September 25, 2008

Oh Criminy - Not Sarah Again....

Okay, I'm trying to contain myself and not post political statements - 24/7 -

BUT, if this video snip of Sarah Palin being interviewed by CBS' Katie Couric is any clue

I'm seriously moving to Canada!

Come one, seriously. This woman can't complete a sentence.

Did anyone actually "vet" this woman or ask her any questions at length before they decided she should be one heart beat away from the presidency?

Amazing Places

These photos were taken last year at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. I was overwhelmed by the sheer brilliance of the people who live here hundreds of years ago.
The people of this area of New Mexico really lived and used the land which they lived. Pictured above are actual footholds used on a mesa of generations of families walking through their daily lives.
They lived simply using the natural resources available. Pictured above is a doorway of a cave-like structure carved into the soft volcanic rock walls of the mesa. Amazing!
To make walking easier, cobblestone paths were laid. Not much different than we do today.
What can we learn from people who lived before technology, global markets, wall street and mortgages?

September 20, 2008

Neko Case - great show

Saw a great show by Neko Case last night. She was headlining the Forward Music Festival. The flavor of the fest is indie with over 50 bands having roots in the midwest. Great concept! Before Neko's show at the Opheum, we saw Bob Mould (of Husker Du) at the Majestic.

Check out a couple of Neko's songs at her website.

September 19, 2008

Late summer flowers are still blooming

The warm days of mid September and the cool nights have caused one last hurrah of the blooming season in the backyard. The roses are offering up a third round of blooms this summer. The photo above shows the early morning sun casting shadows across the bloom while the morning due glimmers.

In the photo above I used the macro setting on my camera to get a real close up on the flower heads of the sedum. Holding the camera about two inches away from the flower head, the above photo shows the whole picture, but I miss out on all the beautiful dew drops that are there.
So if I zoom into the photo closer, the clarity and pixel strength is still there and now I can see all the dew. Kind of cool.

Well it's friday, and Todd and I are off to see Neko Case, headlining the Forward Music Festival taking place across Madison this weekend. Yay!

September 18, 2008

Only a weed

I always like the old saying "A weed is only a flower growing in the wrong place". Here's a great example. A sunflower of some sort found a spot to grow next to the arbor vitae in the backyard. I assume the seed was dropped there from the birds as we feed sunflower seeds in the winter.
I just don't have the heart to pull such a sunny and smiley flower from its "wrong" place. What a nice surprise to find.

September 14, 2008

Get the ark ready....

Headed down to Chicago on Saturday for a Stereophonics concert on Saturday night. It was a record breaking rain weekend with almost 7 inches of rain hitting the city that day. We saw some pretty spectacular auto accidents on the way down. Suffice it to say we were happy to get off the interstate three hours later.

We wondered Michigan avenue Saturday afternoon in the downpour of Hurricane Ike leftovers. Desperate for a place to dry off and eat, we found a great restaurant called Banderas. The service as great, the food was excellent. Trust me, there isn't much to choose from on Michigan Ave when the rain is coming down. This restaurant was a blessing!

We had wanted to get to a museum during the day. The debate was the Field, Shedd or Science and Industry. Because of the deluge, we choose the path of least resistance on this trip. The Field got our attention. We've been there before, but it's always cool to see Sue the Tryanasaurus Rex,

After checking on to for a hotel for the night, (this time it was the wonderful world class hotel Swissotel on Wacker Ave.) that cost us not much! And bonus!, because we had a hybrid car our parking costs were cut by 50% - yay!
Anyway, the whole purpose of this trip was to see one of Raine's favorite bands, the Stereophonics who played at the sold-out Metro theatre by Wrigley Stadium. What an awesome show. We loved the music, the band was great! Raine nailed this show - dragged us down to shy-town for great weekend!

September 12, 2008

September 11, 2008

Guacamole is delish

Raine made a great batch of guacamole the other night. Having our in-house cook working most nights, prevents us from benefiting from her home-made dinners. Lucky us, we had the benefit of her company the other night for a Mexican-themed supper.

The guacamole was smooth and creamy in texture. And while I didn't see Raine actually make this batch, she's been eating my version for years. Here's how I make it:


2 avocados
2 crushed garlic gloves
1/2 lime squeezed of juice
1/2 cup of fresh pico de gallo (fresh salsa)
Salt and Pepper to taste
fresh cilantro (depending on your taste - a pinch or a bunch)

On a side note, we actually prefer using ground turkey or venison with our Mexican food. The meat takes the flavor of the spices so nicely. Hamburger tends to fall flat. This night we used venison.

September 9, 2008

Sarah Palin vs. Teddy Roosevelt

Okay, the republican-flavored emails have started arriving in my e-mailbox – some are funny, and some are just plain silly. Let’s begin with the email I received today

Who Am I?
I am under 45 years old,
I love the outdoors,
I hunt,
I am a Republican reformer,
I have taken on the Republican Party establishment,
I have many children,
I have a spot on the national ticket as vice president with less than two years in the governor's office.

Did you guess?

Teddy Roosevelt (and by extension our own Sarah Palin)

So that got me thinking. Let’s really compare Sarah and Theodore, shall we? (P.S. I actually did some research and found these answers!)

I am under 45 years old,
Yep, both were under 45 years of age as vice president

I love the outdoors

  • Palin just loves the sound of “Drill Baby Drill” more! Are we prepared for hand over the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to profit-making oil companies
  • Roosevelt was the first American president to consider the long-term needs for efficient conservation of national resources and he created some nice national parks, refuges and green space, ummm like the Grand Canyon
I hunt,

I am a Republican reformer,

Palin's Republican Reformer Highlights:

  • Flip-flopping Bridge to Nowhere Supporter - The Alaskan Daily News and Wall Street Journal
  • ‘Alaskonomics’ - Highest Tax rate / highest Federal spending – Time Magazine
  • Troopergate - Alaska Daily News, Wall Street Journal
  • Federal Pork Barrel Lover - $27 milling in Federal Earmarks for Wasilla, population 6,000 – National Public RadioAP/Yahoo News
  • Made money while sleeping! - Over 300 ‘per diem’ charges to the state of Alaska for sleeping at home each night – Washington Post
  • Demeaned the U.S. Constitution (Which the president and vice president swear to uphold! – Washington Post
  • Oh and let us not forget Alaska First – Alaska Always! Palin and husband Todd are/were members of the Alaskan Independence Party – LA Times

Roosevelt’s Republican Reformer Highlights:

  • He distrusted wealthy businessmen and dissolved forty monopolistic corporations as a "trust buster".
  • His "Square Deal" promised a fair shake for both the average citizen (through regulation of railroad rates and pure food and drugs) and the businessmen.
  • He was the first U.S. president to call for universal health care and national health insurance.
  • As an outdoorsman, he promoted the conservation movement, emphasizing efficient use of natural resources.
  • After 1906 he attacked big business and suggested the courts were biased against labor unions.
Source: Wikipedia

I have taken on the Republican Party establishment,

Palin’s examples:

  • Palin’s Former Chief of Staff is US Senator Stevens’ Campaign Manager -
  • Palin “Counting on Her Lieutenant Governor Candidate… Former Oil Lobbyist” to Help Win Oil Industry Support.
  • As Mayor, Palin Hired a Washington Lobbyist to Help Get Earmarks for Wasilla – Lobbyist Was Former Chief of Staff for Indicted Senator Ted Stevens. USA Today
  • Palin’s Oil & Gas Appointee Is Former Lobbyist for TransCanada.
  • In Her 2002 Campaign for Lieutenant Governor, Palin Raised ‘About 10 Percent Of Her Campaign Fund’ From Veco, An Oil Company At the Heart of Federal Investigation of indicted Alaska U.S. Senator Ted Stevens
Source: Alaska Daily News

Roosevelt’s Examples:

  • Actually left the Republican party and formed with others the Progressive Party also known as the Bull Moose Party

I have many children –
- Yeah, well I can’t help that….. but what DOES that have to do with being vice president or the price of tea in China?

I have a spot on the national ticket as vice president with less than two years in the governor's office.

Palin: is governor of the largest land mass state with lowest polulation (650,000)
Roosevelt: was governor of New York – with the largest population

  • Prior to that he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy
  • Organized and helped command the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment – called the Rough Riders
  • Author of 35 books including work on outdoor life, natural history, American frontier, political and navy history
Hardly a comparison.

Sarah Palin is NO Theodore Roosevelt!

In my humble opinion, this is what we as Americans and our candidates should be discussing in the next 57 days until the election:

  • The state of our economy today and into the future
  • Healthcare coverage for Americans
  • The highest unemployment rate in five years?
  • The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?
  • The mortgage crisis
  • The stranglehold lobbyists have on Washington DC
  • The ongoing occupation of Iraq and Afganistan

If you are at all worried about the state of our nation including social security, taxes, the economy and the planet to name a few– then please take a long look at the candidates.

You know I'll be voting for Barack Obama

September 6, 2008

Blogging from Beatons

This is my first attempt to blog from Beatons.

Being in the UP in not condusive to accessing anything remotely resembling a high speed internet connection. Yep, dial up is the only choice and at a whopping 24 kbps speed - it crawls at a snail's pace. Hence, there are no pictures with this post.

Today we got all the rafters in place on the sauna haus. Well, the guys are bolting them in still while there is some light left. But soon, we'll head over to Bonnie's for supper and an hour in her sauna to soothe the aching muscles.

My accomplishments today: 20 more ferns have been relocated, dodging the rain showers, 12 rafters painted, 1000 frisbees thrown for Mr. Teiko and my slow attempt to post to the blog.

Well, here's hoping the post makes it!

September 2, 2008

The sauna building is up!

It is amazing what six people can accomplish when they put their minds to something. With only the lifting power of three guys and a little extra help from three others, 10 beams, 3 posts, and 6 rafters where hefted into the air and up 16 feet to be put into place.

Adding the next layers of timbers, (king posts, side beams, ridge beam and the rafters) to the "dead nuts" foundation built last weekend by Todd and my dad, the building is almost completely framed in. There was some doubt by the elders if it was even possible to life 500 lb timbers with only three guys. But determination, teamwork and engineering ingenuity got that baby built over the course of the weekend.

When I wasn't helping to lift timbers, I hauled rocks to make some more retaining walls, landscaped a "fern gully" to help with erosion control, cooked food for the hungry workers, played with the pups, and painted all the beams with preservative.

Beatons Labor Day 2008 - The Build

To see the whole weekend of timber raising madness, double click on the photo above to go to the photo album.

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