Tag Archives: Bill Clinton

I won’t be decorating for Christmas this year

Greetings, readers. This is not Ebenezer Kockelmans talking, but any Christmas lights I hang anywhere will be played with and ripped down by the young rambunctious kitten, so what’s the point? A month full of, “You stop that kitty,” is not going to keep me in the holiday spirit. So unless I can find an area where said kitten can’t get to, this will not be a decorated home this year.

In the past, I have been creative and strung Christmas lights around my coat rack, various hung paintings, and even the big book case. As you can see, I’m still pondering in my mind any place I can hang lights that can be a safe bet, not to be played with. To me it would not be the Christmas season without the color of lights. On the other hand, I don’t want to keep poor Josie in the penalty box 24/7. Not only would that give her early arthritis, but it would be punishing her for something that really isn’t her fault. Kittens love to play with things. It is in their nature.

Even though my former cat Keekee and Princess Josie are both listed as short-haired domestics, Keekee was not a mouser, she was a jumper. P.J., as I call her sometimes, is the opposite. Perhaps if I hang some lights in the kitchen in an area where she can’t jump, I can at least enjoy some color as I make coffee or food. If worse comes to worst, there are YouTube videos of a crackling fire in a room full of decorations and a Christmas tree while playing Christmas music. That is always enjoyable for me and I enjoy ambiance videos anyway.

On to another topic. Speaking of YouTube, I saw George W. Bush’s eulogy for his father in a video on YouTube. The service was in the beautiful National Cathedral in Washington D.C. It was probably George W. Bush’s best speech ever. He only stumbled on his words once towards the end when he was getting emotional. And yes folks, presidents are human, he did break down and cry a little when he thanked his father for being the best dad in the world. Former presidents Jimmy Carter with Rosalynn, Bill Clinton with Hillary, Barack Obama with Michelle, and current president Donald Trump with Melania were in attendance in the front row.

Many videos of the entire day’s coverage are on YouTube for anyone to view. I highly recommend it if you are a Republican or a Bush family fan. Continued prayers go out to the Bush family. This must be a terrible time for them and I am sure they can benefit from people’s prayers.

Next week, we will be back for another Wednesday blog on an as of yet unknown topic. At the current moment I have a machine gun called a jack hammer right outside my window driving me absolutely chocolate bon-bons. Hopefully by next Wednesday that phase of the construction will be over and the jack hammer will be gone. I am having a lot of trouble concentrating and dictating. But we push through. I bid all of you a wonderful weekend, love your neighbor and your families, take care and happy reading.

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From Rebecca: Netflix streaming

For many years my husband and I have subscribed to the Netflix service of DVDs through the mail, which we liked very much. Last year we got high-speed internet and one of the first things we did with it was to expand our Netflix subscription to include the streaming service. We like that very much too. While we don’t do it often, I can see why so many people get into binge watching shows for hours at a time on streaming services like this. Being able to watch as much of a new season of a new show as we want in one sitting or in the same week is pretty nice.

Netflix is putting a lot of money into original programing, in many genres, and there is a lot to choose from. One of the first shows we watched on streaming was Grace & Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Two seasons were available right away by the time we came on board, and we had them watched in a few weeks. I hope they do another season at some point. Last week we finished watching the first, and so far only, season of a new original show, Santa Clarita Diet. It was a little gross in places, but we liked it. We would not have been able to watch it without this streaming service, at least not before Netflix got around to putting it on disc.

Netflix also took over production of a few network shows that got canceled, and put out new seasons for fans. One of these shows, Longmire, was one I watched when it was on TV, and missed when it was abruptly canceled. I am almost through the last season now, and I appreciate seeing these characters continue for the two new seasons so far that Netflix gave me and other fans.

They also have a wide selection of older shows and movies. Darren and I are watching The West Wing, which we both watched when it was originally broadcast on network TV 15 years ago. It is bringing back a lot of memories of the Bill Clinton presidency, from which the show got a lot of material. Two weeks ago we watched the movie Lost in Space from 1998. We saw it listed, decided to watch it, clicked it, and then we were watching it. That fast and easy. Amazingly cool. Currently I am watching the first two seasons of a show that is still running on network TV, Jane the Virgin, which I didn’t get around to watching when it first came on the air. Now I am catching up on Netflix, finding that I like it, and will continue to watch each new season.

There is something to look out for though, especially when watching older shows and movies. They can go away, sometimes without warning, and we can’t finish the series. I remember reading somewhere that it is because of how Netflix has to license the rights for streaming. Half way through me working my way, over the period of some months, through the run of shows featuring the character Inspector Morse, it was discontinued from streaming. And last week I went on to look up a certain episode of Murder, She Wrote, and found that the whole series was gone, too. Poof, vanished. I can get them on discs, but they went off the streaming part.

We still get the DVD discs in the mail, though we did drop it from two discs at a time to one. Netflix has a much better selection and library in discs than in streaming, and some of the stuff we want to watch is only available on discs. We enjoy the selection, but the one downside we have with this service is the time it takes; between having it mailed to us, then we watch it, and mail it back, we might have only one disc per week and a half. Still, this works for us for the most part.

We also have to balance all this TV watching with other activities of life. Right now I am writing this blog post while my husband is on reading. (Working from home is another advantage of high-speed internet – yay technology! Good luck on the additional writing time, Joe.) It is a strangely hot day out for February, and we should get outside to enjoy some of it later. The more we enjoy the wonders and bounty of Netflix, the more we also need to keep it in perspective. I love entertainment shows and make-believe, but real life can be compelling, too.

Until next week, as Joe would tell you, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Reflections in the first week of the new year

For the first time in three weeks, I am sitting in the office, AKA Joe’s apartment, at work. Two weeks ago I had surgery to take out my gallbladder. I truly expected to be back to my normal routine the following week, but I was fooling myself. While I was able to go home the same day as the surgery, I needed a little more than a week to recover, rest, and heal. My husband, Darren, was a big help to me, especially in the first few days when I was groggy, cranky, and in pain.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I was able to write a blog entry and edit Joe’s entries from the comfort of my own home. That was mega-cool. Thank you to Joe for letting me do that and for your patience and support.

Speaking of modern technology, last year we got high-speed internet at home, and we have been enjoying Netflix streaming through Darren’s PS3. He especially likes watching shows with no commercials. He was watching Lost for a while, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. I watched the four-part special of Gilmore Girls, and Longmire. While I was recovering, we started to watch The West Wing, and we are up to the second season. It has been a while since I watched it, and I am enjoying it a lot. I remembered some things and other parts were a surprise reminder. So many of the issues were from the Bill Clinton presidency and I am strongly reminded of that administration with its ideals and its problems. We binge watch a bit, but we want to be careful with the PS3 so we don’t wear it out. A few hours at a time seems to work for us. I am certainly looking forward to exploring more of what Netflix has to offer in the coming year.

So, back to a new year starting. Next to me, I have my work folder ready for notes and reminders and my new engagement calendar, full of January’s information, and waiting for the appointments yet to be made in the next twelve months. We ended 2016 with the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds nationwide, and locally the shocking unexpected death of a resident of Addison Court Apartments, Joe’s next door neighbor. A new year feels like a new start, like anything good is possible. I’m ready for that new start and I want it. There was so much yelling and strife in 2016, and with the new Presidential administration coming in there will have to be a lot of people taking action to hold on to civil rights in the coming four years. But right now, this day, 2017 is a new beginning and it has a lot of promise.

Top ten list of my favorite United States Presidents

Greetings, readers. I thought this might be a fun topic to blog about today. With the next presidential election a year and half away, I started to think about all the presidents we’ve had, not only in my lifetime, but throughout history. Sometimes I like people even though they might not be called the best by experts. Let us keep that in mind for this list.

#10. Richard Nixon. [I was very young at the time when Watergate was going on. Even though he did wrong, and betrayed the American people’s trust, there was something touching about that victory salute wave he gave as he got into the helicopter to leave the White House. A little bit of style for a disgraced president.]

#9. Jimmy Carter. [Such a sweet guy. Not really a good president. When the American hostages were being held in Iran, a massive rescue attempt was mounted. As I understand it, everything that could go wrong did. President Carter had to take the blame for he was the chief of the military. Later in life, former President Carter had some major milestones including Homes for Humanity and his work in Africa.]

#8. George H. Bush. [After Ronald Reagan left office, as one of the more popular presidents of my lifetime, I really thought that President Bush could keep the country going. I thought he was well-spoken, and liked him. The economy really began to slide in his presidency. The American people were tired of Republicans after 12 years and elected my next choice, Bill Clinton.]

#7. Bill Clinton. [President Clinton did a marvelous job resurrecting our economy. For the first time I was aware of, this country was not in debt and we actually had a surplus. His extra-curricular activities left a little to be desired.]

#6. Lyndon B. Johnson. [I don’t know tons about LBJ but I heard a story about him on a documentary about Air Force One. After his presidency was over, he ordered the airplane stripped of all the “trinkets and trash” such as towels, ashtrays, and basically everything that said Air Force One on it. He also installed a hydrologic chair that he could raise above other people in a meeting, so he could sit above everyone else. To me, that is a feeling of power and authority. I like that.]

#5. Ronald Reagan. [One of the more feared presidents by other countries in the world. After he was elected, Iran, not wanting to deal with him, freed the American hostages. Instead of taking Air Force One to greet the freed hostages himself, he let former President Jimmy Carter take the flight and welcome the people back. Jimmy Carter said it was an extremely touching moment for him.]

#4. George H. W. Bush. [I felt sorry for G.W. He was a highly educated man who had a knack of looking silly and stupid much more than he should have. The day of 9-11 however, he appeared extremely strong and resilient, and vowed not to quit until the terrorists were brought to justice. Little did he know that al-Qaeda is virtually all over the world. It is much different than fighting an army of a thousand people. He had vocal quirks such as Nuc-a-ler, and his war on terra (earth) A.K.A terror. I’ll chalk that last one up to his accent.]

#3. Franklin D. Roosevelt. [This president had to resurrect a country from a depression and take us through a world war. Not wanting the country to go a different direction, he kept running for reelection every four years and kept winning. Seems that people didn’t want to change the jockey mid-race. After his death, congress passed a law limiting presidents to two terms.]

#2. John F. Kennedy. [I was not born yet when President Kennedy was assassinated. Through school and documentaries, I learned that he got our space program started. He also stood tall and prevented a nuclear incident near Cuba.]

#1. Abraham Lincoln. [He freed the slaves. He worked hard to keep the United States together. Unfortunately the north and the south fought a civil war. He was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.]

Honorable mention – George Washington. [The first American President, as everyone knows. Some people at the time suggested he lead the country as a king, and he turned it down. Our peaceful transfer of power at the end of elected terms started with him.]

There’s your list for today. As usual, chime in with yours in the comments if you wish to.

Take care, have a good weekend, and happy reading.