Friday, April 14, 2006


What I learned yesterday was that the Department of Homeland Security wants script approval on any projects that mention it. There’s no legal requirement that a production has to comply, thank goodness.

I feel creepy about posting this, and considered not doing it.

But just the fact that it makes me feel creepy means that it’s important to at least say out loud. Really, most big agencies would like to exercise some spin control regarding how they are portrayed, it’s just that the DHS is spookier than most, to me.

I plan not to learn anything today, as I’m taking the day off.

#16 Cafe BBQ

I love this sign. It’s outside the Halfway House Cafe on Sierra Highway. This cafe has been used in a lot of TV shows and movies for a lot of years, and it still operates as a little roadside diner.

A couple of years ago I made a date with my husband to meet me here for fries and a Coke on the way home from work (it’s on his way, and on mine if I get off the freeway). Just wanted to see what it was like inside. The next night we were watching an old episode of Starsky & Hutch—personal research to find out just how much of a dork I was for having a huge crush on PMG in my teenhood—and they were in the Halfway House Cafe!!

It’s been remodeled since then, but not really improved. It needs to maintain a certain flavor.

There’s an old gas station next door that sometimes shows up on fim, too.

Thanks for trying - Thursday 4/14/2006

Of course, there’s a version of this photo in which I completely cut out the ugly industrial yard at the bottom. But really, what’s interesting about this is that they went to the trouble to put a pretty gorgeous fake palm tree (aka cell phone tower) in such a miserable place.

I’m guessing that there’s some sort of city ordinance in Burbank that led to this juxtiposition. It’s a good impulse.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Your Secret Is Safe


If you went to DePaul University, that is. Unlike most schools, DePaul will not confirm or deny the names of its alumni. Just like the CIA!

Post Crossing - Wednesday 4/12/2006

I just joined Postcrossing. It’s a free website where you can go and find people to send postcards to. When you send one, you get in line to receive one!

This the first one I sent out. It’s a post card showing the rock deformation along the San Andreas Fault outside of Palmdale. This is about 8 miles from my house. Every time I go to town on the weekend to buy groceries, I cross over from the Pacific to the North American tectonic plate.

This card is going to Australia!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Candle and Match Box - Tuesday 4/11/2006

I like to light a candle while I write.

I bought this little ceramic container in Oaxaca a couple of years ago, and I use it as a matchbox. The unglazed inside of the lid is a perfect striking service!

Racial Segregation Ended in the U.S. Military in 1948


...when Harry S. Truman issued an executive order to this effect.

I learned this because I was trying to find a source for the following quote:

“One of the surest ways to break down the morale of the Army and to destroy it’s efficiency” [is to integrate the races.]. Which shows up in a few places on the Internet and is attributed to a presumably former New York Times editor.

It usually shows up in comparison with this quote, regarding allowing gay servicement to serve openly: “I cannot think of a better way to destroy fighting spirit and gut U.S. combat effectiveness,” which is attributed to David Hackworth.

Verrry interesting.

I’m not sure if either of these attributions is correct, because there’s so little info on them, but they were compiled by David Ari Bianco in his “Echoes of Prejudice.”

Photo from the Internet: Vietnam War Memorial

Weekend Project - Bathroom Sink Replacement

I don't know why I am compelled to document this, but I am, so here it is.

We've wanted to replace this sink ever since we moved into the house. But it took a while to build up the courage to actually do it! Plumbing was involved!

Ours is a manufactured home, and the bathroom sinks are made of plastic or fiberglass. The one everyone sees when they come to the house was stained. I'm not ashamed of living in a manufactured home. It's very nice and it has great views. But I really was embarrassed that the sink didn't look clean.

Finally last weekend we decided to at least change out the fixtures. Here's the before photo:

Sorry to have to subject you to this. You see what I mean.

Remember, we were only going to replace the fixtures. But when we got to the point where we were unhooking the drain pipe, it just wouldn't budge. We couldn't even see how it had been put together in the first place.

The always inventive D got out the hacksaw and sawed off the pipe beneath the drain!

It was only after this that we looked closely at the replacement faucet we'd bought and realized it wouldn't work with our sink! Most sinks have this handy overflow feature and nice looking fixtures are made to work with these. The fixture has big holes in it that with our old sink would allow water to flow freely into the cabinet underneath. Grr.

Midway through the process, we can't just put things back because the pipe is sawed in two. It was 7:30 on Sunday night when we finally gave up in some disgust and left the sink basically like this.

But we were hot on the trail again early Saturday morning. After breakfast out, we went and picked out a new sink, using all sorts of measurments to try and predict whether the replacement would cover the hole in the top of the cabinet.

Back at the ranch, we slide the new sink in and--no, indeed--it does not completely fill the hole. So much for an oval sink.

Another trip to Lowe's in Palmdale, 12 miles away. We finally settle on a square sink. But of course the holes for the faucet are different than the replacement faucet we have at home. Sigh. The new sink and faucet cost considerably more than we'd planned on, but they are a big improvement.

D cuts the hole a little larger and voila! It works! We actually even decide we like it. In go the faucet connections, in goes the sink. We caulk. We find the leeks and tighten them. We get a little obsessed with making the Hot and Cold faucent handles line up properly.

I guess we spent about 16 hours on this project all together. Some heated discussions, yes. Frustration, yes. But all in all, I very much enjoy working on things like this with D. And we have the satisfaction not only of having it done, but of having a nice clean sink and a faucet we really like.

All we need to do now is replace the cabinet handles with brushed nickle to match the tub fixtures, towel racks, shower curtain rod, and lighting fixture we've put in since we've moved there.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The E.R.A. was first introduced to Congress in 1923.


Alice Paul (1885-1977), who was instrumental in the passage of the 19th Amendment—which gave women the right to vote in the U.S.—introduced the Equal Rights Amendment to Congress in 1923.

Hmm. Maybe I knew this at some point, but I think of it as a 1970s sort of battle. It was ratified by 35 of the 38 necessary states, but has not been passed to this day.

It was called the Lucretia Mott Amendment and it very simply reads:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Pretty scary stuff.

Hatchling - Monday 4/10/2006


There’s a little chick nestled in the hen’s feathers.

(This one’s for Frannie Girl.)

Sunshine On Geraniums Makes Me Happy... Sunday 4/9/2006


Yes, this line is, as you may have suspected, from the first draft of the John Denver song. Just goes to show you how important the rewriting process is.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sent Packing - Saturday 4/8/2006


This dieffenbachia is nice looking. I rescued it a few years ago when the office across from ours at work moved to a different building. It wasn’t doing well.

But it’s gotten big enough now, that it’s become tempting to Dodger and Rocky. Rocky landed in it a few weeks ago, and I caught Dodger trying to nip at it yesterday. That’s it. It’s known to be toxic to pet birds. It’s outta here.

We’ve found a good way to get rid of things is to set them next to the road with a sign, especially on a Saturday. By the time we got back from running our errands, our little problem tree was off to another home. Whew.