etcetera_tn

Etcetera

| A few pictures left over from other stories or that aren't enough for a story of their own.  more

sordid-lives_tn

A sordid soirée

| At dinner last Sunday night, it developed in the conversation that Jim and Angela had not yet seen the movie Sordid Lives. Such cultural deprivation could not be tolerated. "Let's have a Sordid Lives movie night," I said. "I'll make tuna noodle casserole with Lays potato chips." This offer was enthusiastically accepted by everyone at the table, save Zona and Nancy who had to go back the next morning to whence they came.  more

insecurity_tn

Homeland insecurity

| Americans have always been a confident, optimistic people. But the Bush administration and television — particularly cable and local news — seem hell-bent on making us fearful and suspicious.  more

city-seal_tn

Loop de Palm Springs

| Yesterday I got out the bike to work off some excess carbs I had loaded the night before. Rather than aimless wheeling about, I decided I would follow the city-wide loop bike path to see where it would take me. It was very educational.  more

justice_tn

Liberty and justice for all

| The Fastows, Andrew and Lea, are supposed to enter their pleas in court today, the culmination of long negotiations. Fastow is, of course, the ex-chief financial officer of bankrupt Enron. The deal nearly came apart at the last minute when the judge for Lea Fastow's case said he wasn't sure the terms were right.  more

irony_tn

Oh the irony!

| Bush wants to go to the moon, and the ACLU defends Rush Limbaugh. Is this a great country, or what?  more

missingmrs_tn

The case of the missing Mrs

| Although it has been going on for months — it only seems like years — the Democratic presidential primary season is about to start for real next week with the Iowa caucuses. And won't we all be happier when they're over? There's no lack of issues: health care, jobs, leadership, Iraq, and so forth. Amazingly, another issue has become top of mind for some, among them Fox News and the New York Times (and when did you think those two would agree on anything?). Yes, the burning issue which has swept the continent is: Where's Mrs. Dean?  more

yenta_tn

National yenta corps

| The Shrub has proposed spending $1.5B to form a National Yenta Corp. The money would go for training to help couples, especially low-income couples, learn interpersonal skills to sustain "healthy marriages." What will the man think of next?  more

more-etc_tn

More etcetera

| Odds and ends from the past week.  more

iowa-map_tn

Caucus cacophony

| If you tuned into any of the cable news networks yesterday, you would have sworn that Iowa was the center of the United States (which it pretty much is, geographically), the world, and the universe.  more

everythingrosy_tn

Rose colored union

| Last night George W Bush, aka The Shrub, gave us his view of the state of the union in a televised prime time speech before Congress.  more

selling_tn

Selling Sonicare

| A few years ago my dentist persuaded me to switch to a Sonicare® toothbrush as a way to combat incipient periodontal disease. These basically consist of a charging unit, a battery, a motor, and a brush.  more

bob-hope-logo_tn

Bob Hope Chrysler Classic

| There is a 7am meeting for all marshals. Leaving time to drive to Indian Wells, park, shuttle to the golf course, I get up at the crack of stupid.  more

paris_chezpaul_tn

Innovation Chez Paul

| Breaking news! This just in!  more

st_tn

Palm Springs street names

| When I observed that Palm Springs streets aren't named Street, that served as a signal for nit-pickers everywhere to pore over the Palm Springs map looking nits named Street.  more

worm_tn

Worm attack

| I have managed to avoid previous attacks by internet worms and viruses. Apparently it's true, you can't hide — at least not forever.  more

poppies_tn

March?

| The earth must have gone all wobbly on its axis. This are happening all out of sequence.  more

free-martha_tn

Free Martha

| The jury found Martha Stewart guilty of conspiracy, making false statements, and obstruction of justice. This is so wrong. This is a terrible miscarriage of justice.  more

ambassador_tn

Ambassador plenipotentiary

| Long, long ago in a house by the sea, my friends and I were taking the measure of a bottle of Makers Mark "sippin' whiskey" during Super Bowl weekend. I saved a tag from the bottle, offering a free shot glass dipped in trademark red wax in return for signing up on the Makers Mark website as an ambassador of the brand.  more

blossom_tn

Spring is in the air

| It's hard to imagine a more perfect time than spring in the desert. The days are warm. The sky is clear and blue. The winter rains have brought the plants on the mountainsides to life and the hills are tinged with green while, at the same time, snow is still visible on the peaks. The birds are busy flitting about gathering nestiing material. Everything is blooming, and the scent of citrus blossoms wafts through the air.  more

rice_mtp14mar04_tn

Rice-a-roni

| "Beware the Ides of March," said the soothsayer to Caesar (William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene 2).  more

facelift_tn

Chez Paul needs a face lift

| Chez Paul's exterior has gotten to the point where it needs a bit of work (and don't all our exteriors?). It is starting to look a little scruffy.  more

dogs_tn

One's appeasement

| Spaniards voted out the government of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, and they are now being villified by some as appeasers to terrorists.  more

spy_tn

Bugbears and flimflam

| The military has quietly dropped spying charges against James Yee, Muslim chaplain at the Guantanamo prison camp. This is another example — as if any more were needed — of how badly served we have been by the Bush administration.  more

lobe2b_tn

Prickly proliferation

| With the warmer weather of spring, the trees and flowers began to blooom and one of my cactus plants is having a growth spurt that almost has to be seen to be believed.  more

paint_tn

Painters are done

| The painters arrived yesterday before dawn even thought of cracking to set up for the actual painting, having finished most of the prep work on Friday. All that remained was to shroud the shrubbery, mask the door, and start spraying paint. Spraying could not begin until 7am because of the noise curfew.  more

cut_tn

Cutting the wire

| For the first time in 35 years, I do not have a wired telephone in my house.  more

attack-dog_tn

Who let the dogs out?

| Hell hath no fury like a White House dissed. Richard Clarke's new book, Against All Enemies, hit the bookstores this week, and the White House unleashed the attack dogs against him.  more

falling-dominos_tn

The domino falls

| Since williamsonpsp.com went online in 2002, I have hosted the site with company called Bluedomino.  more

press_tn

Press three to cancel

| Now that I have my new cell phone, I called AT&T Wireless to cancel my old cell phone account. Now that shouldn't be too hard, should it?  more

number-crunch_tn

Crunching the numbers

| I thought I would look one last time to see if Bluedomino had come up with the logfiles for March, even though I had heard nothing from them.  more

fablv_tn

Fabulous Las Vegas

| I spent the weekend in Las Vegas with Jim Schrempp, Jim's Angela, Jim's cousin Pete, and Pete's Kim.  more

ttax_tn

A taxing time

| These are the times that tax one's belief in capitalism.  more

condi-hand_tn

Condi's story

| Almost two weeks after the explosive charges leveled by former Bush White House counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke made it inevitable, Condoleezza Rice finally appeared before the 9-11 commission in public and under oath to give her testimony.  more

bonnet_tn

Behold the Easter bonnet

| Yesterday was Easter, and in Palm Springs at least three things happened: the religious went to church, including those who took the tram to the top of Mt San Jacinto at 4am for sunrise services; the sacrilegious (so considered by the first group) attended the White Party, an annual Palm Springs event for gays; and those who just wanted to play dress-up concocted a hat for the Easter bonnet contest at the Arenas Road street fair.  more

wheel_tn

Staying the course

| The president deigned to hold a press conference the other night. I was looking forward to it. I had my laptop open, ready to take notes.  more

15apr04_tn

Frankencactus

| A few months ago, I bought a floppy-looking cactus because of its unusual shape and the fact that its surface was covered with little fuzzy-looking dots. It looked almost cuddly.  more

cover_tn

Time and Time again

| About a year ago, I received a subscription to Time magazine as a "free gift" from one of my credit cards as a reward for being such a good customer. I fully anticipated that at some point, I would be besieged to renew the subscription for real money. And so I have been.  more

mtp_tn

Kerry's quagmire

| John Kerry won enough delegates in the Democratic primaries to become the nominee to face off against George Bush in the presidential election in November. Then Kerry went on vacation. This gave the Bushies an opening to crank up their attack machine and define their opponent the way they wanted to.  more

missing-img_tn

Bandwidth bandits

| There's a crime wave of sorts on the internet, and it has nothing to do with unscrupulous scams to steal credit card numbers or sell drugs to enhance sexual prowess and stamina. No, this is grand theft bandwidth.  more

frontline_tn

News from the front lines

| Since I posted my article on bandwidth stealing, there have been some interesting developments.  more

bandwidth-exceeded_tn

Bandwidth exceeded

| For a time on Sunday afternoon, people trying to access williamsonpsp.com saw a blunt message from my webhost that the site had been blocked.  more

rabbit_tn

Rabbits on lawn

| While I was writing on the patio, rabbits, quails, and a lizard were out making their morning rounds. The quails and lizard were more camera shy than the rabbits.  more

attack_tn

Under attack by worms

| The emails just keep coming. I'm talking here of the kind with an attachment harboring a worm, a nefarious specious of program that hijacks your address book to send itself on to everyone you know.  more

tweedledum-dee_tn

TweedleGeorge and TweedleDick testify

| Able to avoid it no longer, George Bush and Dick Cheney will testify today before the 9/11 Commission (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States).  more

ax_tn

Class action settlement

| Wanting to reassure myself that I had paid my American Express credit card bill I went online to check my account. I was surprised to see that I had received an award in a class action settlement.  more

xhtml_tn

The X factor

| You may have noticed a slightly different "look" to the home page and this page. Behind the scenes, I am switching from plain old vanilla HTML to XHTML for my website. XHTML is supposed to be the standard markup language for web pages and will be the key to making web content available on additional display devices, such as cell phones. I have no delusions that anybody wants to use their cell phone minutes to read my website on a miniature screen, but I took up the challenge to keep the mind exercised in learning something new. It's the "use it or lose it" principle.  more

draw_tn

Bloodletting

| I went to the phlebotomist this morning for my quarterly bloodletting. I was already cranky for not having gotten much sleep last night. And I was, of course, also hungry for being deprived of food until after the leeching.  more

supersize_tn

Super Size Me

| Suppose you ate every meal for 30 days at McDonalds. No exceptions. And suppose that everytime you were asked if you wanted to super size your order, you said yes. That's the premise of Super Size Me, the movie.  more

kerfuffle_tn

Kerfuffle

| It's amazing how you can go through the first sixty years of your life and never once hear or see the word kerfuffle, but then it's everywhere. I heard the most recent instance of kerfuffle on the News Hour last night, when David Brooks, the conservative columnist from the New York Times, said that George Tenet's resignation from the CIA would avoid a kerfuffle later in the campaign.  more

casket_tn

Repose

| Former president Ronald Reagan died yesterday after a long bout with Alzheimers.  more

roadrunner_tn

Stalking the roadrunner

| Early Sunday, while I was on the patio reading the papers, Rodney (Rhonda?) the Roadrunner came trotting across the patio, bold as brass. Of course I didn't have my camera.  more

into-sunset_tn

Into the sunset

| According to the Bible, it took God just a week to create heaven and earth and everything else. It took equally long to bury Ronald Reagan. What was that all about?  more

jury_tn

Report for jury duty

| It was a plain white postcard with the California state seal on one side and a blunt message on the other: You did not report for jury duty when you were supposed to. Be there Monday. Or else. It was phrased in a more official way, but that's what it meant.  more

haircut-time_tn

Haircut time again

| About Memorial Day, the tradition of giving the palm trees a summer haircut begins all over town. The ritual was a bit delayed Chez Paul. It seems the "cutters" refused to cut without a guarantee they would be paid. And rightly so. Who would climb a palm tree carrying a big machete if there was a doubt about being paid for the effort?  more

earth_tn

A different world

| The US viceroy of Iraq, Paul Bremer, transferred so-called sovereignty to Iraq two days early. If there was ever any doubt that the folks in the George Bush White House are living in their own fantasy world, there is no need to look any farther than how the White House described this event.  more

grill_tn

Mixed grill

| It's hard to know where to start. There's the terrorist bust nobody heard about, the movie everybody's heard about but the right-wing doesn't want you to see, the pumped-up judge, the bleeping veep, the candidate who had to quit, and the torturing of the word torture. It has been a terrific week, full of scandal, profanity, sex, and potential violence. And that's before even getting into Clinton's book.  more

roadrunner_tn

Tale of the roadrunner

| I finally got a pretty decent picture of the cheeky little roadrunner.  more

atjeu_tn

Customer service

| I had despaired of ever encountering real customer service. Eureka! I have found it.  more

liberty-bell_tn

Let freedom reign

| The conventional wisdom is 9/11 changed everything, and that has been used as justification for everything from the Patriot Act to making travelers remove their shoes at airport security. Indeed, George W Bush has been acting as if 9/11 gives the president unlimited and unquestionable authority to do whatever he wants.  more

trip_tn

It's a long way to Tipperary

| Drive! he said. With a full tank of gas, a mug of steaming hot coffee, and reckless optimism that the trip wouldn't be "too bad," I set out from Palm Springs yesterday for Twain Harte to observe the Fourth of July festivities at Bob and Carolyn's cabin with other friends from the Bay Area.  more

weight-world_tn

Poor Uncle Sam

| It has come to this: Uncle Sam has gone from being the kindly, generous uncle everyone liked to one not so much respected as feared and resented in the world. And while he marches proudly about, wrapped in the flag, declaiming about Liberty and Freedom and Justice, others snicker and point out that the Uncle has no clothes.  more

tow_tn

Curse of Twain Harte

| There is something about Twain Harte doesn't like a Mercury Sable.  more

sportsman_tn

Breakfast at Sportsman's

| Yesterday Jim, Ray, Bob, and I set off for breakfast at the Twain Harte golf club, having failed to notice that breakfast was served only on weekends. Eventually the manager came over to our table and clarified that for us. So, we set out for that other Twain Harte mainstay, Sportsman's Cafe.  more

nothingless_tn

Nothing Less

| While waiting at Enterprise Rent-a-car for my rental car to be vacuumed out (see "Curse of Twain Harte" for why this was necessary), I chatted with Tommy the customer service representative and found out that he was fresh out of college in Alaska and had come to the Sierra foothills to find fame and fortune with his band, Nothing Less.  more

arch_tn

Scene in Twain Harte

| Here are some miscellaneous snaps from the weekend. There's no big story, just pictures.  more

soiree_tn

Soiree Chez Ray

| Charlie from the hills of Mendocino county was down for a concert at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, so Ray had a party. There was Charlie and Ray, of course, Bob and Carolyn, Jim and Angela, Kaye and Susan from New Zealand, and me.  more

high-road_tn

Taking the high road home

| The Sable was finally repaired, and I drove up to Sonora this morning from the Bay Area to pick it up. Rather than backtrack to I-5 again, I decided to go through Yosemite National Park on CA-120 and then follow US-395 south to the desert.  more

wire_tn

Manzanar

| The Manzanar War Relocation Center opened as a national historic site in April of this year. What excellent timing!  more

face-print_tn

Missing photo recovered

| Shortly after posting my tale of taking the route home through Yosemite and of the sacrifice I made for my art, I received an email from my friend Tony, with the subject "Missing Photo":  more

fire_tn

Wildfire

| For two days now, a fire has been burning just north west of Palm Springs near an area called Snow Creek. Estimates of its size range from 3000 acres to 5000 acres, and it is less than 50% contained.  more

bastille_tn

Bastille Day

| Perhaps the US will one day celebrate Capitol Day, in commemoration of when the people stormed Washington and threw the rascals out!  more

room_tn

Eilers Inn

| Combine the ambiance of New Orleans with the spirit of Aloha, and you've got Eiler's Inn in Laguna Beach. This was our first stay at Eiler's Inn, but it won't be the last!  more

ticket_xs

Lolligagging in Laguna Beach

| Last week my friends and I made our now annual pilgrimmage to Laguna Beach for the Pageant of the Masters and restorative lazing about.  more

arnold

Macho Gov

| Frustrated over the legislature's failure to pass his budget, Governor Schwarzenegger (R-CA) has unleashed his Weapon of Mass Derision: He says they're nothing but a bunch of "girlie men."  more

map_tn

Out on a limb

| I make a bold prediction: the upcoming US presidential election will be a landslide, not the photo finish anticipated by the chattering classes.  more

peppers_tn

Pick a peck

| A few months ago when I was replacing some herbs that had not done well under my black thumb, I picked up a pepper plant as well. Self, I said to myself, you can grow some peppers to garnish your salads. Little did I suspect what I was starting.  more

hats_tn

Kerry nominated

| Well, I'm glad that's settled! The suspense was becoming unbearable.  more

notice_tn

Covered

| In the words of the immortal Vinnie Barbarino, "I'm so confused!"  more

turning_tn

Turning the corner

| On Friday, the government released the latest employment report showing that only 32,000 new jobs were created during the month of July. This was about 150,000 fewer jobs than expected.  more

remote_tn

The 'skip' button

| It all began a few weeks ago when KCET, the PBS station, changed the schedule. To that point, I had been a happy TV camper  more

etcetera_tn

Etcetera

| When I recently wrote about President Bush's preposterous campaign assertion that the economy is "turning the corner, and we're not going back," I was forced to rely for illustration on bastardizing previously published editorial cartoons. Although I could see "in my mind's eye" a good image, I have no ability to draw it. In fact, I'm probably the only person ever to receive a rejection letter from the Matchbook School of Art.  more

elephant_tn

Desperation

| I received in this morning's mail a letter from Ed Gillespie, and it lifted my spirits tremendously.  more

spam_tn

Damned spam

| When Google went public yesterday, the company got a check for $1.6 billion (that's billion with a B!), and a whole lot of 20-somethings and 30-somethings in Silicon Valley became instant millionaires. I don't begrudge them their good fortune. Google is a terrific search engine. But if a company could come up with a sure-fire way to stop email spam, it would be worth twice that! At least!  more

faults_tn

Waiting for Mr Big

| Some folks in the Coachella Valley are all a-twitter over the prediction by a UCLA seismologist that an earthquake of magnitude 6.4 or greater will occur in the region by 5 September. The thing is, he's been right before — enough times to make one pay attention.  more

skipthisad_tn

Make way for advertising

| The Washington Post published a collection of photos from the recent Olympic Games. But naturally you could not look at them without first suffering through advertising.  more

lightning_tn

Maybe there is a god

| In the interest of maintaining at least an appearance of fairness, I thought I would tune in on the Republicans this afternoon in New York City to see what mischief they were up to and what lies they were telling.  more

all-hat_tn

All hat

| This is the week that George W goes to New York City, the first capital of the United States, to be annointed Republican candidate for president.  more

broccoli_tn

The broccoli campaign

| Pogo had it right: we are our own worst enemy. We are in the midst of a crucial presidential campaign, facing issues of war and peace, economic prosperity or ruin, staggering budget deficits, health care costs that soar unrestrained, and so on — things that affect the well-being and security of us all.  more

lift-off_tn

Interlude in Twain Harte

| I went to Twain Harte to spend the Labor Day weekend with friends Bob and Carolyn, along with Dean who came up from San Jose. Unlike my earlier trip in July that cost a fortune in car repairs and the agony of a face-plant, I decided to fly up. Dean offered to give me a ride to Twain Harte with her. Good deal! No rental car.  more

bees_200

Busy as a bee

| The bees loved, just loved, the chives that I was growing on the patio.  more

cheney_tn

Making the right choice

| Last week, Vice President Cheney put into words what the Republican campaign machine has been implying all along: If you vote for Kerry, the terrorists are gonna git ya!  more

dan-black-eye_tn

Dan's big black eye

| When Dan Rather broadcast a story on CBS's 60 Minutes II last Wednesday about George W Bush's service in the National Guard during the Vietnam era, he was sure he had scored a coup — he had documents to prove his case. Only problem is, the authenticity of the documents has been pretty convincingly questioned. Oops!  more

bush_tn

Bush to UN: Get with the program!

| Yesterday, W addressed the United Nations at the opening of the General Assembly. His speech — crafted with care by the White House speechmeisters — soared with lofty idealism.  more

windsurfing_tn

Kerry ad kerfuffle

| During the Republican convention in New York, John Kerry went windsurfing, and photographers got pictures. This week the Republicans turned the pictures into an ad, set to the Blue Danube Waltz, to reinforce the "whichever way the wind blows" flip-flop theme they've hammered away at for the whole campaign. A genuine kerfuffle ensued.  more

krups_tn

Krups ist kaput

| According to Paul, he first noticed something was wrong when he reached behind Krups to nudge him forward to facilitate filling the water reservoir, preparatory to making morning coffee. "Hello, what's this?" Paul remarked. "Krups is all warm." Thinking he had simply been unobservant heretofore, Paul proceeded to pour the water while the coffee beans were grinding. Much to his dismay, Krups began pumping hot water up to steep the coffee grounds which, of course, were still agrinding. Hot water flowed all over the kitchen counter.  more

delay-clock_tn

Timing is everything

| Before entering the House of Representatives, Tom DeLay, now majority whip, was an exterminator. A Texas good ol' boy, DeLay happily bore the moniker "The Bug Man." Late on the night of the first presidential debate, the House ethics committee rebuked him gently, hoping nobody would notice.  more

humbug_tn

Bah, humbug!

| I stopped at Ralph's supermarket on the way home from brunch to pick up some tonic water and limes for the cocktail hour this afternoon. They were playing Christmas music over the loudspeakers and staff were wearing little red Santa hats. It made me nauseous.  more

ashcroft_tn

Ooga-booga

| John Ashcroft emerged from his hidey-hole again yesterday to tout the indictment of another terrorist. Big deal — the terrorist has been in jail for almost a year!  more

anti_tn

The "anti-" campaign

| Regrettably the presidential campaign this year is much more about being against somebody than being for somebody. Most election years there is a time at the beginning of the campaign, at least, when candidates promote themselves positively before turning to the task of tearing down the opponent as the campaign draws to a close. This year the positive window was remarkably short; it's not all that clear, indeed, that it even existed.  more

idea_tn

Great concept, terrible execution

| There is something very disappointing, even infuriating, about seeing a really great idea executed badly.  more

mrcoffee_tn

The triumph of Mr Coffee

| Mr Coffee today resumed his role as Head Coffee Brewer Chez Paul. He cannot hide his satisfaction over the ignominious end that came to the usurper Krups.  more

nw_tn

Minnesota

| I made an unexpected trip to Minnesota last week to attend the funeral of my sister-in-law who died early Tuesday morning.  more

mud_tn

So vote already!

| It would be nice to say that the presidential campaign was an uplifting and forthright discussion of the important issues facing the US. It would be nice, but it would be a lie.  more

parcel-select_tn

Sortation

| Only a government agency (OK, quasi-government agency) would come up with such a pretentious description as "sortation" center. I'm surprised they didn't spell it "centre" just to top things off!  more

track_tn

Why?

| I confess: I don't get it. Opinion polls consistently show that much less than half the country thinks it is on the right track. The Washington Post tracking poll published today puts the percentages at 55% who think the country is on the wrong track versus only 41% who think the country is on the right track. But the same polls show Kerry and Bush locked in a tie in the presidential race.  more

card_tn

High-roller

| It was such a simple plan: Drive to Ontario, catch a Southwest flight to Las Vegas, gamble a bit, see a show, have breakfast, fly back, collect another free ticket.  more

msmoney_tn

More Money misery

| When the credit union rolled over its "core systems" in July, they took away temporarily the OFX server that lets you download transactions directly into Microsoft Money. A recent inquiry to the credit union elicited the information that the OFX server was to be back online by 28-Oct. This morning I thought I'd find out.  more

girlie-men_tn

Girlie men for Halloween

| Contrary to Governor Schwarzenegger's admonition, some of us were girlie men for Halloween.  more

cashflow_tn

More Money woes

| There seems to be no end to the torment inflicted upon me by my upgrade to Microsoft Money 2005 Deluxe. The initial battles were ugly and demented. It has only gotten worse.  more

eat-crow_tn

Let them eat crow

| Some time ago I boldly predicted a landslide in the presidential race. This wasn't what I had in mind.  more

mendo_tn

Roadhouse revisited

| The morning after the election, Ray and I headed north to an undisclosed location in Mendocino county to spend a week at Ray's cabin. We would be joined later in the week by Jim, Angela, and Bob. It seems I was the only one who didn't know this was a work party!  more

electoral-map_tn

Election aftermath

| Well, the election is over, and I feel compelled to say a few words about it. Unfortunately, most of the words I'd like to say are unsuitable for polite company.  more

shake-up_tn

Counter-top shake-up

| The morning coffee team Chez Paul has been thoroughly shaken up in a series of decisive and surprising moves.  more

update_tn

Mega-misery from MS Money

| It's a good thing I don't believe in Heaven nor Hell, because if I did believe, my experience with Microsoft Money would surely be a preview of what's to come in Hell.  more

thumb_tn

'Tis the season

| Over the years it has become painfully obvious that I am meant to pull the covers over my head and assume a fetal position from Halloween to Three Kings Day.  more

account_tn

It never ends

| I'm being punished for something. Since I've sinned and blasphemed so freely, it's impossible to know the precise reason, but the misery being inflicted on me by the latest release of Microsoft Money must be retribution for something.  more

ed-bret_tn

They're baaaack!

| On Sunday night, we drove to LA to see Leslie Jordan's one-man show, Like a Dog on Linoleum. It was fantastic. You will recognize Leslie Jordan, perhaps, from his recurring role on Will and Grace or from the cult classic Sordid Lives.  more

rj45_tn

No dongle

| I forgot my dongle. I would forget my dongle. Here I sit in my room at Bally's Las Vegas, ready to connect to the internet, only to discover that I left my dongle at home.  more

brass_tn

Bette Midler

| The purpose of last week's visit to Las Vegas — when I forgot my dongle — was to see Bette Midler's latest show, Kiss My Brass, at the MGM Grand.  more

parade_tn

Twain Harte gets the spirit

| The town of Twain Harte launched its Christmas festivities with the annual parade on Friday night. Mother Lode Internet provided streaming coverage over the internet.  more

shuffleboard_tn

Shufflebored

| GWB is shuffling his cabinet around for his second term, and I'm bored with it.  more

medal-of-freedom_tn

Medal of Freedom

| The Presidential Medal of Freedom was established by President Truman to recognize service in the war. President Kennedy reintroduced the medal as an honor for civilian service in peacetime. George W Bush made a mockery of the medal with his last three awards.  more

package_tn

Ham and water product

| While at the market yesterday, I bought a packaged of sliced ham, thinking of a nice sandwich with mustard and a dill pickle. It was only when I got the package home that I realized I had purchased "ham and water product" instead.  more

joshua_tn

Joshua at two

| By popular request — OK, two people have asked — I'm happy to report that young Joshua is just shy of two years old: 1 year and 345 days to be precise.  more

grapefruit_tn

Grapefruit time

| It's that time again — when I can step outside and forage for breakfast from a tree.  more

pills_tn

Drug safety

| Yesterday the administration issued reports from the departments of Health and Human Services and Commerce claiming that importing cheaper drugs from developed countries — like Canada — would be risky and expensive business.  more

scrooge_tn

Merry humbug

| Christmas is no longer just an orgy of unbridled consumerism. It has become the latest front in the culture wars.  more

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Their own worst enemy

| I bought a new wireless internet video camera, the Linksys WVC54G. Setting it up was pretty straightforward. Making it usable for its intended purpose? That is something else entirely!  more

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A river runs through it

| A studly goat riding in the rain It has been raining steadily for nearly two days now, and all the washes and dry river beds are full of water. The Whitewater river that runs through the valley is normally dry; today it had water in it causing all the streets that normally cross through it to be closed. Traffic was a nightmare.  more

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More than a mouthful

| Friends Alan and Dale are here for the holidays, and we met for coffee this morning. One thing led to another and it was time for lunch. I suggested they try More Than A Mouthful, a new (to me) discovery downtown.  more

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