Monday, July 11, 2011

Dang, It's Hot!

Nothing much happening with the Specks in Speckville these days. It is just too danged hot to do anything.

Temp at 5:45pm in the shade:

But it feels like:
Thank goodness the humidity is lower than normal or it would be even worse.

The animals are too hot to care about anything either. This squirrel is laid out at the base of the tree not too far off our front porch.

Cheezburger the Porch Cat knows the squirrel is there and is too hot to care. He has been laid out on the porch watching the squirrel about 15 minutes. He's too hot to bother about getting up and getting himself an easy squirrel snack.

The squirrel knows the cat is there and is too hot to care. He must figure becoming a squirrel snack may be a good alternative to suffering in the heat.

It is just too danged hot.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tormenting the Cat

Because we are old and have no children, we entertain ourselves by tormenting the cat with hi-tech gadgetry.

Yes, we need to Get a Life.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Where I Rant at the Television

Yes, it's a bad day when I rant at the TV, but I did tonight. My newest guilty pleasure is the reality show "Addicted to Food" on the Oprah network. It's an addiction recovery show, kick-ass Texas style. Woot! I love it when the therapists get all hardcore. No mollycoddling the addicts here.

The story lines don't deal with food or eating all that much. That's all minor in the show. Food just happens to be the substance the addicts abuse. What they do show is *why* the addict is an addict and deal with the core problem. Now that there is some good TV!

Anywho, the new episodes air on Tuesday nights. I checked the schedule to see if last week's episode was airing as a rerun before the new episode. The show wasn't even on the schedule! Crap! What's up with that, Oprah? The last show had trailers for the next show, so I know it's already in the can and ready to air. Where is it? I want my Addicted to Food! And I want it now! I'm addicted!

In Addicted's time slot was "Becoming Chaz" about how Chastity Bono had a sex-change operation and is now physically and legally a man. Whoa! When did this all happen? Why haven't I heard about it before now? Am I that behind on popular culture? Hubby even knew about it already. Last time I saw Chastity she was getting her house fixed up on "Designed to Sell" or one of those shows.

Saw Chaz in a preview clip of the show. Made me sad. Oh, I'm happy for Chaz that he now has a body that matches his brain. Good for him. However, stepping back and looking at the big picture, I'm a little sad. The world is now -1 in the Damn Fine Lesbian column, and +1 in the Bloated Straight Guy column. That can't be good.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Doris - My Hero

Doris Ruth (Fuller) Larson Ryan, age 48, of Cove, Arkansas passed away February 28, 2011 at UAMS.

Doris was my hero. I found her obit in today's paper and cried.

She appeared on my radar in the spring of 1975, the day the results of the Junior High cheerleader tryouts were announced. Eight of the girls were no surprise; the usual suspects - cute little petite popular girls. And then there was Doris. All through the day everyone was asking, "Who is this Doris girl???"

In an era of cutesy names like Mitzi, Jenni, and Kristi, there was Doris. Doris, a name associated more with grandmotherly smells and sensible orthopedic shoes than perky little cheerleaders. Doris.

You see, Doris was one of those 7th grade girls nobody noticed. She was tall, gawky, all arms and legs; towered over everyone and slouched just a little to fit in. She had a mop of wild, curly carrot-red hair she hadn't yet learned to tame. She didn't wear makeup and dressed like a tomboy. She was practically invisible to the tight social cliques of a small-town Junior High.

But she had given it her all in the cheerleader tryouts and earned a coveted spot. Against all odds, she, who once was a Nobody, suddenly became a Somebody. She was living proof that Cinderella stories can and do come true, a hero to all little geeky girls who can only dream of sitting at the Cool Kids table at lunch. I always wondered if that fateful day in '75 had a dramatic impact on the outcome of her life. Did she dance in her glass slipper or did it cause blisters?

I didn't know Doris personally because we were in different grades and ran with different crowds, she an exalted Cheerleader and I a lowly Band Geek. I doubt she would have even recognized my name. But I admired her from afar, marveling at the grace with which she carried her unexpected fame.

I've thought about Doris from time to time over the years and wondered where she was and how she was getting on. Sadly, that question was answered today.

Rest in peace Doris. You will always be my hero.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"I'm too sexy for yourself; too sexy..."

Sunday afternoon, 1:00 pm. Hubby is "suiting up" for a shopping marathon at Wally World.

From top to bottom his ensemble includes: a blue and gold ballcap from a community college; a gray and green Portland State University Athletics T-shirt; a pair of khaki Dockers with green paint splotches, holes and frayed hems; and a pair of ankle-high Red Wing workboots long past their prime. His hair is wild, he has a three-day beard stubble, and I'm pretty sure he hasn't bathed since early Friday morning.

He tucks in his shirt, loads up his pockets, then gives himself a last admiring look in the mirror.

Then he strikes a pose and starts singing, "I'm too sexy for yourself, too sexy for yourself, too sexy...."

Ah, yes, you are *waaay* too sexy for me honey. (eyeroll)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Frozen in Time

(Valentine card from my brother-in-law Poppy.)

I've just returned from a two-week stint at my sister Nana's house trying to get her to part with more of her possessions. It's a hard row to hoe, but she did very well this trip. We took a truckload of stuff to the dumpster and a mountain of paper to recycle. Poppy lightened his bookcases by 250 books which were donated to a community library. Yay! Life is lighter at their house now. Next trip we get to lighten Nana's bookcases. Oy vey.

Anywho, I was at their house on Valentine's Day and got the card above from Poppy. It was perfect for me since my latest obsession is writing papers and fountain pens. When I pulled the card from the envelope, Nana and I both squealed, almost simultaneously, "It looks just like me(you)!"

When Poppy came home that night, he said he had plucked the card from the rack of hundreds just because she looks like me. Well, the little girl does look amazingly like me when I was her age. I'm well into middle age with gray hair and bifocals these days.

It's interesting all three of us said she looks just like me. Not that she looks like me when I was her age, but that she looks like me now. All three of our memories are frozen in time back when I was four, Nana was 16, and Poppy was 18. When we are together we revert back to that time and those ages.

Nana becomes Mother Hen again because she mommied me more than our mother ever did. There are times when I catch her looking at my dinner plate, pausing just a split second to consider if she should cut up my meat for me. I don't mind. I liked being mommied every now and then.

I enjoy not having adult responsibilities, or having to cook or clean or pick up after myself. I get to play with Nana's toys and poke around in her attic for treasures. I get to stay up late, sleep late and eat all kinds of sugary treats.

Frozen in Time is not such a bad thing after all.

Says my inner 4-year-old Speck, "I yike it."

Monday, December 27, 2010

Rice to Iraq and A Response from the Radical Middle

More from the Wayback Machine:

January 30, 2003

Today I got the following spam email:


There is a grassroots campaign underway to protest war in Iraq in a simple, but potentially powerful way.

Place 1/2 cup uncooked rice in a small plastic bag (a snack-size bag or sandwich bag works fine). Squeeze out excess air and seal the bag. Wrap it in a piece of paper on which you have written:

"If your enemies are hungry, feed them. Romans 12:20. Please send this rice to the people of Iraq; do not attack them."

Place the paper and bag of rice in an envelope (either a letter-sized or padded mailing envelope--both are the same cost to mail) and address them to:

President George Bush
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Attach $1.06 in postage. (Three 37-cent stamps equal $1.11.)

Drop this in the mail TODAY. It is important to act NOW so that President Bush gets the letters ASAP.

In order for this protest to be effective, there must be hundreds of thousands of such rice deliveries to the White House. We can do this if you each forward this message to your friends and family.

There is a positive history of this protest! In the 1950s, Fellowship of Reconciliation began a similar protest, which is credited with influencing President Eisenhower against attacking China. Read on:

"In the mid-1950s, the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, learning of famine in the Chinese mainland, launched a 'Feed Thine Enemy' campaign. Members and friends mailed thousands of little bags of rice to the White House with a tag quoting the Bible, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him." As far as anyone knew for more than ten years, the campaign was an abject failure. The President did not acknowledge receipt of the bags publicly; certainly, no rice was ever sent to China.

"What nonviolent activists only learned a decade later was that the campaign played a significant, perhaps even determining role in preventing nuclear war. Twice while the campaign was on, President Eisenhower met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to consider U.S. options in the conflict with China over two islands, Quemoy and Matsu. The generals twice recommended the use of nuclear weapons.

President Eisenhower each time turned to his aide and asked how many little bags of rice had come in. When told they numbered in the tens of thousands, Eisenhower told the generals that as long as so many Americans were expressing active interest in having the U.S. feed the Chinese, he certainly wasn't going to consider using nuclear weapons against them."

From: People Power: Applying Nonviolence Theory by David H. Albert, p.43, New Society, 19.

And my response because I just couldn't help myself, that's the way I am:


While rice producers across the nation would applaud this idea, I can see three serious drawbacks with the plan.

1.) If you send rice in a regular mailing envelope, chances are that it will not reach Washington, D.C. Somewhere along the way automated mail handling equipment will chew that sucker up into shreds, dropping rice grains into the moving parts of the machine causing it to seize up and halt. If this happens in post offices across the U.S., it could be construed as a terrorist attack on one of the nation's vital communications pipelines. The shredded rice will of course leave a white, powdery residue on the machine. Anthrax abatement teams will be dispatched to clean it all up costing the Postal Service millions of dollars thus causing the price of stamps to increase.

2.) Of the padded envelopes that actually do reach the president, most if not all will have a white, powdery residue in the bottom of the baggie due to the disintegration of a few of the grains of rice. The FBI, CIA, Secret Service, and the Director of Homeland Security will conduct a raid on your house for sending anthrax to the president. They will spirit you off in the middle of the night to some super-secret military prison and hold you for six months while inefficient government labs test thousands of little rice baggies with white, powdery residue. While your terrified children wonder where their mommies and daddies are, the government will investigate every aspect of your life from your dog's vaccination records to your granny's knickers to your 1954 income tax return.

3.) Iraqis do not eat rice. It's against their religion.

If you really wish to protest a war with Iraq, do not weenie out and merely send ten thousand baggies of foodstuffs to Washington....send ten thousand people. A protest march on Washington would get much more media attention and you would be far less likely to be arrested for your efforts. If your job or family obligations prevent you from taking a trip to Washington at this time, send me the $1.06 that you would have otherwise spent on postage. I'll be glad to go in your place once enough funds arrive. D.C. is beautiful in the spring when the cherry trees bloom. I'll go then.

Americans for Safe Granny Knickers, Inc.
Lower Arkansas, USA

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bustin' Bricks Fer Jesus

More from the Wayback Machine, circa 2005:

I have been cackling about this all day. The hot cultural excitement here in Our Town this week is the big "Bustin' Bricks fer Jesus" show over at one of our largest mainstream Protestant churches. It has been going on every night this week and has been heavily advertised on the local television station.

From the ads it appears to be a cross between a Jim and Tammy Fay Baker Demon Castin' show and a Hulk Hogan/World Wrestling Federation gala. Hot, oily, muscled wrestlers clad only in a pair of tiny Speedos karate chop bricks, boards and slabs of ice....then do a little witnessin' fer Je-HE-sus. I break up in hysterics when the ads come on. "Yew might be a redneck if....the WWF rassles at yer church."

I happened to have the TV muted and a Moody Blues album playing when one of these ads came on tonight. I nearly wet my pants in laughter when, at the exact moment the ad came on, the song "Isn't Life Strange" started. It was the perfect soundtrack for the ad.

I live for the delicious irony of the absurd.

"The world is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel."
-- Horace Walpole (1717-1797), Letters