Highway 431 Blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Health Care Reform Poll On Parker Griffith's Web Site ::

I went to Parker Griffith's web site to express my displeasure with his stance on health care reform and came across this poll:

Time to rally the troops and turn the tide on the outcome shown here!

A Product Of The California School System ::

This child certainly got left behind!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Kitteh Blogging ::

Arbus resting on the garage windowsill.

I'm either slowly cleaning up the garage mess or, quite possibly, making it worse!

Bought A Lemon? ::

I've seen this car several times and wondered just what the backstory was. Someday maybe I'll get to talk to the owner and find out just what went on.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Love Fest 2009 ::

I spent some time last Sunday afternoon and early evening down at Huntsville's Lowe Mill enjoying the first annual Love Fest. This was a benefit to collect school supplies and money to buy school supplies for school children whose parents have a tough time buying the necessities for the coming school year.

Entertainment was provided for the entire family with some attractions for small children and poetry readings and music for the older attendees. Music was provided by the reggae band Kush which was joined for this event by local horn player Ken Watters. The event was a rousing success and we're already looking forward to next year.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bobby Bright Dodges Questions ::

Not to mention being a fashion disaster!

It's about time he learned that actions have consequences!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Good Music For A Good Cause ::

It's called "Love Fest 2009" and will happen this coming Sunday evening at Lowe Mill on Seminole Drive.

Here's a bigger image of the invitation.

The price of admission is a backpack which will be donated to a Huntsville student and will, hopefully, be filled with supplies when the new school year starts in a few weeks. If you forget to pick up a backpack then a $5 donation will get you in to hear the music of Kush, a wonderful Reggae band, and Ken Watters will be playing with them.

If you've never been to Lowe Mill or experienced The Flying Monkey Arts Center, please, come on down. Lowe Mill is one of Huntsville's greatest assets!

Sessions vs Sotomayor ::

I have been following the judiciary committee hearing very closely, sometimes on tv, but mostly via webcast from Cspan and the embarrassment that is Beau Sessions doesn't disappoint, but I'm truly amazed by the senator from my home state of South Carolina, Lindsey Graham. I kept hoping that Sotomayor would jump up and pinch the little bastard's head off!

Monday, July 13, 2009

BeauSnark! ::

The Sotomayor confirmation hearings begin today so we have ample opportunity to marvel at the oratorical skills of Jeff Sessions!

Someone fire up the TiVo!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Morning With The Cats ::

Here's Missy, the mom, hanging out by the pepper and tomato plants.

And here is her kitten, now named Arbus, lounging on the garden hose. I don't see how this could be comfortable, but cats seem to like to lounge in what I would consider the most unlikely places!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Good Friend Needs Some Good Vibes! ::

My friend Bill who lives up in Louisville had an angioplasty yesterday morning and hoped to go home this afternoon, but, alas, there seems to be a complication which we hope is minor and he may get to go home tomorrow but, more likely, Saturday. I'm not particularly religious, but I do believe in the power of good thoughts so I'm hoping that everyone will emit some good vibes for Bill!

Raging Rainstorm ::

I got stuck down on South Parkway this afternoon in a downpour so heavy and wind-driven that I had to stop for about 10 or 15 minutes 'til it abated a bit. I just didn't trust all of those cellphone and texting users all around me to keep themselves safe, much less me so I pulled over thinking that this was a good thing for my yard and for my tomatoes and for my peppers! Got home and there was nary a drop in my yard!

I was still glad to see that someone got some rain!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Over The Rhine ::

Huntsville is a pretty lousy music town. I miss the old TipTop Cafe!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Excitement Down The Street ::

I don't know what was going on but we had fire trucks, police and an ambulance going by a while ago. The ambulance left with sirens screaming so I suppose it's a medical emergency. I hope whoever was inside is OK!

Little Animals ::

I like living out in the country! I had to go to the store a short time ago and crossed the little creek right at Hwy 431. Something was scurrying across the road so I slowed down. As it turned out it was a baby Beaver carrying a freshly cut twig. He is still far too small for an entire tree!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th Of July ::

Everyone be safe with those legally purchased miniature explosive devices!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Parker Griffith's Health Care Town Hall Meeting ::

Well, I was able to get to the Davidson Center with time to spare as the event started a few minutes late. Everyone seemed happy with the turnout although I was hoping for more and there were adherents of both sides in attendance.

After an introduction and some opening remarks by Griffith the floor was quickly opened to questions, or what should have been questions but which devolved into long dissertations. There were obviously strong feelings on both sides with those opposed to a government option or single-payer seeming to be the loudest. There were tales of woe when dealing with insurance companies and hospitals, but far too much time was spent on personal statements when the time would have been much better spent asking clear, concise questions of Griffith. Many more people could have been accommodated.

Griffith seemed open to supporting a government option in health care coverage and made it a point to say that he would be introducing legislation to require lawmakers to utilize the government option for their own health care if it becomes law. Seems like more than a bit of pandering to me, but we'll see what happens. I didn't detect any support from Griffith for a single-payer system. This didn't really surprise me, but I will continue to push him to support just such a system.

The cost of health coverage drew some commentary, but I felt that the question of cost continues to be terribly misunderstood. Most people look at their paycheck and only see the premium deduction without also considering what the employer has to pay. My personal deduction is right at $170/month, but the total with what my employer pays is just under $900/month. I also have a health savings account which I use for deductibles and miscellaneous medical expenses which is another $1950/year so I am very aware of what the insurance companies and big pharma get from me each year. These are costs which must be addressed.

I would have also like to have seen more discussion about the lack of competition between insurance companies here in Alabama. Blue Cross has just over 80% of the market sewn up and Griffith said that he would support legislation requiring insurers to compete nationwide. That, coupled with a government option, could help to lower costs, but I am once again skeptical!

One thing that Griffith said was interesting to me. He stated, and later reiterated, that he felt that health care was an inherent right rather than a privilege. I was happy to hear this, but I couldn't help but think that he left unstated "if you can pay for it"! I hope I'm wrong. Maybe I'm just getting too suspicious in my old age!

I hope the town hall meeting becomes a regular event here in Huntsville, but everyone should be more focused with their comments and questions!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Video Spoof Of The Mark Sanford Affair ::

This is too rich! As a native of South Carolina and as someone who still owns property there I do not hesitate to endorse this spoof of the hypocrisy of Mark Sanford!

Tomato Pie ::

My first stab at this is in the oven right now. My fingers are crossed and if it turns out ok I'll post the recipe.

I thought I knew every way there was to cook tomatoes!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Restaurant Review ::

The wife wanted to do some shopping over in Madison so we took a quick trip over there late this morning and stopped off in Hampton Cove to eat lunch at The Mandarin House (I think that's the name). It's in the little strip shopping center next to the Wal-Mart and the lunch was great and I recommend The Mandarin House highly. The lunch buffet was sumptuous and fresh and the service was excellent! If you visit don't pass up the coconut shrimp!

Thunder? ::

Blue skies outside with no clouds, but I hear thunder in the distance. Could use some rain.

[update] 10:30 am and still booming. Apparently what I'm hearing are implements of destruction being tested out on Redstone Arsenal.