Just so you know, these are the Republican Senators who voted against the “healthcare” bill:

Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Virginia
Susan Collins, R-Maine
Dean Heller, R-Nevada
John McCain, R-Arizona
Rob Portman, R-Ohio
Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee (Chair of the Senate Health Committee)

Check your sources. Keep checking your sources. I can’t believe I have to keep saying this to people who really ought to know better.

Thank you, all of you Republicans who did the right thing for all of us. Now, how about a few more Republicans grow a pair and vote this disaster down, then work to create a healthcare bill that will serve all American people. You know … the folks who elected you?

Yes, those people.


I’ve had some crises with pets in my day. I’ve also had a wide variety of pets, both when I was a kid and when my kids were growing up. I’ve had gerbils, rabbits, birds, cats and dogs. Thanks to my son, I’ve had a lot of reptiles and amphibians too, like turtles, frogs, an iguana and several snakes. We kept five frogs alive in a home-made terrarium for five years! That could be some kind of frog longevity record. I’ve also had tanks of tropical fish. These were my least favorite in terms of care and clean up.

One of my favorite ‘pets gone wild’ stories, is about my childhood dog, Schnitzel, a dachshund. I had Schnitzel from the ages of eleven to twenty-six. When he was young, he had a habit of jumping into our lake to chase ducks. Usually he’d come back to shore after a short chase. One day, he was chasing three ducks. The ducks would swim together until Schnitzel got close. Then they’d split off and go in three different directions. That made Schnitzel crazy. He would bark and chase one and then turn around and go in a different direction after a different duck. The ducks stayed calm throughout.

Schnitzel photos

My grandfather and I couldn’t get him to come back to shore. I was afraid that Schnitzel would get tired and drown. So, Grandpa and I got into our canoe and went onto the lake to chase after Schnitzel. So Schnitzel was going after the ducks and we were going after him. As soon as we got close to Schnitzel, he’d take off in another direction and allude us. Just like what the ducks were doing to Schnitzel.

We finally managed to herd him close to shore. I jumped into the lake and grabbed him. We were both covered in mud. So I threw Schnitzel into the swimming pool to clean off and I went in after him, fully clothed. We all came home soaked and exhausted!

Another pet incident happened with my college son’s Python, Princess. My son was at school and my daughter and I were scheduled to leave for Germany the next day. I fed Princess the night before, but I must have forgotten to put the top back on the tank. The morning we had to leave, I discovered the top off and the snake gone! Frantic, my daughter and I searched and searched but couldn’t find Princess.

This is probably our second python, Turbo, but Turbo and Princess looked alike

We had to leave for the airport so I called my son and told him that he had to drive the three hours home to find his lost pet, ASAP. I worried through the entire flight that I had killed my son’s pet, or lost her forever. When we got to Germany, I called home immediately. My son had no trouble finding Princess. He had put her back in her tank and had gone back to school. Crisis averted!

The next pet story involves my nine-year old daughter’s rabbit, Coffee. This rabbit loved to chew wires, eat paper and explore whenever my daughter let her loose in the house. Probably not the best idea, even though we watched her closely when she was out of her cage.

My daughter, Sarah, and Coffee

One day, Coffee hopped into the bathroom. Before we could grab her, she wedged herself behind the built-in sink cabinet. We could not get her out. To make a long story short, we had to call a carpenter we knew and told him that it was a life or death emergency. I doubt he got too many calls like that in his line of work!

The carpenter had to take the entire cabinet apart, piece by piece to get the rabbit. Each time he’d get close, she’d move farther back into the built-in. It was not cheap to have the carpenter basically rebuild the entire cabinet. We never let Coffee roam free again.

One other pet problem we had was really not the pet’s fault. We rescued a tiny baby turtle from my mother’s swimming pool. We created a terrarium for him, complete with a swimming pool. We named him Jaws as a joke, because he was so small and cute. The joke was on us. He grew and grew and turned into a humongous snapping turtle. He grew into his name. We couldn’t keep him anymore so we donated him to the local Audubon Society. He was on display there, in a huge tank, for years. Hopefully happy years.

So these are a few of the ‘adventures’ we’ve had with our numerous pets over the years. Nothing earth shattering. But I’ll bet a lot of people have similar stories to tell about their pets.


Have any of us ever calculated the number of posts on Facebook, Twitter, and even WordPress that start out with OMG or something to that effect? The sentence which follows might — or might not — have anything to do with the opening OMG. My personal favorite is when the author tried to fully engage the excitement, shock, horror, fear, loathing, and paralyzing awesomeness of whatever event has occurred.

A friend says she has seen ones that start with “OMG! I’M 25! That’s so OLD! What can I do NOW?”

Photo – Garry Armstrong

I would expect, given that she or he has lived 25 years of life to its fullest, it’s time to make burial plans. Surely any time spent living life past 25 would be a waste. Really, hasn’t she done it all? Anything from this point on would be repetition, right?

While we were out on the water with Tom and Ellin, there was an emergency in progress. A man had fallen in the water and apparently was “swept away.” That doesn’t make a lot of sense as the water was dead calm. It was low tide with water running in to the shore — not out to sea. But we’ll skip all that for now. I’m pretty sure Garry has much more to say about the story and he took a lot of pictures, too. Garry can do news and quite probably never said OH MY GOD in all his years of reporting.

What we saw were people on jet skis closing in apparently desperately hoping to find … what? The live guy? A dead guy? If you find a floating corpse while zipping around on your jet ski, what’s your next step? IS there a next step? Can you call the Coast Guard from your jet ski? Do you watch him float away while you zip back to shore to Tweet your friends about how you saw the totally OMG coolest thing in the WORLD in the WATER?

However much we may feel that the news doesn’t do the news like it used to do it, when you think about how the news would get done without the pros? It is mind-boggling. It also makes me nearly collapse with laughter.


I had seen all the dams I could find locally, so Kaity decided it was time we found something new. This is not as easy as you might think. Many of the most scenic parts of the valley are hidden in places that aren’t marked and are not on any map.

We tried one place and it was probably attractive, but clearly required some serious hiking to find places to shoot. She and I are not hikers, so we took a pass and eventually found Roaring Dam, a long, curved dam on a lovely piece of Blackstone River. I took pictures.


Stupid is as stupid does. The line comes from the movie Forrest Gump. It’s what Forest’s mother always told him when people would make fun of him for being … well … Forrest Gump.

The thing is, I never really understood what the phrase actually means. It sounds very profound, but what is it actually saying?

I only think of this because stupid has become a word that’s popping up more and more these days. The current “so-called administration”, has been labeled “ignorant,” “immoral” and “inept.” But lately a new word is emerging to describe our “so-called government.”


Also the word “idiot” is cropping up. The headline of a recent NY Post editorial was “Donald Trump Jr. is an idiot.”

Why? When he discovered the New York Times was about to publish a story exposing emails which proved he was meeting with Russian agents to acquire damaging information about Hillary Clinton from high level Russian government sources — because they wanted to help Trump win the election — what did he do? He released the actual emails. Proving he wanted to collude with Russian agents to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton and didn’t care that the Russian government was involved. He actually wrote back “I love it!”


His defense was that he didn’t get any damaging info, so it didn’t count.


It’s like saying “I went to rob a bank but when I got there they were all out of money,” so it doesn’t count.

And we all thought Eric was the dumb one.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Cheesy McCheese head, the actual President of the United States, recently stated — publicly — that the Mexican wall must be transparent.

Why you ask?  Because Mexicans will be throwing large bags of drugs over the wall. He didn’t want unsuspecting Americans on our side to get hit on the head by large bags of drugs.

No, I’m not making that up. Absorb that for a few minutes.

Everybody has role models.  Trumpy’s role models seem to be Governor LePetomaine from Blazing Saddles. “Work, work, work, work. Hello boys!”

And the rebel leader from Woody Allen’s Bananas.

REBEL LEADER: From this point forward, underwear will be changed every half hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside. So we can check. Every child under 16 years old, is now 16 years old.”

Previously, we learned how utterly incompetent this administration is. But now, we are also getting a handle on just how incredibly stupid they are.

I still don’t know exactly what “Stupid is as stupid does” means, but it seems to explain our current administration.