Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Houston Hide From the Wind

The city has a pretty neat tool on their website for predicting wind during a hurricane based on zip codes. When I looked at my zip it told me that the maximum sustained wind would be under 50 mph and that I am not in an evacuation zone. It also give the maximum sustained wind for 6 hurricanes going back to 1900.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

There is a wonderful interview with Barack and Michelle Obama in People magazine. Here is the link:,,20214569_1,00.html

I am so looking forward to having this wonderful family in the White House.

The picture is from People magazine.

Monday, July 28, 2008

"Mr. President, we will be forever in your debt"

When bush took office in 2001 he inherited a budget surplus of 128 billion. When he leaves office he will leave a 428 billion dollar deficit. Representative Rahm Emanuel took a jab at bush when he said "Mr President, we will be forever in your debt."
When are people going to wake up and stop electing these idiot republicans? Every time one of them gets in they screw up the economy and the country and then a democrat has to come in and fix it. Bush has screwed the country so bad this time even Obama may not be able to fix it. But of course he will be blamed. Obama is already being blamed by the McCain camp for high gasoline prices.

HGTV's Design Star

Last night was the finale of HGTV's Design Star. The two finalists Jennifer and Matt were sent to New Orleans to design rooms for 2 families whose homes were destroyed by Katrina. Viewers get to vote on the winning design. I liked them both but am leaning towards Matt.

The best part of the show came at the end when the St. Augustine marching band, The Purple Knights, marched up the street playing When the Saints Go Marching In. The St. Augustine band is the best High School marching band in New Orleans and probably the best in the United States. Seeing them march was always the best part of any Mardi Gras Parade and I'm glad they're still around.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


When I was growing up in Houston in the 1950's one of my favorite shows on TV was Kitirik's Carousel. The show was on Channel 13, KTRK. They came up with the name by putting the letter i in between the station's letters (KiTiRiK). Kitirik's real name was Bunny Orsak and she was 23 when she got the job in 1954. Her mother made her cat costume. The show had a studio audience but if it was your birthday you got to go on stage and meet her. I absolutely loved her and when I was 5 I got to be on the show. Here is a picture from that day, one that I will never forget. I also found some other pictures of her that I've included.

Friday, July 25, 2008

If you haven't seen Obama's speech in Germany here is a link:
I had seen little snippets on the news but this morning on C-SPAN I was able to see almost the entire speech. He spoke in front of a crowd of over 200,000 people, many waving American flags, none of them burning. I didn't think the US would ever recover from bush, at least in my lifetime, but after seeing the response to Obama in Europe I feel very optimistic.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chicken Fat in Lay's Potato Crisps

I had to stop at Randalls on my way home yesterday afternoon and because I was hungry decided to get a bag of chips. Because of my diet I decided to get the Baked Lay's BBQ crisps. I didn't look at the label. When I got home I did look at the label and discovered chicken fat as one of the ingredients. Why on earth do potato chips/crisps have chicken fat? Fortunately I hadn't opened the bag so I can return them. That's why I shop at Whole Foods. I never buy something there and later discover some animal product hidden in the list of ingredients.

McCain's Flip-Flops

1) Was against the Bush tax cuts; now is for making them permanent and even bigger.
2) Was against the GI Bill; now is for the GI Bill.
3) Was for immigration reform; now is against immigration reform - and repudiated his own prior position on immigration reform.
4) Opposed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill - which had his name on it.
5) Was for gay marriage, and then opposed gay marriage.
6) Was for Roe v. Wade, then was against Roe v. Wade; then for it, sort of; then against it, sort of.
7) Was for storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain; then was against it.
8) In 2000 was for military action against rogue states; now is against it, EXCEPT for Iran….which he sings about bombing and says it's good to sell them cigarettes so we can kill them.
9) Negotiating with North Korea; was against it; then for it, especially when Bush did it.
10) Negotiating with Castro's Cuba - in 2000 was for it, now against it.
11) No negotiating with terrorists except when Colin Powell went to Syria in 2002 and when, in 2006, said we'd eventually have to deal with Hamas.
12) Unilateral military action against terrorists in Pakistan - against it when Obama said it was good; for it when Bush did it in the spring of 2008.
13) Warrantless wiretaps - against them 6 months ago; for them now.
14) Torturing detainees - always against it; since he was tortured he should know. Now, in favor of torturing detainees.
15) Perpetual detention of detainees - bad a few years ago, good now.
16) Iraq - the right course in 2004; stay the course in 2005 and now he was always against the flawed strategy - especially when Rumsfeld was there.
17) Estate tax - for it in 2006; against it now.
18) 2004 - for privatizing Social Security; 2008 against privatizing Social.
19) February 2008 promised a balanced budget in 4 years. April 2008 said it will take 8 years. June 2008…..back to 4 years. [And, since he is now for the Bush tax cuts, balancing the budget EVER will be impossible.]
20) In 2008 - first glad to look at oil windfall profits tax; then it's a bad idea - Jimmy Carter's bad idea.
21) In 2000 - no new offshore oil drilling; now, just very recently, it's a great idea.
22) In 2000 - attacked Bush fundraising leaders; in 2006 had some of the same people co-chair his own fundraisers.
23) In 2000 - Jerry Falwell was an "agent of intolerance"; in 2006 McCain delivered the commencement address at Falwell's Liberty University and in 2008 McCain was big buddies with Rev. Hagee and Pastor Parsley.
24) Opposed and voted against the Martin Luther King holiday; now says he was for it.
25) 1986 - opposed South African divestment to attack apartheid; June 2008, praised it.
26) In 2000 - defended South Carolina's Confederate flag as a symbol of heritage; in 2002 said it should come down and it was an "act of political cowardice to not take it down."
27) 2000 - against teaching creationism in schools; 2005 - alternatives to evolution should be taught.

This is from the Ed Schultz website. Thanks to LibraryLioness8 for sending me the link.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

Former LA prosecutor and author Vincent Bugliosi has written a new book called The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. In it he makes the case for trying Bush for the deaths of 4,000+ American soldiers because he took the United States into a war with Iraq under false pretenses. HCPL has this book on order.
Vincent Bugliosi is probably best known for his successful prosecution of Charles Manson and his "family" for the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969.
He later wrote a bestselling book, Helter Skelter, about the trial. He is also the author of the book Outrage about the O.J. Simpson trial and a book The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose our President, as well as several other books.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Walk Score

Walk Score rated San Francisco, New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, Washington D.C., Long Beach California, Los Angeles and Portland Oregon as the top 10 most walkable cities in the U.S. There is also a place where you can look up how your neighborhood scores. Houston is number 26 on the list if you live in Montrose, River Oaks, or downtown. I live between River Oaks and Montrose and this wasn't a big surprise. If I didn't have to work I could easily live without a car. My area is becoming more and more urban everyday with lots of shops and restaurants in easy walking distance of my home.

Corrupting Young Minds (with books) in the Library

Here is a link to something I read on The Shifted Librarian . It says a lot of the same things Stephen Abram said at the Library 2.0 workshop last week.

From The Daily Kos

The McCain campaign must be really desperate. In an attempt to distance McCain from Bush, they are not only attacking Bush but now saying that Obama is like Bush. From a foreign policy advisor for the McCain campaign: "I think the American people have had enough of inflexibility and stubbornness in national security policy...We cannot afford to replace one administration that refused for too long to acknowledge failure in Iraq with a candidate that refuses to acknowledge success in Iraq. "

And if that wasn't enough, on Friday at a fundraiser, McCain announced details of Obama's trip to Iraq "I believe that either today or tomorrow, and I'm not privy to his schedule, Sen. Obama will be landing in Iraq with some other senators."

Details like this are always kept secret for security reasons. DUH.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Incredible Shrinking Technical Services Department

While other libraries across the country are experiencing budget and staff cuts, the technical services area at HCPL is experiencing another kind of loss. In the last 2 years we have lost about 150 lbs., or, the equivalent of one person in weight!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tony Snow

This is by Richard and is from the American Leftist blog He says exactly what I wanted to say but didn't have the nerve to.

"Over the weekend, I heard that Tony Snow, Bush's former press secretary and FOX News commentator, had died from cancer. Is it such a terrible thing to note that his major achievement was propagandizing for the killing of Iraqis, and then, after we started doing it, perpetually justifying it? He maligned those who questioned the conflict as traitors and defeatists. He was a stereotypical example of a sort of perverse professionalism whereby anything that promotes your career, no matter its consequences for others, is considered smart, hardnosed and admirable. One would like to believe that his death induced some reflection about what it means to lose a loved one amongst his friends and family, a flash of recognition that the Iraqis that he so cynically exploited experience death as painfully as them. Perhaps, they even felt discomfort at the attention his death received while Iraqis, for the most part, have died anonymously. But I doubt it."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I've been trying really hard this summer to keep my electric bill low and it's paying off. Yesterday I got my bill and it was $90. Last month it was $85. I keep the thermostat at 79 and use fans and most of the time the house is comfortable. When I finish my last dog walk in the evening I usually take a cold shower to cool off and that helps. Last night Channel 11 did a report on electricity and said that Texans pays 2x what other states pay for electricity. I would really like to know why. It's supposeed to be in the high 90's all weekend with no rain so I'm sure even keeping the house 79 will require a lot of AC but as long as I can keep the bill under $150 I'll be happy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

On July 9, in an interview with The Washington Times, Phil Gramm, one of John McCain's top economic advisors had this to say about the economy "You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," and "We have sort of become a nation of whiners, you just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline."
The DNC is referring to him as "Out of Touch Much, Phil" and McCain is distancing himself from his comments. I don't think McCain is evil like the Bush family but I do think he is totally out of touch with working class Americans. If one of his top advisors doesn't see a problem with the economy I don't see how McCain and his advisors can be expected to fix the problem if elected. It's also very insensitive to have a member of your family run up a 750,000 AMEX bill as Cindy McCain did in a one month period earlier this year, at a time when so many people are suffering from soaring oil prices, the loss of their homes from the mortgage crisis and the loss of jobs. I know it's her money and she can spend it any way she chooses but it just seems pretty insensitive to me.
Another top advisor and possible running mate for McCain, "Victory Chairman" Carly Fiorini, is also causing trouble for McCain. At a press breakfast recently she questioned why insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth-control medications and said twice, for emphasis, that "those women would like a choice." According to NARAL, McCain has voted 22 times against family planning. Included in this is his vote against a proposal that would require insurance companies to cover the cost of contraception. He doesn't seem to remember anything about this however. Look at this YouTube video to see his reaction when questioned about this. It almost makes you feel sorry for him in the same way you might feel sorry for an aging parent or grandparent who is losing his or her memory.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pets and the Presidential Election

I did a blog a few months ago about all the presidential candidate's pets. At the time, Obama had none and McCain had the most (24). New polls show that pet owners prefer McCain over Obama 42 to 37 percent. Obama leads McCain in homes that don't have pets 48 to 34 percent. I usually prefer pet owners over non pet owners but have made an exception in Obama's case. What I would really prefer is a person who has lots of animals and doesn't eat any. Kucinich is the only politician I know who falls in that category.
The good news is that Obama has promised to get a dog after the election is over. Because one of his daughters has an allergy to dog dander, their choice of dogs is limited to a few. The AKC has recommended 5 different breeds and has a place on their web site where you can vote on which one you prefer for the Obama family. Here is a link:

Another reason to move to Canada

According to a study by the Climate Change Risk Report, Canada is the country that is best prepared to deal with the effects of climate change. The study looked at 168 countries and determined which countries were the best and worst in terms of dealing with changes brought on by climate change, rather than countries that will be the most affected by climate change.
Canada is number one followed by Ireland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. The US is number 11 followed by the UK.
8 of the 10 most vulnerable countries are in Africa with the Comoros Islands number 1 followed by Somalia and Burundi. 5 non-African countries in the top 20 are Yemen, Afghanistan, Haiti, Pakistan, and Nepal.
Factors looked at in determining the ratings were: the economy; natural resources and ecosystems; poverty, development and health; agriculture; population, settlement and infrastructure; and, institutions, governance and social capital.
The Comoros and Chad also scored lowest on the report's index of CO2 emmissions which means that the countries most likely to suffer were also the countries the least likely to have caused the problems. How typical.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hello from home

I have internet access at home now! I just hooked everything up and am doing this entry on my new super girly pink flamingo Dell laptop. It's supposed to be wireless but right now I'm still attached.
Update: I am wireless! I'm in my living room on my computer!

Rosie at the Pug Meetup

Rosie and I went to the pug meetup at the Danny Jackson Dog Park on Saturday morning. Miss Grimm was also there with "Big Bubba" and her pug Bubba. Rosie had a good time meeting all the other pugs and their people and swimming in the pool.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Roku Box and the incredible squirting toilet

I got this from Cool Tools blog:

"The Roku box from Netflix allows you to watch movies on your TV whenever you want to, for no extra charge, in DVD quality. It is a tiny thing that sets up in a few minutes. If you have wi-fi in your household it will link up to that so you can put the box near your TV. For achieving such a complex task it has a remarkably simple interface and no-fuss approach, very similar to an iPod. We were watching a movie within ten minutes of opening the shipping box." There is more information here:
Also from Cool Tools, the Toto Washlet Toilet. The seat, which will fit most toilets, has a sprayer that cleans you after you go. Some models even come with a dryer, thus eliminating the need for toilet paper. More advanced models will automatically raise their lids when you approach. You can read the Cool Tool blogger's experience with the toilet seat here: