Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mr. Obama Goes to Washington

Last weekend I watched the classic flick, "Mr Smith Goes to Washington." I'd never seen this 1939 Capra story featuring Senator Jefferson Smith played by Jimmy Stewart. Let me stop here and say that Jimmy Stewart was one attractive and endearing actor in his day. But, I digress...

The story goes that a senator dies suddenly and the governor of that state must appoint a replacement. Jefferson Smith is the people's choice, actually the governor's children's choice, for a replacment. He leads the Boy Rangers and lives to spread good throughout the world. Against the counsel he receives from Joe Paine, the other senator from Smith's state, and the seedy "Taylor Gang" who are playing the leaders of this state like a fine chiseled marionette to see their underhanded, money-making efforts come to fruition.

When Jefferson Smith is accused of having no experience to serve in the Senate, the Taylor Gang go about conducting a mission to tear him down. They go so far as to shut the media up and take down all the young boys in his state that are rallying their land around Mr. Smith. Jefferson decides not to give up and spends over 24 straight hours reading the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bible until, he hoped, the world would believe him and good would conquer evil. In the end, Senator Paine reveals fake statements from Smith's home state declaring him the underhanded one and showcasing their lack of support. But, like any good movie with a happy ending, the end has a twist, and when Smith speaks the truth Senator Paine finally breaks under the pressure of corruption bearing down on his soul. Mr. Smith's endurance eventually pays off to overcome evil.

I found it interesting how little has changed since that movie was made. The media is still corrupt. Senators still listen to their puppeteers when making decisions. Yet, the difference? Most of us won't sacrifice sticking up for the good to overcome the evil.

In less than two months, we'll have a new president. I did not vote for President-elect Obama but the truth is, he will be our President. Senator Obama will head to Washington and have an insurmountable task ahead of him. If a President ever needed prayer, he does.

Our country is in a fragile state. Our economy is a wobbly as Humpty Dumpty on the wall and after more than 20 years of being told by the consumer's response to improve, the American automakers have finally hit rock bottom. Each day I give thanks for my job and pray that we can weather the storm that is ahead. Job number one for our new President is simple...fix the economy.

My main issues of opposition of President-elect Obama were his stance on various social issues, such as abortion. It appears that providentially his world will be consumed by saving the country's economy that any more left movement on those social issues may take a back seat. There are some hidden blessings in this time of economic downturn.

President-elect Obama, you have a enormous job ahead of you. The spin is over, now you have to live up to the pitch. Flee from the corruption saturating Washington and become humble enough to follow the path that is Good. Many tout that the future is in your hands, but I know Who holds the future. And I plan to pray to Him each day for Him to penetrate your heart.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Woot, Woot!

I am a huge procrastinator when it comes to semi- and major purchases. I would rather struggle along with whatever I have currently than make an investment in something new. Call me cheap, but I prefer the moniker, "Frugal." Back in June when I purchased my new Boo-mobile, I agonized over the buy even though the car I was driving was draining me dry financially, and at the pump. There's just something about a major financial investment, no matter how big or small, that causes me to pause.

Unlike most of America, I still have a land line at my home. Call me old school (for those keeping score, I'm now Old School Frugal) but sometimes I just like having a phone at my residence that doesn't follow me wherever I roam. Plus, my internet provider is also my land line provider. But, the two cordless phones I have were either poorly functioning or dying. My answering machine/phone combo was the cheapest thing you could find at Radio Shack and didn't include Caller ID. My other phone was so old the battery barely lasted through 15 minutes of conversation. I seriously can't remember how old that phone was or when I got it, so it's definitely paid its dues.

I priced phones to replace both of my less-than-perfect phones and realized it would be upwards of $80 - $100 to get two handets and an answering machine. Even one good handset with answering machine was $50 or more. So, I limped along doing the best I could with what I had. They were doing the best they could do with what they had in them. Although knowing Caller ID was part of my home package, it bothered me I wasn't taking full advantage of that service.

Enter This glorious web site is one I check daily for their deal of the day. Their gig? They sell one item per day. That's it. They have a clever description about the product and a daily Wootcast (Podcast) that make visiting their site enjoyable. One day, my dreams came true and they were selling a Uniden DECT 6.0 Dual Handset Cordless Phone with Digital Answering Machine. The going price for this unit elsewhere would have been $80 or more, but on this particular day, I was able to snag it for $35 plus $5 shipping. My package arrived about 5-6 days later and I'm up and running full speed with my new phone system. After many months following Woot, this was my first purchase and I was very pleased.

In times like these, you need to find ways to pinch pennies anytime you can. is definitely the place to do that, as long as you are patient. Check out their Shirt Woot site too for interesting and unique consumer-designed t-shirts. And, for all my fellow geekers out there, periodically has a "Woot-off" where the item for sale is changed throughout the day. It's like Christmas!

All together now..."Woot, Woot!"

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Magical Sweet Potato Patch

Once upon a time in the city of Louisville there were two ladies...Debbie and Kim. Many days while they were at work, they'd take a break to stroll around the downtown area near their office. They'd walk around Waterfront Park and take in all the sights and sounds of a sunny afternoon.

One day as they passed the water sprinkler area of the Waterfront Park, Debbie noticed something she'd seen each time they walked by....beautiful lime green vines. Of course, those plants were there to beautify the surrounding area for the folks frolicing in the sprinklers, but Debbie knew she'd seen them somewhere before. It dawned on her....they were sweet potato vines.

After many trips to that area, Debbie decided to investigate further to see if this truly could be a sweet potato patch. Lo and behold, there poking itself out of the ground was a very large purple-skinned sweet potato! Debbie was amazed at her discovery! Kim couldn't believe she was actually digging the potato out of the ground. The city beautification team has planted these everywhere translating to a food supply in major park areas across town. To Debbie this also meant a way to help the homeless by alerting the city of this bounty.

A day or so later on their next walk, Debbie decided to check out the sweet potato patch and much to her delight there was a moldy $100 bill sticking out of the ground where the potatoes had grown. Could this be? Not only are sweet potatoes growing, but so is money! No doubt Kim was a believer in the magical sweet potato patch now that money seemed to be growing on vines. Debbie took the bill to her local bank just to confirm it wasn't fake and was assured it was an authentic $100 bill.

Debbie had been granted these two magical wishes - a sweet potato and a $100 bill - and she just had to make sure some good would come of this magical patch and other patches around the city. Her calls to the local government offices went nowhere as nobody took this news as seriously as she did. Debbie even elevated her calls to the Mayor's office.

A day or so later Kim and Debbie headed out to walk again. Maybe it's the walking that is magical because on this day she saw the Mayor of Louisville on the sidewalk. Debbie, having no fear, walked right up to him, introduced herself and explained the story of the magical sweet potato patch. She lamented about how no one was responsive to her inquiries on how to provide this food to homeless shelters from all the locations that contained the beautiful green plants. His response, "I'll look into it." And Debbie lived happily ever after with her $100 bill and a stomach full of sweet potato goodness.

The moral of the fairy tale? Always look under ornate vine plants, you may find food or funds. But just enjoy your discovery and don't attempt to change the world. Nobody will listen.

***Yes, this is a true story. Every fact happened. I witnessed both the sweet potato and $100 bill, although I didn't see the Mayor. There are sweet potatoes planted all over Louisville so the next time you tip-toe through the water park, pick your vegetables before you leave.