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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mother - Daughter Movies & Forgiving Woody Allen

I have been pissed off at Woody Allen since he ran off with his step daughter some years back - (the old pervert) but I think I have finally come to terms with it and am ready to move on.

Watching his latest film, Vicky Christina Barcelona helped a lot - especially since Mr. Allen seems to be the first person to have successfully cloned and transplanted a human brain it into not one, but two different women. Woody Allen is a lot more sympatico embodied by Scarlett Johansson or Rebecca Hall.

It was, at first, disconcerting to hear the voice of Woody Allen, in its feminine form, coming out of the mouths of beautiful Hollywood actresses, but it made the dialogue far from predictable and the movie both comical and romantic. My daughter and I enjoyed it very much, though I did feel it necessary to advise her that insanity is not all that it is cracked up to be and that Penelope Cruz could make eating worms for breakfast seem like a good idea.

Movie Number 2: Breakfast at Tiffany's - This movie is worth watching just for the fashion alone - and for Audrey Hepburn, of course, but watching it with my daughter made me realize how much society has changed. She was positively scandalized at times - and commented "This is the craziest movie I have ever seen" on more than one occasion.

The Chinese neighbor, Holly's visits to Sing Sing to collect the weather reports and her marriage at 14 to an old man named Doc bewildered and befuddled her whereas to me they were just amusing elements of the plot.

Movie Number 3: Rear Window - Because Grace Kelly was such a lady - and it's Hitchcock.

Merry Christmas everyone - enjoy the time off with your family!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Things You Learn From Male TV

Sunday evenings I usually find myself watching a TV show about cars - not something I would choose to watch if it were strictly up to me, but also not as incredibly, mind-numbingly boring as I might have imagined.

I have learned a thing or two!

For example, ladies, it seems that the kitchen appliance industry has been holding out on us! I have been muddling through life with a Kitchen Aid Pro Line food processor and then I learn that the blending, slicing and pulverising power of my pathetic little machine is but a mere hint of what could be!

If men used food processors, they would probably be like the one that was demonstrated on the car show. It looked normal, but it was powered by a Corvette V8 engine (who knew Corvette was behind my favorite tomato-vegetable cocktail?) and could easily make soup out of my Kitchen Aid Pro Line. It did make quite a mess though. That didn't seem to bother the boys on TV - and I think I'll stick with my Kitchen Aid after all.

I learned a more important lesson from last night's episode - one I already knew but needed to be reminded of: there is a really good reason we strive to be a free-market economy and why the government should NOT hand over billions of dollars to Ford, Chrysler and GM.

Her name is Tesla.

Tesla is a sexy little thing that will get any guy's attention - she does 0 - 60 mph in 3.9 seconds (my husband was very impressed by this), hits a top speed of 124 mph, and looks not unlike a Corvette. Tesla is made in the USA and she is all electric! Tesla does NOT need the US Government to be her sugar daddy.

Not that Tesla is perfect, but the first cars to come off Henry Ford's production line probably had a few bugs in them too.

The point is this - we need to have faith in ourselves. We have the great minds and the innovative spirit -and the answers if we would just let things happen. Imagine a NEW US automobile industry that competes not with government subsidies but on the merits of its product.

Let Tesla live!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ooops Forgot To Mention the Lock-Down

I got an automated phone call from my son's high school today saying the school had been in total lock-down for the past 2 hours - but not to worry, the danger was over and the kids had been released for lunch - and besides they had ordered up some extra law enforcement so everything is spiffy-doodle.

This is the second lock-down in a month.

I managed to attend public school my entire life and never had the pleasure of being locked in a classroom so I wouldn't get shot.

I am taking my son out of the public school system and putting him into private school. I will also vote for the voucher system from here on out because our school system is dead.


Missing: The Country Club Republican - $1,000,000,000 Reward for His Safe Return!

I miss the good old days when rich people behaved like rich people and voted Republican. In return, the republican party, bless their greedy little hearts, stuck up for the interests of this often forgotten minority.

They fought higher taxes tooth and nail, railed against new government spending, could be counted on to try to import as much cheap labor as possible, never saw clear blue waters they didn't want to drill for oil in and generally tried to keep the government out of everything. The men and women of the republican party knew the value of a buck, and typically knew how to turn that buck into a buck-fifty in short order.

Their children were named Winston, Randolf, William, Elizabeth, Sarah and would usually assume some sort of silly nickname - probably acquired sometime during childhood or early adolescence after performing some funny stunt during a polo match at their family's summer estate.

The nearly filthy rich would duly busy themselves with "Keeping up with the Rockefellers" and were one a well-to-do fly on the wall of an exclusive country club, one might overhear idle chit-chat about the stock market, the merits of Vale vs. Sun Valley or how to best avoid an encounter with a member of the working class.

They were the elite and they were damn proud of it. Most everybody else admired or envied them - from a distance, of course. Many aspired to become them.

I know, you think I am off my rocker or am a sad case of wanna-be rich.

But consider this: we could trust them.

Not because they were a particularly virtuous lot, but because we knew where they stood and we knew that their goal was to make lots of money and to keep as much of it for themselves as possible. They were stern and serious, hard on each other and harder on themselves.

They went to schools covered in ivy.

They wore blue and gray suits as a signal to other rich people that they took the business of making money seriously and thus could be trusted to care for their money, too.

They feared disgrace.

When properly controlled by some well placed regulations and taxed just enough to give them something to complain about, society was well-served just to let them do what they do best - make money.

The democrat's job was to try to take as much money away from the rich as possible to make sure that the working stiffs had a decent life too and that opportunity was not a pipe dream - that the rest of us had at least a chance at the good life too, if we worked hard and didn't squander our talents.

A constant struggle but a simple one - and one that kept things from tipping too far in one direction - kept things from toppling.

Now the rich people are tripping over each other in their race to register themselves as democrats and bask in the glow of (pie in the sky) lofty ideals of equality and helping the poor - usually in some far away place, not America.

And you can't trust them.

For all the talk of equal this and equal that, they keep getting richer and the working class keep getting poorer. They want to spend lots of money on various social causes, but not their own money - and want to enact social programs - but not in their neighborhoods - and have been able to pull this off by appropriating the moral high-ground.

Combine this with the power and influence of deep pockets and you have a double whammy.

If they don't get their way with money, a well placed label of racist, sexist, homophobe or whatever will silence any dissent.

Meanwhile, back at the trailer park, the republicans are busy helping the residents remove all the words from books and holding impromptu trials to determine whether there are any witches amongst them. They are optimistic that up to 65% of the residents are solid republicans and the other 75% will join up soon.

It ain't gonna work folks!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

How Are You?

Hi There!

I am wondering how everybody is doing out there! I have been in a frenzy trying to pay off credit card debt (of which I have way too much) before the %$&* really hits the fan, and then I read the newspaper and learn that Christmas sales are actually UP!

At the same time I read that the food banks are running out of food because 1) donations are down and 2) demand is way up.

Who is buying all the stuff? I am getting mixed messages here - How do things look from where you sit?


PS: If you don't feel like writing then take my "How Scrooged Are We" Pop Quiz

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Google Threat

We saw the movie "Eagle Eye" recently - a movie where a rouge, "Big Sister" computer system gets morals of its own and decides to remove the President ET AL from office by taking control of pretty much everything than runs on electricity. All very physical stuff to allow for the prerequisite car chases and pile ups that the movie going audience seems to depend on.

In reality, however, the framework for a real life Big Brother takeover is being built this very moment - to the delight of most Internet users - including myself - who marvel at all the latest bells and whistles and eagerly adopt them into our web lives. The title of my post probably gave it away - but I am talking about the Google.

I don't think Google or the folks who run Google have an evil plan to take over the world and demand ... One Million Dollars ... but they are sure creating a setup that would make things a lot easier for somebody who did...

Consider the awesome power of the Google:
  1. As the most popular search engine, it controls the dissemination of information - i.e. it shows you what it thinks you should see...
  2. As online commerce grows, so does the power of the Google grow in that it can control to a large extent which companies make money and which don't. If it wanted to...
  3. Many companies, including large and well known companies willingly hand over their sales data to Google via the Google affiliate program, Froogle and probably a few others I am unaware of. Google knows which companies are selling which products and how many of them they are selling.
  4. They know who is buying them too, and whether that person has enough money in their checking account to cover the purchase and whether their credit card is maxed out - probably their credit limit too. How? Google Checkout. The Google's answer to Paypal.
  5. Google knows that you want an iPod for Christmas - (it read that in your email - for now just to display Google Ads to you in the hope that you click on an iPod ad- enabling them to charge Apple a nickel - unless of course the Google knows that Sony has more money to pay for Google Ads so it tries to convince you to buy a Sony Walkman or whatever they are called these days).
  6. Google also knows where you live, your telephone number, and probably other little bits of trivia you may or may not want to share.
  7. Google knows that you have the ugliest house on the block and that you rarely mow your lawn. Google knows that your home is easily accessible from 3 sides and that good cover is provided on two. Google also knows that you needed directions from your house to some cheap motel on the other side of town and that there are 4 other better hotels within a 5 mile radius of your home that you could have needed directions to, but didn't.
  8. Google knows that you often search the Internet for the keywords "naked women", or that last week you needed information on some exotic communicable disease.
So, what mischief could somebody make who knew your name and personal information, where you live, what your house looks like, the street you live on looks like and the distance to the nearest police station, where you bank, your bank account number, your personal spending habits, the gossip you shared with your best friend and your deepest, darkest secrets?

Uh Gee George, I don't know!

How much do we trust the Google? Just who has access to what information?

Let's play "extremely paranoid weirdo" for a second and come up with a crazy scenario just for kicks... Let's say Osama bin Laden bought a big chunk of Google stock - through a front company - say Aunt Betsey's Cookies & Tractor Parts, Inc. - enough stock so that he could influence and make demands on Google management (via his henchman, Aunt Betsey).

If Osama bin Laden had access to all that information about you and half the country - do you think that would be a good thing or a bad thing?


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yoox Coupon Code

March 5th, 2010 Update: Here is a coupon code from Yoox for 15% Off!

Wonder Woman: an EXTRA 15% OFF and Free Shipping The YOOX CODE - valid until March 8th, 2010 at midnight - that allows you to access the offer is: WOMAN@YOOX

Finally! I thought they had given up!

Hope you find something you'll like!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Sycamore Canyon Fire - Take Tea

Funny how certain things stick in your mind when you are a kid. I remember the "Sycamore Canyon Fire" in 1977 like it was yesterday. Not that I ever saw any flames, we didn't live close enough, but I remember sitting under a huge cloud of smoke for days and watching the fire fighting efforts on the local news channel.

Houses burning in the Tea fire - November 13, 2008
I remember feeling really embarrassed and kind of dumb because I called up our swim club and asked them if they were open - I had heard the fire department on TV telling residents to use as little water as possible to keep the pressure up for the fire hoses - so I thought the club might be closed - and I wanted to go swimming.

"Yeah - why wouldn't we be open?" The guy had said in 1977.
"Uh.. OK, Thanks, Bye" I had said and hung up as quickly as I could without slamming down the phone.

The 11 year old me was mortified at having asked such a dumb question.

That is what was running through my 2008 brain as I stood on the balcony and watched the homes of at least two families go up in smoke. As tragedies go, our Santa Barbara fires are on the lesser end of the scale - the wealthy areas are the ones that get hit the hardest and people who live there know they are at risk - but I am sure that for those families who are presently watching their worldly possessions go up in smoke - it doesn't feel like that.

Some friends of ours most likely lost everything - they were only able to grab a few photos before they were forced to flee the encroaching flames.

That's what people take in such a situation - memories - the mementos of lives lived, family stories.

If nothing else, the light from those red hot fires lets you see with unusual clarity what is important and what is not. And a new generation of 11-year-olds is experiencing the events - from the terrible to the trivial - that they will remember 31 years from now, also with unusual clarity.


Landscaping tips for the fire prone

Monday, November 10, 2008


I must say that a bit of nostalgia set in while watching the FOX news coverage of the election. I was reminded of another "Fair and Balanced" News agency that I had watched on occasion when I was 19 or so and was doing a year abroad in West Germany.

What a time I had! - Though there were a few minor annoyances that put somewhat of a damper on my fun.

One in particular stands out quite clearly in my recollections of the time. It was a warm day in May, perhaps the 1st of May and I had just returned home to my WG from the cafe. My housemates were huddled around the small, black and white TV and one was busily trying to adjust the rabbit-ears to get reception.

I knew something was up because the use of that TV was normally limited to watching the "Sportschau" - (The Sports Watch - yes, men are the same all over the world) - and as it turned out I was right; a nuclear reactor I never knew existed had gone boom in a town I had never heard of somewhere in the Soviet Union. I came to know its name very well in the days and weeks to follow: Chernobyl.

Not only did this stupid thing explode, but it sent all of this radioactive stuff high into the air where a passing storm picked it up and carried it westward, only to rain it down on the head of one poor unsuspecting exchange student from California (and everybody else, too). Talk about bad neighbors!

In the first few days that followed, we watched the news carefully because those storms were raining down radioactivity all over Western Europe - and it was critical not get caught in one - or eat any fresh fruit, vegetables or drink fresh cow's milk - because they ate the grass that was caught in the rain.

At one point I remember somebody switched over to a TV station from the DDR - the former East Germany and we watched in amazement as their news program reported on everything BUT Chernobyl. I remember watching girls dancing around with ribbons and hula-hoops and thinking to myself - Wow - Don't they care about the health of their own people?

The answer of course was NO, they didn't give a hoot about anything but furthering their own political agenda - and anything that detracted from that - was just left out. Dirty Commies.

Thank God I live in the USA where our news will report what is important and not just that which serves its own agenda.

After watching FOX news reporters gloat about how stupid Sarah Palin is, and knowing that they knew all of this before the election, I am choking on those words.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

I just got back from voting for Barack Obama. I couldn't wait to get to the polls this morning - it was the first thing I did. There were no long lines at my polling center, more due to good organization than lack of interest; it was busy and one of the staffers was announcing first-time voters - everybody clapped. They were also serving coffee and there were big bowls of candy - a little reward for doing one's civic duty.

On the way there I happened to listen to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. I have to say I am not much of a fan because all he does is rant and everything he says is predictable. A reasonable person, a thinking person, would have a few surprises up his sleeve once in awhile, because life is more complex than he seems to think it is.

On the other hand, for everything else on my ballot today, I voted like the right-wing extremist that I learned that I am. I didn't know that before, but when one stays home and answers the phone one finds that there are people who will call you and tell you such things.

For example, I voted for the proposition that says doctors have to tell the parents of a girl before giving her an abortion. I don't understand why this is even an issue. If my daughter wanted to get an in-grown toenail removed they wouldn't do that without my or her father's consent. Parents are responsible for their children until they are 18. Period.

I also voted for Proposition 8 because I am tired of people trying to make up be down and down be up. Marriage is one man and one woman - and is primarily there for providing a stable environment for having and raising children. Two people of the same sex cannot do this without some sort of twisted intervention by a third party. All men are created equal under the eyes of the law, not all couples. Nature or God or whatever made it that way.

Before you start squawking about gay and lesbian rights to this or that, ask yourself who gave them the right to decide that any child they might create doesn't get to have a mother or a father? At least one partner will not be the biological parent of the child, and while for some this may not be an issue, saying that such a situation is equal to a child being born with two parents who have a biological imperative to care for it is a load of horse apples. Not equal.

Finally, on the way home I stopped by the "Senior Living" facility to see whether anybody there needed a ride to vote. It was all locked up tight and after ringing the bell, the property management lady showed up at the door and looked at me as if I were crazy when I told her why I was there. She totally blew me off and told me "she can't let me in" - I didn't really want "in" so I just left my phone number with the message that any of the residents could call me for a ride. I felt kind of dumb and I am pretty sure she threw my number in the trash. I sure hope I don't wind up in a place like that.

So that was my morning, folks! Don't forget to vote - I don't care who ya vote for - just vote!


On How Prop 8 Won't Affect Schools
  1. Sacramento Kindergarten Hosts Gay Day Without Advising Parents
  2. Revealed: 'Gay' Plans To Target 2-Year-Olds - 5Th-Grade Students Could Be Handed 'Coping With Sexual Orientation'
  3. Gay & Lesbian Studies in Kindergarten
  4. Teacher's Unions Exposed
  5. Teacher's Union Donates 1 Million to fight Prop 8
  6. You decide - OK to hand out in schools? Massachusetts thinks so
  7. Here is a course that teachers will get professional development credits for - i.e. taxpayers will have to pay them more money - Massachusetts state government employees are the instructors. To be honest, I am in shock. This is just flat out disgusting and everybody involved belongs in jail. I lived in San Francisco and have been to two of the gay parades. I rather enjoyed the colorful floats with dancers and disco music, made for a festive atmosphere. However, the parade ended at the civic center and the scene there made Fellini's Satyricon seem like an episode of Sesame Street - that, it seems, is what they feel is appropriate subject matter for children. If my kids were entering school these days, they would not set foot in a public school. It is borderline child abuse.

Monday, November 03, 2008



and remember...

When you are in the voting booth, all they can see are your shoes!


Friday, October 31, 2008

Public Service Post - Does the IRS Owe You Money?

I actually got a useful email from Senator Boxer - How to get money back from the IRS! So I thought I would pass it along in case anybody surfing by would like some money (and is owed some - bummer huh? I wish I knew a secret...)

"Does the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) owe you money? Currently, the IRS owes refund checks worth a total of more than $103 million to more than 104,000 Americans. And it owes stimulus checks worth a total of about $163 million to about 279,000 people."

Mainly, people have moved and have, for some strange reason, forgotten to tell the IRS! You can use this link to see if you are due a check from the IRS!

Happy Spending!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Then and Now - The Great Depression, Act II

"Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it"

Meaning: We didn't learn our lesson yet so that lesson will now be repeated.
"If expansion of the brokers loan account gets to the place where it is dangerous and borders on unwarranted speculation, the American banking fraternity itself would correct the situation." Former Governor Roy A. Young of the federal reserve system, quoted in 1928. He said he could recommend no legislation to that end.

Meaning: What me worry? The banks don't need to be regulated! They will self-regulate and everything will be hunky-dory!
Event: 1929 Stock market crash, the Great Depression, Misery, Poverty and a distinct absence of Hunky Doriness.

Event: Glass-Steagall Act Of 1933 - set up a regulatory firewall between commercial and investment bank activities, both of which were curbed and controlled. See Source

Meaning: By 1933, people were not so happy with the results of banks regulating themselves so they decided to help out - (Hunger tends to make folks grumpy)

... Hunky Doriness ...

Event: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act 1999 - to the delight of many in the banking industry (not everyone, however, was happy), in November of 1999 Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act with the establishment of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which eliminated the Glass-Steagall Act restrictions against affiliations between commercial and investment banks. Furthermore, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act allows banking institutions to provide a broader range of services, including underwriting and other dealing activities.

Meaning: Representative Jim Leach (R-Iowa) and Senator Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) owe us some money.

I would also like to see money paid back from the following people:
  1. Daniel Mudd - Fannie Mae, the biggest U.S. mortgage finance company, said that it paid its chief executive, Daniel Mudd, salary, bonuses and stock valued at $14.25 million in 2006, an increase of 25 percent.
  2. Richard F. Syron - 5-Year Compensation Total $29.06 mil - Richard F Syron has been CEO of Freddie Mac ( FRE) for 4 years. Mr. Syron has been with the company for 4 years. The 64 year old executive ranks 34 within Diversified Financials
  3. Kerry Killinger - Washington Mutual lost $3.3 billion in the second quarter, on top of more than $1 billion of losses in the first quarter, as it scrambled to raise reserves for loan losses. Killinger received no 2007 bonus amid huge losses and a 70% stock price drop. That cut his pay to a mere $4.9 million. His board decided in March to exclude the financial damage from WaMu's subprime lending from the operating profit figure used to calculate his bonus. Directors backed off in April after shareholders forced former finance committee head Mary Pugh to resign.
  4. TBD

If you care that we taxpayers are being asked to foot the bill for this bailout, then join me in getting our money back from the people who stole it. And yes I mean stole it. Since when does one deserve bonus pay for driving a company into the ground? I want that money back - These people had no business taking on a job that they were so obviously not qualified for. I want consequences!!!


PS Consider this a lesson in Home Economics. - My list will continue to grow and if you know of somebody who should be on this list, by all means nominate him/her!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Obama, Your Pastor, Same-Sex & Child Sacrifice

I got an email where the above was in the title, sent to me by: Rabbi Yehuda Levin and Dr. O'Neal Dozier. I just wanted to say to Rabbi Yehuda Levin and Dr. O'Neal Dozier...


Thank you for listening.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is This My Country?

There are intelligent reasons to disagree when it comes to choosing a candidate in this upcoming election, and then there is the ugly face of ignorance and stupidity.

Hello people in these videos - I was just wondering whether you knew this lady?

There are plenty of reasons to be angry these days - we are in real trouble as a nation and I have to say the worst is yet to come. Unless we channel that anger into really understanding how we got into this mess, it is only going to get worse.

There are many people who have the public's ear who do not have the public's best interest at heart and are not being truthful with their viewers and listeners. To them I say: You live in this country too. You may get your ratings and you may get your bonuses from spewing the nonsense you do, but where are you going to spend all of your money if the country crashes? Where are you going to live?

When I hear people say out loud that Barack Obama is a terrorist because of his name - or perhaps in reality because of his skin color - I start to lose hope that this country will come out the other side intact. Have some self respect! If you know nothing, then consider keeping your mouth shut.

If you care about this country at all, then please show some respect for the democratic process and the candidates it produces. Labeling a candidate for president a terrorist implies that the very fundamentals of our country are broken - if it were really true that our democratic process were allowing terrorists to be nominated for the highest office we have.

There is nothing to be proud of in being an idiot. Flaunting your ignorance emboldens our enemies as it makes us look weak.

Our founding fathers did not prize ignorance - they valued knowledge, wisdom and justice. They were the elite of society and feared for the well-being of the country in the hands of the the ignorant masses - which is one of the rationales behind the delegate's freedom to cast his vote as he sees fit, instead of being bound by the popular vote.

Just remember, people in these videos, It is better to be silent and be suspected of being an idiot than to open your mouth and prove that you are.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Another Case of the Palin Syndrome

"Nanny accused of dumping children at unlicensed day care" reads the headline of an article in the LA Times. We are supposed to be horrified at the evil nanny who outsourced her babysitting duties to a cheaper provider in Hollywood - an "unlicensed daycare" or in reality, a lady who watches kids in her appartment. The Nanny

"agreed to care for children in the Hancock Park and Larchmont areas, but dumped them off at an unlicensed day-care center in a Hollywood apartment so she could work selling produce."

The "victim" in this case? An attorney and mother of twins who has been left "feeling betrayed". She even goes on to say this about the nanny:

"I treated her like a member of my family. I trusted her with my children, who are the most precious things in my life," she said. "I believed she was a good person, and I was shocked to find out that I could have been so wrong about somebody."

I was shocked that Ms. Betrayed Attorney wasn't arrested for child abuse/neglect. You see, she employed this nanny for SIX YEARS. What kind of mother doesn't clue in for 6 years that her kids are being dumped off at some Hollywood appartment on a regular basis? Did she ever talk to her children? Call home to check in on her kids? Ask them about their day?

What gets me is the unmitigated gall of this women to claim that her children are the most precious things in her life when it is quite obvious that she has nothing to do with them. She can consider herself lucky that her nanny only wanted to sell fruit instead of watch her kids and didn't get any more sinister ideas.

Yacking about how precious your children are and then abandoning them for 12 hours a day to be a lawyer is just gross. Gag me.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Boomer Nation

Dear Baby Boomers,

Please leave at least some of the country intact for the rest of us! You don't want to go down in history as the ones who killed America, do you? Isn't it just a little embarrassing to be the ones to pummel and flub just about everything your (far more competent ) parents built?

Maybe we take that $700 billion and build 2 huge communes - one hippie style and one Waco style - one each on either side of the country -(far, far away from each other) - then we start up a convoy of peace trains/freedom freighters - you'll know which one to get on, is my guess - and y'all can have a nice, peaceful retirement being one with nature/shooting things.

And we'll be safe.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Need Your Brains & Talents + Sponsors

  1. Does anybody out there speak Czechoslovakian? A reader has some recipes that need translation.
  2. Need fundraising ideas for the school prom.
  3. The number of beauty pageant sponsorships are increasing beyond my means - is anybody interested in sponsoring a young lady? Amounts are typically $25 - $100 although one young lady needs $450 for her pageant.
If you have ideas or wish to sponsor, please send me an email at



Please Explain This Before My Head Explodes

I read the following comment in an article about the $700 billion our free market loving government is about to blow.

"There would also be a two-year ban on multimillion-dollar payouts for fired executives."

Is this a new way of saying:

"We are going to throw those lying, cheating, stealing, moronic imbeciles that were running these corporations in jail and throw away the key - right after we get back all the billions in bonuses they were paid for running our economy into the ground"?


PS. Any Executive who claims he/she didn't know what was going on should have their sentence doubled.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Slacker Uprising - FREEBIE DOWNLOAD!

I Love Free! Free is Great! Michael Moore is letting everybody download his latest moooovie absolutely free! I find his movies quite entertaining.

I have to warn ya'll his own personal bias is usually reflected in his movies - let's just say he is about as "Fair and Balanced" as Fox News is "Fair and Balanced" - both quite entertaining, but double check your facts if you are going to be tested on it.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Truth On Women and Technology

The Germans have a saying that one hears quite often: "Frauen und Technik" which means literally translated "Women and Technology" - to get the full meaning, you have to imagine an exaggerated rolling of the eyes and shaking of the head on the part of the speaker - not to mention the sardonic tone it is said with.

In short, German men believe German women don't understand technical things - computers, phones, home theater systems etc. (They overlook the fact that women manage just fine with kitchen appliances, washing machines and other "feminine" appliances.) German women seem perfectly happy to relinquish the programming of the VCR or the set up of their new laptop to a worthy male. American women, at least the cunning ones, do this too, although they have grown a bit rusty and are not quite as elegant with their execution of some of the finer points.

Then there are those silly women who actually parade around their technical know-how like a badge of honor - talking about, or even worse, demonstrating advanced technical ability in one area or another. While this may a good strategy at work - in your personal life it will only bring aggravation and suffering. I know this from experience - I was one of those silly women.

Luckily I developed a whopping case of Chronic Technoamnesiasyntosis before too much damage had been done to my personal well-being and sanity.

As it turns out, once people find out that you know what to do when "they lose their Internet" or their screen suddenly turns cerulean blue, or they can't print, or their computer slows down to the speed of cold molasses, - they will not hesitate to call you the second they think something is wrong with their computer. Not just once - but every 5 minutes until the problem has been fixed.

Not only that, but once you help them with their current problem, everything that goes wrong with their system in the future is now your fault. Your friends and family will think nothing of keeping you on the phone for 45 minutes or longer while they try to get their email - they don't care that you have something on the stove, kids to pick up or that you were actually busy with something else. Nope - the world just has to stop spinning until your sister can read her email.

Your children will have no problem adding technical support to their list of things you can do for them - no sexism there! They will also expect to have access to the Internet (high-speed of course) no matter where they are. You are expected to get it for them. (My daughter would call me to troubleshoot her Internet connection at school over the phone - instead of using the school's tech support - easier to call Mom.)

I figure with the current rate of technological advancement I am on the hook for at least another year or two before I can convincingly place my coffee cup in the ejected CD ROM drive. I have started making jokes centered around the oven and stove in the kitchen when anyone mentions "Burning a DVD" and run for the thermometer when one of my kids tells me "I think I have a virus". So far they just roll their eyes and say "very funny Mommy, now can you help me?" (The first time OK - but after losing the key to the anti-virus software for the 5Th time - I am thinking "slacker").

At least I didn't make the same mistake with the TV. I do an Oscar winning performance of "Woman who can't locate the power button on the remote control much less change the channel to what you want to watch". I also reinforce my new image by asking to use "that iPod thing" and then mistakenly cranking up the volume to rock-concert level.

I am going to get myself an iPod of my own - but nobody will EVER see me use it!


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sarah vs. Hillary - You're Not Going To Like This!

I have been thinking about Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton - about how they measure up as role models for my daughter - who is about to start applying for college and is thus embarking on her adult life.

Here's what I see:
  1. Two intelligent women. - I have criticized Mrs. Clinton - but I never said she wasn't a smarty pants. After listening to Mrs. Palin, I would have to say she is a smarty pants too.
  2. Two different sets of political convictions. Showing that intelligent people can disagree.
  3. One woman who has sacrificed - at least somewhat - her own political career for the good of her family - whether she meant to or not.
  4. One woman who has sacrificed - at least somewhat - her family for the good of her political career - whether she meant to or not.
  5. A rather good illustration for a girl of the difficulties involved, hard choices to be made and potential outcomes - if you're lucky - of deciding whether you would like to emphasize home and family or career or a mix thereof in your life. (And I say lucky because there are no guarantees - right?)
  6. Two women who care about people and the future of this country. - Argue all you want - but I can sure think of better things to do than run for political office if it were just selfish concerns that motivated those gals.
  7. Two good role models - whatever my daughter decides to do with her life - there are lessons to be learned from both Mrs. Palin and Mrs. Clinton.


PS: Hillary Clinton is meant in #3 and Sarah Palin in #4 - in case you were wondering.

Meet Sarah Palin - You'll Be Glad You Did

Stupid, Stupid Me. What a goose. I was almost ready to trash this lady based on what I was hearing in the media. I could kick myself. What an idiot I am. My only saving grace is that I had the good sense to watch her speech for myself. Phew.

Please do that too. I think we have some really good candidates on both sides - so do yourselves a favor - listen to what THEY THEMSELVES have to say and not their nasty hangers-on types in our wonderful Free (From Any Useful Information) Press.


PS - Mrs. Palin is GENX too! WOOO HOOO!

Counterpoint: Here is a well written blog that disagrees with my take on Mrs. Palin's speech.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

UK Ladies Go Retro Housewife

Hi All!

Just wanted to post a link to this article from the Daily Mail (UK). It seems that there is a small retro movement building across the pond!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beauty Pageants and the Grand Scheme of Things

It is a funny turn of events in my life that I now seem to be developing a habit of sponsoring girls endeavoring to compete in beauty pageants. - There is a deep irony here that has me pondering the nature of this and that and how my opinions and views on the topic came to be both what they were and now are.

When I was a little girl, my favorite books were those written by L. Frank Baum - the most famous of which is the Wizard of Oz. I wanted to climb in and live as a character in those books; they had everything a little girl could want - princesses, queens, oodles of jewels and beautiful gowns, magic wands, animals and a the right amount of danger and adventure. I envied Polychrome her ability to travel around in the rays of the rainbow wearing gowns made of moonbeams or sunbeams and diamond slippers on her feet. (Actually, I still do!) I think most people would agree that that is pretty girly stuff.

Fast forward 10 or 12 years and we find me newly enrolled at the University of California at Santa Cruz - that's right! that bastion of left wing lesbian/feminist militant thought and school of choice for upper-middle-class white kids who don't get into Berkeley.

Now I was aware of none of this as my parents drove me up the long entrance road to the campus in our station wagon which was packed full to the brim with all my worldly possessions. I recall being very concerned that there were so many trees and steep hills and that it seemed like one could easily fall off of this place or get lost.

The full force of Santa Cruz wouldn't hit me though until about three or four weeks later when my proctor roommate and I decided to organize a dance and we came up with the theme of "Pimp and Hooker". Seemed just dandy to me, what better of a mix for getting to know one's fellow students than lots of alcohol, scantily clad females and men without morals? (for an evening - and just for pretend) And as for being too risque - I recall telling my roommate that the fanciest country club in Santa Barbara had one of those every year for Halloween. Nope we were on solid ground socially. Except that I had absolutely no idea where I really was.

On the night of our dance we headed up to the cafeteria which had been transformed into our hall of lechery during the day and as we approached I could not quite understand what I was seeing. All the pimps and hookers were standing outside looking not at all happy, and not dancing either. Then I saw the reason why! There were hordes of frumpily dressed, rather unattractive females in Birkenstocks and no make-up! lying flat on their backs all over our dance floor. They wouldn't move and we weren't allowed to step on them so the dance was pretty much over before it started. In retrospect, it probably didn't help our cause much that it happened to be the very first National Women's Week and that they paid attention to such things there in Santa Cruz. Who Knew?

I spent the next hour or so on the phone with my mother screaming that I wanted to come home. And how could she send me to a place full of lesbians and feminists - I was, up until that point in my life, unaware of the existence of either.

I didn't go home though, and I came to really love Santa Cruz - even the trees.

Now I'm no dummy and I wasn't then either and it didn't take me long to figure out that my "girly-airhead-valley-girl" persona, that would open doors in Southern California, wasn't going to fly at UCSC. So I adapted, and I guess some of Santa Cruz had sunk in because by the time I graduated and had my first job in the City, I was writing checks to organizations like NOW and Planned Parenthood etc. Yup, I had learned that women were perpetual victims of white male oppression and the best and only cure for this was to become just like them.

So I bought a business suit at Ann Taylor with shoulder pads in it that made me look not unlike a football player.

Yes, they had convinced me that anything girly is bad and is simply a way for men to objectify women and keep them down and that includes beauty pageants and I never wanted to be a fairy princess when I was a little girl because that would mean I wasn't strong and all women must now be strong.

And that's what I've been pondering these days as I paypal off my little sponsorships to these girls who really, really want to compete in beauty pageants. I think that is fantastic! And I hope they never let anyone tell them otherwise.



Why Monica Lewinsky Matters

I voted for Bill Clinton. Twice. When the whole Monica Lewinsky affair came to light, I figured that it was a matter between the president and his wife - not the business of the American public. As long as he was a good president I rationalized, I really don't want to know about his private life - much less his sex life.

It is only now that I realize what his little dalliances are going to cost us. Because President Clinton couldn't keep his grubby hands off his fresh, young intern, he wants to inflict his wife on the nation for as long as possible to appease his guilty conscience.

Thus the great big Hillaryfest at the Enormous Ego Convention taking place in Denver (We may be facing a Smug alert soon - keep Clooney away from there!) So to the former president I make this appeal.

Mr. Clinton, please, get some counseling! Please don't try to use us Americans as your 360 million strong group therapy session. Take your wife home and give her a good toss in the hay! Buy her some flowers, take her to France - but get her the hell off the stage. It's over and she never should have been up there in the first place.

There are no turnsies for the presidency and I am sorry if she is going to make your life a living hell, but you made your bed - so lie in it.

Look on the bright side... If the going gets too rough, maybe you can give Monica a call!


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wait Till Your Father Gets Home

I just overheard the following conversation between the mother next door and her children:

Mother: (Poking her head out of the house)
Children: (Where they are everyday from 8:00 AM till dusk - On their trampoline outside)
Mother: "What are you doing with the hose?"
Oldest Child: "What?"
Mother repeats question
Oldest Child: "We made a lake!!!"
Silence while mother recovers from the aneurysm
Mother: "Well you better turn off the hose before Daddy gets home and starts yelling!"

End Of Conversation

Don't get me wrong, I am not criticizing Mom, in fact, unbeknownst to her, she is the affirmation of my own parenting skills. She is me and most likely millions of other mothers out there who invoke the Fear of Dad when faced with a situation that requires quick obedience on the part of the children in order to avoid disaster.

In this case, the "disaster" will only be experienced by Mom in the form of muddy footprints in the house, mud soaked clothing and shoes, baths for all and then scrubbing out the bathtub as well as getting the muddy hand prints off the walls that the littlest ones made whilst getting undressed for the tub. Nope, I don't blame her one bit - definitely a wait till your father gets home moment.

Now what about Dad? Is he some kind of maniacal terror that installs fear in the hearts of his children?

No, quite the opposite! He is a teddy bear but somehow commands the respect of a grizzly bear. (In fact, I have never heard Dad yelling... only Mom - bless her heart!). It was this way when I was growing up - at my house and at those of all my friends. Dad was the final authority - and what Dad says goes! (Never mind that Dad was just the executioner in Home Life Court and that Mom was judge and jury - we kids weren't aware of the nuances of the balance of power that existed between our mothers and fathers.)

When my own children were young, the politically correct feminist in me at first tried to resist the urge to invoke the Fear of Dad. At first.

Reality is stronger than any social or political theory - (just ask Lenin) and once I realized what an effective tool it could be, invoke I could and invoke I did!

So it made me smile this morning when I heard those familiar words and I had to think of that old saying - "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

All is still well in this little corner of the world.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Can Someone Call BF Goodrich And Tell Them We Found Their Tire?

I thought they might be worried about it!

These geese have been keeping an eye on it for them.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Keggers, Beer Bongs and A Good Old Fashioned Game Of Thumper

I must admit, I don't even remember the rules to "Thumper" - I was more of a "Quarters" kind of gal, myself, and by the time I went off to college, I had plenty of drinking experience and wasn't at all bothered by the quaint little dormitory rules governing the use of alcohol. Neither was anybody else. To be honest, the number of wild parties kind of dwindled after the first quarter and were replaced by wine-and-Joan-Armatrading "talk-ins". What can I say? I went to UC Santa Cruz.

Now that my daughter is a high school senior, though, I find myself having a rather odd reaction to tales of wild, drunken college parties; I am mildly horrified!

In my youth, such tales would have meant an automatic check in the "plus" column for a school.

(OK, so I was a bit of a dumb-ass - can I help it that movies like Animal House and Fast Times at Ridgemont High came out when they did? I couldn't wait to go to my first Toga Party! TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!)

Now I wonder to myself just how badly I would stick out if I went off to college with my daughter -this time to chaperon, not plan the parties. OK, Scratch that.

A recent article in the LA Times caught my attention: "College leaders hope to renew debate on a lower drinking age" It seems that kids under the age of 21 are drinking alcohol even though they are not supposed to! You don't say! And in order to get away with it, they are doing it on the sly which causes them at times to get really, really drunk. So drunk, in fact, that occasionally one or two drop dead. This upsets the college leaders. It upsets me. It would probably really upset the kids involved were they not dead.

Is lowering the drinking age to 18 the answer? I am not sure how I feel about this myself yet.

On the pro side, dealing with reality is usually better than wishful thinking -the drinking age has been 21 now for eons and the problem does seem to be getting worse.

In Germany you can buy beer and wine at age 16 and the hard stuff at 18 and while it is quite common to have alcohol at parties or a few beers at the disco it is not at all common for kids to get stinking-staggering-fall-down drunk. That is viewed as just plain TACKY. It also strikes me that they are also much less willing to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking - of course they actually have viable alternate means of transportation in the form of subways, street cars, trains, buses and taxis. The US is just not there yet.

On the con side, just because it works for the Germans, though, doesn't mean it'll work for us. (Some) Kids here seem to think drinking till you drop is just fine and dandy - a right of passage even. Making it easier for them to get their grubby little hands on booze will surely lead to more drinking, will it not? More girls than ever will down pitchers of margaritas and then think it is a good idea to flash the dork with the video camera! (A bit of advice - whatever you do when drinking - don't let anybody videotape you! That is really, really, really stupid.)

But then I can't help but thinking that since drinking is such a potentially hazardous endeavor, shouldn't parents be able to legally take a stab at teaching their kids responsible drinking - instead of say, horny frat boy?

Sign me betwixt and between on this one,


September 2008 Update: My daughter tells me that the son of one of her school's beloved teachers nearly died of alcohol poisoning - on his 21st birthday. Seems they found out at 11:00 that morning that his condition had stabilized and that he was expected to live. The doctors were not so optimistic the night before. All the teachers had the same message for the kids: "If it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone" - see he's a really good kid - smart - bright future - and absolutely no experience drinking.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Public Service Message

"The Dunkin Donuts franchise is a member of the National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR), which is a member of the Essential Workers Immigration Coalition (EWIC), which lobbies on Capitol Hill for amnesty for illegal aliens and an expansion of cheap labor import programs.

In other words, Dunkin Donuts is just another megacorp that puts its profits ahead of the well-being of the people who live in the communities it serves. And the Dunkin Donuts franchisee, which already has an advantage over the locally owned shop in purchasing power and advertising, puts part of its profits toward lobbying in Washington against the best interests of the very people who patronize it.

Meanwhile, the locally owned shop is part of the community it serves. Its profits go back into the community. And if the owners of the locally owned shop hire legally, even the wages it pays to its employees support the community."

I just want to make it clear that I strongly believe that legal immigration to this country is a good thing, and is good for the country.

What I don't like: Illegal Immigration! This is very BAD for the country as it lowers the overall wages for citizens and legal immigrants - and penalizes companies who follow the law. It's cheating and I don't like cheaters. It also costs taxpayers insane amounts of money (See California try to balance its budget) whether they voted for it or not.

When you have no voice in your government, you no longer have a democracy - Taxation without representation is what started the revolutionary war.

Thoughts from a Housewife!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Keating Five

If you ask me, John McCain has some flippen nerve running for president.

When federal regulators denied Lincoln's request for exemption from the 10 percent investment rule and began to probe its questionable dealings, Mr. Keating called in the big guns. Edwin Gray, Mr. Wall's predecessor, says he was pressured in 1987 by Sens. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., John McCain, R-Ariz., Alan Cranston, D-Calif., and John Glenn, D-Ohio, to look favorably on Lincoln's request. Seven days later, they were joined by Sen. Don Riegle, D-Mich., and allegedly badgered federal bank examiners to go easy on the S&L. That is precisely what happened on Mr. Wall's watch.

The "Keating Five" are now targets of two federal investigations to determine whether the $1.3 million they received from Mr. Keating, his friends and associates constituted payment for services rendered. Although the senators deny any wrongdoing, Mr. Keating was more candid during an April press conference. Asked if he had bought influence with these contributions, he replied: "I certainly hope so." Aiken Standard, November 29, 1989
As we plunge deeper into the current banking crisis and the government contemplates one of the biggest corporate welfare programs since forever, it may interest you to know that one of the presidential candidates has significant experience in dealing with financial institutions in crisis, and the corresponding taxpayer funded bailouts. He should at least, he helped put them there.

How stupid are we? Last year Fannie and Freddie CICs (Crooks In Charge) made over 34 million dollars and were too stupid to put the brakes on the practice of buying up of loans made to people who can't afford to pay them back. They are supposed to be experts, are they not?

I suppose in this Boomer world of ours, the folks in charge of overseeing the CICs didn't want to risk damaging their self esteem - so they let them keep their trophies.


Saturday, August 09, 2008



June 2009 Update Comment: I just noticed that this video had been removed from youtube:
This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.

Weak, Weak, Weak! Forget the fact that I was basically providing free advertising - did you have to take away this little bit of happiness from people just to make a buck? Hooray for greed!

I saw the DVD of this story for sale the other day, and because of this youtube video, which was freely available to all, which I loved watching, I was just about to buy the DVD. I stopped by my blog along the way to remind myself of just how good a story it was, and how it was worth the $24.95 I was about to shell out - and what do I find?!!!

The reason I am now NOT going to shell out $24.95. So there!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Burned Out On Bilingual

Here is a personal example of what happens in a "bilingual nation" and why the US needs to have English as the official language.

Back in July there was a rather large fire in Goleta/Santa Barbara, California. This fire was particularly annoying to me because it was aiming to burn down my parent's house - my childhood home - along with the rest of the neighborhood.

The Santa Barbara police department had evacuated the entire neighborhood July 3rd but on the 4th, my father returned to the house and I followed with my SUV so that I could rescue a few items if need be.

As soon as I arrived, I turned on the TV to the local news station to see if I could get the latest information on the status of the fire - all of the news programs in Ventura are from Los Angeles and are not very useful unless you need to know the whereabouts of any high-speed-chases occurring in LA - and I caught the tail end of an update report.

OK, I thought - they will repeat this now... so I sat and waited. They did repeat the update report, but in Spanish. So here I am sitting in front of the TV - outside huge plumes of smoke are billowing - helicopters are flying overhead - and the only local station decides to broadcast in Spanish.

Thinking that they would just issue a quick update and then revert back to English - the language of 100% of the people in the affected area - I waited. And waited. After 10 or 15 minutes I started to pack up a few things, while keeping an ear out for a fire report that I could understand. After half-an-hour I turned off the TV because they were still yapping away in Spanish and it was starting to really make me mad - which was not going to help much in the current crisis situation.

I ended up leaving without ever hearing a full report on the current location of the fire.

I wish to thank all the politically correct morons out there who are trying to push Spanish on us in every way possible. I only hope that some day, when you find yourself in urgent need of information such as I was on July 4th, 2008, that you are able to find it... but only in Chinese.

FuegoFuego: Here is a picture I took the night of July 3rd in my parent's neighborhood... Those big white blotches that look like snow are actually ash from the fuego. Ich musste wegen der Polizeisperre die letzte Strecke zu Fuß laufen. Ärgerlich wenn man nicht verstehen kann, daß was man eigentlich sollte verstehen können, nicht?


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

TV In the 1950s

"What's on Television tonight, dear?"

"Well, Gee honey, Let's see... we have the atomic bomb at 6:00"

"Oooh - That sounds lovely!"

.....But was it?


Saturday, July 05, 2008

New Service - The Rolling Pin

Today I decided to start a new service on Retro Housewife - I am calling it the Rolling Pin. It is not about baking, but it is about dough... the green kind - yours and mine and those companies out there which try to take it from us using sleazy tactics, that I am sure are legal, but which I believe are unethical!

For example: Today I realized that I have been paying for a "service" since 2002 that I was totally unaware that I had. I noticed this charge on my credit card statement:

MP PRIVSRCE ###### 8002439404 .... $99.99

So I called 8002439404 and it turned out to be Privacy Ver or something which will allow me to access my credit reports for free. Apparently I was trying to activate my Bank of America credit card back in 2002 and inadvertently signed up for this service. I am quite sure I didn't want this service as I can already access my credit reports for free, by law. (I usually don't volunteer to pay for things that are free.)

After canceling the service - for some reason my refund will only be $82 instead of $99 - I called Bank of America Credit Card Services explained the situation, and was transferred to another BofA department. This was another "privacy service" offered by BofA, similar name, but not the one that was charging me.

After a conversation with the customer service lady which went something like Abbott and Costello's "Who's on first" comedy routine, I got her to transfer me back to credit card services. I listened to the usual call system blather, then another lady came on the line and I said:

"For quality purposes, this call is being me!"

At which point she said she would not be able to speak with me. I asked to be transferred to her supervisor and the next thing I heard was:

"If you would like to make a call, please hang up..."

It was at this point that I realized how absolutely helpless we are as individuals against these large institutions and corporations, and how they can do with us what they will, and there isn't a darn thing we can do about it.

Except maybe I can do something about it, because this site gets a fair number of visitors each day, and I can't be the only one this is happening to! So if you have ever been bullied by the big guys into forking over your lunch money, this is for you. I am going to look into getting our lunch money back - and hopefully I will get to Bonk a few over the head with my rolling pin. (Symbolically, of course!)

RH (Mad as HECK!)

Update: May 27th 2009:

I just used LegalMatch to see if there are any law firms around who are interested

I run the website below - details are on the blog page. I have been collecting email addresses of people who were also charged $99 for a credit report service they never signed up for. I paid this fee for years before I noticed it - I blogged about it and started hearing from people who had the same charge. If any law firm is interested in suing BOFA I will turn over my names to them and wish them luck. I don't want to hire them or collect any money from a law suit, I want somebody to stand up to Bank of America.

Feb 22 2010 Nothing Came of the LegalMatch attempt - If you are surfing by and happen to know a lawyer who may be interested, reply to this post or send me an email @ THx

Meanwhile, This just came in via email: mp privsrce
"We have been getting billed $12.99 for months before I questioned my wife about it. I called 800-243-9404. They directed me to the website and showed me how to sign in using my member number, etc. They said I would be alerted if someone tried to open a new account (or apply for a loan) in my name. It turns out I have been paying for this service since 2006 and have not heard anything from them until just recently. Good luck and God bless. Mike" Feb. 22, 2010


If you have found your way here while doing research into a mysterious charge on your Bank Of America credit card statement called MP PRIVSRCE and you have such a charge occurring on a statement dated later than February 14th, 2008, Please FAX a copy of your statement, or mail a copy to:

Samantha Smith, Esq.
Arias Ozzello & Gignac LLP
Attorneys & Counselors at Law
Howard Hughes Center
6701 Center Drive West, 14th Fl.
Los Angeles, California 90045
Telephone: (310) 670-1600
Facsimile: (310) 670-1231

If your charges occur before Feb. 14, 2008, read below: 
"You could also tell people to contact the following firm with questions if they fall w/in the time line I mentioned below:  The Lakin Firm 300 Evans Ave. PO Box 229 Wood River, Illinois 62095 Phone: 618-208-4240 Toll Free: 866-839-2021.  The settlement is with Trilegiant and this is the firm that litigated the case."

The information I found shows that the settlement covers all charges between July 10, 1998 and Feb. 14, 2008.  If you have charges after Feb. 14, 2008, then I will need to see a copy of the statement with the charge.  Let me know at your earliest convenience.  Thanks.

"I’ve been researching your case and I believe you may be part of a class settlement with a company called Trilegiant (the company that appears to be in cahoots with BofA on the charges).  Could you do me a favor and call this number and ask them if you are a member of the Trilegiant settlement class:  1-888-952-9102.  The number is for the Settlement Claims Administration, which is a court approved group set up to handle questions regarding this particular settlement.  Let me know what you find out."

Friday, July 04, 2008

Hey, It's Firing In California Again!

Yup, Happy 4th of July Everyone... We got back from Germany only to discover that half of the state is on fire again. I spent last night and most of today trying to reach my parents house which is under mandatory evacuation orders.

Then once I was able to sneak past the police line, and reach the house, I spent the next hour or so trying to convince my father that it was not a waste of water to wet down some of the more flammable areas of the house. I was unsuccessful and got yelled at. He absolutely refused to leave so I rounded up my crew, packed up the photo albums and went home.

I hope stubbornness is an effective fire fighting agent. If so, my parents will be fine because their neighbor across the street who is about the same age also refuses to leave. I went over to check on him and got pretty much the same lecture as my father gave me - so I quickly gave up any idea of offering him a ride out and just stayed and chatted for a bit about what his kids are up to.

His daughter is in San Diego, and I am pretty sure she is worried about him, although I have never met her - but just in case you are she or a she like her, - and me, You won't talk him into it.

RH and Daughter Of a Stubborn Father

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In The Land Of The Hausfrau

I made it! Here I am in the Land Of The Hausfrau, the Mecca for Housewives: Good old Germany.

I am not sure whether the world is aware of this little fact or not, but they make the best Hausfraus in the world here. If you don't believe me, ask one! She'll tell you herself.

I started my career as a Housewife here in Germany and I cried "uncle". They must have a secret school here somewhere where the Hausfrau is trained, perhaps deep in the Black Forest, or tucked away on an island in the North Sea, or maybe they are just born that way.

It was the women after all who cleaned up after The Great Big Mess their men made while playing their war games. It is not something that we really give much thought to; ask an American and they will tell you that it was the Americans who "rebuilt" Germany through financial aid.

But a dollar bill won't get up and clear a pile of rubble, and the German men were either dead or being held prisoners of war, so it was up to the women. They called them "Trümmerfrauen" in English, rubble women, who took on the chore of moving the mountains of ruins, salvaging that what could still be used and then taking out the trash.

The weaker sex, my foot! I suspect that if one took a closer look at what went on after most any war in history, we would see something along the same lines... women cleaning up an making do and just generally holding things together.


PS: If you are wondering why I am sitting around blogging in Germany, it is due to another perhaps little known fact about Germany... Periodic lousy weather in the summer. It's raining and DH doesn't get here until Thursday. You may be hearing a lot from me in the next few days.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Busted for Biking

I have to come clean. I am somewhat of a bad-ass biker chick and last night I got busted for it. Caught red-handed, guilty as charged, I was a menace to society and the long arm of the law reached out and put a stop to it.

You can all sleep better at night knowing that I will not be riding my pink 1-speed cruiser with a basket in front but NO light, within a 500 yard radius of my house, at night, any longer! If you can't do the time, don't do the crime! That's my motto now!

I don't know what I was thinking when I backed my bicycle out of the garage! Our beagle had gone into THE BIG FIELD and was refusing to come out, so while my son and his friend tromped through the field with a flashlight, I came up with the crazy idea to bike to the far corner in order to prevent her from running out into traffic. The second part of my evil plan was to use my "angry voice" to scold Beagle thereby causing her to seek out the safety of the two boys rather than incurring my wrath.

It worked too! And I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those... police who saw the whole thing. (You thought I was going to say "kids", didn't you!)

Yup, I was making my getaway, pedaling my pink bike up to speeds that must have topped 1 mph (my ride goes much faster, but I was riding on dirt in the dark so I didn't want to get too crazy) when I heard a car approaching, slowly, and a lot of barking from what sounded like a very large dog.

I have to admit that I got a little nervous given that I was all by myself on a dark road with nothing but fields on either side, and I hadn't quite completely assimilated my budding criminal mind into my former, rather innocent one. And yes, when I heard the car pull onto the shoulder behind me, like it was following me, my first reaction was fear for my own safety rather than concern for the well being of society, and the inevitable run-in with the law my new life of crime would bring; I pedaled faster and tried to get even further off the road.

It wasn't until I hear the booming voice over the loudspeaker telling me to STOP that I realized that... I was being pulled over!!?? And it wasn't until the officer stepped out of his car and started yelling at me that I realized that, no, really, I was being pulled over. I still wasn't quite sure for what though... And call me slow, thick or just plain dumb, but I was rather stunned that my aforementioned evasive behavior was being interpreted by the large man yelling at me and pointing the flashlight into my face as an attempt to "run from the law".

Boy am I lucky that my crime spree hadn't yet gone out over the wire so that none of the TV Networks' helicopters had had a change to arrive. I mean, when I make the 6:00 news for running from the law, I would really prefer it not to be on a pink one-speed bike with a basket in front but NO LIGHT!

And call me uninformed, but I really was not aware of how serious a problem "night riders" had become in our community, but they must be, because the officer interrogated me for a good 15 minutes, taking down my full name, address, driver's license number (which he then ran ran a check on, apparently "night riders" also seem to play fast and loose with the truth). Let me see, he also wanted to know whether I had ever gotten a ticket or been arrested, quizzed me on the names of the streets in the neighborhood, and then when I failed to name a small side street asked me: What about "Dandelion"? There's also a Dandelion! It was more of an accusation, really. My sincere apologies to Dandelion.

Then he started asking me if I had just moved here from blah blah blah (never heard of it). Then I had to repeat my driver's license number again which he repeated into his Walkie-Talkie thing. By this time, reinforcements had arrived and a second officer appeared and I felt about one inch tall, ashamed of the hardened criminal I had become.

Finally, the person on the other end of the Walkie-Talkie said something, and I guess it meant that I was a first-time offender because they finally let me go...but told me in no-uncertain terms that I was to walk my bike home. So I pushed my pink bike the rest of the 50 yards until the end of the field, past the 3 houses that make up a block, crossed the street and parked my bike on our front porch.

Such was the impression left on me that I will never, ever again ride my pink bike in this neighborhood, day or night. In fact, I really don't want to leave the house at all anymore, except that I am going to Europe tomorrow so I have to catch a plane.

I wonder if they are going to alert Interpol?


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Meet Schnappi

This is in German, but it is so cute I had to share it. Doesn't really matter if you understand German or not.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pass Out the Cigars!

I am an auntie for the 3rd time! Three nieces and counting! Woo Hoo!


Can Someone Buy Hillary an Iron?

So Boo Hoo, now that Miss Hillary is not getting her turn at being president, it is now due to sexism in the press.

Kind of ironic really for a person who has never won an election on her own, without the benefit of name recognition and status that comes with being married to a president.

For all we know, she couldn't even get elected president of the local PTA.

What the press is really ignoring is that fact that this silly woman thinks that having been married to a president somehow qualifies her for the job.

That nobody in the mainstream press exposes the absurdity of her even running for president in the first place, is more a testament to the pervasive politically correct-at-the-expense-of-reality reporting and the wimpy pansies who are afraid to say that the Empress has no clothes.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This one is too good to pass up!

Current yoox code:  An EXTRA 10% OFF Kidswear on Coupon Code: LITTLEWORLD expires 11/20/2012 - Users must use the special link.

Purchase at least one item from the preview and the code will also be valid for Free Standard Shipping on the order. Remember that the code is valid until 11.59 p.m. EST on May 22nd.

Have Fun!


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hey Baby, Do You FDR?

Now that I have your attention, I just wanted to mention that I posted one of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Fireside Chats. This particular chit chat is from December 24th, 1943. Our President has just returned from overseas, having met with our allies in the war, and is giving the American people an update as well as making his case for our continued support of US involvement in WWII.

I thought it would give us all some perspective as we go about choosing our next President.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Just Wanted To Let You Know...

If Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic Nomination, I am voting for McCain. In fact, I would vote for George Bush over Hillary... Does anybody else feel this way?


Saturday, April 26, 2008


"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
OK, I am not a constitutional lawyer, so can somebody please explain how we turned "Congress shall make no law..." into no nativity scene for Christmas at City Hall, or no displaying the Ten Commandments at a courthouse?

Isn't that sort of "prohibiting the free exercise thereof"?

Just wondering...


Food for Thought

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
Remember how everybody was making a big deal about Mitt Romney being a Mormon? Or JFK being Catholic, or claiming (falsely) that Barack Obama is Muslim? Or just generally asking questions about a candidates religious beliefs to determine whether they are fit for office?

I do.


Thursday, April 24, 2008


I got an email today that posed this little question... Enough to make one's head explode, really. Which got me to thinking about all the smugasaurouses out there on both sides of this debate. Which made me want to toss my two cents into the mix.

  1. Evolution, as set forth by Chuck Darwin in The Origin of Species does a pretty good job of explaining all the creepy crawly things roaming around on this planet. There is a lot of evidence supporting his theory and it should be taught in schools and you should make sure your kids learn it.
  2. Evolution does not preclude or contradict intelligent design. Evolution is quite trivial really, when compared to time and space - we know it happens here on our screwball planet, but so what big deal? It doesn't answer the big question - why? And how did whatever it was that started evolving get here? and my favorite - what would be here if nothing is here?
See? Now everybody can stop arguing and get back to being nice to their neighbors etc. And before you start to argue with me, just remember, you don't really know for sure. Nobody does. Just because your little pea-brain can't imagine it, doesn't mean it isn't possible.

Glad I could clear that up.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Alternate Energy Source

Alternate Energy Source

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This cartoon is from 1977.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Is It True?

The phone rang way too early in the morning, I was still fast asleep and still slightly hung over from the bottle (or 2?) of Cold Duck Gina and I downed in her sisters Z the night before.

Typical, I thought. What idiot is calling at 8:00 on a Saturday morning? Like, don't they know people are still sleeping? Plus the phone was right next to my bed and just kept ringing... they just wouldn't go away. Plus my parents are going to be really pissed off if it's one of my friends calling so early. Damn it.

I rolled over and grabbed the receiver, put my head under the pillow and mumbled a grouchy "Hello?" Somebody said something but I didn't catch it because I had the thing upside down. What? I said, after turning it over. All I heard was a familiar voice asking:

"Is it true?"

"Is what true?"

I finally recognized the voice as my friend Sheila who lived one street over from me, and was thinking how totally weird it is for her to be calling me at 8:00 on a Saturday morning, because, like, we were friends, but, I mean, we weren't that close.

"I heard on the radio that there was a car accident last night and that Dina DeCaprio was killed."

"What?... No, Dina went out with Cathy last night!"

"The radio said there had been an accident..."

"No Way...that's not true.. Dina and Cathy went out last night"

"Are you sure?"

At this point I realized that I wasn't exactly sure, but I mean, there is no way Dina was killed last night, she went out with Cathy! So I said,

"Let me call Dina and then I'll call you back."

I sat there on my stupid bed in a fog for a few minutes, really wanting to just call Dina and tell her that Sheila says she's dead, and isn't that weird and kind of funny and should we be mad at Sheila for going around saying that? And Like, a 8:00 in the morning. Dina would be pissed, but she'll also think it's kind of funny.

But I couldn't make the call, and it made me mad because, like, I was being stupid, like, of course it's not true.

I'll call Cathy, I thought. She'll be pissed that I am calling so early, but just to be safe.

I dial Cathy's number and her mother answers and I say "Is Cathy there?" which is really kind of rude because it is so early but at this point I don't care, I just want Cathy to get on the phone and be pissed at me for calling so early.

But her mother says Cathy can't come to the phone, and there is something in her mother's voice that shouldn't be there, and I don't want to ask but I have to and I say "Was there an accident last night" and she says yes, and I ask if Cathy is OK and she says she wasn't hurt and then I ask about Dina and she says:

Dina died.

I just say "oh, thank you" because the tone in her voice scares me and I know that she can't bring herself to say any more and we hang up.

Follow-Up: This happened my senior year in high school. I felt I had to write about it after I opened up the newspaper and saw the headline Teen Killed in PCH Crash and then upon further reading learned that alcohol and pot smoking was suspected. I hope the adults who read this realize how very stupid teens can be at this age (I was, as were my friends) and that they really think it can't happen to them. To any teens floating by, including my own daughter and any of her friends, just know it can and does happen to you every day. That happened 24 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday.

Kids: Prom and Graduation are coming up soon, try to make it to both. Parents: Tell your kids if they do drink, to take a cab. Because they do drink.