Monday, January 31, 2005

Arizona Sheriff


Sheriff Joe Arpaio (in Arizona) who created the "tent city jail": He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them. He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights. Cut off all but "G" movies. He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects. Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination. He took away cable TV until he found out there was a federal court order that required cable TV for jails. So he hooked up the cable TV again only let in the Disney channel and the weather channel. When asked why the weather channel he replied, so they will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs. He cut off coffee since it has zero nutritional value. When the inmates complained, he told them, "This isn't the Ritz/Carlton. If you don't like it, don't come back." He bought Newt Gingrich' lecture series on videotape that he pipes into the jails.

More on the Arizona Sheriff: With temperatures being even hotter than usual in Phoenix (116 degrees just set a new record), the Associated Press reports: About 2,000 inmates living in a barbed-wire-surrounded tent encampment at the Maricopa County Jail have been given permission to strip down to their government-issued pink boxer shorts. On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached 138 degrees inside the week >before. Many were also swathed in wet, pink towels as sweat collected on their chests and dripped down to their pink socks. "It feels like we are in a furnace," said James Zanzot, an inmate who has lived in the tents for 1 year. "It's inhumane." Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates: "It's 120 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents too, and they have to wear full battle gear, but they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your damned mouths!"

Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes - not live in luxury until it's time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money. Sheriff Joe was just reelected Sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Friday, January 28, 2005

New Stuff....Condo Offers

Hello again,

My sister informs me that I need to be posting new stuff on my website. When I looked, I realized that I didn't announce that we made an offer on a condo.

Jared and I are really going to buy one. Isn't that great? The lady accepted our offer. We did a home inspection and an apprasial. I now just got all of the loan paperwork. This is going to be exciting. I'll post pictures when I take some!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2005


I was lucky enough this morning to see the most incredible sunrise. In addition to that, I caught it on film. See sunrise in my album. You won't regret it.

Kenny and My Theory of Life

In honor of the fact that Kenny Chesney's new record is coming out this week, I wanted to do something special. This is currently my favorite song. It goes right along with my theory of life.

I’ve been up to my neck workin 6 days a week
Wearin holes into the shoes on my feet
Been dreamin of gettin away since I don’t know
Aint no better time than now..for mexico

No shoes, no shirt, no problems
Blues what blues..hey I forgot them
The sun and the sand and a drink in my hand with no bottom
And no shirt, no shirt, and no problems!
No problems

Want a towel on a chair in the sand by the sea
Want to look thru my shades and see you there with me
Want to soak up life for a while
In laid back mode
No boss, no polite, no stress, no dress code

No shoes, no shirt, no problems
Blues what blues hey I forgot them
The sun and the sand and a drink in my hand with no bottom
And no shoes, no shirt, and no problems

Babe lets get packed..tank tops and flip flops if u got them
No shoes, no shirt, no problems
No problems.

Make it your theory of life.... It's much more fun that way...besides the fact that I'm spending three months on a Greek Island helps!!

Quality Time with Half-Pint

I got to spend some quality time with my little Half-Pint today. I was so excited about it. I picked out his hooves. I brushed him, and then saddled him up and went for a nice long ride. We had a lot of fun. Gregory and Mini came with us, and we had a blast. To check out what I look like on my mule, check out Half-Pint in my photo album.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Minimum Wage

I had a realization when I was talking to my friend from Pennsylvania that minimum wage laws are actually a lot different around the states then I thought. Here's what I was thinking. She was talking about her job and minimun wage etc., but I was thinking, minimun wage isn't THAT much really. Oregon minimun wage is sitting somewhere between $7.05 and $7.20. That's totally crazy. Of course we also have the highest unemployment rate, but that's never advertised.

I realized that federal minimum wage is quite low you know. It's down in the $5.00 dollar range. I could never imagine making only $5.00 an hour, yet some brave Americans do. Here's to those people that still get up off the couch (or out of bed--whichever you may choose) to go to work and be productive, if the wages aren't perfect. And here's to those companies that takes good enough care of their employees to pay them what they're worth. And also, here's to those people that are worth so much more than they're being paid!!!

Visa, Governments, Travel

I think it's kind of odd in this world that the citizens don't have free reign to go where they please. I recently ran into a situation where I needed to look into getting a visa to go to Greece. The rule is that if you stay longer than 90 days that you need a visa. Unfortunately, I will be there a little longer than 90 days, so I have to look into getting a visa.

I called the consulate in San Fransisco, and they didn't really have a visa for what I want. They sent me the information for a student visa, but per the Greek constitution, you aren't really a student if you aren't in a Greek university. So, I've decided to just go, and get my 90 days extended while I'm there. I'm told it's much easier.

However, I have a really good friend moving to Austria, and he's trying to get a work permit. I'm told that to do that you have to prove that you couldn't possibly be filling a job that someone else could be filling that lives in the country. I'm told it takes an act of God.

I have some suggestions. Only talk to ONE person at an office. Get their name and extension and call back as much as you need to. Be annoying, but firm....

It's the only way.

Engagement Announcement

I just thought that it would be proper to give my congratulations to one of my good friends, Gretchen Reiner for becoming engaged to her boyfriend Todd.

I'm very happy for them both. The wedding is set for July, and I was asked to be the photographer for it! Hooray!


So I went to the the eye doctor yesterday, because I was having trouble seeing all the time when I was driving and everything, so I decided to get contacts. Contacts are much better than glasses especially when you are out trying to use a camera to take photos of things. Anyway... so we decided to give me contacts. And isn't is just odd putting something in your eye every morning? I'm starting to get the hang of it, but it's great to be able to see things.

I can truly tell you that it's a religious experience to be able to see things. We live on the top of a hill overlooking a valley, and in the morning you can see the fog overlooking the valley. It truly is a religious experience. I'm now starting to believe that just being able to see is truly a religious experience.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Good Earth Tea

If you are a tea drinker--and not many people are, I have a suggestion for you. Try Good Earth Tea. Just the good old normal stuff. It doesn't really belong in the relm of tea. Most teas are boring and bland, or they need something to spice them up. However, this tea has the most incredible flavor, and it doesn't take your entire stash of milk and honey to make it right. Try it out...see what you think. I swear by it. Maybe they'll give me a job as their international spokesperson.

Monday, January 17, 2005

New Life Changes

I've recently realized that there are a lot of us going through life changes. My husband and I are preparing to move to other jobs and leave the group we have been a part of for several years. My sister had her beautiful baby boy, and several of my friends are pregnant ready to have their children. On top of that, I've had several friends get married and start new lives over the past year.

I just wanted to extend my excitement to all in these life-changing times. :)

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Way to Happiness

I've recently stumbled across this amazing project that is found 'around the world. There is this incredible little book circulating that has been changing civilization in a big way for the better.

I am proud to introduce it to you. The book is called The Way to Happiness. It is a common sense guide to living. It's purpose is to put a moral code in society so that the current moral decline can be haulted and so that man can once again live in happiness and decency.

Go to and check it out for yourself. If you are interested, email, me, and I can get you an e-copy of the book.

It's so amazing. It has such values as be worthy of trust, don't be promiscuious, love and help children, care for your environment. It really is an incredible book.....

Friday, January 14, 2005

Mad Cow Disease

What is Mad Cow Disease?

America found its first case of mad cow disease on December 23, 2003. Since that time, a scare has broken out in society as well as in the meat industry. The demand for beef had decreased rapidly. Other countries throughout the world have stopped importing our beef and we have slaughtered at least 500 cattle. I'm going to look at whether or not this scare is really necessary.

Mad Cow disease is a disease that occurs in the brain and spinal cord of cattle. It is caused by a type of bad, odd protein that convinces the normal proteins of the brain and spine to change into a sponge-like mass.

Mad Cow disease is just a nickname for the disease. The nickname came about because the cattle don't act normally when they get this disease. The actual scientific name for it is Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.

What's the big deal if this disease is just a cow thing?

The reason there is such hype about mad cow disease is because it is believed that people are able to contract a form of Mad Cow disease by eating the meat of infected animals. The human form of the disease is called CJD. The human form of the disease is just as severe as the cow form. There is no treatment or vaccine.

Mad cow disease is such a big deal because in the mid 80's, England, several people contracted CJD from cattle with mad cow disease. During that time in England, they killed five million cattle to try to stop the spread of the disease.

We don't want a situation like that to come to America.

How is Mad Cow disease spread?

Imagine this scene. You are a cattle farmer and you want to make the biggest amount of money the fastest possible way. Raising cattle free range can be quite costly because you have to own and manage the land. Feeding them on hay is also quite expensive because hay prices are quite high (due to less land for farming and the amount of work it takes to harvest it).

You take your cows to slaughter. The butcher carves off all of the meat that is needed for steaks and other things, and goes to throw the rest of the meat away. This extra meat consists of the brain, the intestines and the spinal cord of the cattle. It also contains the bones of the cattle.

There's the bright idea. Couldn't we do something with that extra stuff to make money. Someone several years ago came up with the bright idea of drying it out, grinding it up and feeding it to the other live animals for food. It doesn't cost nearly as much as having to buy all that expensive hay.

Thus was born the practice of feeding cattle to other cattle. This practice wasn't only done with cattle. Soon, cattle were eating sheep, pigs, horses and cattle. That's how mad cow disease started. Sheep have a form of the disease that was passed onto cattle when we started to feed animals to other animals. Those animals were ground up and feed to other animals, thus trending the downward spiral of sending mad cow disease on to other cattle. If you are feeding a bunch of cattle other infected cattle, that disease is going to spread real fast.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to spread mad cow disease merely by association. That is, just having infected cattle put with other cattle. The brain or spinal cord must be eaten.

The spread of Mad Cow disease shows only the feeding practices of the animals. The WHO suggested banning these feeding practices. The United States banned animal cannibalism to stop the spread of this disease. They didn't, however, ban feeding animals other animals. So a sheep could be fed an infected cow. That sheep could then be fed back to cattle infecting other cattle. This is how the disease could spread on. There are many people concerned about this.

There's one other thing to this. We allow downer cattle to be slaughtered. These are the cattle that are too sick to stand. They have to be hauled into the slaughterhouse to get killed because they can't walk. These cattle are allowed into the food chain with almost no problems. These are the cattle most likely to have the disease, and we aren't testing them for the disease.

How can humans get Mad Cow disease?

Basically by eating the brain of a cow (as some sick people do). It is also argued that you can get it by using cattle products that could contain part of a ground up brain (like the base of lipstick), but it is not likely.

The scary and not so scary facts

If you listen to the news, you can hear all kinds of scary facts about this mad cow scare like that the bad protein that causes all of this can't be killed with temperature and radiation (which is true) or that it takes 5 years to know if you have the disease. However, when you look at the actual facts of the disease, there's NOTHING to be scared of.

America tests their cattle for this disease. Though we don't do it as rigorously as other countries, we still do test them. This is the first case we have EVER run into that has been infected in America. That's not really enough to cause such an alarm.

The cow that was found was a dairy cow. That means quite a bit. First of all, dairy cows are most likely used for dog food when they go to slaughter. Because of the nature of their bodies, they aren't made to create beef. They're made to create milk. It takes up so much of their body energy and muscle that when they are killed, we can't eat steak from them. They just don't have it. That means that ALL steak is safe because this cow wasn't a beef cow.

The dairy products of this cow were safe (if you drank her milk) because it doesn't contain brain or spinal cord tissues.

The US has taken incredible precautions to keep mad cow disease from spreading. What they have done:

1.) Banned the import of meat and cattle from infected areas

2.) Banned the feeding of cattle to other cattle

3.)Testing animals for the BSE protein

4.) All downer cattle have been banned from the human meat market.

Mad cow disease will effect older animals (because the incubation period is so long). Most cattle in America are slaughtered at the age of 2. No case has ever been found in a cow that young.

Beef gets mixed with other beef and you're eating the beef of about 100 other cows when you eat a hamburger. That means the hamburger from this one cow is diluted so much it isn't even noticeable.

There have been only 139 cases world wide of CJD disease from Mad cows disease. That's .00000025% percent of the current population. There has only been 2 occurrences in the last three years.

The chances of getting infected if you eat infected beef are about the same chance that you'll win the Powerball lottery and get struck by lightning on the same day. The risk of contracting the disease from eating beef and beef products, even when infected cows are in the food supply, "is much less than one case per 10 billion servings."

Recovering Goat

My goat has been doing quite well. I haven't written about him recently, but I just wanted everyone to know that he has made a nice recovery. He still has a pretty big wound on one part of his neck. has been a while, so that wound must have had some damage to it.

However, that is the only problem that he's had, so it's actually turned out to be just fine. He's out walking around all the time, and he got an upgraded house out of the deal. He also has a special box of crackers just for him. He still often tries to convince me that he needs to sleep inside, but I've caught on. :)

Magic Computer Swap

This morning I moved my office to another place and I made the magic computer swap. This is probably the 4th time in the last year that I've moved my office, but somehow, for whatever reason, my beloved computer comes with me. I was SO excited when I first got it because it was such an incredible upgrade from what I was using. It must have been love at first sight beacuse I sure did love that computer. There's just something unhappy about having to set up another computer to have all the settings the way that YOU want them.

Maybe someday someone will write a song about my magic computer swap...and I will be famous.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Auntie and Uncle

Jared and I are offically and aunt and uncle.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Canadians Are Great

I recently took a little trip to Canada. It was kind of the pre-cursor of what it is that I'm going to be doing in Europe.

No, really. I have a really good friend that lives up there, and one of my other really good friends talked me into going up with him.

We took the train (a new experience for me). It was a lot of fun. I got to hang out and see all the weird things they do in Canada. Here are somethings I noticed.

1.) If you yell "Merry Christmas" at them out the window, they don't automatically expect it to be expletives, and sometimes they wave back.

2.) They have a very nasty potato chip that actually is covered in dried ketchup.

3.) When you order french fries at a resturant, they bring you vinegar (HMMMMMMM)

4.) Canadias aren't FAT like Americans.

5.) Candaians are just nicer in GENERAL!

The Greece Kit

So here I am packing off to Europe, and I'm trying to put together what I'm deeming my Greece kit. What do I need to take with me half-way around the world? This is what I've got so far.

Documentation to prove who I am (passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc)
2 Cameras and their accessories
20 Cd's to burn the photos onto
1 notebook to record things about my photos and what I'm doing
1 medium suitcase with sundry items (clothes, toothbrush, etc.)
1 pair of shoes that can work as dress up and dress down shoes
1 Plane ticket
2 Empty credit cards
1 Paycheck on hand to pay off those credit cards
A few photos of my lovely family and husband
1 visa to stay in Europe

What else do you think I need?

Add a small calculator to convert the EURO‘s to US dollars until you get familiar with the exchange rate

Take a portable clothes line and some clothes pins so you can wash out your socks in your room.

take an electrical convertor to change the voltage for your electronic things like computers and cameras

Take a little swiss army knife (pack in suitcase and check that luggage)or one of those all-in one-tools, never know when a screwdriver is needed, or a bottle opener

pack a second pair of shoes that can be dressy(?) or good to walk in, a change to another shoe is GREAT after walking all day in the first pair

Hey, that\‘s GREAT advice--all the things I should have thought of, but didn\‘t because I\‘ve never left the country...

I think you should take some American chocolate too, just in case Greek chocolate turns out to be weird. :)

Hey, that\‘s GREAT advice--all the things I should have thought of, but didn\‘t because I\‘ve never left the country...

I think you should take some American chocolate too, just in case Greek chocolate turns out to be weird. :)

Greek language CDs, CD player and small dictionary (that stuff tends to be expensive outside the country--they know they‘ve got you). MONEY BELT--because tourists are fair game. THE REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF: Compass to remind yourself you don‘t have the slightest idea where you are. A hatpin for those times you need to remember THAT you are ("Wake up, Alice dear!"). A resume with several photos of yourself to help you remember that you don‘t have the slightest idea WHO you are. SOUTH PARK DVD so you can learn the words to "Blame Canada." A pack of Gaulois cigarettes for self defense on trains. A dozen rolls of toilet paper because you just never know. A hardback copy of WAR AND PEACE in case you need to make room in your luggage (and you know darned well you weren‘t going to read it anyway). A half gallon of butter pecan ice cream in case Greek ice cream turns out to be weird. A picture of Dege so you can think of all the ways you might make his miserable excuse for an existence just a tiny bit happier. And how COULD you have forgotten to bring photos of your mule and your goat?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Freezing Rain

It's been SUPER cold here lately. I'm cold. Though I grew up in a town that is famous for (and often does have) the coldest weather in the country, I have found the past couple of days to be cold...and an adventure nontheless.

There was one flaw when they made car heaters. It takes about the time it takes me to drive to work for it to come on. So basically, I walk out my door to freezingness, and then I sit in a coldbox all the way to work. Go figure.

Heh. An even more adventurous thing...our hot water heater broke. You know what that means, no water over 33 degrees. DARN. I had to travel to work to take a shower last night. But was an advenutre.

This morning, when I walked out to my car, there was a layer of frozen rain drops on the windshield. It was fun to get off, but what did that make me thing about the road. That's right. We slipped and slid everywhere. Quite a hilarious picture. So... Enjoy this weather.

Happy New Year


So I haven't written in a while. Too bad. I'm going to start up again. I did a lot of travel over the holidays, so I'm back and running :) we go.