Monday, March 31, 2008


"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber."


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Photo Caption Contest

Enter this exciting contest now! What is the best caption you can provide for this photo? The only contest rule is that your caption must be rated "G" for all audiences. Of course, the only prize is a "ROTFL" (rolling on the floor laughing) from your fellow readers. The background info is that this picture of a bird "condo" with two parrots was taken in a deteriorating trailer park outside Wetumpka that houses a predominately hispanic population. Most of the mobile homes are in very poor condition with some not having windows. That makes the contrast of this eloborate bird house striking. You may choose to focus on the clever use of the tree for hanging mops, stringing clotheslines and running electricity or you may choose to focus on the birdhouse with the "sunroom" addition. Or you may choose to focus on the ultra-modern track-lighting mounted at the base of the birdhouse. You probably can not tell, but the many small, colorful spots are plastic birds. Good luck with your captions!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Awareness Test

I received a link to this video a couple of weeks ago from a member of the local bike club. It was designed as an ad to encourage motorists to watch for cyclists. Follow the directions and see how well you do.

How did you do? Did you watch it a second time to see if the bear was really there in the original video? What does this tell you? Is it possible for you to miss something because you have been mis-directed? How does that make you feel about the media and political campaigns?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dear Ford Motor Company;

I am writing in regard to your current rebate incentive on the 2008 Ford F 450 pickup. This seems to be a fine truck although it is larger than I need and there is no way I am about to purchase one. Still, it is the truck I am interested in because of the great $1500 rebate offer. I really have never paid much attention to the commercials advertising rebates in the past because I never buy new vehicles. Dave Ramsey said only an idiot would do that. Thankfully, my friends in the federal government have opened my eyes to endless opportunities with the new "Economic Stimulus Package". Did you know that the IRS is also offering rebates? That's right, they are going to send me a small portion of what they forced me to send them so that I will go out and buy a house. It is a great deal for everybody. But here is the REALLY great part; they are going to send a REBATE to people who didn't even pay any tax at all!!! Can you believe that? That is what got me so excited! Once I understood how rebates work, I really jumped on the bandwagon. In fact, not only am I applying for a rebate for the F 450, I am also applying to ALL the auto manufacturers for rebates. Did you know the list of companies that offer rebates is almost endless? Computer companies will give you up to $200 if you select the top of the line computers. Those are the only rebates I am applying for--the top of the line. I am not really going to have time for $10 or $20 rebates now that I have discovered that no purchase is necessary. Well, I have to close so I can apply for the 2008 Toyota Tundra $1000 rebate. I guess their rebate is less because it is a far superior truck. Actually, I don't really understand how you stay in business by giving away money and loosing the competition with foreign companies. But if the federal government is doing the same thing to "stimulate the economy" you must be on the right track. Thank you so much and please attempt to send my rebate check before April 15.



Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"I Don't Like Spiders and Snakes"

I am going to write a short paragraph in order to place the first picture in this post a little lower. That will enable you to decide whether you want to view it or not. Wouldn't it be great if all the posts and pictures could be of birds and spring activities like the two previous posts? I considered forgoing the posting of pictures I took today because they will disturb some folks. Really, though, it is just part of the experience we call life. If you have read this blog for a while, you know that I left a management job to return to a craft position delivering mail in Wetumpka. You have also seen scenic pictures of spots along the Coosa River where I sometimes eat lunch or take an afternoon break. This afternoon, I stopped at one of those remote spots to walk along the river and eat my apple. As I walked along the water's edge and over the trashy sediment (branches, weeds, etc.) left from the high-water mark after recent heavy rains, I spotted this shape that contrasted with the straight lines of limbs and branches;

Even though his body was muddy and his head was hidden by leaves, I knew this was a cottonmouth moccasin.
Since he was not moving, I took these two pictures. Then it was time to search for an appropriate weapon. As a kid going fishing with my dad, he would cut what I called a switch if he saw a moccasin or rattlesnake. That always made me nervous. Once we were working our way to a creek and he spotted a moccasin, cut a plum branch and went after him. The theory was that the small, limber switch would break his back and he would die quickly. This particular day the theory did not hold up. Dad got in a couple of good whacks before the snake slithered into the undergrowth and we could not find him. "Great" I said, "now you have spanked him and made him mad and we don't know where he is." I don't remember anything about fishing that day because my attention was on where I stepped going in and coming out. I personally subscribe to the Buford Pusser theroy; walk softly and carry a big stick. So I found and broke a limb about as big around as a softball bat and maybe 4 feet long. One blow was probably enough--but I gave him three. He will not be bruising anybody's heel. Here is the final picture showing that he is about 3 1/2 feet long and showing that he is still hated because his great-great grandaddy lied to Eve so long ago.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Here are some more bird pictures. If you missed the previous killdeer post, please check it below this one. These pictures were taken by my mom. The bluebird house is in her back yard and these two adults spent time there Friday. While mom was enjoying her much deserved retirement time, she noticed the bluebird activity. This male seemed to be the "lookout" she said. He would look to the left,

then to the right.

Then left again.

And check the rear. In the picture below, you can barely see the female peeking out.

Then this AMAZING picture! The male bluebird is feeding the female! Soon after this sequence of events, both flew off and have not been back for a couple of days.

Will they return to finish the nest? Will there be tiny bluebirds? Will there be other romantic moments? Stay tuned--retired lady with digital camera is on the case (unless somebody plans a bus tour).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Mother's Love

These pictures are from the Wetumpka Post Office grounds today. I wish you had audio with the pics.

Can you spot the Killdeer in the picture?

She came off her nest and began her shrill "killdee, killdee, killdee" as I approached.

Below, you see what she was protecting.

When I approached to take a picture of the 4 eggs, she spread her wings and pretended to be wounded while sounding a rapid-fire "dee, dee, dee" that certainly attracted your attention toward her and away from her eggs.

It is amazing to watch how God has designed these birds to protect their unhatched eggs. It seems to me that Darwin would have a difficult time explaining this quick sequence of events. The eggs are surprisingly exposed, but other Killdeer in the area laid eggs in an adjoining pasture that flooded in the recent hard rains and I am afraid that most of those will not survive.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Career Choices

One year from now, I make my transition to another full-time career. That is exciting, but with so many choices how do you choose? I am attempting to keep an open mind and look at areas that I had not considered before. On a website my brother alerted me to, ( I discovered the following possibility. What do you think?

"GRAND RAPIDS — On Saturday night Jim Kendall swivels on his bar stool at the Belly Up Tavern, snuffs out his cigarette and says, "Gotta go, guys. I'm gigging tomorrow." The next morning at 10 a.m. Kendall, dressed in ironed Dockers and a Polo shirt, sings with gusto in the third row at Neighborhood Christian Center. "Praise God!" he shouts, lifting his hands and prompting others to chime in with "amen" and "glory." His infectious enthusiasm is just what the pastor ordered. Kendall isn't a Christian, but he and hundreds of other people across the U.S. are getting paid as much as $12 an hour by temp placement agencies to pretend to be exuberant worshipers. "Praise decoy work is great," says one worshiper for hire who has lent his skills to more than 50 church services. He doesn't mind sitting through services, and considers the praise movements "good stretching exercise, like Tai Chi." In the past five years, the worshiper-for-hire industry has flourished as pastors try to goose the energy level in dwindling churches. Temp agencies train decoys to clap, laugh and make affirmative noises during the sermon. Most prized is the ability to appear authentically engaged, but not overly so. "It's a subtle art," says William Talbot, 67, who has temped as a worshiper since his retirement nest egg petered out. Talbot, a Jew by birth, says he writes grocery lists and the week's tasks while pretending to take sermon notes. Pastors hire worshipers for various reasons, but most often to avoid the humiliation of empty pews. "I did it to encourage the flock," says a pastor who wished not to give his name. "Membership had slipped so instead of dropping a service, this gave us an interim solution until the staff and I figured out what to do." The worshipers for hire so enlivened his church that he hired them on a semi-permanent basis. Decoy crews rotate so the church's real members don't become suspicious. Back at the Belly Up on Sunday afternoon, Kendall is proud of his morning praise performance, and says he'll ask his agency for a raise based on his improved emulation of sincere worship. "I'd like to make a side career of it," he says, finishing his beer. "

How does that sound? Keep in mind--it is from the website

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Don't Feed the Animals!!!

Well, as I scan the news for March 12, there is much that begs comment. The New York governor that resigned because of the revelation of high-priced prostitutes, the Texas woman who threw her two sons off an overpass, into traffic below and jumped after them (all survived), Barack Obama proclaiming that this is the greatest country in history and he can't wait to change it (?), and many other bizarre, troubling stories. The one that begs attention the most, however, it the following;

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are considering charges in the bizarre case of a woman who sat on her boyfriend's toilet for two years — so long that her body was stuck to the seat by the time the boyfriend finally called police.
Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said it appeared the 35-year-old Ness City woman's skin had grown around the seat. She initially refused emergency medical services but was finally convinced by responders and her boyfriend that she needed to be checked out at a hospital.

"We pried the toilet seat off with a pry bar and the seat went with her to the hospital," Whipple said. "The hospital removed it."
Whipple said investigators planned to present their report Wednesday to the county attorney, who will determine whether any charges should be filed against the woman's 36-year-old boyfriend.
"She was not glued. She was not tied. She was just physically stuck by her body," Whipple said. "It is hard to imagine. ... I still have a hard time imagining it myself."
He told investigators he brought his girlfriend food and water, and asked her every day to come out of the bathroom.

Now friends, if you are in the counseling profession and look up "enabling" in the DSM IV, you will find this boyfriend's picture. Who is really most crazy, a woman who will sit on a toilet for two years or a boyfriend that will bring her food for two years? Why not sit the food on a chair in the next room and lure her out? Say, after 2 days?
And one more thing--does anybody else find it hilarious that "Mr. Whipple" is the sheriff that had to solve this "two years on the toilet crisis"? Do you think anybody made any "please don't squeeze the Charmin" jokes?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Answer the Phone

Well, this is something I never thought I would do. I am posting a link to an ad designed, paid for, and run by the campaign to elect Hillary Clinton to the office of president of the United States. Why? Because the ad asks a very important question. Obviously, Ms. Clinton assumes she knows the answer. I believe many will reach a different conclusion. But....I have been wrong on politics many, many times before. What is your answer? Who do you want to answer the phone?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Hair Cut

If you ladies are looking for a beauty shop, the folks at Upper Cuts Salon asked me to send them some business. So I boldly took this picture of their "official uniform". The rest of the comments that come to mind, I will leave to you readers. What do you think?