Thursday, January 29, 2009

Spring is Coming!

Yes, I realize it's 35 degrees as I write this, and it's going to be in the upper 60s today, but our temperatures are stabilizing as spring is coming! My goal this year is to do something with the patch of dirt that's supposed to be a lawn. Anyone got any tips on what to do when half your lawn is covered in acorns? I'm absolutely positive that the tree we have next to our house is the biggest tree in Texas, and also leads the way in dropping acorns year-round. Some things were just never meant to be transplanted...

I imagine that this blog will become my main ranting source in the next four years, mainly because my husband is in the military and does not appreciate me undermining his commander-in-chief. I appreciate his efforts to stay neutral, even as he disagrees strongly with a lot of Obama's policies so far. He agrees with me, though, that a lot of what Obama has done so far is to give concessions to the Left while trying to reconcile those positions with the sharp dose of reality that comes with taking the highest office in the land.

Take closing Gitmo, for example. Obama says he'll close it within one year, but left the loophole that CIA black sites can hold prisoners temporarily. Gitmo is one of the main sites that we use for housing detainees temporarily. I'm guessing the CIA review panel that Obama just created will find a new home for these detainees that will essentially be black sites with new names. The CIA has its political side that has to look pretty for the cameras, but the last thing they want is another giant black hole on their record like 9/11. Also, the military now considers terrorists "unlawful combatants," which means under the Geneva Convention, they can shoot first and ask questions later.

Also, Obama's political capital just took a huge hit with the passing of the $1.1 trillion "stimulus," which 177 House Republicans and 11 Democrats opposed. Despite all the cajoling, wining and dining Obama did with the House Republicans, and for all of his "bipartisanship," they listened to the constituents melting their phone lines and emphatically rejected him. Message to Democrats and, ultimately, Obama: You own this. When it's proven that this pork-laden bill did nothing for the economy, all eyes will be on you. You can say you tried to save the economy in your re-election, but this was not the way to do it. Kudos to Republicans for coming up with an alternative bill!

On a lighter note, I'm learning how difficult it is to keep up on blogs when BloggerCat decides he wants to go to the end of the page by hitting the space bar with his paw. Silly cat reads faster than I do...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kiwi, This One's For You

My brother had his fifth son, Mykle Benjamin,

and we got a cat, with the Pooky-inspired name Hexadecimal.

I think we may have gotten the better end of the deal.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Aftermath of the Holidays

The light posting, while shameful, has been mostly due to the hectic pace of the holidays. I'll try to get to political rantings later in the post.

Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. We're over a thousand miles from family, so we got invited to the house of one of Pooky's coworkers, along with about half his shop. We participated in Operation Homecooking, taking along two Army students from the Defense Language Institute from Puerto Rico that weren't doing so well on their English tests and stuffing them full of food and Wii games. Seeing the tired joy on their faces as they made their way out to the car made it all worth it.

The day after Thanksgiving, Brandon and I exchanged gifts, since we were leaving on December 17 for home and coming back on our anniversary. My husband loves extending Christmas as long as possible, so we've had the decorations up for at least two months now. After holding him off from opening our stockings all week, I found out he'd stuffed mine with an Iowa coin bear, a stuffed kitten, a small magnetic penguin (long story), and the Princess Bride on DVD. Turns out he'd wanted to watch the DVD all week, hence the bugging. Men are soooo patient..... I gave him a whole variety of chocolate things and some cocoa mix. The mix was for his gift of a travel mug with the caffeine molecule imprinted on it, along with three geeky shirts (thank you,!). He got me one gift: a white gold amethyst necklace, to go along with the already-given bracelet and wedding ring. Naturally, this caused many happy noises. We spent the rest of the day finishing up LOTR, as is our tradition.

We went back to the Land of Below Zero Temperatures and Five-Foot Snowdrifts for Christmas, surviving two snow storms and record windchills. We got pretty much everything we wanted for Christmas, along with some great anniversary gifts. I have to say, Christmas Songs by Jars of Clay is wonderful. I can't stop listening to it, which means, unfortunately, Redemption Songs by them and Revelation by Third Day aren't getting listened to. I was worried "Little Drummer Boy" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" wouldn't be as good as the originals, but they're almost better, if that's possible.

We spent our anniversary stuck in the Dallas airport for four hours while I battled with the nasty bug Pooky's nephew gave me. Our plans for going to the Riverwalk once we got home were postponed a day, and, naturally, when I started feeling better, Pooky got it even worse than I did. He wound up missing a day of work, but not much gets done between Christmas and New Year's at the shop, so he didn't miss too much.

He was feeling well enough to get on the road for 10 hours on New Year's Day to go and retrieve the car his uncle had towed down to Texas for us. I found out how boring the desert really can be when you don't have someone to talk to and you can't get much on the radio. Oh, and someone forgot to check the battery of the mp3 player before handing it off to me, so it got even more dull. I think it would have been more "scenic" had I not had to drive and it wasn't the dead of winter.

So that's our holidays-a lot of traveling, but lots of gifts and family time. It was good seeing all eight nephews and the expectant mothers (two more little ones coming within the month). Oh, and any Iowan can positively tell you that global warming is something we wish would happen.

I'm not terribly hopeful after this past election. My husband is going to give Obama a fair shake for the first few months, and I'm trying, but it's very difficult after all the positions he's taken and his Cabinet choices. I agree with Pooky that militarily, Obama won't do too much damage, but I worry about the domestic side of things. The Freedom of Choice Act isn't just a horrible idea because it lifts resctrictions on abortions, but it also takes away every state's right to legislate in that area. It's a slippery slope on more than one level, and I don't have the confidence that Obama will stand up for Federalism, one of our key founding principles. Card Check is also something that worries me. Unions are no longer necessary in America, and this is just another way of keeping them alive.

Speaking of bloated unions, bailout-mania disgusts me. The stock market is risky, and sub-prime loans are even more so. Deal with it, people. Sorry, I had to get that off my chest.

I said that Obama's Cabinet choices worry me, and I'm being proven right even before he takes office. Richardson's out, Browner's got a lot of baggage, Holder's confirmation hearings will be embarassing should Marc Rich come up, Rahm Emanuel still has a cloud hanging over his head from his communications with Blagojevich, and don't forget that Obama's saddled himself with Her Majesty of Whitewater fame. I'm wondering who in the world would hire his vetting team after this fiasco. Of course, the Left rewards incompetence, so they're set for life.

Have a good one!