Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sarah Vowell is hilarious.

Speaking at a University, Sarah Vowell was asked what she thinks of all the people in the audience who were sending and receiving text messages during her time at the podium. Here is her response:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

1.5 years later, still experiencing thermostat rage

I don' t know what happened to distract me (new job? general house renovations, etc?), but in summer of last year I vowed to sashay out to the hardware store for a new thermostat. I have as yet to fulfill that vow, but about 4AM I awakened to a bloody boiling house. In winter, I generally keep the thermostat anywhere between 60 and 65 F. This keeps me comfortable and makes for a good temp for snuggling pups, and keeps me from getting hot if I bustle about the house.

The digital thermostat I have in now keeps re-setting itself to heat the house to 70, which is much too hot for my tastes. I'd already prepared for a cold night by putting on a down comforter and a large heavy blanket, plus installing after-burnered furballs in bed for area heating purposes. Praline sleeps by my feet (toasty!) and Chuy is always against by stomach or my back, so I'm pretty much covered for furry hot-water bottle style heat.

Anyway, I'm going to get the old manual toggle style thermostat, since this one clearly answers to Sauron, and no amount of fiddling on my part will compel it to do my bidding. Piece of crap. Yes. This one's going to be blown to bits on some upcoming range day.

...and speaking of range days... I'll be posting my view soon of a gorgeous holster from Dragon Leatherworks. Watch this space.

Monday, November 28, 2011

First morning with new bedroom curtains

I painted the new wood on 3 of my 14 windows yesterday. Made coverings/curtains for 9 of them, and hung 8 of those. Waking up today, the place has a decidedly more cheerful aspect. Gone are the ghetto sheet/pillowcase curtains. Yay!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: pup-sprung.

I bought a new recliner (my first, in truth) about 2 months ago and the pups just LURVE perching on the top of it. Consequently, the top of the recliner has a sort of deflated look. Of course, I don't scold the puppies-- this is their home too-- because they are just wallowing in a bit, and not clawing or chewing and being actively destructive. Lucky for me I'm short enough that I don't really need the top part much, anyhow. :P

Yes, btw, the puppies DO love their sweaters. They seem to have observed that the sweaters have a warm-making effect, and on the cold nights and days, they are happy for the wee extra bit of insulation. :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside.

Or at least it's getting that way quickly, the mercury having dropped about 15 degrees since I first awakened today. I have today and the next 3 days off, and I'm determined to get a lot done on the house, so I suppose it's just as well that it's stay-at-home weather. Still, I'd love to curl up with a mug of hot tea and the book I'm reading all weekend. One thing that is glorious is how the house is staying warmer with all the new windows. This is a relatively small house and it has a LOT of windows (14, I like a bright home), so those old single-pane aluminum ones seemed to wick cold (or heat, ugh) into the home with remarkable efficiency. This is much better, and they look much prettier. :) I need to do some rudimentary window coverings this weekend so I can take down the sheets, which probably look rather ghetto. :P

I have a pot of beans cooking in the slow cooker with some nice spices and a heaping helping of roasted Hatch chiles. I can hardly wait. There may be cornbread in the offing later on, too. Teh puppehs have their sweaters on, and it's time to roll up the old sleeves.

I have all my crown molding for the house. I need to paint that and to prime and paint the remainder of the corner and divider blocks for that trim. I really want at least one room of crown molding up before I go back to work on Wednesday.

I decided to dispense with mitering the corners by using these corner blocks, and I already have two rooms' worth primed and painted and ready to go up. Several weeks back at Seconds and Surplus in Dallas, I was able to purchase a pre-primed wood crown molding for the entire house for less than $250, including tax. However, due to the limitations of my glorious little chariot, I could only buy the 8' lengths, rather than 16', so nearly every wall in the house would need a mitered join for the molding. I've decided to put a divider block (not the size on ad, btw) on each wall, obviating the need to miter the molding, thus sparing the horse wot am performing the odious task for me. The rooms are not huge, so I hope that breaking of the line of the molding with dividers doesn't make the rooms look even more chopped up and wee. I definitely don't need things to look more small and cluttered than they already are.

Pictures soon to follow. Hope you have a great weekend!

The goats who stared at pumpkins

And ate them.

Took these pictures on Wednesday when it was all sunny and bright. I pass this herd of goats quite frequently and think the kids are so adorable.

mmmm. Cabrito. Yum!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Have you heard of ferrofluid? Ferrofluids are colloidal liquids made of nanoscale ferromagnetic, or ferrimagnetic, particles suspended in a carrier fluid (usually an organic solvent or water), and they become strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field.

There's loads of videos of these on YouTube, but I like this one in particular. Fascinating stuff.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just because you CAN laser-etch anything into granite or marble doesn't mean you should.

Shamelessly purloined from-- oh, several places.

I actually hope this is fake.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: yin/yang pups

Sorry the posting has been sporadic lately, but I've been super-busy, and my iPhone Blogger application has not been cooperating, for the most part, so I haven't even been able to post on the fly, most of the time.

Today's puppy photo is of the pups cuddled on a blanket on the sofa. Sorry for the poor lighting, but hopefully you have an inkling of how sweet the moment was.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fix-A-Flat Ass

true conversation from my living room 5 minutes ago

LawDog: How many people are in Columbus?

aepilot_jim: It's the capitol of Ohio.

LawDog: So... 5,000 people?

aepilot_jim: Spoken like a true Texan.

landed a small role in the musical.

I was excited to learn that I'd been cast in a small role in the musical, and then I went to the theater company's website and saw photos of their current production, all singers wearing small headset microphones. Oh, dear. My singing is full-voiced, and I'm nervous about how that is going to affect the other singers who only croon. Maybe they can ramp the amplification down on my mic? I was excited because this is an older musical with big chorus parts that simply beg for full-voice, classical singing, and it didn't occur to me that the company would use mics on stage.


Still, I'm pleased to be in the cast and I'll do my best to fit in while not hiding it under a bushel.

Thursday, November 17, 2011's last-ditch attempt to reel me back in.

When I was looking to make a change and move away from Dallas, I dipped my toe in the pool with Even with extensive customer service and management experience, I didn't get a single email or call from any interested parties in the area where I wanted to move. Within several months of seeing this was a dead-end, I stopped biting at the leads they dangled, and eventually blocked their address from my email.

They seem to have retooled their email address, because this week I got a new come-on from them with a whole bevy of new career prospects for me. The top match for me?

Funeral Director/Embalmer.

Among the requirements: Must have a current Funeral Director/Embalmer license with the state

Hmph. Let me check my little index of certifications. Embalmer license? Check. Embalmer license for the State O' Texas? Curses! Foiled again!

How they made the leap from my job history/qualifications to Funeral Director/Embalmer is a mystery to me. And not to disparage that job type at all-- I'm sure they make metric butt-tons more money than I do now, and obviously, they fill a necessary niche that is not for everyone. I'm still just baffled this was sent to me as an option.

By the way, careerbuilder, I don't have an arc-welding license or a degree in rocket surgery, either, FWIW.

If I wasn't cynical about before, I certainly would be now. As it is, this only pushed me farther around the bend.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Howard Garrett - the Dirt Doctor

A few weeks back I did an important post on Fidotoxicity which I hope will help spread the word on this serious occurrence. Some wrote and asked for links to Howard Garrett's site and for information on his radio show. You can go to his site here and here's a link to his excellent radio show information,which you can listen to online. Howard's methods are for organic gardening and his show is where I've learned much of what I know about letting nature work for you by using native perennials to have a garden scheme that is hardy to your region's weather and soil. Though his focus is on the heat-hardy perennials for the North Texas region, he also has a wealth of information on the site related to things which are universal, such as proper depth for planting a tree to engineer the long-term health of same. He also touts the importance of letting nature help you control pests with beneficial insects like ladybugs and mantids. One thing I highly recommend is his recipes for soil amendments like compost tea. These things are easy and just take a little bit of effort, and are ultimately cheaper than using toxic pre-packaged chemical stuff the stores sell.

The ladybug thing may be regional, though, FWIW. I was visiting my Great Aunt L. and her husband in the Ozarks one Autumn when the days were still warm but nights were chill, and there were swags of thousands of ladybugs trying to get into her house at the windows and doors. I would buy a bag of about 1000 ladybugs at Redenta's or some such garden centerin Dallas, but Aunt L couldn't give them away. The "one man's trash ..." principle applies here, I suppose.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Can't believe I let someone goad me into this, but...

I'm at an audition for a musical. I'm like the oldest person here. They're all children.

Maybe they need a crone in this production...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Guilty pleasure - Craig Colton on UK X Factor

I have to admit that I adore Craig Colton's voice and song stylings on X Factor UK. So many of those pop idol shows are chock full of predictable, trite singing that's just like what already pollutes the airwaves, and Craig is actually quite gifted and unique. He doesn't fit the usual popstar mold, and I like him all the more for that, plus he makes a Lady Gaga sound better than I knew it could. Plus, he's a Scouser.

The singing on the video starts about 1:40, but it's fun to hear his charming accent, too. Check it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

un-asked for diagnosis.

Went to the dr today, and they xrayed my lungs and there is no pneumonia. In fact, the radiologist said everything from heart to lungs is normal or not unusual. The dr said I need to see a pulmonologist to test for lung function. She said that a cough can linger a couple months after an illness. Goody.

They gave me a printout of the analysis of my films from the radiologist, including the one from when I went in two weeks ago. I pulled into my drive at home and looked at the printout and noticed this little depth-charge: Mild degenerative disc disease is demonstrated at multiple interspace levels in the thoracic spine, it said.

Uh, what?

The first person I told about this said "it's an age thing, sweetie."

Um, ouch.

How did this getting old thing start happening to me?
Cough or no, I'm getting back into the yoga studio. Even if I only do half the stuff and end up laying in corpse pose for half the time, at least I'll feel like I'm doing something, instead of feeling held hostage by a cough like I have for the past 5 weeks. I don't think I have symptoms of the disc thingie yet. Let's hope I continue not to have...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remiss in my posting, correcting a neglected duty with regard to Veteran's Day.

Roberta says it here, perfectly: We are indebted to the men and women who have nobly served our nation, and under the weather on Veteran's Day on Friday, I didn't post at all, but I did pause to consider them and to give thanks for their commitment. Saturday I tipped a five spot into a VFW can at the local grocer and took a lovely little poppy for my lapel, which I'll keep wearing.

I'm still reeling from the aftermath of illness. Last week's business trip seems not to have helped. I'll work at least part of the day tomorrow, but this cough is still so bad that I'll probably go to the dr tomorrow. The dr a week ago yesterday told me that after all the shots and 20 days of oral antibiotics, I pretty much could not possibly still be sick and this must be allergies. I think tomorrow I'm going to insist upon another lung xray - because I still think this is pneumonia. Tuesday will make 5 weeks I've been sick.

Not good.

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: worn out puppies

Chuy and Praline are ready to go to bed when the sun goes down, and they actually seem indignant that I don't go to bed then, too, and now that delay is even more pronounced since it's getting dark so much earlier. Here they are asleep early last night, poor little lambs.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Marines!

I first met the Marine in my family when he was a tall, skinny teenager dating my sister during their high school years. He was and always has been a quiet, reserved guy, occasionally opening his mouth to bowl us over with great wit. He and my sister broke up sometime around the end of high school and they went their separate ways. In the way life has of serving up a do-si-do, she and he circled back to one another several years later and all grown up, they were wed. I'll never forget how they were the loveliest couple I've ever seen at their wedding-- she with her post-punk artchick short shock of white hair and cooly unconventional but very romantic gown and he in his Dress Blues looking every bit the bad-ass buff Marine with arm-candy bride. I can see him in my gorgeous niece and nephew, too, and I know that so much of the principles of the Marines have been formative in their lives.

I'm thankful for S. and all the Marines who serve our great nation. We are indebted to you.

Happy Birthday, Marines!

I found the coolest Indian food joint

This place was small but very tidy and nicely decorated. I'd heard it was wonderful from some folks at the local office. Went in with a colleague who'd never had Indian food before. I suggested she try the chicken korma, and she did and was delighted. We had some nice mincemeat samosas, and she particularly liked the mint chutney. I was very pleased that her first foray into Indian cuisine was to her satisfaction, and she said that was her favorite meal of the whole trip. :) I appreciate when people are open minded enough to try something like that, and I expect she'll relish future opportunities to have Indian food. Good on her. :)

I noticed there was a tv in the corner and glanced at the screen just in time to see a piece of Naan bread flying out of the tandoori pot in which it had been cooking-- they had a camera in the kitchen trained on that cooking vessel so you could see the flurry of activity. This was a very cool feature. And the Naan was delicious. mmmm.

It was nice to visit our other office. About 5 or 6 times, I heard someone approaching saying they heard my voice and couldn't wait to meet me. I disappointed a couple of women by declaring that I'd pictured them as brunettes, one of them having been downright insulted until I pointed out my own brunetteness. I managed to keep a somewhat firm grip on my couth, having only blurted inappropriateness a couple times, and I'm mostly not embarrassed about it.

This place is beautiful, and I could see living here one day, but I don't know if that will ever be in the cards. We shall see.

In the mean time, I'll be happy enough to be back at my house, because-- as ever-- home is where my dogs are. :)

I'll be so happy to roll into my driveway about 7:00 tonight. :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Meep! Meep! Meep!

Meep! Meep! Meep!

I was so wiped out Monday night that I fell asleep and was not awakened by the earthquake that rattled the doors of my colleagues' rooms.

Meep! Meep! Meep!

I had enough presence of mind to set the two alarms on the alarm clock in my room, and I got as comfortable as I could be on the king sized bed with 4 pillows and woefully bereft of puppies

Meep! Meep! Meep!

That annoying sound was going off. All was pitch dark. It wouldn't stop. I opened my eyes and squinted at the clock.


Meep! Meep! Meep!

Unfamiliar with the buttons, I started batting at the top of the alarm clock, trying to shut it up. Wait a minute-- I set the alarm for 6:00 AM. This can't be right.

The noise stopped and I accepted I'd finally hit the right button to stop the infernal honking.

I didn't think about it again until one lady asked at breakfast if I'd heard the fire alarm go off in the hotel in the middle of the night.

Come to think of it... good thing there wasn't really a fire!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

plumb tuckered out.

I'm on a business trip and was so wound-up the night before that I hardly got any sleep. Got up and bustled about getting things ready, stepping over puppies. It's really hard to leave my little darlings. Went into the bathroom bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived about 5:45 Monday morning. Decided that would actually be the perfect time to tidy up my eyebrows with some waxing strips. (can you guess what is coming?) Apparently I was in precisely the wrong state to attempt any self-waxing and I mistakenly removed a regrettable swathe of my left eyebrow which I'd meant to keep. Thank goodness for brow-filler products, but still, would had preferred to keep one's brows intact, rather than to have to do the pencil-moustache version of an eyebrow.

Drove through torrential rains and then hit lots of gray misty weather, and the effect of the misty roadway coupled with extreme fatigue was soporific, to say the least. I managed not to nod off, but I did feel very, very sleepy. Then there's the lingering unpleasantness about the time change. Yuck. Going to bed Monday night about 8:30 PM, most likely. Going to try to get up early enough to wrestle my mane into submission, however futile the task may be.

Now I'm in a beautiful city in a nearby state in a pretty nice hotel room. After driving most of the day, I went to the local office here and met many colleagues who previously have only been voices on the end of the phone line. It's funny how my perception of some people on the phone skews dramatically with what they actually look like. One man, too, was precisely as I expected him to be-- and not in a good way. Will try to give you more content tomorrow, but for now I'm knackered.

Cheers, darlings!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Occupy Wall Street - Dallas

Note how most of the folks in this video say they are involved in business but decline to go into detail. "Free businessman" is how one man identifies himself. Remember what I said about how it seems to me the whole movement has been coopted by homeless people who are legitimized by feigning righteous indignation and passing for protesters? Well, homeless people rarely describe themselves as homeless-- they think of themselves as entrepreneurs, which sounds curiously like how these people are describing themselves. This is a convenient place to pitch a tent and not get hassled by the po-po.


H/t to Matt G

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Puppehs in photo are much cuter than they may appear

Lovely as it was to spend the night at Mom and Dad's on Friday, it was so sweet to get home to my baby furballs on Saturday night. They were so happy to see me and were very attentive.

My sweetlings.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

LouLou gets a bath.

I take my chariot to the carwash about every 6 months or so whether she needs it or not. Today, we're washing about 20 pounds of Colorado real estate off my buggy. Their mud shall merge with our mud. So say I.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 04, 2011

This guy owes a dollar to the Douchebag Jar

Did you hear about the guy who is suing his wedding photographer 8 years after the wedding, and demanding the photographer re-stage the entire wedding, including flying in all the guests so the final dance and tossing of the bouquet could be re-enacted? It's true, and he's suing the photographer for $48,000 to fly in guests, have the venue decorated, etc. He's upset because the 6 hour of ceremony/party only yielded 2 hours of video. What a solipsistic wanker!

Apparently, the wedding ended in divorce, but he wants to remember the way are no longer. Also, after divorcing, his wife returned to her native Latvia, and he apparently doesn't know where she is, but that doesn't matter-- what's important here is that he's not happy with the wedding photos. From 2003. His name is Todd J. Remis, and apparently the reason this case is going forward in the courts is that his father is a partner in a big law firm. Is it my imagination or did he just get even more douchey?

Make that a million dollars for the Douchebag Jar*, pretty please.

Wow. Now someone remind me why people are cynical about lawyers and the court system and all that?

*shamelessly purloined from The New Girl

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Victoria's granny panty secret: auctioned royal knickers fetch big bucks

Silk bloomers belonging to Queen Victoria have fetched more than $15,000 on the auction block. Isn't it funny that an old pair of bloomers would be deemed significant enough to garner that degree of interest?

I suppose she never had her manky yard-work day panties that had been wallowed by puppehs at the bottom of the laundry basket. *snerk* The royal monogram on them looks very prim, don't you think? I also found this little article that says the hand-me-down bloomers were likely to have been given to a servant.

I am reminded of Bill Clinton's first year in office and he and Hils filed their first tax return, replete with itemized write-off receipt for cast-off items donated to Goodwill. The listed his Ermengildo Zegna used underwear as having a high re-sell value of $12.00, which I thought was a bit cheeky. I think they should have taken a crack a ebay-- no telling how much they could have made!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Dog who survives gas chamber inspires other pet adoptions

There was a bittersweet story in the news about a handsome young dog who survived a gas chamber. Granted a reprieve, the shelter has received about 100 applications from around the country from people who would like to adopt the plucky pup.

I can understand why seeing Daniel the wonderdog in the news would tug at the heart-strings and make people want to rescue him, but I was saddened by the story's statement that about half the applicants said they didn't want to adopt another pet if the survivor dog wasn't available. Where were those people BEFORE Daniel got gassed? I can't believe so many people would be blind to all the other anonymous pooches and kitties that will be put to death because no one cares and there are simply not enough resources to responsibly care for all these unwanted pets.

Let's be honest-- we as humans have had a great hand in the engineering of dog and cat breeds. We have made them what they are, really, and although animals can survive in the wild, we've bred pets-- particularly dogs-- to trust us and to be the gorgeous, loving things they are. We fail them if we don't do all we can to prevent unwanted litters from being conceived, and we fail them if we don't do all we can to see they are taken care of.

My pet story has unfolded here over the years. My first dog, Valentine, was kept as an only pet, and I was ignorant and though she was happy, I now know she could have been happier. When she died, I got one of her descendants, Praline, and I've been much more responsible. I wanted to get another pup to be a packmate with Praline so she wouldn't have as solitary a life as Valentine. I mentioned this to my vet and they practically forced me to take Chuy. "We have the perfect dog for you! He is wonderful!" My vet had rescued an entire litter of chihuahua/wiener pups from a shelter. I fought it. I always said I'd never have a chihuahua OR a dachsund, and here I was getting the best of both breeds. I could see how adorable he was, but I was still grieving Valentine and Praline was just so perfect that Chuy seemed like a booby prize to me at first.

The real boob in the story was me, because that little chiweenie-- that little beaner-schnitzel -- wended his way into my heart and is more snugly ensconced there than any heartworm ever dreamt of being. My pets have made me a better person, and if you ever look at a dog online at a shelter and feel stirred and you have the money and time and will not put yourself in the poor-house for doing so, pleasepleaseplease go to a shelter and get a pet. What you spend on the adoption will be nothing compared to what the little critter will do for you. And you may not realize it, but a pet can heal your heart like few things in life.

The life you save may be your own.

If you can't afford to adopt, but you could spare a little money, find a local no-kill shelter and send them $5 or $10 every month or so, and you'll be contributing to solving the homeless pet problem. Or go to the no kill shelter occasionally and help them walk and play with the animals. However small a gesture, it will mean worlds to the animal(s) you help. Don't cheat yourself out of that.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I'm just walkin' my dog by Nellie McKay

I said so before, but I'd like to see the stats of homeless who are among the Occupy Wall Street Hoovervilles

Apparently, there is some friction between the Wall Street protesters and the homeless(who I believe have artificially inflated the population of the Occupy events around the country). I think we all could have seen that coming, and this is likely a very great reason why the law enforcement agencies in such cities have stepped up patrol and security measures. I hope any coming conflagration between the groups will help the Occupy people recognize that right now, THEY TOO are homeless, but that they would rather have common ground with the corporations than this sea of unbathed folk. One cannot move out into the streets amongst some very rough (and often mentally ill) people and think they're going to nudge the real homeless out of the way with their Rubbermaid tubs of electronics and their The North Face™ and Patagonia™ camping gear. People who live dirty often know how to fight that way, too.

I love this article on the group in Asheville NC with a photo of a guy lounging under a blanket reading a Kindle or a Nook.

I wonder what he thinks made possible the technology he's enjoying while slaving away at his protesting gig? Yes-- big corporations. Let's face it-- a vast majority of the modern conveniences we all enjoy were made possible expressly by big corporations. This fact is lost on the Occupy lot. They do not see that without the huge currency and stock exchanges throughout the world, instead of lazing about in broad daylight enjoying catered meals by bleeding hearts and perusing the latest in technology they would be schlepping to a neighboring burgh every so often in hopes of trading a goat, a ham hock and some nice taters Uncle Bubba dug out of the back 40 for Beaulah the cow in hopes of having milk for the family. Some may believe life would be sweeter and simpler without those big companies, but I contend they are far more socially responsible than reputed to be by the Occupy lot. That, and if I ever am to live like Grizzly Adams, I would like that to be out of a state of choice, thank you very much, and not simply because irrational lunatics were allowed to chop big businesses off at the knees.

I'd like to turn the Occupy gang's focus to all this technology in which our culture is steeped and how the relative luxury of the common person's life would stagger the wealth of even much of the aristocracy in other ages. Instead of the big current corporate giants, think in a more simplified fashion of what process birthed the big, modern corporation: think Dutch East India and British East India companies -- their exploration and shuttling needed goods from areas of surplus to areas of need was truly the beginning of a massive exchange between staggeringly different cultures and climates. Lest anyone want to tread down the hackneyed path befouled with cliches that such companies only exploited poor cultures and skimmed the wealth-- those companies had to pay their sailors and cooks and engineers and staff on both legs of the journey-- they did their best to keep their holds full on both directions of the trips. Also, let us save the argument about the contents of those holds for another time, as well. The point was big business was afoot, and it was only going to grow from there. And as a result, untold millions of little nameless people like you and me throughout the ages have risen in fortune, able to feed, clothe and house families, often in escalating degrees of comfort and luxury. All this because these little nameless people threw their lot in with the Big Guys.

If these people want to use their protest time productively, they'd do better to go camp out on their US Senators' and Representatives' doorsteps and hold THEIR feet to the fire for abject mismanagement of their responsbilities in shepherding the function of our nation's government. THEY are the bad guys, and in many cases, they have effectively hobbled the big corporations with punitive taxation and ridiculous regulation (compact fluorescent lightbulbs, anyone? regulation that caused the home mortgage industry crisis? I'm sure we could name others...) and they are making it increasingly difficult to open a small business that might one day blossom into something huge.

Big corporations built our nations rail system, and paved countless miles of roadway througout the nation. Look at what Henry Ford did-- he did not have a goal of producing a scant few boutique automobiles for only the wealthy-- he wanted his line workers at his factory to be living advertisement of the accessibility of his product. That's good thinking, and I think Ford is still in business (and not taking government bailout money, I noticed) for just that type of thinking.

Corporations in general are the rising tide that raises all boats. While I don't think they are all run on sterling principles, I think the ones that aren't won't stay in business permanently. I think they deserve a little credit, and I bloody well think they deserve to make a little money for their efforts. Last I checked, bringing iPhones and snuggies and grande lattes to the people isn't a crime, and neither is making money.