August 3, 2006

I've been hoping to have pictures before I wrote, but unfortunately, my relatives are ignoring my pleas!  Maybe this will shame them into finally responding...I mean, how hard is it to attach a digital picture to an e-mail???

My brother, Mark, his wife, Dorothy, and my Aunt Susie stopped through Tulsa on Sunday.  They were returning from Waco, TX, where they had picked up my aunt's new Miniature Schnauzer.  It was great to see everyone and especially fun to kiss a little Schnauzer head again, though it made me miss Maddie horribly. 

My Aunt Susie's new family member is a 9 month old black and silver who has already been housebroken, had some training and had her ears done.  The breeder kept her initially because she was so perfect.  But she turned out to be too small for showing, so my aunt was able to adopt her.  She is BEAUTIFUL (pictures will surely be provided SOON)  and so tiny!  A true miniature Miniature.  She was bewildered and had little question marks floating all around her head as she tried to figure out what was going on.  She had been one of seven dogs that the breeder owned, so instead of hanging out with her friends, she was stuffed in a car and was suddenly hanging out with my relatives, who won't send pictures.  Bad relatives!  Good dog!!!

She was a very good dog, in spite of her obvious bewilderment at the strange journey she was on.  My aunt has another Schnauzer, Molly, so Tori (the new addition), had some canine company when they got back to St. Louis.  The visit made me want to get a Schnauzer puppy.  I think it may be getting close to time...


August 4, 2006

Looks like Tori (left) and Molly are getting along rather well.  Here is a picture (finally!) of the new friends.


August 6, 2006

Why does it feel like there is more truth to this than fiction:

The Honorable Paul S. Sarbanes

309 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington DC, 20510


Dear Senator Sarbanes,


As a native Marylander and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Immigration and Naturalization Service in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.


My reasons for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stem from the bill, which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, what I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years.


I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out. Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine.  Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for my family and me because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005. Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications. In addition my family would like to qualify for free medical and dental services.


If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your assistance.


Your Loyal Constituent,

Pete McLaughlin


August 8, 2006

When you get to be my age, you sort of start thinking you've seen every wondrous thing there is to see.  But yesterday, I saw two things I had never seen before and it was such a special treat, I had to share it with all of you!

It has been hot...let me rephrase that.  It has been HOT here lately.  Almost every day, we've been hovering in the low 100's.  And though the humidity has been exceptionally high, it has been dry.  No rain.  So to say the weather has been unpleasant is nicely understating the current conditions. 

I realized yesterday that I was going to have to start watering the lawn or not have one, so I set out the sprinkler.  I have a lilac bush I wanted to water first and when I got the sprinkler going, it was watering a small strip of my concrete patio along with the grass and the lilac bush.  After about an hour, I noticed movement on said patio and much to my amazement, I saw a squirrel sitting in that small wet strip.  He put his tail over his back and head as the water pelted him and then began to drink from the water left on the concrete.  He was so close, I could see his little tongue as it lapped up tiny puddles of water.  As the sprinkler neared again, the tail again protected his back and head and he lapped at the new puddles with greedy eagerness.  He stayed for at least 30 minutes as I watched, mesmerized, unable to move from the window for fear of frightening him.  Once he had his fill, he scampered back into the woods.

All kinds of birds came to enjoy the sprinkler.  But once when I looked out, I saw a hummingbird darting in and out of the spray.  It would fly into the spray for awhile, then back out, then plunge back in.  It was so tiny, I could hardly believe I had actually noticed it.  But there it was, dancing in the sprinkler, getting a drink, cooling off, before finally flying away refreshed.

I felt like a got a special treat yesterday.  I wish I could have gotten pictures, but I was so afraid to move, lest I scare these sweet creatures away.  So I watched in delight and enjoyed the moment.  I'm getting ready to go out and turn the sprinkler again today.  There may be others who need a cool wet break!


August 16, 2006

We might as well's better than crying!

New Fuel Gauge