Thursday, January 31, 2008

Self-Made Man

I found this article through CNN which led me to Sports Illustrated. By Lee Jenkins

Brady's success a testament to dedication, hard work

Kevin Krystofiak is on his way to Arizona this week, a living reminder that Tom Brady's football career was not built on touchdown records and undefeated seasons. Krystofiak was the starting quarterback of the freshman football team at Junipero Serra High in San Mateo, Calif., in 1991. The team went 0-8 that season, scoring two offensive touchdowns. "I was a really bad quarterback," Krystofiak said.

That does not say very much for Brady, who spent the year as Krystofiak's backup. At the end of the winless season, Krystofiak quit the team to concentrate on basketball. As a result, Brady became the starting quarterback for the junior varsity.

"To be honest, I think the coaches would have moved me to defensive back, anyway," Krystofiak said. "Tom always had a better arm than I did."

They both found success. Brady went to Michigan to play football; Krystofiak to the University of San Diego to surf. Now, Krystofiak is working at Prudential in San Francisco; Brady is playing in his fourth Super Bowl on Sunday.

"The thing about Tom," Krystofiak said, "is that he was never given anything."

When someone is as accomplished as Brady -- as rich and talented and handsome and universally respected -- it only makes sense that he got every break along the way. But Brady is actually distinguished by all the breaks that went against him, starting in '91, and how he responded to each one. The setbacks are what separate him.

As a sophomore, Brady started at quarterback for the JV, thriving in the team's wide-open offense. At the end of the season, though, Serra coach Tom MacKenzie told Brady he would have to work harder in the weight room to play in college.

Brady promptly went home and convinced his parents to find him a personal trainer, as well as an off-season quarterback coach. Relaying that anecdote years ago, MacKenzie said: "I don't think we ever had to tell him to work harder again."

In two seasons on the varsity, Brady's record was a modest 11-9. He signed with Michigan, for the chance to be a seventh-string quarterback. He was beaten out first by Scott Dreisbach, then by Brian Griese. Brady charged into the Michigan football office, looking for head coach Lloyd Carr, intent on transferring to Cal.

Instead, he did something that seemed even more extreme at the time. Just as Brady hired a personal trainer when he needed to bulk up in high school, he sought out a sports psychologist when he needed to mellow out in college. From the psychologist, he learned to worry less about the other quarterbacks on the roster and more about himself.

"That was the low point," said Scot Loeffler, who coached and played with Brady at Michigan, in an interview before the 2005 Super Bowl. "But those hard times paid off. From then on, he just decided that he was going to be our starting quarterback."

Brady's biographical history -- from Serra to Michigan to New England -- has been well chronicled over the years. And yet, it bears repeating right now, because Brady's roots are so much more revealing than the joy ride that his career has become.

As a junior at Michigan, Brady finally won the starting quarterback job. Carr told reporters before the season: "I'm excited about Brady. I think he is talented enough to be a NFL quarterback at some point." Still, Carr seemed more excited about Drew Henson.

Even though Brady played well as a junior, Carr made him share the position with Henson in his senior year. Brady played the first quarter, Henson the second, and then Carr decided who would start the third. Brady proved the rotation ridiculous. Shortly after the midpoint of the season, Carr decided that Brady should be taking all the snaps.

But the fact that Brady was not the full-time starter in his senior season, that he weighed only 190 pounds and that his delivery was a little bit unorthodox, scared some NFL scouts away.

After the first night of 2000 NFL draft, when no team called Brady's name, he lay in bed and began to consider other professions for the first time.

New England picked him in the sixth round, 199th overall, behind quarterbacks such as Giovanni Carmazzi and Spergon Wynn. Not long after the draft, Brady ran into Patriots' owner Robert Kraft for the first time. According to the book The Impossible Team, by Nick Cafardo, Brady extended his hand, introduced himself, and said in all seriousness: "Mr. Kraft, I'm the best decision your organization has ever made."

It was cocky, but it was true. Heading into his first training camp, Brady was listed as New England's fourth-string quarterback. By the end of his first season, he was not much better.

When the Patriots needed a backup to Drew Bledsoe, they signed Damon Huard as a free agent from the Miami Dolphins, refusing to promote Brady.

Desperate to learn the offense and improve his delivery, Brady worked tirelessly with New England quarterbacks coach Dick Rehbein. But in August '01, during training camp at Bryant College, Rehbein died of a heart attack. Because of the late date, head coach Bill Belichick had to take over Rehbein's duties. He had to work with Brady.

Apparently, Belichick was impressed. On the eve of the '01 season, he announced that Brady, not Huard, would back up Bledsoe. In the second game of the season, Bledsoe was injured, and Belichick announced that Brady would start against the Indianapolis Colts. At his weekly press conference, Belichick told reporters: "I don't think I'll be standing up here in 10 weeks talking about all the problems Tom Brady had."

The Patriots thumped the Colts, 44-13, but it was not all happily ever after. They lost the next week at Miami. Three weeks after that, Brady threw four interceptions in the fourth quarter of a loss to Denver. But just as Brady responded at Serra and at Michigan, he reset himself and won 11 of the next 12 games, including his first Super Bowl.

Since then, he has become a caricature of success, accompanied by actresses and supermodels, tailed by the paparazzi. It is hard to remember a time that Brady was not the face of football. But Brady remembers his lean years vividly. They drive him still.

Before his last Super Bowl, three years ago in Jacksonville, Brady was asked if he had any flaws, and his response was surprisingly candid. "There are plenty of things I'm deficient at," he said.

"I've never been the fastest, never had the best arm, and never been very strong. I still question sometimes whether I'm really cut out for this. I think I am pretty insecure. I have some old scars that are very deep, and I don't forget them."

Brady keeps his past close by. In fact, Krystofiak and the rest of the high-school crew will be in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday for the Super Bowl. They are still coming to grips with the notion that their gangly friend is an international celebrity.

"He went from being a backup in high school to almost transferring in college to splitting time as a senior to being a sixth-round draft pick to going to the Super Bowl," Krystofiak said. "It's a fairy tale."


Right about when President Idiot stole the 1st Presidential election I decided that I would curtail my TV news viewing. I cannot stand seeing his face or hearing his voice. It's only gotten worse in the last 7 years! I'm really not much of a TV watcher anyway, documentaries, movies and a few shows are all I watch. The one news show I watch and enjoy is Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which is on at 8pm, repeated at 12midnight on MSNBC. Occasionally I watch Brian Williams on NBC and Nightline.

So each day I read newspapers and news on-line. I start with because that's our local paper and I always look at the obituaries. Then I go to the NY Times, Washington Post, USA Today, MsNBC, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, Mother Jones, CQ Politics, Daily Kos, Drudge Report, Salon, and probably more that I cannot think of and I am too lazy to go look up right now.

I always start with the headlines and I've made a list of headlines that caught my eye today! You should be able to click on the headline line and read the article. You may agree or disagree wth my feelings towards the headlines, but I wanted to share my view - especially since this blog is called Life, as I see it...

These headlines make me angry:
Feds let states delay bridge inspections

Brain screenings for vets may be flawed

Soldier suicides reach record level or Report: Army suicides up 20 percent in 2007 or Suicide Attempt Points to Trend

Governor Attends Anti-Abortion Rally

Bush pushes eavesdropping law

Supreme Court: Taking Care of Business

White House: What Missing Emails?

License and (Voter) Registration, Please

U.S. air traffic controller force in crisis

Deployed troops fighting custody battles

These headlines make me happy:
Giuliani drops out of GOP race

Top Al Qaeda Commander Killed

Novacek's Picks: Pats will finish perfect season

Spears taken to hospital

Tighter U.S. border ID rules begin

Pint-sized preemie giraffe gets her bottle

These headlines make me wonder how anyone can possibly have more free time than I do:
Tiny camera implanted inside a mouse’s brain

What a Frankenstein President Might Be

Governor's son sells 'Don't Drop the Soap'

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Go Hillary!

I've always liked Hillary Clinton and would have been supporting her if not for John Edwards.
Now that he is out of the race, I'll be supporting Hillary Clinton for President.

I Don't Want This To Be True!

I was proud to be a supporter of John Edwards and am sad that he's ending his campaign for President. I wish the best for him and his family.
Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters' sympathies but never diverted his campaign, The Associated Press has learned.

The two-time White House candidate notified a close circle of senior advisers that he planned to make the announcement at a 1 p.m. EST event in New Orleans that had been billed as a speech on poverty, according to two of his advisers. The decision came after Edwards lost the four states to hold nominating contests so far to rivals who stole the spotlight from the beginning — Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

The former North Carolina senator will not immediately endorse either candidate in what is now a two-person race for the Democratic nomination, said one adviser, who spoke on a condition of anonymity in advance of the announcement.

Edwards waged a spirited top-tier campaign against the two better-funded rivals, even as he dealt with the stunning blow of his wife's recurring cancer diagnosis. In a dramatic news conference last March, the couple announced that the breast cancer that she thought she had beaten had returned, but they would continue the campaign.

Their decision sparked a debate about family duty and public service. But Elizabeth Edwards remained a forceful advocate for her husband, and she was often surrounded at campaign events by well-wishers and emotional survivors cheering her on.

Edwards planned to announce his campaign was ending with his wife and three children at his side. Then he planned to work with Habitat for Humanity at the volunteer-fueled rebuilding project Musicians' Village, the adviser said.

With that, Edwards' campaign will end the way it began 13 months ago — with the candidate pitching in to rebuild lives in a city still ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Edwards embraced New Orleans as a glaring symbol of what he described as a Washington that didn't hear the cries of the downtrodden.

Edwards burst out of the starting gate with a flurry of progressive policy ideas — he was the first to offer a plan for universal health care, the first to call on Congress to pull funding for the war, and he led the charge that lobbyists have too much power in Washington and need to be reigned in.

The ideas were all bold and new for Edwards personally as well, making him a different candidate than the moderate Southerner who ran in 2004 while still in his first Senate term. But the themes were eventually adopted by other Democratic presidential candidates — and even a Republican, Mitt Romney, echoed the call for an end to special interest politics in Washington.

Edwards' rise to prominence in politics came amid just one term representing North Carolina in the Senate after a career as a trial attorney that made him millions. He was on Al Gore's short list for vice president in 2000 after serving just two years in office. He ran for president in 2004, and after he lost to John Kerry, the nominee picked him as a running mate.

Elizabeth Edwards first discovered a lump in her breast in the final days of that losing campaign. Her battle against the disease caused her husband to open up about another tragedy in their lives — the death of their teenage son Wade in a 1996 car accident. The candidate barely spoke of Wade during his 2004 campaign, but he offered his son's death to answer questions about how he could persevere when his wife could die.

Edwards made poverty the signature issue of both his presidential campaigns, and he led a four-day tour to highlight the issue in July. The tour, the first to focus on the plight of the poor since Robert F. Kennedy's trip 40 years earlier, also was an effort to remind voters that a rich man can care about the less fortunate. It came as Edwards was dogged by negative coverage of his personal wealth, including his construction of a 28,000-square foot house, his work for a hedge fund that advised the superrich and $400 haircuts.

But even through the dark days of summer and as Obama and Clinton collected astonishing amounts of money that dwarfed his fundraising effort, Edwards maintained a loyal following in the first voting state of Iowa that made him a serious contender. He came in second to Obama in Iowa, an impressive feat of relegating Clinton to third place, before coming in third in the following three contests.

The loss in South Carolina was especially hard because it was where he was born and he had won the state in 2004. But Edwards performed well enough to pick up 58 delegates.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The State Of The Union Speech

The State of the Union speech at my house is like this:

Fingers in ears, singing lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala
lalalalalalalalalalalalala and so on and so on and so on...

Even Hannibal has his paws over his ears!

The Most Adorable Man In Football

Steve Young - Still holds the title of "handsomest man in football!"

Back in the very early 90s I christened Steve Young, then quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, as "THE HANDSOMEST MAN IN FOOTBALL" a title that he graciously accepted and kept alive through the rest of his football career. It totally became official when I received a Steve Young coffee mug (which I still covet) from Rachel, Timothy and Joseph in 1992 or 1993, when they were just little kids.

When Steve Young retired in 1999, no other football player seemed worthy of that title, so it has remained as he went into his next career -broadcasting. I think Steve Young deserves to keep the title, so I officially retired my proclamation of The Handsomest Man in Football along with his retirement.

Today I need to make another official announcement of "THE MOST ADORABLE MAN IN FOOTBALL!"

This title goes to another football quarterback who has had a career very much like Steve Young - both players replaced (then) better known quarterbacks who had been injured, and went on to their own greatness - Steve Young replacing Joe Montana and Drew Bledsoe's replacement - Tom Brady!

He is, by far, the most adorable man in football. His humble attitude, gleaming graciousness, clever coyness, perfect smile, superb personality and brilliance on the field had earned him this first time coveted ACDC award!

I also should make this comment official - I have a complete and total crush on him!

I know, I know he is young enough to be my son, but I don't care. If I DID have a son I would want him to be just like Tom, even if he didn't play football! His parents did a great job with him and they must be so proud of all his accomplishments.

His shining moment, I think, will come this weekend when he wins his 4th Super Bowl! This week should be fun leading up to the big game. I know I will be watching the TV for THE MOST ADORABLE MAN IN FOOTBALL!!!!!


Forty years after feminists threatened to burn their bras, British women have won another battle in the fight for equality.

Asda, Britain's second-biggest food retailer and owned by U.S. giant Wal-Mart, says it will no longer charge women more for bigger bras in its George fashion range.

"We're putting an end once and for all to one of the last prejudices -- that of the bigger-busted woman," said brand director Fiona Lambert in a statement.

"From now on, all bras at George will be exactly the same price from A cup through to F cup."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Masters of War

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead

-Copyright © 1963 Bob Dylan

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bunch Of Frickin Liars

935 false statements leading up to the illegal invasion into Iraq!!

1/20/09 isn't coming fast enough - we should boot his butt before then.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

False Statements Preceded War

This just about says it all.

By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."

Named in the study along with Bush were top officials of the administration during the period studied: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.

Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq's links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was second only to Powell's 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.

The center said the study was based on a database created with public statements over the two years beginning on Sept. 11, 2001, and information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches and interviews.

"The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war," the study concluded.

"Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq," it said.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Minister, Activist, Hero, Icon

This photo hurts my soul.

I wasn’t even born in 1955, when the black citizens of Montgomery, Alabama, inspired by the arrest of Rosa Parks, who refused to give her seat to a white man, began a 13-month boycott of the city bus system. The strike was coordinated by the Montgomery Improvement Association, with Martin Luther King as its president. In June of 1956 (the month and year of my birth) the federal district court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. After surviving challenges up to the Supreme Court, the ruling stood firm and, on December 20, 1956, King declared the boycott over.

As a white child living in New England, I never really knew of Martin Luther King while he was alive. I do remember some images from the television that I did not understand. I was just shy of 12 years old when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968. It wasn't until years later that his impact on the world really hit me. It still boggles my mind that black people had to work so hard and so long to get the rights that should have been afforded to them - basic human rights.

That blacks were not allowed in bathrooms, restaurants, schools, churches - that they had to sit in the back of buses seems truly inconcievable to me.

That black riders were made to pay at the front of the bus and enter from the rear is absolutely shameful.

That three months into the bus strike, 156 protesters, including King, were arrested for violating a 1921 law against "hindering" a bus. Martin Luther King was ordered to pay a $500 fine or serve 386 days in jail. He ended up spending two weeks in prison, a move that backfired on white authorities because it called national attention to the protest and generated much outrage.

That Martin Luther King was constantly harrassed by the FBI, state and local police and arrested time and time again for his peaceful protests.

That in 1965 blacks had to march in protest to be able to vote! Imagine how he would feel today knowing that a black man has a very good chance to be the next President of the United States.

Almost forty years after his death, Dr. King's revolutionary deeds still inspire me and millions around the world and his message of freedom and equality for all resonates through every conversation about race in America today. His words still hold a stunning power and grace almost 40 years after his death in Memphis on April 4, 1968.

Dr. Martin Luther King - A Peaceful Protester

A protest led by Dr. King in support of striking sanitation workers in Memphis erupted into a riot, setting the stage for his death a week later.

Dr. Martin Luther King - Opponent Of War

Against Vietnam - Dr. King stands with other religious leaders and members of the group "Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam" at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery during a silent vigil in February of 1968. Dr. King was a staunch opponent of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam.

Dr. Martin Luther King On Peace

Dr. King receives the Nobel Peace Prize for 1964, representing an international recognition of the struggle for civil rights by African-Americans

"Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant."

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This photo is from the speech MLK gave in 1957

Delivered from the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963.

"Five score years ago, a great American in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.

One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.

Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check - a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we've come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time.

There are those who ask the devotees of civil rights - when will you be satisfied? We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can not be satisfied as long as the Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and the Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today my friends. Though even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.

It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with it’s vicious racists, with it’s governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Within two months of Martin Luther King Jr's speech, Congress passed a new civil rights bill into law.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mission Impossible?

Wow, I just woke up.

After the patriots won, I went to bed. I am amazed that the Giants beat Green Bay!

I can't imagine that they'll beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, but that's why they play the games.

Peyton must be green with envy!

NE Patriots

Can they do it?

18 games in a row with no losses?

Another trip to the Super Bowl?
Great win! 21-12
I wonder who they'll play?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Miscellaneous Stuff

A few days ago I was thinking about the Beatles which is not all that unusual. But I was specifically thinking about George's first wife, Pattie Boyd which is a bit unusual. For those who don't know her and her history; while she was married to George (my personal favorite of the Fab Four) he wrote the song "Something" for her.

Eric Clapton, (Clapton IS god) who was one of George's best friends, fell in love with Pattie while she was still married to George and wrote the song "Layla" for her. Pattie later left George for Eric and while they were married he wrote "Wonderful Tonight" for her! Anyway, I was thinking that she should write a book, since there's so much musical history that she was part of and privy to. On Friday I went to the library - and there it was - a book by Pattie Boyd Harrison Clapton!!!

I'm sure I'll learn things - some things that I probably won't want to know, but I'm glad she has written her story. I had no idea she had written a book. I started reading it last night and I am trying to make it last - I read so fast that it's annoying -I think I'll read another book at the same time, so that I can enjoy and savor what she has to say.

TV - The other night I watched a movie - I don't remember the name of it now, but there was a guy in it that I just couldn't (and can't still) place. I looked at the credits - Campbell Scott - which rang no bells for me. I have no idea what show or movie I know him from, so I looked up his name on the DVR and recorded all the movies he was in so that I might be able to place him.

Last night I was browsing through my list of recorded movies and found one Saint Ralph. So I decided to watch and see if it helped at all. It didn't help one iota, but I found the movie to be one of the best movies I've seen in a very long time. It's the story of a 14 year old boy whose father had died in WW2, his mother is very sick in the hospital; his best friend writing letters from a non-existent grandmother to cover up the fact that he's on his own. Going to a catholic school, he somehow gets the idea that if he can win the Boston Marathon which would be a miracle - he could then use that miracle to make his mother better. If you get the chance to see this move, do watch it, it's sweet, funny, sad, inspiring. And if you recognize Campbell Scott (he plays Father Hibbert) and why I might know of him, please let me know because it's driving me crazy (more crazy than usual.)

Speaking of TV...
I have to admit to a guilty indulgence - Miss America Reality Check - I know, I know it's hard to believe since I really do not enjoy reality shows. I watched the first 4 or 5 Survivor shows and then got tired of it. As for American Idol - over however many years they've been on - I think I've seen about 45 minutes total and that was while visiting my brothers house. I just don't enjoy these shows, in fact, I actually get annoyed by them. But this Miss America reality show is quite interesting on many levels.

Edwards - I'm listening to the Solid Gold Oldies station on the TV tonight - Edwards bombed in the Nevada Caucuses and I am not able to watch MSNBC, especially with the loudmouth Chris Matthews and the obnoxious conservative duo of Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan.

I wish more people would listen to and learn about John Edwards. He's not taken any money from individuals with agendas; therefore he would owe NO ONE if he's elected President. Common sense tells me that means a lot!! With the press owned by the corporate world his message just is not getting out there - you'd think there were just 2 Democratic candidates in the running!

I think I'll go read now...


I truly love animals and besides the dog, which is my favorite - I love bears. Any documentaries on polar, grizzly or black bears are watched over and over by me (and sometimes visiting nieces and nephews.)
Did you know there are only 8 species of bears? They are truly amazing creatures and it's sad that, except for the black bear, they are endangered - especially the polar bear.
So while I'm not crazy about them living in captivity, it's nice to read about them, especially the cubs when they are born. It's also nice to know that some good can happen in Nuremberg. acdc
NUREMBERG, Germany - In the end, the official name for Nuremberg zoo’s celebrity baby polar bear was no surprise at all.

The 6½-pound bundle of fluff that zookeepers dubbed Flocke, or Flake — as in snowflake — will be called ... Flocke.

“The most important thing leading to this decision was that was the name that the zookeepers, based on their first impressions, gave her,” Nuremberg Mayor Ulrich Maly told a news conference.

Some 50,000 name suggestions came in from around the world in e-mails, which also showed strong support for keeping the name Flocke, Maly said.

The 5-week-old cub attained star status after being taken from her mother, Vera, on Jan. 8 amid concerns that she could harm or even kill the newborn.

The Bavarian city’s zoo made the decision to bottle-feed the cub and not return her to her mother after keepers spotted Vera carrying the cub around in her jaws and tossing it around her enclosure.

On the polar bear’s Internet home page, the zoo thanked all those who participated for “the many creative and original suggestions.”

Little more than a year ago, another polar bear club in Germany — Knut — was hand-raised by his keepers in Berlin and became a celebrity after being rescued when his mother rejected him.

Mass-circulation daily Bild already has asked of the new cub: “Will she become Mrs. Knut?”

Zookeeper Harald Hager told reporters Flocke was doing well but was, well, a little boring. “Outside of eating and sleeping, she’s doing nothing at the moment.”

Friday, January 18, 2008

Where Do E-mails Go When They Die?

White House: What Missing Emails?
Mother Jones Blog 1/18/08

Today, the White House dramatically changed its tune on the 5 to 10 million emails reportedly missing from its servers. Since early 2007, the administration has repeatedly acknowledged (to the press and Congress) that it had experienced a "technical issue" and that a still unknown quantity of emails might not have been archived, as required by the Presidential Records Act.

But, asked by reporter about the missing emails today at a White House press conference, Tony Fratto, the deputy press secretary, contradicted the administration's previous statements.

Q: ...I've taken a real sky view of this particular story, but— so it was wrong to say a few months ago that there were possibly millions of emails missing?

MR. FRATTO: I think those charges [of the 5 million missing emails] came from outside the White House. I think that's the charge of one of the—

Q: One of your colleagues [Perino] addressed those from the podium and suggested that that was accurate‹again, I'm taking—

MR. FRATTO: I'm not sure what was said on that. I can tell you today, though, that we have no evidence and we have no way of showing that any emails at all are missing.

Anne Weismann, the chief counsel of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), one of the groups suing the Bush administration to ensure the preservation of the missing emails, called Fratto's comments "an outrage."

"There's objective evidence that [there's an email problem]," she said. "The White House is apparently making statements left and right that are contradictory with each other."

Indeed, Fratto's take on the missing emails is at odds with what his boss, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, has told the press on more than one occasion. On April 13, 2007, Perino told reporters that she "wouldn't rule out that there were a potential 5 million emails lost" by the White House.

And three days later, on April 16, she told reporters, "We are aware that there could have been some emails that were not automatically archived because of a technical issue."

While Perino's statements stop short of directly confirming the problem, an August 30, 2007 letter from Representative Henry Waxman, the chair of the House oversight committee, to Fred Fielding, the White House counsel, sheds more light on the situation.

Waxman wrote:
On May 29, 2007, Keith Roberts, the Deputy General Counsel of the White House Office of Administration, and Emmet Flood, Special Counsel to the President, briefed Committee staff on the White House e-mail system and the missing e-mails. At the briefing, Mr. Roberts informed Committee staff that the White House had discovered in 2005 that an unknown number of e-mails may not have been preserved in the White House archive, as required by the Presidential Records Act.

Fratto's comments today certainly drew the attention of Waxman's committee today, which, noting that "statements made at today’s White House press briefing contradict information provided to the Committee," scrambled to schedule a February 15 hearing to investigate White House compliance with the Presidential Records Act. Called to testify are Fred Fielding; Alan Swendiman, the director of the White House Office of Administration; and Allen Weinstein, the head of the National Archives, which is responsible for preserving presidential records.

In the coming weeks, congressional pressure could start to clarify matters. In mid-December, Waxman sent another letter to Fielding, this one requesting "any documents relating to potential failures to archive or maintain Executive Office of the President e-mails during the Bush Administration, including documents discussing options for restoring or recovering lost e-mails."

The White House has until February 1 to comply. House oversight spokeswoman Karen Lightfoot told me last night that she expects the administration will hand over the documents. If that happens, we'll know a lot more about what the administration knew about the missing emails and when it knew it. Lightfoot didn't drop any hints, but if the White House refuses Waxman's request, don't be surprised if a sternly-worded letter turns into a sternly-worded subpoena.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

President Idiot Is Continuing His Stupid War Agenda

President Idiot is negotiating a deal with Iraq to keep our troops there indefinitely--it could include permanent bases and a massive military presence for years!

The Idiot is trying to tie the hands of the next president. Congress can stop him from setting up permanent bases in Iraq and block an indefinite occupation--but they need to hear a groundswell of pressure from us immediately and loudly so they act on this quickly.

You might want to write, email or call your Senators and Congresspersons demanding that Congress stop the Idiot from committing to a massive military presence in Iraq for decades.

In Rhode Island, you can contact Senator Reed at 202 224-4642 and Senator Whitehouse at 202 224-2921. Representative Langevin is 202 225-2735 and Representative Kennedy is 202 225-4911. Come on - it only takes a couple of minutes and if you use your cell phone you probably won't even be charged long distance for your call!

Or go to or if you want to send an email!

I mean really now, do you want more people to die?

RI Makes National News (as usual, not for a good reason)

In as small a state that RI is, I am very lucky to not have known anyone who was killed in the Station Nightclub Fire in 2003 - it's amazing to me, really. I did hear how horrific it was from my (then) neighbor, Peter Henrikson who is a member of the EG Fire Dept., who told me in graphic detail what he found upon his arrival at the fire scene that night. I will never forget his first comment to me which was, "Alice, think of the worst possible thing you can possibly imagine and multiply it by one thousand and you still won't know how bad it was." I have a feeling that Peter and the other responders from that night still have nightmares.

Many people that I know did lose family members, neighbors and friends. This tragedy was bad enough, but the tragedy was made far worse by the irresponsible actions of the club owners, Great White, RI's Attorney General, the RI Fire Marshal's office, the Town of West Warwick's fire and building inspectors, the American Foam Corp., etc.. None of these people were charged and/or held responsible for their negligence!

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The co-owner of a nightclub who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for a fire that killed 100 people can leave prison early, but not until next year, the state parole board decided Wednesday.

Michael Derderian, 46, still must serve more than three years of his four-year sentence before being paroled in October 2009. I'd like to know how the parole board knows that this jerk will behave over the next 22 months!! Are they psychic? He's already shown that he thinks the rules in prison are for all except for him!

He pleaded no contest in September 2006 to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Feb. 20, 2003, blaze at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, which was sparked by pyrotechnics during a Great White concert. More than 200 others were injured in the fire.

Parole board Chairwoman Lisa Holley said in a written statement that the board decided to release Michael Derderian next year, rather than having to conduct another parole hearing, because of the "enormity of the loss and trauma suffered by many." All but one member voted to grant parole.

Derderian appeared before the parole board Wednesday, a week after victims' relatives asked the board to force him to serve his entire sentence, saying he ran a dangerous business and failed to show enough remorse for his role in the disaster.

Diane Mattera, whose 29-year-old daughter, Tammy Mattera-Housa, was killed, said that she was happy Derderian would stay in prison longer and that she won't have to go through the wrenching process of another parole hearing.

"I do not have to go in front of the parole board in a few more months to plead my heart out" to keep Derderian behind bars, she said.

But Chris Fontaine, whose son, Mark, 22, died, said she was disappointed because she feels the victims' families pleas have repeatedly fallen on "deaf ears."

"It wouldn't have bothered me to go to another hearing and plead my case again," she said.

Derderian's lawyer, Kathleen Hagerty, did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

Derderian has been disciplined several times for breaking the rules at his work-release job and in prison. He lost his work-release job and was transferred from the prison's minimum security facility to medium security.

Derderian's brother and the club's other co-owner, Jeffrey Derderian, also pleaded no contest to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter but was spared jail time under a plea deal and ordered to do 500 hours of community service. Attorney General Patrick Lynch should hang his head in shame for allowing Jeff Derderian to get off so easily. These brothers were so greedy and cheap they didn't even have the necessary workers' compensation insurance for their employees.

The only other man jailed for the fire, former Great White tour manager Daniel Biechele, is scheduled to be released on parole in March. Biechele was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to lighting the pyrotechnics without a required permit. At least this guy showed remorse, accepted responsibility and, in addition, hand wrote letters to each of the 100 families stating how sorry he was for the tragic results of his actions.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Genus Of Chuniophoeniceae

Giant palm flowers itself to death

PARIS (AFP) - Botanists on Thursday announced they had identified a new species of palm that is so enormous it can be spotted from space and whose bizarre life cycle requires the plant to kill itself after it has flowered.

The gigantic, pyramid-shaped plant was discovered accidentally by a French family walking in remote northwestern Madagascar, according to the publishers of their study.

The palm's trunk is over 18 metres (58.5 feet) high and its leaves are an extraordinary five metres (16.25 feet) in diameter, which could make them the largest ever known among flowering plants.

It is not only a new species, but also a new genus -- the taxonomic term for a group that incorporates species. In layman's terms, the plant is in a classification of its own.

Experts at Britain's Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London, say the plant grows to dizzying heights before the stem tip bursts into branches of hundreds of tiny flowers.

"Each flower is capable of being pollinated and developing into fruit and soon drips with nectar and is surrounded by swarming insects and birds," British journal publisher Blackwell Publishing Ltd. said in a press release.

"The nutrient reserves of the palm become completely depleted as soon as it fruits and the entire tree collapses in a macabre demise."

It added: "The plant is so massive, it can even be seen on Google Earth."

The paper was to be published on Thursday in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. The London-based Linnean Society is an international association of naturalists devoted to the naming and classification of biodiversity.

Secrecy, though, surrounded the palm's taxonomic name.

The nomenclature was being kept closely under wraps until publication, in line with tradition involving new plant finds, the Royal Botanic Gardens told AFP on Wednesday.

A French couple, Xavier and Nathalie Metz, who run a cashew farm in Madagascar, stumbled upon the palm as they were walking with their family at a limestone outcrop in the hills of Analalava district, Blackwell said.

Stunned by the sight, they took pictures of it and posted them on the Web.

Kew research fellow John Dransfield, an expert on Madagascar's palms, saw the photos and asked a local researcher to send him material.

DNA analysis proved the plant to be a new genus within a palm tribe called Chuniophoeniceae.

Only three other genera within this tribe exist, scattered across the Arabian peninsula, Thailand and China.

"Coupled with the great scientific interest of the palm is the fact that it is such an amazingly spectacular species and with such an unusual life cycle," said Dransfield.

"In a way, this palm is every bit as significant from a biological point of view as when the extraordinary Aye-aye lemur was first discovered."

The Aye-aye, a denizen of Madagascar first described in 1788, is the largest nocturnal primate in the world, and is believed to use echolocation to detect grubs in tree branches, which it extracts with its long fingers.

Less than a hundred individuals of the palm probably exist, which means protecting it from habitat loss and bounty hunters will be a huge challenge.

More than 90 percent of Madagascar's 10,000 plant species occur nowhere else in the world.

But less than a fifth of the island's cover of native vegetation remains intact.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cultivate Peace While You Shop

While perusing the world wide web tonight, I came across a site that I just love - and hope to order from sometime soon. It's called The Hunger Site Store. The link is below.

They have great unique clothing and really different beautiful jewelry along with lots of other items.

When you make a purchase they fund hunger. You can even buy an African girl a new pair of school shoes for just $14 or if you'd like for $60 you can buy a goat for a family in Rwanda! Finally a place where we can make a real difference.

They also have The Breast Cancer Site store, The Child Health Site store, the Literacy Site store, The Rain Forest Site store and The Animal Rescue Site store! All of which funds their appropriate causes. And at each of these sites you can click daily to give free mammograms, free child health care, free dog food, etc..
So if you are looking to do some good and shop for some really interesting and unique gifts (or even something for yourself) check these sites out. If only I found them before xmas!

Helicopter Madness

Something I thought I'd never see - especially sitting in my house looking outside.

A helicopter pulling a red wire from pole to pole for the electric company. Right through the wide expanse where the trees used to be.

I was so shocked I didn't even think to take a picture.

President Idiot Arms Terrorists

According to recent studies, 41 percent of foreign fighters who went to Iraq last year to kill Americans were from Saudi Arabia. Never mind that more than half of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia - so why not sell them advanced weapons, eh?

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - President Bush, on his first visit to this oil-rich kingdom, delivered a major arms sale Monday to a key ally in a region where the U.S. casts neighboring Iran as a menace to stability.

Bush’s talks with Saudi King Abdullah, which began over dinner and were continuing with late-night meetings, also were expected to cover peace between Israelis and Palestinians and democracy in the Middle East.

The proposed deal follows notification of five other packages to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, bringing to $11.5 billion the amount of advanced U.S. weaponry, including Patriot missiles, that the administration has announced it will provide to friendly Arab nations, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Administration officials say the total amount of eventual sales as part of the Gulf Security Dialogue is estimated at $20 billion, a figure subject to actual purchases.

Monday, January 14, 2008

He Leads While The Others Merely Follow

Dear Alice,

The choice in this election is simple. If we want a president who will lead America to the big, bold changes we need and change the conversation in America, Democrats should choose the candidate who has led the field in ideas and shaped the conversation in this race so far.

In this campaign, John Edwards has led on the issues -- the other candidates have merely followed.

But don't take it from me -- let me share with you some of the things people are saying about John.

As Paul Krugman writes today in The New York Times:
"On the Democratic side, John Edwards, although never the front-runner, has been driving his party's policy agenda. He's done it again on economic stimulus: last month, before the economic consensus turned as negative as it now has, he proposed a stimulus package including aid to unemployed workers, aid to cash-strapped state and local governments, public investment in alternative energy, and other measures."

And as Christopher Hayes writes in The Nation:
"The fact remains that the Edwards campaign has set the domestic policy agenda for the entire field. He was the first with a bold universal health care plan, the first with an ambitious climate change proposal that called for cap-and-trade, and the leader on reforming predatory lending practices and raising the minimum wage to a level where it regains its lost purchasing power."In this campaign, John Edwards has led the other candidates in standing up for progressive change.

As Ezra Klein writes in The American Prospect:
"Much more so than Obama, it was Edwards who forced a new style of politics, untethered by the fear and timidity of the 90s, adamant that liberalism was an electoral boon and economic justice a popular sentiment. Knowing they had to defend against his challenge, both Hillary and Obama edged closer to his appeal."It left the Democrats in a much stronger position overall, and forced them to argue for, and commit to, a much broader and more inspiring agenda than we otherwise might have seen." In this campaign, the other candidates have followed John's lead in talking about the special interests -- but the special interests understand the difference between rhetoric and reality. That's why corporate lobbyists are united against John Edwards.

As Kevin Drawbaugh reports for Reuters:
"Ask corporate lobbyists which presidential contender is most feared by their clients and the answer is almost always the same -- Democrat John Edwards. One business lobbyist said an Edwards presidency would be a 'disaster' for his well-heeled industrialist clients.' I think Hillary is approachable. She knows where a lot of her funding has come from to be blunt,' said Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Stanford Group Co., a market and policy analysis group."

Want to help John's field-leading campaign for change? Then please take a moment to forward these quotes on to your friends and family who live in the 48 states that have yet to cast a vote for the Democratic nominee. Tell them that you are standing with John Edwards -- and ask them to join you.

Here's the bottom line in this election. We need a president who has the vision to put forth bold, progressive solutions to the challenges facing America in the 21st century. John Edwards has shown he has that vision -- and he has led on it throughout this campaign.

Thanks for taking action.

Jonathan Prince
Deputy Campaign Manager,
John Edwards for President
January 14, 2008

The Picketed Red Carpet

Most people would probably be surprised to learn that I am a fan of award shows. I love the fashion, who's with whom, who wins, who loses and so on.

So it was disappointing when the Golden Globes, which is the best of the award shows, was cancelled because of the writers strike. It's always fun to see movie stars having dinner and drinks as they wait for the awards to be handed out. If we're lucky, by the end of the evening, we get to see one or two winners pretty loopy as they accept their award.

Because of the strike, I guess someone figured that there were no writers available to write the show, so they'd just read the winners over the air in a one hour special. When the special came on, I was quite dismayed to see Billy Bush as one of the announcers - he's an incredibly annoying guy from one of those ET/Access Hollywood type shows - and he always talks so loud, there was some woman with him who I don't know of, as well as a couple of people sitting down talking about TV shows, movies, etc..

Anyway, they had lots of papers on the podium that they were reading from prior to the announcement of any winners, so somebody had to write something for even this pathetic show to go on.

My complaint, I guess, is - why not go ahead with the show and let everybody just wing it - this way designers would have designed the fashions and be mentioned as the stars walked the red carpet; hair and make-up people would have been hired for the hair and make-up that needed to be tended to; caterers would have been busy catering all the swanky parties that follow and money would have been spent by the tourists that go to these events.

So, because a bunch of very greedy writers (who want their share of internet profits) and have caused productions to close down across the country, putting many, many people out of work, we can now add those people who earn money from affairs like the Golden Globes to their already long list of casualties.

Too bad this had to happen, that a bunch of greed writers, a bunch of wimpy - afraid to cross the picket line stars - and NBC, who had that loud mouthed Billy Bush yelling the winners names, those of us who are movie and TV fans deserved better!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Practically Perfect In Every Way


26 of 28

262 yards

3 touchdowns


Tom Brady is the Man!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Protect Yourself Against Violence or Abuse

When I was on the road in sales, I had registered with America's Most Wanted for their updates, just in case I ever ran across anyone they had listed. I guess it's good that I didn't. I still get the updates and today they sent this, which I think is important to know. Here's the link to a video on how to protect yourself:

Every day, people of all cultures, races and economic background are victims of violence and abuse. These actions can range from physical abuse, to emotional or sexual abuse, and can have a significant impact on family, friends or anyone who is witnesses to the violence. Whether you are involved in a violent relationship or are the victim of a random attack, it’s important for you to know how to protect yourself; how to get out of that situation as quickly as possible. Martial arts expert Jose Fernandez of the YWCA Capital Dojo leads self defense training classes for men and women, and teaches you tips on how to make some quick and smart moves in an emergency situation.

Fernandez suggests first off, enrolling in a self defense class, in order to become accustomed to reacting to violence. Most people immediately freeze when they are attacked, but taking self defense sessions repeatedly will help you be prepared to make split second decisions. Besides self defense class, he recommends a few things for you to think about that can help you defuse a violent situation.

-Try to remain calm and speak in a softer, even tone.
-Keep your hands up, try not to tense up.
-Maintain eye contact and keep them busy with your voice

With a rise in dating violence, he suggests a offers a few tips to protect yourself

-Take your time in getting to know the person better
-Avoid being alone with the person in the beginning, plan your dates in crowded places.
-Get to know their friends, introduce them to your friends.
-If you are alone with the person, avoid alcohol.

Happy 8th Birthday Emilee

Today my youngest niece turns 8 years old - I cannot believe how fast the time has gone since she was born.

My beautiful Emilee - such a sweet girl, so smart, pretty, funny and sometimes a little bit fresh!

She's got her orange belt in karate now - and she wears it with her pink karate outfit!

She's still active in dance, is reading like crazy and got a very good report card.

Happy Birthday Emilee! I love you lots!

Mom Of The Year

'Meanest mom’ sells car after finding liquor
Iowa woman shares teen son’s misdeed with the world via newspaper ad

AP - DES MOINES, Iowa - Jane Hambleton has dubbed herself the "meanest mom on the planet."

After finding alcohol in her son's car, she decided to sell the car and share her 19-year-old's misdeed with everyone — by placing an ad in the local newspaper.

The ad reads: "OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet."

Hambleton has heard from people besides interested buyers since recently placing the ad in The Des Moines Register.

The 48-year-old from Fort Dodge says she has fielded more than 70 telephone calls from emergency room technicians, nurses, school counselors and even a Georgia man who wanted to congratulate her.

"The ad cost a fortune, but you know what? I'm telling people what happened here," Hambleton says. "I'm not just gonna put the car for resale when there's nothing wrong with it, except the driver made a dumb decision.

"It's overwhelming the number of calls I've gotten from people saying 'Thank you, it's nice to see a responsible parent.' So far there are no calls from anyone saying, 'You're really strict. You're real overboard, lady.'"

The only critic is her son, who Hambleton says is "very, very unhappy" with the ad and claims the alcohol was left by a passenger.

Hambleton said she believes her son but has decided mercy isn't the best policy in this case. She says she set two rules when she bought the car at Thanksgiving: No booze, and always keep it locked.

The car has been sold, but Hambleton says she will continue the ad for another week — just for the feedback.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Low Battery

I'm sitting here waiting for the AAA service guy to come and jump (and maybe replace) the battery in my car. Last week, in the very cold weather my car didn't start - I figured it was just the cold. Today is at least 50 degrees and the car is dead. The AAA guy can do a diagnostic check to see if my battery is worth keeping. If not, he will replace the battery for me. It seems easier than going out and buying a new one.

While I wait, I have been thinking about the primary in NH last night - there was a poll taken that showed 93% of democrats are dissatisfied or angry with the current administration. It's taken awhile for others to figure out what's been going on. Better late than never, I guess. Can you imagine, though, that the idiot president has only a 6% approval rating with dems. HA. I love it.

I am looking forward to the other primary elections - Nevada holds a first-time caucus on January 19, and South Carolina, which has a primary election on January 26, and Super-Duper (some people are calling it Tsunami Tuesday) Tuesday, February 5, when 24 states will hold primaries or caucuses.

It's such an exciting time, this flurry of activity before the idiot is out of office. Though January 20, 2009 won't come fast enough for me.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

You Go Girl!

With 66% of the votes in - NBC news is projecting Hillary Clinton as the winner in the NH primary. It's still pretty close, though.

I love most of the guys on NBC - Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, Keith Olbermann and Tim Russert especially. Chris Mathewson is such a loud mouth, he must be in love with his own voice as he loves to interrupt others. Him, I'm not so crazy about him.

I especially don't like his use of the word "sympathetic" when referring to the votes that Hillary got after showing her emotion yesterday. His spin is that people felt bad for her so they voted for her! What a jerk.

What he doesn't realize is that we got to see an emotion that we don't usually get to see from Hillary. She's had to be pretty stoic as a public figure, especially with the whole Monica affair (pardon the pun.)

He doesn't realize either that women around this country feel a need, a desire, a passion even, to fix the screw-ups that have resulted from the decades of men who gone before us.

We're tired of the beaten down feelings we've gotten from the current administration who wants to put women back into the 50's and 60's, taking away any and all rights that we have worked so hard to get.

Good job, Dawn, in voting your heart - it shows how important it is for everyone to vote when they get the opportunity to and help to make a difference. I'm glad she won here, if it couldn't be John Edwards, it's great that it was her. I love this race so far, only 302 days left until the general election - the Rhode Island primary is in March and, finally, I'll get to vote! I just hope John Edwards will be on the ballot.

NH Primary Night

It drives me crazy that, at just 20:15, the news stations are saying there is a Republican winner in the New Hampshire primary with just 12% of the vote in! What they should be saying is that McCain is ahead and may be on his way to victory. The polls just closed 15 minutes ago!

McCain, in all his humbleness, is saying that this is "what a real comeback looks like" which, again, drives me crazy. His craziness started, I think, a few days ago when he stated that we could be in Iraq for "one hundred or one thousand years!" Yikes! That's not how a future commander in chief should speak.

The only good news for me, is that the R party is showing how completely unfocused they are. They don't have any idea of what they're doing, which is how they've been for some time, but have been keeping it under wraps. Their secret is now out!

I spoke with my friend Dawn a little earlier tonight - she and her husband Joe live in NH. She did go vote earlier today, and as we were speaking, her husband returned home from voting. She's a D and he's an R, she laughingly said "we cancel each other out," but I'm glad they went and voted.

She was touched by Hillary's emotion yesterday - and at the last minute - made her choice. I've not mentioned it, but Hillary is my 2nd choice. As long as a Democrat is elected - I have to honestly say - that's what counts most. I truly believe John Edwards has what it takes to be our President, but I also think that Hillary would do a great job also.

So it's now 22:15, the R's have given their speeches - McCain is still ahead and claiming victory. The D's are much too close to call; Hillary ahead, Obama is next and who knows where Edwards is, nothing has show on the TV as of yet.

Clinton 39%, Obama 36% and Edwards 17% as of 21:22. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed that the Edwards votes just haven't been counted yet.

Fios TV Upgrade Worked!

I was anxious to see if the upgrades to Fios TV were actually done, and, if the service would actually be better.

I am happy to say that I can now go through channels that I want to see and skip the channels that hold no interest to me. This was, without doubt, the biggest complaint I had about the service.

The favorite button still doesn't work, but it doesn't matter now, because I can skip channels by using the channel button.

They've added a live TV picture while surfing through the guide, which is a nice feature.

Joe is scheduled to call within the hour and I'm curious to see if they did anything I haven't found yet.

Fios TV Upgrade

My cell rang at 19:36 tonight - unknown number - so I didn't answer it. The only friend who calls with a blocked number is Dawn and I knew it wasn't her because of the time. I also owe her a call (which is coming soon, I promise.)

So I just checked the message and it was Joe from Verizon Fios - calling from Washington state. His message stated that they were on schedule for their scheduled upgrade for today - 1/8. It should take place between 03:00 and 05:00 and that he would call me tomorrow morning at 10:00 (my time, 07:00 his time) to go over the changes and see if I am a happier customer.

We'll have to see about that, but as of tonight, I still hate Fios TV!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Too Old To Learn? I Think Not!

It's said that you are never too old to learn things. This past week I proved that theory to be correct by learning the following:

I learned that if you leave a dog in the car for an hour with 2 Wendy's chicken wraps and a small fry, there's going to a very happy dog and a mess of wrappers in the car.

I learned that if you are cooking bacon in the microwave, you shouldn't use a styrofoam plate to cook it on.

I learned that when you are feeling really crappy and you visit with your friends and really laugh a lot you feel much, much better.

I learned that often aluminum foil "clings' better than cling wrap.
I know I learned other things, but I just can't remember. I guess I learned that if you don't write something down, you will forget!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Does Milk Really Do A Body Good?

I love, love, love a glass of milk! Nice and cold - in a tall glass, there's really nothing quite like it. I go through about a gallon a week, because I love it so much and I found this article to be interesting!

By Alan Aragon, M.S.

“Milk is a deadly poison," according to the Dairy Education Board. In fact, if you peruse this special interest group's Web site,, you'll find dozens of articles about the purported evils of this popular beverage. One claim, for example, is that milk from cows contains cancer-causing hormones and dairy industry dollars have kept that fact bottled up. All of which may leave you second-guessing your next sip.

However, as a nutritionist, I've found that most people thrive on milk, whether their goal is to lose fat or build muscle. So to be sure it's safe, I've investigated all the anti-milk claims, sifting through the research while also turning a critical eye to pro-milk propaganda. After all, the only agenda I have is my clients' health. The result: all your milk questions, answered.

Is milk really a fat-burning food?
Maybe. In a 6-month study, University of Tennessee researchers found that overweight people who downed three servings a day of calcium-rich dairy lost more belly fat than those who followed a similar diet minus two or more of the dairy servings. In addition, the researchers discovered that calcium supplements didn't work as well as milk. Why? They believe that while calcium may increase the rate at which your body burns fat, other active compounds in dairy (such as milk proteins) provide an additional fat-burning effect. Of course, the key to success is following a weight-loss diet to begin with. After all, downing your dairy with a box of doughnuts is no way to torch your gut.

Does it build muscle?
Absolutely. In fact, milk is one of the best muscle foods on the planet. You see, the protein in milk is about 80 percent whey and 20 percent casein. Both are high-quality proteins, but whey is known as a "fast protein" because it's quickly broken down into amino acids and absorbed into the bloodstream. That makes it a very good protein to consume after your workout. Casein, on the other hand, is digested more slowly. So it's ideal for providing your body with a steady supply of smaller amounts of protein for a longer period of time — like between meals or while you sleep. Since milk provides both, one big glass gives your body an ideal combination of muscle-building proteins.

Cows are given hormones. Doesn't that make their milk unhealthy?Not unless you're injecting the milk. Here's the full story: In 1993 the FDA approved the use of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) in cattle. This practice resulted in greater milk production at less cost to the dairy farmer, a savings that has been passed on to you at your local supermarket. But it has also sparked much controversy, because rBGH boosts milk's concentration of insulin-like growth factor (IGF), a hormone that's been linked to cancer.

Unlike steroid hormones, which can be taken orally, rBGH and IGF must be injected to have any effect. That's because the process of digestion destroys these "protein" hormones. So drinking milk from hormone-treated cows doesn't transfer the active form of these chemicals to your body. However, there is one ethical downside to consider: It's not good for the cows. Canadian researchers discovered that cows given hormones are more likely to contract an udder infection called mastitis.

What about antibiotics?
No one really knows. Some scientists argue that milk from cows given antibiotics leads to antibiotic resistance in humans, making these types of drugs less effective when you take them for an infection. But this finding has never been proved.

If you're uneasy, you can purchase antibiotic-free (and typically hormone-free, as well) milk from specialty grocers, such as Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, or select USDA-certified organic milk, which is available at most supermarkets.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Iowa Caucus Results

Obama - imagine being the 1st black presidential caucus winner, change indeed!
Edwards - 2nd 4 years ago, 2nd tonight. Not bad for my # 1 choice.
Clinton - a disappointment for now - she'll rebound just fine.

Huckabee - we need another evangelical president like we need another war.
Romney - we'll see if he can sustain past New Hampshire.
Thompson - you gotta be kidding.
McCain - a true American hero, but he thinks we should stay in this illegal war.

And My Endorsement Goes To...

John Edwards

I like this man very much. Even more than that, I admire him. He agrees with most of my views and he has a plan to make some much needed changes in our country.

It's hard to believe everything a politician promises - we've certainly been let down with the current administration, even if some of our expectations were low to begin with.

John Edwards has worked hard his entire life. His father worked in a mill - they were poor, but his hard work paid off and, after college, he went to law school. As a lawyer, he mainly represented folks who had medical malpractice suits and was very successful for them. Once he made his millions, he decided it was time to go into public service and was elected as a Senator from North Carolina. I think he can take the experiences of his past success and fix some of the problems that we desperately need fixed.

What strikes me most about him, however, is his devotion to his family. He is a good husband and a good father, which in this world, seems to be lacking. He is married to Elizabeth Edwards - who has made her own news in her fight against cancer. They have 3 children and an unbelieveable love for each other.

John Edwards' Plan To Build One America covers many topics:
Health Care
Rural America
Tax Reform
Tax Simplification
Government Reform
Working Families
Predatory Mortgages
Debt and Savings
Food Safety
College Affordability
Open Media
Veterans/Military Families
African Americans
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Young America
Older Americans
People with Disabilities

Here's the link to his website:

Please take some time to read through his plan. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at his common sense approach. And think about making a donation, if you agree with me. John Edwards has never accept any money from lobbyists or PACs, so his victory depends on people like me (and you) pitching in. And that's the way it should be.

Here's the link to his my space site: