It's Master's Week here in America. To me, this is the real beginning of Spring. The dogwood and azaleas are in bloom, and the most highly worshiped golf course in the world looks her best. Photos can never do her justice, but I love this one. The 18th fairway, coming up to the clubhouse. Not a view that is often seen, but still gives a glimpse of what the rest of the course has to offer. Hopefully I'll be able to get other pictures up this week. After a long, long winter, I'm now almost in Heaven!
I saw the latest commercial for Foster Grant sunglasses (and now reading glasses!) featuring Raquel Welch. Good lord, the woman is 70 years old! Seventy! To compare...so are Al Pacino, Alex Trebek, Bobby Goldsboro (!!!), Faye Dunaway, Herbie Hancock (really?), James Brolin, Joan Baez, Mariette Hartley, Nancy Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Nick Nolte, Patrick Stewart, Pelé, Ringo Starr, Sam Waterston, Tom Jones, Valerie Harper and Wilson Pickett (only 70??). With the possible exceptions of James Brolin and Patrick Stewart, none of them has held up as well as Raquel!! This picture is from less than 6 months ago!
I lamented the demise of Limewire a few months ago. A couple of you mentioned using BitTorrent or similar software. I'd known about BT, but was primarily disappointed in the sites that required some sort of membership--some paid, some free. A few days ago, I decided to investigate a little more. Should have done this long, long ago! Best of all, I found that there's plenty of free stuff out there! While I still prefer the way that Limewire allowed you to search for a single song/file, I've gone nuts with downloading gigabytes worth of full catalogs of a variety of things. My big scores so far: Chicago 22 - Stone of Sisyphus (an unreleased album by Chicago from the early 90s. Oh, hell. Just read that it was finally released in 2008 and I didn't know about it!), and 19GB of audio and video of the top DCI corps, going back as far as the mid-70s! Truly a geeky thing, thank you. Still a bit top-heavy and overkill for some things, but at the moment, I'm happy to put up with it!
For the second time since the first of the year, I have to comment about the current political follies in the MT state legislature. Before I continue, let me just say that there's no way I could be a legislator. Or Congressman. Or even a city councilman. You just can't please everyone. But some of these people can't please anyone! The circus is thankfully winding down, though.
I generally don't consider myself as a member of either political party, but I have to say, the Republicans have wasted this entire session. Even Gucci would shake her head at what they've been trying to do! They claim that the "mandate of the people" was to create jobs and cut spending. With new-found majorities in both houses, they spent most of the first half of the session trying to pass ridiculous bills, trying to repeal the will of the people (medical marijuana) and make wholesale cuts to education, social services and state employees. They've been spouting off their "anti-federal" stance, rejecting a number of federal grants and programs not on their merits, but simply because they don't want the federal government intruding on what they perceive as "state's rights".
Then I read in today's paper that some of the same Montana lawmakers who deride government spending and voted to reject millions of dollars in federal money have received thousands of dollars of federal agricultural subsidies for their farm and ranch operations. And many of those lawmakers have voted to cut funding for programs that help the poorest Montanans, including food, prescription drug and energy bill assistance. The top five recipients accepted more than $600,000 in agricultural subsidies from 1995 to 2009, the report said. That’s more than the $564,000 an average Montana household earned through the same period, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. I'll be the first to admit that I know virtually nothing on how farm subsidies work, but they've been important in the past, and there's certainly misuse of it, like any other program. But it seems highly hypocritical that they can reject federal funds on one hand, while personally grabbing for more with the other. Can't wait to see how this plays out!
On a saner front--the Democratic governor has already told the Legislature that he plans to veto the Republican's budget as soon as it hits his desk, unless there's some significant changes to it before then. Whew! Hopefully he'll be as logical on a number of other bills that pass in front of him!
And since I'm waxing poetic on politics... I've mentioned in the past that I listen to Rush (no, not them...) on the way to work every day. Only for the humor I find in his rants. And now I find myself listening to other conservative radio shows for the same reason. I rarely listen to music in my car anymore! While Rush is a blowhard, he's hardly the kookiest of the bunch. That title would have to be handed to Michael Savage. Have you ever listened to this guy? An absolute nutjob! Followed closely by Rush and Laura Ingraham. They all remind me of that kid in third grade who always had to be right, and would sink their teeth into a minute part of an argument, and chew it to death, just to make themselves appear right. These guys will grasp any straw and try to make it "newsworthy". It's a laugh a minute! Especially Savage. An extreme conservative who broadcasts out of San Francisco??? That's got to be tough!