Thursday, July 31, 2008

Martha Stewart Slurpees

It's only a matter of time.

First Martha Stewart was plying her wares at Kmart. (And yes, I fell for it. Good stuff, good prices).

Then she moved up the ladder and joined the Macy's club. Good move. Really nice stuff.

Now, it's all about Walmart.

Why the move down the retail ladder, Martha?

Can 7-Eleven Slurpees be far away?

It's a Good Thing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Fiesta Color

Yet another true confession. I am Fiesta Ware obsessed. This started in the early nineties when I also started haunting antique stores. I decided I needed some vintage Fiesta. Then I realized there was no way I could afford it. Had a chance at one point...... to purchase boxes full of vintage stuff, well below market value, from a friend of my mom. Couldn't bring myself to do it, so I helped her find a consignment person and she made several thousand dollars. Drat those morals!

Taking pity on me, my parents bought me my first 4 place settings of "modern Fiesta Ware". The first four colors I had were rose, yellow, turquoise, and periwinkle blue.

Such began the obsession. Every few years a new color would come out. Reasonable enough to keep up with................But..............since about 1999, the crack dealers at Homer Laughlin release a new color. EVERY SINGLE YEAR. All of us Fiesta addicts must drop everything, and make our way to to our local "connection" to get a new fix, I mean color.

They have done it again.

Ivory. NEW Ivory. Not to be confused with old Ivory, which was only made from 1936 to 1951. Which, by the way, I have never seen Old Ivory in person.

So being the dear man that he is, The Husband took me to see "my dealer" yesterday, so I could get me some NEW IVORY, four piece place setting, please.

I now have (whispering...........) 22 different colors. Please don't tell The Husband.

Now for the anti-climactic moment. Here it is......................

Friday, July 25, 2008

Birdland Update

Well I must say for an extremely amatuer birder like myself, this summer has been a windfall. I put out my feeders the first year we moved in, and this is our fourth summer. Those first few years we had house finches. And we also had house finches. Oh, and lest I forget, we also had house finches.

Each summer since, we've added a few new ones. The mourning doves came (one of my favorites) saw brown headed cowbirds in the spring and early summer, and was very excited to see robins.

But this summer it feels as if the bird population has exploded and I'm very excited with the variety. Since I consider my Birdland one of the 7 Wonders of My World this is big stuff.

So to prove how easily amused I am............the current list of sightings in birdland, here in My Tiny Garden.

House Finches (and this year........ a yellow breasted male)
House Sparrows
Mourning Doves
Rock Doves (otherwise known as pigeons)
Brown headed Cowbirds
Brewer's Blackbirds
Red Winged Blackbirds
Western Kingbirds
Red Tailed Hawks
Mountain Bluebirds (only twice very briefly)

And one afternoon we heard a hummingbird fly past, moving too fast to see.

For those still awake at this point................the point is............this makes me happy.

Told ya'. Easily amused.

Obama The Great

Might as well jump on this band wagon.

Hip Hip Cheery O

This is a great one

Gerard Baker

h/t to almost everyone I read.

Monday, July 21, 2008

No More, Please

Though she's doing fine and resting at home, I spent a good part of the weekend at a hospital with my mom. She went in on Friday afternoon to the ER, at the advice of her primary care physician. She was having an extremely painful headache and they wanted to rule out an aneurysm.

My mom has a rather extensive medical history, and therefore they err on the side of caution. Three days and two overnights and she's back at home. Tests all look good, her blood pressure back in control and in the end.......................they have no idea.

Medicine is not an exact science.

She is one of toughest people I've ever known..................but she's spent far too much time in hospitals. At 74 she's been through a lot.

No more please.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hot Rod Hondas

Sometime in the last few years a phenomenon has popped up here in the Mile High City. It makes me nuts and I want to know if it's a Denver thing, or if this is country wide.

What is the deal with the hopped up Honda Civics? They are everywhere, they have loud pipes, and apparently all the drivers are on their way to do emergency brain surgery. We know this because of the high rate of speed at which they travel. Clearly, where ever they are headed, the purpose of the trip is ALWAYS more important than what us mere mortals are doing.

They recently raised the speed limit on portions of the highway I take to work each day. I think 65 is fast enough for anyone, on an interstate, in the middle of town. Apparently the preferred speed for brain surgeons driving Honda's is 80 plus combined with weaving from lane to lane. Damn all these people cluttering up the highway during the tail end of rush hour!

Coming home, two more surgeons were trying to beat each other to the hospital down a suburban side street. Wow! These guys are busy.

So out of state readers....................just here? Or everywhere?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blue Like Jazz

It's embarrassing how late I am to this party. How rude to even show face at this point but here we go.
Frankly, I primarily read novels or political non-fiction. But when I heard that Steve Taylor was doing a film based on this book, I ran out and bought it.
(Insert Steve Taylor RANT here).
Steve Taylor is one of the best people I've ever known. He grew up in the metro Denver area. He started his musical career here. Hate to be a name dropper but I did know a couple of his band members and because he grew up here, I ended up getting to know him a little. In my radio days he was more than kind to me and went above and beyond for a little radio show I did. I think he's one of the most creatively talented people that has ever darkened the door of the Christian music industry, and yes, I've told him so. If you're reading this and don't know who he is, send me an email and I'll send you links like crazy. Click here for Steve Taylor.
(Back to book review)
Going into this read with the "Steve Taylor Halo Effect" set my expectations high. In the beginning, my initial reaction was "yeah, whatever, what's the point, come on, get to the point!"
That only lasted for the first few chapters. Ohhhh, I get it, it's The Set Up. Now we have a feel for who this guy is. Younger than me. But his experiences are starting to ring true. It's growing on me. He's giving a voice to things I've thought yet not expressed.
When I got to chapter 11, "Confession", I nearly fell on the floor. Don't want to spoil it, but if you should happen to take my advise and get this book, if you grew up in the church, or go to a church, or used to go to a church, and read what these college students did....................well, I was blown away.
If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, or if you are but have had a mostly positive experience in your faith, you may not relate to this book. But for me, and I'm sure many like me, this book will strike a chord.
I read the last few chapters at a local sandwich shop where I go and hide to read. I'm sure a few patrons there wondered what was up with the lady in the corner booth, who couldn't quit crying.
Dear Steve Taylor, what are you going to do with this book..................hmmmmmmmmmmmm?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Grab Bag

Little stuff that doesn't warrant it's own post.
Can someone please tell me what the deal is with these guys??? God's Pottery. Do we laugh, cry, or punch them in the face?? They got eliminated from Last Comic Standing last night. Don't know what to think.

Friday confession.
My guilty pleasure.
Big Brother. Yep. LOVE me that show. Completely disgusted with BB9 cast. Couldn't have cared less who won. They were all annoying beyond belief. New season starts on Sunday night, and yes I have already been scanning the CBS website and checking out the new cast. Could be quite an interesting mix of people this go around. They even have a 75 year old former Marine. And who doesn't want to see how long before Dan, the Catholic teacher starts yelling at Libra, the Obama supporter??? Could be lots of spills and chills. Come on readers. Watch with me so we can dish!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

"The Night Listener"

Watched this little odd film over the weekend. And it is an odd little movie. Robin Williams and Toni Collette are the known names, but there's a small role for Bobby Cannavale, who was great in "The Station Agent" Didn't know anything about it when I started watching, which is my favorite approach to a movie. Thought it might get very dark. Instead it just seemed to meander around. Never hitting the emotional target. The plot was interesting enough to hold my attention and hang on to find out how it ended. But in the end if fell short.
I give it two out of five boxes of Milk Duds.
My favorite movie candy as a kid.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Does Tattoo Advertising Work?

Weird bumper stickers are everywhere.

Some make you laugh,
some are unintelligible,
and some make you want to run the person off the road.

So this is the first in a series of some I see as I make my daily commute.

This one, well......... I don't know what to say about this one. Seemed a little incongruous with the Trailblazer it was on. And............ it was viewed in a rather high class Denver suburb. You'll notice I've blurred the phone number and website.

No free advertising here.

Unless I like you.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Old Fashioned 4th of July

Looking forward to the three day weekend, although The Husband has different days off, so we don't get to spend ALL the time together. He does get to work a day shift tomorrow for the holiday and I'll have him home for the evening.

We plan on going and watching the local fireworks display, then back to the house so we can set off the legal stuff in the street and I can play with sparklers. I love sparklers. They are my favorite. The way they smell, spinning them around in the air and making letters. Takes me immediately back in time to my grandparents back patio, I can see the grass and grandma's roses. I want watermelon right now.

This year the 4th will be a little subdued. The Husband and I are still a little in shock and mentally exhausted. WE MISS OUR FRIENDS IN TEXAS. The old neighborhood (or new neighborhood actually) just ain't the same without them. The two little guys next door are so excited about the 4th and The Husband being a big, "little guy" has already been teasing them with last year's leftover fireworks. This shot is an artsy one from our first year in the new neighborhood. Ahhhh to be two years old. It's all about watermelon and your SpongeBob canteen.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Aftermath

Every family is different. What seems completely normal to one person can seem strange to another.

I was raised in an charismatic, non-denominational Christian family. We were the kind of family that was there everytime the doors opened. It's all I knew for the first thirty years of my life. It was a mega-church before there really were mega-churches.

When there was a death in the extended "church family", someone called the pastor, then friends were called, and within hours there were dozens of people, calling the family, stopping by the hospital, or stopping by the house.

Then the parade of casseroles began. Often, a family who had lost a loved one, could go for weeks without having to prepare a meal, their refrigerator full of Tupperware with names written on the lids.

The summer I graduated from high school, a new family to the church lost their 19 year old son in a car accident. When everyone heard the news, a steady flow of people showed up at their house, stopping by to express their condolences and asking what could be done. When I sat in the backyard with the young man's older brother we had a conversation I have never forgotten.

He told me that he always thought it was strange when someone died and everyone showed up at the house with food in hand. As we talked that afternoon, he had changed his mind. He understood. It's good to have people around, their presence was soothing, and also a great distraction from the grief.

Ever since, I have never hesitated to drop everything and go be with people when they have lost someone. You may have no words of wisdom, but your presence is all that matters.

We all grow up in families, and what we know of life, we know from them.

When you marry someone, you join their family as well. The Husband's family comes from a different place. Literally and philosophically. It was certainly strange navigating the unfamiliar waters with a family very different from my own. I felt as if I was trying to help them with one hand tied behind my back. I don't think I did a very good job.

When it's all said and done, we can only do the best we can. We can examine our own heart, and make sure our intentions are noble. If we are paying attention, we can try and do better the next time around. And yes, the "next time" will come.

It always does.


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