Sunday, December 31, 2006

And Now, the Bathroom Sink

Some time ago regular readers might recall, I decided to redo son Scott’s bathroom. In an old house like this one, circa 1930s, there’s a project around every corner. With this one, I stripped off old wallpaper, patched cracks and a huge hole, applied a textured wallcovering which I painted along with the ceiling. I’ll spare you the details, but it was a time consuming process for me. I used to zip through this kind of work. Not so this time. Anyway, I’m happy with the results as is Scott who now has a pretty nice bathroom for the cost of some paint, wallpaper and sweat(mine). I included the photo of the window to show you the cellular shade I found at Lowe’s for under $10. It’s a vinyl, room-darkening shade that attached with a 3M peel and stick tape. How simple!

I suppose this is a strange topic to post about, but I am always curious to see how people in other parts of the world live. So, to further the international dissemination of trivial information, those of you outside the U.S. can now view a rather plain and simple American bathroom.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Return to Reality

After my little holiday hiatus, I am returning today to blogging again. It’s good to get away from the computer for a while and focus on what really matters in life – people, especially the ones we love most dearly. I hope you had some time with those you love.

For months, we’ve been watching a huge hawk soar and circle over the wooded lot that backs up to our house. As we sat in the den overlooking our deck on Christmas morning, he swooped down, landed on the fence and let out a big howdy-doody squawk before flying away. We all shared that moment. I wondered why he chose that particular time to visit us. Was it random? I think little is random these days. Time is the one gift we can give each other that is, perhaps, the hardest thing to arrange these days. It’s remarkable that Jeff and Natalie (our older son and daughter-in-law) could spend a week with us along with granddog, Monte. They left this morning with a long day of driving back to their Chicagoland home ahead of them. The house is quiet, and now our attention is turned back to the reality of changes that lay ahead for our family.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Christmas Wish

My husband and I were at a Christmas party last night and one of the guests was a young soldier home on leave from Iraq. While he hadn’t seen any firepower himself, he told my husband things weren’t going very good there. He told about a child, maybe 11 or 12, coming up to him with one hand held behind his back. Fearful and with weapon poised, the young soldier shouted one of the few Arabic words he knew, “Stop.” Luckily, the boy stopped. The young soldier said it was so hard to figure out who was friend and who was foe because of the many sects.

As the conversation wound down, my husband told the young man, barely out of high school, “Thank you.”

No matter how you feel about this war, most Americans realize these soldiers are risking their lives on a daily basis for a cause our government tells them is just and necessary. I have often said that while a war may be just and necessary, our leaders should never take us so lightly and frivolously into a battle unless it is the absolute last resort.

And so as Christmas approaches, my thoughts are with those who are in harm’s way. Those who are young and proud and hoping to return home to their loved ones. I’m fortunate to be able to hold close my two sons, one of whom just registered with the Selective Service, as the law requires. My wish is that other mothers, fathers, wives and husbands will have their soldiers returned safely to their arms.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


All morning I listened to Christmas songs on Knology’s Music Choice channel. This is a really neat thing about cable TV since you get to hear all sorts of songs you wouldn’t normally hear like Ella Fitzgerald singing “Santa Got Stuck in My Chimney.” That was a new one on me. Anyway, ever since I wrote about “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” I’ve been getting a ton of visitors who found me due to a search for that song. I think we all love the quirky, fun songs whether we want to admit or not. They helped me do a flurry of last-minute house cleaning for our little dinner party with friends.

Now, the evening is over and the rain continues a slow and steady beat on the awnings and I feel fortunate to be inside where it’s warm and dry. The packages are wrapped and under the tree. Groceries stocked. Laundry done. Scott is safely home. Tomorrow night, we have a party with Bill’s staff, and Saturday Jeff and Natalie will hopefully make it here despite the nasty weather. At this moment, all is right with the world. Can’t ask for more than that.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

When I launched this blog in the summer, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t think the readership would grow much beyond a few family members, but I have cyber-met people from all over the world. I appreciate this connection. So, with five days to go until Christmas, I wish for those who visit me regularly that you may make warm memories with those you love, that the new year will be kind to you and that may you find the strength to face with grace whatever comes your way.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Close Call

It’s a lovely, warm day in Alabama and shopping at the Curb Market was especially nice. Almost unfair, I thought, that the Northwest is having such nasty weather. And unlike yesterday’s near misfortune, my shopping today was ordinary and uneventful.

As I was driving yesterday, I stopped for a red light and my little red Tercel was rear ended by a young woman driving a Yukon with no brakes. After my little bumper cars bump and then a double bump, I jumped out of the car and realized that the only damage was little paint on the back of the Tercel and a slightly rattled me. The young woman proceeded to tell me her brakes failed and that she was hoping I’d go on through the red light. Well, I guess that explained her honking, but I thought it was a case of road rage because I was stopping. I shouted, “You really need to get those brakes fixed before you hurt someone!” And after asking if I was okay, she drove away before I could think to get the license number to report her negligence. A close call and no harm done. This time.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Never Too Late

If you could go back in time and pick another career, what would you select? I started out thinking I wanted to be a journalist and ended up in law school. After awhile in law school, I couldn’t see myself being so contrary and adversarial all the time. Anyway, having my first son during law school, contributed to me abandoning the idea that I was going to be a lawyer and save the world, but I did finish up and received my J.D. degree.

But I have always gravitated towards jobs where I could try to save the world. I am happiest when I have a cause. For several years, I was a volunteer guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children facing a foster care review hearings. That experience opened my eyes to drugs, mental illness, poverty and real meanness and how screwed up parents begat screwed up children oftentimes. I also learned that being nice isn’t enough, especially when a child’s future is in your hands. And not to believe everything an expert tells you.

When I was an outreach/social worker with a senior center, I drove our elderly members to shop for groceries, held their hands as they heard bad news from doctors, checked on a parents for worried children to see if they were handling living alone okay, dogged “friends” of a widow who were bilking her out of every penny she had left, visited those who had no visitors, wrote checks for a woman who kept everything she ever had stacked in ceiling-high piles. I was a daughter to folks who needed one but didn’t have her, and I grew to love them. We moved out of state, and I eventually took a job with our county human services department until after 9/11 when I went back to school to study advertising, design and illustration.

It took me some time, trial and error I call it, to find what I love to do. Design and writing. It came a bit late, but it came nonetheless. If I could go back and start over as a young person just out of college, I would become a package designer. I know that sounds strange coming from a person who says she wants to save the world. I finally decided to just try to save myself.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

One Lucky Dog

A couple of stories worth noting from the Chicago Tribune this morning: My daughter-in-law sent me this story about Lucky, the Springer Spaniel, who was dragged nearly a mile behind the car of a 92-year-old woman before being rescued. Amazingly, he survived without any broken bones. Regular readers know I love Springers, and Jeff and Natalie have one themselves. Natalie said Lucky looked a lot like their puppy, Monte. I guess my biggest question about this story is: what the devil is a 92-two-year-old doing driving?

Another story that caught my eye was the news that Evan Bayh is not going to make a race for the Democratic presidential nomination largely due to the hoopla surrounding Obama. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited that we have a potential candidate that can generate this buzz, but I’m dismayed to see good candidates like Bayh take themselves out so early. Obama has not been proven and we must not pick a person too soon.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Why We Love Bad

What's our fascination with the song "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer?" A few days ago, I posted the words and a link to the audio and ever since I've gotten a ton of visitors who had Googled the song's name and got me. This morning, I was at Target in the electronic section, and there came the familiar tune from one of those select a songs setups. Is it because like me, you can't contain a smile when you hear it? I guess it falls in the category of a secret that we don't want to admit to. Kinda like watching the movie, "Elf" or "Earnest Saves Christmas." And liking them.

Christmas Countdown - 10 days

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hobby Lobby Recalls Christmas Lights

Just a few days ago I wrote about starting to buy some Christmas lights at Hobby Lobby. They had white wiring, and I didn’t buy them after all. Glad I didn’t, because now I won’t have to take them back, risk a fire or get shocked. Here’s the link to Hobby Lobby. Several types of lights are covered in the recall. Thank you HL for E-mailing me about the recall. I hadn’t heard about it elsewhere.

Moving Forward to Equality?

Federal Judge Harold Murphy of the U.S. District Court in Rome, Ga., has ended oversight of Alabama’s college-desegregation lawsuit. For 25 years, this case has pitted Alabama A&M and Montgomery’s Alabama State University (ASU), both historically black schools, against other public universities such as Auburn University Montgomery (AUM). In Montgomery, we have three public institutions of higher education: ASU, AUM and a branch campus for Troy University. ASU remains largely African-American, but AUM has a sizable African-American enrollment of around 32%. ASU is 91% African-American. The state will continue programs to try to remove traces of segregation.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Skin-Deep: Racism in America

I saw a promo for a feature, Skin-Deep: Racism in America, that will be on CNN's Paula Zahn show this evening. The clip showed a discussion of "sundown" towns, where blacks were encouraged to get out of the town before dark fell. I'm glad to see an attempt to talk about racism. We Southerners are well aware of our history on the subject of racism in general, and quite frankly, it isn't pretty.

This really isn't a regional issue, though. When we lived in Mariemont, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, I learned that this quaint, planned village had its own history as a "sundown" town where black maids and service workers were told to leave before dark for their own good. Of course, this had been customary many years earlier, but there lingered the idea that blacks weren't welcome. I checked the 2000 U.S. Census and found that out of a population of 3408, a mere 34 were African American.

I wonder how long it takes to change. We start down the road to Equality, but so often I think attitudes like those expressed in the clip for the show tonight reveal that underlying racism. Most telling was a white woman in a cafe who said something like, "No, I'm not a racist. I talk to black people. But," she added, "when it comes to eating with them, I draw the line." I ask, dear gentle readers, how many times have you heard or said those words, "No, I'm not a racist."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Time Out

I’m beginning to be a little panicky with chores and Christmas tasks. Shopping is pretty easy this year. I’ve already ordered on-line the couple of presents I needed to get and they should arrive any day now. I have a couple of others to get but there’s no rush. We got the tree on Sunday, and the folks out at the State Farmers Market knocked $20 off a tall tree just to get rid of it. We have it all ready to decorate, but everyone has been so tired that we are putting it off until tomorrow. I sent the remaining Christmas cards out today.

I am still working on that bathroom project. I got halfway through with hanging the wallpaper today and couldn’t bear to be inside when outside it was 73 degrees. I know you are not supposed to stop midway, but I did and went outside into the warm fresh air and the leaves called me over to rake them. And what is the wisdom of this meandering, dear gentle reader? I suppose it is that work will always be there waiting. A soft, warm afternoon in December won’t.

Christmas Countdown - 14 days

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Women and Their Hair

You guys have it simple. I rarely have seen men obsess over their hair like we women tend to do. Right now I’m contemplating changing my style. I’ll wager you that at least 50% of the female population in America is likewise thinking about what they could do differently with their hair. This Yellow Dog Democrat is not a fan of Hillary Clinton, but I bristle when people pick on her about her hairstyles changing. That’s because I can identify. And it’s usually men who are the ones doing the criticizing.

My hair is currently short but getting scraggly. I called to get a cut the other day, and I heard those awful words, “Sheila (I love it that we shared the same first name) isn’t working. We don’t know when or even if she will be back.” “What happened?” I asked, trying to keep the desperation out of my voice. “I can’t tell you,” the voice on the other end said. “Privacy issue, you know.” Holy crap! What am I going to do now? Sheila was the first person to give me a real haircut after mine grew back. She was good too, other than that time she cut my ear.

So, I guess I’ll think about what to do and let the hair grow for a while.

Christmas Countdown – 15 days

P.S. If anyone else notices any tech issue with the blog, would you please E-mail me? One reader had trouble with links taking him to my other blog, River City Views, and maybe I did something I didn’t intend when I put that link in the sidebar. I told y’all I’m not the most tech savvy person.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Dog Day Saturday & CafePress

I want to thank those shopping at for buying some of my gift items at Sheila For Kids and the other shops I have. I try to keep the hawking to a minimum here, but I thought I’d show what’s selling lately. The ladybugs are the best sellers by far and have been from the start. I hope that kindergarten teacher Miss Sue likes the personalized Lady Bug Tote Bag the mom of one of her students bought. And thanks fellow Democrats for your patronage of Yellow Dog Democrat items. And lately I have sold several “Springers Rule! Others merely drool” t-shirts, greeting cards and other items.

Speaking of Springers. Most of the long time readers know about Samantha, my doggie muse who died last February after 13 loyal years. That’s her drawing of course. While I haven’t successfully persuaded my husband that I need another Springer Spaniel in my life, my son Jeff and his wife Natalie have added one to theirs. My granddog Monte will be visiting along with his human mom and pop at Christmas. He’s been going to puppy school and is making some progress. Being a male, though, he is headstrong and “willful” as Jeff likes to phrase it.

Anyway, dear gentle readers, in case you haven’t noticed, I like to make connections and the connection is that in this photo taken during Monte’s last visit you can see the same kind of doggie rope toy that puppy Sam had.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I’m No Martha Stewart

I’m no Martha Stewart. MS wouldn’t be caught dead making little Santa hats for pink flamingos like my Pinky and Wendell, and if she did, she’d make perfect little hats instead of the kind I made yesterday after failing to find suitable hats at the Hobby Lobby. The best thing I found at HB was a wonderfully nice cashier named Rachel who pointed out that I was about to buy Christmas lights with white cords instead of green ones. Rachel was on the ball too when she noticed I had a package of two bows instead of the three I was going to pay for. She got the price reduced to 66% off which was fine with me. Hobby Lobby, give that girl a raise!

Pinky and Wendell normally reside in my backyard safely out of sight for those who would callously accuse me of “visual pollution,” not that my neighbors would and certainly not neighbor Joe who has creatively decorated a tree in his yard but certain family members might.

In my archives (August), you’ll find a post entitled, Why do Folks up North Pay to Dress Up Geese? I guess the question is now, “Why put Santa hats on pink flamingos?” Don’t have the answer except to say I was in a quirky mood. Merry Christmas and happy decorating!

Christmas Countdown – 17 days

Banishing Paris Hilton & Drink the Kool Aid

From the Queen of the Cliché (me): I’m tired of the war on Christmas, the war on the middle class and the war in Iraq. I’m tired of the cult of celebrity too. How much more can I hear about spoiled little rich girl Paris Hilton? I care not. I’d also be happy to retire words like no problem, TomKat, buzz, hot button-issue, skills set, da bomb, drink the Kool Aid, liberal media and most of all, fair & balanced.

Check out Lake Superior State University’s Banished Word List, now in it’s fourth decade, and submit your nominations. They say they make the cut in late December and release the list on New Year’s Day. The idea originated with a playful public relations director.

I'd love to hear what gets under your skin. See. I told you I am Queen of the Cliché.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Playing With the Big Guys

Note from Sheila: Bill is no stranger to awards, and for a while, he even stopped entering the competitions. He’s worked for colleges and universities for over 30 years now, starting at the University of Alabama and he has worked at and consulted with some of the country’s finest schools. However, sometimes an award can validate the quality of what you are doing, especially if professionals in your field judge the work. I wrote this just to say, “You done good, kiddos!”

Auburn University Montgomery (AUM) Office of University Relations (UR) recently received seven MarCom Creative Awards from the Association of Marketing & Communications Professionals. The international competition recognizes outstanding achievements from corporate marketing and communications departments, advertising agencies, public relations firms and designers.

The winners ranged from individuals to media conglomerates and Fortune 500 companies like Hewlett-Packard, Procter & Gamble, Merrill Lynch, FedEx and Anheuser-Busch as well as non-profits such as the American Cancer Society, the Mayo Clinic and the U. S. Postal Service.

There were over 5,000 entries this year. “AUM TODAY Magazine” won two Platinum awards: one in the Writing/Magazine category and one in the Writing/Feature Article category for the “Life and Times of Guin Nance,” written by University Editor Gayle Walden. AUM TODAY also won two Gold awards for design and another Gold in the Magazine/Educational Institution category.

Two more Gold awards went to AUM for “The Power of You Student Recruitment Campaign.” These publications were all designed and written in-house by AUM’s Office of University Relations under the direction of Bill Noblitt who also designed the magazine and student recruitment publications. Graphic Designer Jenna McCollough and Jennifer Wiggins also contributed to the design. Frank C. Williams provided the photography, and the entire UR staff helped with the projects including Web Manager Tom Rawl, Communication and Media Relations Manager Daniel Dye and Senior Program Associate Jane Butler.

Associate Director of UR Susan Jones, who heads up the university’s special events received a Gold award for the Groucho Marx event, part of an internal marketing campaign that garnered national and international attention for the university.

Poor Tony Snow

I’m off the Christmas train today, but stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment. I have a surprise.

What captured my attention this morning as I flipped along the channels to find out some news other than the tragic outcome for the Kim family in Oregon or the Iraq Study Group, was something of real substance. Over at Fox & Friends, the three hosts were moaning about how their old buddy Tony Snow, the President’s press secretary, was getting beat up by that bad old reporter from NBC, David Gregory and wasn’t that just like the liberal media to do that. I don’t watch this show regularly, but apparently this is a continuing theme with these folks.

Oh, come on, you guys. Maybe if the reporters and Congress had been asking tougher questions of President Bush and his administration, America might not be in the fix in Iraq right now. Reporters are supposed to be pushy and obnoxious. This isn’t a tea party.

Christmas Countdown – 18 days

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

One more photo and a link to my nominee for the tackiest Christmas song. Words & music by Randy Brooks:

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

Grandma got run over by a reindeer.
Walking home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
but as for me and grandpa we believe.
She'd been drinking too much eggnog,
and we begged her not to go.
But she forgot her medication, and she
staggered out the door into the snow.
When we found her Christmas morning,
at the scene of the attack,
she had hoof-prints on her forehead,
and incriminating Claus marks on her back.

Grandma got run over by a reindeer.
Walking home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
but as for me and grandpa we believe.

Now we're all so proud of grandpa,
He's been taking this so well.
See him in there watching football,
drinking root beer and
playing cards with Cousin Mel.
It's not Christmas without Grandma,
All the family's dressed in black
and we just can't help but wonder:
Should we open up her gifts,
or send them back?
Send them back!!

Grandma got run over by a reindeer.
Walking home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
but as for me and grandpa we believe.

Now the goose is on the table
and the pudding made of fig
and the blue and silver candles
that would just have matched
the hair on grandma's wig.
I've warned all my
friends and neighbors
better watch out for yourselves,
they should never give a license
to a man who drives a sleigh
and plays with elves.

Grandma got run over by a reindeer.
Walking home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
but as for me and grandpa we believe.

The Best Christmas Decorations Ever Contest

Over on my new Montgomery blog, River City Views, I started a contest for the Best, Tackiest and Most Pleasing to Kids Christmas decorations. Well, I haven’t tried to figure out how to post photos there, and while I don’t want to duplicate content between the two blogs, I thought I’d put the photos here. Now, even if you don’t live in Montgomery, you can send me yours too if you want and I put them up for all to share.

These are the ones I took the other day at the house on Boultier in the Cloverdale area of Montomery. I’ll post my decorations too when I get them up. I’m a little late this year and I don’t imagine we will get the tree up until Sunday. Mr. Bill has been under the weather and he’s the official bring in the tree and put it in the stand man.

photos © 2006 Sheila Noblitt

Paperwhite Narcissus

I love the South because Spring comes early, even in December. Well, not really but the paperwhites in my yard are blooming this week. I suppose it’s not really early since they typically bloom between Thanksgiving and Christmas in areas near the coast or in protected microclimates. But you can have the beauty and fragrance by forcing the bulbs no what where you live.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Four Favorite Christmas CDs

I haven’t found a new Christmas CD so far this year. Any recommendations? Four of my old standbys are: Chris Isaak’s Christmas, Aaron Neville’s Soulful Christmas, Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song and the classic by Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Christmas Countdown – 20 days

Monday, December 04, 2006

Shooting From the Hip is Risky Business

Frank Ahrens writes about the changing newspaper business in a story entitled A Newspaper Chain Sees Its Future, And It’s Online and Hyper-Local in today’s Washington Post. Gannett’s stock dropped 25% and the chain realized that it had to address the problem which is facing many newspapers across the country.

With more and more people turning to alternative news sources, it seems a reasonable course to explore. In my own hometown of Montgomery, which has a Gannett newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, I have noticed the on-line changes to the reader forum, TalkAlabama, as well as news and other sections. Some are good like the videos you can find of local news and interviews. That’s a nice touch missing in the printed word. However, what is sorely lacking is attention to investigative stories. It’s almost as if we have a weekly community newspaper which is a fine type of journalism, but this is the capital city and there are bigger fish to fry.

The WaPo story focuses on the changes as they are happening at the Fort Myers News-Press. One of the most alarming changes to this old J school grad is that stories are being posted on-line before being edited. Every reporter needs that safety net. It’s all well and good to be innovative and daring, but I’m afraid shooting from the hip doesn’t work in international diplomacy or in the news business.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Tag, You’re It!

Southern Gal Dana tells me she “tagged” me and Marion did too. Well, I guess I should have figured it out. I played my fair share of tag as a kid. Anyway, the way this goes apparently is that I’m supposed to reveal five things you may not know about me. If you’ll check my archives, you may find a self-indulgent post where I wrote factoids about myself, but I seriously doubt anyone will check that out to see if I am repeating.

You may not know:
1. I was always the good girl in high school but wished I wasn’t.
2. There are worst things than worrying about a bad hair day. For example, having a no hair day as I did for several months a couple of years ago.
3. I’ve never been on a cruise and will be fine with that. If you like being trapped on a big boat with a bunch of strangers that you are forced to socialize with and are susceptible to Norwalk Virus, go for it.
4. I’ve never been to Las Vegas and think gambling is a waste of time. Okay, I’m not the holy-roller type who wants to keep you from blowing your time and money if you so desire. I blow time and money on crap too. Check out my arts & crafts stash. I seriously think I’m addicted to ribbon from Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and A. C. Moore.
5. I have developed A.D.D in the last two and a half years. I can’t seem to finish reading any book I’ve picked up during this time. I’ll read them halfway and then get pulled in another direction.
6. The buttermilk just exploded when I opened it. Does that mean it’s bad?

There you have it. Six, not five. I’m terrible in math. That’s seven and seven is enough self-disclosure for one day from this normally private (except in the blog) person.

Tagging: Janey

Christmas Countdown – 22 days

I Have This Song Stuck in My Head

Does this ever happen to you? A few weeks ago, Mr. Bill and I saw a chick-flick on cable, Prime, with Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep. Uma falls in love with a younger man who happens to be her therapist’s son. As the film is ending, there is a wonderful rendition of the jazz/pop standard, I Wish You Love. After days of humming this song, I finally decided to buy it at iTunes. There are so many versions including one by Bette Davis. Take my word for it, don’t bother listening to the little snippet iTunes gives you. It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. Good actress. Terrible singer.

Gloria Lynne has a nice version that she came out with in the 60s. And my all time favorite musician Chet Baker has one too. Que Reste T il De Nos Amours, a sexy French version by Joao Gilberto sounded good, and I might get that one too. But the one I was looking for is by Rachael Yamagata, who now calls Chicago home. You may have heard some of her songs like Be Be Your Love.

And while I’m on the subject of chick-flick movies, Muriel’s Wedding (95) with that wonderful Aussie Toni Collette is another favorite of mine. She did another film last year called In Her Shoes with Cameron Diaz and Shirley MacLaine which is fun too.

Sorry guys for all this romantic crap. Impress your women folk and watch one of these with them. You can earn some brownie points.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Forgotten Pastimes & Pleasures

As a kid, I learned to play the piano. I stayed at it for several years, never becoming good but maybe average at best. The old second-hand upright piano was abandoned when I went away to college, and I didn’t lay hands on a piano until about 20 years later. When a friend of Bill’s moved into a condo, he gave us a console piano with a bench full of sheet music. From time to time I’ll sit down at the piano and slowly some of what I remember will come back. I even have periods when I’ll practice. Over the years, I’ve added a few music books in an effort to find pieces I once played. I even taught Scott the first part of Jingle Bells.

As luck would have it though, the old piano has found new life but not from me. One of Scott’s friends from Booker T. Washington Magnet School is a talented musician. He will sit down with no music before him and launch into his own renditions of jazz standards, flowing from one to another without stopping. The last time, he played Somewhere Over the Rainbow and a version of Autumn Leaves. Yes, I once played these classics but not like Joel does. And yet, I keep at it. Never expecting to be grand or make a living. It’s just a nearly forgotten pleasure.

Christmas Countdown --–– 23 days

Friday, December 01, 2006

River City Views Debuts

The folks at asked if I'd be interested in doing a new blog for them, and of course, I am happy to oblige. River City Views will have a Montgomery and Alabama focus , but I'm not going to promise I'll stick strictly to that. It's just my intention. I love to make connections to what's happening elsewhere and so you'll see national and world events spun with a twist of the South.

Please come visit if you can spare the time. I'll continue the Alabama Kitchen Sink too. I always appreciate your comments and the time you regular readers spend here.

Kind Regards,

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Someone asked me how I came up with my blog’s name, the Alabama Kitchen Sink. You know the expression, “Everything but the kitchen sink.” Well, maybe you don’t. Anyway, it means pretty much everything you can think of. I Googled this expression and found that “Everything but the kitchen sink” is the name of a cookie recipe, bondage film and a Chicken Soup for the Soul story about a grandma’s purse.

If you stick with me long enough, you’ll find I keep with the theme.
The photo is of my kitchen sink with some of the rabbit collection.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas Candid Camera

All families have them. Stories and memories that are unique to us or so we think. The time the cat climbed the Christmas tree and knocked it over or the dog grabbed the ham off the table. The uncle who drank too much and ended the evening wearing his underwear on his head. I’m sure you have one or two. Today, I share a couple of ours.

Shortly after Thanksgiving one year when we were living in Cincinnati and Bill was working for Xavier University, a local television station asked the pr office to suggest a family for a story about budgeting for Christmas. Now, we are certainly not poster kids for budgeting, but we are pretty much game for an adventure, and we agreed to be that family. The crew came out and filmed us in our living room discussing what the budget would be, $800, and we set up times for them to film us shopping. Jeff was in high school and Scott was in pre-school. I’ll have to try to dig up the video to refresh my memory, but I mostly remember two things: the female reporter had a fake name and a male reporter applied make-up before our final interview. The rest is a blur, but I don’t think we embarrassed ourselves too much, and that was the only Christmas we’ve been able to stick to a “budget.”

Our second media Christmas encounter came last year. The little neighborhood we live in, Cloverdale-Idlewild, has a traditional Christmas caroling parade, and the leader called me to see if they could visit our house to carol. Seems we have a dearth of elderly and infirm who are the usual recipients of the caroling. I need to backtrack one little bit to explain why I was called, though. The first week in December of last year, I tripped over our Samantha and broke my arm. So, I guess I officially qualified for the infirm status and my arm WAS still in a sling. A few evenings before Christmas, the carolers, about 75 strong, showed up on our doorsteps, guitars and voices strong with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas!” And oh yes, there was a local television camera crew with them. Not only did all of my neighbors know I was a klutz but quite a few more people in Montgomery did too.

If you have a Christmas story to share, I’d love to hear it.

Christmas Countdown –– 25

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

International Tourist Destination

Regular readers might remember my earlier posts about Comedy Central’s “The Stephen Colbert Show” coming to Colbert County, Alabama. Last night, they finally aired part one of the three-part feature on this little town in northwest Alabama, and Stephen’s bid to open a museum about himself. Stephen sent his lackey Tad since as he phrased it, “This is ‘Deliverance’ country.” Nah, Stephen, but I’ll let it pass.

In part one, Tad meets the mayor and visits the Helen Keller Museum where he tries to tell the director a Helen Keller joke and borrow the pump where she learned to say, ‘water.’ By the end of the segment, Tad has successfully located a storefront for the museum, and tonight we get to see the grand opening. Comedy Central repeats the show at 7:30 p.m. CST.

Christmas Countdown – 26 days

Don’t Bother to Pick Up the Phone

SERVICESEXT2463 or 702-8181-2463 wants to talk with me. You too. This is why I love caller ID. I always look up who called just to be sure it wasn’t an important call. This number had quite a few posters at whocalled/us/lookup. There was even a funny story about a mother or wife seeing the name and thinking one of the guys in the family had called a phone sex outfit, and they were calling him back. I think after a long explanation, she finally believed him.

Anyway, I think these guys are scammers or at the very least they aren’t anyone you want to spend your time conversing with, not unless you just have a mean streak. What if we all started to talk to these folks and tied up their lines. Maybe that would put a few out of business. I have been known to do that. You know, let them go through their script and then say something like, “Oh dear, I have to go, the mule just got out.” And don’t tell me someone is just trying to make a living. Let’s have some fun.

Christmas Countdown -- 26

Thank You For Shopping at Kohl’s

Dad: “Scott, do you have a blank disc I can borrow?”
Scott: “Sure, Dad, I’ll grab one. Here you go, Dad.”
Dad: “Thanks, son.”
Scott: “Thank you for shopping at Kohl’s.”

He turns around halfway to his room, comes back in and says, “Did I just say what I think I did?” We all laughed. Scott works as a cashier, and I think Kohl’s has successfully ingrained politeness in my sometimes gruff and always opinionated offspring.

Christmas Countdown -- 26

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

So-So Doesn't Cut It

Mike Shula felt he had the Alabama program back on track.

This sentence from the AP story about Mike Shula, the University of Alabama's fired football coach is exactly why our cute coach needed to go. A decent man by all accounts, Shula didn't recognize what was going wrong and therefore, couldn't fix it. His ego is bruised, but his family is secure financially unlike the typical family who must struggle when the main breadwinner loses a job. The challenge ahead is to find an experienced, seasoned coach of the first rank. The University, her fans, students and alumni deserve nothing less than this.

Pop Culture and the Marketing of Christmas

Stuart Elliot of the New York Times explores the influence of pop culture in the marketing of Christmas in this week’s advertising column, Shorthand for a Holiday: Ralphie, the BB Gun and the Flagpole. As Elliot points out, “A Christmas Story” has become this generation’s “It’s A Wonderful Life.” The movie is based on autobiographical stories from Jean Shepherd’s book, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. The stories from the movie have been compiled into a book, also of the same name.

I had already seen the Cingular ads featuring a surprisingly accurate take-off of the movie. “Ralphie” gets a GoPhone in this version instead of an “official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle.”

Office Max is jumping on the Christmas Story bandwagon too with online games including one called “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out.”
“Fun is a big part of what our culture is,” Mr. Thacker (senior vice president for marketing and advertising at Office Max) said, contrasting the humor of “A Christmas Story” with the sentiment of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

In other Christmas news, you may have seen the story that a fellow in Cleveland had bought the house from “A Christmas Story” and restored it to its original movie splendor. Of course, he’s charging admission to visit. I’d like to see the furnace that the Old Man was always cursing at. Wouldn’t mind paying either.

TBS is showing this year’s marathon of “A Christmas Story” at 8 p.m. Dec. 24. But this family will be grabbing our video long before then.

Christmas Countdown -- 27 days

So Many Deer

Scott and I are in love with the Berry College campus. We drove over to Rome, Georgia, Sunday night and talked with the admissions folks yesterday, including the recent grad we’d met at a college fair. This campus is quite unlike others I’ve seen. Bill has worked for Rice University and Washington University in St. Louis, and like these campuses Berry has lovely architecture. But unlike these schools, Berry has vast expanses of open grassland, hilly heavily wooded forests, log cabins for guests and faculty housing and herds of deer leaping around like they own the place. Barns, columned buildings that reminded me of the University of Alabama and a private elementary school for Berry’s education program. It’s just a very unusual campus. A mountain campus hugs the hills about two or three miles apart from the main campus, and we drove up there being careful of the deer grazing near the road. Past Swan Lake (yes, we saw two of them), at the end of an unpaved road, we found an old mill with a huge water wheel. With 28,000 acres, Berry claims to be the world’s largest campus, at least in acreage. Parts of the movie “Remember the Titans” and “Sweet home Alabama” were filmed here.

No personal pictures because while I remembered the camera, I forgot the flash card. My bad. These images are from the college's Web site and I hope they don't mind me sharing them.

It’s going to be a huge problem to find a more lovely campus, but Scott has more schools to look at and unlike the junior who was along on our tour, we have started late.

Those of you who read this blog regularly know I write about education from time to time. This particular journey with my son is personal, but many parents have traveled the road to helping their children find a good school. Me, I happen to think that you can find a good education in all sorts of places. While I graduated from the University of Alabama with two degrees, I also went back to school when I was 50 at a wonderful community college, College of DuPage, where I had two of my best teachers ever. I credit them with helping me rediscover my passion for art and design.

Christmas Countdown – 27 days

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Don’t You Ever Paint the Tile!

I feel a bit like Tom Sawyer right now. I started the bathroom project yesterday. I coated the wallpapered ceiling with Kilz and pulled down the remaining wallpaper. When I took down the shower curtain rod, a huge chunk of loose plaster fell off. I knew I’d have to patch the cracks but didn’t count on this big hole. When this house was built in the early 1930s, the plaster was applied to lath and included either cattle or hog hair to help stabilize the plaster. I came across some while examining the hole and figured out what it was after reading about plaster repair in historic houses at the National Park Service Web site.

Why I feel like Tom, is that right now as I take a break from scraping yellow paint off of blue tile, Mr. Bill is scraping wallpaper paste off of the walls. I didn’t nag or ask. I did about a third of the job, and he foolishly came in to ask how things were going. I said something like, “It’s hard to reach the top part,” and he offered to help. I showed him the wallpaper paste remover gel and he went at it. And he’s still at it. Bless his heart!

Christmas Countdown – 29 days

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It’s All About the BUZZ

Did you go shopping yesterday and get caught up in the frenzy? Not me. Well, I did go by Lowe’s for some paint and wallpaper but that was long after the 6 a.m. rush, and while the store was busy, it was the normal “Saturday” do-it-yourself crowd and not the wide-eyed bargain seekers you see at department stores, Wal-Mart and Best Buy. Son Scott had to work at Kohl’s but not until 4:30 p.m. His friend had to be there at 4:30 a.m. I hope they were nice to you.

But around the country Americans jumped on the gotta have it now bandwagon like South Park’s Cartman on the Nintendo Wii. According to the Washington Post, “Retailers said they would not begin tallying the number of shoppers until today but that anecdotal reports indicated strong traffic.”

Christmas Countdown – 30 days

Friday, November 24, 2006

Countdown to Christmas—31 days

As I promised, I’m launching my countdown to Christmas with my favorite Christmas book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I was a new mom 29 years ago when the president of the Alabama Alumni Association, Ann Pritchard, gave Bill a copy of this classic. Sometime in the next few weeks we will sit down and reread the story of the horrible Herdmans and how they and all around them discovered the real meaning of Christmas. I get choked up each time I read the words aloud. If you have kids and have never read this book, rush right out to your bookstore or order it online (paperback and hardcover available at Amazon), and please read it to them. If you don’t have children, please read it anyway to remember why we celebrate this day. It’s short and wet your pants funny. And yes, it’s sweet and sentimental.

An excerpt from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever:

The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed their teachers and took the name of the Lord in vain and set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s old broken-down toolhouse.

The toolhouse burned right down to the ground, and I think that surprised the Herdmans. They set fire to things all the time, but that was the first time they managed to burn down a whole building.

I guess it was an accident. I don’t suppose they woke up that morning and said to one another, “Let’s go burn down Fred Shoemaker’s toolhouse” . . . but maybe they did. After all, it was a Saturday, and not much going on.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sharing Thanksgiving Thoughts

Despite my futile attempts to get out of the kitchen this Thanksgiving, yours truly will be cooking tomorrow. I know I shouldn’t complain, but my family allows for no creativity with this meal. It’s got to be turkey, of course, and stuffed celery, cornbread dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes, a throw back to the 1950s Jell-o congealed salad, pumpkin pie, rolls and some random vegetable.

At least I hope for an uneventful morning of cooking, unlike the time I stored freshly made cornbread in a plastic container in the oven overnight. When I turned on the electric oven the next morning, I soon noticed a strange smell and billowing smoke pouring from the oven. I opened the door to a blob of melting plastic dripping down onto the oven racks and bottom. I let the mess cool off and took the racks outside to clean and set about to make more cornbread for the dressing. That was my worse holiday cooking disaster. Martha Stewart is asking for your worst Thanksgiving disasters, but mine can’t top the woman who set her house on fire frying a turkey. Her family and 20 guests had dinner with the firemen at the firehouse.

Do you have a Thanksgiving story you’d like to share?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Alabama is In

And you thought all Alabama could do was turn out American Idol contestants and winners for that matter. But back the first part of October I posted about the Stephen Colbert Museum opening in Colbert County, Alabama and how the county had recently renamed itself after you know who. Well, “The Stephen Colbert Show” plans to air the segments next week on Comedy Central. Imagine, a county actually changing its name. Of course, this is a huge honor, and I’m sure Stephen will be duly humble.

You know I’m kidding, don’t you? Colbert (the ‘bert’ is pronounced as in Bert & Ernie and not as ‘bear’ like Stephen pronounces his name) County had been known best as the home of Helen Keller before all of this hoopla by one of the cleverest men in America. Anyway, I’ll be checking it out. Smart folks those Colbert Countians.

College on my Mind

These days college is on my son’s mind. Mine too. Big questions abound. Where—public or private? How—loans, work or maybe the lottery? If you have a kid in college or have had recently you know how expensive it is. And from the Chronicle of Higher Education this morning:
The nation’s public flagship universities are becoming less accessible to students who are from low-income families or who are members of underrepresented minority groups, according to a report released on Monday by the Education Trust.

Surprisingly, the authors of the report noted that these schools “increased institutional grant aid per student more for those from families in upper-income brackets than for those in lower-income brackets.”

I’ll be taking a little jaunt over to Berry College in Georgia next week with senior son if I can wake him up, and of course, I’ll probably write about the experience. Older son went on his college visits alone, and I’m flattered to be allowed in on the process. Top question: how the devil are we going to pay for this?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Parenting Advice From Stan the Handyman

I just got the best parenting advice I’ve had in a long time, and it was from an unlikely source. Stan has been doing some repair work around our house out of the goodness of his heart since we had trouble finding a reliable person. Anyway, Stan and I were talking about our children before he got started the other day. He told me about his son going away to college and not studying. He said he finally went up to the school and collected the son and told him, “I’m not paying for you to do this.” The son came home and got a manual labor job. When the son’s car ran low on oil and the son didn’t add more, the engine was damaged and had to be replaced. Stan told the son he couldn’t borrow his car, but that if the son bought the parts to do the repairs, Stan would do the labor. Stan said, “I just took my time. I wasn’t in no hurry.”

I told Stan that I was frustrated over an issue with my high school senior not getting himself awake in the mornings and that I had been yelling at him after his alarm clock went off. That’s why I was so fascinated by the Sonic Boom Alarm Clock and bed shaker when I came across it last week. I swear no one is paying me for this, but I think this is the answer. Regular readers will know I am worried about Rip Van Winkle (RVW) son when he goes to college next year.

I blew up again this morning and said some words that ladies shouldn’t say. I told RVW, “I have had it. You are on your own. If you are late, so be it.” When he came downstairs, we had a little conversation. “I’m sorry, Mom,” he said, “you are right.” We talked about how he would truly be on his own and that by me waking him up every morning, he was not learning to be self-sufficient. Then he asked, “How about getting me one those alarm clocks you were telling me about last week for Christmas?”

Well, faint and fall out. We both learned something. Santa, there’s a revision in the Wish List: one Sonic Boom Alarm Clock and Bed Vibrator for RVW. He’s been good.

p.s. In case you are wondering, Stan's son returned to college and will complete his degree in the spring.

This Ain’t No Runway

Bear Bryant, looking down from heaven, might have wanted to reuse one of his old quotes after Saturday’s game.
“What the hell’s the matter with you people down there? Don’t y’all take your football seriously?” -- Upon calling Auburn at 6 a.m. only to find out that none of the coaches were in their offices yet.

Well, coach, those days are history for the Cow College bunch. They are on their game. Our team isn’t.

Saturday’s lost to Auburn was expected. Alabama’s cute coach Mike Shula didn’t get the miracle all of us Tide fans were hoping to see. His job is in jeopardy justifiably so. I’m surprised the moving van hasn’t pulled up to his home yet. For you non-fans, Alabama once had a tradition of winning. Now, we have a tradition of almost. I have been fond of calling Shula, the nation’s cutest coach. But, I like how a call-in listener to a morning talk show put it when he said, “The girls think Shula is good lookin’ but this ain’t no runway.”

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Bit of History Behind That Famous Illustration

One of my favorite illustrators is Norman Rockwell. While some have criticized his work as stereotypical or overly sentimental, I think Rockwell, who by most accounts considered himself more a commercial illustrator, earned his popularity.

“I paint life as I would like it to be," Rockwell once said. Nostalgia aside, Rockwell is well remembered for his “Four Freedoms” series, which was inspired by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s speech to Congress in January of 1941, an excerpt of which follows:

For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:
Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.
Jobs for those who can work.
Security for those who need it.
The ending of special privilege for the few.
The preservation of civil liberties for all.
The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

These are the simple, basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding strength of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations.

And the part of the speech credited with inspiring the “Four Freedoms” series:

In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world. That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called "new order" of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

Rockwell’s four paintings appeared on the covers of the Saturday Evening Post during four weeks from February 20 to March 6, 1943, and later were taken on a traveling tour of the country. They are credited with raising nearly $132 million for war-bonds.

And today, these images are just as powerful in my mind. The American Dream, which unfortunately some Americans can no longer invision, was reflected throughout his work. Most of our fellow countrymen and women will celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday. Whether we are rich or poor, most of us can find something to give thanks for. We can wrap ourselves in the arms of Rockwell’s warm family and still hope.

Photo from the National Archives and Records Administration

Saturday, November 18, 2006

For the Alabama Kitchen Sink

Came across this indispensable item for the kitchen sink.

Roll Tide!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Can You Hear the Warnings?

Most of you probably know Montgomery was hit by a F-2 tornado this week. One of my readers, The Rev. Jay Croft, presented an interesting point in his comment to a post where I had mentioned the warning sirens. Rev. Jay, retired from the Episcopal Church and who is deaf, wrote
“Warning sirens? What good do they do for the 10% of the population that is deaf or hard-of-hearing? I was incensed a year or two ago when the Mayor announced, with great pride, the siren system. No concern was given for this population.”

I recalled that when we lived in Illinois, the county had initiated, I believe, a kind of reverse 911 whereby hearing-impaired individuals and others with special needs would be notified in emergencies via TTY. I pulled up a link to Gallaudet University and found a round up of various ways deaf persons might be notified ranging from pagers to a radio with a flashing strobe light and an auditory signal as well. There’s even a pillow vibrator/bed shaker, which I swear I’m going to get for my sound sleeper son when he goes away to college next year. Being the “helicopter parent” that I am, I’ve been worried about how is he going to wake up and make it up for class without me to yell at him. The Sonic Boom alarmclock and bed shaker should do the trick.

But Jay’s point is well-taken. We don’t have a very consistent way to notify this population, and more important, we hearing folks tend to have blinders on until advocates like Jay bring up another view.

Alabama vs. Auburn

Don’t call the house tomorrow afternoon until the game is over. Mr. Sheila and I will be glued to the television set hoping that a miracle will happen and that our Alma Mater’s football team coached by the nation’s cutest coach might pull it out. Coach Mike Shula and his run-it-up-the-middle strategy has exhausted my loyalty, but just say Bear Bryant has talked to Jesus and arranged that miracle, then and only then will I give the cutie-pie coach another chance. Auburn has won the last four games, and thus there’s a saying down here in the Heart of Dixie, “Fear the Thumb.” Sheila’s prediction: Auburn 34. Alabama 17.

Mystery Shopper Part II

Yesterday, I completed part II of my secret shopping assignment. The booty: black pants, red confetti-yarn sweater and a free gift valued at $79. What I spent of my own money: $2.30 plus gas to get to the shop. I did have a birthday gift certificate that I combined with the gift card from the secret shopper program, and the cashier voided my first tab and gave me a $25 discount when I mentioned I had forgotten to bring in the coupon the store usually has available in magazines. Great service. I’d mention the name, but I’m hoping they might ask me again. E-mail me if you are curious as to who is the retailer.

Some Blogging Friends

Some blogs have so many links you feel like you are navigating a labyrinth. However, I finally have gotten around to adding some of my favorites blogs. If you have a few idle moments, check them out.

Tim at A Tennessee Redneck in King Harald’s Court writes from an island in Norway. You might find him blogging about being mistaken for an NFL football player by some Norwegian teenagers on a bus or adapting as an ex-pat.

Points of Light has some of the most stunning photography you’ll find anywhere. James in northern Illinois makes the ordinary, extraordinary. The beauty of nature does not escape his eye. It’s my visual meditation.

Marion from British Columbia blogs at Herbal Connection. I read her beautiful writing when I need to calm my fears and worries and be returned to a more peaceful frame of mind.

California-based Mustang n Cowboys gives me the connection with animals that I so love. Janey writes about horses and her two sons. I imagine this is a close as I’ll ever get to having a horse. She’s currently blogging about the new litter of puppies one of the ranch dogs just had and her attempt to save the littlest one.

Rosemary, a.k.a Dirty Butter, has compiled a Blog Village of over 200 blogs she has reviewed. She lives in Alabama too and has three blogs that I know of.

Naomi posts regularly at Diary from England about pop culture, trends and news of note. I like her brief and breezy style.

Vino e Vittles is, of course, Jeff and Natalie’s blog on food and wine that is so good you feel like you just had one of their gourmet meals only without the calories. Check out the recipe for limoncello in the archives.

And finally I want to mention RidorLive although I don’t visit it everyday. Ricky D. Taylor is a celebrity in the blogging community. He’s been interviewed for NPR, written about in major newspapers and new media and is a model for the power of the blog. Last May when Gallaudet University, the preeminent liberal arts university for deaf students, set about to select a person to replace the retiring president, Ricky and fellow deaf bloggers fought the board’s choice. Their efforts fueled days of student protests culminating in last month’s board rejection of Jane K. Fernandes. RidorLive shows that passion and persistence can beat high-powered public relations consultants and Washington Post editorials. Ricky calls himself, “arguably the most controversial deaf blogger in America.” Hey Ricky, I don’t think there’s any need to argue.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Campaigning Stinks

I came across this photo earlier today and could not resist. Perhaps I should realize that politics can get dirty and that politicans really do have a hard and smelly job at times.