The official blog of Susan Landis-Steward, writer of whatever she likes, and co-founder of Puddletown Publishing Group

Archive for August, 2008

Question of the Week

Where does the Mannheim Steamroller go between Christmases?

-Courtesy of my friend Linda

Running Mates

Uh-oh. I’m gonna get political here. You’ve been warned.

I strongly believe that a candidate’s first presidential decision is his or her running mate. Remember Dan Quayle? When Mondale chose Ferraro without vetting her properly first, I knew he was in trouble. Leader of the free world fails to do his homework. When Cheney chose Bush, I knew WE were in trouble. Puppet leader of the free world chooses puppet dumber than Charley McCarthy. So this is an important choice, folks.

Obama’s choice was brilliant. Biden is a known contender with some flaws but, those flaws are already known. Gonna dredge them up? Try the New York Times for the past 20+ year. Public knowledge. And Obama knew to play to his vulnerabilities. Youth and inexperience chose age, wisdom, and, above all, knowledge to complement his weaknesses. Always a smart move in a leader. Don’t know much about something, hire someone who knows a boatload about it.  And it doesn’t hurt that Biden’s son is stepping up to the plate and heading off to Iraq to serve in the Judge Advocate General’s office. Since so few of our leaders have children in the military, choosing one who does is wise at this juncture. The military, historically the tool of the  Republican-party-at-war, is poised to switch. Last I heard, from a military wife, was that eighty percent of the soldiers think this war needs to end. Now.

McCain, on the other hand, chose Sarah Pulin, a virtual unknown outside of Alaska. Her experience, while laudable in her rise from mom to governor of a sparsely populated state, is limited on the national scene and non-existent on the foreign scene.  Yes, she’s a woman. But she is no Hillary Clinton. She is deeply religious, which is okay. So am I. She is anti-abortion and chose not to abort a Down’s Syndrome child. I would have made the same choice but not for the same reason. I support abortion as a choice that should be available to women. I, personally, don’t know that I could have one.

McCain’s choice appears to be two things. First, an attempt to appeal to the disaffected Clinton supporters who want a woman in the White House. I want a woman in the White House. But not badly enough to vote for a team consisting of an old man and a woman who is clearly NOT ready to leave. Old people die. McCain is already in his 70s. Remember Reagan? Remember the advance of Alzheimers while he was in office? Do we need that again?  And, if he can no longer lead, do we need a woman of limited experience suddenly taking over? If he wanted a woman, he would have done better to chose Condi Rice. I detest her but she is smart and experienced. And she is an expert on Russia, a giant, armed creature we have recently been poking with a stick.

Second, McCain’s choice may be based on arrogance. Why, he thinks, do I need an experienced vice president when I am invincible and can do it all myself.  We already have that president. Look where that got us.

Sarah Pulin may be a perfectly nice woman, and her husband has served in Iraq. But raising five children and running a small state (yes, Alaska is a very small state by population) do not qualify you to be President of the United States.  If that were the case, I’d pop out a couple more, take over Oregon, and be President myself. Now, is that a scary thought?

A note to Hillary fans: If you think it is more important to have a woman in the White House than to end the war, repair the economy, educate our children, provide health care for all (you, too, will retire some day and Medicare is no picnic), and restore some modicum of respect for America in the world, then vote for McCain. If you think it would be better to wait another round or two until the next Hillary Clinton comes around, vote for Obama. Don’t be blinded by genitalia. Look at credentials.

Hillary Clinton is a star on the political horizon and there are plenty more where she came from. But Sarah Pulin is not one of them.

McCain’s choice is a risk. He thinks disgruntled Hillary fans will flock to his team because he chose a woman. I think Clinton’s fans are, for the most part, smarter than that. Don’t be sucked in by her gender folks, Sarah Pulin is not ready to lead this country, especially as we are busy pissing off the rest of the world.

Oh, one more thing about her. She supports drilling in Alaska. Not because she thinks it’s best for the rest of the country. Nope, she just wants to give Alaskans more juicy bonus checks. Already playing to the special interest groups.

Rant off.

Late Night Thinking

The hour or so before bed, when I should actually be sleeping, is the time I do most of my emotional thinking. Not profound thoughts, not witty thoughts, not intellectual thoughts,  just letting my emotions have full rein. I think about old grudges, new hurts, why I find it hard to say things I should say, whether I should take full revenge or forgive. That sort of stuff. Don’t know why it always comes up just before bed. Maybe it’s brain chemistry. Maybe it’s the “thinness of the veil”. Maybe it’s just the dark.
When do you do that sort of thinking?

Where HAVE I been?

Not at my desk. Which is frightening because I have A LOT of work to do. But the Divine Miss M aka Maggie has been keeping me busy. College doesn’t start until late September but she’s off for a month in Kansas with her older sister and she HAD to get her new computer and iPod before she leaves. So Monday, I dropped a large amount of money and a full day buying her a new MacBook.

Yesterday, when I COULD have worked, I spent most of the day either in bed with “fibro flu” or in the recliner knitting. This is not to say I didn’t work. I don’t have the luxury of not working at all because I have two substantial projects on my desk, both in the early stages, both due a week from today. So I work most of the time I’m not with the kid or sleeping. I even eat most of my meals at my desk.

It’s raining. It is, last time I checked, August 20th. This is a day I should be complaining about high temps and moving all the fans in the house into my office. Instead, it’s raining. And rain means fibro pain and general irritability on my part. So be glad you have some distance between us because right now I am not a fun person.

More later. Got to get some work done. Got a quota of pages to fill……30 on the theology book, 40 on the education book for a total of 70 pages. And, actually, I should try to double that because tomorrow I will be at a hospital on the other side of the city sitting with a friend whose husband is having open heart surgery. If you are the praying sort, please pray for Elizabeth, Jeff, and their daughter, Candace.

More Whining

I’m never surprized when my body does something odd. I am, after all, at that age. But when it does something odd and I’m not sure how it did it, I worry more about my mind. The most recent example. My back started to hurt after church on Sunday and I knew immediately that a rib was out of joint. No idea how it got that way. And I’ve never had a rib out of joint before so I don’t know how I knew. But I did. I called my chiropractor on Monday and they couldn’t see me until the next day. I needed to see someone THEN so I played Russian roulette with my bones and called a random chiro. She confirmed my diagnosis, and then told me a vertebra was also out. She put it all back together and I felt good. For a bit. When you do something like that, all the supporting muscles also get whacked and within a few hours I was hurting again. Although I could breath which I hadn’t been able to do while the rib was out.

Tuesday I went to see my own people and was massaged, heated, cracked, rolled, percussed, and otherwise pampered back to well-being. With the caveat that my muscles were gonna hurt and my fibro might flare. Dang caveats anyway. So, not only is it going to be hot tomorrow, we are out of diet Pepsi, have no A/C, and my back hurts. I am not pleased.

Red Flag Warning

If you go to the NOAA weather site, the red blotch you see on the map is ME. No, it’s not acne. I’m way to old for that. And it’s not heat rash. Yet. It probably will be by this time tomorrow. My first thought was “red skies at morning, sailors take warning. Red skies at night, sailors delight.” But then I read the stupid legend and it means HTH! That’s shortcut for hotter than hell. And extreme fire danger.

I’m sitting here by the creek where it’s lush and green and cool. But I know that tomorrow it will be lush and green and HTH. Yep, folks, it’s going into the high 90s/low 100s tomorrow and this time I know about it. Prepare for the whining.

Why? No A/C. One measly fan. Just tonight we talked about getting the ceiling fans we’re wired for but I think it’s a bit late. Which means tomorrow I will be sitting in my own easy-bake oven of an office, finishing up the last 80 pages of a book full of statistics (math! heat! my two least favorite things!). No trip to the river. No scootering to create my own A/C. No sitting on the shady deck with my knitting or a good book. Maybe I’ll go the grocery store and stick my head in something cool. But mostly I will be working.

Did I mention I love my work? NOT WHEN IT’S BLOODY HOT.


I love neon signs. I lust after neon signs. I want a neon sign and I want to learn how to work with neon. This is not a new thing. Jenny has heard me say this many times, especially when we drive past the neon studio on Belmont. But now there is this. The video is sort of weird, and you won’t really see the thing until you get toward the end, but be patient. It is very cool! And Jenny might actually NOTICE IT!

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

If I didn’t do the video right, go here to see what I want.

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