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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.....
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Madeline 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 can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-722-5322.