Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin for VP? LOL

Well, here we go again - we swore we were going to lay off the politics for awhile, even though it does happen to be topic numero uno around here. But, that pledge was before this latest comedy, courtesy of the GOP. Anyone who reads this column needs to understand exactly what this means and how to interpret the McCain campaign spin.

According to the spin doctors the selection of Ms. Palin, who prior to becoming Alaska's Governor in 2006 was a part time mayor of a city of 8,500, is a bold move designed to shake up the status quo and give the electorate a candidate eminently qualified to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Given McCain's age and health history, voters should consider that carefully.

If you believe the spin, McCain passed over Mitt Romney, who did very well in the primary, Tim Pawlenty, governor of Minnesota, a state they badly need to win, Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania, Sen. Joe Liebermann, and many other highly qualified candidates to pick Palin who's only two qualifications are she is a woman and she is pro-life. And when you consider all the other highly qualified women in the GOP, all you are left with is pro-life. And furthermore, women do not vote for someone simply because of gender and should be a little offended by the suggestion.

So, why did McCain really pass over all these exceptional VP candidates? In short, he didn't, they passed on him. Every last one said, "NO." Palin was all he could get in the face of a certain loss to Barack Obama. At first we actually felt a little sorry for Palin since she is in way over her head but, upon reflection, she probably sees it simply as a spring board to the national stage and, possibly, a ticket to the Senate.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

An Austin institution is back - "Kind of"

As many Austinites know, the Dallas Nightclub closed last Spring and left many of us who frequented the place over the last 26 years feeling like we lost one of our best friends. Honestly, Dallas was just the absolute best place in Austin to dance and meet your friends. It's absence over the Summer has been a huge let down to all it's fans. I don't want to over dramatize but, you get used to a great place like that when you go for a quarter century and you really miss seeing all the regulars. Also, Peggy and I have danced all over the country and I can say, without a doubt, we have never found another place with as many great dancers as you find at Dallas. I'm not counting yours truly in that group as we barely hold our own with those Dallas dancers!

Anyway, the good news is that Dallas opened up last night for one night and only for three hours, but it was a barrel fun and so great to see all the familiar faces. The impression I get is that they plan to do this periodically for an indefinite period. If you want to be notified, go to their web site and leave your email address.

I have heard so many differing stories as to why they are doing this odd schedule that I will not even try to explain. Who knows what the true story is? I just wish they could get back on their regular nightly schedule and start on their next 26 year run.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A national vegetable garden

I came across this video, put together by Kitchen Gardeners International, and just thought it was a really neat idea. So, here I sit on a hot Austin afternoon giving you all the details.

We have all heard the benefits of buying all we can locally. Kitchen Gardeners International's purpose is to promote the cultivation of home vegetable gardens with a side benefit of reducing the distance food must travel from the field to your table, now an average of 1,500 miles. A nice side benefit is that you just might get some better tasting, healthier food at a reduced cost and, not only save the fuel cost of transporting the farm grown veggies, but reduce your own fuel consumption with fewer trips to the grocery store. I find it interesting that during the second World War the, so called, Victory Gardens, promoted by the government, were producing 40% of the nation's produce right out of the yards of it's citizens, thereby freeing up resources for the war effort.

It just goes to show what can be accomplished through education and leadership by example. At the time Eleanor Roosevelt had a Victory Garden planted on the lawn of the White House, I believe, the last to do so. This video makes the case for another vegetable garden on the White House lawn. No doubt, tomatoes out of that garden will cost a thousand bucks each ;-) but, that's not the point. It sets an example that could lead to something very helpful to many people.

No doubt, gardening is not for everyone but, think about it seriously. Peggy and I have been gardening, off and on, our whole lives and find it to be a lot of fun on top of all the other benefits. You will be amazed at the huge quantities of food you can grow in a very small space. Apartment dwellers can use pots on the patio. Our last garden we had at the RV Park where we stayed in downtown Austin was no more than 10' X 10' and we had fresh vegetables every day throughout the year. If you want to see what can be accomplished if taken to the extreme, take a look at Path to Freedom's Urban Homestead - 3 tons off one tenth acre!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Obama campaign buttons

Want a free Obama button? MoveOn is giving them away totally free--no strings attached. Even the shipping is free! We just got 45 of them, and wanted to share the opportunity with you.

Click this link to get a free Obama button: