Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Onion Strikes Again

I don't care who (socialites) or what (ketchup) they're lampooning, the Onion always provides funny stuff! This one made me LOL - it really did!

Obama's Home Teleprompter Malfunctions During Family Dinner

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Gratitude Campaign

I've been entirely too busy lately, but with a daughter in the service now, couldn't miss the opportunity on Veteran's Day to pass along this video by The Gratitude Campaign.

I try to thank soldiers for their service whenever I can - either by a verbal thanks or by buying a meal when I can get to the cashier before they do - but if you find it difficult to make an overt thank you, and really want to express your gratitude, this is a nice option.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A thing that makes me cranky

We had a pretty fun weekend. Saw a movie on Friday (Sandra Bullock is adorable as always in "The Proposal"), volunteered at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival on Saturday ("The Mystery of Edwin Drood" was delightful) and nearly lost our hearing at the Heart/Journey concert on Sunday (the lead singer Journey found on You-Tube really does sound just like Steve Perry - I kid you not. Only with 100% more manic. Which is not a bad thing, just a thing that makes you wonder if he gets paid by the gallon of sweat he produces or something.).

Then last night I went with a friend to see the Indigo Girls perform at an outdoor venue. They were wonderful (I truly adore their harmonies).

The audience was another story. It seemed that my friend and I were just about the only folks there who came to see the concert. The vast majority of the audience acted as though the folks performing on the stage were merely background noise at a gathering in their back yards.

Here's a hint: If you actually have to shout to make yourself heard by the guy sitting in a lawn chair 2 feet from you? Shut the *%@& up. The folks you actually PAID to listen to are performing. And although you may enjoy throwing your money down a toilet, somebody else might actually have intended to listen to the concert they paid to hear.

I know, novel thought.

Just because there haven't been enough links on my blog lately, here's another one (and since I'm not going to yap, yap, yap AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS while you watch it, you can hear the lovely harmonies of the Indigo Girls - lucky you!):

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm baaaaack!

No, I didn't disappear. I've just been incredibly busy. Had a change of attorneys at my office so now I support two REALLY BUSY partners and one associate instead of one REALLY BUSY partner, one partner who didn't utilize me as much and one associate. Has kept me hoppin'. Then, my amazingly fabulous daughter sent me to Europe to visit all of our former exchange students (except the one currently residing in Australia - a little too out of the way!). So, travelogues and photos to follow. But I saw this today and wanted to share with whoever might have missed it (although with over 3 million views, that may not be too many!):

I think it's better than the original '80s version by Toto (and, I will admit it, I was a Toto fan way back then).


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wordless (NOT) Wednesday

Took my new (well, a couple months old) camera to one of our local parks to try some digital portraiture. I have a wonderful medium format camera that I used for years to shoot weddings, family portraits and senior portraits - but no one wants to hire someone who is still so old fashioned as to use *gasp* film. So, I upgraded in February when we were getting ready to fly to Chicago to see our sailor girl graduate.

When I'm shooting senior portraits, I typically start out at Kathryn Albertson Park - a lovely natural park with lots of wetlands for nesting water fowl. And since the weather is getting nicer every day, the park was full of Canada geese guarding little flocks of goslings.

You have never seen anyone - human or animal - who can give a better stink eye than a Canada goose with little ones who thinks you are getting entirely too close for comfort. What do you mean, you don't know what stink eye is?

Take a gander (ha! goose joke!):

Give that goose a wiiiiide berth. Or else.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

E-mail hijinks

Sometimes folks get a little wacky in the e-mail exchanges around our office. Behold:

So, a few of us were discussing the idea of creating a summer celebration of the 13 weeks of wings. For the 13 weeks of June through August we will select a restaurant to sample and rate their wings each Wednesday at noon. We are currently seeking the level of interest to have a general idea for planning purposes, understanding this is not a 13-week commitment; attendees will vary from week to week depending on one’s availability. Takers?

Wings? You eat the wings of little birds?

Whenever we can. We're cruel - it's how we roll.

Yep! And sometimes their little beaks too!! A little ranch dressing....yummy!

No, big birds. And we should figure out how to incorporate the consumption of that certain liquid refreshment commonly known as "Beer"!

So, we should keep you far, far away from the World Center for Birds of Prey?

Yes, unless there is a Beer Garden in the vicinity.

Does keep things interesting, though.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Okay, I promise there will be actual words soon, but in the meantime, here's one of my favorite pictures:

I took this last year during a spring break vacation that took us on a loop from Boise to Portland to the Oregon coast to the California Redwoods to San Francisco to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains (California side) to Lake Tahoe and back to Boise. A whirlwind trip, but very fun. This shot was at a beach below Heceta Head. A, ahem, rest break - yep, that's what we'll call it, a rest break - was needed so I pulled into the parking lot above this beach. While other inhabitants of the car were "resting" I wandered down and took this photo. I just loved the way the rocks reflected in the wet sand.

And, after getting back on the highway and down the road aways, we looked back and saw the lighthouse that was a little hike from the parking lot we had been in and totally hidden from view when we were on the beach:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh heavens, this is soooo familiar

This is the same gal who sang the hilarious list of "mom sayings" to the William Tell Overture tune. Hysterical!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Whew, the thought of me actually being “wordless” is pretty darn hysterical.

But I did want to share one of my favorite photos from our trip to Chicago. This sculpture, located at Millennium Park, is called “Cloud Gate” - although the locals apparently refer to it as the “Bean.” Which totally makes sense given its kidney-bean shape. A highly polished metal, it perfectly reflects the Chicago skyline.

Monday, April 13, 2009

So, clue me in...

What is Indiana.rivals.com and why is my tiny little corner of the interwebs attracting so very many people to visit from there?

Inquiring minds would LOVE to know.

Now THIS is how it should be sung

I'm probably the last person on the planet to have seen this video and y'all are gonna be all "Oh, THAT old thing," but just in case I'm not, I wanted to share a You-Tube video sent to me recently. Really puts to shame just about every other version of our national anthem I've ever heard sung. Rosanne, take note - not a single crotch grab during the entire song. THIS is how is should always be sung!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Up, up and away!

Nope, no beautiful balloons here (please tell me I’m not the only person who gets that reference).

But there are rockets!

My son, along with the rest of his Team American Rocketry Challenge (TARC) team has spent the last 7 or so months designing and building a rocket that can launch an egg (nestled sideways in the body of the rocket) 750 feet in the air and return to ground within 45 seconds - without scrambling the egg.

Last weekend was the deadline for completing a qualified launch (one timed and verified by an official). Points are awarded thusly: 1 point for each foot above or below the 750 feet goal and 2 points for every second slower or faster than the 45 second goal. A scrambled egg automatically disqualifies the flight. Obviously, the goal is a number as close to 0 as possible. We spent a day at the Swan Falls launch site of the Tripoli Idaho Rocket Club (members of which launch high powered model rockets – making the kind my kids used to build look downright puny). Pretty scenery as a backdrop for the flights:

My son’s team set their rocket up on one of the launch pads and it failed to take off twice. Turns out it was nothing to do with the rocket – the person who set up the launch pad didn’t connect the pad to the launch controller’s station.

The next launch was successful:

Successful in that it took off and landed without breaking the egg. But something went wrong with the altimeter, which was a special kind that also had some fancy breaking mechanism. So the team then had to revamp its rocket so that it wouldn’t need to employ a breaking mechanism to keep from flying far beyond 750 feet. They got close, but not close enough to ask for a qualifying launch. The next weekend (the last weekend to qualify) the team went out and launched without all of the spectators. After a lot of adjustments, the rocket made 743 feet in 42 seconds, for a score of 24. Hopefully that’ll be good enough! If they’re in the top 100 teams (out of approximately 600), they’ll head to Virginia for the national competition – with the top team from that competition not only winning a large cash prize, but also a trip to Paris for the international competition.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I know he misses her, but this is ridiculous

We all miss our sailor girl. My son misses her. Our exchange student misses her. Her friends miss her. My husband and I miss her.

But do we yowl about it every night? No. We do not.

Morton isn't a really friendly cat. In fact, he can be rather standoffish - especially with strangers.

But oh, how he loves my daughter.

And EVERY SINGLE NIGHT SINCE SHE LEFT we have been serenaded with a veritable cat yowl concerto in C minor.

Or something like that.

He has the courtesy to go downstairs before he starts his yowling, so at least he's not right in my face with his little kitty broken heart.

But the yowling goes on. If he wasn't a boy, I'd think he was in heat. It's THAT kind of obnoxious yowling. Then he'll come back upstairs, hop up on the bed next to me and meow right at me for a bit.

OMG, what I wouldn't give for ONE NIGHT of silence.

The other night he headed downstairs and commenced with cat yowl concerto, apparently unaware that our beagle had not yet retired for the evening.

Yowling begins. Joined by a bit of howling. So, now we have a very short duet of animal noise.

Morton headed back upstairs rather rapidly, then joined us on the bed. All calm - like "Hey, I really intended to sing a duet this evening." If you have a cat, you know the routine. They NEVER admit to being startled in the slightest. They were ALWAYS in total control of the situation.

All I know is that if he doesn't start controlling his vocal cords, we may well discover whether cat tastes like chicken soon.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pass in Review

Since my husband did such a beautiful job recapping our experience at our daughter’s Pass in Review (graduation from Navy boot camp) last weekend, I’m going to steal his post and reprint it here. It’s written for folks who have kids in the Navy (either in boot camp or at a different stage of their career), so some of it is geared to help folks who might be headed for their own PIR in the future, but I didn’t want to make too many edits. Nevertheless, I feel that soon all two of my readers will be begging for more “guest posts.” But you’re stuck with me!! Muahhaaaahaaaahaaaa!

The weather in Chicago was terrible on Thursday, February 26th, so it was difficult to get there. We left Boise, Idaho, at 9:51 in the morning and finally got to bed in our hotel room at about 1:00 a.m. But we did make it and I would have gone through much worse for our girl. We had decided to rent a car from O’Hare, since I’m pretty good at navigating around new places. It also gave us a little more flexibility. I won’t go into the whole plane canceled, sitting on the ramp and bumpy flight story. Just believe me when I say there are better times to fly to Chicago.

We stayed at the La Quinta Inn out on Grand Avenue, which was a quick 10 minute or so drive from RTC [Recruit Training Command]. The hotel was very good, with a Continental Breakfast that we took advantage of every day, even the first day when they started serving at 6:00 a.m. and we left the hotel at about 6:15. As we were leaving the hotel I noticed how very cold it was. Our car said it was 17 degrees, but between the humidity and the wind it felt like 10 below.

We got to the front gate at just about 6:30 and I believe there were less than 20 cars ahead of us. Make sure you know where you’re going, because you pass about three gates on Buckley before you get to the right one. The proper gate is east of the VA hospital and is on the corner of Buckley and Illinois Streets. They waved us right through the gate after checking our parking pass and directed us to a small parking lot nearby. There they put us in rows and checked everyone’s I.D.s. That was it. They were patrolling around with a dog, so it’s possible they were doing spot checks on car contents. The dogs were even wearing coats. Did I mention the cold?

After the first parking lot they directed us to the large lot near the chapel. I was tempted to drop my wife and mother-in-law off at MCPON Hall on the way by, since it was blisteringly cold, but I was afraid to stop and mess up the traffic flow. As it was, since we were early, we parked at the far end of the parking lot and had to walk back about 3 or 400 yards. Did I mention it was cold?

We trooped into MCPON hall and got to the front of the line very quickly. Our names were checked off a list and we asked about the fifth member of our group, our German exchange student. We had brought him thinking he would have to wait in the visitor’s center until he could be seated. They just told us to keep him with us, stamped all our hands and waved us along. You do only have four names on the list, so be aware if you bring more they might be disappointed. It worked for us, but ours was a fairly small class with only eight Divisions.

We then walked from MCPON hall to the Drill Hall. If I knew its name I’ve forgotten. The walk was maybe 200 yards. I think I mentioned before that it was cold. We entered the Drill Hall and immediately you can tell where to sit, because there are signs out on the floor for each Division. We found Division 109's seats and proceeded to wait for about two hours. It wasn’t too bad, because you could get up and walk around if you wanted to and they were showing films if you could concentrate. The bathrooms are large, clean and located under the bleachers. They also were selling water at a little stand.

We asked about buying a Division T-shirt, since we heard they sold them during graduation. They said they weren’t selling them. We only found out later our daughter already had hers, so we didn’t have to make sure and get her one. I’ve heard other people say that they sell them while you’re waiting for PIR, but not this time.

I apologize for forgetting what order things happen in, but a few things happen before our Sailors are in the hall. The Navy band plays, a band from the 900 Division plays and they present the colors and all the State Flags. Make sure and cheer when they name your state (you know who you are Rhode Island). If you’re wondering, the flags are presented in the order your state entered the Union. Sorry Alaska and Hawaii, that’s just the way it is.

Then the moment we’d all been waiting for. The large garage doors in the northeast corner (far left, across from the stands) open, and the first Division marches in. They stop immediately and strip off all their watch caps and scarves, then they start moving again. You can hear the excitement as families start recognizing their Sailors. The Divisions all parade in front of the stands then reverse direction and come to a halt in their positions. Don’t be surprised if your Division is not right in front of you, it just works out that way.

We saw our girl fairly early on, but we weren’t sure it was her, because her blond hair looked dark against the Navy Blue Dress uniform. At this point I was getting a little emotional so maybe I wasn’t seeing so well. When they did their turning maneuver that put all their guidon and flag bearers at the front, she went to the back, since she was the tallest girl in the Division. I could see her with binoculars and my wife was able to get her picture with her telephoto lens.

The ceremony is surprisingly short. The main part of it is giving out the Honors to the Honor Recruits and Honor Divisions. A Rear Admiral, who works at the Pentagon, was the honorary graduate inspector, and he gave a speech. It was a rousing dedication to “The most powerful Navy in the world” and our Sailors. At one point he mentioned that this class means a lot to him, since he had a new Sailor out on the floor. I thought he was going to lose it then and I almost did myself.

I can still hear in my head the moment they called, “Now Hear This, Liberty Call, Liberty Call.” If the three little old ladies and the Chief RDC [Recruit Division Commander – what in other branches of the military might be known as a drill sergeant] I ran over getting to my girl are reading this, I’m really sorry. I have to blame extenuating circumstances. I’m sure you understand.

I’m about 6’ 4” tall and my girl is 5’ 8” so we didn’t have much trouble finding each other. The big grins we each had on our faces would probably have lit up a dark room anyway. I caught her and gave her a big “Bravo Zulu” hug. The rest of the family caught up and we all stood around congratulating ourselves on a job well done. There wasn’t a dry eye in the group. Even our crusty new Sailor showed a little emotion.

We spent the next three days catching up and trying to stay warm. It was very hard to take her back Sunday night, but she was able to call and leave a message on my cell phone Monday. She called Wednesday from O’Hare, where she was waiting to catch the plane to San Francisco and then to Monterey.

She’s getting settled in in Monterey right now, waiting to “class up” and begin learning Arabic – a process that’s scheduled to last at least 63 weeks. Once she’s mastered her language, that’ll be the last we know of her job as everything from there on out will be classified. She could tell us, but then she’d have to kill us.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Nope, I didn't disappear off the face of the planet. I've just been using all of my spare writing time to correspond with A NEW SAILOR IN THE U.S. NAVY!!!



Nope, not proud at all.

Details to follow when I've recovered from our trip to the Chicago (which isn't nicknamed "The Windy City" for nothin'!).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

She still has a sense of humor

Well, they may be doing their utmost to torment her in the best of military boot camp style, but we have trained her well - my daughter still has her sense of humor!

When your kid heads off to Navy boot camp, you'll get a 30 second call when they arrive, a box full of their civilian clothes about a week later, and a form letter from the Department of the Navy in about another week.

The form letter expresses appreciation for your support of your recruit, gives you the official address for sending mail to your recruit (as well as letting you know what is and is not acceptable to mail), discusses telephone calls (you can't call 'em), emergency leave (strongly discouraged), visiting (not until PIR - Pass in Review, the official graduation ceremony), and various and sundry other form-letter-type stuff. There are also two lines available for your kid to write a message.

This didn't stop my daughter from cramming eight lines of writing in the "Recruit's Comments" area as well as little notes or a drawing on each of the other three pages of the letter.

Her illustration let us know that the bitter cold (boot camp is in Great Lakes, Illinois) was being compensated for by what she referred to as cold-weather Astronaut suit clothing. She drew an arrow to what she called "totally hot Navy-issue glasses I will soon receive" (apparently, the black-plastic rimmed glasses are referred to in Navy lingo as "BCG" or "birth control glasses" because they are not exactly stylin').

Her note indicated that the RDCs (Recruit Division Commanders) aren't as scary as she thought they would be because she hasn't "done anything completely moronic ... yet." And that one of the things that keeps her going is knowing "whatever comes after this canNOT POSSIBLY suck this bad. It's inconceivable."

And then she broke my heart by saying that she barely laughs for fear of getting yelled at. My daughter has an absolutely delightful, infectious laugh and it's one of the things I miss the most.

But if the kid who's going through the boot camp ordeal can tell me to "Be strong - I'm okay" - well, it's the least I can do.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


My name is Sharon and I'm a bookaholic.

I don't think there are any 12 step programs for my ailment.

But then, I doubt I'd deem myself in need of rehabilitation if there were any programs, so it's probably a good thing they're not available. Without rehab, there can be no interventions. So, I'm safe to read to my heart's content.

Even when that means I'm completely ignoring many other obligations - like sweeping, mopping, dusting, laundry, etc.

Yes, sometimes I get into a really good book and pretty much couch potato until I've finished it (betcha didn't know you could use "couch potato" as a verb, did you?).

Over the past six months, I've taken part in two reading log swaps on Swap-Bot. It's the first time I've ever actually kept track of my reading. I've always said that I read to escape and my logs sure showed that! I had a grand total of one nonfiction book during six months of reading!

For kicks, here's my log (sans all of the descriptions):



False Memory

Dean Koontz

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Sophie Kinsella

Shopaholic Ties the Knot

Sophie Kinsella

Cold Case

Stephen White

The Golden Compass

The Subtle Knife

The Amber Spyglass

(His Dark Materials Trilogy)

Phillip Pullman

Desperate Hours

(The Epic Rescue of the Andrea Doria)

Richard Goldstein

Murder Suicide

Keith Ablow

Breaking Dawn

Stephenie Meyer


Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman


Janet Evanovich

Everyone Worth Knowing

Laura Weisberger

Power Play

Joseph Finder

A TV Guide to Life (How I Leaned Everything I Needed to Know from Watching Television)

Jeff Alexander

Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa

Tracy McArdle

Murder in Volume

D.R. Meredith

Too Late for Angels

Mignon F. Ballard

Breach of Promise

Perri O’Shaughnessy

Unfit to Practice

Perri O’Shaughnessy


Anne Frasier

The Host

Stephenie Meyer


Natalie R. Collins

Then We Came to the End

Joshua Ferris

I Am Legend

Richard Matheson

The Woods

Harlan Coben


Dennis Lehane

Killer Instinct

Joseph Finder

Angela’s Ashes

Frank McCourt

Teacher Man

Frank McCourt

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Khaled Hosseini

Nobody’s Safe

Richard Steinberg

Daddy’s Girl

Lisa Scottoline

Brotherhood of the Rose

David Morrell


David Morrell

Saving Fish From Drowning

Amy Tan

Are you There, Vodka, It’s Me, Chelsea.

Chelsea Handler

Cold Sassy Tree

Olive Ann Burns

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

Gregory Maguire

Ender’s Game

Speaker of the Dead


Children of the Mind

Orson Scott Card


Lisa Gardner


Frank McCourt

Every Boy’s Got One

Meg Cabot

After Sunset

Stephen King

Change of Heart

Jodi Picoult


Jilliane Hoffman

Veil of Roses

Laura Fitzgerald

The Hour I First Believed

Wally Lamb

I've decided to keep a log of everything I read this year. Maybe I'll try to sneak in more than one nonfiction!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Where's my heart? In Illinois, that's where

And it's cold, darn it!

Actually, only part of my heart is in Illinois. I do still have family here. But the lovely young lady who is my daughter headed off for Navy boot camp Tuesday, January 6, and it certainly felt like my heart was being ripped out at the time.

I knew it would be hard. She's left home before - for a semester at a prep school in Southern California, for a couple of weeks to attend Summer Seminars for both the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy, for a week to attend Girls' State, three weeks in Europe, and various and sundry time spent with out-of-town friends and family.

But this time was different - this time I knew she wouldn't be coming back to live at home when she was finished. Plus, this time there would be 100% more yelling at her where she was going!

I started the waterworks a couple of weeks before she left - trying to restrict myself to crying when she was not around. In the shower, in bed, in the pantry huddled over the trash can ('cause it's a nice sized pantry, but it's not big enough to wallow in without huddling over the trash can). The day we took her to the hotel where she spent her last night in town before shipping out, I broke the no-crying-in-front-of-her rule. But she wiped away a tear or two herself, so that was okay.

I'm doing a little better than I expected. Sure, I was a hot mess for awhile, but I've bucked up and am doing the ol' stiff upper lip thing. When we got "the box" (they sent back all of her civilian clothes in a box right away), I didn't weep hysterically as I had assumed I would. Seeing the hurriedly scrawled "love you" inside the box was wonderful - we probably won't get any actual correspondence for another week or so.

She's a strong gal. And this is what she has wanted to do since middle school - serve her country in the U.S. Navy. So, holding it together and being cheerfully supportive is the least I can do for her. I know she can do anything for 8 weeks as long as she knows she's got love and support from her friends and family.

And I'm right - she called home today (I'm soooo jealous that my husband was home sick and that he was able to talk to her!). She needs information so the Navy can complete her security clearance (she'll be in an intelligence job when she finishes school after boot camp). She had enough time to tell him that she's doing great and everything is going fine with her basic training.

That's my gal!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I left a little bit less of my heart in San Francisco

But 100% more luggage.

As I’ve mentioned before, we are currently hosting our 5th exchange student. Now, when students first find out they’re placed with our family, they have to look up where exactly Idaho is in relation to the parts of the U.S. they’ve actually heard of. So while they’re here, we make every attempt to show them at least one thing their friends and family will be able to relate to. Over the years, we’ve made trips to Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and, one of our favorite cities, San Francisco.

For some exchange students, there’s nothing quite like walking across the Golden Gate Bridge and riding a cable car. And the hilly streets - the scene of so very many exciting car chases in so very many movies - are always a hit!

This year’s trip was over the Christmas holidays. We piled in the car Christmas afternoon and headed for my sister-in-law’s house in Reno, and then on to California the next day. My father-in-law lives only a couple of hours from the City (as San Franciscans like to call it – never, ever “Frisco”), so we got up bright and early on the 28th and drove down to the City by the Bay.

We spent a couple of days doing all of the typical, touristy things: walking across the Golden Gate Bridge and back, having ice cream at the Ben & Jerry’s at the corner of Haight and Ashbury, letting the kids dip their toes in the Pacific Ocean, driving down the crooked part of Lombard Street, roving around Fisherman’s Wharf watching the street performers and buying postcards, and (of course) riding the famous cable cars. We got off of our cable car in Chinatown, wandered around and then headed back to the area where we always park our car when we’re in that end of town. My knees wimped out during the mile and a half walk (so very, very frustrating), so my husband and daughter left the boys and me in a park in Little Italy and jogged off to bring the car back.

Unfortunately, someone beat them to the car.

No, it wasn’t stolen. However, the rear driver’s side window had been smashed to bits, my purse was on the ground beside the car and both my suitcase and a backpack belonging to our exchange student were gone.

Coulda been worse, I guess. My suitcase had nothing but clothing in it (albeit clothing that I loved!) and the backpack contained only a few, inexpensive items. It looked as though the thieves had merely broken the window, grabbed the items closest to them, and run off (after rifling through my purse and abandoning it for its sheer boringness, I guess). They didn’t unlock the rest of the car, or even look closely at the rear seat area. My daughter’s purse was in the center section of seats and held her digital camera. We had nearly every CD we own in the front of the van. And, strangest of all, our exchange student’s iPod was in plain sight in the back of the car. So, we were thanking our lucky stars that it wasn’t worse.

It did, however, put a damper on what had been a nice little trip. And an unexpected dent in our pocketbook in the form of window replacement.

But I’ve got to wonder what the heck our incompetent thieves were thinking. I mean - breaking into a minivan with Idaho plates? A minivan belonging to folks who couldn’t even afford to fly to the City? What exactly did they think they’d be hauling out of that van? I have a feeling they were terribly disappointed with their haul!

I, for one, was glad to be back home when the trip was over.

Oh yeah, one great reason to live in Idaho? A headline in the Idaho Business Review: “Idaho energy czar Kjellander aims to harness cow pie power.”

Couldn’t get that anywhere else.