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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Saturday, April 28


You just HAVE to look at this! Dubai City is in the Arab Emirates. It is the largest and fastest growing construction area on the globe right now. If we can ever "all just get along", and they incorporate legal gambling...Las Vegas will be a dirt cloud, and folks will sell their souls to go there.

I cannot post the photos, as this was sent to me as a Power Point slide show. The file has been checked and approved as virus-free, and you can download/view it from the box below. (BTW...if you have files you would like to share... Box.net offers this service FREE, and it's a great way to share or post documents, power point files, etc.


Saturday's Super Site - Blah Blah Blog - The Soap Box

Imagine my surprise to awake on a lazy Saturday morning to check my e-mail and find that someone chose me as special. Sunni Kay, a regular reader here (and I love to read her blog too) chose me as this week’s Saturday’s Super Site! Her kind words about me and this blog truly made my day :)

Sunni’s regular blog
“Rantings, Ramblings, and Other Miscellaneous Stuff” is full of well written stories concerning support for our troops, motherhood, and newsworthy items of the week. It’s amazing how our thoughts and ideas mirror each other. I also recently found out that we live fairly close to each other; perhaps one day we will meet…drinks are on me Sunni :) Sunni also teams with a group to review books at “The Bookshelf Reviews”. If you are an avid reader, this is a great site.

Thanks Sunni for the honor, and keep coming back!

Jiffy Lube Scam

People…BE VERY CAREFUL WHERE YOU TAKE YOUR VEHICLES FOR REPAIR. I own two establishments in which vehicles are repaired. Our reputation and providing quality service is vitally important to us. NOTHING in business pisses me off more than to know that our competitors are screwing the public on a daily basis. No matter how honest and above board we are…when these types of instances occur, regular consumers have a natural assumption that everybody does it. THEY DON’T! We are not a Jiffy Lube; we are a full service repair / maintenance garage. We cannot perform a service and oil change for $19.95. However, when your vehicle is serviced in our garage, IT’S SERVICED! The oil is changed, the filter(s) are changed depending on need, brakes are checked, chassis is lubed, and ALL fluids are checked and filled appropriately. THAT’S the true meaning of an oil change…just like it was in the old days.

This post is in no way intended to unduly slam Jiffy Lube. Unfortunately, the facts are the facts, and even sadder is the fact that Jiffy Lube is NOT the only place where these types of things happen. The Jiffy Lube establishments mentioned in the video were in California. In this video, News 4 did an undercover report, and FIVE out of nine Jiffy Lube stores DID NOT do the work the news team paid them to do. The district manager lied on camera, and Jiffy Lube corporate took the low road in their statement.

I know that at least ONE Jiffy Lube in Reno follows the same sleazy practice. I had a very nice gentleman come into my shop for a basic oil change. As with all customers, upon inspection we found his air filter FILTHY and almost completely restricted, so it was changed also. When paying the bill, the customer saw the charge for his air filter (his particular one is an expensive type), and was a bit upset. He told me that he really wished we hadn’t done that without asking him first, as he just had his air filter changed at Jiffy Lube less than 30 days ago, and estimated it was about 18 days prior.

Not wanting to unduly charge a consumer for something they did not need, I went back to my mechanic to check on the service. We brought the customer back to the shop, and my mechanic took the filter he had removed from this gentleman’s car and held it off the floor only about six inches, and merely dropped it. Enough grime and debris came out of that filter that we LITERALLY FILLED a little restaurant style long handled dustpan. It was apparent that if we dropped it again, we could have filled the dust pan again. This customer was furious! He asked me if he could have it ALL. We swept up the junk, placed the contents and the filter into a trash bag, and gave it to him. I asked him why he wanted it, and as he was off toward the door…he said he was on his way to Jiffy Lube to shove that air filter up somebody’s ass! I felt sorry for him; it SUCKS to spend hard earned money only to learn that you’ve been ripped off. Buyer’s Beware…the cheapest is not always the best.

The video below was made by another consumer that got ripped off by Jiffy Lube (the same one MORE THAN ONCE). His story is common with others, and just a note, there are a couple of choice words on one part of the video.

Friday, April 27

But MOM! - EVERYBODY Else Has One!

Remember all the times through the years your kids BEGGED you to buy them this or that...it was always too expensive...or they didn't really need it...but ON AND ON THEY BEGGED. Every child always has the same excuse, "But Mom! EVERYBODY else has one...if you don't get me one, I'll be the only kid at school that doesn't have one!"

The last item like this for me was the I-PO
D. Well...crap...it appears they were right! Looks like EVERYBODY (but me) DOES have an I-POD!

Thursday, April 26

Reno Sparks Area BBB Report

The Better Business Bureau of Reno/Sparks periodically produces a report of local businesses with one or more unanswered complaints. The link below is the current list. This list is not intended to claim wrong doing of any business, it's just a publication of businesses that didn't feel it was important enough to respond to complaints of consumers. Buyers Beware...

**UPDATE**: I was informed the link didn't work...but there's more than one way to skin a cat :) The .pdf form can be viewed/downloaded from the box below...

First Vinyl Meme - From Big White Hat

Must be the meme time of spring. One of my favorite bloggers, BIG WHITE HAT, asked me to play along with his First Vinyl Meme. Of course I’m happy to oblige. First Vinyl Meme: Post a picture of the album cover of the first vinyl you ever owned – and tell a bit about it…


Oh the memories. I didn’t actually purchase my first vinyl…my first album was a gift. I couldn’t have been but about 10-12 years old. My crazy hippie aunt from California (I LOVED her…God rest her soul)…came to Texas for one of her RARE visits. She and I favored each other in looks, and as strange as she could be…I thought she was one of the coolest people I’d ever met. She presented me with my first album like it was a right of passage to own one (I thought it was…I’d never had one before). I was so proud of that album. We were so dirt poor…I didn’t even have a record player, but my folks had one of those console black and white TV’s with the record player in one side that covered just about one whole wall. On the top always sat some family made crocheted doilies with some knick knack on them, and of course the huge leather bound family King James Bible.

I had to find quiet time away from the folks to ever use the record player, because Joni Mitchell was “Rock N Roll”…and Lord forbid I allow it to warp my mind. (If any of you are familiar with the album, it’s easy listening folk music style). I would sit on the floor and listen to the album for hours. Thanks BWH for the invite, this was a pleasurable memory to share…and THANK YOU AUNT JOANNE…May you be singing with the angels tonight!

PLEASE JOIN IN - Post your first vinyl and link back here!

Wednesday, April 25

Interview Me Meme

I got tagged by EDog’s Everything Page, and yes…because I offered…I thought it would be fun. Ian (EDog) is a soon to be famous author, and a designer of a crazy superhero web comic called Adventures of the S-Team created with Lego’s! He is, of course, a fellow blogger…along with being a husband, father, and a guy still with a day job too.

Welcome to the INTERVIEW MEME. It works like this… I’ll answer Ian’s questions here. If you like, I’ll interview you :) Directions follow my answers…

1. Tell us about your three companies. Which one is the money pit and which one is the tax shelter?

We are just “Mom & Pop” companies, so there is no DEEP money pit, but we’re proud of our little Mom & Pop empire. Our first was a big rig truck garage (Nov. 2002). Started with 4 guys and now we have 4 mobile service trucks, a dozen mechanics and several support personnel. (This would be the money pit I guess). We got sick and tired of poor service and high prices from some parts vendors, so we opened a parts store. The original idea to open a store front and have other people run it failed. Not quitters though, we leased our store to another business and moved the tiny operation under the same roof as the truck garage. Being so busy with the successful truck garage, and not ever being able to find a heavy duty truck and trailer parts genius to pay a big salary too…we just keep that one open for the ability to buy parts from ourselves and save our customers money. We sell parts to a few, but we just don’t have the time or the personnel to grow it. (I guess that one would be the tax shelter, although it makes a little money on its own). And almost a year ago, if we weren’t busy enough…a man had mismanaged a little shop around the corner and had to go out of business. We have turned away tons of pickups at our big rig garage…so when the other guy went out…we formed a new corporation and opened a diesel pickup garage. I run that one now, and I started with two guys, I now have five. We’re looking for a larger building, and this one will be fun too in it’s time.

2. What’s your favorite Blonde joke?

OMG…since I AM Blonde, I’ve probably just about heard them all.
How can you tell a Blonde has been making chocolate chip cookies? There’s M&M shells all over the floor.

3. What’s your best party trick?

That’s funny… OBVIOUSLY, dancing on a pole IS NOT IT! We have an annual customer/vendor appreciation – employee Christmas party in which about 250-300 people attend. In this BAD photo someone caught far too late in the night…my crazy friend Capri is attempting to give me pointers. Actually, I’m really quite tame at parties (other than I run my mouth too much sometimes), but I’d say my best party trick is actually quality conversation with folks I haven’t seen in a while, and an ear to listen for those wanting to talk…

4. Describe a brush with greatness in your life.

Well, this answer is easy, and without a doubt. I had a wonderful youth; I had a great career for 20 years as a casino dealer. I’ve met many many famous people, and have done some crazy things, and have been accomplished at several. However…without a doubt…my touch with greatness has come twice, and each time has been miraculous. That would be the birth of my two children. My boys are 23 and 17, and I will never again touch greatness more than I have by spending the years having had the privilege to be their Mother.

5. Finish this sentence: “The sickest I’ve ever been…”

Oh my… My girlfriends and I went to Rosarito Beach, Mexico for a girl’s weekend. I don’t know what I got a hold of, but the drive home was painful and torturous. FINALLY after hours of wishing I would die in the back seat of a small rental car, driving from Mexico to Las Vegas, I finally got sick. Pretty much my entire body exploded, and for the first and hopefully ONLY time in my life, I found out what projectile vomiting really is. Oddly enough…it was over quickly, and on life went on. Never before, and never since. Montezuma’s Revenge is real people.


1. Leave a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions (if I don't have your email address, you can email me instead – Click the “Contact Author” link underneath my profile). I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Wednesday Hero - Col. Cyril Richard "Rick" Rescorla

This Weeks Soldier Was Suggested By Sunny Kay

Col. Cyril Richard
Col. Cyril Richard "Rick" Rescorla
68 years old from New York City, New York
16th Air Assault Brigade, Parachute Regiment (England)
Platoon Leader of 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) (U.S.)
September 11, 2001

Col. Rick Rescorla is a multiple time hero. In 1957 he enlisted in the British Army and began training as a paratrooper with The Parachute Regiment of the 16th Air Assault Brigade. He went on to serve with an intelligence unit in Cyprus, a paramilitary police inspector in the Northern Rhodesia Police (now the Zambia Police Service). When his military career ended in England he joined the Metropolitan Police Service in London. But he found the paperwork too boring and quite at the behest of a friend who encouraged him to join the United State Army. Which he did.

In 1963, Rescorla enlisted, with his friend, in the United States Army. After he completed basic training he attended officer training school and was assigned as a platoon leader in the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).

He was shipped to Vietnam and participated in the Battle of la Drang. While in Vietnam, he was given the nickname "Hard Core" by his men for his bravery in battle.

In 1968, Resorla became a U.S. citizen and continued his service in the Army Reserves until 1990 when he retired. In 1985 he joined a financial services firm, located in the World Trade Center, as security director.

In 1993, when the WTC was bombed, Rescorla was instrumental in evacuating people from the building. Afterwards, he enacted a policy in which all employees of the firm practiced evacuation drills every three months.

September 11, 2001. Rick Rescorla was supposed to be on vacation getting ready for his daughters wedding. Instead he was at work covering a shift for one of his deputies so that he could go on vacation. When American Airlines Flight 11 hit Tower 1, Rescorla ignored officials advice to stay put and opted instead to put his evacuation drills to use. While evacuating the 3,800 employees of his firm in Towers 2 and 5 he kept reminding them "be proud to be an American ...everyone will be talking about you tomorrow" and sang God Bless America over his bullhorn. When Flight 175 struck Tower 2, Rescorla had already evacuated most of the employees from his firm as well as many others from other floors. He then went back in, despite being told he needed to evacuate himself. The last known words anyone heard him say were, "As soon as I make sure everyone else is out". Tower 2 collapsed with Rick Rescorla last seen heading to the 10th floor looking for more people to help.

As a result of his actions that day, all but six employees of his firm made it out alive. One of those being him and three others being his deputies who followed him into Tower 2, Wesley Mercer, Jorge Velazquez, and Godwin Forde.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.

This week's new members:

Tornado KILLS SIX In Eagle Pass, TX

Oh my goodness!! My In-Laws were HERE tonight. A large tornado swept through Eagle Pass, TX and killed six and injured over 40. Ice cube hail pelted the area and an elementary school was demolished. Most of the surrounding area is out of electricity, and more storms are forecast.

Thank God Mom & Dad are OK, they called, and it was quite a harrowing experience and culture shock for them. They don’t come from tornado country. Hurry up Mom & Dad, and get home soon!

Tuesday, April 24

Mexica Movement - Roosevelt High School Mural

WOW! These people make Don Imus look like a saint! Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights, CA proudly displays THIS MURAL which "celebrates" the history of the Anahuac, Hispanic, and Latino people. Pictoral images depict "evil Europeans" destroying their people and causing the demise of "their nation". They claim that white people are the illegal aliens, they call us colonial squatters and say we have caused the artificial division of their people.

Many claims of outrage have been made to the powers that be in Los Angeles County, but the school board administration's official response was that there is NO INTENT to remove this mural, as it merely presents a "different perspective".

The group responsible for this outrage call themselves the Mexica Movement, and they vow to take back the continent that belongs to them.

They claim groups like the Minute Men are white supremacists, and demand they be deported back to Europe. They show them depicted like the Klu Klux Klan wearing white hoods. They boycott Disney movies, and march in our streets. They claim the borders of our nation are artificial, and they hold claim and rights to the entire continent and all of its natural resources. These people are a disgrace to the millions of citizens of all colors that have made America their homeland and live as free, law abiding citizens.

Come on, Americans OF ALL COLORS AND RACES...how is this allowed to continue? The white people have become so insanely politically correct to avoid "hurting anyone's feelings" in conversation, that now ANY WHITE PERSON that makes any form of comment whether joking or not that refers to any other race or group is immediately chastised, fired, and beat over the public chopping block. Yet, powers that be from all cultures in America needlessly let this kind of thing go on while turning a blind eye. UNBELIEVABLE!


**UPDATE 04/26/07**


Well, not only is Harry Reid going around the nation belittling our troops and the intelligence of our appointed generals at war, he has made it known that he is also against small business and the economy that strives because of the millions of small businesses that provide family style care and support for the millions of people they employ. The far left Democrats try to make us believe they are all for the “little guy”, but when push comes to shove, they do not vote that way.

HR 800 which is VERY mis-titled the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800) is a PRO-UNION bill that passed the House of Representatives 241-185, and is now getting a hasty shove through the Senate with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi swearing a swift passage.

The Employee Free Choice Act will eliminate the private ballot voting system whenever Union organizers come in to an establishment and try to shove their capitalistic “help” down the throats of honest hard workers who don’t know any better. The private ballot system of voting is a sacred and integral part of true democracy. If HR800 is passed, the private ballot will be replaced by a “card check” system in which the voting employee would be required to sign his intended vote IN FRONT OF the Union organizer and/or his employer. Can you even imagine what that would do to boost the intimidation factor on BOTH sides of the fence? Without private ballots, it’s very difficult for many to vote their true hearts and minds if they fear repercussions from either side. If these kinds of laws are allowed to continue, we are headed back to the days of the bourgeois and the proletariat.

Another down side to this bill is the fact that employers will lose their ability to run their own businesses. With passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, Agreement must be reached within 120 days of card check recognition, or a government arbiter will interject. Freedom for Unions to come in and take over will ruin a lot of honest employers and give Unions even more supreme power.

I’ve NEVER seen any benefit to a Union myself. I’ve worked for small companies, and mega-corporations, and fortunately have never had to subject myself to the Mafioso style “policies” of a Union. My Daddy always taught me to apply for a job based upon my own merits and talents, “give a man a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay”, and be honest, diligent, and treat any company I worked for as if I owned it in regard to my work ethic. If I ever thought I was being treated un-fairly, or wasn’t being paid enough money, or felt I was victimized in any way…guess what…I no longer gave that employer the benefit of my labors. I found other employment. Unions are not needed. If nobody would go to work for a shady employer, then he/it would have to change their ways in order to stay afloat. It’s the workers that whine and cry, that want top dollar for bottom dollar efforts, and greedy executives at the top of the Unions that try so hard to prove the union validity. Enough money comes out of my paycheck already, I’m certainly NOT going to “pay dues” to someone for “protection”, or the “guarantee” that my employer will treat me fairly…and then when the whiners get their feelings hurt, be forced to HAVE NO PAYCHECK and go on strike and not work at all. I’m perfectly capable of determining if my employer is treating me fairly all by myself. If he’s not, I quit. Good and qualified workers are never without a job very long…valuable people will be valued accordingly by ethical companies.

The NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) does amazing things to promote small business in America, their owners and employees. NFIB is lobbying heavily AGAINST HR800. This is the letter they are faxing legislators for anyone that signs their petition against HR800.

On behalf of our nation's small businesses, I ask you to please oppose H.R. 800, the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act." The House of Representatives recently passed this anti-business legislation, and we need the Senate to stand up for small business and defeat the bill.

H.R. 800 is an effort by organized labor to seek union recognition outside of the long protected secret-ballot
election. Employees would be stripped of their right to vote
privately in union elections. No longer needing a ratifying vote, union representatives would only need to coerce a majority of employees to sign authorization cards. This "card check" petitioning would take place outside of a workplace and in front of union organizers and fellow employees who support unionization. Employees would be subject to
intimidation, misinformation, and other union tactics that would ultimately pressure them into signing authorization cards. We prefer to refer to it as the "Employee NO Choice Act."

Additionally, H.R. 800 would force an employer to recognize the first contract offered by a union. Agreement must be
reached within 120 days of card check recognition, or a government arbiter will interject. Small-business owners would no longer set the wage and benefit terms for their workforce. Instead, a government official would come in to
their place of business and set the terms for them.

This bill represents a direct threat to the ability of small business to create jobs and grow the economy. Please stand up for small business and vote against "Card Check" legislation.

Well, as I do whenever I’m concerned in my community about what the people are doing in Washington that my tax dollars pay their salaries for, I write to them and voice my concerns. That’s also something my Daddy taught me. We vote for them, and they are to go to Washington and do what the constituents in their respective districts wish for them to do. That is why we have a Congress, so that a few people can run this country based upon the wishes of the mass populous. Well, it’s not that way any longer. They don’t care what the people want. They do as they wish, and our country is suffering for it.

Sadly to say, Harry Reid is my senator, from Nevada. Below, is his response to my concern about HR800, and even with the impeccable talent that politicians have to vaguely say what they think you want to hear…I can tell from his response that Harry Reid’s vote on HR800 will be a devastating YES. At least I can vote to remove him from office when his turn is up again, with a resounding NO.

Dear Mrs. XXXX:

Thank you for contacting me about the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800). I appreciate hearing from you.

As you know, H.R. 800 would amend the National Labor
Relations Act (NLRA) to allow employees to freely choose whether to form unions by signing cards authorizing unionization. The bill would also provide mediation for first contract disputes and establish stronger penalties.

Representative George Miller (D-CA) introduced H.R. 800 on February 5, 2007, and was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 241 - 185. Similar legislation (S.
1041) has been introduced by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and currently awaits consideration before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Please be assured that I noted your concerns with H.R. 800 and I will keep your thoughts in mind should similar legislation be considered in the Senate.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts
with me. For more information about my work for Nevada, my role in the United States Senate Leadership, or to subscribe to regular e-mail updates on the issues that interest you, please visit my Web site at http://reid.senate.gov. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

My best wishes to you.



United States Senator


This is an official communication from the Office of Senator John Ensign. Any tampering or alteration of this communication is prohibited and may result in criminal investigation or prosecution.

April 26, 2007 Mrs. Malinda XXXX XXXX XXXX XX, XXXXXX, XX XXXXX-XXXX. (I’m omitting my last name and address).

Dear Mrs. XXXX:

Thank you for contacting me about the Employee Free Choice Act. I value the opinions of every Nevadan and am always grateful to those who take the time to inform me of their views. This deceptively titled act would revoke the right of workers to cast secret-ballots in elections when voting on whether to form a union. Workers could now be unionized by the practice known as "card check," which would make employees cast their vote publicly by signing cards that would be allowed to count as votes in place of a secretly cast ballot. This practice would allow for unionization as soon as a majority of employees give consent, thus eliminating the voice of a significant percentage of the employees. Not only is card check completely undemocratic, but it would trample the rights of employees. The United States has a rich tradition of Americans choosing their elected representatives by secret ballot in free and fair elections, something I have worked throughout my career to protect. Ensuring that employees maintain the right to secret-ballot elections protects those who would choose to not unionize from undue peer pressure, public scrutiny, coercion, and possible retaliation. I fully believe that democracy in the workplace should be maintained. In order to do so Congress must uphold its decision to amend the National Labor Relations Act in 1947, which expressly mandated that workers be given the right to a secret ballot. For 70 years, both the National Labor Relations Board, which oversees unions, and the Supreme Court have upheld the law and the rights of workers by recognizing that secret-ballot elections are the most satisfactory way to establish a union. Public support for the secret ballot for union representation is strong and an overwhelming number of union employees agree that a workers' vote to organize should remain private. Allowing the Employee Free Choice Act to be passed into law would result in a dictatorial rule over laborers and their civil rights. I strongly support the secret-ballot election and I will steadfastly oppose any measure which will result in weakening of the guaranteed rights of employees to participate in free and fair elections. This measure passed the House on March 1, 2007 by a vote of 241-185 and it will soon come before the Senate. Although I am not a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which has jurisdiction over these matters, I assure you I will track this issue closely as the Senate begins to debate the protection of workers' rights. Again, thank you for your comments on this matter. I appreciate those who take the time to make their voices heard. I will be sure to keep your views in mind should this matter come before the Senate. Once again, thank you for contacting me on this very important issue. Should you have any other questions or comments or would like to contact me in the future regarding another issue, please do not hesitate to either write or e-mail me via my website at http://ensign.senate.gov. Sincerely, JOHN ENSIGN United States Senator JE/u1 Your thoughts and opinions are important. Unfortunately, any replies to this e-mail will not be received and processed. If you want to contact Senator Ensign electronically again please visit: http://ensign.senate.gov/forms/email_form.cfm We respect your online time and privacy. If you have any questions about our online privacy statement, please visit Senator Ensign's website http://ensign.senate.gov/ and read our privacy policy at the bottom of the page.

SecureZIP - The Next Generation of ZIP

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Monday, April 23

Topaz Lake, NV - Our Weekend

Topaz Lake Blackbird Tree

Well, this weekend we launched the pontoon boat for its maiden voyage for spring/summer 2007. We went to Topaz Lake, NV. It was a great weekend, (mainly because I was out of town and doing something fun!) but not a fishing/boating weekend of choice. Old Man Winter just will NOT let go of Nevada yet, but for a few hours, we had a great time on the water. We drove back into Minden, NV from the lake and spent the night at Carson Valley Inn. We had an AWESOME steak dinner at the “old” Fiona’s across the street from CVI, and breakfast the next morning at the hotel-casino was perfect, and kudos to all the staff of CVI…we had most pleasant service at all levels.

The Doo-Wah Riders were playing in the cabaret for evening entertainment. They were a country western band with a perfect mix of country, southern rock-a-billy, and even an eclectic mix of zydeco blended in from obvious Louisiana, Mississippi roots from someone in the band. Their style was awesome, but they were a tad bit lacking in talent (I thought from a few band members)…but entertaining enough to provide a great time. The fiddle player should be a millionaire, as his talent and entertainment value was top notch. The thing I found most pleasing about this band was their professional appearance. True gentlemen in look and dress, and complete with conversation and attitudes that exuded manners. This band would be one I’d hire for my Christmas party any time. However, I checked out their web site, and I’m pretty sure with their professional accolades, I’d never be able to afford them :)

This was the first time I was able to take out my new camera and have a heyday taking photographs of nothing, yet anything and everything that caught my eye. I was in camera hog heaven. I love trees, and rock formations, and live in the high desert, so photo ops are limited, but I managed to snap 293 shots of something. After coming home, I deleted many, but got some GREAT scenic shots. I won’t bore all of you with the scenic shots, but if any locals happen to read this…CLICK HERE…to see the photos of Topaz Lake that I kept. I have SO FAR to go to become the photographer I’d like, but I have fun anyway :) It was cloudy and stormy that day (after it was sunny), so I had my UV filter on, and the photos turned out a bit dark I thought. They really looked great on my computer, but not so great after I uploaded them to WebShots.

I’m posting the photo of hubby & I in the boat, (BUT I SWEAR…) this is one of the more horrible photos of me I’ve seen in years. I don’t usually have, or post photos of myself…and some want to know if I’m really still alive…so I’m posting it :) I’M NOT THAT FAT…but I am a bit overweight. For some reason on this day, (and I know I was leaning back so my friend could get the shot…but) I couldn’t believe how “puffy” I looked! I commented to my hubby, and his response was…”Told you that you should have bought that Photo Shop program you wanted that cost so much money…hanging out with a good lookin’ guy like me…you could have just photo shopped out one chin and you wouldn’t be bitching about the photo…” Then he gave me a kiss and told me I was beautiful…good thing…I was about ready to “get Texan”. :) Anyway…fat people always seem much jollier and happier…right?

Enjoy the Nevada scenery, and if you like the desert and fishin’…you’ll like the photos.

mekcboattopazTopaz Lake Rock Formation Circle BrokenGeese Fly Topaz LakeHappiness Is Fishingtopazlakewindytopazlake
topazwaveTopaz Lake, NVimg_0348img_0523speckledduckstormcoming
Topaz Lake Crying Wolf Erosion Patternimg_0264img_0385knightwaterchangingswanstopaz

On the rare chance that any of you might like one of these photos for wallpaper or a screensaver, they are available for free download at WebShots.com. Just click on a photo and have at 'em.

Monday Mailgasms

Daily, we are all bombarded with useless junk e-mail in our in boxes. Most of the several hundred pieces of wasteful tripe are advertisements for larger sex organs, Viagra, or Cialis. Many others are credit card opportunities and scam offers to get rich quick. However, there are some so bizarre, that you have to laugh when reading the subject lines.

Monday Mailgasms are the favorites I pick out throughout the week, and comment on. I print them as they come, bad spelling, no capital letters, etc. Since none of us open this garbage, one can only imagine what the content might have been. This week’s winners are… (BY THE WAY…My comments usually suck :) If you can think of a funnier possibility for the subject caption, PLEASE COMMENT YOURSELF…WE COULD ALL USE THE LAUGH!


  1. He irreproachable herself voltmeter: This could go two ways. Poor guy…he’s so ugly and so bad in bed…she’s inserted a voltmeter to gauge the excitement level. I wonder which reading gives him the OK to proceed?
  2. taciturn: Oh, this person must know the woman in #1. Taciturn means someone that’s been temperamentally disinclined to talk. It must be in the air…
  3. typographer more budapest: No thank you…don’t need a job badly enough to work in Budapest!
  4. fluster microscopic: Somebody else needs a voltmeter!
  5. And hotchkiss from lazbuddie: If the game of hotchkiss is anything like hotch-scotch, a lazy buddy wouldn’t be fun to play with. That takes energy and coordination.
  6. on the cheek from an innocent boy: Sounds like part of a court transcript at Michael Jackson’s trial! (UGGHHH!)
  7. pereshel polem: Not another stranded polar bear!
  8. glitzy cunning: Sanjaya…Dude…I heard on the news today that Brittney Spears wants to do an album with you, she says the two of you could make “beautiful music” together… DON’T DO IT…RUN…your career hasn’t even started yet…you’ve had enough bad publicity through American Idol. The last thing you need is Ms. Spears.

Thursday, April 19

Thursday Thirteen #8

Thirteen Things about Malinda

So busy today...no time to be creative. This week, a simple list of some of my favorite songs in no particular order :)

1. Blue Eyes Cryin' In The Rain - Willie Nelson
2. Desperado - The Eagles
3. Mama, I'm Comin' Home - Ozzy Osbourne
4. Mother - Pink Floyd
5. Quiet Man - Elaine Dempsey
6. Angels - Sarah McLaughlin
7. ANY SONG HE SINGS - Toby Keith :)
8. Faithfully - Journey
9. Time For Me To Fly - REO Speedwagon
10. Amazing Grace
11. Pancho & Lefty - Merle Haggard
12. The Rose - Bette Midler
13. Landslide - Stevie Nix

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Vote On IMUS Here - I'm Curious What You Think

Click HERE to vote on your own IMUS opinion...

Wednesday, April 18

Virginia Tech - Dear God WHY?

Dear God:

Why didn't you save the school children at ?...

Moses Lake , Washington 2/2/96
Bethel , Alaska 2/19/97
Pearl , Mississippi 10/1/97
West Paducah , Kentucky 12/1/97
Stamp, Arkansas 12/15/97
Jonesboro , Arkansas 3/24/98
Edinboro , Pennsylvania 4/24/98
Fayetteville , Tennessee 5/19/98
Springfield , Oregon 5/21/98
Richmond , Virginia 6/15/98

Littleton , Colorado 4/20/99
Taber , Alberta , Canada 5/28/99
Conyers, Georgia 5/20/99
Deming , New Mexico 11/19/99
Fort Gibson , Oklahoma 12/6/99
Santee , California 3/ 5/01 and
El Cajon, California 3/22/01
Virginia Tech 4/16/07?


Concerned Student



Dear Concerned Student:

I am not allowed in schools.




How did this get started?...


Let's see,
I think it started when Madeline Murray O'Hare complained
she didn't want any prayer in our schools.

And we said, OK.


Then, someone said you better not

read the Bible in school,
the Bible that says
"thou shalt not kill,
thou shalt not steal,
and love your neighbors as yourself,"

And we said, OK...


Dr. Benjamin Spock said
we shouldn't spank our children
when they misbehaved
because their little personalities
would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem.

And we said,
an expert should know what he's talking about
so we won't spank them anymore..


Then someone said
teachers and principals better not
discipline our children when they misbehave.
And the school administrators said
no faculty member in this school
better touch a student when they misbehave
because we don't want any bad publicity,
and we surely don't want to be sued.

And we accepted their reasoning...


Then someone said,
let's let our daughters have abortions if they want,
and they won't even have to tell their parents.

And we said, that's a grand idea...


Then some wise school board member said,
since boys will be boys
and they're going to do it anyway,
let's give our sons all the condoms they want,
so they can have all the fun they desire,
and we won't have to tell their parents they got them at school.

And we said, that's another great idea..


Then some of our top elected officials said
it doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs.

And we said,
it doesn't matter what anybody
does in private as long as we have jobs and the economy is good....


And someone else took that appreciation a step further
and published pictures of nude children
and then stepped further still by
making them available on the Internet.

And we said, everyone's entitled to free speech....


And the entertainment industry said,
let's make TV shows and movies that promote
profanity, violence and illicit sex...
And let's record music that encourages
rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes..

And we said,
it's just entertainment
and it has no adverse effect
and nobody takes it seriously anyway,
so go right ahead.


Now we're asking ourselves
why our children have no conscience,
why they don't know right from wrong,
and why it doesn't bother them to
kill strangers, classmates or even themselves.


if we thought about it long and hard enough,
we could figure it out.
I'm sure it has a great deal to do with...


Wednesday Hero - Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt

This Weeks Soldier Was Submitted By Anna

Chief Mast Sgt. John Gebhardt
Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt
Superintendent of the 22nd Wing Medical Group at McConnell Air Force Base

Have you heard of Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt? Maybe you have and maybe you haven't. CMSgt. Hebhardt gain some notoriety recently. Not for an action that he took on the battlefield, but rather for a picture(not shown because it is graphic) that was taken of him.

In 2006, CMSgt. John Gebhardt was photographed holding a little Iraqi girl that had been injured. Her family had been attacked by insurgents. Both of her parents were killed, along with many of her siblings, and she had been shot in the head and left for dead. But she was tougher than that. She was brought to Balad Air Base Hospital where she was operated on and ultimately saved. As you can imagine, it was an extremely hard time for this little girl. Her recovery was hellish. But when CMSgt. Gebhardt would hold her, she seemed to be comforted. He spent many nights sleeping in a chair with her in his arms. The picture wast taken by a fellow airman while CMSgt. Gebhardt and the little girl were napping. Said CMSgt. Gebhardt, "I'm sure that probably just gave her some inner peace that she could reach."

On a side note. This is why I started doing these Wednesday Hero posts. Because of people like Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt. It's soldiers like him that make me proud of our military.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.

This weeks' new members:






Elena (1) Elena (2)


Monday, April 16

Howard Dean - DNC - Leaves Jesus OUT OF EASTER

I know it’s after Easter, but the following was just brought to my attention today, and it annoyed me. Again, political correctness is just going a bit far these days, and even more so than political correctness in which the “powers that be” try SO HARD to NOT say the “wrong” thing and offend ANYONE but the majority…the religious correctness has gone completely over the edge, and I just cannot stand by and allow my nation’s leaders go forth without a mention.

Howard Brush Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee has “brushed” me the wrong way. On March 30th, he issued a press release titled “DNC Offers Passover Greetings", in which he wished the Jews a happy Passover. Now Passover is a holiday highly celebrated by persons of Jewish faith. The Jewish people are an integral part of our nation’s history, and their celebration of Passover should be respected by all. This post is NOT against the Jews, or Passover…I will celebrate it with them anytime. This post is about the perfectly beautiful greeting the DNC gave the Jews for Passover, but yet when Easter came a week later…the press release issued by Howard Dean made NO MENTION OF JESUS, A CROSS, A RESURRECTION, OR ANYTHING at all related to Easter. Christians were reminded to "remember who they are as a people of faith". Heck…the Easter Bunny didn’t even get a plug!

Now, while there was nothing RUDE, or particularly BAD about the Democratic press release titled “DNC Celebrates Easter Holiday”…there was just NOTHING IN IT that had ANYTHING to do with Easter. Now, do I wish for Howard Dean to be fired because his statement (or lack thereof) offended me? No…I just hope that people that were offended by it, or find it absurd will make sure that as an elected official of our government that our tax dollars go to pay his salary…that he’s NOT RE-ELECTED and we get folks in office that truly represent ALL the people, especially a huge majority of the people, and that speak and govern BY the PEOPLE, and FOR the PEOPLE...ALL OF US.

You compare the two press releases and comment on your thoughts. Am I too sensitive, or can you see the obvious difference in the two statements, and an overt wish to be overly benign on a statement to wish Christians a Happy Easter?

DNC Offers Passover Greetings:

"On Monday night, Jews around the world will begin celebrating Passover, a week-long holiday that commemorates the Israelites' freedom from persecution and slavery."

DNC Celebrates Easter Holiday

“Easter Sunday is a joyful celebration. The holiday represents peace, redemption and renewal, a theme which brings hope to people of all faiths. During this time Christians are called to remember who they are as people of faith, and that even the greatest of evils will not have the last word. It is also a time to reflect upon and be in solidarity with those who are persecuted and suffering among us. We should also use this time to honor those who continue to make incredible sacrifices for us, including our brave men and women in the armed forces serving overseas during this holiday. I would like to wish all those celebrating around the world this Sunday, a joyous Easter.”

This is a guy that once quoted "Job" as his favorite book in the New Testament...'nuff said...


I have been following the various pet food recalls, and today Natural Balance has initiated yet another pet food recall. THIS TIME, it involves DRY FOOD for both DOGS and CATS.

Below is the notice issued today from Natural Balance. For complete lists of other recalls, check HERE and HERE.

NOTICE from Natural Balance 4/16/2007:
We are receiving consumer complaints regarding the Venison & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food, and Venison & Green Pea Dry Cat Foods. We do not know what is wrong with the food at this time, but we have heard that animals are vomiting and experiencing kidney problems. Please discontinue feeding all Venison and Brown Rice Dry Dog Food, and Venison and Green Pea Dry Cat Food. We are working closely with the FDA.

Monday Mailgasms

Monday Mailgasms are the useless e-mails that show up in the “Junk Mail Box” each week that are the useless things you never open and have nothing to do with the normal Viagra, Cialis, and Dating Site trash we are normally bombarded with. Some of the subject lines are so odd, they deserve comment…and…since they are never opened, you never know what they REALLY were about. Below is this week’s Monday Mailgasm winners, and commentary thereof.


funnel tennis: I think this would be a hopeless sport, as tennis balls will not fit through funnels…

bimolecular greater gargle: Could this be the generic, or scientific name for Listerine? Or, maybe they want us to know that a gargle with two molecules is always better than one :)

We will solve your problems for you: BOY! Maybe I should have opened this one. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a web site that you could go to, and within a click or two have all your problems solved. Nice thought…

columbo experts: Isn’t Peter Falk retired? Columbo was cancelled in 1978, 29 years ago. They still have Columbo experts?

asteroid alter: This sounds like one of those nutty marriage chapels in Vegas where you can get married by “Elvis”. Perhaps at asteroid alter you can have groomsmen and bridesmaids that look like aliens with weird shaped heads and strange clothing. The bar will be stocked with fizzing blue and green drinks, and Jean Luc Picard will perform the ceremony.

Sunday, April 15

Toilet Papered House

I had a “brief conversation” with someone lately that mentioned in jest that “it would be funny to TP” someone’s house. I laughed as it brought up this memory.

I was a good girl WAY back when I was in high school. However, I was not beyond normal high school pranks and foolery. I got talked into going on a toilet paper spree one night, very much against my will… and the target was the “mean ole’ man” that lived on the main drag of our town.

Now, this man was despicable. He was MEAN, he liked NO ONE… he would yell at you when you drove or walked by his house, he was the PERFECT candidate for a good old fashioned TPing of his trees, house, car, etc.

Well, we did. Well, DUH…don’t TP a house on the main drag of a small rural West Texas town, as you will GET CAUGHT. The police USED to care about kids, and try to make a difference. Well, our police did, and I learned lessons on two sides of a fence that night.

The cops drove by, we got caught running, and we were BUSTED. As usual, the cops had to have all three cop cars they owned in our small town all parked in front of this TP’d house, lights going, and radios in full gear. We were instructed to walk up the long sidewalk to this VERY NICE HOME and ring the doorbell at a very late hour. The scary old man answered the door, and I was sure we were done for. We had to speak by instruction of the LAW, and yep…you guessed it…the one that DIDN’T WANT TO do this in the first place got chosen to tell Mr. Scary that we were responsible for…

This scary old man looked out his door at one hell of a mess, and quietly stated, “Well, ya know officers…I was out of toilet paper anyway. These kids saved me a trip to the store.” He shut the door, and I never saw him again.

I cannot tell you what kind of a lesson I learned that night. We stayed on, and cleaned up all the toilet paper, and thought of that old scary man from that day forward as one of us. We never met him, or spoke to him outside that day…but he made a difference. Old scary man on Hickory Street earned some true friends that evening, and his house or property was sacred ground from that day forward.

Texas Weather - Changes Often

Texas weather…want it to change?...then stay a minute. Just below this post, is a post in which my sister sent me the beautiful photos that she took of the current Texas spring bluebonnets in bloom.

A fellow blogger that I enjoy reading at Amazing Facts sent me this photo of the beautiful bluebonnets covered in snow. This doesn’t happen all that often in Texas, so it’s worth a mention :)

Thanks for sharing…

Thursday, April 12

Texas Bluebonnets - I'm Homesick

OK…it’s official…I’m HOMESICK. My wonderful (one of them) sister called me yesterday to be, in her words, “a bit sappy.” She told me that she has to drive through a bit of Texas countryside on her way home each evening…and this particular evening traffic must have been a bit slower than normal. As she drove along and was admiring the beauty of the great Texas state flowers (Bluebonnets) that grow wild along the roadways…she told me she thought to herself, “Wow…Malinda would sure love to see this!” She picked up her cell phone and called. Now…THAT’S EXACTLY what AT&T had in mind when their famous commercial catch phrase was, “Reach Out and Touch Someone”. I really appreciated that call.

She’s absolutely right. I miss the beautiful Texas countryside in spring. I will be going home in November for her wedding, I cannot wait…it’s been several years. I told her when she called that if she was going to call and tell me about it, she should send me a photo so I could share the moment with her. Who knew that my little sister was such an avid photographer? I couldn’t help but share the beauty with all of you…Sisters are wonderful :)