Saturday, August 20, 2005



Newt Gingrich

Sometimes, just knowing how badly someone else has had it makes you feel g
ood about things. It has actually been a bad week. My carpal tunnel is killing me, I have writer's block, my ISP has screwed up my mail account so badly I have just given up and opened a yahoo account, and my cell phone provider over charged me by $62 this month. I missed canoeing today because I had to deal with all the above stuff. Yet, I actually feel pretty good today. That's partially because for the second time in a month, a person of the female persuation actually uttered the words "I love you' for my benefit (more later). But mostly, because I know people who are having much worse weeks.

Take my son Sean, for example. In the space of less than 24 hours he suffered a hernia at work, and had both family vehicles break down. Compared to that, carpal tunnel and writer's block don't seem so bad. And my best friend from hs and his wife (who just happens to be my cousin) just learned their granddaughter has a potentially debilitating disease. I'd rather be bankrupt and homeless than have that happen!

Then there is the President, for whom the bad news just keeps on coming. Not only is Cindy Sheehan not going away, she is gathering supporters every minute of every hour of every day. More and more mothers of dead GI's are turning up to support her. She has become an endless source of bad publicity for "the Dubya". The causalty count in Iraq just keeps climbing, with the size of the body count, both Iraqi civilian and US GI, growing exponentially. And that Holy Grail of Iraqi peace, the document that was supposed to turn the tide against the insurgency, the Iraqi Constitution, appears to be all but in ruins. Having already missed one deadline, they now appear to be hopelessly deadlocked.

Even worse for the pres and the congressional leadership, they are increasingly facing criticism from inside their own party. And not just the on the war. The budget deficit, health care, intelligent Design, energy policy... all receiving criticism from prominent Repubs. On NPR's "Talk Of the Nation" last week, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was openly critical of the Pres for his lack of leadership on health care, which Gingrich called a moral imperative. On the energy bill, which he described of doing 10% of what needed to be done and laden with pork, said Newt; "there is no incentive to remove pork from this or any bill if the President isn't willing to show leadership and even threaten a veto." Apparently Gingrich feels that signing a bill that falls 90% short of what is needed, while busting the budget, is a sign of poor leadership. Imagine that!

So, compared to my son, my cousin, and da prez, my carpal tunnel, writer's block and phone companies problems seem kinda inconsequential. Zippedee doo da, my oh my what a wonderful day!

And now, a brief word about our personal angel at Verizon Wireless:
Her name is Sonya, and she used to be our favorite waitress at the local Applebee's. She kinda just disappeared from there, and we wondered on occasion what had happened to her. Imagine our surprise after we changed cell phone carriers, and found her working at the local Verizon office. We almost didn't recognize her, with her long hair cut short, and out of uniform. But she recognized us and came over and said hello.

She has been our guardian angel ever since, taking care of our equipment and billing problems, patiently showing me how to use my phone features, and spending a lot of time helping Shelley get balky features on her cell phone to work.

The last time we were in, I asked her what I could do to repay her for all her help. She had apparently heard Shelley and I talking about Starbuck's, and said she loved latte's, and next time I came in I could bring her one. It was at that point that Shelley asked her if she had ever had a Moolatte from Dairy Queen. The answer was no, but it sounded really wonderful! I promised I'd bring one the next time we came in.

I had forgotten about it until about half way through the hour she spent on the phone today getting duplicate charges removed from our bill. I looked at Shelley and said "you know what I forgot, don't you?" Shelley immediately said "Moolatte".

So, upon our departing Verizon $60 richer and with Shelley's caller ID working. I immediately drove to Dairy Queen and purchased a large French Vanilla Moolatte. When I walked through the door with it, she looked at me, and in front of several dozen customers declared, "Awwwww...I love you!"

Damn! Second woman this month to tell me that! Now, if only the one lived closer than a thousand miles away, and the other weren't married.

Now cooking at THE CHURCH POTLUCK: Mexican Salad. Coming later this week: A Few Recipes For Your Labor Day BBQ!

Quick Update:
Barb has just posted the recipe for a replica of Sander's Hot Fudge ice cream topping. If you are from southeast Michigan, you KNOW how good this stuff is! If you are not, it's high time you find out! And if you have a Meijer store near you, Sander's Ice Cream Toppings should be available (mom always bought it in the large cans). Beware, when refrigerated, this stuff eats just like candy! Many a time I've gone to make a Sundae only to discover that the boys had eaten the stuff by the spoonful until gone (in their defense, they learned that from their Grandpa and me).

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