The Soapbox Papers

The Soapbox Papers is my two-cents worth.

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Location: Beloit, Wisconsin, United States

I am a cross between Tinkerbell and Calamity Jane.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Whew. Busy busy busy....

Been very busy of late, and too tired to write something of substance -- although I have been reading everything in sight lately, and there are quite a few things brewing under the strangely curly hair on the top of my head. I'll get to that later -- but for the moment, let me share with you an interesting quote from Techie Kid, he of the fascinating blog:

"Democracy these days seems like a matter of voting for the people who will support the stock you own. Isn't that insider trading?" --Taran Rampersad

Still in the research coffers: isn't there some "Good Ol' Boys" club to which Mr. GW Bush belongs which deals with just that premise? It isn't widely known and is not an open membership organization, but if someone can get the details before I do, please let me know. It's been back burnered in my head for years...

I just finished annual membership job for a local sports club to which I belong -- The Browns Backers of Pinellas . I do their newsletter and get my year's membership. It's a good trade. Everything I know about (American) football I learned from my friend Doug, and the Cleveland Browns is his team, so it follows that I learned by watching Browns games and became a fan. And I am a fan of the club itself. The BBoP is far more than a bunch of people who gather at a bar and watch the game. The BBop has a personality and a heart, and it shows. BBoP supports a local program which provides free vouchers for low income women to recieve mammograms. BBoP feeds hungry families at Thanksgiving. In the past, BBoP has supported the local Humane Society. And more. And on top of all that, the BBoP has fun. The club participates in local holiday parades with a float volunteers toil over, each year exceeding the last. And a louder, more supportive fan team you would find nowhere else! Doug -- the club president (for who knows how many years) becomes the host, spokesperson, half-time leader, and the keeper of the "fumble helmet." Fumble helmet? Well, see, whenever the Browns score, there is this small nerfy football that appears. Doug cues someone on the side who turns on music, and he tosses the ball to one member who tosses it to another who tosses it to another until the whole room is looking out for it, because to have the football in one's possession when the music stops (at the arbitrary whim of the music person) means a coupon for a free beer or soft drink. If one fumbles the ball, however -- or if one is the worst fumbler of the ball during this round -- one gets to wear the fumble helmet - until the Browns again score, and the game begins again. The fumble helmet is an old but authentic football helmet, and the wearers of this helmet are photographed for the web page. Doug would also serve as head cheerleader, but BBoP already has one -- a pixie-brownie sized little woman named Judy B. Goode -- complete with costumes, props, toys, and an imagination that knows no bounds. If there are any Browns fans in Pinellas County without a place to gather with others to watch the game, come to a BBoP meeting for an experience in gamemanship and serious Cleveland fun. Drop me a note and I will get you information -- or just check out the website and show up. You will be warmly welcomed, and in no time you will recognize this is truly one of the absolute best sports fan clubs anywhere. I show up when I can -- never as often as I would like -- and holler "GO BROWNS" just as loudly as if I had been born in Cleveland.

Anyway, I was working on the newsletter for the BBoP for much of the last week. I'd done it before and had the template safely stored in Publisher -- but since the renovation of my computer late this past winter, Publisher was useless. When I bought this computer, I also bought The Print Shop, but never got around to using it or getting acquainted with it -- so it was a real challenge to get this newsletter out -- and learn the new program -- under deadline. Did it, though -- and I think it is more attractive than the previous newsletters, either due to the features of the program itself or the extra time I spent trying to make it all work. In the end, I had to reinstall my printer as well, and because of the Broderbund program, the act of printing on this computer just became more complicated. I have to straighten that bug out quickly! I did learn that Open Office, installed by Techie Kid earlier this year, is not compatible with anything else on this computer, and, in fact, it caused many of the frustrations I had trying to make deadline. I think the time will come when I will get a second computer and have it all done in non-microsoft tools -- but for the moment, if I expect to be productive, I will have to use what is most compatible - microsoft. Eeew. Bad taste in my mouth.

In the middle of all this, my friend called and asked if I could help a friend of his to get his new condo in order for the arrival of furniture. Sure -- an easy few bucks cleaning up a bit of dust and such in an empty condo -- piece of cake, right? Aw, when am I gonna learn! Things are never that easy! It seems my friend's friend had left the electricity off in the condo for a few months -- a few of the most humid months Florida has seen in years. There was mildew and mold everywhere. Everywhere. It had to be scrubbed and disinfected and I guess I gassed myself pretty badly in the process -- being in enclosed places like closets with chlorine based cleaning solutions nearly did this smoker in! What surprised me was that my ankles and knees didn't give out with all the floor sitting/scrubbing and the contortions one must pose in small places. What I thought would be one afternoon of work turned into three afternoons and a couple of hours more. I have finally gotten rid of the cough, and have been invited to stop by and see the condo now that the furniture is in place. I just hope the proud condo owner remembers to leave the air conditioner on low when he travels North again. I'd hate to have to do that all over again and have to work around furniture and personal effects! The extra money was nice - but there is a line of medical providers lined up outside my door just waiting for their share. I splurged a little and carried home Chinese one night, but mostly the extra funds just went - as it all does these days - to those who help me maintain the organism.

Anyway, that - plus my daily tutoring in the computer center downstairs from where I live, and recovering from what certainly must have been close to pneumonia, and the newsletter, and the sudden hunger I have to read everything everywhere, has kept me quite busy. It is the weekend, though -- and I have no obligations but to Liberty the Cat, who will remind me when it is time to eat or time to lie down so she can cuddle.

But I have started other entries - some in my head, and one or two in the DRAFT folder -- so I am nearly back to normal again here.

Be back soon....



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