Thursday, August 31, 2006

New Life Goal

Just watched the pre-game tonight (yes, for the Red Sox game...I still love my boys!) and just witnessed the greatest thing I've seen in a while. They interviewed (briefly) a woman attending the Sox game on her 100th birthday. She even had a Sox jersey on with the name "Grammy" across the back, with a number 100 on it.

New goal: Sox game on my 100th birthday! Who wants to join me? I'll buy the beer.

Update: Sox win 6-4. I say Grammy replaces Wally the Green Monster as Team Mascot!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Time Off

I'm looking at a six days off from the daily grind as we celebrate the last long weekend of the summer. Yippee!

In addition to a few days off, we're taking a little trip to the Berkshires to attend part of the annual Jazz Festival at Tanglewood, one of our very favorite things to do.

I still have plenty of things to write about, and I look forward to having a few spare hours to think a little more clearly and write these posts. Here's hoping the rest of you are also looking forward to some R&R as summer comes to a close, albeit too soon.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

EPA Lied; People Died

As I've posted before, when we visited New York City and Ground Zero three weeks after the attacks on September 11, 2001, we noticed a remarkable odor and noticeable particulates floating in the air around lower Manhattan. No surprise to read again today that the EPA lied about the health effects to those rescue teams and others working in the vicinity in the aftermath of the attacks.

Here's today's evidence.
The letter, written by Dr. Cate Jenkins and obtained by RAW STORY, claims that EPA-funded research on the toxicity of breathable alkaline dust at the site “falsified pH results” to make the substance appear benign, when it was, in reality, corrosive enough to cause first responders and other workers in lower Manhattan to later lose pulmonary functions and, in some cases, to die.
Our government at work yet again.

A Download for You

If you like Rickie Lee Jones, or just like the idea of a good ole fashioned anti-Republican sing-along, here's a download for you.

Have You Had Enough?

Have you had enough of hypocrisy?
Have you had enough of the spending spree?
Have you had enough?
Does it make you want to scream and shout?

Have you had enough of the rubber stamps?
Have you had enough of the wire taps?
If you’ve had enough, then it’s time to throw the rascals out!

We’ve let them take the test too long
They’ve gotten all the answers wrong
No plan, no shame, no oversight
Now’s the time to put it right!

Have you had enough, cause they’re all corrupt?
Have you had enough of being divvied up?
If you’ve had enough, then it’s time to throw the rascals out!

Well, do what’s right and spread the word
It’s time to make our voices heard
You cast your vote it don’t cost a dime
Sittin’ it out will be a crime

I’ve had enough, and it’s time to throw the rascals out

The First To Go

According to most polls, there is a decent chance the Democrats could take over the Congress in November. While this has me rubbing my hands together in glee, I don't want to get too ahead of myself. After the questionable elections of 2000 and 2004, I wouldn't put it past anyone to snatch this victory from the American people.

But, if the Democrats do win, there will be hearings about the skullduggery that's been going on for the past six years. First in line for me would be Mr. Cheney, and here's why:

Cheney has planted aides in major Cabinet departments, often over the objection of a Cabinet secretary, to make sure his policies are carried out. He sits in on the Senate Republican caucus, to stamp out any rebellions. Cheney loyalists from the Office of the Vice President dominate interagency planning meetings.

The Iraq war is the work of Cheney and Rumsfeld. The capture of the career civil service is pure Cheney. The disciplining of Congress is the work of Cheney and Rove. The turning over of energy policy to the oil companies is Cheney. The extreme secrecy is Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

If Cheney were the president, more of this would be smoked out because the press would be paying attention. The New York Times' acerbic columnist Maureen Dowd regularly makes sport of Cheney's dominance, and there are plenty of jokes (Bush is a heartbeat away from the presidency). But you can count serious newspaper or magazine articles on Cheney's operation on the fingers of one hand. One exceptional example is Jane Mayer's piece in the July 3 New Yorker on Cheney operative David Addington .

Cheney's power is matched only by his penchant for secrecy. When my colleague at the American Prospect, Robert Dreyfuss, requested the names of people who serve on the vice president's staff, he was told this was classified information. Former staffers for other departments provided Dreyfuss with names.

So secretive is Cheney (and so incurious the media) that when his chief of staff, Irving Lewis Libby, was implicated in the leaked identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, reporters who rushed to look Libby up on Nexis and Google found that Libby had barely rated previous press attention.

Why does this matter? Because if the man actually running the government is out of the spotlight, the administration and its policies are far less accountable.

I am looking forward to November.

Update: Came across this post from Raw Story saying that it's increasingly likely that Democrats will take at least the House of Representatives in November. Woot! Here's an excerpt:

Our latest race-by-race review of Congressional districts around the country convinces us that a Democratic wave is building and that the party is poised to take control of the House of Representatives in the fall. The only question now is the size of the November wave.

The national mood remains bleak for Republicans. President George W. Bush’s job performance ratings are terrible, and the public still gives Congress low marks. A majority of Americans continue to tell pollsters that the country is headed in the wrong direction.

That’s a recipe for a GOP disaster, and there is no reason to believe that things will change dramatically between now and Election Day to improve Republican prospects.

Friday, August 25, 2006

$2.84 Gas Today

WTF? Never thought we'd ever be cheering $2.84/gallon, but there ya go.

Gratuitous MFY Bashing...Good for the Nation's Soul

A Red Sox fan liked to amuse himself by scaring every Yankees fan he saw strutting down the street in an obnoxious NY pinstripe shirt. He would swerve his van as if to hit them, then swerve back just missing them.

One day, while driving along, he saw a priest. He thought he would do a good deed, so he pulled over and asked the priest, "Where are you going, Father?" "I'm going to give Mass at St. Francis church, about two miles down the road," replied the priest. "Climb in, Father. I'll give you a lift!" The priest climbed into the passenger seat, and they continued down the road.

Suddenly, the driver saw a Yankees fan walking down the road, and he instinctively swerved as if to hit him. But, as usual, he swerved back onto the road just in time. Even though he was certain that he had missed the guy, he still heard a loud THUD. Not knowing where the noise came from, he glanced in his mirrors but still didn't see anything.

He then remembered the priest, and he turned to the priest and said, "Sorry, Father, I almost hit that Yankees fan."

"That's OK," replied the priest, "I got him with the door."

A New Heroine

If my husband had been killed in a war that I totally disagreed with and I found myself face-to-face with the President who started the war, I am not sure I could be coherent, much less as clear thinking as this woman from Maine named Hildi Halley. Here's her description of the meeting:

"I talked to him about how important this person was to me," Halley recounted, speaking of her husband. "It's not just a soldier who died. Lives are changed forever...I said, `This doesn't make sense to me.'"

"He said, `Terrorists killed three thousand people, we had to go to war.'" Halley continued to me. "I said, `Well, who put the Taliban into power? The United States did.' He said, `I'm not going to have a philosphical debate over politics.' The whole conversation was very gentle."

Halley says that while Bush was personable and receptive to her, she was very direct and critical of Bush's policies and insisted that the right thing to do was to end the war.

"We literally sat knee to knee...I looked deep into his eyes and talked to him about love and losing people and that he was responsible for this. I said, `I didn't vote for you, but you are my President. And you're not serving me.'"

"I said I believed it was time to put an end to this. His job is to find solutions. I said, `You yourself have said you had erroneous information going into this.'"

She continued: "I said, `As a Christian man, you realize that when you've made a mistake it's your responsiblity to end this. And it's time to end the bleeding and it's time to end the war.'"

Monday, August 21, 2006

Geography Quiz 2

OK, next test for you smartypants people. Where am I?

New Blog Recommendation

Came across this blog today and thought you all might be interested. Turns out this guy also has had a recet bout with poison ivy, too. Amazingly coincidental, no?

Axis of Evil

I've had it with the Wankees in the muthaf'ing baseball diamond!

I still love my boys, but they are on my last nerve.

Go Sox!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Happy Birthday, Bill

Remember when we had a real president? Well, he's turning 60 today. I wish him well--still miss the dude.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Memories…Light the corners of my mind

What in God’s name did we ever do without search engines?

It feels like nearly every day, I scan my middle-aged brain for a random word or half-thought that doesn’t quickly rise to the surface. Although part of the normal aging process, it’s increasingly frustrating since I have always had a decent memory. In fact, I’ve never been a list-maker. I find that on those rare occasions when I do make a list, I end up leaving it at home (when I’m at the grocery) or at work on my desk (when I’m trying to pack for a vacation). So I find them to be fairly useless. (Hey, maybe I need a list to remind me where I left my list? This is a breakthrough!)

Nowadays, however, there is an alternative for our poor age-addled memories: the search engine. Yesterday, for example, I was commuting to work, blasting my satellite radio as is my typical start to every morning. (As many of you know, we’re addicted to XM Satellite radio and have receivers in both cars and the house – more on that in other posts). Since the Red Sox lost the evening before, I was avoiding sports, and decided instead to channel surf the radio’s 150+ stations to try something new. Ended up on “Beyond Jazz,” a progressive version of the station I usually listen to, “Real Jazz.” In these days of the “long tail” marketing solution, it won’t surprise you to learn there’s actually a difference between the two. “Real Jazz” is more traditional jazz, lots of Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, etc. Since I only recently began my jazz education, this is typically where I stop and learn.

Anyway…I moved to ”Beyond Jazz,” where they were playing a great song by someone or something called “Buckshot LeFonque” that I really loved. Instantly I made a mental note to remember the name so I could ask my musical guru (Bobbers) about it when I got home. This unique name had to be easy to remember, right? Well, the day wore on and by noontime, I could only remember half the name – and I wasn’t sure totally if I had it right. Certainly I couldn’t remember how to spell “LeFonque”. So, what did I do? Promptly launched Google and did a search and quickly found what I was looking for and sent an email to Bobbers to let him know I found some new music.

The point of this story? So long as we can recall the vague outlines of what we think about early in the day, we can Google it later for instant recall. For Baby Boomers and those young’uns behind us, this is a very good thing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cheney Hires Impeachment Lawyer

How's this for irony? Today we find that Cheney has hired the lawyer who handled Clinton's impeachment case to protect him from sweet little ole Valerie Plame.


Beckperson's Recipe Box

Looking for a light, healthy and easy-to-fix summer dinner? Try this sandwich.

Here's the ingredients:

Whole Wheat Toast
A dash of light mayo
Sliced avocado
Slice of red onion
Slice of sharp cheddar cheese
Snippets of thyme (from the garden)
Slice of fresh tomato

Serve with salt-free sweet potato chips.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Guess Where This Is

It's time to play a game, here in Bloggerland. Do you know where this picture was taken? Give us your best guess below!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Suspicious Timing

Well, well, appears that the US and British disagreed on when to close the dragnet on the Shampoo Bombers. Apparently, the British wanted to let it go a little longer and the US pressured them into breaking up the alleged plot quickly. So do you think they might have wanted to distract us here in the US from the low approval ratings, Joe Lieberman's loss in the recent primary, and all the other problems they are causing?

Be ready, everyone, because the Republicans are literally trying to scare us into re-electing them. Remember when we had "nothing to fear, but fear itself?" Now all we have to fear are people who are willing to exploit our emotions for political gain. This cannot stand. Don't let it.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Duct Tape, Part 2

Remember when we were all told by Homeland Security to have mass quantities of duct tape on hand for the next big terrorist attack? Well, I do believe they are at it again.

You've all by now heard about the foiled terrorist plot in England that is causing havoc at American airports, right? Apparently, due to some of the plot points including liquid explosives, we now can no longer take anything liquid onto any plane - whether it's a bottle of water, liquid makeup, shaving cream, you get the picture. Although I did hear we could bring baby formula or liquid medicine. So I have a question. Don't you think terrorists could figure out how to put liquid explosives into these two items? Hellooooo?

::rolling eyeballs::

Now I read this morning that TSA is dumping all the liquids they've collected. Or, in the case of Phoenix, they're giving the unopened bottles of shampoo to charity.

"Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport planned to give 11 boxes of surrendered items to the city's human services department, which will give the unopened bottles of shampoo, toothpaste and other items to homeless shelters, airport spokeswoman Lexie Van Haren said."
So my question is...if it's safe enough to give to homeless people, why isn't it safe enough to take on a plane?

Could we get any more STUPID? That's why Homeland Security is "On Notice." See below post.

This is our government, folks.

Friday, August 11, 2006

One Last Thing for Today

The following people are "On Notice" by me, Beckperson:

A Question for You

Are you better off now than you were 6 years ago?

Here's a Happy Headline

Poll: Bush May Be Hurting Republicans

Associated Press Writer

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans determined to win in November are up against a troublesome trend - growing opposition to President Bush. (BWA HA HAHAHAHAHAH!)

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted this week found the president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.

More sobering for the GOP are the number of voters who backed Bush in 2004 who are ready to vote Democratic in the fall's congressional elections - 19 percent. These one-time Bush voters are more likely to be female, self-described moderates, low- to middle-income and from the Northeast and Midwest."

Some of the women in the Midwest who are thinking of changing their votes could be reading this blog. Welcome to the reality based community! We missed you.

Come Again, Congressman McGovern!

Last night I was delayed coming home from work and, believe it or not, missed a visit to our house by our Congressman. He was making the rounds of registered Democrats in the area on behalf of Deval Patrick, who's running for Governor of our fair state.

The Democratic primary election is in September, and I hadn't made a decision on who I was going to vote was going to be Patrick or Chris Gabrielli. But I think I'll most definitely take a good, long look at Deval Patrick based on our Congressman's endorsement. I just wish the hell I'd been home to shake this man's hand. I'm very impressed with our Congressman - most especially when he took on Mean Jean Schmidt when she called Murtha a chicken during her infamous first speech in the House of Representatives.

Come back, Congressman. We can sit on the porch, have a beer, and talk about how life is going to improve when the Dems take the majority back in the House and Senate this fall. And you can convince me to vote for Deval.

Clueless Joe Lieberman

Well, Clueless Joe strikes again:
"I'm worried that too many people, both in politics and out, don't appreciate the seriousness of the threat to American security and the evil of the enemy that faces us -- more evil, or as evil, as Nazism and probably more dangerous than the Soviet Communists we fought during the long Cold War," Mr. Lieberman said.

This is another indication of the utter cluelessness of what I'm starting to call the "stuck on 9/11" mindset of the Administration and its hangers-on. The sooner they figure out that our security is NOT a military problem, but rather a political and/or law enforcement issue, the better off, and more secure, we'll all be.

The continual politicization of terrorism is on my last nerve. We need to move beyond treating it in the "old" way and figure out a smarter, more original and creative way to solve this. I don't have the answers, but I suggest we start electing people who are willing to work for change, not just continually run "campaign" slogans at us.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Questioning 9/11?

A friend sent me this link earlier today, and I thought I'd share it with you. If you are the least bit concerned that we don't know everything there is to know about the US government's handling of the attack, this may suit you. I'm always suspicious of these things and haven't downloaded anything as yet, but I wanted to share it with you.

There's been a lot more of this sort of questioning, and it's probably a good thing, for all of us.

I've Got the Poison, Who's Got the Cure?

'Tis the further adventures of Beckperson's battle with the poison ivy, in which the ivy takes the lead.

Last night I mentioned my trip to the doctor for my annual dose of steroids to relieve me of the heebiejeebies. This rash I have is so ridiculous that perhaps the Chimp could introduce poison ivy as a newfangled torture format at Guantanamo. I don't know about you all, but I would admit to just about anything in order to score some steroids (see previous post).

Right now, the rash is mostly on my forearms - there are large deep red, angry splotches. I also have smaller patches on my ankles, across my chest and even a dot or two on my left cheek (my face, people, my face) and neck.

But the most intriguing one of all is a large blister on the top of my right forearm. It's the size of a marble, and has the texture of a rubber balloon. I imagine it's going to blow at some point soon, but I'm kind of enjoying it...any guesses on when it will go? My best bet is that it will be a couple of days, but it could surprise me sometime, right when I don't expect it or when I don't have a roll of paper towels to soak up the run-off.

The good news is for the most part I'm not suffering, and if you see me in person, don't worry. I'll be wearing long sleeves so you won't have to witness this atrocity. There's no need to be a'feared - just stand back and out of shooting range.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Many thousands of years ago, when Ms. Magazine was first launched, I was an avid subscriber. They had a column on the very last page called *click* in which women told stories about those small, everyday occurances that vividly demonstrated that they were being treated differently than men, on the job or in the home. Some *click* examples were when they realized the man next to them doing the same job was paid more, or when they were denied credit unless they had the signature of their husbands.

These life-changing moments, known as *clicks* in the magazine. I experienced a *click* of a kind yesterday. It wasn't about gender inequality, it was about age inequality - and seemingly, I was on the power end of it.

Yesterday, for probably the fourth summer in a row, I had to go to the doctor for treatment for poison ivy (yes, my hedge-trimming finally got me). My regular doctor (a woman) was not available, so my appointment was with a... VERY.... YOUNG.... MALE.... DOCTOR. (I'm not sure the ink on his diploma was still dry.) The *click* moment came when he suggested I should use a cortisteroid cream to spread on the rash. In my vast experiences with poison ivy, I have been treated very successfully by steroid pills and had no intention of leaving the office without a prescription. When I mentioned my preference, Dr. McYoungy mumbled a few things like "I always advises patients to use the cream." But, there was something in his body language that told me he was intimidated! He backed up a step, tried again to justify the cream remedy, but eventually turned tail and skeeedadled out of the 2x2 exam room to fetch his prescription pad (which, of course, he had forgotten to bring in). I swear to God, I wasn't rude or mean, I merely suggested that I had good luck with the steroid pills. But Doogie just crumpled. It was an odd moment to find out I am a middle aged woman with such POWAH! *Click!*

This experience was a reverse *click,* I guess, but it makes me think that I just might be Wonder Woman after all.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Joe Trippi wrote a book about it. And if you have any interest at all in undersanding how the internet affects our democracy, you should read it.

Today, another article surfaced on, with a slightly different name: The Revolution Is Not Being Televised. The article is mostly based on the Lamont campaign for Senate in Connecticut, but it has bigger, more exciting implications:
"If Lexington-Concord was "the shot heard round the world" - the moment where a festering series of local rebellions became a Rebellion - then the Lamont campaigners on the ground and on the Internet are among the minutemen and Committees of Correspondence of this next American Revolution. But a message needs a messenger, and in the vast number of words written on the subject of Internet politics, this fundamental point is neglected. Partly it is because large traditional media outlets, protecting their economic interests, and right-wing-backed media outlets, pursuing their partisan advantage with typical disregard of the truth, have a desire to paint the entire enterprise as "far left protest politics." They want everyone to see hippies burning college offices and papier mâché puppets.

The reality is rather much the reverse: the people who have made best use of the Internet as a tool for political change are not exclusively on the left. In fact, the right wing has its Internet arm, which is tightly vertically integrated - anonymous right-wing operatives create fake news, such as the recent selectively edited clip that tried to imply that Congressman Dingell supported Hezbollah, then low level right-wing bloggers scream about it, then the well financed Michelle Malkins of this world pick it up, and finally it is funneled into the flagship of right-wing media, the Washington Times. If it is a pro-war stink, the Washington Post can be relied to take it up as well.

This, however, merely integrates the Internet into the old media stream, and the old tightly controlled message politics of broadcast. A campaign is a few people in a room coming up with slogans, and a large number of shills repeating them, hoping they will catch fire. The Lamont campaign is not driven by this same dynamic. It is tightly controlled within itself, but it does not tightly control the messages that surround the candidate. A fact which the flailing Lieberman campaign attempted to use to create a fake controversy.

In short, too few people have understood that the reason the message of a different kind of citizenship that creates a new politics has awaited messengers is because there are too many entrenched interests busy smearing any messenger who manages to rise to the forefront. This does not change the basic reality - the new politics has consistently selected politicians of a particular type, with a particular personality. The type is not the true outsider who comes in with completely radical notions about the system but, instead, the intellectual maverick who has risen within the system and who has succeeded by "thinking outside the box."

The article ends with this kicker:
"While there have been occasional articles about this new class of political player, as with the nature of the new kind of candidate, there has been a vast void of understanding as to what makes them successful in this new political environment. As with the candidates they support, the crucial quality is the ability to understand where the present political environment has reached a point of gridlock, and then the ability to leverage the very pressure that has brought about stalemate to burst out in a lateral direction with great, and unexpected, force. It is a pressure that journalists like Christopher Lydon, with decades in and covering politics, could feel and smell, but which the major outlets at first denied, and now decry, being dragged kicking and screaming into a world where politics is a conversation, and not an ad campaign.

That, then, is the real lesson of the Revolution of '06: namely, that it was there all along, and it is merely being unleashed this year to create its first wave of victories in electoral politics in the US. It has awaited messengers to carry its message, and with each passing battle, it grows more immune to the deceptive smear-driven attacks from the mass media world. These messengers are not starry-eyed dreamers, but instead people who began in the system as it is, and have crossed the aisle based on an intimate understanding of the failures of the old system. They have gathered around them a new breed of political operative on the Internet, and have made more effective an old breed that had been pushed aside by the old politics of the airwaves. This politics has faith in a different world, it values different kinds of politicians, and it is developing an increasingly cohesive political philosophy,

And while in 2004 this politics merely made a splash, in 2006, it has already won elections. But don't tell anyone, because the old politics still believes that if it isn't on television, it doesn't exist."
Do I get an AMEN on this?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

9/11 Commission Fails Its Job

Remember when the country actually had government officials who actually stopped at nothing to get the truth. Nowadays, to quote "A Few Good Men" we can't seem to handle the truth.

Specifically, the 9/11 Commission Co-chairs say they got the runaround from the Pentagon, the FAA and most especially, were not hard enough on Rudy Giuliani. They feared that they would be perceived as too hard on the already suffering fire and police officers. Here's the post from Americablog:

We now learn that the 9/11 Commission couldn't get the information it needed from Rudy Giuliani because newspaper editorials criticized the commission for asking tough questions of NYC's firefighters and police. You see, the firemen and the police were heroes, so we don't get to ask them tough questions that might help us avoid a future terrorist attack, or at least respond to it better - you see, that just wouldn't be "nice." Oh no. In Soviet America, we just tell the cops and firemen how great they are, rather than get the information we need to save another, oh, 3,000 lives.

The Gathering Storm

Came across this link from The Political Wire:

From Charlie Cook's forthcoming National Journal column:
"Time is running out for Republicans. Unless something dramatic happens before Election Day, Democrats will take control of the House. And the chances that they’ll seize the Senate are rising toward 50-50.

"The electoral hurricane bearing down on the GOP looks likely to be a Category 4 or 5, strong enough to destroy at least one of the party’s majorities. The political climate feels much as it did before previous elections that produced sizable upheavals, such as in 1994, when Democrats lost 52 House seats, eight Senate seats, and control of both chambers."
I suppose the hurricane imagery is not intended to be ironic.
So, let's have the first woman to be Speaker of the House, shall we? Hmmmm....Speaker Pelosi. I like the sound of that.

Tagged and Bagged

Well, here's a first. I've been tagged to write a blogpost with the following rules:

The player of this game starts with "5 weird things/habits about yourself".
In the end you need to choose 5 people to be tagged and list their names. The people who get tagged need to write a blog about their 5 weird things/habits, as well as state this rule clearly, then tag 5 more victims. Don't forget to leave your victim a comment that says "you're tagged!" in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

My cousin Susan did this dirty trick. Gee,thanks. :-)

1. I am out of the house every workday in a half hour or less from the time my feet hit the floor. This includes a shower, washed hair and dressing myself (and no, I don't plan the wardrobe in advance). My mother used to tell me I should have been a fireman.

2. This one goes along with the first one. I am chronically early for everything. There's nothing I hate worse than thinking anyone is waiting for me - drives me insane.

3. I am addicted to presidential elections and election coverage. Gee, now there's a surprise. There's nothing I like better than watching convention coverage (I was orgasmic when the Democrats held their convention in Boston in 2004 - I was able to attend an event that featured the women senators: Clinton, Mikulski, Murray, Boxer, Stabenow, Lincoln. Totally fun.) I particularly enjoyed the 1992 and 1996 outcomes, when I printed out a copy of the US map and colored in the states as they were won by Clinton/Bush and Clinton/Dole. Hey, maybe I need to revisit this in 2008 - it worked then, didn't it?

4. Not a particularly weird habit, but I bite my finger cuticles too much. I'd give anything to have my sister Nancy's nice nails.

5. I like doing things in season. For instance, I can't do Christmas shopping until at least Thanksgiving. And, I like to buy clothes when I can actually wear them. Yesterday, I went shopping for summer clothes. During a week when the temperature rose to 102 degrees (in New England for God's sake!) I had the audacity to walk into a store looking for shorts. At Coldwater Creek a nice saleswoman asked if she could help me find anything. I said, "Where are your summer clothes?" (this after I had only taken about 5 steps into the store). She says, "They're all gone." I said, "So am I," and walked out the door. I guess I should have shopped for shorts in May when it was 40 degrees and raining all the time, eh? I'm convinced that one of these days the stores will "lap" themselves and be putting out seasonal clothes right when we need to have them.

OK, who can I tag? I don't know 5 people with blogs. So, the following people (who are my total readership, I think) will have to add their 5 strange habits as comments I guess: Rita M., Dianna H., Beth P., Mary Lou and Nanner. (I was going to add my great-niece Melanie because she actually does have a blog, but at around 3 months old, she doesn't have too many strange habits yet.) Have fun, ladies!