Monday, July 27, 2009

Take A Minute

On the right side of this posting you will see a list of blogs that I follow. I've never met most of these people, but because they blog, I know them.

Stop by for a minute, if you can, and visit with Fatty at Fat Cyclist. His wife is desperately ill with cancer and isn't going to be with him and their 4 kids for much longer. Any words of encouragement you can give him will surely help him to get through this unimaginable time.

If no words come, that's okay and certainly not unusual. At the very least your problems will pale in comparison, as mine do.


Hopefully she'll stay that way!

Today In Rhode Island History

Wow, I don't remember this at all!! At that time - 30 years ago - I was five years out of high school and obviously wasn't paying attention to what was going on around me. It's a little scary that the law needed to be changed to keep your name. - Maria Armental

It was 30 years ago today that women gained --- in the eyes of the law --- the right to decide what name when married to use in registering a car once they were married.

Until then, women had to take their husband's names.

Requiring married women to use their husbands' names, said the state registrar of motor vehicles at the time, Eugene Petit, "is in the best interest of the safety of the community. It will keep bad drivers off the road and give us better control of the registry." The safety of the community??? Holy smokes, this guy was completely out of touch!

Petit, whose comments were including in the landmark state Supreme Court case Traugott v. Petit, called the requirement "patriotic."

"Listen," Petit is quoted as saying, "I respect gals in every phase. I hope they just respect society in this." Gals??? Certainly doesn't show a lot of respect when he called women gals!

To the ACLU and the women --- and supportive men -- for whom they filed suit, the matter was a simple one: "The very least you can have in this damned life is your own name." That's how Sheila Cabral-Sousa, the volunteer lawyer who successfully litigated the case for the Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, summed up the case at the time. Damn right!

The ACLU issued a press release Monday recalling the anniversary, and adding: ""It is true that the past thirty years have seen many victories for women's rights. ... However, the struggle against gender-based discrimination continues to this day in the fight for equal pay for equal work and similar issues. A look at some of the comments made by public officials only 30 years ago in this case serves as a stark reminder that gains for women's rights remain of recent vintage and, therefore, remain far from complete." Sometimes, ya just gotta like and agree with the ACLU!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Walter Cronkite

I didn't grow up on CBS News - we were a NBC News family - goodnight Chet, goodnight David!

So I didn't really discover Walter Cronkite until after he retired. And that's when I realized what I'd missed all those years!
In 1996 he wrote his autobiography "A Reporter's Life" and it help cement my affection for a truly remarkable man and the impact he had on our lives. Even though I didn't really know him when he was the face of CBS, his impact did affect my life and I'm so grateful for him.
I know there are others who feel as I do; but, with all the media coverage, you'd have thought that MJ gave more to us than Walter Cronkite did, instead of the other way around.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Remember this little guy? He was cute, that's for sure.

Of course he came from some pretty people.

And he grew up to be one of the most handsome of handsome men.

But looks don't mean everything. From everything I understand about him, JFK Jr. was a pretty nice guy also.
It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since his death. It was a Saturday morning. As usual, I didn't have the TV on and I wasn't on the internet as much as I am nowadays. I drove to Warwick in the early afternoon to visit with Chelsea and Matthew. My sister-in-law Beverly opened the door and I knew that something was wrong. What's going on, I asked and she was surprised that I didn't know. We sat in front of the TV and were glued there for the rest of the day.
It's still hard to believe that he's gone. If I happen to see a photo or some TV coverage, it all comes rushing back and brings tears to my eyes. He had such potential and we'll never know what could have been. Just like with his dad.

One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind

I love the moon! I love it so much I always use it as my profile picture. I feel so connected to it and, as a kid, thought it was mine.

Forty years after America's launch of Apollo 11, the U.S. space program is at a different crossroads, challenged in recent years to return to the moon and to recapture the ambition that launched the space race in 1961. Back then, a dazzled nation heard the big dreams of a youthful Ivy League-educated, senator-turned president.

"I believe," President John F. Kennedy told Congress, "that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth."

That was the same year Barack Obama was born. Forty-eight years later, Obama, a similarly youthful Ivy League-educated former senator is now in charge, and the nation wonders what his vision is for the U.S. space program.

Forty years ago this week was the Apollo 11 lift-off and, on July 20, the first landing on the moon! I can remember it so well. It was so exciting and I'm looking forward to the next time the US lands on the moon.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

27,900 Counts Of Accessory To Murder

That number is kind of staggering, isn't it? Twenty seven thousand nine hundred deaths are attributed to a monster who came to the United States and hid behind a job as an auto worker after committing atrocities.

I'm not Jewish. I don't even know that many Jewish people. What I do know is that the Holocaust was wrong in every possible way. Too many people got away with murder, literally. How right it is that someone is being brought to justice, even all these years later.

"The effort to bring Demjanjuk to justice sends a very powerful message that the passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the perpetrator," says Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi-hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

German prosecutors formally charged John Demjanjuk on Monday with 27,900 counts of being an accessory to murder at a Nazi death camp during World War II. He is accused of serving as a guard at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. Being the sort of murderer he is, of course he denies it. He was a victim too, saying he was a prisoner of war.

But Nazi-era documents obtained by U.S. justice authorities and shared with German prosecutors include a photo ID identifying Demjanjuk as a guard at the Sobibor death camp and information that he was trained at an SS facility for Nazi guards at Trawniki, which was also in occupied-Poland.

"This is obviously an important step forward," Zuroff said by telephone from Jerusalem. "We hope that the trial itself will be expedited so that justice will be achieved and he can be given the appropriate punishment."

Charges of accessory to murder carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison in Germany. Even I can do that math 27,900 X 15 years each = a death sentence for a man who is 89 years old. I just hope he lives through the trial.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Vacation Over

Bob and Don have now arrived safely back home in NY and once they get over the 8+ hour ride home, I hope they have time to think about what a good time we all had. Bob drives a late model Cadillac and I got to drive several times over the past few days which was quite a change from my car, I can tell you.

When I bought the Volvo new it had quite a few bells and whistles on it. Since 1994, a lot more bells and whistles had been invented and Bob has them all in his car. There's a compass in the rear view mirror. A dinging bell to alert you if you've left the blinker on (which I think should be mandatory on all cars!) The passenger side mirror turns down towards the curb when you put the car in reverse. There's lots of others things, I just can't think of them now.

Here's Bob and Don outside my house last night. I caught them by surprise and got a good shot, I think. Don sure likes to read. He always had a book, newspaper or travel guide handy.

Much of their visit was spent driving around (when we weren't eating, that is) as there had been a lot of changes since Bob moved away in 1997. The entire downtown area had changed. The Westin, Prov Place Mall and, especially, the highways. There have even been a lot of changes since I was in the city on a regular basis just 3 years ago!
We took a ride by Bob's old house and I decided to post a picture of it to keep all this info together. This was a gorgeous fixer upper which Bob and Richard worked on for years. Had many a good time in that house, I can assure you. It's where I learned to use a mouse also.
Bob and Don had a day without me as I needed to stay home and sleep on Friday. They went to Newport and did a tour of The Elms and then went to Theater by the Sea for dinner and a show.
On July 4th, we headed to Narragansett to Iggy's for chowda and clamcakes, clam strips and fish and chips. It was a gorgeous day and the line wasn't bad at all. When we got back to my house we watched A Knights Tale, which was pretty good. They headed to Bugaboo Creek for dinner and I skipped dinner that night.

Yesterday was shopping and the ocean for the guys, then a return trip to Apsara's for dinner, a cruise through RW Park and back to my house for our goodbyes.
I had a really great time. I knew that I had missed Bob all those years and having him around reminded me of the great conversations that we've always had. Now that he's got his TMobile phone, we can talk free, so there are many more great conversations in our future!

Cute e-card

I don't know if this link will work far into the future, but for now, it's about the cutest e-card and I want to share it with whoever stops by for a visit.

I just love Bo! Enjoy!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Declaration Of Independence

Two-hundred and thirty-three years ago Saturday, church bells rang out over Philadelphia as the Continental Congress adopted Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.

A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.

We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare,

That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; And that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Vacation Continues

My trust in human-kind has been restored.

Pete, the Volvo parts guy who I met through Craig's List, came through for me with the catalytic converter. Whew, is all I can say. I didn't think he would take the money and run and I was very glad that he didn't think of it either!

It is now being safely stored in the back hall of my house.

Our "gastrointestinal" tour of Rhode Island continued yesterday with Bob and his nephew Don. We went to Caserta Pizzeria for lunch - having had Wimpy's and a Pig in the Blanket. We also made a quick stop at Palmieri's Bakery so Bob could get his favorite pepper and wine biscuits.

We headed to Woonsocket to pick up the car part and on the way home stopped at Pearl's Candy and Nut shop in North Smithfield. OMG!!! My jaw hit the floor when we walked inside and it pretty much stayed there the entire time. Every kind of candy that you've ever had, loved or dreamt of is in that shop. All lined up so neatly literally from floor to ceiling. Bob found the pebble candy that he had wanted forever. I found the fruit nougat candies that I had been thinking of the for past several weeks (go figure) and we had a great time. Don was smart enough to stay in the car.

Bob brought some DVD's with him and when we got back to my house we watched PS I Love You which I very much enjoyed. Somewhat predictable, but very amusing and clever. Some of it was filmed in Ireland, which was just beautiful.

Last night for supper we went to Richard's Pub for calamari and a Reuben sandwich, which Bob is unable to get in the milquetoast food area of NY state where he lives.

Today, I was in a coma and didn't hear the phone when Bob called. I'm enjoying a quiet time home alone for now. Just too beat to think about going out! Having a great time though.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Longest Storm

What is with the weather? I think we must have gotten 4 or 5 inches of rain today. The puddles in my front yard got so big they merged into a single pond. Several times. And the thunder and lightning lasted from 7 am to after 3 pm.

I really wanted (and needed) to color my hair, but I couldn't even take a shower we had so much lightning - it just wouldn't stop long enough for even a quick shower.

Chelsea slept over, so it was nice to have her here. She couldn't get over the amount of rain either!

I had dropped my car off at the mechanic's on Monday. I have been picking up parts for the car; muffler and tailpipe, headlight, blinker and a few other parts that I don't need now, but will probably need in the future. Kevin was having trouble finding a catalytic converter at a decent price. He could find a new one for $815, but I really hated to spend that much money.

I called a couple of guys that I know in MA and one of them gave me a price of $450 so Chels and I got picked up by Veronica, went to Warwick to get my car, then off to Woonsocket to give a guy I barely know $500 to pick it up for me in Worcester!!! Of course, I had to have a little chat with him before I handed over the cash, just so he knew that he was going to have plenty of trouble from me if he just took the cash and didn't get the car part. I almost hate to say it here, but I don't think he's up to anything, he does seem like a decent guy. I've met some of his kids and his wife over the last few months as I've gotten other car parts from him. So, we'll see what happens.

I haven't even gotten to the most important and best part of the day. During all of this rain and running around, my friend Bob Stevens was driving to RI from upstate NY!! It's been 12 years since we've seen each other and once I was back in Warwick, I got a call from him that he and his nephew Don had just crossed into RI from CT!! I told him that instead of heading to my house, to go straight to the motel6 since I was just down the road.

I hung out with the kids for awhile and then headed to motel6. Bob and Don were waiting right out front for me! It was so great to see Bob. A little less hair and a lot more gray, but other than that, it was my old friend. I couldn't believe that it took me years to track him down, he called when he got my note 2 months ago, planned the vacation right then and here he was!!!

I got to drive his car - a 2 year old Cadillac! It was great, so smooth after my car. On the way I asked if they had heard about the man who was kidnapped from the motel6 a couple of days ago!! We had a good laugh over that. I couldn't believe that I recommended they stay at the same place where this happened!

We headed north to Providence to go to Apsara's, an Asian restaurant that Bob and I have been talking about for the past 2 months. The food was as good as we remembered and we had a nice little feast.

Then I took Bob and Don on a quick tour of downtown, which had drastically changed since 1997! And then back to the motel6. When we pulled in there was a police car roaming the parking lot and while in the room we saw him again. When Bob walked me out to my car a few minutes later, there he was again. I was very glad to see a police presence, though Bob had said that if anyone kidnapped him, they'd give him back. I agreed, Bob is such a curmudgeon.