Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New President

Yesterday, I went to the gym to watch the Inauguration. I don't have TV reception at home--I have no patience to wait for Time Warner to install cable--so I have to get creative when it comes to TV watching. The gym is a good place, I get the added benefits of getting a workout and not wasting my money on a gym membership that I never use.
So, while I was sweating to on the elliptical machine, I saw our historic president installed in office. As Mr. Obama was walking down, I noticed he has laugh lines. I like that. If a politician laughs enough to have laugh lines, I think that he/she is someone I want to work for me. And let's face it in the coming years, Mr. Obama will need a major sense of humor to keep his sanity. Notice, Mr. Bush--no laugh lines--see what happened to our country--give me laugh lines--I can trust them.
Only time will tell how this all shakes out. Mr. Bush keeps talking about how history will judge him so he is leaving office with a clean conscience. I don't see history being overly kind to Hoover. Maybe Nixon was somewhat vindicated for the good decision he made--giving Okinawa back to Japan, pulling all the troops out of Vietnam and developing relations with China (some are still out on that one though)--but history but no has never said that he did not try to over throw democracy as well as lied, cheated and stole his way through the presidency. I can't see history ever coming up with much praise for Mr. Bush. Not unless, Jeb gets into office next and has the textbooks rewritten--always a possibility and maybe that is what Mr. Bush is holding out for.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Temperance Brennan Vs. Kay Scarpetta

Both fictional heroines are headstrong as well as strong willed Southern Ladies that fight crime with their forensic skills. Death is their constant companion and their creators have made bucket loads of money off their exploits. Kathy Reichs has written 11 Temperance Brennan books beginning with Deja Dead in 1997 and the TV series Bones lead character is Temperance Brennan. Temperance Brennan of Bonesis based more on the actual creator rather than her alter ego. Talk about having trouble separating fact from fiction.
Kay Scapretta is the brainchild of Patricia Cornwell who introduced the vulnerable tough-as-nails Richmond, Virginia Medical Examiner in 1990 with Postmortem .
How do the two line up. Well, Kathy Reichs is a forensic archaeologist like her character and also slits her time between North Carolina and Montreal much like her character. Cornwell worked in the Virginia ME office but not in any forensic capacity. Score one for Temperance. Scarpetta does predate Brennan by at least 7 years so that one goes to her. Brennan owns a cat, Scarpetta doesn't--one more for Brennan. Reichs uses lots of Southern metaphors that gives Brennan a homey descriptive cadence. Cornwell has a much starker writing style. Points to both, both are equally effective when in high form. But here we come to the crux, Cornwell's form degenerated down to the point that you no longer liked or believed the characters. Reichs seems to have maintained the overall form and integrity of her characters to date, although there seems to be some questions about the latest novel--I haven't gotten that far through the series yet. We will give the point to Reichs. Scarpetta loves to cook and eat--although where she gets the time is beyond me. Brennan eats a lot of take out--a bit more realistic but I will give the point to Scarpetta. So where are we. I think I will weigh down on the side of Reich's and Brennan. Why? Because even though Scarpetta was better than than the previous 4 Scarpetta novels, I am still really pissed off with Cornwall for making a general mess out of all the characters. I have just gotten involved with the Brennan series and I kind of liked the quirky Brennan character in Bones. But I do have to say that up until Marie-France introduced me to the Scarpetta series I mostly read classics, literary fiction and non-fiction. So I guess I have to give Scarpetta credit for making realize that sometimes you just need some light although definitely not light-hearted reading. For light-hearted murder mysteries I recommend Meg Cabot and her Rachel Wells series--Size 12 is not Fat, Size 14 is Not Fat, Either, and Big Boned.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

8 Days and Counting

I haven't had a Dr. Pepper since December 30th. I entirely wanted to drink a Dr. Pepper on New Year's Eve but with the AT&T Hassle I ended up missing my Dr. Pepper Window of Opportunity. My New Year's Resolution--one of a stack of them--is to give up sugar--mostly. What that means is that I can have sugar if the primary product is healthy. For example, I know that my oatmeal packets have sugar in them but they are OK because on the whole they're healthy--maybe. Ditto to Asian food. What doesn't fall into the the mostly healthy category no matter how I might try to massage it are Dr. Peppers, catsup (that means giving up french fries, too), cakes, cookies and candy. I did really enjoy my bag of Cheetos last week, like no-one's business (I looked--no sugar).
On Monday I went into the break room and found a cake, a box of donuts, a container of cookies, a bowl of candy and a coconut cream pie. We often have dangerous sabotaging stuff hanging around in the break room but this was the first time such a cornucopia of sugar was arrayed. I looked longingly at the pie, turned on my heels and had a banana. Not quiet as satisfying to the taste buds but the kudos earned for the self-confidence and willpower, very worthwhile.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Some Favorite Websites

Every now and then I jump on to to get a belly laugh. The creators collect photos of weird English found throughout the world--although most of it is in Asia. If you want to try Grass wine or Sweat and Sour chicken, look on this website to find the best places for those.
I also enjoy checking out LOL Cats I Can Has a Cheeseburger at least once a week. And the companion site I has a hotdog.
These sites lighten up my day and give me a smile. I hope they do, you, too.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How I Accidently Ended Up With an Iphone

I have longed after an Iphone for approximately one year. Everytime someone would pull out their sleek, ultra cool device, I would practically salivate. But last January they were $400. Then in summer 08 the price was reduced in half with the new 3G generation. Twice as fast at half the price. Yes, I wanted one. Surfing the net, text messaging, everything I could ever want at my fingertips. But with each paycheck coming up short and one thing after another, I never got one. Then I completely talked myself out of the Iphone. I couldn't justify paying the $200 for a phone when I could get another one cheaper.
So on New Year's Eve, I decided to upgrade my POS phone to the Blackberry Titanium Curve. Sam's Club had it available for $50 with a two year contract. I checked out the AT&T store, the same phone was $199 with a $100 rebate. Obviously I opted for the Sam's Club phone. My contract ended in December. So I fill out the paperwork, Brian (my helpful Sam's Club associate) inputted all the information. Message received NOT AVAILABLE FOR AN UPGRADE UNTIL FEBRUARY 2010. What? How is this possible--I am not under contract--how could I not be available for an upgrade? I called AT&T to find out why I couldn't get a phone at Sam's Club for the price I wanted to pay. After about 15 minutes of getting now where I was connected with a floor manager at AT&T. It seems that although I was out of contract, a glitch in the system from my changing my address in June caused the system to block the upgrade and renewal of my contract. "Not my problem", I explained. "I want to walk out of this store today with my $50 phone, how can you make that happen?" After another 45 minutes it was decided that he would credit my AT&T account for $100 and if I go and spend $199 on the Titanium Curve, I could wait for the rebate of $100 and essentially get a free phone. I agreed and headed to the AT&T store however, on the way, I realized that I really hate waiting for rebates that are a big hassle and since I really wanted an Iphone and now it was essentially $100, I should go ahead and get the Iphone. So that is what I did.
Sometimes when you try to do the right thing, you get what you want in the end. Now, I am the proud owner of a sleek nifty new Iphone. I love it and can't wait to learn how to use all the aps and everything.