people who lived in the ancient way before everything started to change."

I am considered the first woman of my nationality to publish a novel. Who Am I?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Underlying Fears

Today is arrival day. The day my sister and her husband arrive from Utah. Several lives may change; Mom's, sister's, brother-in-law's, and mine. For better or worse I think I am prepared. Through some inward thinking last night I discovered one of the main reasons that I am having a difficult time with the possibility of me letting go of the main responsibility of caring for Mom. It is a fear about life repeating itself. I cared for a long time for a dad with dementia. Six months before dad died I backed off on caring for him. It was just to emotional and to difficult. After three or four years after caring for dad I just couldn't handle it anymore. Almost instantaneously dad started to go downhill. Each day after I backed off he got worse and eventually died. Since then I have had the guilt that maybe I accelerated his death by taking a lesser role in his care giving. Maybe that guilt is unrealistic. Maybe dad would have died anyhow or maybe even earlier had I stayed in the picture. I don't know, I do know that the guilt is there. As soon as dad died Mom got worse. An operation for six stents. Another heart attack. I went back to lead care giver. Mom got better. Now history is repeating itself. It is just to emotional to watch Mom decline on a daily basis. It is to hard on my health to continue the way I am going. So now once again I am backing off as the lead care giver. I have that fear that if I do, mom may get worse and move on to the hereafter. Once again I will have those guilt feelings. That is my underlying fear.

I am off to spend the day getting Mom's house ready for the arrival. I also need to do some things at sis's new house to get their house ready for them. With a busy day on the agenda there really is no time for trivia or a who am I. Yesterday's answer was Eudora Welty. Although I don't have time from trivia today a female reader of the blog that I will keep nameless sent me the following about the human body:

It takes your food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.

One human hair can support 3kg (6.6 lb).

The average man's penis is three times the length of his thumb.

Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.

A woman's heart beats faster than a man's.

There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.

Women blink twice as often as men.

The average person's skin weighs twice as much as the brain.

Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.

If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.

Women reading this will be finished now....

Men are still busy checking their thumbs..

Do you have any advise for me on how I can lessen the fear that I have that Dad's history will be repeated with Mom with the new care giving pecking order? Does any of the above statistics about the human body surprise you? Are you going to spend part of the day checking out men's thumbs?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Do You Want A Job?

According to The Edge Column in today's Oregonian ( there may be some jobs that you would prefer unemployment. Their information came from The following are jobs that you might not want. These are real jobs:

Roadkill collector.

Manure Inspector.

Portable Toilet cleaner.

Crime Scene Cleaner.

Ape-Urine Collector.

Deconstruction Worker.


Yes, dentist was on the list of jobs that people would prefer unemployment to. Would you want any of the above jobs? Or does unemployment sound more attractive? Are there jobs not listed above that you wouldn't take? What would be your ideal job?

None of the above jobs sound attractive to me. My ideal job would be a motivational speaker. Your turn.


Being an optimistic daughter won me the Pulitzer Prize. I was born in 1909 in Mississippi to a school teacher and an insurance salesma. I lived most of my life in the home they built. I had two brothers. I later donated that home to The Mississippi Department of Archives & History in my parents' honor. I attended several colleges including Columbia where I was captain of the women's water polo team. I died of pneumonia at the age of 92. I was an author, a photographer, and a teacher of creative writing. On my own time I took some memorable photographs during the Great Depression of people from all economic and social classes. That collection of photographs was published in 1971 and 1989. My photography was the basis for several of my short stories, including one inspired by a woman I photographed ironing in the back of a small post office. I was mentored by Katherine Anne Porter. In 1998 I was the first living author to have my works published by the Library Of America. I won many awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The name of an Internet email program developed by Steve Dorner was inspired by one of my short stories. Each October a women's college hosts a Writers' Symposium bearing my name to promote and celebrate the work of contemporary Southern writers. Who Am I?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Testosterone Day

I'm getting ready to head out for brunch with my good friend Ted and good buddies Bill and Greg meaning there is no time for trivia today. The answer to yesterday's Who Am I is writer Flannery O'Connor.

Your prayers, good vibes, and good thoughts sent Kaye's direction worked. While they did put her Mom on some preventative medicine she got a pretty good medical report. Now we need to send even stronger vibes in Dona and Dr's direction. Dona hasn't yet fully recovered from bronchitis and Dr hasn't fully recovered yet from a recent medical procedure.

Just a review of my week. Sis will be here Tuesday or Wednesday. The appraisal of their house came back several grand more than they paid for it. Their new neighbors are delighted that they are going to have them living next door. While I am struggling with giving up control I am getting there. And things just seem to fall into place. The caregiver may have to quit to take care of some family issues. Before I'd be stuck with the added responsibility and now between Sis, nephew, and myself the burden isn't going to be that great. I had a rough week as the date of dad's death came up but I am back to normal or at least back to as abnormal as I was before. I have three things on my plate before I can concentrate on health and writing. The three things are a tax return, a tax appeal, and a cousin letter. I hope to be done with those three things by Tuesday. I am feeling freer each day.

Onto the entertainment updates. On Dancing With The Stars the creepy dude, Aaron, got sent packing. Len actually gave Mia a ten. Miracles do happen. Final four are Mia, Kelly, Joanna, and Donny. My guess is Kelly is headed home this week and the finals will be between Donny and Mia. On The Amazing Race I gained a ton of respect for the father in the father and son team. Despite being last and there being a good chance his team would be eliminated he hung in there and completed the extremely difficult task of finding a clue among a hundred rolls of hay. Lesser men would have quit. He was rewarded at the check-in when he found out this was a non-elimination round. They will have more obstacles to overcome this week than the other teams but at least they are still in it. Top Chef was actually interesting this week, one of the better segments of the season. The Quickfire Challenge was breakfast in bed won by the young Eli. The Elimination Challenge was to cook casino themed dinners. The top three were Kevin (Mirage), Bryan (Mandalay Bay), and Michael (New York, New York). The bottom three were Robin (Bellagio), Jennifer (Excalibur), and Eli (Circus, Circus). We learned this week that cooking is an art but you can't cook art and Robin was finally sent packing. Jennifer is still way off her game and if she doesn't get her stuff together she is going home this week. I'm rooting for her because I really don't want an all male final. The winner of the elimination challenge was Michael. By the way I learned how the Bravo HD Channel works this week. The HD Channel is on Eastern Time and doesn't adjust its schedule like the main networks do. The normal time for Top Chef is 10 PM, on the HD channel that is 7 PM Pacific, 9 PM Mountain, etc. Central time it is on at a at 7 PM if my calculations are correct.

A couple of good stories. Short ones but good ones.|htmlws-sb-n|dl1|link3||htmlws-sb-n|dl5|link3|

This is your day. Catch me Up on your lives. Post anything you damn well please. If you haven't posted on the blog before, what are you waiting for? Some really good people here ready to embrace you into our blog family. The Blog is now yours. Come on fess up about your life!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Workplace Violence.

Before today's ramblings I wanted to share what I think is a very charming story. A lot of us here aren't all that happy about some of Nike's policies but this is a story that shows a different side of the shoe company:

This has been kind of a difficult week for me. This is the week my dad died. He died on November 9th. While it has been a long time you never forget the date or lose the emotional reactions to a day that took the man that formed you away. Sometimes those emotions will lead to strong reactions to news stories. Stories that during other times might elicit the reaction of "that's terrible" and then you move on. This week I am having a hard time getting over three stories. The shooting in Tualatin that I wrote about earlier this week. The one where a husband shot his estranged wife and two of her co-workers. In a second story a man killed his wife and son, then turned the gun on himself. In a third story a twenty-seven year-old man is accused of holding his girlfriend captive, strangling her unconscious, and sexually assaulting her because he was angered that she had smoked his marijuana.

In each case there was a warning. The second couple was having financial trouble. The twenty-seven year-old had previous anger issues. And here is a follow-up story to the shooting in Tualatin:

As we found out earlier this week domestic violence is the second leading cause of death among women at work. Despite that according to an article in today's Oregonian most Oregon companies do not have specific policies in place to deal with domestic violence in their workplace. According to the article partner abuse in the workplace usually involves a long running ordeal of threats, harassment, and stalking. The annual toll in lost work time is an estimated ten million dollars for Oregon business and ONE BILLION nationwide. Nancy Glass is a nurse and social researcher for John Hopkins University who formerly worked in Oregon at OHSU. In a survey she competed in 2007 here are some statistics that boggle the mind:

86 percent of the BATTERERS interviewed said their co-workers or supervisors knew about their abusive behavior.

Two-thirds of the ABUSERS interviewed said their employers helped them keep their job after they were arrested.

Fifty-four percent of the ABUSERS interviewed said they used company time to harass or interfere with a partner's job.

Sixty-nine percent of the abused that survived the abuse said their employer knew of that abuse.

According to the article, seventy percent of companies dO not have a formal policy to deal with domestic violence. Only four percent of the companies trained employees on domestic violence and the impact it had on the workplace.

You can read the entire article here:

Are there times when you will react stronger emotionally to a story than you would under normal circumstances? Do the above statistics surprise or shock you? Comments on any thing written today or any day on this blog?


Yesterday's answer: Oveta Culp Hobby


I wrote two novels and thirty-two short stories. I was born an only child to my parents in 1925. My father died of Lupus when I was fifteen. I described myself as a "pigeon-toed child with a receding chin and a you-leave-me-alone-or-I'll-bite-you complex." When I was six I taught a chicken to walk backwards. This led to my first experience of being a celebrity. The news people filmed me with my trained chicken, and showed the film around the country. I was just there to assist the chicken but it was the high point in my life. Everything since was anti-climatic. It took me three years to graudate from college with a Social Sciences degree. In 1946 I was accepted into a prestigious Writers' Workshop. In 1951 I was diagnosed with disseminated lupus, and subsequently returned to my ancestral farm. Although I was expected to live only five more years, I managed fourteen. At the farm I raised and nurtured some 100 peafowl. Fascinated by birds of all kinds, I raised ducks, hens, geese, and any sort of exotic bird I could obtain, while incorporating images of peacocks into my books. Despite my sheltered life, my writing reveals an uncanny grasp of the nuances of human behavior. I never married relying on my close relationship with my mother and my writing for my companionship. I completed more than two dozen of my short stories while battling lupus. I died in 1964. My texts usually took place in the South and revolved around morally flawed characters, while race often appears in the background. My two novels were about blood and bears. My best friend received a weekly letter from me for more than a decade. These letters provided the bulk of the correspondence collected in a selection of my letters edited by Sally Fitzgerald. My reclusive friend was given the pseudonym "A.," and only identified after she killed herself. I was the first fiction writer born in the twentieth century to have my works collected and published by the Library of America. I share the same last name as a former Supreme Court Justice. My quote "Grace changes us and change is painful." could apply to some of the writings on The Dahn Report. Who Am I?

Friday, November 13, 2009


Do you have it today? The fear of Friday the 13? According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia. Three is the most Friday the 13th's a year can have and this is the third one in 2009. Every month that starts on a Sunday has a Friday the 13th. The longest period that can go without a Friday the 13th is fourteen months.

Are you going to take extra precautions today? I know at the least I am going to make extra sure I stop at red lights. Even if I am less then the third car I am stopping at that darn light. I may get rear ended but I am stopping. I am going to be extra nice to people. I am avoiding black cats. I'm not going to walk under ladders. If I am with someone I am going to walk on the same side of parking meters or poles as the person I am with. That is my idea of pole dancing. I am going to pick up a penny if I see it on the ground and recite that famous phrase, "find a penny, pick it up, the rest the day you will have good luck." The heck with germs.

According to folklorists, there is no written evidence for a "Friday the 13th" superstition before the 19th century. The earliest known documented reference in English occurs in an 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini. One theory states that it is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day. Another theory as the subject of "Origins" maintains that the superstition can be traced back to ancient myth. A third theory about the origin of the superstition traces the event to the arrest of the legendary Knights Templar. In some countries, instead of Friday, Tuesday the 13th is considered bad luck. Some natural events that happened on Friday the 13th: Hurricane Charley made landfall in south Florida on Friday, August 13, 2004. The "Friday the 13th Storm" struck Buffalo, New York on Friday, October 13, 2006. The asteroid 2004 MN4 will make its close encounter on Friday, April 13, 2029. The Andes Plane Crash of 1972 happened on Friday the 13th.

A normal day for you? Or are you going to be aware today? My advise is to be aware, be very aware. May this day bring you only good luck!


Yesterday's answer: Patsy Takemoto Mink


I was born in 1905 and died of a stroke in 19995. I received my law degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1925. Following college I married a former Gov. who was also the publisher of a Post. During World War II I headed the War Department's Women's Interest Section for a short time and then became the Director of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. I achieved the rank of colonel and received the Distinguished Service Medal for efforts during the war. I was the first woman in the Army to receive this award. The golfing general who became president named me to his cabinet. I became the first secretary and the first woman to become the guiding force for the health and welfare of humans. I also took over for my husband and became Chairman Of The Board at the Post when he took ill. In addition to the Post job I cared for him. My son served as Lt. Gov of my home state. My daughter is married to a former ambassador. My grandson lost an election in my state to become its comptroller. A library is named after me at Central Texas College. A elementary school in a famous Fort recently in the news bears my name. A dormitory at A & M will remind you of me. Who Am 1?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What Do I Do Now?

The latest news on sis is that they will be here next week. They will be here Tuesday or Wednesday. The appraisal on the house they bought came back at fifteen grand more than they paid for it. Next Monday, except as a fill-in, will be the last time that I will be spending nights at Mom's. While I am overall positive about sis being here I am having confusing emotions about giving up control and separating from Mom. I know from watching DR's experience at distance I am in for an adjustment period. I do know I am really happy that I am going to have a support system in place. Before if I got ill I still had to go to Mom's and in some ways maybe that risked her getting something but there was no choice. Plus if I have medical procedure, like a colonscopy, I have someone to take me to and from the doctor. I haven't had some tests that are probably a good idea to have because there wasn't really anybody here to help. I am treasuring that kind of support. Now if I can just get my head into giving up control. Because I went through the experience of giving up control just a year or two ago when I sold my practice and then went to work for the buyers I am optimistic that I can handle it. Then maybe not, since clients still call me instead of them. Yo-Yo time.

Dona is partial to dog stories so today's charming story is for her:

For today I am seeking your advise. Have you ever been in a situation be it a work matter or a family matter where you had been the big cheese for several years and then had to give up control? Any advise for me on how I can best let go of taking care of Mom? Even if you haven't been in those situations just because you haven't played the game doesn't mean you can't coach the game, so share with my any advise that you think I would find helpful.


Yesterday's answer: Besides being the most decorated vet of World War II he was also in forty-four movies, the late great Audie Murphy.


I was born in 1927 and died in 2002. My parents were second generation Japanese Americans or Nisei. Father was a civil engineer snf mother was a homemaker. My junior year in high school I won my first election to become student body president. My election to the position came with great challenges. I developed approaches to confront these challenges and drew on these experiences when later serving in Congress. The month before the high school election, Honolulu was attacked by Japan. As a consequence, most of the student body was uncomfortable with anything that was Japanese-oriented. I also had to cope with being the only female who had ever showed ambition for student office in the school's history. I went to college at the University of Nebraska. The university had a long-standing racial segregation policy whereby students of color were forced to live in different dormitories than the white students. This annoyed me and I organized a coalition of students, parents, administrators, employees, alumni, sponsoring businesses and corporations. The coalition successfully lobbied to end the university's segregation policies. After my successful war against segregation at the University of Nebraska, I moved home to prepare for medical school. I received bachelor's degrees in zoology and chemistry. However in 1948, none of the twenty medical schools to which I applied would accept women. I decided the best way to force medical schools to accept women would be through the judicial process and decided to go to law school. I obtained my juris doctor degree in 1951. While at law school I met my husband and lifelong partner. We had a daughter who later became a prominent author and educator on labor and women's issues. 1965 I was the first female minority to join the ranks of Congress. I served six consecutive terms. During the 1972 Presidential race, I ran for president in the Oregon primary as an anti-Vietnam War candidate. I took what I learned in high school and built some of the most influential coalitions in Congress. My most important coalition was one to support the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act. Among other bills I authored the Women's Educational Equity Act. When I lost an election to become a senator the peanut man from Georgia appointed me to his cabinet. I died in of viral pneumonia, at age 74. On November 5, 2002, I was posthumously re-elected to Congress. Who Am I?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You Can't Have Her

You all know by now that my nephew is stationed at Fort Hood and was there at the time of the shooting when the fort was put in lockdown. Yesterday there was a shooting a couple miles from my house and my niece's two children's school was put into lockout. I never knew the difference between lockdown and lockout until yesterday. In a lockdown soldiers stay where they are, students stay in their classroom. No unsupervised movement is allowed. In a lockout nobody is allowed into the fort or school but movement is allowed within the structure involved. One of the weird things about yesterday's shooting is Mom and I were thinking about going to lunch at a Wendy's that isn't all that far from the shooting. The way we drive to Wendy's would have placed us right in the middle of the intersection where the shooting happened and at the time it happened. However, right before lunch I became a little ill and we decided to stay home Coincidence? You can read about the shooting here:

Two people were killed and two people were wounded. According to news reports there would have been more victims had the employees of the drug testing lab where the shooting took place not immediately took preventative actions. The two dead are husband and wife. The husband killed the wife that had filed for divorce two weeks earlier and then killed himself. According to the second article above the divorce was amicable and the two were amazing parents to the two children that are now left parentless. As so often happens in these shooting there was a warning sign that didn't really cause red flags until after the shooting. The husband just weeks earlier had purchased several guns.

A couple of really troubling statistics are in the first article above. Did you know that the second leading cause of death among women "at work" is homicide? Nearly one in four women experience domestic violence in their life. At least twenty-four percent of abused women say that the abuse had forced them to be late for work or to miss it completely.

I've never understood the mentality of "if I can't have her nobody can." Maybe the lack of understanding is because I really haven't had that many girl friends in my life. I'm thinking maybe four. Twice it ended because of them, twice it ended because of me. In each case I always wanted the best for them and they for me. In all but one case there was a connection a year or two later just to check and see how the other was doing. Isn't that they way is should be? The time that I was the most hurt was when one of the ones that I chose to leave said to me "I know now that I will never be with the man I love." I was absolutely crushed that I could hurt someone that much. A couple of years later when she asked for access to one of my online profiles I learned that she was back with her first husband and happy. That lessened the hurt quite a bit. I was never worried, however, that she was going to take a gun to me and certainly none of the other exes never had to worry about me going off the deep end of the ocean and firing on them and innocent bystanders.

What do you think is the main reason that some people can wish for the best for the other in failed relationships and others want to prevent their former love from happiness and maybe even living? The way they were raised? How they were taught to think about women? When we were raised we never were taught gender differences. The men in our family cooked and the women mowed lawns. What decided who did the task was when the task needed doing and who had the time to do it. We are always taught to respect not only our elders but others. Men in the family were taught to respect women and the women in the family were taught to respect men. I sure hope we can figure out the cause of domestic violence before some jilted lover agian goes off the deep end and kills someone.


Yesterday's answer: Maurine Neuberger.

Today's on Veteran's Day we honor a Veteran with the Who Am I?

I was born in Texas in 1920 and died in a plane crash in 1971. I tried to enlist in the Army during World War II but was rejected as being to young at age 15. One year later my sister adjusted my birth records to show me as being eighteen. The army then accepted me. In twenty-seven months of combat I went on to win the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Start, Legion og Merit, Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster and Valor device, and the Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters. My grave in Arlington Cemetery is the second most visited grave after JFK's. I won over thirty-two medals including five from France and one from Belgium. My parents were poor sharecroppers, I was the sixth of twelve children, nine of whom survived until the age of eighteen. My mother died when I was fifteen and I dropped out of school in the eighth grade to help support my family. I was forced to place my three youngest siblings in an orphanage to ensure their care and I reclaimed them after World War II. I joined the United States Army after being turned down by the Marines and the paratroopers for being too short (5 feet 5.5 inches (166.4 cm)) and the Navy for being slight of build. My company commander tried to have me transferred to a cook and bakers' school because of my baby-faced youthfulness but I insisted on becoming a combat soldier. I took part in the invasion of Sicily after which I was promoted to corporal. There I contracted maylaria which put me in the hospital several times during my Army career. After the war I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. I was plagued by insomnia, bouts of depression, and nightmares related to my numerous battles. Always an advocate of the needs of America's military veterans, I eventually broke the taboo about publicly discussing war-related mental conditions. In an effort to draw attention to the problems of returning Korean and Vietnam War veterans, I spoke out candidly about my own problems with PTSD, known then and during World War II as "battle fatigue" and also commonly known by the World War I term "shell shock." A person I served with during the war once commented about my grave marker: "Like the man, the headstone is too small." I was married in 1949 but divorced in 1951. I then married an army nurse that I had two sons with. After leaving the army I became a little fairly well known country singer/writere and also went into an occupation that despite my army heroics is the occupation that the readers here would most know me for. I can honestly say I went to Hell and Back. Who Am I?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Events On The Horizon

Another busy day so just a short post today. I hope to be back to a normal schedule with all my work completed and healed from blog block by Friday. Be patient with me until then!!

I wanted to mention to all the Susan Boyle fans out there that she will be on the Dancing With The Stars Results Show tonight. She will sing the song that made her famous. One of my favorites, Michael Buble, will also be appearing on the show. Turn into ABC tonight at 9PM, 8PM Central Time.

Top Chef returns this Wednesday night. The challenge is going to be breakfast in bed! All you breakfast fans out there need to tune in for what may be some great breakfast recipes! It will be on Bravo this Wednesday night at 10PM, 9PM Central. If you have Bravo on HD then you can catch it at 7PM, 6PM Central.

Before yesterday's answers from Kaye, I wanted to ask you all to send good vibes, prayers if that is your choice, good thoughts, and anything you can muster her direction. Kaye's mom is going to the doctor for some tests, let's all root for positive results!

Two questions for the day, what is your favorite meal of the day and who are your favorite singers?

The answers to yesterday's questions!

1. The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends. Boxing

2. North American landmark constantly moving backward. Niagara Falls (The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.)

3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. Asparagus and rhubarb.

4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside. Strawberry.

5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the bottle. The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.

6. Three English words beginning with dw. Dwarf, dwell and dwindle.. (Isn't "Dweeb" a word?)

7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar. Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation mark, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.

8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh. Lettuce.

9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with "S". Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts.


This one is from DR.

I was born in 1907 and died in 2000. I was the fourth woman elected to the senate and the tenth woman to serve in the body. My husband and I are regarded as the United States' first husband-wife Senate legislative team. I graduated from college in 1929 with a Bachelor of Arts. I taught in public schools between 1932 and 1944; in 1937, while teaching in high school I met my husband. We married in 1945 after he completed his service in World War II. He was subsequently elected to the State Senate in 1948. I entered politics in 1950 and was elected a member of the State House of Representatives and served from 1950 to 1955. During this period I was also a member of the board of directors of the American Association for the United Nations. My husband was elected to the United States Senate in 1954. In 1960 he died from a cerebral hemorrhage. I then won a special election on as the Democratic candidate to fill the vacancy caused by his death. At the same time as the special election I won the general election for the term commencing as soon as the special one was completed. My activities in government focused on consumer, environmental and health issues, including the sponsorship of one of the first bills to require warning labels on cigarette packaging. In 1961 President John F. Kennedy appointed me to be a member of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. I remarried to a doctor and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School and Physician-in-Chief, Psychiatry Service, Boston City Hospital, on July 11, 1964 in Washington, D.C. We remained married until 1967. Following My time in the Senate I was employed as a lecturer on consumer affairs and the status of women, and as teacher of American government at Boston University, the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies at Harvard University. Who Am !?