The Adventures of Bat Girl
Somewhere in South Dakota
Your not so big 10/1/08
Hi Yo Tatonka 10/1/08
"Stay tuned for my next exciting installment."
Puh, Puh, Puh, Pirates
The MV Faina. Photo taken by U.S. observers.
The Somali government has asked Russia to intervene against pirates who have seized a Ukrainian cargo ship, the Somali ambassador to Russia said Wednesday. The ship is loaded with weapons and tanks.
But the Russian navy issued a statement later in the day saying it had no intention of using force against the pirates, the Russian news agency Interfax reported. The pirates want $20 million ransom.
"The questions of freeing the ships and crew are being dealt with in line with the corresponding international practices," Interfax quoted Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo as saying. "For understandable reasons, the use of force would be an extreme measure because it could threaten the life of the international crew of the ship."
Pirating is the biggest part of Somalia's economy.
The International Maritime Bureau said in April that 49 pirate attacks on ships were reported in the first three months of 2008, compared with 41 for the same period last year. It recorded 263 pirates attacks last year, up from 239 the year before and the first increase in three years.
Social Security is Secure
I am so glad that the administration was prevented from privatizing Social Security.
It remains strong while the markets crumble.
Can you imagine what would have happened today if Social Security had been invested in the banks and stock market?
It is the only government program that consistently makes money. That is why this administration is always raiding our social security profits to pay for their losing projects. The latest projections give us all the more reason to leave Social Security alone.
The latest projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show a very different picture for the Social Security program than what is assumed in the most recent Social Security trustees' report. The CBO projections for the next ten years show a cumulative surplus that is more than twice as high as the projection in the 1999 Social Security trustees' report. Furthermore, CBO assumes a rate of long-term economic growth that may leave Social Security fully solvent for almost 50 years into the future.
The 1999 trustees' report projected that the trust fund would grow by $1099.8 billion from the end of 1999 to the end of 2010. CBO is now projecting that the fund will grow by $2,471 billion over this period, almost two and a half times as much.
Get Faster, More Courteous,
Help On The Phone...
Press #2 For Spanish!
This was something I found on the web, from a person named, Sue.
"In the past, I've pressed #2 and used the Spanish customer service for various services, mainly ones that have to do with utility companies or really big companies that put you on hold for a really long time.
I guess the call volume on the Spanish lines is much less, so you get immediate service and the reps tend to be much more accommodating."
She had some unintended late charges on her Capital One card, and...
"When I called the regular Capital one line, the lady was completely un-sympathetic...really cold actually. Then I remembered my different past experiences with the Spanish speaking customer reps.
I called back and pressed #2 for Spanish.
The guy I got removed ALL my charges...And was really cool in the process."
My Spanish is very rusty, but I think if I am going to spend time learning another language, I will learn to speak Mandarin instead, to be ready for the future.
The Milky Way Galaxy. Our Solar System's Home
One night in Death Valley, where Chrissy and I were camping, the Milky Way was nearly this detailed to the naked eye.
During that night, there was a group of tourists from Germany camping nearby. They had a couple of rented Winibago's, and were sitting around a blazing campfire. I grabbed my guitar, and Chris and I went over and joined the party. The only one of them who could speak English was a German bus driver who brought his family and friends to the American west on his month long vacation.
I sang a few Elvis songs, ( He was still very popular in Germany.), and pointed out the Milky Way above us. It was spectacular. It was fun to try and translate, "Milky Way", from English to German. Finally, we settled on Lechen Strassen, or, "Milk Road."
Chrissy and the German ladies had lots of laughs trying to, "talk", to each other. Chris, of course, couldn't talk, and only typed in English with her Cannon communicator, so there was a lot of 'signing', gesturing and charades around the campfire. A good time was had by all, on a beautiful, starry night.
She Changed Lives
Chris gives bird a peanut
Chrissy's brother, Alan, came up with, "She Changed Lives", for a plaque to be affixed to her memorial bench in Carmel Valley Community Park.
I know she changed mine.
Take The Long Way Home -Supertramp