This is one of Zorro's mommas. I have been tagged by Jen, at My Life with Dogs, to list six quirky things about myself. Hmmm. Where to start....
1. (not necessarily in order of quirkiness) Rearranging items into a certain order or into alignment. Each item on my living room coffee table has a designated spot on the table; if they get moved around, I have to rearrange them. When I take out our vitamins and pills in the morning, each bottle has to be facing the front so one can see the label. Doesn't everyone do that?
2. Not plugging or unplugging any electrical item that does not have an on/off switch (and even a few that do - if the item looks old or worn).
3. Locking my car doors when the car is in the driveway or right outside my office. Hey, it only takes a few second for someone to walk up and take something! Of course, many people tell me that if the car is locked, people will walk up and literally break a window to get in, instead of just opening the door to get in. I guess I'd rather the person have to make at least a little effort to take my stuff.
4. One of the people who started this whole quirky tag game said she picks at her toes. Well, I pick at my the cuticles and skin around my fingernails. I do it more when I'm stressed; so one can really tell what mood I'm in, or how my life in general is going, by looking at my fingernails.
5. I guess one could call me somewhat addicted to The Weather Channel. Hey, I could be addicted to worse things! But I don't like storms - particularly ones with lightning, close lightning. One hears too many freaky stories about how horribly unpredictable lightning can be - and how dangerous. So, when the "screen is green" (or worse, yellow or red) in our area, I unplug everything: TV's, computers, etc. We haven't lost anything to a lightning strike yet!
6. I think this quirk will seem like the least quirky thing to you, but it's a huge thing to me. In 2004, after 30 years on NPR (where he was incredibly popular among both listeners and critics), Morning Edition host Bob Edwards was demoted to "senior correspondent" (whatever that BS means). NPR said that it wanted someone to take the morning show in a "different direction" (more BS).
Shortly thereafter, Bob left NPR. Soon, XM Radio offered Bob his own morning show on the satelite radio network; he remains there today, bringing "his reassuring and authoritative voice" to many listeners around the world each day. When Morning Edition won a George Foster Peabody Award in 1999, the Peabody committee lauded Edwards as "a man who embodies the essence of excellence in radio.... His is a rare radio voice: informed but never smug; intimate but never intrusive; opinionated but never dismissive. Mr. Edwards does not merely talk, he listens."
I have not listened or contributed to NPR since.



From Andrew Sullivan, for TheAtlantic.com:

Editor's Note: Historically a John McCain supporter, conservative journalist and blogger Andrew Sullivan takes on the issue of John McCain's integrity as he strives to win the presidency. - vh/TO

"For me, this surreal moment - like the entire surrealism of the past ten days - is not really about Sarah Palin or Barack Obama or pigs or fish or lipstick. It's about John McCain. The one thing I always thought I knew about him is that he is a decent and honest person. When he knows, as every sane person must, that Obama did not in any conceivable sense mean that Sarah Palin is a pig, what did he do? Did he come out and say so and end this charade? Or did he acquiesce in and thereby enable the mindless Rovianism that is now the core feature of his campaign?
"So far, he has let us all down. My guess is he will continue to do so. And that decision, for my part, ends whatever respect I once had for him. On core moral issues, where this man knew what the right thing was, and had to pick between good and evil, he chose evil. When he knew that George W. Bush's war in Iraq was a fiasco and catastrophe, and before Donald Rumsfeld quit, McCain endorsed George W. Bush against his fellow Vietnam vet, John Kerry in 2004. By that decision, McCain lost any credibility that he can ever put country first. He put party first and his own career first ahead of what he knew was best for the country.
"And when the Senate and House voted overwhelmingly to condemn and end the torture regime of Bush and Cheney in 2006, McCain again had a clear choice between good and evil, and chose evil.
"He capitulated and enshrined torture as the policy of the United States, by allowing the CIA to use techniques as bad as and worse than the torture inflicted on him in Vietnam. He gave the war criminals in the White House retroactive immunity against the prosecution they so richly deserve. The enormity of this moral betrayal, this betrayal of his country's honor, has yet to sink in. But for my part, it now makes much more sense. He is not the man I thought he was.
"And when he had the chance to engage in a real and substantive debate against the most talented politician of the next generation in a fall campaign where vital issues are at stake, what did McCain do? He began his general campaign with a series of grotesque, trivial and absurd MTV-style attacks on Obama's virtues and implied disgusting things about his opponent's patriotism.
"And then, because he could see he was going to lose, ten days ago, he threw caution to the wind and with no vetting whatsoever, picked a woman who, by her decision to endure her own eight-month pregnancy of a Down Syndrome child in public, that he was going to reignite the culture war as a last stand against Obama. That's all that is happening right now: a massive bump in the enthusiasm of the Christianist base. This is pure Rove.
"Yes, McCain made a decision that revealed many appalling things about him. In the end, his final concern is not national security. No one who cares about national security would pick as vice-president someone who knows nothing about it as his replacement. No one who cares about this country's safety would gamble the security of the world on a total unknown because she polled well with the Christianist base. No person who truly believed that the surge was integral to this country's national security would pick as his veep candidate a woman who, so far as we can tell anything, opposed it at the time.
"McCain has demonstrated in the last two months that he does not have the character to be president of the United States. And that is why it is more important than ever to ensure that Barack Obama is the next president. The alternative is now unthinkable. And McCain - no one else - has proved it."



Jordan has been with us since Labor Day weekend, in 1998. The day was very hot, and he was very thirsty. My mommas gave him water, and looked him over. He's a very handsome boy.
He and my brother, Grover, became bestest friends. When I came to live with my Mommas, Jordan was good to me, but he wasn't pals with me like he was with Grover. Jordan is now close to 12 years old; he's as handsome and good and gentle as ever. Jordan is a friend to all animals and people.We love you, Jman, and we're glad you're part of our family.



Opinion piece by Gloria Steinam, in the Los Angeles Times:
"Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.
"But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.
"Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."
"This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.
"Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, 'I still can't answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?' When asked about Iraq, she said, 'I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq.'
"She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she's won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain's campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn't know it's about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate's views on 'God, guns and gays' ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.
"So let's be clear: The culprit is John McCain."
Click here to read the rest of this Los Angeles Times article.



From Andrew Sullivan of TheAtlantic.com:
"We have had two big presidential decisions from both candidates - the first time we can clearly judge their decision-making skills. Obama's (vice presidential decision) was prudent, cautious, thoroughly vetted, and serious about governing. McCain's was impulsive, rash, barely vetted and decided at the last minute by a small coterie that left everyone else gasping.
"We are at war. Another 9/11 is possible. Israel may attack Iran. Pakistan may go up in smoke. Putin may invade another country. Who would you rather have as president?"