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Published on June 21 2008

Coffee Klatch » Myers-Briggs Prayers This site contains daily prayers based upon the Myers-Briggs personality types. Look up your type and that’s your prayer for the day. :- If you’d like to take the test to see what type you are,there’s a link. I can't really be an INFP, by the way, no matter what the test says. I *always* finish what I sta

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Published on May 22 2008

View Larger Map Stupid Google maps is not behaving, so I'm only getting *part* of the route, and then it completely disappears when I zoom in on it. It's pretty easy, though. Just go East until you hit ocean. Then eat lobster. *Lots* of lobster. Escanaba Sault Ste. Marie, MI (where we leave the Motherland) Sudbury, Ont. Rolphton, Ont. Ogdensburg, NY (where hopefully they let us back *into* the country) Canton, NY Champlain, NY (I'm looking forward to the drive down the lake) Chimney Corner, Vt. Montpelier, Vt. Jefferson, NH Bethel, ME East Newport, ME Bar Harbor, ME Kennebunkport, ME (will wave "hi" to the Bush family) Swiftwater, NH Duxbury, Vt. Westport, NY Saranac, NY Sacketts Harbor, NY Irondequoit, NY Niagara Falls, NY Aylmer, Ont. ......and up the lower Peninsula of Michigan to the Big Mack and west to home. My butt already hurts thinking about it. I can't wait!!! I'll try to post pics along the way, if possible; but don't hold yer breath. There will be lots of things to show when I get back. See ya in 10 days!! UPDATE: My #($*% map may not be working, but I'll try to make sure I stand next to these when I see them. Keep an eye out.

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Published on April 30 2008

I have been presented with a set of tickets. A little celebration, I guess you'd say. Even though this is my "school band"; even though they've performed in the area dozens of times, even though one of the members lives only about thirty miles away from me... I have never seen America perform live. Sunday night, I finally get to do just that. The real kicker is that I'm scheduled to work a twelve-hour shift beginning 2:30 Monday morning-- I forsee a more-or-less useless Laurie that day. Photos may have to wait a day or so. This sure beats getting a dollar for every "A" in school!! Here they are, in performance with my *other* great Seventies musical love, doing one of my favorite songs:
"Only the Beginning"
But this is how I remember them from back in the olden days of the Seventies... I think I may have even seen this particular performance on the Midnight Special back then. I probably even clapped.
Sister Golden Hair

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Published on February 8 2008

Yes, folks, I am a Rat, according to Chinese Horrorscopy placemat I read the last time I went to a Chinese buffet. And since it is now the year of the Rat, I figured I'd go look up my beady-eyed little furry alter ego.
… THE RELENTLESS RAT Determined when he or she wants something, the Rat will work hard to get it. Rats are also very conscious and measured around money. But under their calm, charming veneer, aggression may be lurking. The Rat uses intellectual power for critical decision-making and is a mastermind when it comes to small details. Practical, but sometimes lacking vision and courage, the Rat can block his or her success because of greed and conservatism. Inner fear makes Rats unpredictable -- so don't let their charm fool you.
A mastermind of small details? Me??? Gotta say I've never been accused of that before!! :-))
The Rat survives in ways no other signs does. He always finds a way to get out of trouble, as he applies his mind to every detail. Perfectionist as the Rat tends to be, it is hard to stay friends with a Rat for very long. Rats have great insights and are very telepathic, but in the end they may be lonely … because the Rat never completely trusts anyone. They create magic when they love you but become paranoid and suspicious when they stop trusting you.
We Rats don't sound all too lovable, do we? In fact, we are sorta....ratty. So. Moving on to my predictions for the year:
February 7, 2008 - January 25, 2009 Year of the Earth Rat The year of the Rat should be a cautious one for Rats, who may find the year is a mixed bag for them. The year is most favorable for Career-related endeavors - the General Star and Tang Fu star that are present in the Rats Life Palace indicate opportunities for career advancement such as a promotion, a pay rise or an increase in responsibilities. However, this will not fall into your lap - you will have to go all out to secure your own advancement. There are three negative stars in the Rats Life Palace this year, specifically the Sword Edge Star, the Fly Blade Star and the Hidden Door Star. These stars indicate personal injury and accidents - thus, it is wise to exercise extra precaution on the sports field, and also whilst traveling. If you work in a job with a high level of occupational hazard, such as handling sharp weapons or machinery, it is wise to be extra cautious.
Great. No sports, travel, or working with machinery. Think I can use that excuse to get out of work the rest of the week?

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Published on December 22 2007

Whatever. I never was really sure what a "yore" was anyway. Some kind of Christmas thing. I've always been fascinated at the things people choose to post on the 'net. From family photos on Flickr to diaries to academic papers to music to videos on YouTube, there is always something out there to completely blow an afternoon on. Here's a great way to take a little Christmas trip back in time. Welcome to WishbookWeb.com
The vintage Christmas catalog archive project and home.
I remember --- well, most of the time I can remember, anyway --- the day the Wishbook arrived. I could spend hours thumbing through it and "wishing". And now those days have come again....check out the 1971 catalog, especially. That was around my greatest wishbook days. typewritersAnd then I found it.... the thing I drooled over. The gift which I was sure would take me to the heights of literary stardom. Okay, I was 10 years old, lol. Ten year olds are allowed big dreams. I didn't get the red typewriter, as I recall; although I *do* remember using a real typewriter around that time. I think the folks may have borrowed one for me somewhere. I still haven't written The Great American Novel that I dreamed of when I was 10 years old, though. barbiesContinuing to flip through the pages, I came across this. Oh my. I had this Barbie. I remember clearly the purple vest over the orange leotard, and thinking that it was the. coolest. outfit. ever., marred only by those dorky silver boots. If I remember right, this Barbie was jointed at the waist, so that it sorta looked like she danced when you shook her stand. She was *so* hip to my 10 year old mind. K. So who ever said I had good fashion sense?? tonkas Continuing on..... KB, this one's for YOU. I truly believe you had every toy on this page. Every last one, as well as all of the Matchbox cars needed for the commute to the sandbox construction site. Remember the Tonkas?? Christmas shopping was so much easier back then, lol. UPDATE: I have been informed by a reliable source that my doll was NOT a "Barbie", but instead was a "PJ". What does PJ stand for, I wonder?

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Published on July 29 2007

Daily Kos: Mainstream
by kos Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 11:46:56 AM PDT YearlyKos will be addressed this year by just about the entire Democratic Party leadership -- Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, and Dick Durbin. It will feature a candidate forum of all the top Democratic candidates -- Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd, and Bill Richardson.
A long listing of other notable elected Dems who will attend the convention follows.
And that's the key -- anyone who claims this event is anything but a celebration of the best the Democratic Party has to offer is simply, to put it mildly, blinded by partisan rage and completely out-of-touch with reality.
Folks, I have come to a decision, and it's not one I've made lightly. Over the past several years, I've thought a lot about it, done as much reading as I could, and learned as much as I could from both sides of the political fence. I'm not any sort of political whiz by any means, but I try to pay attention to the things I see. This week, I've come to a sad but probably inevitable conclusion. I've always basically considered myself a Democrat, although I have crossed party lines several times during my voting career, especially during Wisconsin's (closed) primary season. Anybody remember John Anderson and the Unity Party? :-D Okay, it was my very first election. Cut me some slack. Still, even though I know I've gotten more conservative in my advancing age, I *still* was a Democrat. Hey, Russ Feingold is my Senator. Dave Obey is my congressman. I was a member of the party of FDR. Of JFK. A Party that had room for everyone from the hawkish Scoop Jackson to the naked bike riders (Trust me, that link isn't safe for *any* time of day), no matter how distasteful or idiotic I might have personally thought them. There was room for entire spectrum, from those who believe that the Iraq War is an illegal regime change and occupation of a foreign State under international law to those who see it as an inevitable neccessity, better done now than later. There was room for all of us, and more than likely a 2008 Presidential candidate for all of us. There is no longer room for me in this Party, because today I am "completely out-of-touch with reality". ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In April 2004 a popular liberal blogger named Markos Koulitsas wrote about an incident in Fallujah, Iraq in which four contractors working for Blackwater USA were attacked by grenade and small arms fire while conducting a food delivery convoy. They were killed, their bodies burned and dragged through the streets of the town before being hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River. Photos of this incident were published on the internet and in newspapers, showing the unrecognizable charred remains of Scott Helvenston, Jerko Zovko, Wesley Batalona and Michael Teague dangling over a grinning gun-waving, cheering mob. Koulitsas-- better known as "Kos"-- wrote of this on his blog the Daily A$$hole Kos:
"Let the people see what war is like. This isn't an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush's folly. That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. [sic] They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them."
Yes, I saw the post before it mysteriously disappeared from the internet with its tail tucked between its legs. The next day Kos posted an "apology", which was basically a diatribe against evil minions who would take a paycheck to work for the government in a war zone. Since I am the child of a former government contractor, I wasn't overly impressed with his mea culpa. The trouble was that there were some out there who agreed whole-heartedly with Kos' assessment of the situation, and the readership/ membership of the Daily Kos exploded, making this new Left darling a powerful celebrity within the Democratic Party. This rambling all goes somewhere, I promise. This next week marks the 2nd "Yearly Kos" convention, to be held in Chicago. Every major candidate from the Democratic Party will attend this convention. Every. Single. One. Of. Them. All of them will pander to this demigod who said of the burned mutilated bodies of this fellow countrymen: screw 'em, they deserved it. I understand that appealing to special interest groups is part of the definition of the word "politician", but I felt physically ill reading the list of attendees to this gathering. Must have been the "partisan rage" Kos was referring to above, ya think? In light of the dollar signs and campaign publicity opportunities, none of them had the cojones to say that what this man wrote in April 2004 was unforgivable, as is any association with a convention bearing his name. But dear Readers, small and unimportant as mine might be, I *do* have a set. It may seem like a small thing to get worked up about, but it's the straw that broke my camel's back. It's symbolized the Dem's leftward drift into the area of Bush Derangement Syndrome, where the only unity in the Party seems to be in its opposition to anything Bush-like. All ideas, discussion, and policy seems only to be valued in where it stands in relation to White House policy. There's a difference in my mind between favoring an idea after careful thought, and opposing that same idea due to blind hatred. The Dems seem to me to have lost that distinction and I'm beginning to wonder if other voters have noticed. Maybe opposition is not enough. I wonder how many of these candidates are going to show up at the Democratic Leadership Council's conference being held as I write? Oh yeah, *that* DLC--you know them, they're a "moderate" group; heck, they're almost REPUBLICANS! Well, looks like they got at least one speaker. With four days' advance notice, was the DLC scrambling a bit, maybe? So, that's it. I'm out. I will not vote for any candidate who attends the Kos' Kids Konvention. I will not register as, or call myself a Democrat any longer. However, I'll probably follow my ingrained Good Democratic Practices by actively campaigning *against* the policy I dislike, rather than *for* the policy I favor. Whether or not Ronald Reagan actually said "I didn't leave my party, my Party left me" when he became a Republican, I find myself nodding in agreement. The Republicans ain't quite got me yet, but with this public fellating of the Kos nation the Democrats have lost me for good.

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Published on May 6 2007

It's been a busy week. So busy, in fact, that I had to ask for an extension on the final paper for my IR2 class. I have a month, but I am NOT going to go past tomorrow before turning in the final. I have never had to extend before, and I feel just awful about it. The pressure is on for the Mad One. Soooooo.....today is "paper day" for me. Anybody got any tips on assessing a National Security document and not sounding like a complete idiot? Okay, you can all stop giggling now. I mean it. Don't make me go "mom" on you. [UPDATE: It's done. Done. DONE. #:-S Not too much happydance, though--the next class begins TOMORROW. So much for spring break in, say.... Florida.... Jamaica.....wherever... for me!] There is a little a lot of procrastination involved here, oh yes there is. As well as a little hangover from paint fumes-- my bedroom is almost done, save the second coat of sand paint which requires *another* trip to the Depot de Casa. And the kicker came last evening. I cracked the glass top on my stove by not turning the burner off completely with an empty teapot sitting on it. (I swear I shut it off!!) Lucky I didn't burn the place down-- the pot sat on the burner empty and melting for well over an hour before I wondered what the strange smell of something cooking was. Guess now I can go get the noisy whistling teapot I always wanted, but wasn't allowed. At least I got the lawn mowed ( and the cars registered after I happened to notice that the tags on BOTH of them said "March 07". Oooops.) ..... time to go make some of that breakfast booze and hit the books. And hope that next week is a better one.

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Published on February 21 2007

I was digging around in an old datebook when I came across the significance of the above date. It was the day that a scared green barely-18-year-old college-dropout-'cause-she-ran-out-of-money walked into a mill with a 99% male to female ratio to begin her career as a papermaker. Okay, okay, there was a little break in there while I went back to school for another year before I became a permanent wearer of steel-toed boots. And the ratio is probably closer to 90% nowadays--we're going to take over the place if they don't watch out, lol! While surfing around, I found an interesting link which includes interviews with women in Maine's paper industry in the 70's. From reading this, it sounds like their experience was pretty much the same as mine as far as working in a "male-dominated industry". In that article, I see mention of one woman being a 'tender at her mill. She's only the third one I've ever heard of during my career-- and now that her mill has closed, and my friend from another mill has moved onto a different job.... wonder if that makes me even rarer? :-)) Funny how after all these years, I'm back once again trying to finish that damn college degree!! Third time lucky, maybe?

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Published on December 31 2006

Uh, oh. The three scariest words in the world for somebody who can no longer run since knee surgery are "Tag. You're it". Old buddy Bill from InstaPinch surely picked a [insert favorite naval aviator terminology for extremely slow moving target here] when he sent this one my way. [Update: I have been informed that the correct "naval aviator terminology for extremely slow moving target" is "Zeppelin". Which is appropriate, since I am a huge Jimmy Page fan] 1. I am without a doubt the most gullible person in this entire world. I will believe anything, anytime, anywhere, anyhow that anybody tells me. I am one of four people in the entire country who has spent an evening in the woods shining a flashlight into a paper sack, chanting "heeeeere, snipe, snipe, snipe". Hey, I was eleven, what can I say? But if you have a practical joke you need to try out? Call me. Anytime. Really. 2. Karl, knowing your profession, you may not want to read this one. When I was 16, I was talked into trying to sneak out of the bill at an Indian restaurant in London by two classmates. ( It's that gullibility thing again.) We all three made it out the door, but the traffic light changed and the slowest of us ( guess who that would be- I wasn't very speedy even before the knee surgery! ) was dragged back into the restaurant by the collar, face burning and terrified, until my two classmates came back and paid their share of the bill. It remains to this day the most embarrassing and never-ever-to-be-repeated experience of my life. By the way, those two classmates? One is now a college professor, and the other is a Judge. I will leave it at that. 3. Going to take a cue from Pinch on this next one. If he can 'fess up to his weight, so can I. Sorta. I am six feet tall. I spent my most of my thirties and began my forties as an extremely large person. I am not going to give you exact numbers, but when I reach the number I consider a good and reasonable and achievable goal, I will have lost very nearly one hundred pounds. I'm almost there now, but this last bit is a lot harder than the rest. I have discovered a new diet recently however. All it takes is thinking of somebody eating mayonnaise right out of the jar, and your appetite evaporates instantly. 4. I passed my motorcycle endorsement test on the first try. The other adult member of my immediate family at the time very nearly got a speeding ticket. During the test. Think I might have rubbed it in just a teensy bit? Yew betcha. 5. Nobody has seen my natural hair color since about 1985. I'm not even sure what color it might be under the L'oreal, but I'm guessing it ain't reddish-blondish-brownish anymore. Hmmm, 1985. Isn't that the same year my number one daughter was born? Coincidence? I think not. Now, the tough part. None of the people I want to tag are active bloggers!! :-(( So, I'm going to issue a challenge. I want to hear from family members, whether you want to do it in comments or whether you want me to set you up your own blog (hint, hint, Kidbrudder) or even just a post from here or InstaPinch or Chef Mojo. I'm sure we would help out our family members right, guys?? I want all of you to join in this one! (I'm still a little :-& over the idea of somebody eating mayonnaise with a spoon right from the jar.)

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Published on December 22 2006

Was out to the folks' house a couple of days ago. Dad had some papers to show me, something we have been seeking for a very long time. My great-grandparents on my mother's side emigrated from Germany, arriving in Wisconsin around 1885. I have an oak kitchen table which was one of their first purchases here in the States as they were setting up their household in their new country. My parents gave it to me for my birthday a few years ago, and it's one of my treasured possessions (I'm kinda weird about family heirlooms. I'd rather have a beatup rocking chair that's been in the family for a hundred years than a new La-Z-boy ANY day). Anyway, that's all we really knew about them. My mother describes her grandparents as somewhat close-mouthed, never discussing Germany. Family lore has it that Great-Grandpa Christoph had to leave Germany because he killed a man, but nobody really knows. All we knew is that they corresponded with relatives in Berlin during WW2, and lost contact with them after the War. I had always wondered if, knowing the family story about leaving Germany the way he did, my great-grandfather may have changed his name upon arriving in this country. Maybe that's why we could never find their name on any ship's records or immigration lists. We never knew exactly when they left, when they got here, or HOW they got here. We know now. closeup.jpg This is a jpeg of a list of immigrants arriving at New York ( not through Ellis Island, which didn't open for business until 1892) on July 25th, 1885. The Stelter family, which included Christoph, wife Elina (known as Lena), and children Emma and Ernst; departed from the port of Stettin, Germany (now a part of Poland, and I'm not even going to *try* to spell the name!) on the ship "Katie". No, my grandfather Otto is not listed there, as he was born a year or two after their arrival in 'sconsin. Got 'em.

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