Friday, December 30, 2005

Auld Lang Syne

I guess we all have our own ways of ringing in the new year. Some of us will go out with friends or attend a party and some of us may just stay at home with our eyelids propped open to watch the ball drop on TV. Some folks will just head to bed around 10pm just to be awakend at midnight by rowdy neighbors!

For many years, the U.S. television networks have all had their own New Year's Eve telecasts. Remember Guy Lombardo? Yikes! He was a favorite of my grandparents. Yeah.....they really rocked on New Year's.

My favorite has been Dick Clark's Rockin Eve. He has been a fan favorite for at least 20 years. I am not really sure how long he has hosted the New Year's telecast but it seems that I don't remember too many years that didn't include Dick Clark. With the exception of last year when he suffered a stroke and millions of us thought we would have a stroke too as we endured Regis Philbun for the evening.

This year the show will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark. According to news reports, this is Dick's big "handoff" as host of the yearly telecast. Ryan Seacrest currently hosts the ever popular "American Idol". Now, I don't know about you, but have you seen Dick Clark since he has had his stroke? I am envisioning a "Weekend at Bernie's" type of a broadcast. Dick just standing there and Ryan swinging his arm around and lip syncing for him. is a pitiful image.

Now I have not seen a picture of Dick since the stroke. I don't think one has been publicized. Recent news reports say that Dick will not be in a wheelchair during the broadcast and his voice is not quite what it once was but he does sound like Dick Clark. How reassuring is that?

I will be waving a grand farewell to 2005 tomorrow night. Here's hoping that Dick Clark makes it through the broadcast!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Picture of the Month

Cosmo - Mr. January - Playcat of the Month
(Susan R. - proud parent)

Ode to Rosie

haiku haiku
what does it
to u

so simple

miss ur

now left

life is busy
for u
i am sure

no need
for u
to be

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Returns

So how did you do with your Christmas presents? Were your gifts met with bewildered looks? Questionable stares? Better yet.........."Oh I absolutely love this! Where did you get it"? In other words......I would absolutely love to take this back to that store because this gift is obviously suited for someone else.

Ah happens. And it did happen to me. My father didn't like the gas card I chose for him because his gas station allegiances run deeper than I imagined. My mother was also a bit disappointed with the flannel pajamas I gave her because "Small" seemed to be a bit large. Arguing the point that pajamas do not normally run in "Petites" was a bit more of a discussion than I wanted to have at that point.

I am making notes of this on my blog this evening so I have a written history for next year. For better or for worse, it starts all over again in 365 days.

May I grow a little wiser in 2006.............

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas shopping

I don't know about you but I always struggle with gift buying for a few of my relatives. Either they already "have everything" or I simply cannot gauge just what they would like for a present.

My 75 year old father is a tough one for me. Unlike Tom Cruise, he is no couch jumper. I have found that the less my father says when he opens his present the more he likes it. It has taken me years of buying the wrong present to figure out this reaction. This I know..........hats are not popular but 25 inch TV's are a hit.

Since I cannot buy him a television every year, nor does he need one every year, I think I have managed to find at least one present he will definitely use - a gas card. Most everyone I know, including my father, drives a car. With the price of gas these days (anywhere from 2.14 to 2.25 a gallon in Cincinnati) I figure this will surely be received with little or no reaction which means....he absolutely loves it. I did go out on a limb a buy one more item for him so I feel like I will be relatively successful this year.

So for those of us who still have to suggestion to you is to go the easiest route. Grab a gift card for food or gas. The one thing you can be sure of is that we all have to eat and most of us still have to drive.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Between the Uprights


I know what I have to say will come as a shock to some of you, so I will give you a moment to grab a glass of water or the nearest chair.

The Bengals are going to the playoffs!

Yes....I know it is unbelievable but after 15 years my hometown team is heading into post-season play! It has made things so much more exciting around Cincinnati these days! It is certainly a great day to be a football fan in Cincinnati!

Granted......this is our first year back to the playoffs. Enthusiasm is running high and our guard is up even higher! Nevertheless.......all the little "who deys" in "Whodeyville" are hopeful and excited about the future!

By the way...........for my friends out there who don't know the Who Dey chant. Let me end this note with the proper send off......

Who Dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Knockin' on the closet door

This weekend, as my companion and I were driving around town listening to Christmas tunes on the radio, a Barry Manilow Christmas tune came on. This got me thinking.

Why doesn't he come out of the damn closet?

I mean really. Is there anyone in the gay and lesbian community who doesn't think he is the "Queen" of the syrupy ballads? It calls to mind the sad life of Liberace. By no means do I want to read about his demise and watch some 26 year old boyfriend surface to tell us all about the life he had with him. Can you see that happening? Egads

Now, I don't mind Barry Manilow's music. God knows, I sang my share of his songs in high school chorus. He has had great success worldwide. However, let's think about some of his songs. Is "Mandy" really "Randy"? What about that "Weekend in New England" (at some fabulous B & B)?
Is there a closeted hidden meaning in there somewhere? Should I be chuckling out loud when my mother hums "Can't Smile Without You"?

Barry.......listen up babe.....its easy. Melissa did it. Ellen did it. Come on out of the closet........the water is fine and little old ladies will still come to see you in Vegas.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Between the Uprights!

How about those Cincinnati Bengals! They faced one of their toughest competitors this past Sunday when they faced the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals lost their last meeting with the Steelers in Cincinnati several weeks ago. Yesterday, they beat them in Pittsburgh 38-31 reinforcing the fact that they have moved away from the "Bungles" of old.

Many of you may not realize what kind of game this was to the Bengals and the Cincinnati fans. The Steeler fans have been serving it up to Cincinnati faithful for the last five years with their taunts, jeers and overall bad behavior.

Today, the fans in Cincinnati couldn't be more happy about the win. Happy is probably an understatement. The Bengals are finally playoff bound! The first time in 15 years.


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Some advice for the FCC

Yesterday an official from the FCC announced that cable and satellite programmers need to "clean up their act" in regards to the type of television programming that is viewed by American citizens. One of the recommendations is to enact "ala carte" programming so that people can choose what types of programs are coming into their homes. So for example, if I want to see CNN, ESPN and Lifetime, I would be charged a fee for each of those networks by the cable company. They believe that the high cost of cable and satellite television would decrease if this "ala carte" option were made available.

Sounds pretty good huh? Lower prices for cable and satellite services?

Keep this in mind. If "ala carte" pricing goes into place, the biggest impact will be to those channels which do not see the largest viewing audiences. The cable and satellite providers could decide to eliminate channels due to the fact that they are not requested as much by most subscribers in the ala carte process. What we will be left with is fewer channels and less programming opportunities. Basically, the exact things we all had prior to introduction of cable or satellite TV to society.

And what about the parental locking feature available on the remote? Or the V-Chip? If you do not want Johnny or Suzie to watch particular shows that you deem objectionable, you already have the option of blocking that programming out based on the new television rating system that is in place.
It takes less than five seconds to lock the programming down.

To be honest, there are probably more television networks on cable/satellite than are really necessary. However, I want to have the option of discovering those new channels myself without having to jump through hoops to access them.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Christmas preparations

After waiting patiently........ok well.........maybe not so patiently........I have finally decorated my humble little home for Christmas. It took all of 35 minutes to achieve this feat but it has been accomplished!

I even managed to go out on Friday and do a little Christmas shopping. Albeit it was in the afternoon after the crazed maniacs had gone home or just simply dropped dead from exhaustion. Did you see the news clips from some of their adventures? Yep.....tis the season to trample people at Wal-Mart. Egads! My companion and I failed to see any of these rabid shoppers at the stores.
We did run into a variety of screaming children. Why they decided to break out into screams I do not know, but apparently it is something for which their parents are accustomed. I can't even imagine what my parents would have done had I reached those type of decibel levels!

I must say that I am now ready for some "Christmasy" type of weather. Perhaps even a light snow flurry or two. Just enough so it looks and feels like Christmas time instead of a chilly October day in Florida. Hopefully I am not jinxing us into a December blizzard like we had last year!

Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 21, 2005


After a valiant effort by my hometown football team - the Cincinnati Bengals - they lost to the Indy Colts 45-37. Peyton Manning's arm was as golden as usual and he is clearly setting the bar for the rest of the teams in the NFL. Nice try had nothing to lose.

Special thanks to my friend in Boston who left me a very sad, sad, pitiful message on my voicemail. Yes yes........she wanted to gloat about the Bengals loss to the all-powerful Colts.

Now let's see........I do believe the Patsies played the Colts at home already this year. Hmmm......I think they lost by 19 points that day. So tell me this...........what looks more pitiful, the Bengals (aka. Bungles - who haven't seen a Superbowl since 1989) losing to the Colts by 8 or the defending Superbowl Champion Patriots losing to the Colts by 19.

I dunno................this is a tough one...........

Friday, November 18, 2005

My addiction

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. goes.

I am addicted to QVC.

Yessss yessss.....I know what you are saying. How could anyone have such an addiction? started a few years ago in November when I was recovering from having my wisdom teeth pulled. The recovery process took a bit longer than anticipated. What more could I do? I certainly couldn't go out in public with my bruised, puffy face and eating anything more than pudding wasn't an option.

So I turned to the television and discovered holiday shopping on QVC.

Now at first.....I was like anyone else. Who cares about shopping via the television? Who needs it? Well.......a little idle time with nothing better to do will make anyone go over the edge. I made one purchase........then another...........and then one more. I bought some dandy, off-the-wall items for everyone on my Christmas list that year. It was fabulous!

Ok.....another admission. I have turned other people on to watching and shopping on QVC. I know...I know........I have shared this addiction with others. I am guilty! However, they had fun! No harm no foul! They bought fun stuff!

This weekend will be a shopper's dream on QVC! Just take a little harm in just looking..............


Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Ahhhh yes...........I am still here! A few interesting and ok.........downright odd.......items from the local news and beyond.

- First and foremost, the Bengals (7-2) look forward to taking on the undefeated Colts (9-0) this weekend at Paul Brown Stadium. While I would be estatically happy if the Bengals would take down the mighty Colts, I don't think it is going to happen. Peyton is on a roll with a golden arm. My prediction - Colts 27 - Bengals 20.

- That's right. You heard it hear first. You no longer have to give up your favorite brew to a begging pooch. Happy Tail Ale is here!

- Dubya's approval rating is continuing to sink. Down 37%. I guess some folks are finally beginning to wake up.

- As for the State of Ohio, they have the distinct honor of having one of the worst Governors in the history of mankind. Gov. Bob Taft's approval rating is 15%. case you didn't know.....he is a Republican too.

- Supreme Court nominee Alito will have to wait until January for the hearings to begin on his nomination. YAY! This gives Sandra Day a few more critical decisions on the bench. Hopefully the hearings will end the Alito confirmation process but I am not optimistic.

- Much to the dismay of a few close friends.....I am eager to begin decorating my house for Christmas! I have restrained myself quite nicely..........waiting patiently for the day after Thanksgiving. My neighbors across the street, however, have had their Christmas tree up for 3 days. Proudly displayed in the front window of their home no less. Ho ho ho hmmmmmmmmmm.........


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

"The man" has a plan - Egads

It has been announced today that President Bush will outline his plan for a possible Flu pandemic. Yes..........he apparently has a plan in lieu of the outbreaks around the world.

Does anyone else see the irony in this?

A new nominee

Yesterday, a new Supreme Court nominee was announced by the President. Of course, as expected, Dubya bowed to the Conservative Christian coalitions and nominated the most conservative judge he could find in the U.S. - Samuel Alito.

Talks of a filibuster are already being discussed in the media but don't expect it to begin any time soon. With the holiday break coming up for Congress, it may not be possible to start or end the hearings before January 2006. So we have a little time to analyze this judge more thoroughly and I expect the denouncing of this court appointee to grow in volume.

I am not optimistic that our Democratic representatives can stop this nominee from taking the position on the Supreme Court - filibuster or no filibuster. The Republicans are ready to "bust" the filibuster with a law that would outlaw their use forever. Since they have control of both houses, this could be disastrous and end the filibuster before it begins.

I can only hope that we do not lose any more Supreme Court judges during Dubya's tenure in office. If that happens, we will certainly see a domination of conservative judges on the court. This could dramatically change life as we know it for years to come.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Let the nominations begin! (again)

Well............hear hear.........Harriet Miers has withdrawn from the Supreme Court nomination circus today. In her note to Dubya, she claimed that in stepping out of the way she is protecting private conversations between her and the President and doing what's best for the country. She feels that it is weighing his Presidency down.

Harriet honey........he didn't need your help for that.

I digress.......some Senators believe that her departure can be blamed on the "radical right wing of the Republican Party" killing her nomination. EGADS! Can you imagine? A wing of the Republican party killing anything that Dubya wants to push through!

Anyway..........please step aside and let the next nomination through..............

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Good ol' Dick

Well seems that Dick Cheney has been busy behind the scenes for the last two years and not connected to hospital machines as I have thought. He is now the primary focus of the investigation into the leaking of the CIA agent's name - Valerie Plame. Sources say that he was the one who "leaked" the name to Lewis Libby - his aide.

When all is said and done I believe we are going to see a couple of good ol' boys take the fall for those in the Executive Branch of this administration. There is no doubt that they all knew the ramifications when releasing her name to the public and knew exactly who to place in the forefront when the "manure" started flying.

News sources say that the investigation and the grand jury indictments will revisit the lack of reasoning behind going into Iraq in the first place thus drowning "Dubya's" popularity poll even more. Pffftttttttttt!

Please tell me its time to launch the Presidential campaign!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Elevator results

Since my last post, I have tested the New Yorker's elevator "express" myth over a five day period. Now you can call it a coincidence if you would like, but in the last five days of using the elevator to leave the building, I haven't stopped at a single floor. Today I shall begin testing the elevator without pressing the destination floor and the close door button at the same time.

While this may appear that I am taking this all too seriously, I can assure you that I am. Try it for yourself the next time you are in a hurry and need to take the elevator. I will convert you too!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

New Yorker elevator advice

Yesterday I had the rare opportunity to just spend the day in a couple bookstores. I managed to get caught up on some reading and feed my addiction to Caramel Cafe Mochas and Caramel Fraps.

As I was reading through the latest version of the New Yorker, I came across an article on elevators and how to "rig" them to become express elevators. Absolutely invaluable information to have since I work on the 11th floor of my office building. Someone is always trying to disrupt my end of the day departure or my quick run to the local sandwich shop.

Anyway, one of the tricks is to press the Close Door button at the same time as you press the button of the destination floor. I have tried it twice today - once at 12:15pm and once at 1:25pm. Both times I reached the 1st floor without a stop.

Coincidence? Maybe so, but I am going to keep a mental note of my attempts to gauge if this really works.

If nothing else it breaks up the monotony of a busy work day and gives me a chance to "beat the system".

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Qualified nominations vs. a Posse

I recently listened to an editorial comment about recent Bush nominations within our federal agencies. They outlined a variety of "cronies" that Bush has nominated to various departments within our government. While the list was broad, I have decided to focus in on the top three of late: Mike Brown, Harriet Miers and Julie Myers.

Let's start with Julie Myers and work back.

The nomination of Julie Myers as the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was just approved by the Senate this week. At 36, she is a well connected "young" lawyer with little or no management or immigration experience to lead an agency that staffs 20000 people with a budget of $4 billion a year.

The nomination of Harriet Miers is still being viewed with skepticism and criticism by many players in Washington. No judicial bench experience and no guidance on how she would rule on key issues that are brought to the Supreme Court. Dubya says that he knows her character and her judicial viewpoints and that is good enough for him. Well, maybe this is why we have not heard from the religious conservatives that sleep in Dubya's back pocket.

As for Mike Brown, former leader of FEMA, he gained this high office position at the nomination of Dubya as well. Little experience working large scale disasters and a "juiced up" resume has landed him out on the streets and thousands of people struggling in the deep south.

Unfortunately, the President of the United States can appoint and nominate anyone he or she likes in regards to our federal agencies. It is unfortunate that because of party lines the Republican led House and Senate continue to approve these nominations just because Dubya said so.

Maybe it is time for a split ticket to lead this country. Perhaps we would receive more qualified individuals instead of one person's hometown posse of friends.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Harriet Miers

Well..........the conservatives (Ann Coulter's and the like) are absolutely foaming at the mouth that Bush would make such a dumb decision as to name someone with no judicial experience to the Supreme Court. This is quite surprising since they usually sing his praises. The fact is no one knows which way she will go and this makes her a threat.

I think she is a dead ringer for Faye Dunaway in "Mommie Dearest" myself.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Around the leagues

Wow................what a weekend in sports! Let's catch up, shall we?

  • The Boston Red Sox clinched a playoff position in the American League after beating the Yankees yesterday 10-1. Of course the Yankees are in the playoffs as well and we will certainly face them again in the race to the World Series.
  • The Bengals won again! They defeated the Houston Texans 16-10. A win is a win.........sometimes they aren't pretty wins but until they start scoring PW's or PL's (pretty losses) it all counts! The Bengals are one of four teams that remain undefeated. They are in good company with the Colts, Redskins and the Bucs.

Just a minute - I am picking a suitable music score for the next sports update. Hmmm...let's see.......circus music or a funeral march?

  • The Patsies were manhandled at home yesterday by the San Diego Chargers. Final score 41-17. This ends the Patsies 21 game winning streak at home. I don't even think "manhandled" is quite the word for this loss. This team is suffering because they do not have any suitable bench players to fill in for their injured reserve. They have simply counted on their starters to lead the team and it is now paying them back in buckets. It is a matter of time before Tom Brady goes down himself and his backup will be forced to enter the game. (Who is his replacement anyway?) At that point, the season will be over. Mr. "I am a changed man" Corey Dillon is not adding anything substantial to the running game and seems to wallowing again in his own discontent. He ran for 63 years yesterday and that is his season high so far this year. The Patsies better make a few changes because the 4-0 Colts will be coming to town on 11/7 and this team is eager to collect on some past losses - especially in Foxborough.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hurricane madness

Thanks to our representatives in Congress we now get to sit through the fingerpointing in regards to the lapse in judgment surrounding the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Again, I don't want to extend the fingerpointing at this point but I can't help it.

Hello government officials in the State of Louisiana - you are the primary caretakers of the folks in your state. You are the primary caretakers of the initial disaster recovery plan in your cities and towns. The Federal Government provides additional assistance on top of what you have already provided to your constituents. They do not assume control over every single emergency in every town and city in the U.S. This is why we have individually governed states with their own constitutions and government agencies. Federal money was allocated to you for disaster recovery planning and somehow the money was misplaced.

As for FEMA, you are guilty for not providing the additional services soon enough. Lapse of judgment at the top or beaucratic red-tape?

Regardless.......the Democrats are burning the town down trying to find someone to blame and the Republicans are distancing themselves from the situation because it was handled poorly under a Republican administration.

No one wants to take the heat but all parties should step up and assume some responsibility for this mess. There is enough blame to go around at all levels of the government.

Can we possibly squeeze one more hurricane in before November just to make things interesting?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Seven games in seven days

The Red Sox meet the Yankees in Fenway this weekend for a three game series. If the Red Sox win 2 of 3..............we are on our way to the American League Divisional Series!

However, if fate does not look favorably on the Red Sox there is one more chance. They will not only have to win but they have to depend on a few other teams in the league to help them! After seven days, if the Red Sox, Indians and Yankees all finish with identical will force a one game playoff in the Bronx with the Yankees. The winner of this game would play the Indians for a wild card spot.

Part of me is still reeling after the fact that Boston won the World Series last year. What a game! What a series! Yes it was a long time coming.........but they snubbed their noses at the "curse" and have the rings to prove it.


Thursday, September 22, 2005


What a week it has been! It started out with a bang in the early hours of Monday morning when my mother came down with a condition called Hyponatremia or "Water Intoxication". Simply put, she drank too much water in preparation for a medical treatment that was to take place later on Monday. Too much water dilutes the body of sodium. Low levels of sodium can result in disorientation and confusion and if left untreated, it can be fatal.

Luckily, we were in a good position to get my mother to the hospital and she has been receiving the necessary treatment to bring her sodium levels back to normal. While she has regained her responsiveness to my family and has been interacting with us, she still shows signs of mental slowness and confusion. It is my hope that this will not be a residual effect that will linger even after she is released from the hospital. We are into Day 4 of her hospital stay and I guess only time will tell if her mental stamina is strengthened in the next few days.

I guess the main thing to remember is that too much of anything can be a bad thing. We have heard this saying many times but how many times have we heard it in regards to drinking water. The common communication is to "drink at least 8 glasses of water a day" or "if you are dieting, drinks lots of water".

This week has been a real eye opener..............

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Between the Uprights

  • YAHOOOOOOO! The Bengals beat Minnesota soundly today at home by the score of 37 - 8. Carson Palmer pulled off a marvelous performance by passing for 337 yards and throwing three touchdowns. We are now 2 - 0 for the season. is still early but it feels soooo good to be on the winning end!
  • On the other side of the rainbow......the Carolina Panthers took down the Patsies by outscoring them by 10. Final score 27 - 17. Billy, Bobby, Teddy, I said.....whatevah.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Isn't it time for a Presidential election?

Surely it is time for a Fall Presidential campaign! Let's see the candidates who want to run this great country! Let's see the primary numbers from New Hampshire! Let's see Hillary Rodham-Clinton stand up and say................"Today I officially announce my candidacy for the President of the United States!"

Really Hillary...........Enough of the beating around the proverbial bush.........talking about your agenda without actually declaring your ultimate goal! We all know you want it and it is clear that you want it! Let's get this campaign started!

I had an interesting discussion with someone last night about this very thing. Upon winning the nomination, who would Hillary pick as a running mate for VP? Do we have anyone who is gutsy enough to take the VP role with her? It might be an intimidating role for anyone..............especially one of the men who may be running against Hillary in a primary situation. What man will step up and say.............ok......I will do it. She is a strong woman and would be completely satisfied running the Office of the President without a VP.

What are the choices? Lieberman? Gore? Kerry? Hmmm.....very interesting.

Do you think Hillary would be satisfied with being a VP if she were to lose the Democratic nomination? Do you think that any one of those men would have the guts to have Hillary on their ticket? I think they would be silly not to have her there with whoever won.

It is time for the changing of the guard! Hillary, your troops are ready for your campaign. They are ready to fill your campaign offices around the country!

Just say the word....................

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I heard on the news this morning that donations to the Hurricane Katrina fund have far exceeded the 9/11 and the Tsunami funds of recent years. So far, contributions total $738 million dollars in the last 10 days alone - compared to 9/11 at $230 million and the Tsunmai relief at $176 million. It is outstanding to see the generosity in people's hearts during times like these.

One final note......just a good morning to my pal in Boston who is recuperating from major surgery over the weekend. Hope you are back on the road to recovery! I will go easy on you this week regarding your beloved......shall I say it.........ok...........Patriots. Never let it be said that I kicked a gal while she was down! Yikes!

Sunday, September 11, 2005


On this day four years ago, I was sitting at my desk preparing for my normal run of Tuesday conference calls. The first one began at 8:45 and was over fairly quickly - less than 15 minutes. At 8:46, the first plane flew into Tower 1. As news began to spread around my office area about "some kind of plane accident" some of us began to filter into a nearby conference room to see if they had any information about it on television.

Between 9:00 and 9:30, the day changed dramatically as my co-workers and I watched events unfold. Eyes fixated and mouths open.......we were in time to catch the live news report on a second plane crashing into Tower 2. We all knew at that very moment that this was not a freak accident. We were under attack.

NBC News

As if those two plane crashes were not enough, at 9:43, our amazement and bewilderment grew as we learned that another plane had just crashed into the Pentagon. At the moment of hearing that information, a few folks left the conference room abruptly - too much information and it had overwhelmed them. 10:10, Flight 93 plunged into a field in Pennsylvania. Was this part of the attack too or just some horrible coincidence? Later in the day, we were told that all four planes were part of a terroristic attack against our nation.

Early estimates had the casualty counts at 20000+.

I can tell you that on that day - maybe like many others - my bewilderment turned to anger. I thought, if there was another time to use our nuclear technology, this was the day. How much worse could it get before we would use it? Who is responsible for this madness? Those who did this to us must pay.

Of course, we would soon find out who did this to us. Osama bin Laden gloated on worldwide televisions how successful his foot soldiers were in attempting to destroy America. He gloated on how much blood was spilled and how many lives were lost.

It was only 7 months into George Bush's term when he was called to lead the nation through this devastating event. While not a Bush supporter by any means, I felt his anger on that day when he stood amongst the wreckage with the firefighters - "And the people who did this will hear all of us soon". I truly felt that this man would get the person/people who did this.

In the four years that have followed we have seen the war in Afghanistan and the search for Osama bin Laden manifest into an unrealistic and unnecessary war in Iraq. Past mistakes of his father led George Bush into a vengeful pursuit of a cowardly dictator. Was it about oil? No....I don't think so. Look at oil prices today compared to four years ago.........I believe it was 1.25 a gallon at most. This was about cleaning up what his father could not finish.

Today, Saddam is now waiting for his trial to begin and many American soldiers lives have been lost. Afghanistan is under new leadership with a new constitution and a new direction.

Osama bin Laden, the man to blame for one of the worst attacks on American soil, is still free. He is still spewing his hatred against American's and continuing to plot another surprise attack on us. He is gloating even today as he watches us pay tribute to those who lost their lives in this tragedy.

If you ask my friends, they will tell you that I think that the footage of the planes going into the Twin Towers should be shown once a week. We cannot become numb to what occurred on 9/11 and we cannot forget about the man who did this to us. We cannot forget the fear, sadness and anger that we felt on that day.

Today, we remember and account for all of the lives that were lost in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on September 11th 2001. May they all continue to rest in peace.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Fortuneless cookies

Last night I went out for a little dinner with some friends prior to seeing the movie "The Exorcism of Emily Rose". We ate at a place called the Blue Gibbon - a chinese restaurant. As everyone knows, a dinner at a chinese restaurant is not complete without the ritual fortune cookie. And if your friends are like my friends, they also play the little game of attaching "in bed" to the end of the fortune when they read it. This just makes the whole "fortune cookie" experience a little more say the least!

Well......I can say that I received my first "dud" fortune cookie in all of my 39 years. It read : "Some fortune cookies contain no fortune".

I couldn't even play the "in bed" game with this one! What is the point of a fortune cookie that contains no fortune? The "fortune" (can we really call it that if it wasn't one?) still contained the Lucky Numbers and the "Learn Chinese" word of the day - Grape = Putao.

So beware of the dud fortune cookies! They are out there people! Putao's for everyone!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Another great idea........

Well.......chalk up another great idea to FEMA. This past week a decision was made to give all of the evacuees of HK a $2000 debit card to help with food, clothes, transportation, etc. I thought this was making good use of new technology (debit cards) to assist with the relief effort. Debit cards or not these folks were going to get some kind of monetary support based on the disasterous outcome of this hurricane. I thought it was a great idea.

Today, FEMA has decided that they are ending their debit card campaign. The $2000 will still be available, however, it will be in check form and will be mailed to the person's address.

Ummmm........excuse me.......uh.......these folks have no homes. Agghhhhhh!

I wonder how long it will take them to figure this out?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Picture of the Week

Wednesday - A dog is leashed by a rescuer in New Orleans. Thousands of animals have been stranded and separated from their owners in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Gay Marriage Law - California

According to the latest reports out of Sacramento - The California legislature on Tuesday became the first legislative body in the United States to approve a bill allowing same-sex marriages, but the measure faces an uncertain future with Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Spokesman for "Arny" say that he will abide with whatever the courts decide but in the past he has stated that he would abide with whatever the voters decide. He seems to be putting himself in the "moving target" position in not taking a firm stance with whom he will abide.

It might just come down to a vote in California. Whether the final decision resides with the legislature, the courts or the voters, Arny may not ever have to take a stance. It will be decided for him.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Seen any good movies lately? Check out the link on the right for some fun trailers.

It looks like a new Harry Potter film is on the horizon. I always find those entertaining although the Lord of the Rings trilogy was pretty good too. I'm going to see "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" this weekend. It should be good for a scare or two. The worst thing about this movie is.......its based on a true story.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Let me preface by saying.....I know that I do not have the answers to everything that happens in this world. I cannot explain history and the prejudcies that continue to live in people's hearts. I know that I am even now more frustrated about the devastation in NO with recent news broadcasts.

You may have heard recent speeches about how the African-American community have been given second hand treatment in the recovery efforts in New Orleans. African-Americans recovery victims have stated that whites have received food and rescue before other individuals of color.

This is a horrible disaster. The recovery efforts for this disaster were handled badly. Those responsible for disaster recovery efforts - the Mayor of NO and the Governor of LA - should have been leading the recovery efforts from day one. Tempers and frustrations are high. No doubt that it is a situation of "every man for himself". Fear and panic have run rampant and people are fearing for their lives and the lives of their families.

I do not believe that in this time of crisis that there was any partiality. Clearly, until recent days, no one had known what to do about the situation!! No clear leadership and no clear disaster recovery plan for the poorest individuals who live in downtown New Orleans. Most of them, yes, are African-Americans.

In my opinion, the leaders or initiators of the disaster recovery plans should have been the Mayor of NO and the Governor of LA - not with FEMA. Yet for the last five days, we have heard nothing but......"when is someone going to come down here and take control of the situation"? HUH??

Before we lay blame at the feet of the federal government - who have recently had to take complete control of the recovery efforts - we need to investigate why the mayor of NO and the governor of LA did not have a disaster recovery plan adequately prepared for those poor people who are now even more desolate than they were before.

Friday, September 02, 2005

A little cat humor........

After three days of trying to get into a legal size envelope box, Oscar finally succeeds..........

And then falls asleep.

To lock or not to lock

I had an interesting conversation with someone yesterday afternoon as I waited for friends to arrive at a local lesbian bar for "Happy Hour". He and I were both watching a small corner television which was tuned into CNN. As with most other major new channels, they were providing live coverage of the Hurrican Katrina disaster. At one point they began talking about the rising gas prices in the South and what the effect will be on the entire nation.

I found it ironic that I was sitting in a bar during "Happy Hour" watching the worst natural disaster in our nation's history. Death and destruction running rampant and all covered on live television. I digress.........

The gentlemen began telling me that sometime yesterday........shortly after filling up his gas tank in his truck...........someone had syphoned most of the gas out of his tank. In fact, he thinks it happened as he had lunch shortly after filling up. While this may happen to some folks outside of a gas crisis, I began to think that perhaps we should be consciously aware of how it will happen more often as gas prices go higher. This gentleman soon bought a lockable gas cap.

Four dollars a gallon will soon be the new reality for us. I have read that by December we may see a drop back down to $2.50 but that is no guarantee. Certainly, acts of desparation (such as filling and running at gas stations) are becoming more common and I guess we have to prepare ourselves for the possibility that we will fall victim to them.

To lock or not to lock....................

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Red Cross - Victim Assistance/Contributions

American Red Cross 1-800- HELP NOW

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina thoughts

As I read the news articles and listen to the reports regarding the outcome of Hurricane Katrina, I am overwhelmed by the devastation that is unfolding every day. I was watching MSNBC or CNN yesterday and they had a drawing of what is actually happening down there in New Orleans. Since the city itself sits under sea level and is surrounded by two levees, one containing Lake Pontchartrain and the other restraining the creates a bowl like effect for NO. They cannot contain the water coming in from either side so the flood waters continue to rise until.....the experts say.........the water level in the bowl reaches the level of the levees.

I cannot even imagine what that must be like for the folks who live there and who may never be able to return.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bengals News

The Bengals announced today that they have cut Wide Receiver Peter Warrick. Warrick signed a 6 year deal with the Bengals after leaving FSU.
It is so good to see that we will also partake in Katrina's visit to the U.S. Fortunately for us, it will be rain all day and tomorrow. The levee surronding New Orleans has broken and more devastation will follow as a result.

I see that Oprah has made the Entertainment Weekly's "Must List". This is Oprah's 20th season and EW is trying to guess what she will be giving away to her studio audience. To quote EW "Houses? ... Yachts? ... Kidneys?"

Monday, August 29, 2005

Between the Uprights

  • Cover your eyes if you don't want to read about it..........reports say that former OSU runningback Maurice "I want it my way" Clarett will be one of the chosen few cut in the first round by the Denver Broncos. There is no telling what type of football career he would have enjoyed but as I said.........he wanted it his way. Enough said..........
  • The Bengals season opener with the Browns is slowly approaching. Our faith still sits with Marvin as we watch the Bengals suffer through the pre-season. Unfortunately, the fans still remember the 1990 seasons vividly..........Who Dey!
  • And finally to my pals in Boston who eagerly await the Patriot's opening will be interesting to see how they get along without Teddy and Charlie. shouldn't matter because Tom Brady "is" the team. I am amazed at how he is so resilliant and resistant to injury. All it takes is one full moon crazy defensive lineman to make old Tommy's day........or season. Good luck Patsies!

Gas prices in Iraq - 5 cents a gallon

How does that make you feel this morning? I wish I could say that this was an exaggeration or some dream I had last night as a result of a bad bowl of fruit.........but it is true.

Thanks to generous government subsidies on petroleum products over there, it has kept the Iraqi cost per gallon at an astonishing rate per gallon. Reports show, however, that fuel in the Arab nations is the lowest worldwide. In fact, Iraqis pay much less for a gallon of regular gasoline than in nearby countries such as Iran (38 cents), Jordan ($1.89) and Syria ($1.74).

My cost at the pump this morning - $2.55 per gallon and that was with a .10 discount because of a grocery store card. Word has it that Americans will not really begin to suffer with the higher costs until the cost per gallon reachs $5.

Uncle!! Uncle!!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Picture of the Week

Bill Moyer, 73, wears a "Bullshit Protector" flap over his ear while President George W. Bush addresses the Veterans of Foreign Wars. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

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What a wonderful evening!


What a wonderful evening? We have a Cat 5 hurricane spinning around in the Gulf as we speak. Hurricane Katrina.....not near as pretty as most Katrina's that we headed directly at New Orleans. (or 'Nawlins" for all of you locals) Yikes! Supposedly this is bigger than some of the biggies we have seen in the last 15 years........Andrew and Camille. Well......batten down the hatches, grab yourself a Hurricane and hold on tight! It looks like its going to be a rough night down South.

All this excitement on the day that I begin my very first Blog entry. Yes yes......blogging. Hopefully you have all heard of the newest craze. Its all about speaking your mind whenever you want on whatever you want. Don't worry friends.........I promise this won't be too boring. Just Rita rambling on about whatever Rita wants to ramble on about. Ha! This might be really fun.................