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Thoughts at 3 a.m.

Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2008, at 4:59 AM

Once again, here I am, drinking a cup of coffee and watching the news in the wee hours of the morning, after being awakened at 1:30 a.m. by my dogs' endless barking. I guess the coyotes and other dark creatures of the night were plotting an assault on the house. By the time I got up, rapped on the window, and yelled, "SHUT UP!!" it was already too late to get comfortable and drift back into that last dream.

Might as well get dressed, come downstairs, start a fire in the fireplace, turn on the coffee and the TV. Soon enough, I won't be able to do that, unless my more technologically advanced son hooks me up with a converter box - or I turn loose of the cash for a digital TV set.

My sister recently made the conversion to digital and discovered that the speakers are on the SIDE of the TV, so her NEW 21-inch set barely fits in the hole, where her old 25-inch set sat. ("set sat"? Yes, that's correct, but, even if it weren't 4:20 a.m., it wouldn't sound right.)

However, I'm not going into all the Congressional bashing that the digital vs. analog subject brings up. Been there, done that.

On these early morning excursions, I do notice one improvement: We no longer have to watch the test pattern for hours before broadcasting starts. I'll bet some of you young folks don't remember that, do you?

This morning's news is exceptionally cheery:

* The U.S. debt is massive and we owe China huge amounts.

* Hillary is comparing herself to Rocky Balboa and saying she won't give up the fight.

* The President is addressing the NATO summit and urging that they admit two former Soviet states (Ukraine and Georgia). Russia's Putin is threatening to attack those states if missiles are set up there.

* I've also learned, in the wee hours of the morning, that there's such a term as "Stop Loss" in the military. (Where have I been?) I had no idea that when an Army recruit signs up for a 4-year commitment, he's actually signing up for 8 years. After he finishes his 4 years, he can be sent back to the war zone for another 4 years.

* The only part of the news that I've semi-enjoyed was watching five top oil company executives squirm in their chairs, as Congress grilled them on their profits for last year. Not that it'll do any good. They seem almost to be a law unto themselves. They keep saying that the reason gas is high is that they have to pay high crude oil prices, and if Congress would let them drill in the U.S., prices would go down. Somehow, I doubt that, don't you?

Besides, haven't I heard that the U.S. supply wouldn't last long enough to be more than a temporary stop-gap measure?

* Is the U.S. really considering a fence on our southern border?? Amazing development, if true! How do we feel about that one??

That's the essense of what I learned between 2:30 a.m. and (what is it now?) 4:55 a.m.

Pardon me now while I go crash on the couch...

From the dark, coyote-ridden hills of downtown Tillman, this is your bleary-eyed NSC reporter, Madeline, signing off.....


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Maddie you have the same good news that I have in Mich, isn't technology great?

-- Posted by rusty nail on Wed, Apr 2, 2008, at 6:07 PM

It's not the dogs that wake me up in the middle of the night but it is a case of Old age...it sure isn't for sissies. Good thing the bathroom is close.

Do you think some of us will be back to gathering by the radio? Nah, probably not. I had almost forgotten about that test pattern.

-- Posted by Grati Tude on Thu, Apr 3, 2008, at 1:43 AM

MD, I don't watch TV news because television executives learned long ago that they get larger audiences, and hence can generate more advertising revenue, by reporting predominately BAD news. (If it bleeds it leads.) I wonder if any studies have been conducted on whether watching television news is psychologically harmful? It sure seems to me that it is. (Are there documented cases of TV news contributing to suicides?) Newspapers provide a much more balanced view of a story than the sound-bite clips shown on a news broadcast that are intended to keep you watching until the next commercial break.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Thu, Apr 3, 2008, at 6:53 PM

FJ, you have a very good point. I know, after watching a dose of national news, that it dims my day by seeing all those negative images, and keeps me wondering if my decision to have children was a bad one with the way the world is.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Thu, Apr 3, 2008, at 7:33 PM

So, so true! I have a friend who feels that the world is too terrible a place to raise children. The reality of it is -- That's the way it's ALWAYS been! From the beginning of recorded history, that gloomy argument for not having children has been around. Today's television programming just perpetuates the belief.

The point is - if you raise good children, you make the world a better place.

Turn off the TV and go for a walk or play with your dog, your child, your neighbor's child, your neighbor's dog....read a book - bake cookies - anything to get away from negative news.

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 6:28 PM

Amen! Goat Lady. You hit the nail on the head with that one. All the negativity that comes right into our homes and plants worse than doom and gloom.

Yes, good still does exist. It just doesn't frequently get publicly displayed/heard of like the bad.

-- Posted by Grati Tude on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 7:45 PM

Mrsdolphin. When I was a kid we had drills to hide under our school desks in case of a nuclear attack by the USSR -- which never came. I have friends who didn't have kids because they didn't want to add to overpopulation -- when the world had several billion less people than today. There are real (and imaginary) problems in the world all the time, and there will be when your kids grow up and have kids.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 7:56 PM

This world isn't an unbearable place...but it sure ain't great. I had two boys...very ornery boys;-) I do everything I can to raise them right...and I just pray they take what I've taught with them. Thanks guys for the reassurance.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 9:47 PM

I have to admit that FJGuy's assessment of news reporting is accurate: Journalists, TV networks, and (yes) our dear newspapers, have learned what SELLS, and it isn't GOOD news! Bad news makes good copy, and that's the sad truth.

Look at all the hits this website got during the dogfighting issue.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Apr 5, 2008, at 2:07 PM

Well, first of all, hello again to everyone! I spent last week in Arizona babysitting for my new granddaughter! I'm glad to be in Missouri again where grass grows.

I am here to offer an antidote for these late night "I'm up, now what?" problems! Someone told me (gee, was it Dr. Gott in the Dexter paper???) about melatonine. I had not wanted to take Sominex or Tylenol PM because of addiction possibilities, but when I heard about melatonine, I decided to try it. You can get it at WalMart and it's cheap. Take one about 30 min. before you're going to turn the lights out and man oh man what a good night's sleep you'll get. It's healthy, non-habit forming, and it WORKS!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Sat, Apr 12, 2008, at 7:44 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Welcome back, lovebooks! You've been missed!

I had no idea there were things going on here on my old blogs... Like my dear friend Minnie, I've been forgetting to check the older blog topics. Imagine my surprise when I discovered LIFE!!!

I had forgotten about melatonine! I used to use it all the time. I shall certainly stock up on a supply!

Oh! And Madeline! I saw Randa while I was out there and she said to tell you hello! She'll be home in June.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Sat, Apr 12, 2008, at 7:45 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Maybe we can arrange a meeting! It's such a shame not to keep in touch with classmates. (Notice that I avoided saying, "Old classmates"???)

lovesbooks...will melatonine make you sleep heavy? I have a child with bi polar, and he has his manic nights, so I don't need to be knocked out. I have problems not being able to go to sleep...but once I do, I don't have a problem staying that way...usually. So I was wondering how this may work for me.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sat, Apr 12, 2008, at 11:13 PM

Mrs. D., I have not encountered a "dead sleep" with melatonin, but you may want to just try it and see what it does for you. I'm sure you would wake up if something occurred. Melatonin is a natural hormone (?) our bodies create, but as we age we tend to not create enough, and that's when we start sleeping less.

So melatonin isn't a drug, so I don't think you would have that feeling of being knocked out. Give it a try! It's very inexpensive. On the bottom shelf in the vitamin section at WalMart.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Sun, Apr 13, 2008, at 1:45 PM

Ok, thanks lovesbooks. I'll look into it on payday. And if doesn't work for me in a way I'd like, I can always give it to me dad...he probably wouldn't mind giving it a try.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, Apr 13, 2008, at 1:51 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
If I remember rightly, melatonine offered a very natural, non-drugged sleep - so easy that I wondered if it was really working...

Oh, and MD...my dad spoke with my great aunt about this converter box stuff, and her son got one. He runs off an antenna like I do. Well, he said that, with the addition of the converter box, he can pick up 10 more channels, and every single one of them are crystal clear. They have them right now for around $50 or so at Wal-Mart, so with the $40 off coupon, I'm going to guess it's not a bad idea.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, Apr 13, 2008, at 1:57 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Mmm...I wondered if things were set up to work this year - or if we'd have to wait until next year. Ten more channels!!! Ahhhhhh! That would be lovely!

Thank you for the advice, MrsD. I shall get online and register for the coupon, forthwith!!!

I had the website to register, but I can't seem to find it now. I guess I'll just Google search it. I was kind of holding off on getting one too...until this new-found advice! I'm lucky to have 2 channels on a good day...and am blessed with 4 channels about once a month. 10 channels would be absolutely WONDERFUL!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Tue, Apr 15, 2008, at 9:39 AM

You can request two $40 digital converter box coupons at,

https://www.dtv2009.gov/ApplyCoupon.aspx

-- Posted by FJGuy on Wed, Apr 16, 2008, at 5:14 PM

Thanks so much FJGuy...good thing I only need one.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Apr 16, 2008, at 8:25 PM


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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 573-722-5322.
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