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Posts Tagged ‘Nevada’

We all have our favorite things, moments that mean something to us, activities that relax us, toys that give us great pleasure. Here are five of mine.

Showers. I am not talking about rain showers, although I enjoy a walk in the rain on a hot and humid day. I’m talking about standing under a shower as soon as I get out of bed with the water at full blast and the temperature set to my liking. This will usually mean a steaming hot flow on a cold day and a cold stream when the temp is 105. I love to stand with the flow hitting my head and shoulders with the force of a fire hose until I finally sense that I have other work waiting. But even then, I don’t want to step out of the shower and break the spell. A good shower is magical.

Maps. I love to read maps. I don’t care what kind of map it is or what language the map is in. I delight in comparing place names in a foreign language with their English equivalent. Everywhere I travel, I make sure to bring at least one map of that place home. The more detailed the map the more I like it. I once bought a topographic atlas of Nevada with the location of ranches in it. The maps were so detailed they contained Forest Service trails and the names of tiny creeks. That’s my kind of map.

Facebook Friends. The people who have friended me and the ones I have friended have turned out to be pretty doggoned good and decent people even though the only ones I have actually met in person are relatives and a few personal friends I knew before joining Facebook. Still, it isn’t hard to get a handle on someone if you read their comments carefully over a period of time. In a very few cases, I have come to treasure my Facebook friendship just as much if not more than my friendship with someone I’ve met. For some reason that I haven’t dwelled on but which someone pointed out to me, most of my friends are women. My immediate thought was, “Well, so, yeah, tweedle dee dee, tweedle dee dum…” and I let it drop. Life is as it is. I’ve deliberately kept the number of my friends small because I have a short attention span. Others may have a thousand or more friends, but I can’t keep track of that many. I can’t even count that high. I prefer quality over quantity anyway. And that’s just what I have. A fine group of Facebook Friends that I enjoy communicating with.

Music. I couldn’t carry a tune if my life depended on it. But I love to listen to music and I have a good ear, good enough to recognize a song that I’ve heard only once. In this respect, genetics has been unkind. My mother and all of her siblings and all of her brother’s kids can sing and play guitars like pros. Even my wife could play a harmonica. So, here I am surrounded by musicians and all I can do is croak like a frog when someone suggests a sing-a-long. On the other hand, I can catch a beat as fast as a frog’s tongue can snap a bug in midair, and then I can dance to that beat, not real, programmed steps but moves I make up as I go along. People think I’m good but I’m faking it like a lot of things in life. I have a large collection of music on all kinds of recording media, ranging from 78 rpms to vinyls to tapes to cds and maybe something I’ve missed. Play me some music and I’ll start moving.

Blogging. I started blogging five years ago with a blog I called SF Bay Area. At first, it was mostly about politics but over time I began to write about anything that came to mind. So far, I’ve posted close to 800 articles. Oddly, I’m still getting hits on several posts from 2007. I also have a blog on Open Salon to which I haven’t devoted as much attention to as I have to SF Bay Area. But it’s still active and occasionally I post something just to keep it alive. Blogging is another way to meet people with interests similar to mine and I’ve met some fantastic people, folks with eclectic interests and fabulous writing skills. I am not a writer by trade but I didn’t let that prevent me from creating a couple of blogs. I would encourage anyone to become a blogger who wants to express their interests in an informal community and at the same time reach a wide audience. Lots of people read blogs. One caution, however. Anonymous readers often called trolls may call you all sorts of names. Ignore them. “By your words shall ye be known.” Hmmm. That sounds like an interesting topic for a blog post.

Now it’s your turn. Okay, what are five little things that mean a lot to you? I would certainly be interested in knowing about your life’s little pleasures.  I’m sure others would be as well.  After all, Americans are born nosy.

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I had just spent four days and nights in the Grand Sierra resort hotel in Reno, interspersing gambling and eating with day trips to exciting outposts like Tahoe, Lovelock, Winnemucca, and Paradise Valley. I’d been away since Mother’s Day and now it was time to return home. I planned to leave Reno around 6:30 p.m., arrive in Oakland about 45 minutes later, spend the night at the Oakland Airport Holiday Inn, and get up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the final leg of my journey via Hawaiian Airlines. My plan was perfect. Its execution left much to be desired. The best laid plans of mice and men…

The first warning sign appeared on arrival at Oakland when I attempted to contact Holiday Inn via the terminal courtesy phones. I tried each of the three phones several times but received only busy signals. I finally decided to take a chance that the shuttle would eventually make its scheduled rounds and pick me up at the shuttle and taxi waiting areas outside of the terminal. Instead of catching a shuttle, I caught a case of the shivers. Others around me were wearing appropriate outerwear whereas, fresh from temperate Reno, I wore paper-thin pants and shirt. I stood in the cold until I could take it no longer before I decided to hop a cab. The driver was a nice guy, but he must have pegged me as a sucker. He rolled right by Holiday Inn Express, hardly slowing until I said in an authoritative voice, “There’s Holiday Inn,” to which the driver lied, “Sorry, I couldn’t change lanes in time.”

He circled around while the meter ticked merrily along, finally dropping me at the entryway where he preemptively lied through his teeth again, “I don’t have any change.”  I’ve encountered drivers like this in Washington, D.C. An ordinary passenger may well take a complete tour of the District before reaching his or her hotel a short distance from Reagan National. Apparently, these guys can distinguish a rube from a Senator by smell or something.  Equally apparent, taxi drivers must have a nationwide network because my Oakland guy was a carbon copy of my D.C. guy, polite but shifty. I finally tossed the guy a $$ bill and said something like, “Burn in hell, Ratso,” quickly hopping out of the cab and running toward the Inn’s doors with two bags in hand. I am uncertain about this, but I would swear a polite voice wafted after me, a voice roughly translatable as “Screw you, Jack.”

Inside the hotel, I announced my reservation to everyone in earshot only to be told that Holiday Inn had no record of said reservation. But, the clerk announced, “I can make one for you.” Panicky now, I agreed to the “best available rate,” which, needless to say, was higher than the rate quoted when I made my reservation on line several days ago. Later, I learned that there are two Holiday Inns at the Oakland Airport, Holiday Inn Express and Holiday Inn and Suites. The Oakland International Airport is no longer a sleepy little dirt runway across the bay, the one with customer-assisted rubber band windup airplanes. Today, it’s the Oakland International Airport, replete with nearby accommodations and fast taxis as well as a FedEx hub. At any rate, I finally reached my room, set my clock for a four a.m. wake-up, and hit the sheets.

The following morning, I woke, completed the obligatory civilized toilet and left the hotel on the shuttle at fifteen minutes before 5 a.m. The trip was short, a couple of minutes at most. And little ole Oakland International was already packed to the gills with crowds of people heading God knows where. I suddenly realized the significance of the herds. It was Get Away Friday. Threading my way through the lines of checker inners, I noted that the Hawaiian Airlines check-in counter wasn’t where I expected it to be, on the main floor with all of the other airlines. Instead, Hawaiian was, to quote a TSA guy walking by me, “Past all of the counters. Turn right. Go up a ramp. Hawaiian is at the top of the ramp.”

Well, he got it right for the most part. At the Oakland Airport, Hawaii apparently hasn’t yet achieved statehood. So much for Hawaii 50. Hawaiian Airlines was in the International Flights section, a turn to the left at the top of the ramp and a sort of slight angled curve to the left beside the security check point. I noticed a single agent and walked over to her. She reminded me of the taxi driver when she preemptively said, “We don’t open until 6 a.m.” Okay, so here I am at five minutes after five thinking I’ll be the first in line only to learn that, sure, I can be Number One if I want to stand in the same spot for 55 minutes. I opted for a seat nearby and bided my time reminiscing.

We had driven 2,000 miles from Port Arthur, Texas, to Reno, with overnight stops in Amarillo and Las Vegas. We also stopped along the way to stretch our legs and empty our bladders and put away some victuals. By far the best meal we had was in a casino restaurant in Indian Springs, Nevada. This is open range country where cows wander among the sagebrush until gathered, branded, and sent to feed lots. We didn’t see a single cow the entire length of Nevada, but several cowboys were having an early Sunday morning breakfast in Indian Springs. These cowboys weren’t the Wrangler-butted, slim-waisted, broad-shouldered stereotypes in romance novels. Cowboys like these may exist but the ones we spotted were rather paunchy and leathery looking. Despite their ordinariness, a couple of them had good looking girls hanging on to them. Go figure.

But in the Grand Sierra Resort Hotel where we stayed in Reno, we actually saw many cowboys suitable for the cover of romance novels. The Reno rodeo was underway when we arrived. This is one of the top rodeos in the nation, with cowboys from all over the country and many from Canada, Mexico, and South America. There were no paunches among these lanky examples of Western horsemanship. They were, without exception, tall, slim, and muscled. They were the bull riders, the bareback riders, the calf ropers, and the bulldoggers. And they walked through the casino and the hotel dining spots with beautiful women on their arms. And I don’t mean just good looking. These were beautiful women, tall and perfectly proportioned. Where did these hunks and hunkettes come from? Go figure.

We also took a couple of day trips. The first was a drive South through Carson City and Minden and up a sheer cliff called the Kingsbury Grade to Tahoe. From there, we drove U.S. 50 back to Carson City where we turned North on U.S. 395 to Reno. A couple of things impressed me on this trip. The scenery is spectacular. The snow-capped Sierras served as a backdrop to the Carson Valley, Western Nevada’s premier farming and ranching area. Minden, a beautiful town of about 3,000 people and the county seat of Douglas County, has become a preferred retirement location for Californians, sometimes derisively referred to as “Calis” among Nevadans because their numbers have driven up the price of real estate.

Tahoe was at one and the same time a beautiful location that evoked a mixture of awe and disappointment. The area has been over developed, bringing with its condos and homes and crappy looking malls, traffic woes second to no other scenic visiting spot. Oddly, or not as you choose to look at the situation, most of the license plates on cars speeding like bats out of hell when an opportunity presented itself were from California. My nephew, a one-time house electrician for one of the big casinos, once told me that he moved to Tahoe to get away from the traffic, pollution, and crime of the Bay Area only to find them almost as bad around Tahoe. Besides, he said, the temptations were great. There were enough ready, willing, and able good looking girls hanging around the casinos on any given night to tempt John the Baptist.

Our second daytrip was a straight run East across the Nevada desert to Lovelock and Winnemucca. From Winnemucca, we took a short drive North on U.S. 95 until we reached Nevada 290, which led us to Paradise Valley, a small ranching community often described as a “ghost town.” We had our reasons for visiting each of these. My mother lived in Lovelock when she was young and I just wanted to see the town. From what I could tell, it probably hadn’t changed much since she lived in it, with the exception of a gas station, a MacDonald’s, and a convenience store at the off ramp to I-40. Before we left for Winnemucca, we drove out of town on a dirt road where we saw about four cows and a lizard sunning itself on a fence post.

My curiosity satisfied, we headed for Winnemucca. I had two reasons for checking out this town. My mother often talked about it, probably because she frequently passed through on her way to and from the Bay Area and Salt Lake City, a garden spot she also lived in briefly. But closer to my heart, I once slept in the back seat of a car parked on a side street across from a casino and restaurant in Winnemucca. It happened this way. Three of us decided to drive from San Rafael to Boise, Idaho, for an Air Force Reserve summer camp. Our route took us through Tahoe and Reno. In Reno, we decided to try our luck at Harold’s Club. Mine was bad, and I soon dropped my whole bankroll at a blackjack table. By then, it was late and we decided to move on. Winnemucca was about four hours away but we eventually made it and decided to nap and have breakfast before continuing to Boise. U.S. 95 North would take us through Southeastern Oregon and into Idaho. As we drove into Winnemucca, I could tell that the town hadn’t changed much with the exception of a plethora of fast food outlets that didn’t exist when we first drove through.

As for Paradise Valley, I had no particular reason for visiting it except to say that I’d read about it, and at one time, it was on my short list of retirement spots. But I crossed it off because I wasn’t equipped for its distance from the accouterments of civilization, things like McDonald’s and such. Nevertheless, I impulsively decided to take a look at it. The drive was a short 20 miles off of U.S. 95 on Nevada 290 through a surprisingly green landscape. The town itself was a beautifully bucolic setting surrounded by ranches and fields of alfalfa that virtually touched the cottonwood shaded streets. In the short time we were in town, we spotted only a couple of people and several obviously aged abandoned buildings, leftovers from the town’s booming mining heyday. Our short sojourn off the beaten path was well worthwhile.

Segueing back to the present, the Hawaiian Air terminal finally opened for business. Checking in was quick and easy, and before I knew what was happening, I was winging across the Pacific under the watchful eyes of some of the most accommodating cabin crew members you could imagine. The flight to Honolulu was smooth, the skies were blue, and the in-flight movies were first class. Still, I missed traveling on the Mainland and before we landed, I had begun to plot out my next trip.

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This is one of those zany Marx Brothers’ films that defy description. The story has something to do with winning a football game, but you’d be hard-pressed to follow the plot through the maze of non-stop jokes and gags the Marx Brothers are noted for. Some of the adjectives reviewers have used to summarize the movie include “wackiest, corniest, dumbest, most outrageous, and craziest.”

Now, 78 years later, we have Chicken Feathers, a living human comedy playing out in the State of Nevada. Democratic Senator Harry Reid’s opponent in the 2010 midterm election, Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden, has proposed a barter system individuals can use to pay their medical bills.

In Ms Lowden’s plan, a patient could offer to paint a doctor’s house or tender a chicken, plucked and cooked I imagine, in return, say, for a Botox treatment or an erectile dysfunction consultation. The universe of barter is virtually unlimited.

Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), the Democrats have leaped on this with a vengeance, opening a website called Chickens for Checkups, satirizing Ms Lowden’s suggestion.

But when you stop to think about it, her proposal makes sense, at least in a rural state like Nevada. Most of the state’s population is concentrated in two areas, Las Vegas and Reno. The balance is scattered over about 110,567 square miles in which the primary means of earning a living is mining, ranching, or farming.

Salaries and wages in rural counties aren’t the highest in the state, and given the vagaries of farming and ranching, cash is often hard to come by until the crops are harvested or the cows gathered. Rendering payment in the form of a steer, a chicken, a snowflake of hay, or a gold nugget thus makes perfect sense.

However, in the metropolitan areas, the barter system may be less desirable. Patients forced to seek treatment in a major hospital may be too embarrassed to drive a truck load of clucking chickens the length of Las Vegas Boulevard.

That doesn’t mean all occupations in Vegas or Reno aren’t candidates for the barter system. Call girls have a desirable commodity to offer straight male MD’s. And crooked blackjack dealers can easily dole out a series of Blackjacks to the physician across the table.

And how about comp tickets to top dinner shows followed by five scorpion bowls for each table. True, these aren’t chickens, but physicians are just like ordinary people. Some like chickens, others prefer horse feathers

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According to Joe the Talking Head Who Smokes Cigars and Sweats Profusely, here is absolute proof that Obama is a failed President.

  1. Tiger Woods isn’t going to take questions at his public appearance tomorrow.
  2. Heidi Montag is going to bare it all for Playboy.
  3. A Utah state senator proposes to eliminate the 12th grade in Utah schools.
  4. Tim Urban replaces Chris Golightly in American Idol’s Top 24.
  5. God told Moses, “Do not lust in your heart for Hollywood bimbos, either.”
  6. A plague of grasshoppers is expected to descend on Northern Nevada this year.
  7. Joe stepped on a crack and nothing happened.
  8. The alien body in Area 51 is the real Barack Obama.
  9. Joe thinks, but he isn’t certain, Gavin Newsom (will) (will not) (who cares) run for Lieutenant Governor of San Francisco.
  10. Dick Cheney supports waterboarding.

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Around this time of the year, I begin to think about the blogs that I read regularly and boil them down to a select group that I call My 10 Favorite Blogs. Except this year, try as hard as I could, I’ve only been able to come up with My 5 Favorite Blogs. How come? When I began blogging  a couple of years ago, the blogosphere was overloaded with blogs, and for some reason, I seemed to like all of them, or many of them anyway. Everything was so new. What a relief from the sterile reporting and analysis of the mainstream media. Picking my favorite ten was easy then. Almost everything I read was at the top of my daily reading list. As a last resort, when the time rolled around for my Top 10 list, I arranged them alphabetically and lopped off all of those below the first ten. Mechanical but functional.

This year my selection process isn’t going along as smoothly as it used to. I’m puzzled. Has the number of blogs decreased? I don’t think so. In the Bay area alone, there must be several hundred, maybe a thousand. If you don’t believe me, check out CBS5’s Eye on Blogs, the brainchild of Britney Gilbert. She’s compiled a list of Bay Area Blogs complete with links to each of them. Quite an accomplishment.

What about quality? In my judgment, the blogs I check regularly are well-written, topical, and timely. So, there must be another variable to explain my difficulty in selecting ten blogs that I like above all others.

After thinking about it for a minute or two, I’ve concluded that the problem is me. Over time, my interests have shifted. For one thing, I’m not into politics the way I used to be. Maybe I need another election or a scandal to pump me up. Nah. Scandals are so commonplace these days, they’re kind of like clouds of gnats circling around my ears.

I think my declining interest in politics began when I started blogging on Open Salon. The variety of topics and styles of writing that I encountered there led me to think about wider more varied fields of interest as topics for my own blog.

And that’s how it stands at the moment. I have found writers and bloggers beyond my original boundaries. And from my newly-found peers, I’ve compiled my list of a very few favorites, writers who rise above the crowd. Here they are.

·       The Ax Files heads my list this year. I stumbled across the author a long time ago and was struck by her originality. Her name is Alexandra Jones, and she has a captivating way with words combined with a facility in observation and interpretation that can lead you to think you are there with her if you let your imagination go. You won’t be disappointed if you check out her essays.

·       The Renaissance Lady is a prolific author and the repository of a volume of information equal to that in many libraries. I became aware of her blog on Open Saloon and quickly added her to my Favorites list. Her interests are eclectic, ranging from politics to a casita inhabited by spirits in New Mexico.  She writes fascinating material with originality and passion.

·       The Fog City Journal is an online newspaper rather than a blog, but if it were a blog, it would rate with the best. Publisher Luke Thomas is a world class photographer who captures a variety of activities in San Francisco that he uses to good effect throughout the publication. Add to that a stable of top writers and analysts and you have an A-One site.

·       CBS5 Eye on Blogs isn’t, strictly speaking, a blog but a compendium of Bay Area blogs with commentaries by the site’s mastermind, Britney Gilbert. She’s a product of Tennessee where she operated a similar site for a television station in Nashville. Luckily, her talents caught the eye of someone at CBS5 and now she applies her talents to Baghdad by the Bay, as Herb Caen called it. Good for Ess Fff.

·       Jeannie Watt’s Blog on eHarlequin is my latest favorite. Jeannie is a writer of romance novels set in the modern West, primarily Nevada. A product of Nevada’s Cowboy Country, she writes about cowboys most of the time, but she has touched on the ordinary people of small town Nevada in a few of her novels with marked success. I am including Jeannie Watt in my list for a special reason. I have never been a reader of romance stories. I stumbled across one of her books in the bottom row of a book rack in a supermarket one day, thinking it was a story about cowboys. And it was. But it also was woven around a hot romance between a cowpoke and a teacher, which made for a charming story. Jeannie’s descriptions of ranch and cowboy life were so realistic that I became enthralled with her writings. In her blog, she talks about her own life in a small ranching community as well as about the business of writing. She has many fascinating things to say and that’s why she’s the only writer of romances whose works I read.

Okay, that’s my truncated list of favorite blogs for this year. I’m publishing the list well before the New Year because I’ll be on an extended vacation shortly and won’t return until sometime in 2010.  I’ll undoubtedly be enjoying my family more than I enjoy blogging.

But, I’ll be back.

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Last year, I created my first brown-nosing list of my favorite bloggers. Well, it worked like a charm. A whole bunch of famous people wrote back with kudos galore. They were just being polite, of course, but insincere compliments are better than no compliments at all. Right? Right.

I still love the bloggers on last year’s list, but this year I’ve found a few new ones that enthrall me. In no particular order of preference, here they are.

Sin mordasas is a politically-oriented site in Spanish. The author is Ivonne Acosta Lespier, a noted Puerto Rican author and radio personality. A Facebook Friend recommended the site to me and I found it to be entertaining and informative with a political outlook roughly akin to mine. That the site is in Spanish may not appeal to all, but in my case, I overcame my linguistic shortcomings to some degree by using Google’s Translate tool. Yes, subtle meanings are often lost in translation, but it is nevertheless possible to understand a little bit about the politics of Puerto Rico, which is better than none.

The title Boricua en la Luna may be misleading since the site is in English. The author is a daughter of Ivonne Lespier. A professor of English at a university in Ohio, the author’s writings represent a wonderful look at the feelings and experiences of someone from Puerto Rico living in the middle of the U.S. Heartland. But more, she illustrates her writings with fantastic pictures of rural Ohio taken by her and her husband on their regular motorcycle jaunts. Spectacular!

On a lighter side, bordering on a part of me people rarely see, I stumbled across a site titled Love is an Exploding Cigar. This is a site that consists of comments by a group of seven authors of romance novels (I warned you about my quirk). The main thing that struck me about these women is the very ordinary, everyday, mundane (redundant?) lives they lead. Most of them have full time jobs and write when they have time. Yet, they produce a steady output of top-selling romantic fiction. I ran across this site after I read a novel by Jeannie Watt, one of Cigar’s authors, who, so far, has specialized in modern Western romances set primarily in Nevada’s Cowboy Country, a vast tract of emptiness populated mostly by cows, where Jeannie lives.

The Ax Files, authored by Alexandra Jones, is on the SF Bulldog site as well as on Open Salon. She is a captivating wordsmith already well known in the Bay Area who is now spreading her wings to a national audience with her recent, well-received debut on Open Salon. Check her out. I am sure you will like her. Lately, she has been chronicling her travels and has expressed a wish to travel more and record her impressions. At last word, she was on an Amtrak train out of Chicago bound for SF.

Give Peace a Chance is a site authored by Roseann Allen Mathews of Little Rock. She has a kidney ailment and is searching for a kidney donor. Several potential donors are being tested now, and it’s my fervent wish that the quality of her life improves measurably. On her site, she shares her experiences and her views on a variety of matters, including politics. When I found this site, I thought it amazing that anyone with a liberal political outlook lived in Arkansas. Happily, I was badly mistaken. The state isn’t quite as far to the right as I imagined.

In the first paragraph, I mentioned my last year’s list and included a link to it. All of the sites I mentioned are still on my preferred reading list. But a few need updating.

Sweet Melissa was a relative newcomer a year or so ago. Now, she’s at the pinnacle of political blogging in the Bay Area. She still maintains her Sweet Melissa site, but she is now syndicated in the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. But wait. There’s more. She participates regularly on talk radio programs and appears on television. She will go further one of these days.

Last year, I predicted that Beth Spotswood would someday become The World’s Most Famous Softhearted Blogger-Philosopher. I’m sticking with my prediction and expanding it. She will become The World’s Most Courageous Softhearted Blogger-Philosopher. Read her I’ll Flip You. Flip You for Real for her own personal account of her recent life. I am sure you will agree with me that she is a courageous woman indeed.

SF Willie is an outstanding philosopher-blogger whose insightful writings have remained at the highest level over the past year. I fully expect a continuation of his excellence. One thing to be careful about if you read SF Willie, he has more facts stored upstairs than an encyclopedia. Challenge him on a fact, and you will have dealt yourself a losing hand. Fold ’em before you watch all of your chips disappear.

The Fog City Journal remains my news outlet of choice for the in-depth analysis of political issues. Fog has a stable of outstanding writer and contributors, and their stories and analyses are often illustrated by the world-class photography of honcho Luke Thomas. One of the Fog’s top journalists is Elaine Santore, who writes the Crackberry Chronicles, a regular column about goings on among San Francisco’s political elite and City Hall denizens. She also authors occasional special features, and I would hope to see more of the latter in the coming year.

The CBS 5 Eye on Blogs site may technically be described as a blog accumulator rather than a blog. But a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. This is the go-to site for as complete a list of Bay Area blogs as you will find this side of Quadrant Four in the Galaxy M-40. But better yet, the site’s creator, Britney Gilbert, a transplanted Tennessean, selects the best of the comments from her list of indexed bloggers each day and summarizes them in her own captivating style. A serious blogger should check this site at least once a day.

Okay, I am exhausted. Time for a Diet Coke. Brown Nosing for Fame is hard work.

p.s Please let me know if one of these links doesn’t work. Attention to detail isn’t one of my strengths.

And site owners, operators, and writers, if I’ve misstated something about your site, let me know and I’ll correct it.

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Mine are few because I never seem able to keep them anyway. But just in case God is making a list of good intentions in preparation for paving the road to Hell, here are a few.

  1. This is both a look-back and a look forward vow. I am never going to read those ubiquitous summaries of the events of the past year. And if one suddenly appears before me on a television show, I’m switching immediately to The History Channel for a refresher on Sex in World War II.
  2. I will speak kindly of those around me, except politicians, Big-3 CEOs, Wall Street Bankers, Joe the Plumber, and George Brash. Oh, and put Dick Cheney on the list. However, I’m speaking kindly of Sarah Palin because she deserves a little respect even if it is pretense. Besides, she’s good looking and we all know good looking people deserve our attention.
  3. I plan to spend a lot of time talking about Jerry Brown to the exclusion of other pretenders to the California Governor’s Chair. Jerry is just plain fun to listen to. And what’s life all about if we can’t have a funny governor now and then?
  4. I am going to purge my Facebook Friends list of politicians, at least the ones who flood the Facebook News Feed with gobs of items. Oh, and henceforth, any politician who fails to respond to one of my Comments on his or her page is out automatically. I resent people who resent being called jerks. Besides, I have a hunch politicians aren’t directly involved in their Facebook pages anyway. Some low-level unpaid aide probably spends 24/7 scouring the internet for names to make it seem the politician is popular despite common knowledge to the contrary.
  5. Finally, I resolve that I might think about relocating to Nevada, to a place like Fallon or Fernley or Paradise Valley. These are tiny, isolated communities perfect for someone like me who craves the relationship between man and reptile, a man who loves the heat and numbing cold under a Western sky. Paradise Valley is especially alluring. It’s listed as a Nevada Ghost Town, but apparently somebody around there votes. The town is a Humboldt County Polling Precinct. Ghost voting isn’t unusual in the world of hardball politics, especially in That Toddlin’ Town. But I have a hunch some real live humans, along with a whole lot of cows and horses live and vote in Paradise Valley despite its classification as a ghost town.

Those are just a few of my favorite resolutions for the year 2009. This list may be changed at my option.

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