One Night with the King review

I’ve posted my review of One Night with the King. Man, I wanted this movie to be great, but it had some problems. There were some good moments though. Too bad it didn’t work as I love me a good biblical epic. Face it, everything I learned about the Bible I learned from Hollywood.

Man of the Year review

My review for Man of the Year is now up. Not a great movie, it misses more than it hits, but it still offers some laughs.

Walking the Dogs

My that was nice. Me and the dogs, with all our “wounds” went for a walk. A short one, but it was a welcome walk.  Spencer’s foot was re-bandaged at the vet, but he seems comfortable with it. My bad foot was taped. Han has a new “lift” leash that I can put on him to help lift him up the stairs. It works okay and the stairs aren’t as scary anymore, though Rena, one of the downstairs dogs, tried to nip at my dogs by jumping up through the staircase. She jumps high and can force herself above the chicken wire. We managed to get past her.

Now it’s nap time. Spencer and Han are stretched out comfortably ready to fall asleep while I ice my foot. Ah, this is what a vacation day is supposed to be like (well, except for icing your foot).

Vet Visits and Debit Cards

Well, that was a nice little vacation, if you consider vet visits and a miserable dog nice. Poor Spencer. I arrive at my sister’s house in Phoenix late Friday morning and as they don’t have a doggy door it means taking Spencer, Han, and Aspen (my sister’s dog) out back. Now, me, my sister, her husband and my niece — who was out of school early due to parent-teacher conferences — were about to meet up for lunch where I planned to pick up my niece, Jamie, for a shopping excursion at the mall. I wanted to pick up my mom’s gift certificate (Easy Spirit shoes) and maybe do some jeans shopping (I’m a Lane Bryant kind of size and we don’t have one here in Flag). I was going to be a saint (a rarity for me) and help my sister with her birthday shopping.

Oh, that’s why I was in Phoenix – it was our big Quarterly Birthday Party. Though this was more of a Halfly. The birthday party is for anyone whose birthday is from August till the end of the year. We have a LOT of birthdays to celebrate; ten to be exact. So, if I could pick up a few gifts to help my sis out it would be a good thing.

I mentioned a miserable dog and vet visits, didn’t I? Before heading to lunch I took the dogs out for one last pee break. The backyard is huge, a perfect place to toss tennis balls allowing the dogs to chase them across the vast expanse of grass. Well, that’s what I did. Spencer didn’t mention that he had hurt himself by yelping or anything, but he did hurt himself, for there were bloody paw prints on the back porch as we returned to the house. I figured he had cut his paw pad. I tried to see what was going on, but nothing looked bad, other than the blood.

I had to go get Jamie, so her parents could make it to the parent-teacher conference. I left Spencer in the back hoping the bleeding would be staunched. Wishful thinking on my part as when I returned it looked very Halloweenish – blood all over the back porch and Spencer sitting by the door looking miserable. I take him to my sister’s vet (who went to school here in Flagstaff) and the diagnosis? He tore out his toenail. I don’t know how, but he did it when chasing a tennis ball.

All bandaged up, anti-bioticized, and wearing a cute e-collar (you know, those plastic cone looking things) Spencer was not a happy camper. He and I are both hoping that at his follow-up visit today at our regular vet (Canyon Pet Hospital – love these folks) will get the bandage off.

So, I did manage to get to the mall with Jamie on Saturday, but only picked up the Easy Spirit gift certificate and didn’t buy anything else, because I lost my debit card, which really throws off your spending plans on a weekend. It was where I thought it would be – at the sales stand at Easy Spirit, but the new sales clerk didn’t find it when Jamie and I returned there to ask about it. Oh no, she found it about an hour later after I had already called the bank and reported it missing. I’m now waiting for my new card to show up in five to seven business days. Grumble, grumble.

Well, that was my happy tale. I do hope everyone else had a good weekend.

Vacation day lazies

I do love me a vacation day. Taking time off of work can be a beautiful thing. I don’t return to work until next Tuesday — ah, luxury!

Of course, there are a few things I have to do today:

  • Laundry
  • Make a dessert for tonight’s potluck
  •  Buy about ten birthday presents for Saturday’s family gathering
  • Vote
  • Homework (always on my list)
  • Get rid of all of my old LP albums – it’s time to say goodbye to them (sniff, sniff – it was such a good relationship, but they don’t make me happy anymore)
  • Groom the dogs
  • A little housecleaning

So, why am I still lounging in bed? Yeah, it’s time to get up.

A Knowledgeable Electorate?

Two things got me thinking about how unaware many voters are about issues and candidates. In my reply to azmutt’s comment about hated political ads, I wrote about a robo-call from Renzi that blasts Ellen Simon:

Still, the robo-call could convince you she’s a wacko if you weren’t one who read beyond the headline on the front page of the newspaper or only watched the local news and a Larry King episode here and there. There are a lot of people who don’t pay attention. It’s these ads that are often the ONLY information people get about the candidates! Sigh. It’s frustrating.

At lunch today one of our student workers, a bright young woman, declared she wasn’t going to vote as she didn’t know “enough” about the propositions and candidates. When some of us explained that she can go in and vote for just one item that she does know something about and leave all the other stuff on the ballot blank she was surprised. “You can? I thought you had to vote for everything.”

People don’t understand voting.

How many people don’t know that if you ask for a mail-in ballot and at the last minute decide to go to their polling place on election day that you’ll get a provisional ballot and not a regular ballot? Instead, they can bring in their mail-in ballot to the polling place and hand it over.

How many people are aware about the ID requirement in Arizona and that if they don’t bring valid IDs (here’s a list of what is valid) they can’t vote? Short-sighted people assume that everyone has a valid driver’s license, but as someone who, in the past, helped identify folks who needed rides to the polls, I can tell you that there are some elderly citizens who do not have a license. If they don’t hear about other forms of ID then they’ll show up and be turned away.

How many people don’t know about early voting? They may be out of town on election day and want to vote, but don’t want to risk requesting a mail-in ballot as it may not arrive in town. They can go in early and vote. In fact, I’m heading down to the election office tomorrow to vote.

Another issue about voters: it’s not just a lack of knowledge about voting, but about the candidates. Sure, there are plenty of races that I don’t know about, but there are folks who don’t know anything.

I was phone-banking last week and I was calling folks in small towns in CD-1 asking them to vote for Ellen Simon, the Democratic candidate for CD-1. A simple question, “Have you heard about Ellen Simon, the candidate for representative of your district?” People answered no! Have they not seen all the mailers, heard all the robo-calls, even seen a sign along the road? It drove me crazy. Of course, when I then read a short paragraph about Simon’s career I’d ask again if we could count on their vote on November 7th. Some said, “Sure!”

Aaaaaaagh!!!

I want them to vote for Simon, but listening to me read a few sentences convinces them to vote my way? So, when someone on the Republican side calls and does the same thing will they then decide to vote for Renzi? Don’t they want to ask me some questions about her? Don’t they want to get more information in the mail? Actually, one person did ask for more information and I was thrilled. My personal contact sets the stage and the information can seal the deal. Or someone who does know about the race telling me they are leaning my way – I love that. It’s folks who are clueless, but so persuadable.

All right, this is going on too long, but if you are feeling uncomfortable about your lack of knowledge, don’t let my raging stop you from voting. Remember, you can vote for just one thing. Maybe it’s the governor’s race, or a local school bond, or maybe a proposition that you care about. Please do it! As a citizen of this nation it’s our only responsibility for being in a democracy – getting out and voting.

Here are some helpful links about candidates and the propositions:

There are tons of resources out there. Take advantage of them. I’ll just put a plug in for some of the many candidates:

  • Mark Manoil for Corporation Commission – he’s an Arizona boy who is smart, passionate, and dedicated.
  • Jim Pederson for U.S. Senate – his opponent, Jon Kyl, has been part of the problem with Congress giving President Bush everything he wants, allowing for such mass incompetence in the running of the Iraq occupation.
  • Gov. Janet Napolitano for governor – a no-brainer.
  • Ellen Simon for CD-1 – Rick Renzi is part of the corruption that has overtaken Washington.
  • Jo Kelleher for LD-1 – if I still lived in Kachina Village I’d be thrilled to vote for her. I’ve worked with Jo when she was only a part-time instructor. She cared about her students more than her own convenience. I respect that.
  • Ann Kirkpatrick for LD-2   – she’s currently our representative in the Arizona legislature. I’d like to keep it that way.

Heavenly Music

Music is heaven, you know that? Today I heard it in action.

I am the proud owner of an older pick up truck (Yay, Nissan!). It’s been a faithful vehicle, but what has failed recently, besides aging brakes replaced for $450, is my car stereo. It wasn’t the factory-installed system, but a decent CD player with radio. Well, it was once decent.
When I discovered the joys of iTunes and the ability to rip, mix, and burn new CDs I was in music heaven. I can listen to Doris Day and then an Aerosmith song? Prince can play and then an opera aria? Man, is that heaven!

Of course, your CD player has to play those CDs. A few years ago my CD player in the truck every once in a while started skipping over CDs and then getting picky about the CDs I put in. Sometimes I’d have to forward to song number 2 or 3 or 7 or 10 before it played and I learned to burn a sacrificial song as number 1 (it would end up as number 7 on another CD). Some CDs wouldn’t play at all. I’d switch to the FM radio when it got too persnickety. Meanwhile, if a CD managed to play at all in the player I’d keep it there for weeks at a time. Sometimes I could only hear a few songs before it would spit out with an error message. Sometimes I couldn’t get it to play at all. The frustration was when it would be playing fine and then I’d drive over a bump and, oops, no more listening to the CD. Remember when I could listen to the radio when I had to? Well, the FM radio went kerblooey after one nasty thunderstorm.

Today I sprang for a new CD player for my truck. Oh my, I’m in heaven. The CD plays! It doesn’t skip! I can listen to the first song on the CD! Ella Fitzgerald burst forth singing “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” With my new remote control I could listen to song 2: Sam Cook’s “Another Saturday Night,” then it was “Burning Down the House” by Talking Heads. I drove down Lonetree where all the road construction is – no skipping.

Yee haw! I’m telling you, it’s heaven, ‘cause I’m in the clouds at the thought of all the new CD mixes I can burn for my upcoming trip to Phoenix.