Framing the Dialogue

Archive for November, 2009

Candy Cane Murder

Candy Cane MurderOne of my favorite mystery authors is Joanne Fluke and her Hannah Swensen series.  I have been a little behind in the series and am trying to catch up.  Candy Cane Murder came out in 2007 and has been sitting on my shelf for a while.  One of my favorite things about the Hannah Swensen series is that they fit into what I call a “weekend read.”  These are books that are enjoyable, keep me interested, but I can read in a weekend or less.

Bumper Stickers

Every once in a while I am sent an interesting e-mail and I would like to share some of the content.  I have hesitated as I kind of feel like it is cheating, but recently I was sent several that contained bumper stickers.  They are political and do not reflect positively on our current President, but they are still funny.  I hope that you enjoy them and feel free to pass them along.

anti obama


bend over


free health care




im stupid




Keep my money


As The Crow Flies

As the Crow FliesWhat happens when you combine one of my favorite authors, a rags to riches story, and an evil, rich adversary?  As the Crow Flies is the answer to that question.  The story takes place in London and follows the Trumpers family through four generations as Charlie Trumper starts out with his grandfather selling fruits and vegetables from his roadside barrow. 

Charlie’s success is interupted by the first World War, but returns to find fortune the old fashioned way, hard work.  It is an interesting contrast as he battles a priveledged, “old money” lady to achieve success.  His adversary spends decades to exact revenge and even reaches out from the grave to threaten the Trumper family.

View From The Couch

h1n1I know that the title gives the impression that the view is from a couch potato, but that is not the view.  I spent the last week confined to the house getting over the flu.  My doctor believed that it was H1N1, but did not bother to run any blood work since the results would not be available until after I was cured or dead.  That is not a quote, but the reality.  I’ll have to admit that it was the worst flu that I have experienced, but the deaths that I have read about all seemed to be caused by the secondary issues.  My condition settled into my chest and that is what my doctor treated.

Growing Up Catholic

Growing Up CatholicDid you know that there are around 900 million Catholics in the world and that the population of the United States is 22.7% Catholic?  That could help explain the fact that most of my friends growing up were Catholic or it could have been the fact that my family is Catholic, I went to a Catholic school, and went to CCD each Sunday.  If you grew up Catholic in the 1960 or before, Growing Up Catholic will be a nice trip down memory lane.  If you have Catholic friends or are married to one and want to understand them better, this may help.

True American Hero – Betsy McCaughey

mccaugheyBetsy McCaughey is the former lieutenant governor from New York.  It is unclear how a Pittsburgher ended up in New York, but we will forgive her as she has become one of the most articulate voices for sanity in the health care debate.  In a nutshell, she has been speaking against the massive overhaul proposed by the Obama Administration.  She has had the nerve to use facts and figures to dispute claims by Pelosi, Reid, and Obama to scare folks into supporting their efforts.  With all of their efforts, however, Rasmussen reports that 54 percent of Americans oppose the new plan (44% strongly opposed) while 42 percent (down from 45%) support the plan (only 23% strongly support).

Crush It

Crush ItMy son introduced me to the world of Gary Vaynerchuk, a sort of Tony Robbins except that Mr. Vaynerchuk has some success beyond his lectures and books.  I am not sure that came out right, but Gary Vaynerchuk (it is so much fun carefully typing his last name) cashed in on his passion (wine) and has used both conventional and unconventional methods to become successful, turning his family business from profitable to mega-profitable.  While Robbins is best known for speaking, just speaking.

Ford Draws Short Straw

Henry-FordAbout 75 percent of the members of the United Auto Workers Union rejected a deal that would have given concessions to the Ford Motor Company.  The concessions were reported to be similar to those given to GM (Government Motors) and Chrysler after they received large sums of bailout money.  Ford Motor Company did not take government help and has emerged as the strongest of the “Big 3” American automakers.  Ford was the only U.S. automaker not to file bankruptcy…yet.

Martyrdom or Just Stupid?

essaypic-LThe beginning of the newspaper story seemed fairly innocuous in that the Commonwealth Education Organization (“CEO”) contacted eighth-grade teachers to encourage their students to participate in an essay writing contest.  This was to be the fourth such contest in as many years and the topic was for students to “Explain the difference between a representative republic and a democracy, comparing and contrasting both forms of government.”  That seems like a good subject to challenge students to learn about our system of government.  I wondered how many adults have basic knowledge about our government in an earlier posting that included a question about our democracy.