Wednesday, October 15, 2008

One Last Time.....

Before we begin, anyone have more info on Obama's mistress? This would be interesting timing for that little detail to unfold.

I'm already bored. Let's all go to Ireland where the business tax rate is only 11%.

McCain does look better sitting down. Obama is harder to watch after watching them impersonate him on SNL. Nice! If Obama wanted to run against Pres. Bush he should have run four years ago.

Can't do this anymore. Yek.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Are these our only choices?

Do I dare? It's only 9:09pm and Kale is just hopping out of the tub after football practice and Dane is still laying in bed chatting. If I turn on the debate now it could cause some serious frustration.

I was listening to an interesting report yesterday about Ohio's early voting results. They had anticipated that over 20,000 people would take advantage of the early voting and that it would be a good indicator of how Ohio would vote for President. Because Ohio is such an important state in the election this was coveted info. But only about 3,000 votes have come in. Is it because people truly need more time to make up their mind and these final debates will weigh heavily or is it that the two choices are so poor that people can't make themselves vote for either one? For my young kids, 9 & 7, the choice hinges on one issue. Abortion. Don't ask me how they got hung up on it. One of them came home from school asking what abortion was and they both decided then that Obama and Clinton were evil because they think it's okay to kill babies. I tried to explain that it wasn't quite that simple but is it just that simple? My own decision may come down to that issue. They both seem clueless on the rest of the issues.

The whole bailout thing was a huge disappointment for me and the biggest reason was that neither McCain or Obama showed any leadership or understanding. They didn't seem to be able to persuade their own parties to follow their lead. They didn't have a lead. One voice I would have loved to have heard in this mess was Romney's. The guy is a financial genius and the Republicans didn't parade him once to show any economic understanding. My fear is that McCain was too worried that people would say well why didn't you pick him for VP. It seemed political and not like anyone is trying to solve things for the best of the country. Not a surprise. We have been told to expect the turmoil. If this isn't turmoil then I would hate to see what is.

Why didn't McCain mention Romney as a choice for that financial post? Frustrating. It has been reported that they don't love each other but Romney did speak at the convention.

So Oliver, McCain didn't clearly answer your question but the info he gave you was accurate. The Clinton Administration decided in the 92/93 to increase home ownership in American from 60% to 70% I believe. Worthy goal. Unfortunately, they did not do this with financial planning. For example, instead of counselling people to pay off their credit card debt so they could qualify for a loan or even just loosening the standards to lower % of down payment like 10-15% instead of 20%, they let Freddy and Fannie loose. The loans offered were ridiculous. 125% of a homes value and applicants didn't even have to have great credit scores. And those ARM's. Youza. So that is the tip of the iceberg. America got greedy. Wall Street and Main Street. Main Street because people accepted loans they couldn't afford for huge homes they didn't need. Wall Street because then the big banks and insurance companies starting betting on these bad loans. They hired world class mathmeticians to create a formula to try and predict which of the bad loans would actually get paid. Then they sold the bad loans to each other. That alone was stupid, but the thing that tipped the scale to corrupt and just plain greed was when the banks also put a rider on the loan that said, 'Wamu if you buy this bad loan from us and the applicant doesn't pay it back then we (AIG, Leaman Bros, Merrill Lynch etc.) will pay you.' Like a little insurance policy. Only we can't call it an insurance policy because then it would be regulated and no one in their right mind would approve of us doing this. Why? Because a regulator would have made the banks have that money in reserve if it was truly an insurance policy. So the banks called it a 'swap' and therefore it is not insurance and not regulated. No money was put in reserve for the banks to pay each other and people started to default on the bad loans. That is my understanding. If I am wrong, Mitt please call me and explain it to me.

How did I see the affect of this? Within 2 years, more than 50% of our PTA volunteers had to go back to work to pay mortgages that had gone in to the variable interest years. Less PTA volunteers.

This is going to be ugly for McCain. He is not great in this format. Obama is a great speaker. Hillary was good in this format too. Will McCain's plan to let everyone refinance their home include those of us that are not in debt and still paying their mortgage? Isn't buying out the bad loans what we just did with the bailout. I would blow off his statement about American workers being the best in the world if I hadn't seem surprising apathy in other places outside of our country. The things I heard from Michelle about the work place in Italy and what I hear from Jeff about Japan pretty much reinforce that Americans know how to work. We may be fat, full of entitlement, prude for not wanting our President to have a mistress and flaunt it in office and nationalistic, but for all that I saw an article a few years ago that showed Americans giving more to charities around the world than any other country. That is adjusted for % of income as well.

500 billion of our debt owed to China scares me. I don't think people realize that our debt is not just to ourselves. It is to other countries. What happens if the call it in?

McCain attacking in this format is just ugly. He will loose this debate for that reason alone. If he and Palin win it will be because Tina Fey has played Palin on SNL. JK.

Priorities. McCain all three at once. Health, SS, Energy. ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS. That says it all don't you think. Was it Lincoln that said, 'A country that gives everything to it's citizens call also take it away'?

Obama. Dang he is good at this. Energy. Health care. Education. Wait. Where did education come from? McCain should not laugh out loud ever!

Finally an American who puts it on the line. The person who asked this question should be President. We will have to make sacrifices. Nobody wants to hear that but someone from the 'greatest generation' understands that there is no other way to win a war. Military or Economic.

Barak Hussein Obama should not have brought up 9/11. Is buying only Made in the USA even feasible anymore? In such a global economy the money trail almost makes it one big nation. True, the imbalance of flow to the Middle East is unsettling. Especially with the way they use the money. By supporting terrorism and growing their own dictatorships. Our history with Saudi Arabia is quite sketchy to say the least.

Small business would be hit for sure. Love those tax credits. Too funny to watch Tom Brokaw push the rules. I love him. It would sure be great to see Tim Russert doing this. Not even smooth from entitlements to tax plans. The businesses making more than 250k are the ones hiring dummy! McCain is left handed. I am so sick of everyone blaming the policies of the last 8 years. Let's face it. Greed did not start 8 years ago. If we make good choices things go well. If we make bad choices we will have to live with the consequences. It's a cycle. Prosperity -Pride - Destruction - Humility. Then it begins again. Sound familiar?

Don't get smirky gentlemen. Energy. This thought brings me comfort. God is in charge. He has a plan. There are still pieces of that plan that must happen before he can return here to earth. In order for that plan to be fulfilled, more countries must be taught the gospel. The teachers/missionaries must have a way to get there. The technology must exist to get them there. Transportation will evolve. Finances will have be steady for some people because in order for people to listen to the gospel their basic needs have to be met first. Food, shelter.

Health records online? Are you kidding me? If some twit from University of Tennessee can hack into Palin's email, then some brain from MIT will be able to hack into health records and sell them. Health care responsibility, right, priviledge? Fine for health care plan non-compliance? Blah blah blah. Socialistic? The governments own programs for vetrans are just as bad as any private insurance. Don't tell me that there is less red tape IN ANY GOVERNEMENT PROGRAM!

Foreign policy. Are we still the greatest force for good? Sure we are still ahead of France and Iran. JK. I do believe that our country was created under inspiration to our founding fathers. Is there no hope for us? There is hope but it starts with each individual living a more Christlike life. In the last few years I have wondered what would happen if we tried a little experiment. What would happen if the world as a whole spent one week living more Christlike.

Did McCain really say temper our decisions? I'm sorry but if anyone seems able to temper themselves it just might not be him. Good question about Pakistan. At least Obama can set up a flow. No Iraq. No Pakistan problem. Intersting but accurate? He pronounces that wierdly.

Follow up shmallow up! It is making me tired. 11:15pm and it is worth it to stay up any more. Oh wait. Bomb, Bomb Bomb Bomb Iraq. This may get good yet. Musharif is not in power any more.

Glad this next question didn't go to Palin. The book the Kite Runner puts Afganistan in an interesting perspective. Is touting the status of Iraq really a good response how to handle Afganistan?

Russian humanitarian crisis. Putin and the KGB. What are the penalities for their agression? What international pressures? Those guys have allowed their citizens to freeze and starve before and I can't imagine they would hesitate to do it again just to show the U.S. that we could take any sanctions and shove them.

Mrs. McCain doesn't look that comfortable. Michelle more personable. Thank goodness it's over.

Isn't Andrea Mitchell married to Alan Greenspan? Those dinner conversations would be interesting.

Nashville. A mear three hours from my own casa. I took it for granted that we could just vote by mail in Oregon. Here in TN I have to visit a polling place. I will have to take Dane. I will probably leave some hanging, pregnant chads if I have to chase him:) Good night.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Oh The Drama

Have you ever watched The Office? If you have then you know Michael the manager of the Scranton branch. It is painful for me to watch him get into situations that are just so touchy. Now.....that same dread and pain is something plaguing me tonight as I make myself watch the VP debate. I have to watch to be an informed voter, but after Palin's TERRIBLE interview results this past couple of weeks, I am scared. The day Palin was named VP and the wave began to rise someone asked me what I thought. All I could say was that anything that rises that fast can only fall faster.

We had to DVR the debate because we were running around so now I am watching it in small increments so that I don't scream and wake the kids and Erron up. We are just getting to the foreign policy stuff. Could get very, very bad. Biden - what new things will he make up tonight. Palin - will she say the same three things over and over again after being coached or will she show a brain?

I can't watch. Iran or Pakistan? Will she know which is which? OMG I think she just used three world leader's names in one sentence and I think she even pronounced them right. The shame of low expectations! She spoke with Kissinger? Was that part of the debate prep? At least they brought in the big guns. Biden - how will she respond to the Spain statement? Nothing? Looked that up and it sounds very confusing. Israel, Israel. Blah Blah Blah.

Up to this point nobody is making me sick because they sound like they don't know what they are talking about but truly it just sound like same politics different day. Almost a relief actually. Oh there goes the N. Korean leader's name again. I really expected Biden to be better than this. All I have heard about was how amazing of a speaker and debater he is. He should be shredding Palin. Oh this is good. Palin just called out Biden on McCleran's statement. Did she read a newspaper this morning? Which one? Katie, that reminded me of a Barbara Walters question she likes to use on her celebrity interviews. If you were a tree what kind of tree would you be. Seriously, does that give Katie credibility again.

Can I get off topic for a second? This is one of the biggest news weeks of the year I think. VP debate, Wall Street Implodes, Congress tries to decide if and how much we will rescue/bailout. Where is Meridith Viera of The Today Show? I am a religious viewer of The Today Show. The first hour anyway while getting kids ready for school etc. All that crap of the third and fourth hour is not part of my world. I digress. Katie leaving was devastating to me. Love Matt. Love Anne and Al. But to have her replaced with Meridith was just yecky. At first she tried to be Katie and failed miserably. I don't like to watch her interviews. Unfortunately Katie can't come back. It would never be the same. So where is Meridith this week? Vacation? Really? Makes me wonder if something is going on there.

Scary question about Obama being taken out of the equation. Unfortunately, I have to wonder if he has to have more security that other politicians. Biden is smooth. He is eloquent. Palin did she really say 'dog gone it'. A shout out to her brother's third grade class? Hmm. Sweet? Cheese?

OHHHH. She just touted constitutional knowledge. Decent answer with specific issues that will be her pets. Biden - a history of getting things done? No portfolio but he will be in the room for every major decision. VP Cheney the most dangerous VP in history. Especially to his hunting buddies. HE-HE.

Lack of Experience vs. Lack of Discipline - this would be good if anyone actually answers it. A perfect ideal. Interesting phrase for a maverick. Good joke Biden about his only Achilles heel. A man showing tears in the VP debate? Please Palin don't cry. They will torture the Kleenex club if this goes any further. At lease Palin called Americans out to be more financially responsible. The idea that Wall Street is the only one to blame for our financial situation is RIDICULOUS. How many years have they been reporting on the increase in the average credit card balance of Americans? Hello. And NOBODY saw this coming? If anyone wants some good quotes on staying our of debt I used some good ones in the RS lesson I taught last week and they go way back.

Palins voice changes when she goes back to her Alaskan 'Joe six pack' roots. She is not scared to look into that camera.

Closing statements. Be Strong. Always been proud to be an American. Michelle Obama hurt them with that. Of course we have to refer to Reagan. We have a Reagan so we can't argue with that. Biden had some good ideas of what progress is about. Even character counts. Champ.

Am I too sarcastic? Who won? I miss Tim Russert. No car wreck. Sad mark of a successful debate.

What are Biden and Palin talking about after? Planning dinner at the Red Lobster:)

Palin's baby has never been awake in any appearance . How do they do that?

Now, all I can hope is that the microphone are off so that nobody embarrasses themselves.

Geraldine Ferraro said it very well. As a woman I wanted her to do well. As an American I wanted someone to give me something that made a difference so that I could decide who to vote on.

It's midnight. Need to listen to the reviews. The male leads best friend. Good one.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Adequate. But Not Too Adequate I Hope.

Hey Heather. Try 'Inkheart'. I will be starting the sequel this week. Gave Reagan 'Are You There God It's Me Margaret'. We have talked about everything but I told her if she had any questions we could chat about any thing she wanted. Her big question was, "What is the A&P"?

Trying to watch The Other Bolyn Girl tonight and am too distracted to appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

And We'll Have Fun, Fun, Fun

There are a million things to do in here. Michelle and I could do them all in a week if we were alone but with kids, mostly Dane, we might only get 1/2 million of them done.

Yesterday, we took the kids to see the Winchester Mystery House. It was built by the wife of one of the owners of Winchester Rifles. She built it as a way to keep away the spirits of the people killed by the guns. She just kept building. Staircases that lead nowhere, doors that open to walls, six kitchens, 160 rooms in all. It is interesting and even really cool looking on the outside but the Biltmore makes these people look poverty stricken!

Dane hated this place. By the end of the tour I was in tears and if it hadn't been for Michelle I might have just started driving back to TN. I just felt broken and like I was being punished by God for being so selfish. I have so many things that I want to do in this life and I truly thought that it would be okay as long as I took the kids along. That we could experience this together. That I didn't have to miss out or wait until I was 60 to go anywhere. After this, I realized I was just plain wrong. It's too much. From now on I will eek out what I can on my own somehow but adventures with kids are a thing of the past.

I didn't want to push it with Dane today. We were going to go to the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz but after yesterday I realized that it would be me entertaining Dane in the little kids stuff while Michelle took the rest of the kids to do things. I made a mommy executive decision and decided I wanted to spend time with my friend. So we took the kids to see Wall-E and then swimming. Tomorrow, our goal is to go to the Aquarium and Michelle knows some great tide pools. We even found cheap water shoes at Target.

Michelle really knows me too well. Tonight, she sent me to the grocery store while she watched the kids swimming. She knew that I was at the end of my rope so she gave me alone time to get food and cook it in our hotel room. What would I do without my good friends? I am sending a hug to each of you.

Sending you perfect weather from here. Mid 70's and sunny after the clouds roll out. It could work if we could afford to live here:)

Monday, June 30, 2008

What Was I THINKING?????

There are few things that would be worth what my frazzled, hormonal, tired body & mind went through today. Michelle is definitely one of them.

Let it be enough to say that by the time I got to the rental car and my GPS had downloaded maps from somewhere that wasn't California so getting to here was impossible, it was a very thin veil that kept me from saying forget it. Never again will I take them on a trip. Who was I trying to kid that these adventures with kids were teaching me so much about myself blah, blah, blah. I do not like what I learned about myself today. Every bad thought I have ever had came back today plus a whole bucket more. Reagan and Kale are the perfect travellers. Maybe the simple answer is that I let Dane stay home because that is where he likes to be and I just take the other two. The were different travellers even at his age. Kale and Reagan were both pros by 2 1/2. Dane just doesn't like it. If he has to travel it needs to be with him on a bike or hiking.

It is ok now. Michelle and her kids came to see us and we have grand plans for the week. All of her stuff just got here from Italy so we are her excuse to put off unpacking for another week:)

I'm not sure if you northwesterners want me to send weather from here. The high this week where we are is only about 72. Glad I brought the kids jackets. Plus, 1,400 fires burning down here puts a little damper on the air quality. I should be in bed. This time change is going to kill me. Dane has been asleep for 3 hours already.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

We Begin Again :)

Bad Tam has been slacking in the blog dept. I know! My best excuses are;
1. That we spent three days at the pool this week. One day Reagan had a really nice little friend, Emily over and then Reagan went to Vacation Bible School with her and had a blast. Thank you Sharisa for the inspiration on Mormons and Vacation Bible School. We need it too. Then another day my friend Marianne came over with her seven kids and we just played all day.

2. My friend, Julianna, and her daughter, Manuela, came on an adventure with us to Sevierville, TN. It is about 1 hr 20 min from us. I found out about Forbidden Caverns and just had to explore. The caves used to be home to the Cherokee Indians during bad weather and then in the 1920's the bootleggers took them over to hideout and make moonshine. At one point we were 630 feet below the surface. It was awesome. Surprisingly, I must report that Dane did not set off any alarms, jump from any cliffs, run along an off-limit path or do anything too .... Danelike. (I forgot my camera so Julianna is going to email pictures and then I will post them.)

After the Caverns we went to a great Rain Forest Adventure Park. Like a little mini-zoo. Lemurs, lots and lots of snakes, kangaroos, emus, turtles, lizards, birds, funky frogs and a really ugly lungfish. We missed the big show so we will have to go back again to see it when we visit the Chinese Circus across the street. Nothing too cheesy for us:)

3. On Saturday we went to do a little ritual I have only seen in the South. Here, when you buy/sell a house both parties meet at closing and sign together. Then you sit at the table and the seller tells you about the neighborhood and takes you on a final walk thru of the house to show you how the use the intercom, sprinkler system etc. and where to find all the manuals to the appliances and answer any questions you have about the house. Is that not the most civilized thing you have ever heard of? Our seller is going to be out of town on our closing date and we couldn't move it up because we are going to be out of town for a few weeks so she wanted to do the walk thru before we left. There is not a part of me that wanted to meet the people that bought our house in Portland. Except that part that wanted to smack them. Grrrr.

Now, would you believe we are off on another adventure? T & KRuD (Tam, Kale, Reagan & Dane) are headed to California. We drove to Atlanta tonight and will catch a flight to San Fran tomorrow. Now, I must admit some skittishness about this one. I haven't flown with Dane since he was 5 months old. Driving is at least in my control to some extent. I can stop and change a diaper, hand out snacks, threaten some fighting kids and just plain stop if we need a break to run around. Tomorrow, we will embark on a 5 hr non-stop flight in an enclosed space with the Danester. Are you as nervous about this as I am. Let us pray!

Dearest Erron flies out on the 4th and flies back a day before us. Does anyone see what I see? There better be bonus points in heaven for this one. It will be so worth it though. My best friend, or bff for all of you under age 25, Michelle is living in Monterrey for the next 18 months so we had to get there ASAP to see her. I am even giddy about it.

For all of my friends that love reading I just can't get my act together to do anything on my Goodreads page so let me tell you here that I just finished The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Some of you know that I love Stephanie Meyer and think she is a great story teller. What she lacks is a finesse with the words. Setterfield is like an artist with words. A real writer. I liked the book. It wasn't what I expected and sometimes that is even better.

Right now I am in the middle of reading Eat, Love Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert. I almost didn't read it because someone told me it was one of those Oprah books and I didn't want to be one of those women who would read a book Oprah pimped. Not sure if that was true but I already had the book and it was downstairs when I need a book to run out the door with. So I started it. At first I was really excited because one of my dreams is to be able to travel and discover the 'real me'. Not far into it I got a little bummed because Gilbert seems to begin this journey after throwing away a perfectly good marriage. It is not my place to judge but that made this a little less special for me.

It is true that I can't take off for a year around the world by myself. Some days there is only a very thin veil stopping me but if I have figured anything out in the last little while it is that I never would have discovered some things about myself had I not been willing to stick it out and include my kids on the adventure. I could relocate across the country by myself any day. I have even done that a few times. But did I know that I could drive through 10 states for 2,800 miles with three kids before this year? Nope. The kids and I had done lots of trips to CA, OR, WA, ID, UT and WY but that was known territory. Since March we have travelled over 6,000 miles together. Reagan has been to 20 states and the boys 19.

My friend, Marianne, lent me another book called Chickens In The Headlights. It is like comic relief. It is told from the perspective of a boy who grew up in a family of 7 boys and he pulls no punches when he tells story after story about the mischief they were up to from early AM to late PM. Every time I need a chuckle, aka about day 4 of Erron being out of town, I read a chapter. It is too funny. I don't want to tell any of the stories because Reagan reads my blog and I don't want her to get together with the boys to carry out one of their schemes. We already find our way into enough fun.

Have a good night everyone.

Saying Goodbye To Grandma

Saying Goodbye To Grandma

The Sorensen kids at Register Rock Idaho