Thursday, April 17, 2008


Or, as her parents like to call her, Kara Elizabeth. (Of course, as her grandmother, I feel I should announce this as, "Another Jedi is born!" lolololol - Hey! What do you expect from someone who calls herself "Granny Skywalker"???) Isn't she stunningly beautiful? I mean honestly. Have you ever seen such a pretty baby? Personally, I have not. (Well, not since November 20, 2005, when Conner was born and then, of course, way back in 1999 when Ms. Maddy made her way into the world!)
Here's a group photo of the family. That's Maddy Moose on the left, Baby Kara, Jodie and Nicholas (Mr. OU). Funny how Maddy seems to be the most alert one of the bunch. You'd think Jodie, Nick and Kara had just run a marathon or something, wouldn't you? lol
Check out the toes on Kara! Nick had said she had some long ones. Nick was not wrong!! lol Bless her heart...I think she could hang from a tree limb with those things! (Beautifully formed, though, aren't they?)
Awwwww - here's another shot of Ms. Kara's face. HOW CUTE IS SHE??????
Here's Nick, pestering the poor little darlin'. What is it about a baby's mouth that just makes people want to play with their lips? Can you see her trying to open her eyes?
And here's Nick....still playing with her mouth.
And here's Kara, finally looking up to see who in the heck has been aggravating her so. And it's DADDY! Yay! (She looks smitten with him, doesn't she? - I'm thinking the feeling's mutual!)

Here's Maddy holding her newest little sister. Moose is an old pro at being a big sister. Kara looks perfectly happy to be with her, doesn't she? Oh, by the way, Kara weighed in at 8 lbs, 4.5 ounces and is 21 inches long. At least, that's what the e-mail said. We thought we were first told that she weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz. and was 23 inches long, but I may have written that down wrong in the excitement of the moment. She was born April 17th at 5:25 a.m. (Okinawa time, which means it was something like 3:25 p.m., April 16th, central standard time. I think. That time change thing always confuses me. I quickly become my village's idiot whenever asked to figure it out. lol). Okay, I'm off to send some e-mails to those who don't read my blog.
P.S. She doesn't read my blog, but I still have to say a great big THANK YOU to Jodie's friend and neighbor, Samantha, for calling us with the news of Kara's birth and for e-mailing all these pictures (these were just a few that she sent - what a great friend, eh?)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Our Country's Executives Define New Math

What are you guys paying for a gallon of gas these days? In this part of the country, we're paying right around $3.29. Some of you who live in other parts of the world are probably saying, "So what? That's not all that high!", right? Well I think it is. I think it's absolutely outrageous. I've been griping about the rising gas prices for a couple of years now. I don't get how the oil companies are getting away with charging so much. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I've gotten the whole "It's not the oil companies, it's the federal, state and local taxes that are driving the cost up" line of BS. I don't buy that. In fact, I don't understand how anybody could buy that. When Exxon/Mobil is posting a net income profit of $11.66 billion for one quarter - I'm thinking maybe they're getting their fair share of the money from each gallon of gas sold. Furthermore, when the oil companies bitch and moan about having to shut down a refinery here and there because it's "outdated" and "in need of repairs", I think maybe they're sticking most of that "net profit" into the pockets of their CEO's instead of reinvesting it into their companies (as many of them claim their companies are doing). I'm no financial Wall Street wizard, that much is true (and pretty obvious, if you saw my checkbook!). But even I can see a direct line from the huge, unbelievable net profits being made by oil companies straight to the cost of filling up my car with gas. Can't you? Or is this just an example of the New Math I've heard so much about? It's kind of like the Fed lowering prime interest rates...and the credit card companies raising their rates. Doesn't make sense to me and in fact, looks kind of like the government is paving the way for the credit card companies to make more money. I thought the point was to help the consumer! Just goes to show how stupid I can be! (Again, must be that dang New Math. I've got to get a book and study how that works!)
Hey, did ya'll hear about American Airlines cancelling upwards of 3,000 flights last week? They had to ground parts of their fleet because they had failed to comply with a September 2006 safety directive from the FAA regarding the MD-80 aircraft. Let's spell that out, shall we? American Airlines was told approximately a year and a half ago to fix a potential safety problem and they failed to do so. Failed. As in "did not do it". Ignored the directive. Didn't bother to fix the problem until they were forced to. However, just this very morning I heard on one of the news shows that American Airlines executives are set to receive "large bonuses" quite soon. Why did I hear about this? Because American Airlines pilots are a little ticked about it. And why are they ticked about it? Well, according to Wade Goodwyn of NPR this is why:
"Four years ago, the airline's unions took large salary cuts to keep it from going bankrupt. Their sacrifice was instrumental in turning the nation's largest carrier around. But now executives are receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses, and that has infuriated the company's rank-and-file employees."

Yeah - the employees of AA took substantial cuts in order to keep their jobs and to keep the company going, but the executives are still raking in the big bucks. What are they getting paid for, exactly? Nearly bankrupting the company or failing to comply with safety regs? Boggles my mind, but that's only because I don't get the New Math. Here's what the head honcho had to say about the safety thing, though (per Nick Godt of MarketWatch, April 12, 2008):
The flight cancellations are expected to have cost AMR more than "tens of millions of dollars," Chief Executive Gerard Arpey said in a news conference on Thursday. Arpey apologized to customers and took "full, personal responsibility" for the groundings, saying the 38 pages of FAA directive for the wiring were "extremely complex" and misinterpreted.
Hmmmm. It's expected to cost more than "tens of millions of dollars", but execs are receiving "hundreds of millions of dollars" in bonuses. Hard to feel bad for American Airlines execs when you see that, even if you are able to understand the concept of this New Math. And as to the "extremely complex" directive from the FAA...Yo! Mr. Arpey! In the 18 months since you received that directive, did anyone ever ask for clarification from the FAA? Anybody ask McDonnell Douglas (who made the planes in the first place) for assistance? Anyone snag a copy of "Hooked on Phonics" and assign a janitor to read it to you? Or did you and the rest of your executive crew just sit around in your executive offices, scratching your executive arses trying to figure out such executive imponderables as "I wonder what the FAA's definition of 'is', is?" and "To which bundle of wire in the wheel well do they refer when they say to 'secure it' ". I mean really! How many unsecured bundles of wire do they have floating around in the wheel wells and how many rocket scientists does it take to figure out how to secure them? Those are just a couple of questions I think bear asking, not that their answers really matter. I guess what it all boils down to is this: Executive types don't really need to understand the common sense issues, do they? They've got New Math and, apparently, that's all you need to have in order to get away with legalized robbery in this country these days. Just wish I knew where they kept that New Math textbook hidden. Sure wouldn't mind getting me a peek of that thing...........