June 2007


16 Jun 2007 12:00 am

Kim of Musing Minds has tagged me with a meme…..

Eight things you may not know about me.

I write about myself too much on this blog so I doubt there is much that is not known about me. But I will go along with the game. Tag was one of my favorite games as a child.

1.Dig the bangs on my sister. We sang together in two-part harmony from the time we were barely out of toddlerhood. I taught myself how to play the guitar and we had fun singing all over Arkansas and Oklahoma for quite a few years. Especially in places like Witcherville, Arkansas and Roland, Oklahoma. We were invited to sing at a rally for former U.S. Senator David Pryor when I was eighteen and my sis was fifteen but I refused the gig. My boyfriend and now-husband was coming home on leave from West Point and I didn’t want to miss spending time with him.
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I don’t know who the foot belongs to.

2. When I was twenty-eight years old, I was a fashion illustrator. It was loads of fun but when I was six months along with our third child I became concerned about being seated at a desk for so many hours of the day so I quit.girlinfurlight__3_.jpg

3. When I was sixteen years old I stopped a train. Do not try this at home. I was at a baseball park watching my brother’s baseball game with my friends and we decided to cross the train tracks that ran through the ballparks to go down to the fastpitch field to see my Dad and his team play.

As we were crossing over the tracks I turned back to watch the action in my brothers game and my friends walked on. Suddenly I was blinded by light and couldn’t move. It was a train heading right toward me. Thank goodness the train (which automatically slowed to about twenty miles an hour in that area) stopped in time because I was transfixed by the lights and could not move.

The train stopped about two feet ahead of me, the engineer actually getting off the train to be sure I was alright. I was extremely embarrassed afterwards because my brother’s ballgame was also halted. Everyone witnessed my foolishness. When my Dad found out I was really in trouble.

4. I love to throw parties. donohopartytableden.jpg

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5. My favorite spectator sport is college football.

6. I won the best actress award in my freshman year of college. But the best prize was meeting my husband in the play.

7. I like to write and illustrate childrens stories.
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8. My favorite amusement park is not Disneyworld (although I like it a lot) but Silver Dollar City. My parents took my brothers, sister and me the first year it was open and we’ve continued to go over the years, taking our own families. It’s still got that country, hillbilly feel but is run very efficiently. SilverDollarCity_52.jpg
My sister, brothers and me, way back when.

Now I will tag Laura at Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings, Kris at Kris in New England, Barb at Barb the Evil Genius and Gayle at And you thought You were cranky?

14 Jun 2007 05:48 pm

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Standing proud

The Army celebrates its 232nd birthday today, June 14.

In 1775, the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of ten companies of riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year and the U.S. Army was born. Two years later, the Continental Congress proposed that the United States have a national flag instead of the British Union Jack.

The U.S. Army serves under the American flag. God bless the United States Army and God Bless our flag.

13 Jun 2007 05:49 am

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Laundry sign in Key West, courtesy of my niece

It is difficult for me to understand why the infamous dry-cleaning pants lawsuit hasn’t been thrown out of court long before now. Why was it allowed to proceed to trial?

A judge had to leave the courtroom with tears running down his face Tuesday after recalling the lost pair of trousers that led to his $54 million US lawsuit against a dry cleaner.

Administrative law judge Roy Pearson had argued earlier in his opening statement that he is acting in the interest of all city residents against poor business practices. Defence lawyers called his claim “outlandish.”

He originally sued Custom Cleaners for about $65 million under the District of Columbia consumer protection act and almost $2 million in common law claims. He is no longer seeking damages related to the pants, instead focusing his claims on two signs in the shop that have since been removed.

He alleges that Jin Chung, Soo Chung and Ki Chung, owners of the mom-and-pop business, committed fraud and misled consumers with signs that claimed “Satisfaction Guaranteed” and “Same Day Service.”

Pearson, representing himself, said in opening that he wanted to examine the culture that allowed “a group of defendants to engage in bad business practices for five years.”

A lawyer for the Chungs portrayed Pearson as a bitter man with financial troubles stemming from a recent divorce who is taking out his anger on a hardworking family.

“This case is very simple. It’s about one sign and the plaintiff’s outlandish interpretation,” Chris Manning said.

The Chungs were to present their case Wednesday. Manning asked D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff to award them reimbursement for their legal costs if they win.

Pearson called several witnesses Tuesday who testified that they stopped going to Custom Cleaners after problems with misplaced clothes.

Pearson also called himself as a witness, saying his problems began in May 2005 when he brought in several suits for alterations. A pair of pants from a blue and maroon suit was missing when he requested it two days later. He said Soo Chung tried to give him a pair of charcoal grey pants.

As Pearson explained that those weren’t the pants for the suit, he choked up and left the courtroom crying after asking Bartnoff for a break.

Having grown up with paternal and maternal grandparents who had mom-and-pop dry cleaning businesses I feel for the Chung family. There’s not a lot of profit in the dry-cleaning business but there is a great deal of work.

I was thirteen years old when I first started to work for my paternal grandparents. After learning how to make change and bag clothes, my grandparents began to leave me in the shop on Saturdays so they could go fishing. My job on that day was only to give customers their clothes, handle the cash register and tag clothing brought in for cleaning.

One day a man came in to the cleaners and asked me if I could make an alteration. I told him that the alteration lady (my grandmother) wasn’t there and I couldn’t do it. He laid some newly purchased trousers on the counter and asked me if I would attempt to alter them.

They were cuffed pants and needed to be shortened a few inches. I told the man that I had never done that before. I knew how to thread needles and my grandmother had taught me how to put in hems but I had never done any alterations. The man seemed desperate and asked me to please give it a try.

So I did. I studied the cuffs on the pants and took out another pair of pants to see how they were stiched. Somehow I got it done. The customer came back about an hour later and was satisfied with his pants.

My grandmother would laugh Roy Pearson out of her shop today if he tried to pull that pants stuff on her. The whole scenario makes me wish Seinfeld were back on television.

Griff Jenkins of Fox News has a very amusing account of the day in court.

Planck’s Constant has a link to the Chungs Legal Defense Fund.

12 Jun 2007 07:44 pm

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A sign near the swimming pool at our hotel in Benton, Arkansas this weekend.

Safety’s obviously not a priority either.

12 Jun 2007 02:49 pm

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My husband and I watched the finale of The Sopranos Sunday night.

Although we’d missed most of the episodes this season, in many ways, life for Tony has proceeded much like former seasons. (when we didn’t miss an episode) Tony and associates were just a few steps ahead of the Feds, his kids were growing up like many American kids today, without direction or focus.

Somehow, Tony’s life seemed to be spiraling down. Christopher is dead, Bobby was knocked off, and last week, Silvio nearly died and is on life-support. Tony’s left with Paulie and Patsy. Little Italy is shrinking.

Carmela as always, was still the devoted wife and mother, trying to keep her family together, with limited success.

Paulie Walnuts remained the same, odd, nervous, and superstitious human being. That he called the orange cat, “a snake in fur,” irritated me; I’m a cat lover and that the cat had a strange affinity for staring at the photo of Christopher didn’t surprise me at all. Cats pick whom they love without any input from the human that is chosen.

Hearts have their reasons of which reason knows nothing. Blaise Pascal

Tony always did love animals. From the early episodes with the ducks in his yard to the finale with the orange cat in the pork store, Tony remained an animal lover.

As the minutes of the show began to wind down, I started to watch the clock below the television. At 8:50, I started to wonder where the plot was going. Would Tony get wiped out in Uncle Junior’s nursing home with the cheesy “Have a Nice Day” sign above the mantle?

More moments were gone. It was 8:55. Tony arrived at Holsten’s and waited for his family as he sat in a booth checking out the tunes in the jukebox.

Having spent some time this past weekend playing the jukebox, it was amusing to see Tony at The Last Supper going through a list of tunes on the jukebox. He picked Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing. The lyrics included this line……’the movie never ends, it goes on and on and on and on’

I never stop believing in life. Apparently David Chase doesn’t either.

Carmela was next to arrive and I wondered if she was going to suddenly pull a gun on Tony but that would have been totally out of her character. She asked Tony about his meeting with Mink and he told her that Carlo was going to testify. Carmela sighed and popped an onion ring in her mouth.

At 8:57, AJ arrived. He complained about the job his parents got him as a bribe to keep him from joining the Army. In a sign of some maturity, the Yeats quoting, AJ reminded Tony of some old advice he had once given him, “Try to remember the times that were good.”

Shady characters were coming and going in Holsten’s and I was wondering which one would do the hit on Tony.

Meadow was trying to parallel park outside in the darkness and that increased the tension. Having never achieved the ability to parallel park, I was sitting on the edge of my seat, still glancing down at the clock.

9:00.

Finally, Meadow got the car parked and started to run inside to join her family. I heard the door start to open.

Then the screen went black. No sound. Nothing. My husband and I looked at each other and he actually said, “Damn Cox!” (we’ve lost our cable before at important moments in television shows)

Then the credits started to roll and realization set in. Tony and family were left at the table at Holstens for eternity with Meadow just outside.

I will miss Tony and the rest of the Sopranos.

The Anchoress’ take is here.

12 Jun 2007 08:45 am


Women in Western Art for the last five hundred years.

This is a beautiful work. The women are the subjects of the paintings, not the artists themselves. My only criticism is that Johannes Vermeer’s, The Girl with a Pearl Earring was not included.

10 Jun 2007 06:44 pm

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Photo by Laura Lee Donoho

I spent the weekend in Hot Springs, Arkansas with my daughter-in-law, her Mom, sisters, and her three and a half year old son. (my grandson) What a time for us to go. The town was full of Harleys because there was a big H.O.G. Rally in Hot Springs this weekend. There were Harleys e v e r y w h e r e.

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Photo by Laura Lee Donoho

My daughter-in-law’s Mom and twin sisters came up from Louisiana to meet us in Benton, Arkansas. We checked into a hotel and then, all of us loaded into my daughter-in-law’s Mom’s mini-van. We drove to Hot Springs, enjoying the natural beauty along the way. As we entered into the city, we heard the roar of Harley motorcycles, even inside the van. The Harleys were all over the roads, usually with more than one rider on them. I’ve heard of the term Motorcycle Mamas before… seeing it was believing. Sort of. But most of the mamas were over fifty years of age.

There were signs entering and exiting the city announcing that Hot Springs is the city where former President Bill Clinton grew up. It certainly has that kind of seedy feel to it, at least in some areas of the city. I’d never heard of stripper/karaoke bars before but Hot Springs has them.

We did the usual sightseeing and shopping downtown, but couldn’t hear each other over the din of the motorcycles.

The “hot springs” themselves were - hot. It was like being inside a sauna.

We decided it was time to return to the hotel just as the Parade of Harley was beginning. People lined Central Avenue downtown as we left. Just as we were in the turn lane to get on the road back to Benton, the mini-van died. There was a big pop and with that, the transmission was g o n e.

What to do? Some Harley riders in the lane next to us offered some helpful hints and informed us that there was a policeman at the gas station to the left of us. The policeman turned out to be a policewoman and she very efficiently directed traffic, called a wrecker and warned an annoyingly, determined woman who stayed in the lane behind us, honking her horn in disgust, that she was not going to proceed in that lane and had better stop honking or else.

We took my grandson, and my daughter-in-law’s sisters to the Walgreens on the other side of the road. After one of the clerks heard about our predicament she went back to the outdoor section and brought us some lawn chairs on which to sit. I am always a very impatient shopper but found it a nice time to shop around the store, remembering to purchase everything I had forgotten.

We were there about an hour and a half. My daughter-in-law and her Mom were taken by a very helpful Ford car dealer to the Ford dealership where she decided to just trade the beloved min-van in for a very nice 2007 Mercury Mountaineer. (with the advice and approval of her husband back in Louisiana)

My daughter came from Little Rock and rescued the rest of us, taking us back to the hotel. We all met up for a late night dinner. Most of us had comfort food and we joked that since we had that bad day over with, it couldn’t get any worse.

But it could. Yesterday we went to Magic Springs in nearby Hot Springs. After riding some rollercoasters and taking my grandson on some kiddie rides we moved on to the Crystal Springs Water Park to take our grandson to the kiddie pool. He had lots of guardians, his Mom, two grandmothers and two aunts. All of us enjoyed watching him slide down the waterslide and splash around in the water.

Suddenly, the music stopped and everyone was instructed by the lifeguards to get out of the pool. I heard someone say that the power in the park was gone. There was no electricity whatsoever. I looked over to the giant rollercoaster, the X-Coaster and there were riders hanging upside down right at the very top of the coaster. The crowd got quiet, everyone pointing up to the coaster.

Many of the people in the park started to leave. Others milled around, just watching the riders on the coaster dangling upside down, strapped only at their shoulders and feet. My daughter-in-law’s sisters had gone to ride on the Plummet Summit but turned around to come find us when the power went off.

We went up to a high point in the park to have ice cream and employees were emptying the ice machines of ice. Many people were talking about the frightening scene but I overheard some women talking about, of all things, Paris Hilton. I had escaped that non-stop coverage being too busy to watch the news.

After about forty-five minutes, (I checked my cell phone and it took more than thirty-two minutes to get those folks down) the crowd with us cheered when the twelve riders and their rides were finally released. But the coaster still had no power and the only way that they could stop the ride was to let “the cat die”, that is, to let the coaster go back and forth until it lost momentum and stopped.

Only one person was taken to the hospital but the park officials had been prepared for more injured riders because there were many ambulances and firetrucks waiting.

We all wondered what caused the power failure. The weather couldn’t have caused it. The day was cloudy but we had no rain. I admit to having a few disquieting thoughts about the situation. The park officials told us nothing and the employees dashed around talking on walkie-talkies, ignoring any visitor questions. What would happen if there were a terrorist attack? How would the park officials react to that? What about the people running around barefoot in their bathing suits? Would they mob the lockers or the changing rooms?

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Photo by Laura Lee Donoho

We left the park after discovering that all the bathrooms were out of order and the computers were still down. It was reported that Magic Springs resumed operations after the power was restored but a lot of the people had already left. We went back to the hotel for a swim. Then, we went to Pizza Hut which was conveniently located right next to the hotel. We didn’t have to get into the car. We enjoyed the pizza and playing the jukebox.

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Photo by Laura Lee Donoho

Now we’re back and glad to be home. The thing is, we had fun with each other and it didn’t take Magic Springs or Hot Springs for that to happen. Maybe Pizza Hut.

Welcome Lorie Byrd and Wizbang readers!

Welcome Barking Moonbat readers!

08 Jun 2007 09:18 am

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I’ve been busy.

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The art teachers got together to share ideas recently. One very clever art teacher has the local fabric store save the bolts that the fabric is wrapped around. The blue girls in cameo are built on a leftover fabric bolt.

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Captain seems to appreciate the art. He may have a case of the blues. Or it just might be that the seat is comfortable.

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Sabby’s more interested in “helping” me with the laundry.

Go see all the cats at The Scratching Post and learn how to change sheets without disturbing the cat’s comfortable position on the bed. The 168th Carnival of Cats is hosted by The Scratching Post.

06 Jun 2007 12:06 pm

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Assault landing One of the first waves at Omaha Beach as photographed by Robert F. Sargent. The U.S. Coast Guard caption identifies the unit as Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.

“Men who have offered their lives for their country know that patriotism is not fear of something; it is the love of something.” Adlai Stevenson-1952 speech to American Legion

The Surge is not yet taken hold. Give it a chance to work. The QandO Blog links to the kind of nonsense General Petraeus is up against here in the states. Hat tip: The Mudville Gazette

The Surge of troops in Iraq is not yet in place and hasn’t been implemented fully, if at all. It is a change in the strategy and tactics of this war. In reality, it is an adaptation to defeat the tactics and strategy of our enemy. This has happened many times before in the history of war, the invasion of Normandy, being one such example.

On D-Day we utilized many innovative ideas. Diversions were accomplished by dolls floating down from the sky. In addition, the largest parachute operation up to that time was accomplished. Enemy communication lines far behind the front were disrupted by bombing raids and complete control of the air was achieved. These ideas were new at the time but have become great military lessons for wartime operations today.

There were, however, also failures. The Rangers attacked a dummy position and suffered a large amount of casualties for seemingly, very small gain. The invasion of Omaha Beach occurred as the Germans were practicing their defense for just such an invasion. The result was bloody Omaha.

New ideas and adapting strategy and tactics to an enemy is war! It does not work all the time! But the nation that wins will simply refuse to give up. On D-Day, after suffering horrendous casualties, our military and political leaders refused to admit defeat. The result was victory.

The Surge promises a new direction to combat the terror tactics of the enemy. In the early stages it seems to be working. This does not mean that it will win the war completely, nor can it be seen as a constant recipe for success. Just like D-Day, we must take the failures with the successes, and learn from them. Not how to quit, but how to persevere and win.

This is what our fathers and grandfathers did on the sixth of June, 1944. Perhaps we should ask those who laid on the beach at Normandy, seeing their brothers blown to pieces, if the price was too high to pay for the destruction of the Third Reich. Our generation must answer the question: What is the price for the destruction of Islamic terrorism and are we willing to pay it?

Another story, scarcely remembered, is the first fight of the 30th and 38th Regiments of the 3d Division in World War l. With the French in retreat, these regiments of the 3d Division held on.

Rock of the Marne

Near M├ęzy, France, July 1918. Here the German Army made its last great attack of World War I. It struck in the Marne River area along the road to Paris, and the weight of the blow fell on the 30th and 38th U.S. Infantry Regiments of the 3d Division. This was their first fight. Firing in three directions, blasted by artillery fire, taking all flesh and blood could stand, the regiments held on doggedly and threw the enemy back across the Marne. This defense checked the Germans’ assault and made an Allied offensive possible. General Pershing called it “one of the most brilliant pages of our military annals.”

In Iraq, the greeting of the members of the 3d Division is, “Rock of the Marne.”

Today is the 63rd anniversary of D-Day. This day is fading into history but should be remembered by all Americans as the day many valiant American men gave their lives for freedom. Blackfive is remembering. So is Jules Crittenden.

Winston Churchill in his speech to the British House of Commons on June 6th, 1944.

There are already hopes that actual tactical surprise has been attained, and we hope to furnish the enemy with a succession of surprises during the course of the fighting. The battle that has now begun will grow constantly in scale and in intensity for many weeks to come, and I shall not attempt to speculate upon its course.

This I may say, however. Complete unity prevails throughout the Allied Armies. There is a brotherhood in arms between us and our friends of the United States. There is complete confidence in the supreme commander, General Eisenhower, and his lieutenants, and also in the commander of the Expeditionary Force, General Montgomery.

The ardour and spirit of the troops, as I saw myself, embarking in these last few days was splendid to witness. Nothing that equipment, science or forethought could do has been neglected, and the whole process of opening this great new front will be pursued with the utmost resolution both by the commanders and by the United States and British Governments whom they serve.

1944 was a Presidential election year and President Roosevelt was elected to his fourth and last term of office. It’s hard to imagine members of the Democrat Party distancing themselves from Roosevelt in a time of war as some Republican candidates are shamefully doing today with President Bush.

To the eternal shame of the British people, it happened to that great lion, Winston Churchill. While the war was still raging in the Pacific, the fickle British electorate turned out Churchill and his conservative party.

Michael Yon has a must-read post (with amazing photos) on his stay in the desert of Iraq with the British.

This guy has gone to fight the terrorists and will be back when the war is over.

Why is 2500 such an important number?

Hot Air is remembering.

UPDATE:
Some readers may be disturbed because I’ve included current events in this D-Day Remembrance post but, to me, the only way we can truly honor those who have given their all is to continue to strive to win the war on terror.

Republican candidates who continue to bash President Bush will not get my vote. Whether or not the Immigration Bill is vile (and I believe it to be terribly flawed and wrong) it comes off as petty and weak for the Republicans to bash the president as a method of attracting votes.

The Anchoress has written a very important article which attempts to reason with those who believe that President Bush has betrayed the right. It should be read.

03 Jun 2007 12:38 pm

Lisa De Pasquale of The Right Angle at Human Events received a copy of a letter that a Fifth Grade teacher in Alaska, Jan Bobek sent to a member of Congress. There is a larger scan at the link.

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Lisa writes…..

Fifth Grade Teacher Jan Bobek of Soldotna Elementary School in Soldotna, Alaska recently sent a brightly colored letter (see image below) signed by her students that said, “Bring our soldiers home! They are our family.”

The letter was forwarded to me by a staffer who received it in the DC office of a Congressman from another state. One can only assume that similar letters were sent to other congressional offices. Given that the students only had to sign their name, there is no educational value in this note to a congressional office from another state. It’s clearly a political message that’s being sent by the teacher on taxpayers’ dime.

Ms Bobek might want to concentrate on teaching academic subjects and penmanship. I know in this age of computers many people think teaching students proper handwriting is archaic. I disagree.

Teaching students how to write legibly is still important. It enhances the students ability to learn to read, polishes their fine motor skills and develops their own imprint on the world.

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Indoctrinating fifth grade students into ones’ own moonbat belief system and using their names in a letter to a legislator in order to persuade the congress to bring the soldiers home ought to be a fireable offense.

I’m certain that a public school teacher who did the opposite, that is, used the students names in order to persuade our nations leaders to send the troops to war, or to support the surge, wouldn’t get away with it.

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