Saturday, November 29, 2008

Consumerism Kills 

It did yesterday, at any rate. At a Wal-Mart on Long Island, the poor temp sap who got saddled with the task of opening the doors at 5 am was trampled to death by the huddled masses who had been waiting for their opportunity to shop at the most bargain prices of the year. The crowds then further trampled (not fatally) other shoppers and workers who attempted to come to the aid of the fallen man. Then, when store managers announced they would be closing due to the death, those shoppers who had made it into the store angrily responded that they had been waiting for hours and were not going to leave. And they kept shopping.

Meanwhile, a Toys R Us in Palm Desert was the scene of a shoot out that began near the registers but extended into the electronics section. Apparently two women "broke into a brawl," then the two men accompanying them got into the gunfight. The story relates that although they were near the registers, no one had any purchases with them, and one of the gun wielders did attempt to open the register just before the other one shot him. Store representatives and police are stating that the battle was not related to Black Friday. Okay, maybe they weren't fighting over who would get the last Wii Fit in the store, but it seems just as likely that it might have begun with a plan to target the cash cow on the biggest shopping day of the year.

I'm so glad I stayed home yesterday.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:57 AM
Thursday, November 27, 2008

Apple Pancakes and Rosie Live! 

After I finished sipping my tea out on the deck so I could enjoy the sights and sounds of the wildlife buffet (while wearing a coat, hat and gloves, with the hood up to block the rising sun from interfering with the viewing), The Girl and I continued with our Thanksgiving activities.

She got the turkey breast rub together and then tackled the dreaded job of smearing it on and under the turkey skin. Meanwhile, I created our Thanksgiving breakfast of German apple pancake - yum! Pictures of both to follow.

While we ate our breakfast, we watched the first episode of Rosie Live! that Tivo thoughtfully recorded for us last night while we were with the aging masses at the Eagles concert. Oh my god - I'm in heaven! I LOVE THIS SHOW!!! Rosie O'Donnell! Liza Minelli! Jane Krakowski! Show tunes! Harry Connick, Jr.! The Special Guest Door! Tap dancing, kick lines, Gloria Estefan! Dancing desserts! Alanis Freaking Morrisette! Rachel Ray with a giant inflatable roast turkey! WHEEEEEEEE!!!! I laughed, I cried - with joy. Seriously, I was welling I was so happy.

If The Girl had any doubts, they are gone. I am a variety show geek.

Still to come: the continuing saga of Thanksgiving dinner. Celery root and apple puree, sausage stuffing (from Joy of Cooking) and maple glazed butternut squash. And homemade pumpkin pie with freshly made whipped cream!!!! Yumbola!

The only "I forgot to get it" item thus far - sparking cider. Oh well.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:20 PM

Happy Thanksgiving! 

The Girl and I kicked off the holiday last evening with a trip out to Worcester for the Eagles concert. Or as Glenn Frey called it, "The Eagles Assisted Living Tour." The same could be said for us regular folk out in the audience. One advantage of aging audiences - better behavior. The Girl commented on the way out, "Hey - no one threw up near us!" My response: "Everyone was way too old for that kind of shit."

Even though we got in around 1:00 this morning, I was still up at sunrise putting out the buffet for the wildlife. Pickin's have been mighty slim out there this week, as the feeders ran out but so had my stash in the garden box. Yesterday after doing the pre-Thanksgiving errands on my list, I stopped in at Lowe's and stocked up. It was payday, after all!

Most of the various seeds are still in the car, as I didn't want to wake The Girl by opening the garage door and backing her car out so I could access the wheelbarrow, which I'll need to haul it all around back, but I did carry up several items for the wildlife buffet. Then I bundled up and did the following:
  • Filled the circular peanut dispenser (looks kind of like a red slinky with round wire instead of flat)
  • Replaced the suet/corn/fruit/seed block hanging from the bungy
  • Filled the blue Droll Yankee feeder with fruit/nut/seed mix
  • Filled the small Droll Yankee feeder with wildbird seed mix
  • Filled the red Droll Yankee feeder with thistle
  • Spread black oil sunflower seeds and cracked corn along top of the wall, on the ground around the feeders and in the yard near the wall.
Come and get it, critters and birds! I pointed out to The Girl that I had to be sure to put out the cracked corn for the wild turkeys, because after all, it IS their day!

Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:11 AM
Sunday, November 23, 2008

Civics Literate 

I got sucked in by the Yahoo headline that US officials flunk test of American history, economics, civics, and the article's statement that US elected officals on average score 44%, while "ordinary Americans" score about 49%. So off I went to take the quiz. My results:

You answered 31 out of 33 correctly — 93.94 %

Average score for this quiz during November: 77.6%

So it appears that people are doing a lot better on the quiz this month than in the time period the article reported on. The Girl's take on this? "You're such a geek."

Posted by Beth Henderson at 4:19 PM
Saturday, November 15, 2008

DFW Car Rental Center 

Nov 12 2008 - VID00005
Originally uploaded by RSLS
The car rental center at Dallas-Fort Worth airport is larger than the airports at Sioux City or in Muskegon.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:52 PM

The Detroit Airport Pedestrian Tunnel 

Nov 12 2008 - DTW 1
Originally uploaded by RSLS
Join me on my venture through the tunnel connecting two terminals at the Detroit airport. Be sure to have the sound on, so you can share in the trippy lights. It's a long tunnel, so I had to split the video in two for flickr upload.

And now, part 2:

Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:49 PM

Baby Ava Winner 

Baby Ava Winner
Originally uploaded by RSLS
TCU and Darth Latte recently added to their family unit, and in the process also held the pick the birth date contest. The Girl was the lucky winner, and here she is opening her prize!

Posted by Beth Henderson at 12:00 PM
Monday, November 10, 2008

Keith Olbermann on Prop 8 

Here in my hotel room on this rainy Texas night, I found myself engrossed in Keith Olbermann's special commentary on Proposition 8 and the people who voted for it, with the result of taking away the right of marriage from same sex couples in California. His theme - What is it to you? It's not about politics, it's about love. Why are you against love?

Watch it (or read it) here.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:02 PM


Originally uploaded by RSLS
Here's another exciting "view from my hotel room" photo. You might notice that it's raining. Hard. There is also thunder and lightening. Power went out at my client hospital twice while I was there this evening.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:39 PM
Tuesday, November 04, 2008


The Girl and I struggled and stayed awake, waiting for the 11:00 eastern hour when the news channels could project after the western states closed the polls. Tears of joy were the order of the evening when at 11:00 and about three seconds MSNBC announced that they could now project Obama victorious.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:09 PM

I Voted! 

Let me preface this with the story of the first presidential election in which I participated. It was the fall of 1972, and we were having elections at Lincoln Elementary School. I actually don't know whether it was the whole school or just Mrs. Harnedy's third grade class, but I voted. I must confess that I voted for Nixon. Hey - it was November 1972, he was the sitting president and Watergate had not yet become part of the national vocabulary. Oh, and my parents are Republicans. Oh well, live and learn.

Fast forward to today. The Girl and I arrived at our polling place (an elementary school near our house - some of our friends teach there) at 6:50 am and the lines were already rather long. We had dressed warm, but the lines had not reached outside yet. Once the polls opened at 7:00, we moved right along. We were done by 7:15.

After filling out the optical scan form (fill in the bubbles, just like the first day of the bar exam), I headed over to the tables where the volunteers check off your name before you hand in the ballot. As the volunteer for the section of the alphabet into which my street falls flipped through her stack of forms looking for my address, I realized she looked familiar. To verify my suspicion, I looked at her name tag. Yes, indeed, it was Francine Harnedy, that very same third grade teacher.

"Mrs. Harnedy - you were my third grade teacher!"

She looked at me, narrowed her eyes a bit and asked my name. When I replied, her eyes lit in recognition and she said, "Oh yes! And you had a skunk, didn't you?"

*Slight pause*

"Yes - we did have a skunk!"

This was the teacher who helped me out when we figured out I needed glasses. Back then you had to wait a couple of weeks before actually getting glasses after they were ordered, so she made sure I sat close enough to be able to read the board until they arrived. She's also the teacher who recognized that Middle Sister is dyslexic (though she was Miss McCarthy during Middle Sister's turn in class). I believe she was also Biggest Sister's third grade teacher, and that of at least one or two of my three brothers.

Thirty-six years and this woman remembered the former eight-year old girl with tortoise shell glasses and long pony tails, whose family had a pet skunk. She seemed quite pleased to hear that I'm now an attorney. Hopefully she was just as pleased that the sense of civic duty she instilled in me all those years ago stayed with me, as I cast my vote today.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:16 AM
Sunday, November 02, 2008

Remember to Vote! 

Originally uploaded by Barack Obama
Make your plans now. Where is your polling place? What time will you be going? Let your boss know if you might be late or leaving early. Allow time for long lines. And get out there and vote!

Posted by Beth Henderson at 6:19 AM