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