Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
I'm really not a baseball fan. As I wrote in my America's Favorite Pastime blog (7/17) I usually say that I was a baseball fan for a couple of weeks 3 years ago. (Red Sox sweep Yankees, go on to win the World Series against some team.)
So, tonight (or actually this morning) the Red Sox won the World Series again!!! I forgot that they were playing tonight, not that I would have watched anyway, so I spent the night with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. The movie was Rear Window. I've seen it many, many times but it's been quite awhile. It finished at midnight, and when I turned it off there was the game.
It was the bottom of the 9th, 1 out and the Sox up 4-3. So I watched more baseball than I have all year over the next few minutes. Papelbon threw a couple of crazy pitches, and then struck out the batter.
And while I'm not a fan, I'm happy that they won. I'm happy for all of my friends and family who are fans and love the game of baseball. I'm happy that the Curse of the Bambino seems to be a thing of the past. I'm especially happy that the season is over.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I spoke to Joe from the crash and dent place on Friday. I explained that I found a GE basic stove that I liked that was white and, while it didn't have a timer on it (a sure sign I'm going to continue to burn any food that I put in the oven) I did like that I could read the stove top and oven settings without putting my glasses on, which is pretty important.
He told me that he is scheduled to have a couple of LG white refrigerators, like the one that I put a deposit on, coming in later this week. He said the best thing was to move the deposit to the stove in Warwick and he would have the refrigerator in Providence.
So, hopefully I will have a new white stove and refrigerator in the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, the refrigerator in my kitchen is getting louder, which seems to me that either it's going to die soon (after 30 years or so it's certainly put in it's time) or I'm imagining it, which seems entirely possible too.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
By Rob Lovitt
I've always longed to see a bald eagle, and, according to this article there are lots of them right up the road in Maine. I'm thinking of taking a ride...
Break out the binoculars and spotting scopes — the bald eagle is back, and now’s the time to see them. Populations are rising, leaves are falling (making for easier viewing) and, with winter approaching, it’s prime time for sightings.
The 10 states below, for example, have the highest populations of nesting pairs, a crucial factor in the government’s decision to remove the bird from the Endangered Species List. And for the next several months, they’ll be feeding, flying and posing for photographs from coast to coast. (Note: States are listed in descending order by nesting pairs, not by the numbers that congregate in any one locale.)
Alaska Each fall, the world’s largest gathering of bald eagles takes place when more than 3,000 birds congregate in the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines. Roadside pullouts, interpretive sites and raised boardwalks make it easy to the catch the avian action, while an annual festival (November 7–11 this year) offers educational workshops, guided excursions and demonstrations with live birds.
Minnesota Fifty-five miles south of the Twin Cities, the city of Red Wing attracts eagles thanks to a local steam plant that keeps the Mississippi ice-free. Resident eagles can be seen year-round — head to Colvill Park or Bay Point Park — with migrating birds showing up in early November. Volunteers with spotting scopes are on hand many weekends during February and March. The new National Eagle Center in Wabasha, 30 miles south, is also worth a visit.
Florida With approximately 1,200 nesting pairs, Florida is flush with bald eagles, although they don’t congregate in any one area. Nevertheless, several natural areas outside Orlando offer good, year-round viewing opportunities with Lake Kissimmee State Park, east of Lake Wales, considered among the best.
Wisconsin Just outside Madison, the Wisconsin River flows through the twin villages of Sauk City and Prairie du Sac where high bluffs and a hydro-electric plant keep the river sheltered and ice-free. Bald eagles begin arriving in mid-November; by January, there may be 200–300. During Bald Eagle Watching Days (January 19–20), visitors can experience live-bird displays, guided bus tours and tastings of nearby Wollersheim Winery’s Eagle White wine.
Washington Every winter, 500 or more eagles make their way to the Skagit River to feed on spawned-out chum salmon (M’m! M’m! Good!). The most popular stretch is along Highway 20 between Marblemount and Rockport, with the best viewing between Christmas and mid-January. Visit the Skagit River Interpretive Center in Rockport, take an eagle-viewing raft trip and, if your schedule allows, attend the Upper Skagit Bald Eagle Festival January 26–27.
Virginia In 1969, the federal government created the first national wildlife refuge established specifically for the protection of bald eagles. Today, the Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, 18 miles south of Washington, D.C., is the winter home to 50 or more birds. From November to March, the Great Marsh Trail provides the best viewing opportunities as the birds court, breed and prepare their nests for April hatches.
Michigan With its open water and abundant waterfowl, the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, outside Saginaw, attracts migrating bald eagles throughout the winter and early spring. To see them, follow the Ferguson Bayou Trail two miles to Grefe Tower, a 10-foot-high platform overlooking marshes, pools and grassland.
Oregon/California Several states have more resident bald eagles, but the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges Complex on the Oregon-California border draws more birds than any other single spot in the lower 48. Highlights include early-morning “fly-outs” as large numbers of eagles leave their night roosts in the Bear Valley Refuge and the annual Winter Wings Festival in Klamath Falls, which will take place February 15–17.
Maine Thanks to it's extensive coastline (almost 3,500 miles!), Maine has more bald eagles than the rest of New England combined, with the heaviest concentrations Downeast between Lubec and Calais. Cobscook Bay State Park and the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge both have resident eagles; the refuge also features an observation deck with spotting scopes trained on an aerie right next to Route 1.
Maryland The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the state’s Eastern Shore is home to the largest nesting population of bald eagles in the eastern U.S. outside Florida. Visitors can usually view the birds along the refuge’s Wildlife Drive or from a second-floor observation deck in the Visitor Center. The refuge also hosts an annual Eagle Festival in March, which features live birds, “eagle prowls” and Native American presentations.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Good news, however!! Yesterday afternoon Emilee and I went to the scratch and dent appliance store on Warwick Ave (thank you Faith) and after much searching, I actually think I found a fridge.
There were a pretty good amount of refrigerators to choose from. I knew I didn't want any door water/ice features as the well water at my house is pretty gross. I didn't want an ice maker or glass shelves either. I like the basic wire racks and, again, the water here is gross so I don't have the need to make ice. Though I'm curious to know if an ice maker can be tied into a water dispenser, cuz I'll get one if so.
The basic white fridges were perfect, with the right racks and no ice makers, except they were just too small. Roberta, the cranky sales lady, called their Providence store a bunch of times to see if they had the basic model in a larger size. No one there could give her a straight answer. I think Emi was a little scared of her because at one point she said she wanted to leave. We just decided to ignore her and check out the rest of the fridges.
The basic white refrigerators were perfect, except they were just too small. Roberta, the cranky sales lady, called their Providence store a bunch of times to see if they had the basic model in a larger size. No one there could give her a straight answer. I think Emi was a little scared of her because at one point she said she wanted to leave. We just decided to ignore her and check out the rest of the store.
I'm kind of a purist when it comes to many things; napkins, paper towels, toilet paper and appliances, in my opinion, should be white! So I had looked at, but not really checked out, the stainless steel versions. So Emi and I headed to one fridge in the back that is pictured above.
It had three things I didn't want; the stainless, an ice maker and glass shelves. The two things it had that I wanted was size and a good price.
The manufacturer is LG (Life's Good - shhh, Faith) which, coincidentally, I had heard of just last week when I researched a cell phone that Veronica was interested in buying. When I went to their website at that time, I was amazed at what a huge international company it was so I didn't really question the manufacturer when I saw the logo on the front of the fridge. This particular fridge had a broken freezer drawer handle that they will fix for me.
The problem I ran into was that Emi and I had picked out a simple white stove. I'm not that picky, but I didn't really want a stainless fridge and a white stove across from each other in my kitchen. So the guys in Providence are supposed to check for two things; can I get the fridge in white and/or do they have a low end stainless stove? I don't need all the bells and whistles on a stove on/in which I will be burning food, after all!
The stainless fridge online is listed for $1,249. The one I put a deposit on was listed at $899 with a 20% discount to make it $720 which I think is a good price for (what seems to be) a great product.
Depending on what they find with a stove, it should be around $400 - $600, which seems to be okay too.
The answers to these burning questions should come in the next few days.
I wasn't a total slug as I enjoyed baseball, volleyball, hide-n-go-seek and other kid games. I realized in 1967/68 that I wasn't a skier when our family went to Wildcat mountain in NH for one of those "get a free weekend when you check us out" deals. Somehow I had been signed up for ski lessons. It was freezing, I couldn't stay up and when I went down I couldn't get back up. This was all on the bunny hill! What I was good at was sitting on the back of the skis my one and only time down the hill before quitting and going inside. I hated it then and still do.
So I love to sit; whether it's at the computer, reading a book, playing a game, watching TV, playing with Hannibal or doing absolutely nothing - which I have perfected to an art form. Sitting and being quiet is something I wish more people would (or could) do.
Since 1980, other than when I lived at Mr. Cooper's house and the past 8 months I have rarely lived with other people around me. Mr. Cooper, who was 84 when I moved in, was the perfect housemate. Quiet (other than when watching Wheel of Fortune) it was almost like living alone. You all know about the Dimwit and her Idiot boyfriend living above me and the noise that went along with them for 7 months; I used to wonder what she could possibly be doing up there, especially in the middle of the night.
Now, having moved again, I have new people living above me. Chris (who is a carpenter) and his girlfriend Amber (who works at a local university and is studying for her doctorate) seem to be very nice people. They're a young couple with 2 cats. They just moved in last weekend and I'm sure they are still getting settled (I am far from being settled and I've been here 3 weeks longer.) Again, I can't figure out what they could possibly be doing up there; walking around, running water, etc.. The good thing about this house is that there's at least 12-18 inches of space between my ceiling and their floor so no matter what they might be doing, it's off in the distance which suits me just fine. When they do decide to sit and watch TV after unpacking their stuff, I should forget that they are there at all.
Now I think I'm going to go sit on the couch, or maybe the bed... A nap would be nice.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
If you look very close at this little girl you will see some tomato sauce on her cheeks, chin and nose.
I didn't even wake up when Veronica came in and started to unpack. When I did wake up Pat and Roni were getting ready to make chicken parm and pasta! Once it was ready, Veronica put a steaming plate on the kitchen table, and JaeMae, who was sitting on my lap, immediately went a bit wild pointing and ehhhhhhing that she wanted to eat it. So Vanessa, Veronica, Patrick, JaeMae and I sat down to dinner and JaeMae couldn’t wait to dig in.
This little girl had decided quite some time ago that she no longer wants to eat baby food so she had some chicken and pasta along with the rest of us. A couple of times she put her hand in my plate and covered her fingers with sauce. Each time I licked her fingers so that by the third time she planted her hand (in her mothers plate this time) she was able to lick her own fingers. What a smart little girl!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Ex-VP, team honored for spreading awareness of man-made climate change
I'm wondering if it is possible that a refrigerator can actually drive a person mad? As in crazy, as in I am losing my mind with the noise the refrigerator makes here in my new house.
The refrigerator and stove are from the 70's. They are original to when the house was converted from a garage. And they are harvest gold.
The refrigerator runs almost constantly and the sound, wahwahwahwahwahwahwahwahwahwahwahwah wahwahwahwahwahwahwahwahwahwahwah is, I think, driving me mad. IT NEVER STOPS!!!!!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I've been busy, mostly with Veronica, as she has been a very frequent guest (2 overnight visits!!) and we've been working to eliminate boxes and put things away. She has been an invaluable helper and I couldn't be more grateful or thankful.
I am making headway with Mickey, the dog next door, who is beginning to realize that I am his pack leader. I've watched enough episodes of The Dog Whisperer and I really admire Cesar Millan's techniques - don't let the dog dominate (which Micky does with his owners!) So the dog is less threatening to me, but I am not lowering my guard, especially when Hannibal is outside or any of my nieces/nephews or friends.
I've also been sleeping and resting alot and today, which is a rainy dark day, would be a perfect day to climb back in bed or watch a movie or just read a book, except that my security system is being installed this afternoon, so I am busy getting ready for that!
I've missed having an alarm, especially when it comes to Hannibal. When I am away from the house and he is home alone, I am constantly worried that someone could break in and let him out. Or, much worse, there's a fire and he could not escape! My anxiety level will be greatly reduced once it is in and working. Micro, my former ADT co-worker who has turned out to be a great friend, now has his own business and he will be doing the install. Micro is his nickname as well as the name of his company! When we worked together we had a nice relationship as I always enjoyed speaking with him and was (and still am) impressed with his knowledge of alarms/computers/sound systems as well as a million other things. However, I learned a long time ago that when you work with someone you can be friendly but you are not friends.
Micro left ADT before I did and we stayed in touch. Last year when I mentioned to him that the grass in my yard was so long I was losing Hannibal in it, he and his son Josh, who was 12 at the time, came over and worked well past dark to get it cut (and it was NOT an easy job.) I made dinner for them and the new phase of our friendship began. When they left, I gave Josh my telescope which he had been interested in during the visit. I sent Micro an email thanking him for the work they did and he replied that he left something under the towels in my bathroom closet! I checked and there were 2 gift cards; for Dave's Market and for Shell gas! I was floored and deeply, deeply touched! I had found a friend where I had never expected, at work! His generosity and friendship was a very pleasant surprise and now, a year later, it would be hard to think of my life without him and Josh in it! So they both will be here later and I look forward to the visit more than the actual installation of the alarm.
I think I do have time for a quick nap...
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
She wanted to go to bed at 10 so I laid down with her until she fell asleep, now I'm watching Keith Olbermann and seeing all the signs of a liar in the coverage of GWB in his denials of torture; quickly blinking eyelids, stuttering to get the words out while his eyes are darting around. It's really hard to put into words how much I despise that man.
Tomorrow - a birthday party for Veronica where all of my nieces and nephews will be - thank goodness for them, they keep me going.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
By SCOTT SHANE, DAVID JOHNSTON and JAMES RISEN
Published: October 4, 2007
WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 — When the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.
But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.
The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.
Mr. Gonzales approved the legal memorandum on “combined effects” over the objections of James B. Comey, the deputy attorney general, who was leaving his job after bruising clashes with the White House. Disagreeing with what he viewed as the opinion’s overreaching legal reasoning, Mr. Comey told colleagues at the department that they would all be “ashamed” when the world eventually learned of it.
Later that year, as Congress moved toward outlawing “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment, the Justice Department issued another secret opinion, one most lawmakers did not know existed, current and former officials said. The Justice Department document declared that none of the C.I.A. interrogation methods violated that standard.
The classified opinions, never previously disclosed, are a hidden legacy of President Bush’s second term and Mr. Gonzales’s tenure at the Justice Department, where he moved quickly to align it with the White House after a 2004 rebellion by staff lawyers that had thrown policies on surveillance and detention into turmoil.
Congress and the Supreme Court have intervened repeatedly in the last two years to impose limits on interrogations, and the administration has responded as a policy matter by dropping the most extreme techniques. But the 2005 Justice Department opinions remain in effect, and their legal conclusions have been confirmed by several more recent memorandums, officials said. They show how the White House has succeeded in preserving the broadest possible legal latitude for harsh tactics.
A White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, said Wednesday that he would not comment on any legal opinion related to interrogations. Mr. Fratto added, “We have gone to great lengths, including statutory efforts and the recent executive order, to make it clear that the intelligence community and our practices fall within U.S. law” and international agreements.
Here's the link if you want to read the rest of the NY Times story:
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
It was only the fourth veto of Bush's presidency, and one that some Republicans feared could carry steep risks for their party in next year's elections (we can hope.) The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.
For my new house, I bought a Lady Suzanne Classics Deluxe Soft Cushioned Bathroom Seat.
Any idea what it is?
A toilet seat!!
It's a crazy world where a toilet seat isn't called a toilet seat but a bathroom seat!!
What I'd like to get is a new toilet. With well water and a dead lady who didn't clean very well, I'd much prefer a whole new setup! Though, I suppose she didn't know she was going to die, otherwise she might have cleaned!
I know, I know -- TMI!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
Other tenants include: Steve AKA Pariah (who almost never leaves the house and when he does it's in the oddest clothing) and his Dominican girlfriend, Thelma; Shawn and Jim who didn't know each other until they moved in together; Cindy of the enormous hair (she moved in when she was 37, 35 years ago); JoAnn and her dog, Grace who used to run a bar together and now paint houses; and on the 2nd floor above you will be Tina and Mike AKA the Dimwit and the Idiot, though from every indication Tina is still in jail, when home she's monitored with an ankle bracelet on home confinement. Mike is just an idiot.
Two rooms with crooked floors. Your pen or any liquid you might spill will take off for the other end of the room at breakneck speed. No kitchen drawers for silverware, foils and wraps or dishtowels. If you want a kitchen table there will be no sideboards available to fix your meals.
Front door is yours, expect any visitor to the house to go to your door, no matter which apartment they want. This includes pizza deliveries, phone, electric and cable men, relatives, friends, police and Shawn who needs to borrow salt, your phone, phone numbers or just needs to talk. He will not, however, remember your name.
Two very nice fireplaces, neither work. Nice architectural detail however. Bathroom is nicest room in apartment, tub and water pressure are great for showering. One closet ceiling is open to pipes and a multitude of cobwebs; small rodents may fall into closet and crawl out under door into bathroom. Also, on occasion, mice will visit your kitchen sideboards.
Pink bedroom sleeps 1.
Small dog extra.
Even though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it's killed six boys and young men this year. The spike in cases has health officials concerned, and they are predicting more cases in the future.
"This is definitely something we need to track," said Michael Beach, a specialist in recreational waterborne illnesses for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better," Beach said. "In future decades, as temperatures rise, we'd expect to see more cases."
According to the CDC, the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL'-erh-eye) killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004. This year health officials noticed a spike with six cases - three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona. The CDC knows of only several hundred cases worldwide since its discovery in Australia in the 1960s.
In Arizona, David Evans said nobody knew his son, Aaron, was infected with the amoeba until after the 14-year-old died on Sept. 17. At first, the teen seemed to be suffering from nothing more than a headache.
"We didn't know," Evans said. "And here I am: I come home and I'm burying him."
After doing more tests, doctors said Aaron probably picked up the amoeba a week before while swimming in the balmy shallows of Lake Havasu, a popular man-made lake on the Colorado River between Arizona and California.
Though infections tend to be found in southern states, Naegleria lives almost everywhere in lakes, hot springs, even dirty swimming pools, grazing off algae and bacteria in the sediment.
Beach said people become infected when they wade through shallow water and stir up the bottom. If someone allows water to shoot up the nose - say, by doing a somersault in chest-deep water - the amoeba can latch onto the olfactory nerve.
The amoeba destroys tissue as it makes its way up into the brain, where it continues the damage, "basically feeding on the brain cells," Beach said.
People who are infected tend to complain of a stiff neck, headaches and fevers. In the later stages, they'll show signs of brain damage such as hallucinations and behavioral changes, he said.
Once infected, most people have little chance of survival. Some drugs have stopped the amoeba in lab experiments, but people who have been attacked rarely survive, Beach said.
"Usually, from initial exposure it's fatal within two weeks," he said.
Researchers still have much to learn about Naegleria. They don't know why, for example, children are more likely to be infected, and boys are more often victims than girls.
"Boys tend to have more boisterous activities (in water), but we're not clear," Beach said.
In central Florida, authorities started an amoeba phone hot line advising people to avoid warm, standing water and areas with algae blooms. Texas health officials also have issued warnings.
People "seem to think that everything can be made safe, including any river, any creek, but that's just not the case," said Doug McBride, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Officials in the town of Lake Havasu City are discussing whether to take action. "Some folks think we should be putting up signs. Some people think we should close the lake," city spokesman Charlie Cassens said.
Beach cautioned that people shouldn't panic about the dangers of the brain-eating bug. Cases are still extremely rare considering the number of people swimming in lakes. The easiest way to prevent infection, Beach said, is to use nose clips when swimming or diving in fresh water.
"You'd have to have water going way up in your nose to begin with" to be infected, he said.
David Evans has tried to learn as much as possible about the amoeba over the past month. But it still doesn't make much sense to him. His family had gone to Lake Havasu countless times. Have people always been in danger? Did city officials know about the amoeba? Can they do anything to kill them off?
Evans lives within eyesight of the lake. Temperatures hover in the triple digits all summer, and like almost everyone else in this desert region, the Evanses look to the lake to cool off.
It was on David Evans' birthday Sept. 8 that he brought Aaron, his other two children, and his parents to Lake Havasu. They ate sandwiches and spent a few hours splashing around.
"For a week, everything was fine," Evans said.
Then Aaron got the headache that wouldn't go away. At the hospital, doctors first suspected meningitis. Aaron was rushed to another hospital in Las Vegas.
"He asked me at one time, 'Can I die from this?'" David Evans said. "We said, 'No, no.'"
On Sept. 17, Aaron stopped breathing as his father held him in his arms.
"He was brain dead," Evans said. Only later did doctors and the CDC determine that the boy had been infected with Naegleria.
"My kids won't ever swim on Lake Havasu again," he said.