Monday, February 28, 2005

Oscar Night and State Assemblymen

The Oscars were fun to watch for the first time in a few years.  We had seen almost all the nominees so we had opinions: that anybody who won deserved it. 

Chris Rock isn't my idea of the perfect host.  I prefer Whoopie Goldberg, Johnny Carson, or Bob Hope.

Highlights of the broadcast:  Carlos Santana -- wow! He's still one of my all time favorites.  I wasn't familiar with Beyonce, but she was a nice surprise, apparently toned down, musically, from her normal pop stuff.

... In today's Chico news...

Butte County's state assemblyman, Republican Rick Keene, is introducing a bill to require identification when a person shows up to vote.  Right now all you have to do is sign your name and give your address.  He says showing ID would prevent voter fraud.

Our local  Clerk-Recorder Candace Grubbs says there isn't a voter fraud problem in Butte County.

So Keene is introducing a bill for which we do not have a need.  I think our assemblymen should be fined each time they introduce an unnecessary bill (this one appears to be a news magnet for Keene and nothing more).  Just to be fair, they could be paid for each unnecessary law they strike from the books.

... and they could forfeit a portion of their salary for each day the budget is behind schedule... and being paid at all could depend on whether or not the budget is balanced.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

A day of rest

Today is a day of rest.  Aaaah.

This was taken on a day when there was sunshine last week.  Sammy thinks if he waits on the picnic table he'll have a better view of people moving toward dinner preparation.

It's not sunny today.  There is light rain, clouds, and 57F on the front porch at noon. 

So, it's a good day to stay inside and watch a movie.  Today was "Maria Full of Grace" on DVD.  It was in Spanish with English subtitles.  What a powerful movie, which can be viewed from a couple of perspectives: 1) Columbian drug mules' side of the drug trade; or, 2) a young woman's escape from 'no hope' to 'maybe there is a chance'.  I recommend it 100%.

The young actress Catalina Sandino Moreno, who plays the lead, is up for an Oscar for this part.  I'm glad I don't have to be the one that picks the winner of this year's acting prizes.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Wildcat Basketball

We went to see the Chico State women's basketball team play their last home game tonight.  They did the ceremony involving presenting roses to the seniors to show appreciation for their contributions to Chico State basketball.

This photo was taken at the start of the game.  As you can see the place isn't exactly packed.  At Chico State the men and women play on the same night, so fans buy tickets to one game and they get to see two.  The women always play first, and the stands are usually not crowded.  By the time the men's game starts, the stands are full.

We stayed for the first few minutes of the men's game, and Jan (the local basketball expert fan) said the women played better basketball.  The women won tonight.  When we left, the men looked like it was going to be a long night for them!

The men also had the present-the-roses-to-the-seniors presentation.  You can tell who the stars are by how much applause they get.

The pep band was there... I never thought I'd say it, but this is one band that is not as good as the Standford band.  But(!) the Chico cheer leaders are great, doing acrobatics, throwing each other in the air, and leading cheers.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Bird Houses

We went to dinner at my cousin's house.  They live on an absolutely beautiful piece of property in the hills above Chico.

This is the driveway to the front gate, which is quite a distance from the house.

Leslie put these bird houses on an oak tree in the back yard.  It's not really a "yard"... more like the "back forty".  They have 10 acres.  I should have taken a picture of the new barn, but didn't.  Maybe next time.

The weather here has turned cool and it's overcast.  We even got some rain this morning.  As I write (3:15 pm) it's 63F on the front porch, 60& humidity.  You gotta love those little wireless weather transmitters.  I can see what the conditions are on the front porch without leaving my desk in the loft :-)

... on knitting socks for Jan ...

I thought I was done with the feet, because they were a little too long to fit my feet.  I thought they'd be good for Jan.  Just to be safe I made her try them on and they are about 5 or 6 rows short of "long enough".  So, I'm still knitting on the feet

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Kings in flux

The local National Basketball Association (NBA) team, the Sacramento Kings, has just traded away their $20,000,000 per year star.  It's no great loss -- he was an injury prone attitude problem with an expensive contract.

The upsetting news about the Kings today is that they feel they need a new home, one that is "state of the art".  Why do we need luxury boxes and laser light shows?  Has basketball become so boring that the venue is more exciting than the game?  Why should local taxes fund the new place (corporate welfare!)?  ... and while we are at it, why does it cost so much to go to a game?

Americans' priorities are so screwed up that they will jump through hoops (so to speak) to keep a pro team in town, but they won't fund the local library.  What's wrong with this picture?!?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Spring is Springing, Socks

Almonds, quince, tulip trees - all in bloom right now and just beautiful in the sun.  We took a walk around the neighborhood.  The sun is pretty darned swell!

I got a call from the  library so will do some extra hours in the circulation dept. this week (Wed. night, Thursday morning, Friday morning, and all day Saturday).  Chico's public library is pretty darned busy!

... on the knitting front...

This is the sock I'm working on at the moment.  I'm almost done with the foot on this one, I am done with the foot on the other one.  Then there are the toes, and finishing off the loose ends.

This is variegated yarn, self-striping.

Friday night lights

I saw the movie "Friday Night Lights", starring Billie Bob Thornton and a large supporting cast of fit young men.  It makes football look terrible.  It's about the small town of Odessa, TX, which is crazy about their high school football team... and has been for generations.  This town is obsessed with football.  One man tells his son that his last year of high school football might be the high point of his entire life.  How depressing is that?  Yes, there is the "big game" at the end of the movie, but you'll have to watch it to see whether they win or lose.

Weather yesterday was gorgeous, and promises to be just as nice today (45F, 73H at 8:00 am, clear and sunny).

I checked the new lettuce plants yesterday, and it looks like something slimy is eating them (snails!).  I put some snail bait out because I'm too lazy to go out there in the cold night or early morning air to squish the little buggers.  Here's what two of the four plants look like now.

In other countries, child labor is used for snail and insect patrol.  They use less poison, but child labor is frowned upon around here, and besides, I don't have any kids.

More chores for the garden:  Find the part of the drip system that I sliced while digging last Fall.  I think all I'll have to do is turn on the drip system and dig around until I find water spouting out of a hose without a drip head.

... and the news is all bad lately ...

Did you hear that the Feds are paying a $15,000 re-enlistment bonus to National Guardsmen who sign up for another few years?  Is that how much a life is worth?

Did you hear that So. Korea is thinking about slowing down its purchases of dollar-denominated securities?  The dollar and the US market took a dive on that one!  I guess I should have bought a precious metals fund after all.  The only security I own that went up yesterday was an International Stock Fund, Dodge & Cox.

In the local news, a Chico State freshman nearly died from an overdose of alcohol.  And people wonder why CSUC has a reputation as a party school!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Here Today

So here I am, wondering if this is a good way to keep a journal.
Since the blog is password protected, it shouldn't be accessible by the
general public.

Weather today is slightly cloudy, mostly sunny, humid and cool. (50F at 8:40; 83% H).

I'm on an organization tear right now -- cleaned out the closet that
accumulated everything I didn't know what do do with.  I even got down
to the carpet on the floor and was able to vacuum in there!

Next:  Sort through the old software, out of date data backups.

How do you know you need to clean out a closet?  When you don't know what's in there and you couldn't find it if you did.

Knitting in progress

A pair of socks for Jan.

About This Blog

This is copied from the "About" link.  It's the first entry.

Where did the name Tailfeathers come from?  A song I heard in the 1970's...

Wearing my long tailfeathers as I fly,

Wearing my long tailfeathers as I fly,

I circle around,

I circle around,

I circle around the earth.

I believe the song is Native American in origin; however, I am Euro-something in origin.

We live in Chico, California, which is in the North-Central part of
the state. It's a university slash farming town, known for almonds and
drunk students.

Before coming to Chico, I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and
made a living as a software engineer... for 31 years. Enough is enough,
so I'm retired and working part time at our local public library (check
'em in, check 'em out).


Jazz & Classical Music,