Posted in Current Events

Sarah Palin

John McCain picks Sarah Palin for the veep spot. Sarah who??? WTF???

Some links (with thanks to Viva La Feminsta via Twitter):

The Wikipedia article is here.

NPR on Palin. And here (audio).

Sarah Palin wants oil not polar bears; sues Bush administration.

The Bilerico Project on Sarah Palin: attempt to roll back the rights of same-sex partners in Alaska.

From an independent in Alaska, Andrew Halcro: “This shocking choice says more about McCain’s desparation (sic) than it does about Palin’s qualifications.” Read more here. Check out those comments!

NARAL responds to Palin.

What Andrew Sullivan has to say.

There’s more to Palin than meets the eye, says Aliza Sherman. She links to Palin’s bio on Amazon.

Palin dissed veep job” – Politico.

2020 Hindsight says check-out this HuffPo post: Chris Kelly: Governor Sarah Palin has what it takes to be the next Dick Cheney

The WSJ gets down to business: What Palin eats, how she stays fit

NOW on Palin: article here.

Sarah Palin is not a Mormon, says a Mormon.

Posted in Current Events

The Laziest Blog Post Ever

Oh, this is it folks. Here it comes – TA DA – the laziest blog post ever. No doubt someone else has done this, but I thought of it myself this morning, so here goes. Instead of writing something, I’m just going to rehash some of my comments that I’ve left on other blogs! Because you don’t follow me around the Intertubes, you haven’t read them yet. So it’s fresh material for you and a timesaver for me. We here at WCGB are nothing if not practical. Pass the two-buck Chuck,* won’t you?

First up, Pa Kettle confesses that he throws away his son’s “artwork.” I said:

I don’t think this is so bad. However, be aware that production of artwork is not consistent, and he may actually give it up some day. You may want to keep one or two things from this era. Emphasis on the one or two since you’re not to Kindergarten yet, and that year tends to be a real bonanza of ephemeral things made permanent through the use of plaster-of-paris and laminating machines.

Next up, the talented Neilochka at Citizen of the Month has a powerful, poetic post about the World Trade Center site. As one who feels her insides have been permanently shifted due to 9/11, I valued his observation: “Man is powerful…Man is powerful, but not always good.” My comment:

I like the site as it is now, a big pit filled with cranes. The cranes seem to be working, but yet nothing ever appears to change. I like the futility of that. It seems an appropriate response to the violence of 9/11.

To this day, I cannot look at a digital clock that reads 9:11 without thinking about all that was lost that day. I use it as a reminder to pray.

I highly recommend Man on a Wire. The film does many things, one of which is to function as sort of an elegy for the WTC.

Finally, to our Miss Havisham. “Do you drink and blog?,” she asks. Susan over at 2020 Hindsight has long said, “Friends don’t let friends blog drunk.” But here we are in our little silos, with Chuck on the table and you out there somewhere, not here. You are not here in the moment to suggest that I put a cork in it (mouth or bottle). My comment to Miss H:

Who can resist the righteous indignation that accompanies the consumption of Charles Shaw? If we are personal bloggers, that means we bring our person to the blog. Call it blogging Bukowski style.

* The Wikipedia article mentions some serious labor problems with Charles Shaw production. Just when I thought I was getting off easy with this blog post, I find myself scouring the Intertubes for information about the death of 17 year-old Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez, who died in June while working in a vineyard owned by West Coast Grape Farming, a subsidiary of Bronco Wine Company, maker of Charles Shaw wines. Oy vey.

Here’s what the United Farm Workers say:

Fines aren’t enough. There must be criminal prosecution in the death of 17-year old heat victim

The following statement is from UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez.

“This is a case of manslaughter – there is no difference between a driver killing someone while breaking our traffic laws and a labor contractor breaking the law and killing this beautiful young woman. Anything less than criminal prosecution is a desecration of Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez’ death.”

This is in response to California’s Occupational Safety and Health Agency issuing a $262,700 fine against the Central Valley farm labor contracting company that employed Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez, the 17-year old farm worker who died of heat stroke because of the company’s negligence in following the law.

Has anyone else out there heard about this? Absent a larger, organized effort to protest this travesty, I must shoot off some letters to the responsible parties. And I do mean good, old-fashioned snail mail. How in the world did OSHA come up with the dollar amount for the fine?

UPDATE:  More info here.  Maybe the buck doesn’t stop with Chuck on this one after all.

Posted in Around Town

Let Me Set the Battlements on Fire

I read in the Pasadena Star News a while back that the Pasadena Police Department came up with a set of recommendations for John Muir High School. One of the recommendations (article here) was to install higher fences.

This is the fence at Hollywood High School. Call me pie-in-the-sky, but wouldn’t it be nice if school campuses didn’t need fences?

The place I grew up, RAF Lakenheath, has a big fence around it.  If I tried to get in there today, I couldn’t.  I don’t have the proper documentation (i.e., I’m not active military).

Same goes for walls. The world has a history of building walls to keep in or keep out. You know what they are: The Great Wall of China – with a history so long it defies summarization. Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans in Britain to keep the northerners (the Picts) out. The Berlin Wall – it’s gone now but I hear that Berlin feels like a city without a true center (haven’t been there myself). Then we’ve got the newcomers – the Israeli West Bank barrier. That big ole thing between the U.S. and Mexico.

I’m not here to talk about the political pros and cons of these walls. My Subaru-driving liberal self just wanted to have a wistful moment, imagining a world without walls.

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one

Sting – Fortress Around Your Heart – Because the personal is political.

Posted in baseball


You can really tell that I have become the Cat Lady because I can’t resist the puns.  I caught Momma Cat.  I haven’t seen the kitties for a couple of days.  Daddy Black Cat (the one who read the manual on How To Avoid Cat Traps) was waiting for me in the driveway when I returned from the Pasadena Humane Society.  He gave me the stink eye.  I think he knows what I did.

I’ve no quibble with the feral cats as long as the population stays stable.  That means one or two.

I’m retiring from the trap cat biz.  The smell of cat food makes me wretch.  This incessant blathering about cats bores me.

I need beauty.

Andre Ethier, taken last Sunday just before he hit the game-ending walk-off home run against the Brewers.  Yes, the Dodgers blew a 5-1 lead in the top of the ninth.  But thanks to Ethier they won in the bottom of the ninth.  So there.

Posted in Friends

Friends With Blogs

In the vein of “Stuff White People Like,” I am here today to boast that I have European friends. You’ve already met my French friend Nadine (who moved from Redondo Beach to Monte Carlo earlier this year). Meet my other French friend, Valérie Dessaint. I met her in Terrie Silverman’s Life Stories Workshop. She’s an incredible artistic spirit. You can see her blog here, and her Flickr photos here.  Her photography is gorgeous.

I also have friends who do really cool and adventurous things. Let me introduce you to Nadine and David Brown. I went to high school with David. Here’s an excerpt from my diary (February 26, 1976): “Suddenly David Brown has a body. I noticed today when he was doing his duet with Mark Tanquist.” I didn’t have a crush on David or anything, I was simply observing. ANYWAY, David and his wife Nadine just moved to Kuwait to teach in a school there. You can read about their adventures in Nadine’s blog, Kuwait, Kuwait, Don’t Tell Me. (That brings up something else white people like – NPR.)

So cheers to friends and friendships. I am awed and inspired by my brave and artistic friends. My heartfelt thanks to all of you. (You know who you are, and if you’re sitting there doubting that I mean you, get over yourself. OF COURSE I mean you!)

UPDATE: Thanks Pasadena’s PIO Ann Erdman, I got the straight scoop what to do about feral cats from the Pasadena Human Society’s web site. No more feeding them – I’m cat lady no more. Whew! Pa Kettle says it’s better to just buy a trap (works out to the same cost of renting). Oh joy.

Posted in Let's Get Visual

Help! I’m Becoming the Cat Lady!

Apparently the word is out that my little corner of Northwest Pasadena is the safe haven for feral cats. They’ve built a little home in our backyard. The Scout confessed to giving them milk. Then he went out of town, whereupon I became the Cat Lady.

Yes, I fed the feral momma. What has come over me? The Scout says the feral cats keep the rat population down. I’m fine with the two other cats who hang around the neighborhood already. I’m not pleased with the newcomers. These cats are not pets, and I doubt there are enough rats to go around.

Feral momma hisses at me. It makes me laugh every time. Okay, I’m reaching for the phone to call the Humane Society now. There’s a one-week wait list for traps.

Did I mention that I’m allergic to cats?

Posted in Issues

Sidestepping the Electoral College

Oh yeah. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. The Los Angeles Times has made my Monday morning with the following editorial:

Sidestepping the electoral college

California should join the National Popular Vote movement, which seeks to reform the presidential election system.
August 18, 2008
Thanks to the electoral college, the United States holds elections in which the candidate who wins the most votes doesn’t always win the presidency. Voters in some states matter much more than others, so candidates are encouraged to ignore the concerns of the less important ones and focus on those who really make a difference. That, in turn, tends to lower turnout because many voters believe their input doesn’t matter. Is this any way to run a democracy? Continue reading “Sidestepping the Electoral College”