Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This is MY Blog

Back some place (I can’t find crap in my own blog, how messed up is that?) I blogged about how depressing my posts seem to be and that you all must be tired of hearing about all of the funerals I attend. In someones comment it was stated that this blog is for me or more accurately asked ‘why am I writing this blog?’ Which got me thinking, I’ve read the same kind of questions on a couple other blogs and told them to forget what ever doomsayer was making them feel like they needed to change. The question made me realize, this blog is for me and if you don’t like it, I guess you won’t be back. And that I don’t need to change what I am writing for anybody, only change it if I want to.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Save The 911 Memorial


A few weeks ago a national media effort was launched. Edie Lutnik had spearheaded a sensible, moderate and well constructed solution to the way in which names could (should) appear on the WTC site memorial. At a press conference, it was moving to hear the family members and representatives of uniformed personnel who spoke. They spoke without rancor. They were poised in their grief and respectful in their pleas. I urge you all to go to the link here. Read all the material., and sign the petition. Feel free to pass this link to everyone you can. If you could have seen and heard Lee Hanson speak on the very day his son, Peter, would have turned 38 years old, you would not hesitate to sign this very reasonable petition. To read that Mayor Bloomberg's response was a callous, "you can't please everyone..." was a slap in the face. Apparently, the only one who needs to be "pleased" is Mr. Mayor. We will never be "pleased" by seeing the names of people we love written on a wall of the dead. But, as Edie Lutnik so eloquently and simple stated our position, we want the names and the event remembered with integrity. Thank you, Diane Horning,WTC Families for Proper Burial, Inc.

As you may have heard, Governor Spitzer changed his mind about letting the public be heard on the names issue after only hearing from Mayor Bloomberg. We hope that after he hears from all of us, he will change it back. It is urgent that as many people write to the Governor as possible. Please make your voice heard. The website has Governor Spitzer's contact information and below please find a draft letter for your use. Feel free to copy and paste it, personalize or edit it, or write your own letter. Copy and paste your letter into Governor Spitzer's contact information.

Dear Governor Spitzer:

We know you have the courage to save America’s 9/11 memorial: We cannot understand why you went from having your “own opinion” about the names listing on the memorial to announcing you discovered “greater clarity” about Mayor Bloomberg’s plan and will not oppose it.

Mayor Bloomberg alleges, “This is a memorial for America,” and that, “We found a way to display the names in a way that I think will show the enormity of the tragedy.” Yet the “we” he cites was just the Mayor himself. Everyone associated with the memorial knows that it was Mayor Bloomberg who stood in the way of the joint family proposal on the names, in fact, the Board had already resolved to adopt their proposal. How Patty Harris threatened the Memorial Board with Nuclear War with the Mayor if it officially voted to adopt the proposal is now legendary.

What every American knows is any of them could have been one of those murdered and any of those 8 children aboard American Airlines Flight 77 and United Airlines Flight 175 could have been their children, grandchildren, brothers, or sisters. Those soldiers and sailors were America’s son and daughters in the Pentagon serving our country. Those were America’s firefighters, police officers, rescue workers, and medics running downtown and coming running from across our nation and that any of us could have been in that building that day. We read thousands of personal stories about those who died and vowed to “Never Forget.”

Should Mayor Bloomberg prevail, Americans will not recognize the memorial at the World Trade Center when it opens in September 2009. They will find 2,979 names listed randomly and without further identification around two pools in a park, yet – at ground level at Ground Zero – they will find no artifacts or mention of September 11, 2001 or February 26, 1993 with only rescue workers shown the little respect of why they were there. No ages, no affiliations, no real story. Will the memorial “show the enormity of a tragedy” or be about “their lives remembered, their deeds recognized” as the memorial’s charter words prescribed? No, just a list of names in no discernable order.

Sixty-five percent of voters elected you as the Governor of New York and, as such, you now have both the authority and influence to prevent a real tragedy from occurring. We ask that you begin to use that influence by visiting, viewing our proposal in comparison to Mayor Bloomberg’s plan, and then publicly announcing that you have not changed “your opinion.” Please consider joining alongside the more than 3,000 9/11 family members who have already signed it.

America needs another hero. Do you have the courage to save its 9/11 memorial?

Very truly yours,

Name: ________________________
Address: ____________________________
Phone: ___________________

A Real Post - Pizza

I’m about caught up on my blog reading, so now it’s time for a real post.

Been in Chicago again. I got tagged (not in a meme way) by my bosses boss to do a presentation during a 2 day training class last week. She gave me 2 full days to get ready… Needless to say, I was freaking out. I’m by no means a pro or real comfortable at public speaking, but I’ll do it, would actually like to do more of it. Ended up staying at work till almost 8:30 Monday night putting the finishing touches on my slides (gotta love Power Point). Actually spoke for an hour, general consensus was, it was good. Looking back I know I left some parts out, oh well, shit happens.

The real post –

I love pizza. I could live off pizza. Hot dripping cheese with most any topping for dinner or lunch and cold for breakfast. The mix of flavors like onions and sausage or onions and tomatoes; lone flavors like sausage only or onions only; then of course there is the “everything pizza”. If ever an over used phrase fit a situation, ‘it’s all good’ fits pizza.

Caveat – In my old(er) age, I’ve developed an allergy to shell fish. So, that stuff is off. Never did like oysters and calamari is just nasty. I guess it is the fishy smell… sometimes you can hold your nose but not always, sometimes it is worth it… (this is gonna go down hill fast. I’ll stop now)

We went to a Chicago pizza place that bragged about real old style Chicago Pizza. The sauce was good, big chunks of tomatoes in it and a wonderful smell of fresh garlic. Way too much bread though. We had one with pepperoni and one with pepperoni and sausage. The crust was almost an inch thick. I was the only one that picked it up to eat it, the other guys were cutting it with a knife and fork!! That is nearly blasphemous, cutting and eating pizza with a knife and fork, I never.

We’ve had a couple New York style Pizzerias open here in the last year or so. You know the places; sell pizza by the slice, drips grease off the back and down your arm if you’re not careful. Now that’s PIZZA! Crust so thin you have to fold it in half. Give me pepperoni, mushrooms and x-cheese and a six pack of something and I’m good.


Got this in an e-mail today.

Alaska: More than half of the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska .

Amazon: The Amazon rainforest produces more than 20% of the wo rld's oxygen supply. The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean. The volume of water in the Amazon river is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined and three times the flow of all rivers in the United States .

Antarctica: Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country. Ninety percent of the world's ice covers Antarctica . This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world. As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctic a is essentially a desert. The average y early total precipitation is about two inches. Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it), Antarctica is the driest place on the planet, with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi desert.

Brazil: Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around.

Canada: Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Canada is an Indian word meaning " Big Village ."

Chicago: Next to Warsaw, Chicago has the largest Polish population in the world.

Detroit: Woodward Avenue in Detroit , Michigan , carries the designation M-1, named so because it was the first paved road anywhere.

Damascus, Syria: Damascus, Syria, was flourishing a couple of thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 BC, making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence.

Istanbul, Turkey : Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents.

Los Angeles: Los Angeles 's full name is El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula --and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size: L.A.

New York City: The term "The Big Apple" was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930's who used the slang expression "apple" for any town or city.&n bsp; So to play New York City is to play the big time - The Big Apple.

There are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin, Ireland; more Italians in New York City than in Rome, Italy; and more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Ohio: There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio , every one is manmade.

Pitcairn Island: The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn in Polynesia , at just 1.75 sq. miles/4,53 sq. km.

Rome: The first city to reach a population of 1 million people was Rome, Italy, in 133 B.C. There is a city called Rome on every continent.

Siberia: Siberia contains more than 25% of the world's forests.

S.M.O.M.: The actual smallest sovereign entity in the world is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (S.M.O.M.). It is located in the city of Rome, Italy, has an area of two tennis courts, and as of 2001 has a population of 80, 20 less people than the Vatican. It is a sovereign entity under international law, just as the Vatican is.

Sahara Desert: In the Sahara Desert there is a town named Tidikelt, which did not receive a drop of rain for ten years. Technically though, the driest place on Earth is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island. There has been no rainfall there for two million years.

Spain: Spain literally means 'the land of rabbits.'

St. Paul, Minnesota: St. Paul, Minnesota, was originally called Pig's Eye after a man named Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant who set up the first business there.

Roads: Chances that a road is unpaved in the U.S.A. is 1%, in Canada it is 75%

Texas: The deepest hole ever made in the world is in Texas. It is as deep as 20 empire state buildings but only 3 inches wide.

United States: The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one-mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

Waterfalls: The water of Angel Falls (the World's highest) in Venezuela drops 3,212 feet (979 meters). They are 15 times higher than Niagara Falls.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Justifiable Assault

Got this in an e-mail. Doubt it's true, but still very good.

A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was a vowed atheist.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes."

The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God. I'm still waiting." It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his Chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold.

The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence.

The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?" The Marine calmly replied, "God was too busy today protecting America 's soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid shit and act like an asshole. So, He sent me."

Friday, February 16, 2007


I've been doing a lot of reading recently of others Blogs. Like Wizened Wizard's link below, this is just anoter cool blog/thing/story I've come across recently.

Neanderpundit, here, sums up my feeling on winter and our not often enough snow storms. (Yes, I said NOT enough)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Link

Go here to read a rather unique story.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Immigrants Welcome

This was sent to me in an e-mail. The story was that the lady writer sent this to the Orange County new paper (I believe it is the Los Angels area) but it was not printed. So, her husband sent it out to cyberspace to be viewed, read and distributed.

I can’t find anything on ‘Urban Legends’ or the ‘Hoax’ page that says it is not true… I wouldn’t assume it is, but the words are true none the less.

Dear Editor:

So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture.

Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity. Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people. When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are in 2006 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

(signed) Rosemary LaBonte

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Difficult Decision

We make many decisions in our lives. Even many a day, drive faster, run a yellow light, wave someone out in front of us, hold the door open for someone as we enter a store. A lot of these decisions we make almost instantaneously, without even thinking.

Then there are the tough decisions. When I was a little kid the tough ones were, pick up a worm for the first time, ride my bike further than I had last week. As I age they get rougher. I spend a great deal of time researching options, reading reviews. All to be sure my decision is sound and won’t hurt me or my family financially, physically, etc.

Some of the big ones have been our house. It is our second, it is almost 3 times larger that our first. That was a huge step. Remember the commercial with the couple in bed laying face up staring at the ceiling saying “what have we done?” That was us, but once I decide, I try to go with it and ride it out. A recent big one was the new bike. I’ll bet I was smiling like a little kid bringing that thing home. The most recent is a new truck… it’s a big one. The missus will use it for SAR and for our dogs and it can haul the bike(s) if we want to go a long way and bring them along without riding. These were good decisions.

My most difficult decision was choosing to put a dear friend and family member to sleep. Russell was the best cat anyone could ever have. There was 3 choices, 3 times daily bathroom assistance from me, surgery that was more than my annual salary, or…. I still get a lump in my throat. In light of what others have had to decide, this was nothing.

A guy I worked with several years ago was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He decided to have one removed. That would be tough, but life or loose a family jewel… guess I would pick the same.

A friend of mine has been battling breast cancer for about a year now. Complete with 8 or 10 doses of chemo therapy, hair loss, radiation sickness, all of that wonderful stuff that you go through to maybe get better. Recently she has been in remission. In her diligence to know what was happening, she did a bunch of research and found that there is a genetic test one can have done. If the results are positive, it means you have a 50% more likely chance to develop recurring breast cancer.

*OMG NO!!!!!...*

She has the gene. Now what? Doctors advise it is not a death sentence ‘we just have to be careful’. An option another doctor advises… ‘complete, double and massive mastectomy’… This is an option?? Yeah, voluntarily have both breasts removed. Knowing this lady, her zest for life and constant up beat attitude… it’s not fair that she has to make this decision!!

Her decision, remove them. She said it all boils down to ‘life or death’. A 4 or 5 hour surgery including ‘re-construction’. It is done. She comes this weekend to stay with us and recover for about a week.

I pray I have the strength to comfort her and support her and cry with her if needed.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I Must Be Getting Old.

I have lived in this area for nearly 16 years. During this time I have lived in 2 homes and worked for the same company.

Our of shear boredom, I have driven most every route imaginable to get from home to office and back, day in and day out. (Incidentally – 200 working days a year X 2 trips a day X 15 years = 6,000 trips, not including the days I ‘ran' home for lunch.) Some years ago my north most route was a 2 lane through a rather rural area with many small farms and one very large farm. The large farm has nearly 1,000 acres of crops. I watched them responsibly rotate soybeans and corn through the vast fields each year. I also watched them go form the old plow and tilling method to the more popular ‘no till’ method used widely today. They also have about 300 head of Black Angus cows. Turning down a side road (another of my routes) you could go very near the main barn and see as many as 3 stud bulls just ‘hanging’ out in all of their ‘bull’ glory….

Starting about this time of year, maybe a little later (like late February early March) I would see very pregnant cows on my morning drive moving away from the heard. Then on my return in the evening there would inevitably be a new calf. Sometimes on cool spring mornings I would catch a glimpse of a newly born calf, laying in the grass, steam rising of off the new life, mom standing by. Although never really seeing the actual event, the sight of a new life was both awesome and somber. I remember one day seeing a new calf in the morning laying in the grass, mom standing oddly far away. When I returned in the evening in, it was still laying there, nature having seen to take this life down a different course.

Today the 2 lane has become a 4 lane and only that big farm remains. The others have become houses and urban strip malls that are the bane of today’s growth and progress. Recently I have noticed that all of the cows are gone on the big farm, and I have heard on the news that the farm has been sold and will become 400-500 homes with a ‘neighborhood shopping area’ (read ‘another strip mall’).

I guess I should be grateful to live in an area that is growing… but it seems to me that the cost is too high.

I must be getting old.