Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 In Review

Year in ReviewIt has been a very exciting year. Friendships renewed, trips taken, new friendship formed and a whole lot of changes in life. 2009 has been a wild ride. Thanks to all my friends "old" and new. Here's to another great run in 2010.

New Year's Eve

The rain in coming down here, but we've seen evidence of some ice and snow in other places not too, too far away. Looks like everything is turning to strictly rain here.

We're only working a half day at the office, so I'm taking a little road trip to NC for a New Year's Eve party.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:
Save the earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.

Dr. Seuss books for the older kids



Just in case you weren't feeling too old today .......

The people who are starting college this fall were born in 1992.

They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.

Their lifetime has always included AIDS.

The CD was introduced two years before they were born.

They have always had an answering machine.

They have always had cable.

Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.

Popcorn has always been microwaved .

They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.

They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.

They never heard: 'Where's the Beef?', 'I'd walk a mile for a Camel ' or 'de plane Boss, de plane'.

McDonald's never came in Styrofoam containers.

They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.

Pass this on to the other old fogies on your list.

Notice the larger type?

That's for those of us who have trouble reading.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Chilly Day

Throw another log on the fire! It's getting down below 20-degrees this evening. I've been cold virtually all day. I almost can't wait to snuggle under the electric blanket tonight!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Heading Towards the New Year

The final countdown to the New Year is in full swing, only four more days to go until 2010. Everyone is getting their New Year's Eve plans into place.

We're back in the office this week for a second abbreviated week. We're closing early on Thursday for New Year's Eve and then be off on New Year's Day. It's a great time to clean up some of the smaller outstanding projects and prepare for the New Year.

I've been setting up a printer, updating some software, installing drivers and other miscellaneous computer tasks that just, take time, and are always better done on a slow day.

We've had a really great cheese ball here in the office. Our hygienist put it together on Christmas Eve and it has time to mellow over the weekend. It definitely got better with a little age, although it was great on the first day. I may make this for New Year's Eve.

Festive Holiday Cheese Ball

2 8oz packages Cream Cheese
1 packet Hidden Valley Fiesta Dip
1 can chopped Black Olives
1 can chopped Green Chilies
1 jar chopped Pimentos
Chives
1 can of Underwood Deviled Ham

Blend ingredients together well. Form into a ball. Roll ball in chives. Serve with Ritz Crackers.

Makes 2 medium sized cheese balls.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:
"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." -- James Madison

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Shopping Excursion

Mom & I headed out to do some post-Christmas shopping this morning. I really wasn't looking to buy anything. Just heading out to be with Mom. Well, that changed once we got out. I found a number of sweaters, a couple of shirts, and a new pair of sneakers! Who'd have thought it, as much as I hate shopping. I surely did a great job of it today.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

I was all snuggled in the bed this morning under the electric blanket (Thank you Walter) snoozing away when the phone rang at 5:30 a.m.! It was Sean calling to wish me a Merry Christmas. Now that was a phone call that I wasn't expecting until much later in the day. He must have had his dad up awfully early this morning, because he sounded all bright and chipper at that hour.

Things have otherwise been quiet around here. Walter didn't get up until nearly noon, and will be leaving here shortly to visit with Kelly & her family. I'm sure that they will have a great time.

Walt has built me a fire. I'll be enjoying that this afternoon while it's all damp and rainy outside. I'm glad that the temperature isn't below freezing. That would be all we need - freezing rain - on top of the snow that is leftover from last weekend. Doesn't look like the temperatures are going to drop below freezing until Saturday night so we just may be able to dodge the possibility of ice. Carla has been enjoying the fire too. She has been sleeping on the sofa.

Maybe, some day, we'll have a Christmas miracle and Danielle will decide that she would like to have us as part of her family once again. It would have been nice to finally meet the grandson, and see the granddaughter again. Here she is almost 4 years old and I haven't seen her since she was very little, with the exception of an hour at a Mother-Daughter banquet when she was 1. It's been a long time. Someday just maybe.


As the rain began to taper off the fog began to take over. If this had been Christmas Eve I would have been certain that Santa would have used Rudolph to lead his sleigh. Pretty thick stuff out there.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas To All

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

We've have been busy elves this morning getting ready for our family Christmas Eve get together. There was a house full here this evening, 15 in all.

Around 6:30 this evening, the cell phones began ringing off the hook, the kids got phone calls from Santa just as we were getting ready to exchange gifts. I don't know which one was more surprised Terry or Walter. :) It was funny, once Santa called, all the kids wanted to hurry things along so that they could get home and get into bed so that Santa would make his stop. Very fun.

Miss Kelly served as our guest elf this evening. She did a fantastic job overseeing package distribution. The kids all really had a good time with her.

Terry enjoyed helping her open her gifts. He even followed her instructions, quite well. I think she reminded him on one of his teachers. Which is kind of neat since she is an education major.


Sean stopped by before 9 and visited for a short while before heading back home. He seemed quite pleased with the body pillow that he got for his bed. It will be a nice cushion for him to sleep against. He even got his own surprise phone call from Santa just a few minutes after 9. So much fun.

Walter & Kelly headed out around 10 for midnight services. They both looked terrific when they left.

Christmas Eve Photos

Thanks Mom for sharing the photos - I only was able to take 41 shots myself. Bad angle and too many other photographers in the room.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Office Christmas Luncheon

The office closed up early this afternoon for a Christmas luncheon. We all had a great time at Firebirds. It was very nice to have the time to talk with everyone and the food was great. We did have an extra special guest join us for the event, Dr. Martin's 8-month old granddaughter. She was the hit of the party.

Now for four days of fun and festivities. Merry Christmas everyone and may you all have a fantastic holiday season.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Venturing Out

After a whole weekend of being snug in the house, I ventured out onto the highway to the office. I was lucky that Walter had gotten out with a couple of the neighborhood guys and shoveled out the driveway on Sunday afternoon. There were some places on our road that were still icy, but passable. When I got to the office there was a big surprise! The parking lot was almost a whole sheet of ice. With a little help I was able to pick my way across the parking lot without falling flat on my backside.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.

As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.

"I love it," he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

"Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait."

"That doesn't have anything to do with it," he replied.

Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.

Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged...it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it.

It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in my life.

Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in.

So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!

Thank you for your part in filling my Memory Bank. I am still depositing.

'Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Elf'n Fun

Got this last night, one of our friends put this together over at the Office Max Elf Yourself site. What at hoot!

The Sun Has Returned.

The sun has returned from it's long absence. I've forecast for highs in the low 30's for today. Things may or may not begin to melt off. I'm sure it will be helpful where they have scrapped the roads. It's the overnight that won't be pretty. Icy conditions everywhere that the snow has melted, and us without any more salt. I for one have absolutely no desire to slip and fall again, twice in one month is plenty for me.

Everyone stay safe if you're venturing out on the roadways. The secondary roads are still treacherous even with a 4-wheel drive.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day: "Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." -- James Madison

Jesus Knows You're Here

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said,

'Jesus knows you're here.'

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze.

When he heard nothing more , after a bit, he shook his head and continued.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard

'Jesus is watching you.'

Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.

'Did you say that?' he hissed at the parrot.

'Yep', the parrot confessed, then squawked, 'I'm just trying to warn you that he is watching you.'

The burglar relaxed. 'Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?'

'Moses,' replied the bird.

'Moses?' the burglar laughed. 'What kind of people would name a bird Moses?'

'The kind of people that would name a Rottweiler Jesus.'

True Story of Rudolph

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.

His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad's eyes and asked, "Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?" Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob's life. Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he'd rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined a make one - a storybook! Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal's story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn't end there.

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946, Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn't end there either.

Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation of Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of "White Christmas."

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Catching Up

I have finally gotten back on the computer after the hard drive meltdown. There are still so many Windows updates to get installed. At one point there were 82 that needed installing. Hard to believe that there had been that many since I bought the computer in September. That's over 25 released a month since then!

Since the last big post we went to see the Richmond Pops Band's Christmas Concert, they had as special guests the Richmond Choral Society and Stephen Cramer & Leigh Ann Hinton soloist - U.S. Army Band, Washington, DC. The performance was fantastic.

The big snow storm hit here last night around 5 p.m. It looks like we got about 10 -12 inches of snow here at the house. This morning I heard a truck having trouble out front and peeped out to find not the snowplow that I thought it was, but a flatbed wrecker struggling to come up the hill toward the house. You'd have thought it would have made it up without difficulty, yet it was struggling.

The plows did come by this afternoon, but it ended up making almost a bigger mess than what we had already. They, of course, blocked the driveway with what they scrapped off the road. Since the snow is already so wet and heavy, it is going to be an absolute mess to shovel out tomorrow. I'll need to find me a much better winter coat and some gloves in order to get out and help Walter. Yuck!

He did manage to make it out to Hull Street this afternoon, but then again he has the advantage of 4-wheel drive. Otherwise he'd have been stuck in here as well. He told me that there were a number of cars stuck on the side of our road (1 mile - from the house to Hull Street). One was even going in the wrong direction.

There has been some more snow flying this afternoon, maybe we'll get a dusting more. Everyone will need to be extremely careful out driving this evening. The snowy slush will be freezing over tonight and be very slick.

December Snow Photos

The Richmond Pops Christmas Concert





Glad that I got that shot of the wreath this morning, by the time the late afternoon had rolled around, it had gotten so weighted down with snow and ice that it actually fell off the window. I guess I'll be letting the snow and ice melt off of it before I try rehanging it.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:


Hear, Hear!!!

When the people fear their government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. - Thomas Jefferson

Amendment 28: Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators or Representatives, and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.

Let's get this passed around, folks - these people have brought this upon themselves!!!

Math For Dummies

This is too true to be funny.

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of it's releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, At the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain... let's take a look at New Orleans .. It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D) is presently asking Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS to rebuild New Orleans . Interesting number...

What does it mean?

A. Well ... If you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans every man, woman, and child) You each get $516,528.

B. Or... If you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, your home gets $1,329,787.

C. Or... If you are a family of four... Your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington, D. C

HELLO! Are all your calculators broken??

Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax (Fed)
Federal Unemployment Tax (FU TA)

Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax

Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax

Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax

Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax

State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax

Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax

Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
(And to think, we left British Rule to avoid so many taxes)

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago... And our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt... We had the largest middle class in the world... And Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened?
Can you spell 'politicians!'

And I still have to Press '1' For English.

What the heck happened?????

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter Wonderland??

If, even one of the weather forecasters is correct, we are in for some real winter weather this weekend. Depending upon who you are listening to, we are in for somewhere between 3 to 12 inches of snow. Hmm. I haven't heard anything since I've been at the office this morning, but I'm putting money on the total accumulation total actually being greatly different from what they are predicting. We could just end up with rain, or a freezing mix, or even actually having snow. This area is just so unpredictable. The one thing that is true in all of this is that the storm is coming from the South and when that happens we 'usually' get hammered.

I'm sure about now the local grocery stores are just about out of milk and bread, and they probably have partially bare shelves throughout the rest of the store. I remember back in the day, when I worked for Winn Dixie, people coming in and buying up stuff like they would never be able to get back out to the store for a week or more. (Even if they had just come into the store the day before for their normal grocery shopping!)

We all know from experience living in the Richmond area, that even a few flakes of snow can immobilize the entire area for days. I'm betting that there is more than one kid wishing that this would have hit last night so they could have gotten an extra day of Christmas vacation from school.

There's probably been a run on snow shovels, salt, antifreeze, ice melt, boots, gloves and sleds as well! If you wanted something like this yesterday would have been the day to pick it up. Happy shopping to anyone still in need of winter preparation.

Drive safe. Don't try to dodge the snowflakes, they will melt when they hit the windshield. Once you're home, enjoy it! Build a fire, have some hot chocolate and RELAX!

Here's to a great weekend!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

BAIL'EM OUT!!! ???

"Hell, back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed. Now, we are trusting the economy of our country, our banking system, our auto industry and possibly our health plans to the same nit-wits who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling whiskey?!"

"What are we thinking!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Remember Pearl Harbor

"December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. ... Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory. ... With confidence in our armed forces -- with the unbounded determination of our people -- we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat far removed from today's crop of defeatists

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Roaming around at night

Around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, I did a run to the Krispy Kreme Doughnut shop on Broad Street. There was was the possibility of getting hot donuts, but not this trip. Although we did get some hot snowmen.

Coming home I got this great night shot of Monument Heights Baptist Church.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Full Moon Behind the Clouds

Software & a Full Moon

Before I could even get out of the house this morning, I was having software "issues". The laptop had a big software update that needed completing before I could leave. It finally shutdown and I was able to leave, once at the office on start up the ever delightful, completing updates flashed on the screen. It just a took a longer to get the day started.

Later on in the morning, our hygienist caught up with me to let me know about another software problem that was going on. To fix this one we had to do a data backup and have everyone out of the software. By the time that we were ready to proceed, I'd been on hold for 20 minutes, patients had arrived at the office for their afternoon appointments. Looks like I'll be getting this one straight first thing in the morning.

While talking to our tech support in California, I found out that Thursdays are typically the big day for software updates and issues. They told me that Microsoft usually issues big software updates on Wednesday night. That answers the issue I had this morning at home and why all the office computers were off when I arrived at the office. Funny thing was that the laptop had started acting a little "funny" just before the update came out. It was like it "knew" it was coming. Then again it could have all been the fault of the full moon - we all know how strange people get during one so maybe it has been built into the computers to act strangely as well.

This morning on the way to the office, Mom caught me and asked if I would try to get a photo of the full moon before it set this morning. It was funny sitting in a parking lot near Midlothian Turnpike with the camera hanging out the window trying to get the shot. Not too bad though for the conditions.

I've been busy today working on the new magazine edition. Trying to get some inspiration for new page layouts. I've come up with several new ideas and hope that everyone likes them when they are presented. I'm still not quite happy with the color scheme, but that will work itself out over the next couple of weeks. I'm shooting to have this all wrapped up before the 21st. That way I can focus on other things over Christmas.

Around lunch time today, I heard a forecast for SNOW for the weekend. I sent Walter to the hardware store for a couple of snow shovels. We got caught without one last year and perhaps, just having one will help to ward it off at least for a while.

Jami's daughter brought in her new daughter to the office this afternoon. She is a doll baby. Tiny little thing too! She's just three weeks old and right around 7 lbs. It was fun holding on to her for a bit. I'd forgotten how fun the little ones are. It's been a long time since I've had one around. It surely wouldn't take long to get back into practice though. I guess it's like riding a bike, you really never forget.

They are dropping like flies at the office. One of the receptionist, came back from lunch with a new job, and will be leaving after the first of the year. It's amazing how you get so dependent upon certain people always being there. I'll miss having her around.

I'll be heading out early this afternoon to get a haircut. I'll be nice to get that done and be home about the same time as I regularly do.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day: "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." -- George Washington

Congress at work

Congress at work, wanna bet they did not have to buy the computers with their own money as well.

Nothing else need to be said. This is one of their THREE DAY WORK WEEKS that we all pay for. I am ready to start from the beginning by voting out all elected officials and not letting any of them stay in office for more than two terms. No more lifelong health care, retirement, voting in their own pay raises, taking perks on our taxes, etc.


House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, pictured standing, far right, speaks while colleagues Rep. Barbara Lambert, D-Milford and Rep. Jack F. Hennessy, D-Bridgeport, play solitaire Monday night as the House convened to vote on a new budget. (AP)

The guy sitting in the row in front of these two... he's on Facebook, and the guy behind Hennessy is checking out the baseball scores.

These are the folks that can't get the budget out by Oct. 1, But they got a salary increase this year. Seriously!!!

USPS Stamp Malfunction

The Unites States postal Services created a stamp with a picture of President Obama on it. Subsequently, it was noticed that the stamp was not sticking to envelopes. This enraged the President, who demanded a full investigation. After a month of testing and $1.73 million in congressional spending, a special Presidential commission presented the following findings:

The stamp is in perfect order.
There is nothing wrong with the glue.
People are spitting on the wrong side.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hump Day!!

It just dawned on me that it was Wednesday. Wow, the week is speeding right along. I've been busy working on finding just the right cover shot for the next issue of the practice magazine. It took nearly all day, but I'm pretty sure that I've found it.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dumb Things Do Happen

Boy did I feel like a idiot, last night I stopped by the Barnes & Noble at the Chesterfield Towne Center to pick up a book for Walter. Of course, it was beginning to drizzle at the time and I thought for sure that I'd be able to make it in and out before it really began to rain. Wrong! As I was heading out the store back to the car the rain had kicked up and was pelleting down sideways. Lovely. So off I headed or at least so I thought. I started across the sidewalk and toward the parking lot and the next thing I knew I was picking myself up off the pavement. I know that was attractive looking. I still don't know what happened. My best guess is that I slipped on the curb as I was stepping off onto the pavement.

I'm stiff, sore, and slightly banged up but give it a couple of days and I'll be back at it. Thank goodness for Advil and soaking in a hot tub. Together they sure do ease the ache. I've been fine as long as I don't make any sudden moves into odd positions. Just glad the job doesn't entail doing deep knee bends right now. Give me a few days to get over the aches and pains and I'll be laughing about this. It surely must have been a sight to see.

Speaking of work, we had another implant seminar at the office this evening. Dr. Martin had a very educational presentation for all there. It was a nicely sized crowd of very interested attendees. Our next one will be at the end of January.

Walt was a big help this evening, heading out to pick up Sean from his driver's ed class for me. Some days is seems it does take adults to get something done. With Dean in class and me working the job of chauffeur fell to Walter. I appreciate his pitching in so much.

I got a picture this afternoon from Kelly of the gingerbread house, in progress. It's beginning to look very nice. It seems that the delay in construction is the icing. It isn't drying as quickly as they would like, thus delaying the decorating process. Perhaps they will have opportunity to get it finshed before the weekend.

Now if I could only get to sleep this evening, that would be a spectacular end to the day.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lights!

After a visit to the roof, Walter finally got all of the icicle lights in just the right position to suit him. I do believe that all of his effort really did pay off. The house really looks great!

It is really cool the way the reindeer's reflection shows up in the storm door. One evening I'm going to break out the tripod and see if I can get a much better photo.

I was able to get out early enough this evening to get a fairly good photo of the moon. It was in just the right spot so that I didn't have to fight tree limbs to get a clear shot. Not bad. The full moon shot, if I can get it will be great.

Friday, November 27, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the house. After two elves descended upon the house today, the icicle lights have been hung from the roof, garlands have been wrapped on the porch rails, with animated deer in the front yard. All that just for a start.

Inside the tree is up with lights and garland and a few ornaments to boot. The gingerbread house is under construction and looking delicious. While the walls are setting up, Walter has been tweaking the garland on the tree. He's making sure that it is just "so".



The final touches will go on the outside of the house tomorrow, plugging up all the light strings together. Getting the reindeer plugged in and all set to go. Tomorrow will be the grand illumination of the house.

The trees finally up and finished. It looks great. Knowing Walt, he'll most likely keep tweaking it for a few more days before he is finally happy with it. But for now I'm quite pleased with it.

Climategate

Climategate: five Aussie MPs lead the way by resigning in disgust over carbon tax
By James Delingpole Politics Last updated: November 26th, 2009

Australia is leading the revolt against Al Gore’s great big AGW conspiracy – just as the Aussie geologist and AGW sceptic Professor Ian Plimer predicted it would. Read The Article


Climategate e-mails sweep America, may scuttle Barack Obama's Cap and Trade laws
By Gerald Warner Politics Last updated: November 26th, 2009

...At this rate, Copenhagen is going to turn into a comedy convention with the real world laughing at these liars. Now is the time to mount massive resistance to the petty tyrants and hit them where it hurts – in the wallet. Read The Article

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving

This morning I woke up to a very foggy day. The fog didn't lift until nearly 11 a.m. For a while there I thought we were going to need Rudolph to aid us in making the journey out to Mom & Dad's for Thanksgiving dinner.

I had a nice surprise when I peeped out the door around mid-day, a Blue Bird hung out long enough for me to get a few pictures. They are normally so difficult to catch out in the yard.

Dinner with the family was very nice. Mom out did herself as usual. Turkey, pheasant, and ham! Loads of choice and everyone of them delicious. The photographers in the family all gathered out on the deck after dinner to try to get photos of the moon.

This evening Walter & Kelly have put up the Christmas tree, so far it has the lights, garland and Angel on top. Tomorrow they'll finish it up. So far it looks great, I'm sure that they will have it looking fabulous by the time they get done.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Adventures in Shopping

Well, as a general rule, I don't do much shopping except for "drive-by" grocery pick ups. This evening required a run to the grocery store for rolls for Thanksgiving dinner, and since I was going to be out a run by K-Mart for some Christmas lights. None of this should have posed a problem, should of being the operative word.

Walt went with me and we made a stop by the K-Mart on Hull Street for some Christmas lights for the front porch. The store was relatively empty, I don't believe that there were 10 other shoppers in the store. We'd found everything that we had gone in for plus. You know there are usually an extra item or two that you pick up while in the store, just because. Well we found this really cute pair of Christmas slipper socks, but they weren't hooked together. Now you'd think that this would be a problem, but this turned out to be a BIG mistake, at least in checking out.

When I went to check out the clerk rang up each slipper separately!! I told her that they were a pair, and she said, I'm not lying, "I didn't know. They aren't hooked together."

I swear she said this with a straight face! I really believe that she thought that they were suppose to be individually priced.

But the story doesn't end there, apparently K-Mart offers a purchase protection plan on some items and this includes Christmas lights. So when she rang up one of the strings of lights she asked if I would like to add this protection plan to my order. I declined.

She then rang up the second string of lights and then asked me, "Would you like it on this set?"

I really, really, really wanted to laugh, but it was just so sad. I did my best not to laugh and simply declined the offer.

Walt was trying to help out by bagging our stuff, but even then she had trouble accepting help. He held open one of the bags for her to put a stack of items into, but she separated them and put them in one at a time. Of course this wasn't the end of the comedy of errors that went on, but telling too much more may cause me to fall over laughing before I can get this typed.

You would think that the stupidity for the evening would end there, but no...next up to bat was Food Lion. Checking out is just so much fun. After the adventure in bagging at K-Mart, Walter decided to bag our purchases at Food Lion. He told the clerk not that he didn't want the groceries in plastic bags and she said to him, "You don't want it bagged???"

Duh! He was pulling out a paper bag at the end of the counter to put the items into. If she had put the items into plastic we would have come out with 10 bag instead of 1.

Then on the way out we spotted this fantastic parking job in the row over from Walt's truck. The truck was parked almost entirely beyond the parking space. It is amazing what passes for parking these days.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day Two of Yuck

Grr..Day two of being down with this yuck. Not quite the flu, but enough to keep me home for two days. I hoping that morning will find me in a much better state. Yesterday I nearly froze to death, and

Oh, the sounds of footsteps on the roof and saws whirling in the yard, it's that time again. Construction comes to Fordham...back by demand, Kevin & crew come to fix up and finish off the remnants of the year's projects. Awesome crew that they are they are even ripping some sheets of plywood for us so that Walter will be able to floor the attic before the end of the month. We'll know next time that he heads off to Lowe's or Home Depot that any lumber that needs to make it into the attic must be less than 44 inches wide. Darn replacement stairs that made the opening just about a 1/2 inch too small for a sheet of plywood to fit nicely through the opening. At least Walt's got the neighbor to help him heave that stuff up the stairs after school this afternoon. Not me! Yeah. Kevin will be fixing the two windows in the living room which have somehow managed to spring a leak. He's going to re-seal the gasket and we'll be all set.

Walt's headed out this afternoon on errands with friends, taking our brush to the dump and helping them get a load of stuff off to Goodwill.

The pounding has begun once again, Walter is working on flooring the attic. I'm betting that he has it completed before bed this evening. Even though he's going to be a doll and run out and pick up Sean for me from his driver's ed class.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

One Good Gift for Christmas

What do you have to lose but .44 cents, what do you have to gain ----------- more than you will ever know.

What a clever idea! Yes, Christmas cards. This is coming early so that you can get ready to include an important address to your list.

Want to have some fun this CHRISTMAS? Send the ACLU a CHRISTMAS CARD this year.

As they are working so very hard to get rid of the CHRISTMAS part of this holiday, we should all send them a nice, CHRISTIAN card to brighten up their dark, sad, little world..

Make sure it says "Merry Christmas" on it.

Here's the address, just don't be rude or crude. (It's not the Christian way, you know.)

ACLU
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York , NY 10004

Two tons of Christmas cards would freeze their operations because they wouldn't know if any were regular mail containing contributions. So spend 44 cents and tell the ACLU to leave Christmas alone. Also tell them that there is no such thing as a " Holiday Tree". . . It's always been called a CHRISTMAS TREE!

And pass this on to your email lists. We really want to communicate with the ACLU! They really DESERVE us!!

For those of you who aren't aware of them, the ACLU, (the American Civil Liberties Union) is the one suing the U.S. Government to take God, Christmas or anything Christian away from us. They represent the atheists and others in this war. Help put Christ back in Christmas!


This venerable and much honored WW II vet is well known in Hawaii for his seventy-plus years of service to patriotic organizations and causes all over the country. A humble man without a political bone in his body, he has never spoken out before about a government official, until now. He dictated this letter to a friend, signed it and mailed it to the president. (It's a pity his staff will never allow
this letter to reach the President.)

Dear President Obama,

My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don't believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos'n Mate. Now I live in a "rest home" located on the western end of Pearl Harbor, allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.

One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.

So here goes.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

I can't figure out what country you are the president of. You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like:

"We're no longer a Christian nation"

"America is arrogant" - (Your wife even announced to the world," America is mean-spirited. " Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)

I'd say shame on the both of you, but I don't think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

After 9/11 you said, "America hasn't lived up to her ideals."

Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn't mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.

I don't think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.

Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don't, I'll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue.

You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don't want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts, who was putting up a fight? You don't mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don't want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you're the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you're not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you're thinking of.

You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president.

You're not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That's not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now.

And I sure as hell don't want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle.

Sincerely,

Harold B. Estes

When a 95-year-old hero of the "the Greatest Generation" stands up and speaks out like this, I think we owe it to him to send his words to as many Americans as
we can.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yard Work

We spent the morning beginning to get the yard into order for the Winter. Sean came over briefly to help with getting the sticks and limbs off the yard. Ashton, our next door neighbor, spent the majority of the afternoon with us raking and bagging leaves, then moving and stacking wood.

It has been a while since I've been out in that much mold. I've felt blah this evening, I hope that it doesn't effect my sleep this evening. Mold allergies are a terrible thing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Road Trip to Staunton

I started out the day with the intention of attending the Clover Hill football game this afternoon. But the best laid plans can be changed in a heartbeat, especially when a road trip is involved. Over lunch it was decided that we would make a run up to Sunspots Studios in Staunton. I had been informed that I really needed to go and pick out an ornament for the tree from there.

We headed out to make a run for gas before getting on the road and found that the car was suffering from a flat rear tire. Thank goodness for full sized spares. Walt changed it out in no time flat, no pun intended, and we were on the road.

Even though the trees were well past their peak color, the scenery was still pretty. We passed one tractor trailer headed West on I-64, with an interesting logo, a Cavalier with a carrot for a lance. Just way too funny.

Sunspots Studios was awesome. Our timing was perfect, we arrived in time to watch the glassblower create a couple of ornaments. It was interesting to see the difference between the craft Italy and here.

We had a great time browsing through the gallery, and of course, picking out all kinds of things to bring home. Ornaments for the trees, a couple of really nice magnets for the fridge, and then the jewelry. They carry Pandora jewelry, which is awesome. How is it that I end up finding some piece of jewelry just about every trip I go on? Even in places that you wouldn't think that it would be... Craziness.

We on Afton mountains to take a few photos of the sunset. I was able to get a few before the light gave out. I particularly like this one with the crescent moon visible in the sky.

The rest of the trip home was incredibly boring. I just hate the drive down 64, but when you're shooting for speed it is the fastest way. Just boring. We got off exit 124 to pick up some food, but somehow missed the restaurant. I followed the road on back to the interstate, where we got off at exit 120 for fast food. Easy no problem. But then I discovered that we had somehow managed to back track. I still don't know how I ended passing the first exit twice. Very confusing.

Tomorrow Sean's coming over to help get the leaves up. Let's hope the weather holds out.

More Trip Photos

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

T'was the Month Before Christmas

*T'was the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found..*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me..*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started..*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
*Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,
not Happy Holiday !*
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet
MERRY CHRISTMAS
Christ is 'The Reason' for the Christ-mas Season!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Finally Friday

Yippee!! Friday is finally here. Not that it's going to be such an awesomely exciting weekend, it just that the week has been soooooo long.

Walt & I finished up staining the mantle after I got home from work this evening. It's looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. It kinda makes up for the bruises incurred during the installation.

Now I'm going to have to paint a canvas for above the mantle - the one there although it is a 24 x 36 just isn't big enough for the space. What to paint and when will I have the time? Two huge questions.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day: "It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. ... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it." -- Patrick Henry

Hand Dryers

Everyone in the cleaning industry has always been told that hand dryers in restrooms are not sanitary, they spread germs and bacteria around. I always thought that this just came from the paper companies because they are loosing sales to the hand dryers. A couple of years ago, I was working with a rep, and I noticed that after he washed his hands and noticed that there were no paper towels, only a hand dryer he left the restroom with wet hands. I asked him about it. He said that hand dryers blow a lot of germs and bacteria around. He also told me to take a look under the hand dryer next time I was in a restroom. There is a filter underneath the hand dryer that is supposed to be cleaned on a weekly basis. I looked at one and it looked like it hadn't been cleaned in years. It had layers and layers of caked on gunk (disgusting).

Since then I will not use hand dryers in restrooms. Now this is where the story gets really interesting. The schools and universities that have had the H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak this year are being told by the health department that they have to take out all of their hand dryers and replace them with towel dispensers because the hand dryers are spreading disease. Please pass this along so everyone knows not to use hand dryers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Happenings

Another busy day, things are moving along pretty well, but I am beginning to feel achy. Not sure if I'm trying to come down with something or not. Hope not, but if so, at least there is only one more day left in the week. New bruises are showing up on the underside of my arm. They are just so attractive, they have such a lovely green color.

I do believe that it is time for some sort of mini-vacation. Not sure where I want to go, but going will be good. Maybe a weekend road trip somewhere, non-exciting, but fun. Suggestions?

Still haven't come up with a good place to go this weekend. I may just get in the car and drive and see where I end up. Mountains? Beach? Middle of Nowhere?

Getting ready to settle in for another teleseminar this evening, it'll be the last one for the week, perhaps even for the year.

The mantle has been partially stained, it still isn't dark enough. We're going to have to pick up a little darker color and put on a couple of more coats. But it sure looks good.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:
"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. ... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it." -- Patrick Henry

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is it only Wednesday?

It's only Wednesday and it already feels like it should be Friday. The week is dragging along, even though it has been busy. I think what it is, is that I've got teleseminars scheduled to work for three nights this week. So far, one down, one tonight and one to go tomorrow night. Not to mention the one that's during the day tomorrow. Busy, busy, busy.

The hand is beginning to turn a lovely shade of purple. In case you missed it, Walt and I were hanging the mantle in the living room when it slipped and slammed into my left wrist/thumb. For awhile there last night I thought that I might need to head out to Patient First to have it checked out, the trouble with that was that the teleseminar that I was working was about to begin. Seeing quadruple when you look at a computer screen is not cool. A few Advil later and the pain subsided to a manageable level. I've still been taking Advil on and off today, but only after using my hand for an extended period of time.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day:
"If you are afraid to speak against tyranny, then you are already a slave." -- author John "Birdman" Bryant (1943-2009)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Trials

It has been a real Monday! I've worked on video for the majority of the day. I've had a couple of files that just didn't want to cooperate. They've been a royal pain. 6.6 GB of video and none of it wants to move to where I want it with any speed. Darn stuff. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow.

I was alerted on Twitter earlier today about the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. It include a link to watch. In case you weren't able to catch it live you can watch it here.

Hallmark had a really cute item in the store, a Fun in the Fridge Snowman. This thing is a riot. You can "Watch the snowman come to life" by clicking on the snowman. Funny thing is that it scared Walt this morning when he went to get something to drink out of the refrigerator. Can't wait for an unsuspecting individual to open up the fridge. Can't wait for the nieces and nephews to come over. It will really tickle them.

Email & Newsletter Gleanings:

Thought For the Day: A Birth Certificate shows that we were born. A Death Certificate shows that we died. Pictures show that we lived!

Have a seat . . . Relax . . . And read this slowly.

I Believe....That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe...That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I Believe...That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe...That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I Believe... That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe...That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I Believe..That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe... That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe...That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I Believe...That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I Believe...That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe...That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I Believe...That my best friend and I can do anything, or nothing, and have the best time.

I Believe...That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe....That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe...That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe...That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others. Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe...That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe ... That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but, we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life Forever.

I Believe...Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I Believe...That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I Believe... That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe.. That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I Believe... That you should send this to all of the people that you believe in, I just did.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; They just make the most of everything. Thank you God for all the wonderful people who help us throughout the journey of life.

Cap and Trade: A License Required for your Home

We encourage you to read the provisions of the Cap and Trade Bill that has passed the House of Representatives and being considered by the Senate. We are ready to join the next march on Washington!

This Congress and whoever on their staffs that write this junk are truly out to destroy the middle class of the USA....

A License Required for your house

Thinking about selling your house - A look at H.R. 2454 (Cap and trade bill) This is unbelievable!

Only the beginning from this administration! Home owners take note & tell your friends and relatives who are home owners!

Beginning 1 year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this Act. H.R. 2454, the "Cap & Trade" bill passed by the House of Representatives, if also passed by the Senate, will be the largest tax increase any of us has ever experienced.

The Congressional Budget Office (supposedly non-partisan) estimates that in just a few years the average cost to every family of four will be $6,800 per year.

* No one is excluded.

However, once the lower classes feel the pinch in their wallets, you can be sure these voters get a tax refund (even if they pay no taxes at all) to offset this new cost. Thus, you Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class America will have to pay even more since additional tax dollars will be needed to bail out everyone else.

But wait. This awful bill (that no one in Congress has actually read) has many more surprises in it. Probably the worst one is this:

* A year from now you won't be able to sell your house. Yes, you read that right.

The caveat is (there always is a caveat) that if you have enough money to make required major upgrades to your home, then you can sell it. But, if not, then forget it. Even pre-fabricated homes ("mobile homes") are included.
  • In effect, this bill prevents you from selling your home without the permission of the EPA administrator.
  • To get this permission, you will have to have the energy efficiency of your home measured.
  • Then the government will tell you what your new energy efficiency requirement is and you will be forced to make modifications to your home under the retrofit provisions of this Act to comply with the new energy and water efficiency requirements.
  • Then you will have to get your home measured again and get a license (called a "label" in the Act) that must be posted on your property to show what your efficiency rating is; sort of like the Energy Star efficiency rating label on your refrigerator or air conditioner.
  • If you don't get a high enough rating, you can't sell. And, the EPA administrator is authorized to raise the standards every year, even above the automatic energy efficiency increases built into the Act.
The EPA administrator, appointed by the President, will run the Cap & Trade program (AKA the "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009") and is authorized to make any future changes to the regulations and standards he alone determines to be in the government's best interest. Requirements are set low initial y so the bill will pass Congress; then the Administrator can set much tougher new standards every year.
  • The Act itself contains annual required increases in energy efficiency for private and commercial residences and buildings.
  • However, the EPA administrator can set higher standards at any time.
Sect. 202:
Building Retrofit Program mandates a national retrofit program to increase the energy efficiency of all existing homes across America .

Beginning 1 year after enactment of the Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this Act.

You had better sell soon, because the standards will be raised each year and will be really hard (i.e., ex$pen$ive) to meet in a few years. Oh, goody! The Act allows the government to give you a grant of several thousand dollars to comply with the retrofit program requirements if you meet certain energy efficiency levels. But, wait, the State can set additional requirements on who qualifies to receive the grants.

You should expect requirements such as "can't have an income of more than $50K per year", "home selling price can't be more than $125K", or anything else to target the upper middle class (and that's YOU) and prevent them from qualifying for the grants.

Most of us won't get a dime and will have to pay the entire cost of the retrofit out of our own pockets. More transfer of wealth, more "change you can believe in."

Sect. 204:
Building Energy Performance Labeling Program establishes a labeling program that for each individual residence will identify the achieved energy efficiency performance for "at least 90 percent of the residential market within 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act."

This means that within 5 years 90% of all residential homes in the U.S. must be measured and labeled. The EPA administrator will get $50M each year to enforce the labeling program. The Secretary of the Department of Energy will get an additional $20M each year to help enforce the labeling program. Some of this money will, of course, be spent on coming up with tougher standards each year.

Oh, the label will be like a license for your car. You will be required to post the label in a conspicuous location in your home and will not be allowed to sell your home without having this label.

And, just like your car license, you will probably be required to get a new label every so often - maybe every year.

But, the government estimates the cost of measuring the energy efficiency of your home should only cost about $200 each time.

Remember what they said about the auto smog inspections when they first started: that in California it would only cost $15. That was when the program started. Now the cost is about $50 for the inspection and certificate; a 333% increase. Expect the same from the home labeling program.

Sect. 304:
Greater Energy Efficiency in Building Codes establishes new energy efficiency guidelines for the National Building Code and mandates at 304(d), Application of National Code to State and Local Jurisdictions, that 1 year after enactment of this Act, all state and local jurisdictions must adopt the National Building Code energy efficiency provisions or must obtain a certification from the federal government that their state and/or local codes have been brought into full compliance with the National Building Code energy efficiency standards.

Obamacare Endorsements: What the Bribe Was

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN

Published on TheHill.com on November 6, 2009

As the suicidal Democratic congressmen proceed to rubber-stamp the Obama healthcare reform despite the drubbing their party took in the '09 elections, the president trotted out the endorsements of the AMA and the AARP to stimulate support. But these -- and the other endorsements -- his package has received are all bought and paid for.

Here are the deals:

* The American Medical Association (AMA) was facing a 21 percent cut in physicians' reimbursements under the current law. Obama promised to kill the cut if they backed his bill. The cuts are the fruit of a law requiring annual 5-6 percent reductions in doctor reimbursements for treating Medicare patients. Bravely, each year Congress has rolled the cuts over, suspending them but not repealing them. So each year, the accumulated cuts threaten doctors. By now, they have risen to 21 percent. With this blackmail leverage, Obama compelled the AMA to support his bill...or else!

* The AARP got a financial windfall in return for its support of the healthcare bill. Over the past decade, the AARP has morphed from an advocacy group to an insurance company (through its subsidiary company). It is one of the main suppliers of Medi-gap insurance, a high-cost, privately purchased coverage that picks up where Medicare leaves off. But President Bush-43 passed the Medicare Advantage program, which offered a subsidized, lower-cost alternative to Medi-gap. Under Medicare Advantage, the elderly get all the extra coverage they need plus coordinated, well-managed care, usually by the same physician. So more than 10 million seniors went with Medicare Advantage, cutting into AARP Medi-gap revenues.

Presto! Obama solved their problem. He eliminates subsidies for Medicare Advantage. The elderly will have to pay more for coverage under Medigap, but the AARP -- which supposedly represents them -- will make more money. (If this galls you, join the American Seniors Association, the alternative group; contact sbarton@americanseniors.org. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .)

* The drug industry backed ObamaCare and, in return, got a 10-year limit of $80 billion on cuts in prescription drug costs. (A drop in the bucket of their almost $3 trillion projected cost over the next decade.) They also got administration assurances that it will continue to bar lower-cost Canadian drugs from coming into the U.S. All it had to do was put its formidable advertising budget at the disposal of the administration.

* Insurance companies got access to 40 million potential new customers. But when the Senate Finance Committee lowered the fine that would be imposed on those who don't buy insurance from $3,500 to $1,500, the insurance companies jumped ship and now oppose the bill, albeit for the worst of motives.

The only industry that refused to knuckle under was the medical device makers. They stood for principle and wouldn't go along with Obama's blackmail. So the Senate Finance Committee retaliated by imposing a tax on medical devices such as automated wheelchairs, pacemakers, arterial stents, prosthetic limbs, artificial knees and hips and other necessary accoutrements of healthcare.

So these endorsements are not freely given, but bought and paid for by an administration that is intent on passing its program at any cost.

Order a copy of CATASTROPHE - Go here!

View Dick's videos on YouTube - Go here!

Browse Dick's book CATASTROPHE - Go here!

Sign-up to follow Dick on Twitter - Go here!

Go to DickMorris.com to read all of Dick's columns!