Tuesday, June 30, 2009


A couple of quotes I came across today that I particularly liked:

It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English -- up to fifty words used in correct context -- no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese.
Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)

Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all. Sam_Ewing

I am having trouble staying awake because I have been having trouble staying asleep.

Ever since Saturday, every time I drift off and close my eyes, I see the Stampin’ Up catalog! Except at night in bed. Pleasant dreams when I can get them.
Spent much of last night when I should have been sleeping trying to figure out my Christmas cards. Do not take this to mean that they will be anything fancy or wonderful. Or even done on time. I am trying to think of something that will be easy to mass produce (but still look halfway nice and share my testimony) because there are so many wonderful people (and a few obligatory people) in my life. I actually thought I was going to have it pretty easy, borrowing the idea from a sample in the new catalog. At first I was just struggling with my colors. Until I realized that the punch I thought they used and which I conveniently have is too small for the stamps. Now, I have to figure out what they used and can I afford it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

What's Your Number?

Saturday! I like Saturdays.

Saturday morning, I took the dog on a morning run –me on my bike, her running. Only about half a mile. This morning, Monday, our walking buddy couldn’t make it, so we did our bike / run thing again. This time more slowly and we did about a mile. Anna loves it.

I went to a class at City Bicycle Works on how to change a bicycle flat. Joseph had shown me, The class reinforced / clarified his instruction and taught me another trick or two which I shared with him. One thing he already knew but forgot to tell me, another thing was new for him. It was pretty good. They gave each of us a patch kit and I bought a spare tube and tire levers. I bought a portable pump, too, but when Joseph showed me how much easier his is to use, I took it back. Trouble is nobody carries the pump I want. There is one like it on ebay only with a gauge, too. Joseph is thinking about buying that one and selling me his. If he doesn’t, I can have a shop order one for me. ( I don’t need a gauge on my portable, I am not strong enough to be in any danger of over inflating.) In the meantime, I hope I don’t get a flat, because without a pump, you sure can’t do much! Actually, I would just rather not get a flat, anyway.

Next month, I will go to their clean/lube class. And encourage the guys to come, too.

After the class, Joseph and I ran some errands. Including taking back the drapes I had put in the Deseret Industries donation truck. With Benjamin’s permission even. So, now I can trade out drapes for cleaning or, in the front room, just for a change. But I need to find a place to store them. Need to do more garage cleaning!

But not during the heat wave. Back in May we hit 100, but since then it has been unseasonably pleasant. Now, it’s acting like Sacramento in the summer time. It was 108 Sunday. Just a tad less Saturday and today. It will stay hot almost to the weekend, then go down into the 90’s.

No time for garage cleaning anyway! Saturday, Ruth had her New Catalog Mystery Hostess Party. Always fun! The only sad thing was that I had hoped that MAYBE David and Teresa would come visit. Joseph needs brother-tech talk time and Teresa would enjoy the party. On the other hand, they have lovely weather in San Luis Obsipo and would not have been comfortable here this weekend. This catalog has way more new things I like than the last one did. So many lovely temptations!

I spent some time this weekend thinking about my Christmas cards. If I don’t get started soon, I won’t get them done. I need to figure out how many I need to make. My list is always ridiculously long. There are a lot of good people in my life. In terms of making and sending Christmas cards, too many : )

By the time I left Ruth’s, it was too late to go to Costco, so that trip was postponed again. Fortunately, I got gas Friday before driving to my eye doctor in Davis.

Instead, Joseph and I went to Winco where I spent too much money and bought a lot of food I was too tired to put away. It is still on sitting on the table. (Except the cold stuff, of course!) It is hard to spend too much money at Winco, but if you are hungry and tired and have procrastinated going for a good while, you can do it.

Among other things, I bought 3 randomly chosen laundry detergents. An experiment. A friend had mentioned in a budgeting class that when she shops she buys one brand, but when her husband shops he buys another. One of them buys a brand that they think cleans better and smells fresher, the other buys for economy. I have bought for economy for ages. I have never been really excited about how my laundry looks and smells. Except back in the day when I had babies in diapers. I actually was mildly proud of how nice and white my diapers were. And thoroughly rinsed so there would be no irritants left. Anyway, I this time I indulged and we are going to see if we notice any wonderful differences/preferences.

Sacrament Meeting was a little different and fun, but still spiritual. Pre-assigned ward members told a little bit about what made their favorite hymn special then we sang the hymn. If you had that assignment, what hymn would you choose? The first one that comes to my mind is #193 “I Stand All Amazed” which almost always chokes me up, although not a few of them move me.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Eligible List Disclosure Selection by Class Title
List Type: Departmental

Candidate ID Rank Score
223-322 1 79%
863-990 2 76%
863-361 3 73%
885-874 4 70%
482-050 5 70%

This certainly makes me wonder about the competence of the system!

These are the exam results from Tuesday's horrible, humiliating exam experience. (They told us we would hear in 4-6 weeks) 70% is passing. The first three are reachable for promotion, I believe.

I, in case you did not guess from the post title) am #482-050. Far from being bothered at ranking last, I am stunned, amazed, nearly flabbergasted that I passed at all. I hear that 6 of us took the exam. My friend/co-worker Mary is 885-874. I am not at all surprised that she ranked above me, only that she did not score higher percentage than I. My friend/coworker Sherri is 863-361 - #3! Sherri came from cleaning houses to State work maybe a year ago. She works in the cashiering unit now, which gave her some small exposure to some of the terms I didn't know. She put her experience to good use.

Two gals in our unit who are currently Accountant I's tested yesterday for another promotional exam. If one or both of them are successful and move up, our boss will try to give Mary and/or I their spots. I don't know if she will pick up Sherri first, or not. Sherri was in our unit before going to cashiering.

Providing Parks remains in operation. And us short-termers (that includes Sherri and I) are not laid off.

This exam is Parks only, not Statewide. I have no anticpation of moving, even it is a promotion, to another unit. - I know I am in a good unit, and unless forced, will not move without being assured of an equally pleasant situation - hard though that may be to imagine. Once basic survival is assured, how much more money would it take to make it worth going to an office one didn't like?? - But it is nice to know one's options have increased.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"No one can be right all of the time, but it helps to be right most of the time." - Robart Half

The quotation has no relation to anything here except I like it and it reminds me of some people - both some who THINK they are right all the time and some who usually are.

Cyndi W told me during our morning walk that she has gotten 2 texts from her son Matt who is on the same activity as Benjamin. They arrived safely after a LONG drive Tuesday. He had fun fishing Wednesday - went out on the boat twice - and they caught a lot of fish. Rockfish (?) Benjamin is carrying a phone which says it has an almost dead battery. It often says that. It may have some power, who knows. He is keeping it off to preserve what power it does have in case of an emergency.

I biked home without any trouble last evening. Although the weather was in the 90’s, biking 2 miles at an easy pace was not uncomfortable. I was home with my bike locked up and my shoes changed by 6, so I can probably even bike on nights Benjamin has Young Men’s – if he fixes dinner. Which he often does on Wednesdays. I biked to work again today and again was fortunate enough to catch the 7:30am. Which I usually do in the summer, but which is better than I manage on Seminary days after dropping off Benjamin and Anna. : )

Last night Joseph and I cleaned up some of the branches down in the back yard – the neighbor behind us apparently has been trimming the many wayward wild branches that crossed the fence from our place to theirs. We stopped when the can was full. More later. Then we took a load of stuff to the DI trailer. I am trying to remember what else I have been promising myself goes this time, but cannot I recall other than that one big pile. I am having some second thoughts about the drapes I sent. We put some of the drapes from my mother up in the family room, but I wonder if I should have kept the remainder of the whitish/cream color drapes to trade off with the blue ones in the front room. The main thing keeping me from going to reclaim them is the wrath of Ben. He is trying so hard to help us de-junk. I need to find some more sorting time and energy. It would be nice to have a spare set to trade out now and then, but where would I keep them? Still thinking….

This Saturday I am probably going to go to a How to Fix Your Bike Flat workshop ( free ^^) at one of the Bicycle Shops. And spend yet more money on tubes and rim tape. Plus tools to carry – if I think I can actually fix a flat – like the little get the tire out of the rim things Joseph uses – and pump. Who says bicycling is cheap transportation?! Next month (?) there’s a class on keeping your bike clean and lubed. Oh the excitement. But I should learn.

Saturday afternoon, Ruth is having her Mystery Hostess New Catalog Party. I am looking forward to that!! Although a new catalog might be dangerous! Actually, the last couple of catalogs really didn’t have that many new stamps that really grabbed me. Especially not that many but what I already have a set that I could appease myself with. But you never know. What I need to do is find time when my brain is half working when I can actually do some stamping!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today is better

This morning I walked with Sister Welge and Anna, then quickly got my bike and rode – without incident! Hooray! – to light rail, even managing to catch the 7:30 train. Pretty good.

Joseph did go to the zoo with me last night. We barely got there in time to get in, but in we did get. It was a very pleasant evening for strolling through the zoo. The friendly parrot was happy to visit. The lion roared quietly. The otters swam and played. The monkeys / lemurs made an awful lot of noise that sounded like a dog-fight. Instead of buying their dinner - which was pretty much a done deal by the time we got there anyway, we ate chicken patty sandwiches on the way which I made while waiting for Joseph to get home. We walked and talked about the situations in Iran and in North Korea.

I thought I was doing quite well today except for repeatedly thinking that for some reason it felt like it should be Friday. Maybe I am hoping for Friday to hurry and come because Benjamin comes home Friday. Also, I haven’t gone to Costco yet, haven’t really felt like going, and hope that I do go before the gas runs too low. Another reason to bike. It is not as much fun to come home with a car load of groceries with Andrew and Benjamin gone!

But then, on morning break, I opened my email – happy surprise! Andrew's letter! (which you can read on The Armor of God - link on the right) Earlier than it used to come. Honestly, though, I had almost forgotten it is Wednesday even though I have been wishing my email correspondents Happy Hump Day.

Benjamin is off with the older Young Men – deep sea fishing today, I think. Actually out in the harbor? I think he said they were going to go crabbing. I expected them to be going out with rods and battling it out with swordfish or something. We shall see what he has to say when he returns. I am trying not to worry about him being seasick, sunburned, whacked by fishing equipment or man overboard. I am sure he is having a fine adventure.

time to get back to work.

Dear Readers, I enjoy reading your blogs, too! But some of you, and you know who you are, have not been posting. Please, friends, I miss you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Slightly Depressed

Children ARE a joy and a blessing.

I mentioned how Joseph watched out for me Saturday. Monday, I
contacted him about my bike chain and he agreed to fix it after work
at the light rail station. That took him about a minute. However, my
back tire had gone flat as well. He not only fixed it, he patiently
talked to me the whole time telling me what and how and why. The rim
tape was not properly in place protecting the tube from the spoke
ends. He, naturally, was carrying a tube and tools.

I didn't bike today because I had a promotional oral exam.

Work is a blessing, but not always a joy.

It isn't my job that's the problem, it's peripherals.

I am the lucky custodian of our office water club. Collect the dues,
pay the bills. Except slowly the balance has been slipping. This
month not so slowly. I spent much of the morning on emails with my
water club members discussing the situation and raising the dues -
again. Some people quit the club. Some came by and made donations to
cover the deficit. They were mostly really nice and supportive, but
it's stressful. In the same large room, but a different unit, there
is a water club with the same company whose dues are about half ours.
I went to their custodian to learn her secret. Her water club is
being billed at little more than half our rate. Our rates have gone
up a couple of times where hers haven't. She suspects either a great
wheeler-dealer predecessor or a computer glitch at the water company.
Either way, she is trying not to attract their notice. She doesn't
want us to quit our club and join hers because the company might
notice the sudden change in consumption. And - grrr - the old water
club custodian for our club knew about it and belonged to the other
club while managing ours, then dumped on me.

The other great thing today is the Accountant 1 (Specialist) exam.
HUMILIATING. I didn't know a thing. I have taken and gotten As in 4
college accounting classes - which with 2 plus years experience as
(lowly) Account Clerk II and now (less lowly) Accounting Technician
qualified me (supposedly) to take the exam. The key words in the exam
did NOT come up ONCE in any of my classes or work experience. I am
miserably devastated, embarrassed, and discouraged. Slightly
alleviated by the knowledge that an intelligent coworker with 11 years
of accounting work experience felt the same way. Maybe not quite as
lowly, but bad. The gals from the Cashiering unit fared somewhat
better. One of them even felt confident afterwards and said it was
easy. Obviously different work experience! Two of the people in my
larger office were on the exam board, so we see each other in passing
fairly often. I would rather never see them again nor they see me.
Well, hopefully, I will have some idea what kind of stuff to study for
next time.

And Ben is gone. It's a good thing really, but not so much for Anna
and me. The Young Men are off on their "Super Activity" camping
somewhere in or near Eureka. Deep harbor fishing one day and biking
through Redwoods the next. He will be home Friday. He will have a
great time. He will bond and fellowship. I don't have to drive to
Youth Meeting Wednesday. But there is another empty space. Just
Joseph and I at home. Weird. Besides, Benjamin sometimes/often fixes
dinner, does household chores, loves the dog, and makes us laugh. And
our prayer assignment pattern is thrown again.

I am going to the zoo tonight whether Joseph wants to come along or not.

The Sacramento Zoo is having Twilght Tuesdays (no, Sariah, not that
Twilight - evening hours,that's all) for part of the summer. Instead
of the gates closing at 4, they are open until 7pm with guests not
being booted out until 8pm. I haven't been to the Zoo for ages and I
miss it. Marine World either, since it became Six Flags. I miss it
even more, but that's another story. The Zoo is here and not nearly
as expensive. Twilight Tuesdays they will stay open later, sell
dinner, have live music (which may or may not be a plus). Tonight is
Country Music (Rowdy Kate) and BBQ. I haven't yet decided whether to
grab a sandwich at home or try their BBQ.

I didn't go last week (50's & 60's Car Show and fried chicken) because
the guys weren't interested. I was surprised at how disappointed I
felt. So, I will try it this time and see if I want to go again.

The Governator is threatening a 3rd and 4th furlough day. 4 Day Work
Weeks - yippee! (so far it's pick your furlough day, which is nice.
I have one in the bank and may bank June's) 18-20% total pay cut -
not so good.

That's if they don't close most of our Parks and cut me free altogether.

Aren't you glad you came by to visit and enjoy these little
pick-me-ups? I am just such an uplifitng person.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I went walking with Anna, my dog, and Cyndi, my friend without whose urging I might not be walking now that Seminary (early morning religion class for high school students) is out for the year. Then I grabbed my bike and bike bag and left the dog crying at the door because she was being left behind.

The bike commute to the light rail station started off well. I was thinking, "I can do this!" Then the chain jammed. I think I do not know how to shift properly. It looks like the chain jumped its whatever it's supposed to be on and jammed between that and the frame. My efforts to free it only resulted in really dirty, greasy hands.

Fortunately, I had grabbed a hand towel for ridding myself of excess moisture due to my exertions. Unfortunately, the towel used to be white - before I wiped my grimy hands on them.

Fortunately, this derailment (or whatever it is) occured only about 3 blocks from my destination. I used my bike as a scooter the rest of the way. Unfortunately, my pusher foot is the one that has been acting up lately and I had a few uncomfortable moments, but it is fine now.

I scooted to the bike rack, locked up, grabbed my bag and started up the stairs to the platform as the train approached. I had to run hobble around the end of the train, but I made it on.

Standing room only. Generally public transit is pretty democratic and we are all equal, male or female, young or old. Sometimes even elderly persons must stand. Usually if someone is especially burdened someone will give them a seat. However, this morning, two gentlemen each offered me seats. First, I declined, but then I gratefully accepted. Another gentleman gave up his seat at the next stop when a couple of ladies got on. Chivalry is not entirely dead.

I caught the 7:30 which gets me to work half an hour early so I have time for breakfast and email before work. Sweet. I had anticpated that I will have to take the 7:45 to work on bike days - which would still give me a few minutes, but we must have ended our walk a little early.

I am not sure what happens this evening when I return to my bike. If I am really lucky, I get the chain loose and then back on its what'sit. Otherwise I decide whether to walk/scoot the bike home or to walk home, get the car and go back for the bike.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

How far would your list lay out?

As ever, the list of things I did NOT get done Saturday far exceeds the list of things I accomplished.

I do believe that if my list of things to do on any given day were typed single space with 12 point font (Comic Sans, preferably) each item on its on line, the unrolled list would reach from my feet to any number of places I would like to visit - Vancouver, WA; Edmonton, Canada, the Grand Canyon, the feet of the Statue of Liberty, possibly even the British Isles.

Most days I am fortunate if I am able to accomplish an inch worth or two, and usually I add at least another task, more likely several, to the lineup.

Yesterday, while the list was not considerably shortened, was a fairly good and productive day.

Although I awoke before my alarm is set for weekdays, I enjoyed knowing that it was NOT going to go off on no-alarm Saturday. Someone else's alarm was heard - repeatedly and without response (grrr), but perhaps, had I managed to sleep in, it MIGHT not have awakened me. Still, must make note to remind someone to cancel alarms unless he actually intends to arise. Little progress on diminishing the chronic sleep deficit, but a pleasant short lie in.

While I did not take Anna for a morning walk, I did give her a good brushing. That dog is a limitless supply of hair! Ben, seeing a clump lying on the drive, said it looked like road kill.

I got Benjamin to Youth Conference almost on time. For once, he was not irritated at me getting him there a couple of minutes late (of himself, he would always - make that almost always - be SEVERAL minutes early - living with us is a constant trial for him), because I had remembered the correct time whereas he thought it started an hour later.

I recently decided to play Wii Tennis a few minutes every day as part of my exercise program. I haven't done terribly well at keeping that up lately. Joseph and I played a couple of sets. I didn't lose as badly as usual.

I took my bike to have a tire and both tubes replaced. In miles per dollar, I am not doing at all well. Months ago, I had the bike tuned up and fixed up. The first time I rode it after that (in September?), the front tire blew with quite an impressive Pop - almost a bang. After being walked the 2 miles home, it has sat since. Lately I have been thinking that on weather reasonable days when we do not have pressing evening engagements, I might pedal the 2 miles to (and therefore, of course, from) light rail rather than drive. Burn calories, not gas and all. I certainly have an abundant storage of caloric energy on which to draw. Hopefully, the miles per dollar ratio will significantly improve and I can improve my health without unreasonable dietary sacrifice.

I did a few domestic deeds - changed my sheets - reversing my head and foot to more evenly wear the mattress without the wear on me of turning the awkward thing, washed clothes and dishes (some a the same time, but none together), cleaned a bathroom.

Joseph and I picked up Benjamin from Youth Conference. (He had a great time.) Kidnapped the poor lad as we went straight on to Desert Industries. Joseph and I each shopped for clothes and books, while Benjamin languished in the car (his choice to be in the car) thinking he had gotten rather more than he bargained for.

In consideration of Benjamin's suffering, I put off visiting Costco for fuel, food, and who knows what other irresistible discoveries until one day after work next week. Probably not a biking day.

After a light supper - a salad inspired by hamburgers - I actually rode my bike!

Joseph and I rode to the light rail station so I could see how it goes. As this is already part of his daily commute, I realize that it was not a pleasure jaunt for him, but rather a bit of filial chivalry. Along the way, he shared tips he has learned to make the trip smoother and safer.

Back home, I leashed up Anna and took her for a brief bike run without crashing. Again, Joseph rode along, looking out for Mom.

I showered, put on my PJs, then remembered I needed to pick up my Avon, re-dressed and headed out. As Joseph and I were discussing a case of constitutional injustice he had come across on the internet, he walked along - trying to use his laptop at the same time. I called my morning walking buddy Cyndi who lives across from the Avon lady and arranged a meet up as she would like to bring her dog Sandy on our walks. Little Sandy had nothing good to say about meeting Anna, just plenty of growling, although her tail wagged. We kept the dogs apart and agreed to try again another time.

Constitutional converse continued back at home while I played Bejeweled 2 on Winnie and got all the way to level 12. Once all my jewels had fallen from the screen, I left Joseph to wrestle with the wrongs of society alone and went to bed. Clean sheets. Clean me. bliss.

We also managed both morning and evening family prayer Saturday as well as evening scriptures. Morning prayer sometimes gets missed on weekends. Today, for instance, will be late (or lost -not the plan) as Benjamin left with Bro. Farrimond to bring church to some shut-ins do a Sacrament Meeting or something for Boys State, some kind of annual week-long Junior Congress thing at CSUS and I failed to sound the shofar before the Bro arrived. (That would be cool, if I really had a shofar. I do have a Native American flute made by my brother. That could do nicely. ) Must remember morning prayer before heading off for Benjamin's choir practice before church. No, neither Joseph nor I are in the choir, for which many are grateful. I actually don't know if Joseph sings well or not. He is very quiet. I belong to the joyful noise category, which does not necessarily result in joyful hearing.

Anyway, I went to bed last night feeling pretty satisfied that it had been a full and productive day. Now, having written it out, it doesn't look like so much. : / But for me, it was pretty good.

Now I must chop almonds and peppers for Hawaiian Haystacks at Debi's this evening.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Eye goofed

Oops! I cannot believe that I accepted a Wednesday morning eye doctor appointment! When I should be gathering comments and poll results etc to send to Andrew tomorrow morning, I will be driving to Davis and back, possibly having my eyes dilated in between. I may be late getting his e-letter, and will probably HOPE to get his letter posted during afternoon break.

What was I thinking?!

(I was thinking that I haven’t had my glasses since my purse was stolen in January, and that sometimes the world might be a safer place if I did.)

I am going to have to send him the poll results before the poll officially closes and send him updates next week if anything changes. Off, I go to do so now.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I got to spend time with my daughter

Sometime ago, my daughter Miriam running down the stairs in flip-flops or sandals, slipped, fell, naturally reached out to save herself, and hurt her hand. Because she has lupus which causes her joints to swell and bruise easily, she didn't think much of her finger being swollen and misshapen. When, days later, she did go to the doctor, she learned that her finger was badly dislocated with one bone laying on top of the other bone instead of fitting ball and socket. Surgery required. Even so, she rather thought she would drive herself to surgery - it is Ambulatory Outpatient Surgery - drive herself home, rest the remainder of the day and continue life as usual.

Fortunately, she realized in time that this plan had it's shortcomings. I took Monday off of work to hang around the surgery center with her.

She brought a book, Ghost Girl and while waiting to go into surgery told me about it. They put her under, leaving me in charge of her valuables, so I read part of her book. It was amusing. Actually more amusing when Miriam told it. Very high school. As in teen ager, not as in high class. But I liked it better than, say Twilight, because it doesn't pretend not to be high school. I also did some updating of information I had put on Winnie the Peg before getting TX. So much better on TX!

After surgery, they sent me over to the pharmacy to get Miriam's pain medicine. Slight problem. They had a chemical spill and the pharmacy was closed, guard at the door and all. Not really a big problem: they transfered the prescription to the Kaiser near Miriam's home and we picked it up on the way. Since I took Benjamin for a check-up Tuesday, that meant I got to go to 3 different Kaisers in 2 days.

As Miriam's roommates were off at some "Family Home Evening" activity and she shouldn't be alone so soon after surgery, still recovering from the general anesthesia and starting the new pain pills, I hung out the rest of the evening.

After Benjamin's appointment (regular health check and get the forms filled out for summer youth activities) and a somewhat disappointing trip to Sacramento City College, Ben and I went back to Miriam's Tuesday afternoon. She directed us in making dinner, which we all enjoyed. Good! she has a tendancy not to eat and with one hand, fixing things is hard. Besides, then she could tell me how Ghostgirl ended. Much as anticipated.

Benjamn and I went to Relief Society where he babysat and I reviewed budgeting basics. That tickled him because Allison H had taught essentially the same lesson to the youth during their "Independence Day" activity.

Yesterday, Miriam went back to work, but I went over again in the evening - this time my big service was to wash her hair. Having a hand bound up, sore, and useless is bad enough, but add the need to hold her hand up to keep if from hurting more, and a bulky bandaid that can't get wet, well life is limited.

Miriam has recieved a lay-off notice. The State nicely gives one a special letter along with the lay-off notice which puts you "at the front of the line" (with all the other lay-offs but ahead of the totally non-state employed) when applying for another state position. But only once. If you are offered a position and do not take it, that's your one chance. After that, you are back in the pack of other applicants. Trouble is, she doesn't KNOW for sure that she is going to be laid off. If not, she really does not want to leave the job she has now, but if so, well, she needs a job to pay the bills. The longer one waits - to try to see if one really must look for another job - the more competition one faces for fewer jobs. It stinks. Miriam is facing this dilemma now, I expect that my turn may be coming. I pray for my job (and Miriam's and Joseph's, but especially mine and Miriam's jobs) to be protected, but sometimes the Lord does not see fit to intervene the way we think He should. So, I also pray for faith and for being Ok, whatever happens.

Somebody had a job fair for people in Miriam's department (I think her department - no word among my department that I know of) who have been given lay-off notices today. Poor Miriam was at our house until 11-ish lasat night getting her application and resume up-to-date and printed on our semi-functioning printer. And worrying a little about how hire-able she is going to look.

I hope it went well. She is a great worker and great employee. Although, I do really hope that she (and I) can keep the position she likes so much.

I like my job, but breaks are way too short.

Buffalo Soldier

While outfitting Andrew for his mission, I joined REI (backpack and wool socks is all I remember, if you are curious). Which led to getting an email about a program offering called "Yosemite - a park for all the people" (or something like that). Ranger Sheldon Johnson was going to portray a Buffalo Soldier who patrolled in the park in its early days. I decided to attend. The boys declined, but I went anyway. I have spent far too much of my life not going or doing something I wanted to do because somebody else in my life wasn't interested. I left home wondering if the evening would be worthwhile or wasted. I soon wished that I had dragged the boys along! Interesting, funny, inspirational. moving, entertaining. The hour plus simply flew and left me wanting more.

Ranger Sheldon Johnson WAS Leezy (I think that was the name, I think from Elijah, again not sure) born to enslaved parents the day that Lincoln signed the Emancipation. However, as they were deep in the south, freedom did not reach them.

Coloreds were not allowed to walk on the raised wooden sidewalk colored people had built. They walked in the dirt in the street. He remembers walking with his Mama in the street - he was so funny as he showed what it's like for a little child with his hand stretched up high over his head holding his Mama's hand! A white man stepped down, pretty much into his Mama and onto Leezy's foot. Leezy cried out in surprise and pain. The white man looked down and said, "Well, n--, you need to watch where you are going!" Leezy had never heard that word before but it pierced his soul and hurt. Mama quickly towed him home. She put her hands on his face - oh! how sweet that felt - and said, " I didn't spend 3 days bringing no n-- into this world, I brought forth a human being."

There is danger in trying to teach an enslaved child that he is a valuable human being. Leezy didn't always comport himself in the appropriately subservient manner. As a older teen/ young man, one day he WALKED ON THE SIDEWALK. All the way from one end to the other. It was Sunday and pretty quiet. As people came out on their way to (or from?) church, he stayed his course and politely greeted them. - Ranger/ Leezy greeted various members of the audience who responded in kind, then R/L said, "That' s not what he said to me."

At the end of his walk, Leezy went home, but news of his audacity preceeded him. His Daddy told him that his hands had been the first to hold Leezy, but he didn't want to be the last as he buried him, and he "suggested" that Leezy leave home. Leave home! Daddy, Mama, Grandma, the only home he ever knew. Daddy suggested he join the military. "But Daddy, people might shoot at me!" "Well, they don't know you. It won't be personal. They might miss. But if you stay here with your attitude, it will be personal and they won't miss."

So Leezy walked from his home deep in the south to somewhere in Nebraska where he met a recruiter with a nice smile and the promise of $13/month, a uniform, and equal treatment. He joined the 9th Calvary and became a Buffalo Soldier. ( The Indians called the black soldiers Buffalo Soldiers because of their hair.)

No way can I do Ranger Johnson justice. He is going to be in a documentary about the parks. He has a book coming out this fall, Glory Land, I think. And there is talk of a movie. If he can capture the spirit of his presentation in writing, it will be something.

He struck several poses and asked which actor should be him. I am a bit partial to Denzel Washington, myself.

If you hear tell of this presentation, book or movie coming your way, I highly recommnd it. It is good for the soul.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Math Question

If 2 State workers in one household each receive a 5% pay cut, does the household get hit 5% or 10%.? (Assume for the purpose of this exercise that they each earn the same amount of money).

I say 5%, but others, in higher ranking, higher paid positions than I, say 10%. Each of us tries to explain the math; neither can see the other’s view.

These people think they are in danger of an actual 29% total income reduction if this additional 5% cut goes through on top of the 2 unpaid furlough days we have already been hit with. I think it is the 14.whatever% Bad enough, but not nearly one third of their income. Honestly, they look at me like I am retarded not to get it while I wonder how it is that THEY are in higher positions.

Somebody is flunking basic math. So, friends, what do you say? Am I missing something here? Or should I consider trying for advanced positions?

Yell "Fudge" at Cobras in North America Day

Anywhere north of the Panama Canal. In order to keep poisonous cobra snakes out of North America, all citizens are asked to go outdoors at noon local time and yell “fudge!” Fudge makes cobras gag, and the mere mention of it makes them skedaddle.

worrying a bit about the California budget

California's budget is a disaster and something - lots of somethings - have to done. It is going to be ugly and painful.

So far it seems like everything they try only makes things worse.

There is talk about closing 220 State Parks. http://www.kcra.com/video/19628396/
I am worried about my job, of course! and a whole lot of others, about where people will go for inexpensive recreation, and what will happen to the parks - vandalism, crime, destruction. Local communities depend on the tourism that parks bring in. Instead of being an asset to the community, the parks could be come trouble spots.

Many good and some necessary things are going to have to be cut. Some drastically. Painful for everyone. Of course, all those lost jobs means less tax revenue and more welfare. Which doesn't help.

The Governator wants to cut us state workers - those who don't get laid off entirely - ANOTHER 5% - this time without even giving us furluough time. The union is naturally fighting that. It seems like state workers are taking more than our fair share of hits.

I keep hearing that we are near the bottom. I hope so!

I don't know what the answer is for California, but I do hope that the cutbacks won't be nearly as bad as they are predicting - especially for our beautiful parks.

Meanwhile, I am grateful to have a job!! I just do my best everyday and trust the Lord to help us.