Wild Life Of A Little Monster

Others are scared of me because of all the fun I have. Considered a vigilante by my Eponine.

Preparing For Bed And Morning Starts

Notice Daph while Gabby does a tumbling routineNow Daph's gone under the blankets while Gab's still at it

My tasks usually are to wrap up whatever I'm working on (work, laundry, blogging, home stuff, any number of things), to get the teeth brushed, and to settle down enough by midnight. I like being under the covers by the time Nightline starts.

The monsters have their own routines. By the way, Daphne is visiting this week. Gabby likes to hop on the bed and roll around to and fro. It's somewhat of a gymnastics routine. She speaks as I near her and enjoys every little scratch before dozing.

Daph stares at Gab's tumbling. Most likely wondering what it's all about. Then Daphne burrows as far as she can under the blanket.

Gabby is the first to wake. She makes it a point to acknowledge any sort of movement and for sure helps to make sure that I am aware that the alarm is sounding. Finally, after a snooze-button reprieve or two, I'm up and at'em. She likes being brushed each morning. She follows me about through coffee-making, bathroom, e-mail checking and other morning duties. Then she searches for the sun and wonders if there's any treats to be had.

Daphne sleeps through it all. She doesn't move a bit. No matter how excicting the information is on NPR, how short or long my shower is, or how much coffee I drink, Daph sleeps through it all. I have to prod her out from under the covers. Once going, the tail is waggling and she shimmies out the door for her morning business.

With this routine, needless to say, it's easy smiling as I back out the drive and prepare to tackle the world.

Another Sunnin' Picture

Another pic of Gabby sitting in the sun one January morning.

Speaking of things that are enjoyed, I got my taxes done. It is a huge accomplishment. More than you can possibly imagine. And I did them entirely on my own. The IRS site really has some good tips and has become very user friendly. There's also an AMT Assistant that helped to provide me loads of confidence that I really did know what I was doing.

Nine Fingers

The local guy on American Idol will be holding up nine fingers Tuesday night. I didn't realize that the shows are taped. They have back-to-back tapings and then air them on Tuesday and Wednesday night. This is the scoop I'm getting since David's mom works with me. She talks to people who talk to me. That will be my claim to fame if he wins.

Hey ... I didn't think about asking this, but I wonder if the Thursday elimination show is taped. Hmmmm? I also wonder if there really ever was a moon landing. Hmmmm?

Anyway, on the first round last week, David Hernandez actually was my favorite. I have to keep rooting for David Cook, though, since he is a co-worker's son, from my current home metro area, and lives in my former metro area.

I'm Going Home

Have been in D.C. the last couple days. Will post this then hop on the Metro to get to Reagan National. Reportedly there is ice and snow in Kansas City, but my flight is still showing an on-time departure and arrival. It is sunny and cold in D.C., but snowy bad weather is predicted through the weekend.

It will be interesting to see if the "feel" of D.C. will change with a new president. The environment changed so much post-9/11. It is easy to relate the change entirely to Mr. W and not also think about all the other factors.

Interesting, my flight out here was 99. Then stayed at a hotel at 999 9th Street. Nothing that exciting planned for the way home. Just a smooth, safe ride that includes an opportunity for a few snores.

Out for now.

January Sunnin'

Some pics of Daphne and Gabrielle, on separate occasions on different days, soakin' in some rays. It always makes me smile to see how content they are when a perfect spot in the sun is found. Humans would be much happier if they followed their leads and spent more time baking in the sun.

Update On The Bus

Forgot to also mention the "Extreme Home Makeover" episode. It was a tear jerker! A great story. But, I did feel like I had lots of questions afterward. Like ... Where is his ex-wife? Why does he have so many tatoos? Why was he living in such a rickety home? Why did he always wear shorts?

From the episode, he seems like a good dad. And a good person. I hope the new home is the beginning of something exciting for him and his family. I plan to do a drive-by sometime soon and take a look at the place.

Heard on the news that the Kansas City area is the only metro area that has had three visits by Ty and the gang.

Did you see the episode this past weekend with the young man that attends Louisville University. Fascinating story. Very neat family. It made me want to visit Louisville!

Speaking of colleges, my heart goes out to the students and the university community at Northern Illinois University.


Sort of vanished, didn't I? Not certain what happened. Last week did zoom by. It included a night with the Schramwiches, Valentine candy hearts at work, lots of meetings, deadlines, work tasks and things accomplished at home. Plus, so far it seems like we've had the winter that won't end. Warm one day, rain the next, snow the next, hits super-cold the next and then repeats the cycle.

Now am up against a huge deadline with the Feds. Also will be traveling some in the middle of it all. It never fails. Everything always happens at the same time.

As for some random thoughts ...

Yes, the dude from Tulsa/Blue Springs, Mo. made the top 12 guys on American Idol. Plus, a girl from Tulsa made it and a young lady from Joplin. I feel like my part of the world is well represented. Also found the following two links to spoilers, telling us who the top 24 were/are. The sites provide some really interesting background info about the contestants: About the top 12 girls, and about the top 12 boys.

As you contemplate your favorites, here's a link to a presidential survey on the Minnesota Public Radio site. Issues are presented with several options to select as your preference. After completing the survey, the results help to guide you as to which presidential candidate with whom you mostly closely match. My results surprised me.

Glad the writer's strike is over. Hope it is the best resolution for all involved. Anxious for some new episodes to eventually land on the tube.

Moving That Bus Again

Meant to post this earlier this week and got busy. Sorry. Hope you are able to catch Extreme Home Makeover Sunday night. Ty and gang are back in my neck of the woods.

This time the show will feature a family from the Kansas side. Yes, there is a Kansas City, Missouri and a Kansas City, Kansas. This family is a U.S. Marine, single father, and it seems like good guy, living in Kansas City, Kansas. Not that any of those Extreme Makeover shows have a lack of tear-jerker moments, but I have a feeling that this one will really cause the waterworks to go into overdrive.

You're not going to want to it. My suggestion, skip the Grammy Awards. Or record the Grammys. You can forget all the boring stuff, see the performers you want to see, and the awards you want to catch.

Election Guide

Found a super cool election guide on The New York Times site. Check it out if you have a moment.

Here's a link to overall results. Select a state for more details about its results. This is a link directly to Missouri's. Scroll down to view an interactive map. You can mouse over individual counties to see results.

I find it fascinating to see the local results. Hillary Clinton won the entire state except for five counties. The most populous ones, for the most part. Jackson (Kansas City proper), St. Louis County, Boone and Cole (center of the state around University of Missouri), and Nodaway (northwest corner, where Northwest Missouri State is located). At the bottom of the page is a link to an article about Missouri's "bellwether" status. The state has selected the presdidential winner 25 out of the last 26 elections.

William's mom commented in a prior post how excited she was in New Mexico. According to this handy-dandy election guide, Barack is leading Hillary there by four-tenths of a percent.

If you hop around The Times site a bunch you will be prompted to register.

With the late-night snow and election-results watching, instead of working I sure could "nod away" with a little nap during this snowy and cold winter day.

Snowed Over

It's snowing hard in Kansas City. Heard a prediction earlier on Tuesday that it could keep falling through noon on Wednesday. Accumulation is expected to reach around 10 inches.

Just glanced out the back door to see the snow. At just past midnight there's already an inch or two. Saw four deer making their way across the yards. One at a time they hopped over the neighbor's fence to the north, walked across my yard, and then hopped over the fence to the south. One appeared to have horns. I ran to get the camera, of course.

About 10:30ish Tuesday evening, ABC, the Associated Press and other media outlets declared Missouri for Mrs. Clinton. I went online to see the final tally. On the Kansas City paper's website, there was the check mark next to Hillary's name declaring her the winner.

Looked back at the site about an hour later and the check was gone!

Mr. Obama won by 10,356 votes. He had 49.2 percent to Hillary's 48 percent. John Edwards had almost 17,000 votes or 2 percent. John McCain beat Mike Huckabee by 8,681 votes. John had 33 percent, Mike had 31.5 percent, and Mitt had 29.3 percent.

In my county, Hillary won by 3,553 votes. Mitt won by 418 votes. More than 1.4 million people voted in Missouri. Wow!

It's Election Day!

Vote. Vote! VOTE!

If your state is participating in Tuesday's primaries, I hope you make it a priority to go to your precinct to cast your vote.

I am so pumped about election day! Seriously. I can barely stand it. The excitement and overall level of engagement are awesome. And the opportunity to be part of this historical U.S. election day is thrilling. I can't seem to get enough news about it all. I just read, read, read about each of the candidates, what the pundits have to say, what the anti-ads have to state, what each side works to claim.

Back in junior high, I remember the night that George Nigh was elected governor. I stayed up as long as Mom would let me watching the election-night coverage. It was exciting. As a 4-H'er, I had the opportunity to see and meet him at the state fair and other events. In 1982, he was elected to a second term. He has the distinguished record of being the only governor to carry all 77 of Oklahoma's counties.

Before he was governor, when he was in the state legislature, he helped to make sure that "Oklahoma!" became the state song. That alone proves he was a great guy and a politician who had his priorities right.

His daughter attended Oklahoma State the same time I did. She was a Pi Phi. It was common to see Gov. Nigh, his wife Donna, and their daughter walking across campus. Seeing him made me think that even I could be Oklahoma's governor someday.

That didn't happen. But, by golly, my zealotry for a strong candidate and an exciting election has never wavered.

That Oklahoma Connection

Have mentioned in prior posts my fascination with Kristin Chenoweth and how much I enjoy "Pushing Daisies," the show she's on. It airs (once the writer's strike ends) on ABC. Then after watching several episodes, I discovered that one of the characters is Ellen Greene. She's another fave, but somehow I did not initially recognize her on this show.

In a recent "Parade" magazine that arrives in my Sunday paper, Lee Pace was the week's featured celebrity. He's the "leading man" on "Daisies." Here's a link to his story (with some bonus pics) on Parade's site. Reading it, I discovered that this 28-year-old actor was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma. "No way!" I said to myself.

Chickasha (pronounced chick-u-shay) is fairly small. Not too far from Oklahoma City. There is a small college there. And I guess a hospital that delivers babies. Lee's bio indicates his family moved all over the world. His dad was an oilman. I bet he likely ended up actually spending very little time there. Regardless, he's an Okie!

By the way, I was born in Texas. But my heart makes me an Oklahoman.

Still no Oklahoma quarter. I know they are out there. Circulating. Exchanging hands. Dropping into vending machines. Buying sodas, newspapers, candy bars, gum, time in a parking meter, among many other things. One's headed my direction. I'm certain of it.

Jinxed Again

Penn State upset Michigan State on Saturday. I go off and make my picks and two of them lose within days. Will the other two lose soon? Memphis keeps winning, though. I bet I'll end up regretting my picks.

Meanwhile, I'll try it again and say I think the Giants will win by 10 points.

Random Thoughts On Feb. 1, 2008

With my pick the other day, I may have jinxed KU. Wednesday night they lost at K-State. First loss to KSU in 20-some years. The K-State fans were pumped that "The Streak" had ended. "Being there" at a moment like that, whatever it might be, always is thrilling!

Maybe this win is a sign of the tide changing. Watch. Maybe the state of Kansas will vote for a Democrat for U.S. President. The state hasn't done so since 1964.

Snowed in Kansas City on Tuesday. It was supposed to again Thursday, but it hit just to our west. We've been snow-covered it seems for quite awhile. I'm still enjoying it, but will welcome Spring. The groundhog takes a peek Saturday.

There was a link on YouTube to David Cook's audition going around at work. Just go to YouTube and search "David Cook American Idol audition" to see it. He's a rocker type. Seems like a nice guy. I remind you, he grew up in the Kansas City area but now lives in Oklahoma. Can't go wrong with that combination! :) Oh. Also go to Google and search "American Idol Top 24." The word that he's in the top 24 is all over the Internet.

President Bush arrived in Kansas City Thursday night. On Friday he is touring Hallmark (headquartered here) and giving a speech on the economy. Later in the day he is attending an event for my U.S. representative, Sam Graves. I'd love to be there, but 1) it's like $5,000 a plate, and 2) I'm not invited.

The Hall family from Hallmark are staunch Republicans. So, I'm not shocked he's going there. Especially two weeks before a card-sending holiday.

Over my years in KC I've had an opportunity to meet Don Hall, Sr., and his wife Adele. I've even had dinner (not at $5,000) in their home. They are two of the neatest, kindest, coolest people. The two have done more than any other Kansas Citians to impact and influence, not just by donations, of our local United Way, children's hospital and other charitable programs. Not to mention the economy of our area with Hallmark and other ventures.

The company is led now by their son. Funny, not too long ago I was at my favorite Mexican-food place in KC, Margaritas, and I saw Don, Jr. having dinner with his son.