Saturday, October 10, 2009

I have been away too long!

The last year has been one that has taken a bit of my breath away so I know that my blogging habits have been far less than I expect from myself. I am trying to get back to my usual form so bear with me!

My Dad is at my house this morning installing a new wash tub and fixing my toilet. At 79, the one thing he does well is his craft of plumbing. Of his age.....his patience level is thin and he complains a lot. He can be a tad bit grumpy when his daughter buys "inferior" products at the local Lowe's store instead of going to a plumbing supply store. (and paying triple) Yes....its another father-daughter bonding moment this morning. :)

Anyway so much has happened in the world the last few months I don't know really where to start so I will begin with my favorite target......the nitwit Sarah Palin. You heard about her new book? Yep....."Going Rogue". No doubt she wants to educate us on her "wisdom" and "insight" in a forum that she solely controls. No "trick" questions from anyone in the evil media (that would be you - Katie and Charlie) or bad publicity photos. I imagine she will take pot shots at McCain's campaign staff because again.....this is her uninterrupted forum. She has undoubtedly educated herself more - reading books, studying political history and policy - so she looks less dimwitted than she did in the past. Again.....just as in the campaign.....everything is perfectly scripted.

Some say that she will run for office in 2012. Most folks in the RNC think she should do what's best for the party and watch it on television. She doesn't stand a chance against the educated men and women in the Republican party for whom she will compete. Too bad Tina Fey has no interest in reviving her role on SNL - although.....for the right amount of money anyone would do anything.

Ok....moving on to more interesting stuff......NFL! Who would have thought that we would see Brett Farve waffle again and come back to the game? And they think women change their minds a lot! He put on a fabulous performance against the Packers last week and it only proves when you count this guy pay for it! I don't think Brett has the stamina to carry him the whole season but he is doing exactly what the Vikings want him to do right now. Win. As for my Cincinnati Bengals......I don't think they should be 3-1 at this point. They are really not that strong of a team. It's smoke and mirrors. They will get their heads handed to them in Baltimore tomorrow. It is a rude awakening but it has to happen.

Does anyone else realize that we are already 75% done with 2009? The years really do fly by and I am already planning for Christmas.

Lyn and I are looking at houses. We are trying to decide what type of house (and features) we can both agree on when the time comes for us to look for one in earnest. We both like big kitchens. After that, we both have our own nit pick points. I think a good family room is important. I also think an older house has more character than some of the new homes that are being built today. There is just something structurally sound about a nice brick home built about 80 years ago. Of course.....unless it has been renovated to some extent it may require some additional dollars to get it close to what we want. And...if we renovate....wouldn't make more sense to build something from scratch? You can understand the quandary. I will move on.

I have to talk about the Nobel Peace Prize at this point. I think everyone - including myself - was surprised or shocked to hear that the committee chose President Obama for this award. Personally, I would by lying if I said it wasn't too early for him to receive such a prestigious honor. It is early. However, it would appear that the prize is being given to him because his administration is changing the tone of how America is perceived to nations across the world. It is a much different tone than the last administration. So he is being given the award because of the peaceful platform he represents as the President of the U. S. for the next 3 years. It is not an award based on what he is doing in America for Americans. The jury is still out on that for some of our countryman. I have to ask myself - does he stand in the same line as Mother Teresa? No and I don't know many who do - including past NPP recipients.

It's time for a vacation and we have been tossing around some ideas for 2010. The main trip of the year will likely be to the Oregon Coast - Home of fabulous Pinot Noir and endless hours watching whales frolic in the Pacific from our hotel room. I think we will try to squeeze in other trip to Vegas but we have not decided on a date yet. I have several friends who are going to Vegas next year at different times but it may not work out for those dates. It is nice to plan though.

The war in Afghanistan is still going. After eight years we cannot quit it now so hopefully more troops will be sent in to finish what was started after 9/11. We have no choice. We were sidelined by the circus show in Iraq and never finished the work at hand with Al Qaeda. It won't be pretty but it has to be done.

Last but not least.....Lyn and I celebrate four years together this month. We are having a low key dinner this evening and will call it a night. It has been lovely.....just lovely. :)

Til next time.....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy

We have heard news stories most of the day on the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. I just finished watching CNN's rebroadcast of an HBO special about him - In His Own Words. I won't pretend to think that everybody thought he was great. I am sure he has had his detractors. However, speaking for myself, it saddens me a bit to see the last bit of the Kennedy clan fade off into the sunset.

He is really the only living and breathing political Kennedy that I have been aware of all of my life. JFK died before I was born and I was only two when RFK was killed. They say the torch was passed to him after so many losses, but I think it was he who picked it up and ran with it.

He seemed to be a durable presence to his family and in his role as Senator. It makes you wonder what great things could have been if JFK and RFK were to have lived as long as him?
What would have the world been like if he won the Democratic nomination in 1979 and faced Ronald Reagan instead of Jimmy Carter? Lots of "coulda wouldas" here.

Who picks up the Kennedy staff now? Does someone really need to? Ted Kennedy has left a lasting impression on the world. The funny thing is his father probably never predicted that this son would go so far and last so long.

But he did.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday evening ramblings

It occurred to me this evening that we are almost 3/4 done with 2009. Is it possible? The year has gone by so fast that I am thinking that I must be late doing something.....Christmas shopping.....etc etc.

A few more thoughts for the evening:
  • Lockerbie - Can someone tell me what has gotten into the Scots? Yes yes.....let's free the terrorist! I understand it was for non-political reasons......a compassionate release. Righto. It was very compassionate on his part in 1988 when he participated in blowing Pan Am flight 103 right out of the sky. I can also understand the Scots non-political reasoning in releasing this gentleman. Other than the Lockerbie disaster.....what terrorist is targeting Scotland? Men in kilts people!!
  • YAY! FOOTBALL SEASON! No more needs to be said.......
  • Health plan - Still more confusion being spewed in every direction on the contents of the bills. will take money to make this work. It can't be any more expensive than the Iraq War. How quickly we forget......
  • Rosie on Sirius - That's right. Rosie has her own show on Sirius Channel 102 - Monday thru Friday from 10am to Noon ET beginning this Fall. How long before she talks about her old cohorts on The View? Its good to have her back. Satellite radio is a good outlet for her.
  • LifeLock - I signed up for this a few weeks ago after someone tried to buy $600 worth of jewelery on my credit card. Technology is great but it is also a curse these days!
  • Scarefest - For those of you who need the bejeezus scared out of you. Not a horror fan myself, but I do believe in ghosts. Boo!
  • Twitter - Who's using it? Is it a fad that is fading or just ramping up?
  • Blogger - I want an iPhone app for my blog. Dammit.

Ok....that just about wraps it up for me this evening. Time to sit back and fall asleep to the television. Maybe that's where the last eight months have gone?


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Universal health care

I am sure that it isn't a likely topic at most gatherings. Some of us probably don't even think about it because we are already covered with our employee based programs. At some point however, we have all seen and heard the debates in-progress on Capitol Hill and have likely heard or read the misinformation about it. Trust does swirl around even when we are not in the midst of a campaign.

We are at a turning point in our American culture. Do we provide government administered heath care for all Americans or do we continue to allow all Americans to pay for those who cannot afford it today? Every time a person goes to the Emergency Room and cannot afford to pay for his/her treatment, we all pay. The rising costs of prescriptions are affecting everyone from young children to aging adults. In my own life, I watch my father every month try to pay for his Plavix prescription. There are no generics for Plavix. It is $148 a month.

President Obama's plan does not dictate who your doctor will be. Nor does it make you drop your employee based insurance plan or a plan you pay into yourself today in favor of this health care plan. It offers care to those who don't have it or lose it.

If you are confused about what is being offered or if you are confused by the conflicting rhetoric, take a look at some of the Political Fact blogs to gauge an honest opinion. There are a few credible ones out there but here's one for starters - This site works to ensure that all statements from either side are interpreted correctly. Sometimes it is not always what we want to hear but it is good that someone is trying to set the record straight.

If you still have questions about universal heath care, consider this. We already have a form of government administered health care available to some Americans. It's called Medicare and it serves those Americans who are over the age of 65 and cannot afford to pay for insurance.

Why should health care only be administered to a select portion of our American society? Shouldn't everyone be covered?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cool website

I thought this was a pretty cool website so I thought I would pass it along.

If you want to see the International Space Station (ISS) pass over your house, this site tells you exactly when you can expect to see it in your part of the world.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pete Rose

I am a fan of Pete Rose.

Call it a "Westsider" (those who live on the west side of Cincinnati) thing but I am a fan. So you can imagine that I am thrilled to hear that Bud (Butt) Selig is seriously considering reinstating him. I hear that there will be conditions - public apology and no managerial responsibilities - but in any case.....I am thrilled.

Despite his gambling issues as manager, you can't deny the man his role in baseball history as a player. He holds MLB records that will likely never be beaten by any other player. In a time of tainted players and tainted records, it is refreshing to look back at players that once were amazing without the use of performance enhancing drugs.

It is time to give Pete his due. It is time.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hotdog anyone?

Lyn and I had a few days off this week and decided to try out one of Food Network's Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives. You know the show with Guy Fieri? It is a interesting little show. The type of program that reminds you of a massive car wreck on the highway. You can't help but stop and watch it to see what is happening.

The "Dive" that we decided to try was Hillbilly Hot Dogs. Located about three hours from Cincinnati, it is located in downtown Huntington, West Virgina. Since Huntington is not a huge metropolis, the restaurant was very easy to find on Third Street.
The atmosphere - befitting of its name - is a redneck motif. I have to admit I couldn't help think of Jeff Foxworthy as I was sitting inside. But hey.....its working for them. The locals seem to love it and with all of the attention from the Food do the tourists.

Exterior Picture

Interior Picture - yes that's a tire as a table

When you move past the redneck ambiance, you get to the heart of what makes them tick - the hot dogs. They have about thirty different types on the menu. Forget about the plain dog here folks.....they throw just about everything on them. AND........for the more daring....they have a five pound and fifteen pound burger that can be ordered and shared with your friends. Yeah.....a real gastronomical delight. Lyn and I shared an order of cheese fries which were crinkled cut and crispy. I love a french fry that is crispy!

I chose the Taco Dog which came with chili, cheese, lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos and crumpled tortilla chips. It was very very tasty and not as big as I thought it would be with all of those ingredients on there.

I don't think we are making a habit now of visiting Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives, but we weren't disappointed in this trip. The food was delivered to us as seen on TV and by the time we left they had a packed house.
I can think of worst ways to make a living........

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Michael Jackson

I waited to post about the death of MJ until I listened to the memorial service today. Like some of you.....I was getting a little overcooked by the constant "all Michael all the time" on all of the news and entertainment channels.

I have been a fan of his music. It was his freakish behavior and his seemingly unnecessary cosmetic surgeries that were a turn off. I never did buy that he actually molested little children because he was so much a child himself. I was a fan of the entertainer however.

The memorial service today was well done. I think it honored the musician, the entertainer, the father and the son of a remarkable musical family. If Elvis had died last week, I think we could have expected much of the same.

I don't remember much of Elvis' death. I do remember the white Cadillacs (they were white right?) that paraded through Memphis behind the hearst. I remember the local news coverage on it vaguely. 1977, we didn't have the news and entertainment channels that we are afforded today. It was radio dedications and dinner time news broadcasts only unless you lived in Memphis then it probably was "all Elvis all the time". End result.......Graceland serves as his shrine and his legacy is still raking in millions a year. Lisa Marie really wants for nothing.

So here we are in present day and we have lost another great entertainer. I can't believe he was 50 years old. With all the surgeries, we were never allowed to see him grow old or gray. His grin was a little more permanent just like his musical talents. And even though we all realize that his three children are really not biologically his.......he was a father. It's not clear how amazing he was as a father since we rarely seen his interaction with his children publicly before this week.....but it appears to me that his children wanted for nothing (obviously with the outstanding debt). He appeared to be very attentive to his children and his daughter Paris let her emotions show this afternoon in regards to her loss. I don't like to watch children mourn and I have to admit that brought a tear to my eye.

The memorial service won't end the controversy around his death. I would not be surprised if we hear about the toxicology report by the end of the week. We will find that he took risks with his health just so he could push himself a little farther. In the blink of an eye, he was gone.

Gone too soon? I don't know about that. He leaves behind a legacy - good and bad - that his children and his family will hold for a lifetime.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Sarah calls it quits?

Just a couple thoughts here.

  1. A quitter never wins.
  2. How can she even think about accepting the responsibilities of president when she can't finish a whole term as Governor. (of Alaska of all places)
  3. Now she has even less experience to be president.
  4. Her leaving office didn't even make sense. Who quits 18 months out without another election to run for?
  5. More SNL fodder. I can't wait. Weeeeeeeee!

TA TA!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday morning ramblings

There are so many things to chat about today I decided to just ramble on endlessly about each one just to get them off my chest. (Deep breath) we go!

  • Jon and Kate - minus 1? Apparently the media machine is still being stoked again because it is being reported this morning that Jon and Kate have an announcement coming sometime soon. Rumored to be one that will have a big impact on their is my guess that Jon has said......"Enough is enough...if you like being on TV so much.....have at it!" Yep.....a separation of some sort probably linked to a money deal with TLC.
  • North Korea - Yeah......launch a missile in the direction of Hawaii. Sounds like a really wise decision doesn't it? If you really want to test President me....he has been waiting for this opportunity.
  • Smoke and Flames - no.....not a afternoon grillside with some choice steaks. This was how I spent part of my afternoon yesterday on my way home from work. After having the truck in the shop last week because I was hearing noises - noises that could no longer be heard once it was at the shop of course - my truck broke down on my way home yesterday. Luckily I was able (able is a keyword here) to pull my smoking auto off the highway and into a gas station. After using a bucket or two of water to put out the flames near my front driver's side tire.......the tow truck driver's initial diagnosis was a broken axle. Ah ha.....a broken axle. Smoke and flames folks!!! This was followed by a 28 mile tow back to the same garage who worked on my car last month and did not hear the noises last weekend. They were sad to see me.....hmmmm.....wonder why? Now it is just me and "the muttlet" aka Bailey.....sitting around waiting all day.
  • Louisville Pride - I hear the Indigo Girls are performing this weekend. Much to the chagrin of Lyn I am a fan of Emily. Ahhhhhhhh.........
  • Football season - YAY!!! What some of us live and die for!! IT is coming my friends! Do not despair! All of this talk of Jon and Kate, North Korea....blah blah blah will all go by the wayside at the the very first pre-season game!! Ochocinco (aka Chad Johnson) has predicted the Bungles will be in the playoffs this year. (cough) What???
  • Spinning - I could leave this up to the imagination but nah.....I have purchased a Spinning bike from my friend Robin. She tried it twice and decided it was not for her. Fortunately, I have been looking for more exercise so I gladly took it off her hands. Pretty nice bike and it comes with lots of "motivational" dvds so the ride can be just more agonizing.

Ok.....that's all I got. I know just as soon as I "send this to press" I will think of two more items that are just dying for discussion. Since I have all day to just wait around.....I will likely be back to see if anyone out there wants to discuss one of the items listed above!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

John & Kate

I know that this is probably the last thing you want to read about but I just have to put my two cents in on this fiasco. Let me begin by saying that I have always found this show to be quite entertaining and the kids are adorable.

However......Kate's attitude towards John is borderline abusive. (ok...I think I gave her more credit than she deserves) In recent interviews, Kate has stated that she finds the idea that she drove John to see other woman utterly ridiculous. Oh really? No...I mean reeeealllllly?
Both of them are adults and should know better but they both have equally contributed to the downfall of their marriage.

I have no doubt that Kate is doing what she is doing (book deals, tours, etc) to support the needs of her children. I have no doubt that she has their best interest at heart. However, since it took another person to get her pregnant with eight children, she should be mindful of her husbands concerns. He clearly does not want to be on television and with that said.....also has the best interests of his kids in mind. This is not something he wanted to do forever yet Kate can't think of letting one day slip by without a camera in her face. At $50,000 an episode, the money seems to have distracted her from the needs of her entire family.

And what about the first episode of this season? Kate complained six times how she was "alone" and how John was elsewhere. Oh....poor pitiful Kate. It is really hard to just have 50 grand handed to you when most of the people who are watching the show are struggling with losing a job, car or their home. I have a really hard time taking her side 100% in this if you can't tell.

As for John, it would help if he could avoid the dates out with other women. I mean....if you really want to stay in this with Kate.....somebody has to make the first move to correct an ugly situation. But I guess.....if he is already out of the relationship (separation) and TLC wants to milk this for all it is worth......they won't speak of the separation and he will continue to be caught with women in restaurants and then deny he is up to something.

I smell a Dr. Phil show in John & Kate's future........won't that be lively?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Beg. I Post.*am

After a five minute conversation in which Rita mentions five times that I need to post on WTR... I'm posting.

I don't have much. Her suggested topic -- facial hair -- just didn't do much for me.

Instead, I think it should be noted that she just spent $25 on dredging bowls from p*mp*ered *chef. And tongs.

Makes it so much more helpful than, I don't know, a plate and a fork?

Come to think of it, I've never seen her 'dredge'.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Terry's Turf Club

So a few of us went out last weekend to a fairly new place called Terry's Turf Club. We had read that they had the best burgers in town so we decided that it was a challenge that we were definitely willing to tackle.
It takes a lot for a local joint to get the honor of having the best burgers in town and around here they have some stiff competition with other local eateries. I personally love the franchised Red Robins and just the thought of their burger selection sends me into a tailspin.
But let's talk about Terry's. The place is small. I think the dining area is about 15x30 so it really doesn't sit more than 40 people at a time. The room is filled with the best collection of local neon beer signs I have seen anywhere in Cincy. It has three retro standing beer coolers positioned around the room to add to the nostalgic feel. So that takes care of the ambiance............
How is the food? Well.....they have a limited menu. This is probably a good idea since they can't seat a whole lot of people at one time. The burgers start at $7. A basic burger can come "through the garden" and with your choice of cheese. Now....if you want to get a bit fancy.....bacon, blue cheese, etc etc.....can cost you an additional $2 an item. This can get a bit pricey no matter where you are.
I had a burger with blue cheese and bacon. ($11) While the burger was big, perfectedly cooked and juicy.....the saltiness of the bacon just about ruined it for me. I am a bacon lover too.

Lyn had a burger with grilled onions, pickles and some special fried cheese that they laid on top of the burger. When I say fried cheese......they take a thick cut slice of it on the grill to cook for a bit.....and then place it on the burger. It was a speciality cheese ($2) so it probably wouldn't work the same for us at home with a slice of American.

We also shared an order of fries. These were actual sliced potatoes fried to a dark golden brown. In some places they were overdone. but if you like them like that.....its probably gourmet.

I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the cocktails we consumed during our visit. Lyn and my other friend Tina both had the mysterious Elixir cocktails made with Pomegranate/Blackberry juices. Needlesstosay it was a bit more than either one of them could handle and Lyn had two of them! They packed a punch and I think it just added to the taste of the burgers. I enjoyed the Sam Adam's Summer Ale drafts immensely.

I do not claim to be a food critic and I love leaving that up to the experts like WineMeDineMe. However, now that I have talked about Terry's I have to end this blog with something! If I had to grade this establishment - let's say Rita's list A+ to F..........I would give it a B. Perhaps I have been tainted by the Red Robin's of this world but I have to say......their burgers were good but nothing to have an orgasm about. Slightly overpriced for the extras but have to make a living somehow. The cocktails were inventive and delicious. The atmosphere - while it was small (I hear an expansion may happen in the near future) - was conducive to a nice evening out with friends. Loved the retro neon beer signs!
If they had a website I would post it. A Google search will find lots of reviews about this cute little place.
Good food, good times - a B.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Swine Flu


That's all I can really say about the state of hysteria over the Swine Flu outbreak. With less than 1000 cases reported - worldwide - I can't say that I buy into all of the hype and hysteria surrounding this illness. The U.S. sees bouts of influenza every year with cases reaching far over the 1000 person infected mark. I am really hesitant to buy into the panic of storing two weeks worth of food and water, etc. when I live in a nation that has the best medical care in the world. And to date, no American born citizen has died from it.

Now in Mexico....there is a whole lot to be skeptical about. We already know that the water can really mess you up down there so why is it surprising that there would be a widespread case of the flu?

Is this ALL we have to talk about these days? Seriously, if you don't want the flu, it really comes down to some basic hygiene habits that our mother's taught us as children - wash your hands and cover your mouth. It's that simple.

Gotta run.....I have a sudden craving for a BLT.

Pet loss

I think most of us have had an attachment to a certain pet in our lifetime. It didn't really matter what type of animal it was because it was uniquely sentimental to us. I lost my cat Oscar this past week due to failing health. It was a decision that I never wanted to be in the position to make myself. It might have been easier to just find him one day after work. He would have least died in the comfort of his own home instead of the vet's office.

The house is quieter. I fear that it is less secure as well. I know that sounds funny, but he was the security system in my house. The slightest sound would attract his attention and he would go to it to investigate - with me a few feet behind him with a ball bat. You see.....his temperament was "I will welcome you but if I don't like're doomed". He managed to turn a few dogs into quivering idiots with that temperament. My other cat - BG - who I have had for five years is the complete opposite in personality. Her mantra could be best described as "Ohhhh me and I will show you all of the household valuables". So you see the quandary I am now in with Oscar's passing. It's basically an open house here.

So many people say that losing a pet is almost like losing a child. And before my brother's passing in October, I would support that statement. However, since my mother is still grieving my brother's passing it is not a comparison that I am likely to bring up to her. The grief is different but the same in some ways. The "heavy-heartedness" of it all is certainly there. The fact that I saw Oscar every day for the last 16 years - far more than I saw my brother obviously - certainly compounds my grief. He was my companion, my solace and my friend.

I blog today just to clear the air a bit more for myself. By no means is this an easy thing for me. The last few days have been sad. His absence has disturbed the peace and the natural movement of things in my house. Soon, his ashes will appear on my mantle in a little urn befitting the life that he has lived. Time moves on and I am left with only fond memories of my little furry friend.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rita's rite of Spring


I really don't need to say more. Those who have followed my post for awhile know that March/April each year I give a hearty welcome to Oysterfest at the Washington Platform Restaurant.

Yeah....I like oysters fried, on the half-shell, broiled and in a shooter. It really does not matter to me. It's all good.

On Friday, I will join my friends at Oysterfest and have a "gay" old time! It really is my favorite rite of Spring!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Plant and Krauss

I picked up the Robert Plant and Allison Krauss collaboration CD last week. It had received so much acclaim on the AMA's and the Grammy's that I thought it was likely a safe purchase. I looked at it the same way I look at the Oscar nominated likely cannot go wrong if you choose to see one in the theater.

I was not disappointed. Now it's not my normal everyday music (I don't own a RP or a AK cd), but you know sometimes you want to listen to something slightly quirky and irregular. Something off the beat and path. Something that blends well with a small group of people sipping martinis late on a Friday afternoon. Raising Sand would be the CD for those times. Its not rock-n-roll nor is it bluegrass. Its a blend that can only be described as "alternatively unique".

I added a little eight minute documentary in my video slot on the right side of this blog for those of you who want to sample some of the music while hearing from the musicians themselves.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

March Madness. *giggle*

Morale at my workplace is so bad no one had the gumption to start a b-ball pool this month. Sad, eh?

So Rita hooked me up and let me enter her company's madness. Mine is one of 128 brackets in the pool. As of this moment, I'm ranked #9. Last night I was #3, but then OSU screwed up.

Rita is #59.

And it's making her crazy.

With good reason. I pretty much picked my teams using my usual random approach. For example, when asked why in the world I picked Villanova to advance to the elite 8, my response was likely something along the lines of 'I like to say their name'. Rpi? Nah. And Syracuse -- honestly, I like the orange. The color.

Somewhere there's probably a committee assembled to begin the process of taking back my toaster oven. I had to get a waiver to claim it to begin with, being one of the only lesbians I know to have never played a team sport outside of kickball in second grade.

To make up for my momentary dominance I cooked dinner tonight, and we're watching the madness (and Celebrity Apprentice) with a nice Cabernet.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Viva Las Vegas

The title of this blog is highly appropriate after our mini-vacation this past weekend in Sin City. If there is an economic crisis it ain't happening in Vegas. In fact, if you want to escape the depressing news.........go to Vegas! I had not been there in six years and I was amazed at the building explosion that has taken place! Clearly it was a very fun time for Lyn and I. I would not say it was relaxing - I think we walked 10 miles a day - but it was very fun!

My thanks to the "Jello-shot Wench" for taking care of the cats while we were away. They seemed to be in fairly good spirits when I came home - in fact they seemed disappointed that I was home. hmmmmmmm.......

Did I mention that I had a Governor Richardson sighting? Yeah....Lyn didn't think it was him, but being only 10 feet away - close enough to smell his cigar smoke - I was pretty sure it was him. You are always good for at least one celebrity sighting while you are there - political or otherwise.

We stayed at the Bellagio. I highly recommend this hotel! We got a fabulous price through Travelocity that made it irresistible. I would certainly stay there again if only for the Long Islands! The room was very comfortable and I had several good nights of slumber.

The one thing that really stuck out for me was how loose the slot machines were in most hotels. Living in the Midwest for most of my life and not seeing a real casino (most of the boats are lame) for six years, I didn't realize how tight the local casinos really were in regards to payouts. I didn't come home with lots of extra money but we sure did play longer on very little. Amazing.......

So that's my story about our Vegas trip. In honor of it, I have placed a special video on the right side of this blog. Enjoy!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Aging parents

This week I have had to take my father to the hospital for an angiogram and ultimately an angioplasty. He spent an overnight in the hospital - much to the chagrin of the nursing staff who had to deal with his wanderlust all night long. He didn't sleep. So he walked the halls and I am sure he kept things lively for them in the early morning hours.

When he got home, he found himself in front of a "new fangled" pill box with assorted pill colors in each respective day. Ok yes....I bought the box for him, but that is how I handle situations. I try to organize things based on the given situation. This situation screamed the need for organization and structure!

The morning after his first night home he called to ask me if he should take the Thursday pills now. I said....."No....Dad its Wednesday". To which he replied...."Oh hell, I already took all of those (Weds) last night". YIKES! A remedial class on the pill box layout and functionality quickly ensued that afternoon and I believe that now he is on the path to righteousness instead of a medical emergency. He simply is not used to taking medications of any kind and now......he is in uncharted territory.

I guess we all think about what it will be like when our parents age and become dependant upon us. Both of my parents are independent, strong willed individuals who live a solitary lifestyle. This week was a real eye opener in regards to where my father is in the aging process. It is a concern to me since I am now their first line of support - two separate households and only one of me.

Anyone caring for two parents who live in separate households? I am not in full caregiver mode at this point - as I said both parents are mobile and fend for themselves right now. I am interested in hearing how other people may handle this unique situation.


There aren't many of my friends who don't have strong personal or political beliefs. I am happy to say that it is this diversity that makes life interesting. I respect those folks who stand firmly behind what they believe and will defend it even when it all "goes to hell in a hand basket".

The one thing I do not respect are those folks who waffle between their political beliefs or run like hell when things are darkest. One day they are an elephant - the next day they are the donkey or worse.....something in between to escape the party that burned them.

I have been called a closeted Republican by a few (those are remaining nameless!) even though I voted the Democratic ticket. I do have some conservative viewpoints, yes, but I guess I consider myself a moderate/conservative Democrat. Either way....I voted the way my heart pointed me to vote based on my political beliefs.

I guess the main point of this post tonight is to simply say how much I respect those individuals who show "strength of conviction". Whether we disagree politically or otherwise , I think it speaks volumes to the character of such individuals. It is good to see those who can plant a stake firmly in the ground and say....."This is where I stand".

Politics one likes wishy-washy anything. If the world were made up of chameleons, we would never have experienced any decisive moments in history. We would all look like "Stepford" lesbians with our little Stepford lives in our Stepford neighborhoods. (that is a frightening thought in itself!) Who wants to be around people who mold to other peoples convictions?

I say.....stand up, kick the mold to the side and breathe freely! If you feel like you can't, then maybe the person you have become is simply not you at all.

Monday, February 09, 2009


I can now say that I know someone who is royalty. In fact.....I sleep with her often. While it is fair enough to say that Lyn does get herself into some precarious situations with work and her outside interests, I never imagined that she would become a Colonel.

That's right. My girlfriend is an official Kentucky Colonel. No really! Read this.

While it carries no special duties or special powers, it is a huge thing in this part of the country. Remember Colonel Sanders of KFC? Yep......he was a Ky Colonel too.

So while we may receive a special invitation to the Kentucky Derby (yes....there is a Kentucky Colonels Derby party), I can never hope to gain even a free chicken leg at the nearest KFC. (sigh)

Congratulations Lyn!


Now that we have the Senate majority voting in the new stimulus package, the real work begins hammering out the final product with the H of R. Yes I know......we didn't have a full agreement due to the unending bickering about the pork products in the bill.

Uh do you think Dubya was able to push through any bill that he pleased during his eight year term? There was enough pork in those bills to feed the world ten times over. Piss and moan all you want......there is not a president alive who doesn't have a bill chucked with piggy products. The big difference with this one is the fact that with this bill and all future bills we will all know exactly what is being signed into law. Every swimming pool, new bridge, park, war memorial and salmon farm request will now be up for public display.

Unless we have a president who is willing to sign into law the "line item veto", the pork will continue my friends. It is inevitable. We aren't sending representatives to Congress to just sit around. Everybody needs something and everyone wants their bread buttered.

I read this afternoon that the economy is so bad in Alaska that people can't afford to turn on their electric items and milk costs $10 a gallon. I wonder how long before Sarah Palin starts pinging her Senators for a little spending money? Don't think she will? Ha.....she either asks for the money or sits idly by and watches the Alaskan economy sink into oblivion. If that happens she will not have another term at governor and her sinking track record will be fair game should she decide to do something really dumb like run for a Congressional seat or worse.....president.

The new stimulus package will be a done deal shortly. Hopefully it will stimulate enough to get our economy back on track. It's not just the Democrats impacts ALL OF US!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Post Birthday Musings

Ahhh yessss....another birthday has bit the dust and we are off and running with the new year! I had a very nice weekend of margaritas, Italian food and is good.

It has been quite a challenge for me to blog lately. I am trying to get back in the saddle but it has been a slow go of it for me. Lots of interesting topics have been floating through my head lately so I may be able to make a better effort soon.

A quick note on the vacation you recall Lyn and I have been looking for a place to take a little break. After several good ideas....we have decided to take a nice long weekend and spend it in Las Vegas! Lyn has never been to LV and as everyone have to go there at least one time in your life. We have a fabulous room at the Bellagio and there is no doubt in my mind that we will be lucky enough to have a warm day in March to sit lazily by the pool. May not be a tropical beach resort......but LV has enough resort style comforts that we should feel quite relaxed while we are there.

Can someone tell me why we have to endure endless television appearances by the idiot governor of Illinois? Impeach him already!

Ahhhhh.....our new President and the First Lady........they just ooze love and respect for one another. The other past Presidents looked almost afraid to touch their wives. What a refreshing change! Someone who can lead by example in the "family man" department! Good stuff!

So when is the next federal holiday? Oh yeah......Memorial Day. (sigh)

I would be remiss if I failed to mention that the 23rd Annual Oyster Festival on March 27th in Cincinnati at the Washington Platform. Yep......Shuck 'em, Suck 'em, & Eat 'em Raw! Are there any other oyster lovers out there?

Thanks for the birthday greetings one and all. It was a good one!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday!

Well almost.

Friday is Rita's.

This public service announcement brought to you by her lame girl friend who has dinner under control... but no gift. Though of course there is an explanation...

Got a second? Wish her a happy one.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Restaurant Review

While I normally leave such things to the experts, such as Wine Me, Dine Me in Cincinnati, I couldn't help taking a shot at it this morning after our massive meat feast last evening at Boi Na Braza.
Boi Na Braza is a Brazilian Steakhouse where "Gauchos" continuously serve you five different types of meats - chicken, pork, beef, lamb and sausage prepared 10 different ways. ($47.50 per person) It is brought to you on a sword-like device and sliced right on to your plate. Remarkably, with all of the walking around with the meat in hand, I was never served a piece of meat that was anything but hot.

The Gauchos continue to come to your table as long as you have the red and green "meat place card" displayed as green. Turn the place card to red and the Gauchos will leave you alone.

I manage to try four of the meats prepared in several different ways. However, in the whole circus of parading meat, I was disappointed that I did not receive any of the pork entrees. Somehow this was not brought around for our entire meal. I found all of the cuts of meat to be juicy and well-seasoned. I also managed to receive several cuts that were medium-well despite the fact that much of the beef and lamb were cooked to their desired state of medium rare to medium.

I guess by now you are asking......"Were their any vegetables in this meat extravaganza?" Ahhh yes......Boi Na Braza has a large salad bar which contains a very nice selection of cheeses, salad vegetables, prosciutto, smoked salmon as well as hot side items like mashed potatoes, seasoned rice, etc. I must say that it was a little smaller that I had imagined based on previous reviews I had read but the quality of the food was very good! Any vegetarian could have had a very nice meal at the salad bar alone. ($29.99)

I must also mention that Boi Na Braza also has a very fine wine list and assortment of speciality drinks. My friends and I had just started with our wine when we spotted this interesting woman preparing fruit-infused cocktails from a little cart. The drinks were called a Caipirinha. ($14.99)

The Caipirinha's were a fruit-muddled concoction made with sugar, fruit, Brazilian rum and another Brazilian liquor. There was a lime (mojito style) version and the tropical version served with oranges, pineapple and strawberries. We tried both - multiple times. Tasty is an understatement for these cocktails.

In regard to disappointments, I was disappointed in the Brazilian Cheese Bread that is brought to your table. After hearing so much about it in reviews, I expected something cheesy and buttery. I guess what I was hoping for was something that rivaled those fabulous cheddar biscuits you get at Red Lobster. No comparison and they ended up being small dinner rolls infused with cheese but you never really saw it. It was not the taste explosion I was preparing for after the reading reviews.

Overall, it was a great meal. I found the service to be fabulous and attentive but not overly bothersome. Be prepared to throw down at least $150 for two people. This is definitely not your everyday restaurant and nor should it be. It is a great place for a special occasion and you will not be disappointed.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sunday morning blahs


Those are the only two words I think Lyn and I have uttered to each other this morning in our brief periods of "alertness".

It is a very blah type of day here in the Ohio Valley. After a night filled with rain storms and loud outbursts of thunder, the end result is one dreary Sunday morning.

I sit here at the laptop going through emails, drinking coffee (which may be a little bit on the weak side) and listening to snores coming from the living room couch. I know it isn't the muttlet who is quietly perched on top of the couch - as if she were faithfully protecting her owner - who is sound asleep there.

I have gone through every bit of the morning paper. I tend to skim through it looking for the articles that have exciting headlines or keywords that are noteworthy to me. They have shortened our paper beginning with this issue to save money so it really takes me even less time to read the damn thing.

So after all that I decided to hit the Internet and search for acceptable vacation spots for 2009. Last year we had a grand time in California and it will be hard to match, but I have been given some guidelines to go by in order to find the ideal vacation spot for a week.
  1. It has to be some place warm.
  2. Located on a beach
  3. Not located in California, North or South Carolina and preferably not Florida but there is some wiggle room there if the place proves to be spectacular enough.

I have my work cut out for me methinks. It has been a while since I have taken a vacation that was purely "beach-side". I think I was 12 and it was a family vacation in St. Petersburg, Florida, but that was also mixed with a trip to Disney and I have already been warned that Disney is not an option. (sigh)

I'm doomed.

I am open to suggestions on this rainy Sunday morning. I hear planes flying overhead on their approach to the CVG airport and just that sound alone makes me want to board a plane to anywhere.

The snores have subsided. Time for some more coffee........