Saturday, September 04, 2004

Hurricane - Part 2

Frances is finally making her appearance in Florida. The east coast is getting pounded and she hasn't even made landfall yet. Melbourne appears to be ground zero, at least at this point in time. We have interest in Melbourne as that is where Dale is from. His dad was visiting in Massachusetts and was to fly into Orlando Friday. Obviously, that has been changed. He got the plane reservations changed to Monday, but even now, that looks rather iffy. Dale's aunt Julie evacuated to Largo where she has in-laws, and Chrissie, Dale's niece (not to be confused with my niece Christie whom I posted about a few days ago), and her husband evacuated to somewhere in Tampa with his company. So all the family is safe. Dale's best friend Stewart and his wife Dina haven't been heard from, but they have, in previous storms, evacuated to her brother's home in Orlando. Might not be much better, but certainly better than Palm Bay (just south of Melbourne and also in the path).

We got a fax on Friday at work that all non-essential personnel were released from duty on Friday. It would have given me a five day weekend as I'm taking Tuesday off for my birthday (originally scheduled for August 13, but was changed when Charley came through). Then, Thursday evening, I got a call saying I had to report to work after all. The major would decide who was essential or not for our bureau. So I didn't get the five day weekend afterall. But Friday was very nice here and I probably would have gone to work anyway.

I checked outside a little bit ago; clouds are starting to roll in and the wind is picking up. Tonight and tomorrow will be nasty all over. I'm hoping that our Florida bloggers on the east coast either evacuated or boarded up and safe. With the weather we've been told is coming, not the worst of the hurricane by any means, but more than we had with Charley, I can't count on Internet access tonight or tomorrow. However, should I be able to tomorrow, I will be checking to see who is posting and what they have to say.

Please, everyone be safe.
Hurricane Relief
There are links on the sidebar to the Red Cross and other agencies that will be helping Florida residents through the aftermath of Frances. If you feel that you would like to help, please, please, link, call, or send help by carrier pigeon. Your donation of time or mony will be very gratefully appreciated. The Red Cross has already requested help, they are still working with victims of Charley and their resources are strained. I heard one Red Cross executive say that $50 million was needed for Charley and at least that much will be needed for Frances. So, please, if you can, help out.

LAX Is Closed

I heard a report that LAX has been closed down due to two incidents. I'm still not sure just what happened, but I did hear there was an explosion and all outbound flights have been cancelled and inbound are being re-routed. Must not be too severe as Melbourne is still the main story on Fox News.

Wyatt Is In The House

I talked to my co-worker on Thursday. He and his wife were going to Old Town (Florida) to get the puppies, one for me and one for them, and would be back on Friday. We arranged that he would swing by the office (we're right off the interstate) and give my my puppy. Then, the fax came in that I spoke of earlier, so I called him and arranged that when they got home, he would call me at my house and I would come and get Wyatt. Well, then came the phone call Thursday evening. They had already left for Old Town, so Friday morning I left a message on their answering machine at home that I was at the office. The upshot was that he brought Wyatt to me at the office. So I got to meet his wife, their new puppy, Buc (for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and, of course, Wyatt.

Wyatt is still a puppy, so is very small. He's short-haired and tan with a few white markings. He's becoming braver all the time and is beginning to explore the house. He's bonded with me, so doesn't like when I get out of his sight, but we'll be working on that. I have a "Pet Taxi" that is his room right now. I'm planning on getting a folding crate that is portable, so when we go somewhere, we can take his room with us. I want him to use that as his usual sleeping quarters. He's so little that either Dale or I could make a tortilla out of him in an instant if we rolled over on him. I've read that Chi's can be litter trained, so I plan to attempt that.

Dolly is not sure of this new creature at all. She's curious but doesn't want him too close yet. She's already swatted him once, but since she has no claws, didn't do any damage except knock him back a step or two. Oliver, on the other hand, Is. Not. Amused. and wants nothing to do with this intruder. Dolly decided that since she has been the receipent of his left-over food and milk, that this situation might be to her advantange (Dolly will whore herself for food anyplace, anytime). Oliver will eventually come over, he did accept Dolly after all (that's a story all of its own). So when he sees that this small rat-like intruder is here to stay, and means no harm, I think all will be well.

Dale admits that Wyatt is cuter than he expected and said that he still didn't like Chihuahuas. But, later on, when he came to bed (I was up with Wyatt for potty and feeding), he played with Wyatt for a while. I had decided to take Wyatt into the living room (in his den) so that he wouldn't disturb Dale (I don't want to give Dale reason to dislike Wyatt, you understand). Wyatt was curled up in Dale's armpit (something I don't want to do, peee-yew!) and Dale said he didn't want me to take Wyatt. So, I think Wyatt has won Dale over. Now, if I can just train him to not be a barky, yippy ankle-biter, we'll be fine.
Wicktory Saturday?
I didn't post on Wednesday, which is Wictory Wednesday in the Blogs for Bush blogosphere. I was too wrapped up in the convention and the speeches. I didn't get to see as many as I would have liked, but I did see Arnold, Laura, Zell, and George. Arnold was great, and Zell. Well, what can I say about Zell's speech that hasn't already been said. It was great. Laura's was the speech I expected, and while I liked what George said, I was somewhat disappointed that he didn't mention the Fair Tax, even though he did say he wants to reform the tax system into a simpler system. I hope that's just to get the public used to the idea that he wants to make changes. Neal Boortz says he happens to know that the Fair Tax has a great many proponents in the White House, but we don't know if George is one of them.
So, look for Wicktory Wednesday posts on Wednesday, unless something happens to distract me. Darn those bright, shiny objects anyway!
And finally...
Best wishes to former President Clinton on his hospitalization and surgery. This is not the time or place to allow politics to enter into a sincere desire for his recovery.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Happy Birthday!

Today is my niece Christie's birthday. I call her my favorite niece, and she says that's only because she's the only niece I have. That's not entirely true, but the others are in-laws. Christie is the one I watched grow into the young woman I'm very proud to call my niece and my friend. I know she's not my daughter, but if she were, I couldn't be prouder of her or love her more.

Love you FN!
Once Again...With Feeling!

I attempted to post this last night, but somehow managed to lose the post! grrrrrr!

Since we are 63 days until the election, I wanted to put my favorite issue out on the table: the Fair Tax Act. Yes, I think it's the most important issue after national security, but that's my opinion, you might think the most important thing is something else altogether. Neither of us are wrong...well, maybe you are. Just kidding! I've blogged about this before, and it's that important that this needs to be on the forefront for the next two months, so you'll see more about the FTA.

Most middle class Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck. I know there are some weeks where money is very tight and others where it's not quite as tight, but still not much money left after the bills are paid. The Fair Tax Act would eliminate all Federal payroll taxes. You'd still be paying state and local taxes, and if you have deductions for health insurance and the like, you'll still have to pay those. I'm talking about withholding and FICA taxes. In my case, that's over $600 a month that could go to pay off bills, mortgage, car payments, buy groceries, household repairs, car repairs, and should we dare say it? a vacation!

I'm going to link to some areas in the Fair Tax web site that I think you would like to see.

Here is a thumbnail sketch of the FTA.

Here is where you'll find FAQ's.

If you're anything like me, you like to do some research before making decision. This is where you'll find research papers explaining how various industries would be affected by the FTA. And here are some more links that might help you figure out where you stand.

This is what Alexander Hamilton had to say about taxation.

A policy paper from the Cato Institute.

Here is where you'll find how your representatives stand on the Fair Tax. I think you'll be surprised to see how many have refused to commit. I will be watching the primaries to see which candidates will be running in the general election and who supports the Fair Tax.

And finally, a comparison of the Fair Tax, the Flat Tax, and the current Income Tax.

The idea is, you earned this money. It should be yours and yours alone. The government takes it away, and very graciously gives some of it back you in the form of a refund. And to get the refund, you have to fill out forms proving to the government that you deserve to get your own money back. Then, if you're really lucky, you are audited and have to prove to someone who probably doesn't understand the tax code much better than you do, that you really deserve the refund. Let's repeal this form of legal theft and keep our own money!

Let's make April 15 just another day.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Random Meanderings Around the Blogosphere

This just might explain Senator Kerry's campaign promises that he would do everything the same as, but better, than President Bush has done. Found at Who Tends the Fires. It 'splains alot.

Real Clear Politics. Check out the polls.

And I meant to post this earlier this week. I had seen it at Blogs for Bush, then Tony Snow talked about it. This is the chart connecting connecting Kerry to the 527's he's been trying to get Bush to denounce.

More later. Depends on whether my connection gets any better. Makes me remember the old dial-up days.

On an entirely different note....

In preparation for getting my new puppy, I'm looking for some good sites relating to dog training in general, and Chihuahuas specificially. Can my faithful readers help? I've had dogs before, but it's been so long, I need some refreshing, and I've never had a Chi before. So all help is greatly appreciated.