Ponzi

Regulators and justice officials seem to be ready to jump all over Bernie Madoff for his little scheme. But it seems a bit hypocritical when the U.S. Government perpetrates the largest Ponzi scheme of theme all; Social Security! Collect money today to pay out to those who contributed previously? Sounds all too familiar.
  • Current Music
    Steel Rain - Chris Cornell

Headline: Ice storm leaves hundreds of thousands without power

What sucked about this storm:

1. Having to drive around for an hour this morning in search of somewhere to purchase a hot caffeinated beverage. Then waiting in line for 45 minutes at a Dunkin Donuts running on generator power. Also waiting in queue for 20 minutes at the only gas station along my route that had power.

2. Hearing a terrible crash at 10pm and knowing that a big tree has fallen somewhere near the barn/paddock.

3. Having a horse so petrified it refuses to leave the safety of the barn...not even for food!

4. Not having power from the wee hours until 3pm.

5. Not accomplishing what I had hoped on my "day off"

I should consider myself lucky. Some areas I drove through today were so devestated, I cannot believe they will have power for several days.

Getting Religion

OMG Did McCain just realize what his smear campaign was inciting?

You don't have to fear an Obama presidency.



If you can believe it, Obama is not an Arab!

  • Current Mood
    shocked shocked

So Tired

of the Republican hipocracy and teh right-wing media

Check out this clip from Fix [sic] Network's pundit Shaun Hannity getting his hipocracy thrown back in his face by a brilliant Obama campaign manager. This whole William Ayers thing is totally ridiculous. It just shows how McSame has run out of things to say about picking up our country and would rather use his talking heads to tear down Obama.



As an aside, I never knew that the Dems had pundits like the GOP. I am in love with Kieth Olbermann and Rachel Maddow!
  • Current Mood
    amused amused

How Much is That Kitty in the Window?

**FREE** (to a good home with excellent references)

Anyone out there in LJ world interested in adopting our loveable little Raziel, the double-polydactyl kitty?

Stats:
Sex - Female, spayed
Coat - Tabby
Age - 7-8 y.o.
Weight - 6 pounds (she is small, but well-proportioned)
Demeanor - Loving, likes to perch on and be around people, not really into being held and not terribly playful. She is probably not the right cat for a house with young children, non-cat friendly dogs or other animals that would terrorize her.
Health Issues - None current. When we adopted her 4 years ago she had Bartonella (cat scratch fever - cured) and had lost the fur on the lower half of her body. Other than her belly, it has all grown back. She does still barber herself when stressed. vaccinations current.

She comes all the "fixings", including a kickass automatic litter-box (with 11 months of cartridges) and a home-made cat tree.

She needs some love and attention, just not for small (probably under 3) children who make a lot of noise.

Let me know if you have questions!

Milestones

Little C has hit a couple of amazing milestones lately at 20 months old.

Last night on the way home from daycare, we were going through basic vowel sounds with me saying the sound and her repeating them.

"ah eh ee oh" then from the back seat "p q r s t u v w x y z"

!!

I then asked her to start from the beginning of the alphabet and she went from a to z by herself with only a little trouble between i and n. I can't believe she can recite the alphabet at her age!

We also have renewed interest in the "potty". A few months ago she was using it pretty regularly and she was really curious about the whole process. Then she got really resistant to using the toilet, so we didn't push since she was so young. A couple of weeks ago, she starts making the "pushing face" and G took her to the bathroom where she did her thing. Then G rewarded her with some dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds. So we have established a reward system of 1 "chocolate bean" for "peepee" and 2 beans for "peeyew". She is using the toilet at least once if not twice an evening and starting to ask to use it.

She is also stringing words together to form rudimentary sentences, aside from phrases like "I like it", "I did it" or "Here you go". She is expressing her desires "chocolate...bean...want it please" or telling us about something she has experienced "Ella...hit...Chippie...no no!". She is also starting to grasp the idea of time. At daycare they have taught her the days of the week and she can tell you what activity it is time for, such as "bath time", "pizza time", "nap time", etc.

She is really a funny kid. We are enjoying just about every moment of parenthood, waiting to see what comes out of her mouth next.
  • Current Music
    Depeche Mode - Please Little Treasure

News

I am happy to report that I believe today will see the demise of the two remaining piles of snow in our driveway. The few crocuses (crocii?) we have in the yard are starting their decline, while the daffodils and tulips are getting ready to send up their shoots. The lillies are also coming in quickly this year, maybe because they were protected from the cold by an enormous snow bank.

Cameryn is doing great. I can't believe she is 18 months old. Growing quickly and amazing us with her cognative/verbal abilities. She can count to 10 when she is not being stubborn and is really into figuring out how things work mechanically. Her most recent obsession is with buckles, doors, locks. She can recount the events of the day in be telling you the names of the people involved and some key nouns. "Ella. Chippie. Playground. Slide. Sandbox. Lunch." She also pretends to read. She will pick up a book or piece of paper, look at it intently and start saying random words. Picking up on her parents' hobbies, she enjoys feeding "cookies" to the ponies and sitting on my bikes.

At a Loss for Words

Should I be frightened that at just shy of 14 months old, my daughter can speak more than 50 words (to varying degrees of annunciation), plus a dozen names and a bunch of sounds...in context?

No. Really.
  • Current Mood
    scared scared

EDT

I think my body has finally recovered mostly from jetlag.

Now if I could just stop turning on my windshield wipers when I make a turn....

Tsumaranai

How boring am I? I am sitting in my hotel room in Yokohama killing time until I can walk across the street to the station to catch a train to Narita Airport and make my way home after two weeks in Japan.

It IS time to go home though. I miss my wife and my little girl. Hearing her on the phone and looking at grainy video is not enough. And while I am not looking forward to the long flight home, what will be waiting for me at Manchester Airport makes it worthwhile. I am a little tired of dealing with Japanese culture and it will be great to be back in the US.

A real quick summary of my travels. I spent a week in Aomori prefecture (northern japan) for work. Nothing exciting there. But then I took a week of vacation to travel around the Kansai area. Flew from Aomori to Nagoya and took the Shinkansen to Kyoto. Wore out the soles of my shoes walking through the city seeing the temples and other sites. Then to Nara for a couple of days, again seeing the temples. Though I did rent a 3-speed bike one day to see the temples that were well outside the city center. Perhaps I will have time to transcribe my travel log to describe that adventure. Then Shinkansen to Yokohama which I used as a base to visit Kamakura and see (yes you guesses it!) more temples. Also did a little shopping since Takashimaya (the most awesome-est department store in the world, well maybe a close second to Harrod's) is right across the street from my hotel.

So I am all packed and ready to go home. A little duffle bag of presents and 1 GB of photos are the only additional things I am bringing back with. My two disappointments are:

1. I am disappointed that my language skills were not more useful. Yes, I did conduct many transactions wholey or partially in Japanese, but the super polite forms of language they use in stores, restaurants, etc are something that I have not learned yet. I think my reading skills have improved since I have been here, however some much is in kanji that it would take years of study to be confident that you could read a menu or the newspaper.

2. I wanted to buy Cameryn a randoseru (Japanese elementary school student backpack). Unfortunately they are highly seasonal, quite expensive (~$300) and can only be purchased in the period just before the start of the new academic year which begins in April.

I am not sure if I will be back to Japan for work and I am having some second thoughts about continuing my Japanese language studies. But plenty of time to figure that out.
  • Current Mood
    bored bored