Monday, July 30, 2007

The invention of the personal computer is certainly one of the greatest feats of technology. I have a love/hate relationship with the computer at my home. I know just enough to keep me busy without getting into the aspects of how it all works.

I love that I can type anything that I want into Word and never have to use white-out, or if you are old enough to remember, the tape that would be put over the mistake and then you'd strike the same key again (an earlier version of white-out, I guess) to erase it. I love Excel also, for when I was working, I would enter info about my sales and it would instantly tabulate all the dollars involved without me doing any math at all!

Now I keep and play most of my music right on the computer. I got some great speakers which allow me to hear music I've known for years in a new and totally different way. Pictures too, are kept on the computer and easily forwarded to friends or this blog.

The internet is crazy. If anyone ever explained years ago to me about the ability to find any and all information about any and all subjects, to be able to chat with people all over the world, look up directions and maps, be able to look at your home from a satellite in the sky (among other things), to send letters instantaneously, look for a place to live, read the newspaper, and so on and on, I would not have believed it.

Yet here I sit each day, visiting YouTube, checking in to see what Rosie is up to, reading the Projo, browsing news sites, following what politicians are up to with their campaigns, visiting zoo cams to see whatever baby animals they have on CCTV, reading gossip, looking at MySpace bios and checking TV listings among other things.

But, more than anything, the greatest use of my computer and the reason I bought one in the first place was to not have to shuffle and deal the cards to play solitaire! I love all the different games of solitaire, and I think my carpal tunnel syndrome started just from all of the games I have played through the years. However, since the invention of the computer and in the 10 years or so since I got my first one, I've rarely had to shuffle and deal for solitaire.

Then, in 1999 or so, I discovered And I've been hooked ever since. The solitaire games are the best and you win tokens as you play. They also have word games, of which I am also a big fan of. There are board games and puzzles and there are at least 30 casino games. I've been a paid member of since 8/15/02 and the money has been well spent. Each day after checking my mail and the news (obituaries, too) I log into pogo and play games. Each week you have the option of earning badges, which don't really count for anything, but are a fun way to be introduced to the different games as well as have some competition between players. You also get to make a little mini - of yourself, with different hair styles, faces, clothing and backgrounds. My mini has lived on a farm, protested against Exxon/Mobil and had a craft room.

The tokens that you win as you play can be cashed in for cash prizes and there is a jackpot for each game you play. When you win, the spinner spins and you win anywhere from 50 tokens up to the jackpot of $4,999. Some other prizes are awarded, like gift certificates and chair massagers. I've won only wallpaper and screensavers (pretty much everyone wins these items) but am hoping to be a big cash winner someday (soon, I hope). Another aspect of is their chat. Each room allows people to chat back and forth between games, or even while you are playing. Thankfully, they have a mute button for people who you might find annoying, and I have to admit, I mute a lot of people.

So, go check out You don't have to pay to play and many people don't. My screen name is alicarne (big surprise there, huh?) and you could try to look me up and chat with me. Though I can't promise that you won't be muted!

How to stay young

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. (keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches)

3. Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and Lots of time with HIM/HER.

6. The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is yourself. LIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"The Bracelet"

Note "The Bracelet". When approac-hing this child, do not ask or reach for "The Bracelet". Especially do not ask and reach at the same time. "The Bracelet" is coveted property. For such a small little girl, who has no vocabulary at this time, her actions regarding "The Bracelet" have proven that although she does not know the word mine she reacts as if she has complete understanding by pulling her arm away and tucking it around her body so that you can no longer see "The Bracelet".

She received "The Bracelet" while on vacation in Hilton Head a week ago. I don't know who bought "The Bracelet" for her, but I'm sure they had no idea of the whole vanity issue (see Babies and Their Mothers). Now that it's been a week, we're all hoping that the novelty of "The Bracelet" has worn off and maybe she'll be willing to show it off a bit more. We'll have to wait and see.


above photo from the Becky Shannon collection

This little guy is the "furry" love of my life. I mean no disrespect for Hookey, he was a great dog and I still miss him today. But, Hannibal, is something else. I mean, really. Look at that face.

He is, by far, the smartest dog I've ever known, and I have known quite a few. He understands every word I say. If I mention any of my nieces or nephews names, he goes to the door anticipating their arrival or our departure to go see them. Forget if I say "Roni", as he knows she has the car and means that, most likely, he will be going for a ride as well as seeing one of his favorites!

As for the car, he loves to be driven around and is not happy to be left home when I leave in it. This past year, he and I have been together more than in previous years, so his attachment to me has, at times, become almost annoying. But I am his world as he is mine and there is no one I'd rather spend time with and I tend to take him most places.

Besides a ride in the car, the other thing that he enjoys most is to run free. In the 5 months since we moved to this apartment he hasn't (until today) escaped out of the house. I was talking to my neighbor and held the door open a little too much for him to ignore. So, off he went. After a quick (and this is a very fast dog) run around the yard into the river he went. JoAnn and I were following him and trying to grab him, but he is too small, fast and cagey. Finally after about 10 minutes, and with another neighbor joining in, Joann grabbed him - across the street!! - and I snapped the leash on him. He's still wet and is now on punishment. Punishment means he gets no loving and he's not happy when I'm ignoring him, but I'd be much more unhappy if anything happened to him, so he'll stay on punishment until I can't take it anymore and need a kiss from him.
He also likes to eat just about anything, except for pickles and celery. When we lived in EG, he would go into the neighbors house and steal apples out of their fruit bowl. Then he'd carry them back to my yard and lay there chewing away. He also brought from next door the following: a new roll of film, a pair of dirty socks, a paint roller, their newspaper (many times, and he would shake and shred it all over the front yard) as well as lots of other items that I had no idea as to where he found them. I got him on October 21, 2001 at 8 weeks of age and that first winter, he caught and ate!! two mice. Because he ran around with Jackson so much early on, he thought he was a springer spaniel as Jackson is, so he still chases and barks at birds. Jackson, who I called "The Blur" because he is white and unbelievably fast, taught Hannibal how to run which is where he got his quickness. They had a great time together and Hannibal misses his friend.
In Wickford, he would wait for Paul to come over and he had his own "Paul" bark, so that when I was in the house, I knew when Paul was in the back walking over to say hello to Hannibal. One day while Paul was standing there Hannibal jumped so high in front of Paul that he was able to catch him and hold him out and up at eye level. We had quite a few laughs over that one.
Another time, as Paul and I were sitting on the grass with Hannibal watching the Blue Angels fly over, one flew so low that Hannibal jumped up as if to catch it. We laughed at that one too. We both miss our friend Paul.
Each night when we get ready for bed, I break a couple of milkbone treats up into pieces and put him through his paces. Sit, lay down, say please, paw, other paw, high four and so on. He's so enthusiastic that sometimes he just does everything while he's sitting there waiting for me. Cracks me up.

So, after a bath tonight (I didn't realize how gross the river is), he's back in my good graces, we're sharing a hot dog. Mine with mustard and his with his Lyme Disease antibiotic (sigh) pills stuffed inside.

Friday, July 27, 2007

AP: New Details on Tillman's Death

"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

- Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.
- The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.
- No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene - no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.

In more than four hours of questioning by the Pentagon inspector general's office in December 2006, Kensinger repeatedly contradicted other officers' testimony, and sometimes his own. He said on some 70 occasions that he did not recall something. At one point, he said: "You've got me really scared about my brain right now. I'm really having a problem."

It has been widely reported by the AP and others that Spc. Bryan O'Neal, who was at Tillman's side as he was killed, told investigators that Tillman was waving his arms shouting "Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat (expletive) Tillman, damn it!" again and again. But the latest documents give a different account from a chaplain who debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman was killed.
The chaplain said that O'Neal told him he was hugging the ground at Tillman's side, "crying out to God, help us. And Tillman says to him, 'Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God's not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling ..."

(acdc) Seems that Patrick's last words may have been directed to those cowards in DC as well.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Home Safety

You must be thinking about the safety of your home and family after hearing the news of the home invasion in Ct, where 3 of 4 family members were killed, after being tortured for hours. The chances of this happening to you may be slim, (regardless of how "little" you have, you still have more than many people) but there are many (low cost) ways to protect your home when you are away and to protect your family when you are at home. My almost 30 years in the security industry has provided me with lots of info which I am happy to share. Having a plan and knowing what to do prior to any problems will get you through with as little trauma as is possible.

Have there been four or more burglaries in your neighborhood in the past few years?
Do you live within a few blocks of a major highway or adjacent to a wooded area?
Is your home unoccupied at regular times each day?
Do you have valuable jewelry, artwork, collections, or electronic equipment in your home?
Do you live on a cul-de sac?
Does your neighborhood have a program for keeping an eye out for criminal activity?
Do you keep a spare house key under a mat, in a flowerpot, or elsewhere outside your home?
Do you have any hollow-core doors leading into your house from the outside?
Are all of your exterior doors secured by a heavy-duty dead-bolt lock and a reinforced strike plate?
Can your expensive stereo or computer system be easily seen by looking through a window?
Is your pet door large enough to allow a person to squeeze through?
Could a tree limb give an agile climber access to a second-story window or balcony?
Do overgrown trees or shrubs prevent any of your doors or windows from being seen from the street or from a neighbor’s house?
Are all sides of your house well-lighted at night or equipped with motion-sensitive lights?
Are your lawn and yard well maintained, even when you are gone for a week or more?
Do you leave valuable items; mobile home, boats, jet-skis or lawn and garden equipment in your yard?

When No One Is Home
Do you use timers on some lights?
Do you leave any doors or windows unlocked?
When you’re away is your mail or paper on hold or picked up every day by a neighbor?

Choose metal exterior doors. If this is not possible, choose a solid wood door.
Make sure door hinges are located inside so doors can't be removed from the outside.
If your mail slot is in your door, make sure a hand can't reach through the slot to the doorknob or locks.
For sliding glass doors, install a device that secures both the sliding and stationary panels of the door by pinning them together where the frames overlap.
Change your locks when you move into a new or existing home. You never know who had access to the home or who may still have keys to it.

Don't use only crescent or "butterfly" latches to secure double-hung windows. They can be pried open easily with a knife. Use a do-it-yourself nail or bolt window stop instead. Drill the hole for the stop at a slight downward angle to prevent a burglar from jiggling the pin out of the hole under pressure. Crank out windows are the safest, when closed, they cannot be forced open.
Laminated-glass windows, which can only be cut from one side, foil another burglary method: Quietly cutting glass to gain entry. Laminated security glass products may be specified for virtually any application, regardless of concurrent requirements for heat-transfer, visibility, or aesthetics. They are especially appropriate for front-door windows and sidelights.
Windows that are never used -- unless they are a means of escape during a fire -- should be fastened permanently shut.

General Tips
Trim hedges short so would-be burglars have nowhere to hide.
Pay attention to items that could allow easy access to second-floor windows or balconies. If you're remodeling or painting the exterior of your home, put ladders away at the end of each day.
Motion detection lights on all sides of the house also can help make your home less inviting to burglars.
Don't hide your house key outside. If a family member habitually loses or forgets his or her key, develop a better strategy - perhaps giving a set of keys to a trustworthy neighbor, hanging the key on a long chain that a teen can wear around the neck.
Lower the volume of your telephone's ring so it can't be heard outside your house. (An unanswered phone tells a burglar casing your house that no one's home.)
Don't enter your home if it appears to have been burglarized; call the police from a cell phone or neighbor's house.

Alarm Systems
According to the FBI, homes equipped with centrally monitored alarm systems are 15 times less likely to be targets of break-ins. These steps will help you choose one that's right for your security needs.
Determine how much protection you need. If you install an alarm system, teach the whole family to use it.
The goal of a residential security system is to detect an intruder as early as possible, alert the home's occupants to his presence, and scare him away before he does any harm. Progressive layers of protection accomplish this goal. Imagine four circles around your house, with your family and your most valuable possessions at the center. The interior is the second layer, the exterior shell is the third, and the property is the fourth.
For most people, a system that protects the second and third circles is both effective and cost efficient. This involves sensors or glass break detectors on the windows and exterior doors, with interior motion detectors as backup to the point-of-entry protection. The additional cost of protecting the innermost circle adds spot protection for high-value areas, such as a security closet or safe; at this level the system will include 24-hour panic buttons. At the outermost circle of protection, motion sensors let you know when someone has come onto your property. Unless you live in a remote or hidden location, this protection is likely more than you need for the costs involved.
Decide how you want the system to respond. At a minimum, include one interior siren to scare off the burglar and alert you to the situation. You may (or not) want to add an exterior siren so that the neighbors know when your alarm is activated. Also, the key to any alarm is having the system monitored by a central station, meaning a system sends a signal to a central station where operators notify local police.

Choose a type of alarm system
A basic alarm system is a low-voltage electrical circuit with sensors installed on doors and windows. When the flow of electricity through a sensor is interrupted because the door or window is opened, a siren sounds or a light flashes. Many systems also include motion sensors. When something moves within the sensor's range, an alarm sounds.

Electronic alarm systems come in two basic types:
* Wired systems require running low-voltage electrical wires from a master control panel to doors and windows, motion detectors, keypads, and sirens. The wires are usually concealed inside walls and in crawlspaces. Professional installers can hide the wires.
* Wireless systems use miniature radio transmitters instead of wires, so very little drilling and no special tools are required for installation. You can take a wireless system with you when you move.
Both wired and wireless systems can be enhanced with a variety of options -- from motion detectors that aren't tripped by pets to remote access that allows you to check the system by phone.

Compare prices
Get bids from two or three reputable security companies (I actually know some). Be sure to compare not only the installation charges but also annual warranty costs and monthly fees for monitoring. Also, check with your insurance agent to get a discount for installing a certain type of system.

Use it right
Alarm systems are only a part of good home security, and electronic systems have to be used properly to be effective.

Update: General Faces Demotion in Tillman Case

Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger, who headed Army special operations, is one of seven high-ranking Army officers expected to get official reprimands for making critical errors in reporting the circumstances of Tillman's friendly-fire shooting in Afghanistan in April 2004.

Okay, so where are the other six?

Update: Exxon Mobil 2Q Profit Slips

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publically traded oil company, said Thursday its second-quarter profit fell 1 percent from a year ago as lower natural gas prices and production declines hurt results.

Hmmm, maybe my boycott is finally working...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oil Executives Deny Gas Overcharging

Because the fuel expands in hot weather and provides less energy per gallon!! Are they kidding? There is some truth that gas expands in hot weather, but what about this past winter? And last fall? And the spring and fall and winter before that? Come on, how stupid do the oil companies think we are. Oh wait, we keep paying the ridiculously high prices, drive SUV's and other gas guzzling trucks, so maybe we deserve some culpability in this.

I've probably spent less than a couple of hundred dollars on gas in the past year, but it's still been a drain when I could be spending money on other more important items. Like dog food or toilet paper. Maybe even medication, go figure.

As a big fan of boycotts, I've been boycotting Exxon, and now, Exxon Mobil since their complete (mis)handling of the Valdez oil spill in Alaska in March of 1989. Over a million gallons of crude oil from a ship piloted by a drunk captain spilled in one of the most beautiful locations in America, nevermind the world.

Of course this is the same company where, last year, each quarter they had record profits and their chairman received hundreds of millions of dollars as a bonus for the fine job he does. I'm sure he doesn't worry about $3 a gallon.
Exxon has also spent millions of dollars in the denial of science and global warming facts. So for those of you with children, who will someday have their own children and so on. Imagine what life will be like. Gasoline at $10 or $20 a gallon. Or an environment that is so compromised that it may be dangerous to leave your house. That's if your house is still there, because if you live near any coastline around the world, figure with the rising oceans, your home may be underwater for the future generations.
For those who live in Vermont, having beachfront property will probably be fun.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Dictator of the United States

I think that George Bush has forgotten that we are in America. Land of the free, home of the brave - all of that seems to be just plain 'ol crap to him. That American voters elect leaders to serve at their pleasure seems to be forgotten by him and others in DC.
Of course, the 2000 election was stolen, aided and abetted by the Supreme Court, so I guess he didn't have to follow the rules right from the get go. The 2004 election, which is still being disputed in parts of the country, did little other than to further split and divide this country.

Most people don't know this, but the first thing he did after being (wrongly) inaugurated in 2001 was to stop all USA funding across the world to any agency, hospital, clinic, etc. that provided abortions! All funding, not just funding for abortions. So that any health benefits that people in third world countries were able to partake of, were no longer going to be helped with any funding by the US. That included vaccinations for babies and children, birth control for women who didn't want to become pregnant in the first place, as well as any type of medical help from prevention on.

I could go on and on with everything else that's happened in the meantime, but I just don't have the energy for it. However, the point I am trying to make today is that if you choose to protest against the illegal invasion and war in Iraq your property can and will be blocked and seized by the government. IF YOU PROTEST THEY WILL TAKE YOUR PROPERTY!

I have attached the link so that you may read this for yourself. It is:

Last thing I need to say is that this person, (who I cannot insult other men by calling him a man) has gone to extraordinary measures throughout his dictatorship of allowing things like torture, false imprisonment, lying, illegal monitoring of Americans, invading, among many, many, many other injustices has now, by executive order, brought this country to a new low, which is stunning since we hit rock bottom, right after Katrina, I think it was.

This administration has been known to provoke fear, but this is truly unbelievable in the intimidation factor.
I, for one, will not be silenced. Good thing I already gave everything away.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Dimwit and the Idiot

The last apartment I lived in was a 3rd floor walk up in West Warwick. That was 1980. I've always rented houses. I don't like having other people right around me. Until now. Now I live in an old house that has been converted into 6 apartments. There's a pretty diverse group of people who live here and most of them don't bother me at all. Except for the dimwit upstairs and her idiot boyfriend.

After living here for about 2 weeks, I went upstairs to introduce myself, give the dimwit (I didn't think of her as a dimwit then) my phone number in case Hannibal was noisy because I was going to be out for a couple of hours. I asked her if anyone who lived below her ever told her that everything, and I mean everything that she and her boyfriend do and say can be heard downstairs? She started to show her dimwit nature at that point because she didn't really have an answer that I could understand. Over the next few minutes I repeatedly told her that I hear everything; talking, snoring, yelling (which she does alot of), and, again, said the word everything!! She just didn't get it. That was the beginning of the nightmare that is the dimwit and the idiot. A couple of weeks later I mentioned to the landlady that I hear everything and I went into some detail as to what that meant; burping, farting, conversations, yelling, sex and that the dimwit stays up all night!! The landlady mentioned that her daughter had lived in this apartment for a few weeks and she had known about all of this. Which makes me think that's why the daughter lasted just a few weeks. So the landlady calls the dimwit asking if she can keep the noise down from 2 or 3 am on and and she (the dimwit) brings home from work (at the local nuclear submarine shop) some earplugs for me!! to use - in my apartment! See why I call her dimwit? Now the idiot doesn't live here, but he's here at least 95% of the time. I don't know where his house is, but I think I'd rather live next to it than here where he always seems to be.

I've had to endure life with them since March. I know more about them and their life than I ever wanted to. Her license to drive is suspended. They both smoke. They like to argue, so much so that I don't think they even like each other. The things that I've heard her say to him, and vice versa is appalling. She has a 7 year old girl who visits once in a while. The way she yells and curses at her has made me think about calling the local PD or DCYF. This is all info I've heard through my ceiling.

He (the idiot) is a real fan of beer. So much so that he keeps a cooler in the trunk of his car with beer on ice. Each morning as he leaves the apartment and he walks by the front of mine, I hear either bottles or cans in the trash that he brings to the dumpster. I have on 2 occasions seen him drink (many) and then drive away. Each time I've wanted to call the PD, but once he gets to the top of the street, who knows where he heads. If he takes a left, he'll stay in town. If he goes right, he's in the next town after about 30 feet. One afternoon (12 noon) he drove here drinking a beer. I thought that would be the day I would call - figuring he'd leave again soon. But he was here for 3 hours and I have no idea if he was still drinking so when he left all I could do was watch him go. So, I sit here fuming. Knowing that there are innocent people out there who this idiot could crash into makes me crazy. If you'd read my earlier post (teenagers and alcohol) you'll know that there have been far too many drunk driving crashes (can't call them accidents, if someone knowingly drives after drinking) in the town I live in.

Today, however, I could take it no more. A little sporty BMW with 2 young men in it pull in to the driveway out front. The idiot goes to his car, gets out some cash, walks over to the car and with his back towards me so I cannot see all that is happening, gives some cash to the driver, takes something from him and pockets it. (You might be asking yourself, does she sit in the window?? I do when I'm on my computer which happens periodically throughout the day and night.) I called the PD because I could not not call. They both pulled out a couple of minutes later, I gave the info to the dispatcher and hoped for the best (for me, not them). The idiot came back a couple of hours later, got out of his car and glared at me in the window (he's never done that before) so something may have happened. Now I wait to see if anything comes of it. I should also mention that he is a little league umpire. What an idiot.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Babies and their Mothers

The best word I can use to describe this past year is difficult. I am hoping to never have a repeat. However, there were a few good moments and the two top vote getters were the births of the babies that are pictured above. At the top is Jaelyn Mae, shortly after birth and last week and also, then and now, is Benjamin Andrew. They are the result of a couple of "firsts" in my life: my first goddaughter, Rachel Mary who is the mother of BamBam, and my first niece: Vanessa Lee who is the mother of JaeMae. That's about all the credit I can take.

JaeMae, who arrived December 26, 2006 had shown us a preview of her upcoming vanity by showing off her very long fingers in pretty much every photo taken of her, including her hospital photo. BamBam, on the other hand, keeps his hands tightly fisted in all the photos I've seen of him.
Hannibal loves when she comes for a visit. He loves to jump up and kiss her, which causes her eyelashes to flutter as she quickly blinks in, not fear, but apprehension that the furry four legged bouncy barking creature moves so quickly towards her face. As she has gotten older, she loves to watch his tail wagging and feel his fur. Vanessa has, in my opinion, made motherhood look very easy. JaeMae is a happy little girl, she seems to rarely cry, it's more that she "complains" when she is hungry or sleepy. She is now sitting on her own, and crawling. Her crawl is different, one leg out straight and the other bent at the knee. It's amazing how much ground she can quickly cover.
BamBam, who I have not yet met, gave us all a bit of worry at his too early arrival. His wanting to see his parents sooner, rather than later, moved his anticipated birthdate of 3/21 to his actual birthday of February 12, 2007. From all accounts he's progressing as expected and I am looking forward to seeing Rachel in her role as mother.
These two little babies, who haven't met each other yet, have reminded me of the other kids in my life. Faith and Jerry's sons Timothy and Joseph who are Rachel's younger brothers; Janice and Tom's Kristina, Tom and Kimberly; as well as my nieces and nephews, Veronica who is Vanessa's younger sister (and now an auntie!!); Nick and Amy; Chelsea, Matthew and Emilee. I have so many stories of these kids, which I will be sharing in future posts.
Having babies in my life again - it's the best! An added bonus, my friend Faith is a GRANDMOTHER! This more than makes up for the fact that for 30 something years I've been reminded that she is 11 days younger than me. I, no matter how much older, will NEVER be a grandmother.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Through a rapist's eyes

The headlines in the news media today are centered around the abductions and murders that have been going on around the US. A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

Men look at the clothing being worn. They will look for women who's clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors.

They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

The time of day men is most likely to attack and rape a woman is in the early morning, between 5 and 8:30 a.m.

Number one place women are abducted from/attacked at is grocery store parking lots.
Number two is office parking lots/garages.
Number three is public restrooms.

The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don't have to worry about getting caught. Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years. If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn't worth it because it will be time-consuming. These men said they would not pick on women who are carrying umbrellas or other similar objects that can be used from a distance. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you're not worth it.

Several defense mechanisms are:
If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like "what time is it?", or make general small talk, "I can't believe it is so cold out here, we're in for a bad winter." Now you've seen their face and could identify them in a line-up, you lose appeal as a target.
If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell STOP or STAY BACK! Most of the rapists said they'd leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.
If you carry pepper spray, and it is highly recommend that you carry it and keep it where you can easily get to it, yelling I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

If someone grabs you, you can't beat them with strength but you can by outsmarting them: If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh - HARD. (One woman in a class told of pinching the underarm on a guy who was trying to date rape her - she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands - the guy needed stitches.) Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it hurts.

After the initial hit, always go for the groin. You might think that you'll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists said is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble, and he's out of there. When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure as possible.

Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don't dismiss it, go with your instincts. You may feel a little silly at the time, but you'd feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Castle

Hearing that the castle was vacant and not looking so good, I took a ride by the other day and things did not look good at all. It was raining so I wasn't able to see much, but the door was ajar so I poked my head in and thought "Oh, no".
I had always known that the castle was there. During high school, my friend Faith lived just a few houses down so we drove by the castle many, many times. Because I'd always been interested in architecture I knew I'd love to go in the house at some point. In 1977, my father, my stepmother and I were able to go in while they were house hunting. The castle is 5 floors on 7 levels. The lowest level is the kitchen. One step up into a hallway (and a toilet room) which opens into the circular dining room. Up a half circular set of stairs into a huge living room. Also on that level is a round room which had a pool table in it. Across the living room is a 2 story high group of windows. Up another flight of stairs to a hallway with a bathroom, a big closet, another room with lots of angles and the roundness of the front turret. Also off the hallway is a closet with a small marble sink in it (there are 2 other sinks in bedroom closets in the other bedrooms). Up 3 more stairs into a round bedroom located above the pool table room. Up a circular stair to another round bedroom that has a balcony (in the 70's you could see downtown Providence). Up another circular stair to the top, a perfectly round room (which was my favorite). Looking out the windows of that room is dizzying you're up so high. I haven't even mentioned the nooks, crannys, built-ins, bookshelves, hidey holes, fireplaces (in every room) and other assorted beautiful characteristics which are throughout.
So, the first time I'm there, going up the stairs into the living room, I'm thinking this is the coolest house I've ever been in. I yelled down to my father that he's gonna love it up here. He came up the stairs and quietly said to me, "shhhh, we're buying it" so that the real estate agent wouldn't hear. That was the beginning of my love affair with that home. It proved to be the most impractical wonderful home ever. I did not live there, but I would stay there for a few months at a time, or for just a weekend. That was where we spent the Blizzard of '78. It was there in December, 1980 that my father yelled up from the kitchen asking if I knew John Lennon. He was watching Monday night football when they announced his death. I immediately went to the telephone and called in sick for the next day (but that's another story for another time). My four youngest brothers and sisters (I'm the oldest of 7) grew up there, from 10 years old through high school. My stepmother, Linda and I researched the house and found it was built in 1894 by artist Elisha Baxter (a founder of RISD). He sold it a few years later to George Wilhelm, who was the original brewmaster of The Narragansett Brewery.
I can't figure out why someone would abandon this home; sickness, financial troubles, who knows? What I do know is that I'm going to do anything that I can to get this place into the hands of someone who loves it and has the resources to bring it back to it's original beauty. So, I've been pretty busy with some research since. I know who owns it and that the taxes are paid current. I've talked with Don D'Amato, Warwick's official historian who had wrote an article about it when my father owned it. He wants to write a 'Now and Then' article in the paper soon. I've got some ideas about how and who to approach to save the old girl.
With my co-conspirators along today, we got a better look and, happily, things are not as bleak as they looked a couple of days ago. With the door being ajar, I knew the other day that I was going in, and today J and I took the tour, checking out the entire house from top to bottom. I wanted to bring some of WARNING stickers I have from my years in the security industry, but couldn't find them for today's visit. I will return with them soon. It's odd, there is still some food in the kitchen cabinets, some furniture (even from when my family lived there), the carpeting is the same(30 years!!) on the stairways, but I suppose that is a good thing knowing that the wood below has been preserved. There's some water damage, parts of some ceilings have come down, but nowhere near as bad as it could be. Kids have gotten in, but thankfully they haven't vandalized the inside, just the windows outside which have been boarded over. The original light fixtures that were there before are still there. There's lots of junk and crap around and the pool table is still there, but the structure itself seems to be as strong as the day she was built.
For me, it's nice to have a purpose in life. Something else to think about besides illness. I'm going to do my best to see this through to a happy ending.

MSNBC Breaking News

MSNBC Breaking News: President Bush to have colonoscopy; Cheney to take temporary control

There are soooo many ways I could approach this. However, I will let the statement above speak for itself. After all, I am trying to keep this blog rating PG.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Teenagers and Alcohol

A deadly combination too many times.

In the small state that I live in, two families affected once again. A 17 year old boy is dead, another 17 year old boy charged with reckless boating and refusing to submit to a chemical test. I know the family of one of those boys, in Rhode Island that's not so surprising, so it hits a bit closer to home than other times, but it's always a tragedy. In the town that I live in, over the past 10 years, at least 8 teenagers have been killed in drunk driving crashes. One young girl, on the way to the mall with her friend and her friends mother were hit by an adult drunk driver, on a highway, rear ends their car which forces it up a hill dividing the lanes into the oncoming traffic. The mother and the daughter's friend dead. On their way to the mall! If that doesn't make you angry, then nothing will.

I'm always amazed, too, when I read the newspaper police log as to how many people are pulled over while driving under the influence. Many of those drivers are not even the legal drinking age so I can only imagine where there future is headed. What seems like fun when you're a teenager, mixed with alcohol, can end up deadly.

Teenagers don't think anything bad can happen to them. I know I never did. They also don't know that the main reason the drinking age was returned to age 21 was because studies showed that between the ages of 14 and 21 a child's brain is forming in many different ways. The maturation process can and will be stopped if too much alcohol is ingested during this time. We all know someone in their 30s, 40s or 50s who still acts like they are 18. They hang around, don't work, party with their friends. It can all be traced back to their behavior as a teenager. I am in no way giving them an excuse.

This makes me reflect back on my own adolescence. I drank and drove as a teenager. The last time I drove under the influence, I was 20 years old (which is over 30 years ago). The last time I had a major hangover I was 20 years old. I knew, as I approached 25, that if I kept the lifestyle that I had, I wouldn't make it to 30. So I quit - everything. I left that lifestyle, those friends and I moved to another house, virtually in the middle of the night. I didn't have a drink again until I was 33. You could probably count on both hands the amount of drinks I've had since.

Thanks to good luck, we made it through the 70s. I think that as the population has increased, traffic has increased and teenagers freedoms have increased. It's not unusual for teenagers to have sleepovers several times a week, even during the school week. I think in the 4 years of high school I had 3 sleepovers. 9th grade: Stacy Gregory (who died along with her sister when they were hit by a drunk driver in the 1980s). 10th grade: Beverly Sardelli. 12th grade - well, it wasn't really a sleepover. Faith told her parents she was sleeping at my house. I told my parents I was sleeping at Jan's house and Jan told her parents she was sleeping at Faith's house. We got in Jan's car - a green Ford - if I remember correctly and drove all night. Well, I drove all night as Jan and Faith slept in the backseat. In the morning, way too early to go home, I fell asleep in my car parked at the ice rink. I was awakened by a Warwick cop knocking on the window asking what I was doing and was I alright. I told him I fell asleep while waiting for my friends. I guess he had a little bit of trouble believing me because there were Tequila Sunrise labels stuck all over the back windows of my car. As we drank and the bottle labels became loose, we'd take them off and slap them on the windows, where they would stay until the next rain. We were very lucky.

While I was driving around that night, in 1974, there was hardly anyone on the road. It was hard to find a place to park because we would have stuck out like a sore thumb. Nowadays, however, the highways are as busy at 3 am as they are at 3 pm. Stores are open 24 hours so finding a place to park a car and hang out is easy.

So my niece, Veronica, the second love of my life right behind her older sister, is 17. As is typical of teenagers she's been involved in some risky behavior. I gave her my old Volvo to drive and I'm hoping that the safety of that car will protect her should she need it. But she drives around in the same town I live in, where at least 8 teenagers have been killed in the past 10 years in alcohol related crashes and it scares me almost to death.


Though news reports may make it seem as if the number of child abductions is epidemic, it is not, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. There are 3,000 to 5,000 non-family abductions in the United States each year. In most of those cases, the children are sexually abused before being returned to their families.

About 100 children a year are abducted and murdered. Seventy-five percent of those children are murdered within three hours, the center says.

Peter Banks, a former Washington, D.C., police officer who is the center's director of training and outreach, says parents should prepare their children by talking to them because an abduction can turn violent. "Most abductions are not really abductions: They are seductions by people whose sole ambition is to use their guile and cunning to victimize helpless children," Banks said.

"The No. 1 weapon to arm a child with is self-esteem. Tell your kids you love them and make them feel proud. If you don't tell them you love them, then someone else will."

Whatever you do, don't try to scare your kids. Dr. Carl Metzger, a Portland-based child psychiatrist, recommends parents try not to instill fear in their children or harp on the topic. Repetitive warnings make the parent seem weak or unable to provide care. "Instilling fear ruins the balance for a young child. It would make them fearful or anxious," Metzger said. "The most effective approach is for parents to give a warning in context, such as if something appears on television or a child brings the subject up. That's the perfect time to give the message."

And what is the message? Metzger says it depends on the age of the child. You can talk to a 9-year-old about how it is unsafe to go with a stranger. But you might want to tell a 5-year-old that they may go only with Mommy or Daddy. Metzger says parents need to be vigilant because society has changed in recent years. "There has been a lessening of the network that keeps children safe, and by that I mean children are often left on their own while their parents work," Metzger said.

He recommends that children not veer from their destination, avoid occupied parked cars, and if someone does try to physically overpower them, shout, scream and kick. Police have found that many abductors will flee if a child reacts in that way. As with most attempted abductions, never let yourself be taken to a second location, do whatever needs to be done to get away. "It's fight or flight. You don't have a lot of options."

Steps to take to keep your kids safe:
-Never leave a child unattended in a parked car, park, playground or store.
-Have a family "code" word to use when someone other than the parents is picking up the child. If the "code" word isn’t give, the child should not go with that person.
-Let children know that they don’t always have to listen to adults. If someone they don’t know tells them to do something, let them know that it’s okay not to listen. They should draw attention to themselves in whatever way is necessary to avoid a predator.
-The number 1 target of predators is adolescent girls, mostly between the ages of 8 and 15. Most girls in this age group should be warned of the dangers to them. Have a plan of action as to what they should do in any instance of danger.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

America's Favorite Pastime

I'm not really a baseball fan. I rather like baseball movies, The Natural, Bull Durham, A League of Their Own and Field of Dreams especially. I enjoy seeing my 8 (almost 9) year old nephew Matthew playing and hitting. He takes the game very seriously except when he's surreptitiously waving to his auntie.

I usually say that I was a baseball fan for a couple of weeks a couple of years ago. (Red Sox sweep Yankees, go on to win the World Series against some team). It might have been 2004.

I like the history of baseball. Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Yaz, Barry Bonds. SCREECH!! Hold on, back up. Barry Bonds? Isn't he the guy who is on the cusp of tying and then passing Hank Aaron's all time hitting record? Isn't he the guy who's use of steroids has increased his hat and shoe size? He had a growth spurt in his late 30's, go figure.

I saw an article on the internet yesterday that Barry Bonds says that he is an "embarrassment" because he's in the middle of a slump. That's it!!?? That's all he has to be embarassed about? He's not embarassed because he is a CHEATER? Doesn't he realize that when you cheat to win, you really don't win. This guy is 40 something and he hasn't figured it out yet? Yikes. I hope he doesn't ever tie the record. Not that I'm hoping for an injury, that wouldn't be fair. Fair, what am I talking about, he doesn't play fair. But maybe something could happen. We could hope. I am anyway.

We don't know when this will happen, especially with the "embarassing" slump, but from what I understand, even the baseball commissioner is thinking of avoiding that particular game. I just hope that there's not a big deal about this, that . Maybe the "embarassing" slump will last until he retires. Or he dies from "embarassment".

A few weeks ago, my nephew Matthew was playing with his team and he was covering a base, third, I think. The ball and the runner were heading to him. He caught the ball but missed the runner. The ump called the runner out. But then Matthew, who is 8 almost 9, told the ump that he missed him. So the runner took the base. I'm thinking that maybe Barry Bonds might have done that when he was a kid playing little league. And I wonder what he forgot in the meantime.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Remembering HOOKE 9/6/85 - 10/27/00

I first met Hooke when he was just a few weeks old. He was born in Maine and was the largest of 7 puppies. I took him home with me when he was about 5 1/2 weeks old. He was so tiny he fit in the palm of my hand. At first, he was afraid of everything - from the refrigerator hum to any loud noise. He would stay right by my side, but as he got older he became much more adventuresome. Even though he was a small dog, only about 17 pounds at full weight, he commanded fear in many. His growl was as genuine as his kisses. Hooke was my constant companion throughout his life and brought me as much joy and heartache as any mother could get from her child. I was as proud as I could be when he buried his first bone and I felt anguish whenever he was sick. He was not the family pet - he was mine. His love was constant and unconditional. His consistent presence brought meaning, purpose and comfort to my life, especially during times of failed relationships, family problems and job changes.

We moved many times over the years and Hooke was able to adapt and even flourish in his new surroundings. He was not a dog that barked very often, mostly he woofed and each time his little body shook. He was always a bit grumpy, wasn’t fond of children, (he referred to them as "rambunctious little creatures.") and he was smart. Being mostly Poodle, with some Cocker Spaniel added (for cuteness) he knew many tricks. When he was young he would leap right up into my arms and he was able to walk on his back legs for long amounts of time, especially if a tasty treat was being dangled above his head. When he was in trouble and banished to another room, he would tiptoe to where I was to beg forgiveness, which I always gave to him. In his later years when he had slowed down considerably, he would love to lie against me enjoying my touch as much as I enjoyed his. His health declined pretty steadily over the past year and it was hard to see him having trouble doing the things he had done so effortlessly earlier in his life.

Making the decision to end his suffering and therefore end his life was one of the hardest decisions I have made, but I have found peace knowing that his discomfort is over and he is no longer suffering. On his last day while watching the trees shed their leaves and the sun getting low in the sky, I was able to hold him as he left me. I will always be grateful that he chose to spend his short but meaningful life with me.

In the ‘wise beyond her years way’, my 5 year old niece Chelsea said to me the night that Hooke died "He’s still with you Auntie, he’s invisible, so you can’t see him but he’s still there with you." He is and always will be. If I just close my eyes, I will feel his kiss on my cheek licking away my tears.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Love AND Marriage???

I have never wanted to be divorced, therefore I knew I would never get married. Why in the world would you ever want to be with someone forever? As a small child my perception of marriage was lots of yelling, drinking, pregnant bellies, an occasional slap or beating. As a teenager, watching the marriages of my parents and some of their friends disintegrate into bedlam, deception, thievery, brainwashing and cruelness decided it for sure. Oh no, not for me. Never mind the legal hassles of a divorce. I thought that if I ever did get married, I'd want to live in a duplex. He could have his side and I would have my side. Maybe a connecting door in between the bedrooms...maybe.

Fast forward through the years, my 20's, 30's, 40's and now 50's. I've always been a good, no, make that a great, observer. So I've had a somewhat change of heart of what marriage really is. I've seen marriages start with certain doom, others with a baby bump, and some that planned so well for the wedding but were completely unprepared for the days (and years) after.

I have had a wedding night! Get your mind out of the gutter, it wasn't my wedding night! It was Tom and Jan's wedding night. A few of us went back to their room at the Sheraton, hung out for awhile, partying a little, until Tom and Jan fell asleep. We then let ourselves out of the room about 3am - okay, it was half a wedding night. They're still together, their oldest daughter is 25. I'm sure it's been bumpy at times, but as Jan says "I love my life, I think god loves me a little bit more than others."

Other friends of mine, Faith and Jerry, had the unimaginable and unexplainable happen to them in their first year of marriage - the loss of a baby. Yet, their marriage flourished, they went on to produce 3 more children, proving to be great parents. You would think that they had been married last week or last year, yet it's been 31 years, (Faith being a bi-centennial bride, after all) the way they hold hands or always give a kiss, coming and going. My parents were in the middle of their very nasty divorce during the time Faith was planning her wedding. My mother's advice to her, "don't get married, you'll regret it." Needless to say, Faith disregarded and disproved that not so wise advise. Faith's favorite saying is 'Life Is Good'. I love these guys.

So, I've learned that marriage can be good, it just has to be between the right people, be they man and woman, man and man or woman and woman. And, that it's not always easy, but can be enjoyed. These people, my best friends from high school - Jan and Tom and Faith and Jerry - have shown me and others around them that with the right attitude, alot of hard work, a good sense of humor and a commitment to their commitments that maybe marriage is okay. Though it's still not for me.

You must be wondering, why today? Why is love and marriage on her mind? I'll tell you why.

Another best friend of mine, Dawn, was married to her Joe recently. Due to illness, I was not able to attend their wedding in New Hampshire. Because of technology, I was able to look at their wedding pictures today via the internet. As I looked at my fellow full-figured friend in her wedding gown I felt a flicker. A twinge, maybe, of what I would have looked like. It passed, thankfully!! I was able to see my friend Dawn and her Joe and their friends ('cept me) and family celebrating such a happy occasion.

I had met Dawn while I was in my heyday (mid 30's) and she was just a child, recently graduated from college. We were at a conference and were introduced by Maryann, our late, great friend. The three of us became fast friends and we were on the hunt...for men!! Over the next few years we hit many, many, many 'singles' events, dances, weekends, workshops, conferences, etc... stretching from New Hampshire to New York. And we were very successful, I might add. Lots of fun, drama, tears, broken hearts. Maryann's type was the middle eastern man. Dawn liked the preppy type and I tried all the flavors, ultimately always reverting back to the blue collar guy. Maryann's first husband, who was from some middle eastern country, left the US for Canada the day after their wedding and was never allowed back into the country. And this was before 9/11!! She never saw him again! I have to admit I always found it to be a rather funny story. Her second marriage was, sadly, cut short by her death in 2000. And I met Dennis, but that's a whole nother story. So Dawn really was the only one of us still out there, year after year, looking for Mr. Right. She really persevered and never, ever settled for Mr. Alright, or Mr. He'll Do. She'd call me up and tell me all about this one or that one so that when she did meet Joe and told me all about him, all the info she gave me went into short term memory (like all the others before him) and the info was flushed a few days later. But wait, she kept seeing him and his name, and only his name, was repeated in our phone conversations. Little pieces of info started to stick in my mind; he builds guitars, wears an earring or two, was married previously... Then she called with the good (no, great) news that she was engaged and now she is married. She was a beautiful bride and he a handsome groom.

So, to my dear friend Dawn and her Joe, I wish you continued love and happiness. I wish that you always feel about each other the way you felt on your wedding day. I hope that the sad and painful days are few and far between. I hope that your children (should you choose to accept that assignment) are as precious to you each day as the day they were born. I hope that you feel blessed by your god after 25 plus years of marriage and that for you, life is good.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A form of carjacking

You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car, and get inside. Then you start the engine and shift into REVERSE, and you look into the rear view mirror to back out of your parking space and you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into PARK, unlock your doors and jump out of your car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car, that is when the carjackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off! Your engine was running and they practically mow you down as they speed off in your car. And guess what ladies? I bet your purse is still in the car...


Just drive away and remove the paper that is stuck to your window later, and be thankful that you read this. A purse contains all of your identification, and you certainly do NOT want someone getting your home address. They already HAVE your keys!

Which reminds me, the car registration paperwork should be kept in your wallet, not in the car. If the car is stolen, they know where you, the owner lives.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Like the bulls in Pamplona, Americans need to be better aware of the idiots that are running...through the corridors of the White House and the Pentagon.

A young man named Patrick Tillman Jr, who graduated college in 3 1/2 years with a 3.8 GPA, while excelling as a scholarship linebacker was drafted into the NFL as the 227th pick of the Arizona Cardinals. While there he turned down a multi million dollar offer from another team due to his loyalty to his team. After completing the fifteen remaining games of the 2001/02 season which followed the attacks of September 11 and turning down a multi million dollar offer from the Cardinals, Patrick, along with brother Kevin (who gave up a chance to play pro baseball) joined the US Army where they were deployed as part of the invasion of Iraq. Upon return from Iraq, Patrick was deployed to Afghanistan where he, very sadly, lost his life in April, 2004 at age 27. At first glance, a horrific tragedy that such potential was wasted. The Army initially claimed that Patrick Tillman and his unit were attacked in an ambush. Then the Army claimed that Patrick's death was due to "friendly fire" during the ambush. Then the Army (finally!) owned up that there was no hostile ambush, that due to some confusion, allied forces actually fired on each other. I'm sure that this happens in war. Initially, Patrick's family was given his medals and a detailed story of the hostile ambush - which was contrived. They were not informed that Patrick was killed by friendly fire until weeks after his memorial service, although some senior Army officers knew of that fact prior to the service. While continuing with the deceptions, the Army used Patrick's story in their recruitment of other young men and women.

However, the lies and deceptions haven't quite ended.

Today, citing "executive branch confidentiality interests” in refusing to provide documents to the Congressional investigation, the White House and the Pentagon continue the bullshit that has forced many of us to look for higher boots to be able to wade through this mess. Patrick's family have said they believe the erroneous information peddled by the Pentagon was part of a deliberate cover-up that may have reached all the way to President Bush and then-Secretary of Defense Donald H. (for hideous) Rumsfeld.

Patrick's selfless acts and shining examples drastically contrasts the cowards in Washington who's deceptions and malicious behavior need to be known.

Patrick Tillman Jr has shown all of us what it means to be an American. My condolences to his family for their loss and for the never ending nightmare they continue to be forced to endure.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fighting Off An Attacker

Not all circumstances are the same, but if you're accosted you should know the odds of getting out alive lessen in certain situations. Thwart attackers by having a defensive plan. The first thing you can do to fight back is not to become a victim in the first place.
Don't go out alone at night.
Don't go to places that are deserted or dangerous.
Pay attention to what's going on around you.

If you do stumble into a situation, how can you raise the chances of coming out alive?
* The number one rule of surviving an attack is to never, ever allow your attacker to transport you to a secondary crime scene. People who climb into cars with their attackers are almost always killed.
* What if he has a gun or a knife? If he's trying to force you into a car or building, then fight. Yes, you may be injured, but if you go with him, you will die. Your odds of living are better if you run, and if you can't do that, stand and fight.
* Raise as much of a ruckus as you can. Scream. Yell. Pound on things that make noise. Attract attention by any means at your disposal.
* About running -- if you can get away keep running. Don't stop until you find other people. Yell the word "Fire!" Others will investigate.
* Give him your wallet, purse or other valuables if he asks for them. They can be replaced. You can't.
Cops know that the victim most likely to survive is the one who doesn't give up.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

GUT Feeling

ACDC has a "gut" feeling that when there is a terror attack later this year (and surely something will happen) the inept director of homeland security, who shone so brightly during the Katrina debacle, will be confused with Carnac The Magnficent. The only confusion will be, how did he do it without blowing an envelope?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Peace please

I'm missing John Lennon more and more. Hard to believe it's been 27 years.

Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too Imagine all the people Living life in peace... You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people Sharing all the world... You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one

Monday, July 9, 2007

President Blush invokes executive privilege

Blush uses privilege to deny ex-aides’ testimony - knowing that they (former counsel Harriet Miers and one-time political director Sara Taylor) would have happily lied for him, the ever scarlet colored president figured he'd take the heat. It's getting to be so hot in the oval office, you'd have thought Clinton was back.

AP Carney declares Bush a disaster zone

Disgusted with the ongoing corrupt Bush administration, ACDCarney declared the Bush Administration a federal disaster and has allocated her own FEMAle department head to travel and observe the disaster area.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Those who I enjoy:
Keith Olberman - who speaks the truth so eloquently each night
Rosie O'Donnell - she has become the voice for all of us who know better
Dixie Chicks - their Taking The Long Way cd is fabulous - not a bad song on it

HATE is a strong word.

I hate what GWB has done to our planet. Not crazy about him or his buddies.

And then there are the media whores:
geez, I could go on and on...