Friday, December 30, 2005


This is scary.... I'm a BAD, BAD, BOY and didn't know it; really, I didn't!

Take this test "if you dare"! Be even more daring and publish your results. I tried to be HONEST... maybe a little too honest? Below is my result.......

"Your sin has been measured. You have committed many sins, but Wrath is the mortal sin that has done you in. Just below, discover your full sinful breakdown and learn what it is about you that codemns you to hell."

Wrath:Very High

Thursday, December 29, 2005

One day at a time......

As I was walking home from the grocers today; reflecting on 2005 and what a devastating year it has been with the death of JR on March 21, 2005....... I kept repeating to myself "one day at a time", "one day at a time", "one day at a time".

I've also been thinking of how, when I heard the news of the suicide last week of James Dungy, son of my favorite football coach Tony Dungy (formerly coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) coach of the Indianapolis Colts. After the initial shock upon hearing of James' death passed, my next thought was for Tony Dungy and how his deep religious faith would somehow help him get thru this tragedy.

I, on the other hand believe that death is final and therefore, continue to have a difficult time accepting JR's death. "One day at a time", "one day at a time", I kept repeating until suddenly, a beautiful butterfly flew past me and began dancing from branch to branch on a nearby bush. As I turned the corner going into my yard. I began to smile and somehow thought, this might just be a sign. A sign that somehow, things will be fine... Maybe soon.

Maybe in 2006!

They're here..........

There are disadvantages to living in a resort area, especially within walking distance to a beach......... especially in the winter, in Florida.

The snowbirds have arrived!

Driving the local roads for the next three months will be unbearable. This will be most evident in the evenings, just as we try to get home from a day of work. It's "early bird special" time in local restaurants, and damn how they love those early bird specials.

It will be easy to spot them. The ones with the tans, stopping by the local Hess station to purchase gasoline, and whatever....... 300 pounds of woman stuffed into a two piece bathing suit walking in barefoot while the locals are wearing sweaters, jackets, hats and gloves attempting to stay warm in this misreable 68 degree weather.

Accidents will increase as they become lost, disoriented, or in many cases are simply much too old to be driving. (true snowbirds usually stay in Florida for between 3 to 6 months and are therefore retired and ages range from 65-95).

Mix all of the above with those here on vacation (1-2 weeks) who really have no clue where they're going, and those here for Spring Break who spend the entire week drunk, and it's easy to understand how happy we are when Easter comes along and the exodus back to the north begins.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005



This is your chance to show the American Family Association that they cannot dictate what products we buy, what places we visit and most recently what television programs we watch.

The American Family Association has decided to begin the new year by urging its members to flood NBC with letters denouncing the network's new series "The Book of Daniel" which will feature primetime's only openly gay male character in a new show.

The series is planned to debut January 6 at 9:00 pm E/P time.

"The Book of Daniel" stars Aidan Quinn as the Reverend Daniel Webster an unconventional Episcopalian minister who not only believes in Jesus - he actually sees him and discusses life with him.

His children include Peter (Christian Campbell), a 23-year-old gay son.

Focusing on the Gay character, the American Family Association, as close-minded as it is, seems to find the behaviors of the other characters acceptable. This would include the following:

Webster's daughter Grace, is 16-year-old daughter who just happens to be a drug dealer. Then there's the 16-year-old adopted son who is having sex with the bishop's daughter, Webster's wife who is "addicted to martinis", and Webster's secretary a lesbian who is sleeping with his sister-in-law.

Further angering the AFA is Jack Kenny, the show's writer, who also is openly gay.

The group is urging its members to write to NBC Chairman Bob Wright to voice their disapproval; warning Wright that the organization may target the show's advertisers.

My suggestion, tune in and watch this show. Ask your family, friends, business associates, whoever you can think of, to watch this show. Begin the new year by doing the right thing. Do not allow left wing conservative groups to dictate your life!

Better still,
E-Mail NBC Chairman Bob Wright at and let him know that NBC must not allow the American Family Association to dictate what you watch on television!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The year that was.......

This was the year when America's worst fears about the Bush Administration were confirmed:

The Republican congressional leadership - Bill Frist – was accused of financial improprieties; Tom Delay - was indicted.

Veteran Republican Congressman Duke Cunningham was convicted of accepting bribes and numerous other Republicans are being investigated.

The "Plamegate" scandal resulted in the indictment of Presidential adviser Scooter Libby and placed Bush guru, Karl Rove, under a cloud of suspicion.

The accumulated evidence of Republican malfeasance constituted the worst Washington corruption in over 100 years.

One of the big stories of the year was the scuttling of Bush's ambitious agenda. Congressional Democrats united and the President's political capital evaporated. By the end of the year, congressional Republicans were abandoning battleship Bush. Separating from the Administration on torture, renewal of the Patriot Act, and his economic legislation. Dubya lost so much face that he was forced to do what previously had been unthinkable - admit making a mistake.

The years' most shameful event was the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Thousands of New Orleans residents, mostly poor and black, were abandoned when the city was evacuated. For days the nation watched as old folks, women and children waded through flooded streets searching for food and water. The dreadful response of the Federal Government proved what many had been warning about – the Bush Administration learned nothing from the 9/11 attacks. The nation was woefully unprepared for disaster.

This was the year when a majority of Americans realized that they could not trust George Bush.

Unfortunately, he was elected to a four-year term and will be with us for three more years - unless impeached. While there were encouraging signs at the end of the year, Democrats have yet to mount an effective opposition. As a result, America is leaving 2005 a deeply divided nation without a clear sense of direction. Adrift on a sea riled by an increasingly irascible Mother Nature.

Bob Burnett - Huffington Post

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Morning After

Winding down from a fairly hectic holiday season. It's not quite over yet with New Years Eve on the horizon, but the cleaning, cooking, shopping, gift wrapping, gift giving, entertaining and visiting is over; as is the first week of my vacation!

The new DVD player is in full operation (thanks MOM and DAD) and I've already watched the three Harry Potter movies and the PUGS have watched POLAR EXPRESS. Not certain if they enjoyed it, the were fast asleep when I went into the bedroom to check up on them during my evening of entertaining on Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning was spent telephoning my parents in Canada (eight inches of snow) followed by a buffet dinner at my sister's house. I loved being surrounded by my sister, brother-in law, nephew and his fiancee, the two pekes and two cats; followed by another call to my parents.

I finally stopped by the Pro Shop Pub in the early evening to meet friends for a few drinks but only stayed an hour during which I had already consumed three Gin and Tonics. The drinks were going down much too easily and since I was wearing the crown jewels, I decided it was time to head home with promises to be alive, well and ready to bring in the New Year with friends.

After feeding and walking the dogs, we settled down to watch the POLAR EXPRESS again (the dogs, having already (slept thru it) watched it Christmas eve, slept on my lap throughout). Wonderful animation and yes I do believe in Santa Claus again!

This week, I intend to REST!

Saturday, December 24, 2005


If you've seen PUGS in movies or commercials during the past few years, you might notice that they're "just a tiny bit" OFF THE CHAIN...... in other words, ECCENTRIC.

I'm not certain if this is a hereditary trait, as "stubborn but brilliant" seems to be, or if the eccentric among us tend to gravitate towards them while looking for that perfect puppy.

This week, while shopping at the neighborhood grocers, a new cashier was being trained by the young assistant manager. As I came thru the line, the assistant manager who knows me well by now asked "and what are we cooking for the pugs this week?", turned to the new cashier and announced, "he cooks for his dogs."

Would that be a problem? I wouldn't call baked chicken, brown rice and vegetables "cooking for his dogs". The problem might be the "one egg over easy, one-quarter slice of bacon finely chopped" a minor problem, but that would be on weekends only! And I do add one-half cup of Science Diet dog food to each meal.

Anyway, I've gone off track.

What might seem a bit eccentric is that on my coffee table during the holiday season is a book called Auntie Claus; which I read to Daisy each Christmas Eve (Muggs listens but doesn't seem very interested). But then again, I like the story about Santa Claus' eccentric sister Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera. Auntie Claus lives high atop the Bing Cherry Hotel - in Penthouse 25C, of course! Her penthouse glitters with Christmas lights all year long and she serves Christmas cookies at teatime - even in July. A delightful auntie who makes mysterious trips each holiday season. (I won't go further, since I don't want to spoil the story since I'm certain you're now rushing out the door to buy the book[s] as there are now two.

Off track again.....
What might seem eccentric is that I purchased the "THE POLAR EXPRESS" DVD for the dogs to watch tonite, while I entertain.

And then again.....
I will not be feeding the dogs hors d'oerves tonite. This afternoon, I'm baking them a special treat!
2 tablespoons honey
2 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a bowl, mix together honey, water, applesauce, vanilla and egg.In a separate bowl, mix peanuts flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, mixing well.Spoon into a greased muffin tin, filling each cup two-thirds full.Bake for 35 minutes.
Store in a sealed container.

Friday, December 23, 2005



Thursday, December 22, 2005

Running around in circles

I've been running around in circles, doing figure 8's trying to get my life back on track after 15 days of working without a day off.

Although the vacation officially began last Saturday, I've been spending every day playing "catch up" on things I didn't have time to do when working.

Laundry had piled up embaressingly high, dry cleaning had not been sent out to say nothing about the overall condition of this house.

It seems that I've spent the entire week completing the above and trying to get some shopping done.

Going shopping in this state of confusion is a nightmare. I bought a DVD player which did not work so standing in line at the customer service desk for what seemed like hours. Bought another DVD player which also does not work. This was supposed to be for the bedroom where I have an older television. Now, after carefully reading the directions, I find that I have to purchase an additional component/adapter to be able to watch movies on this DVD player which is probably why the first one didn't work either. UUGH!

Additionally, I bought another gift which I was informed is a duplicate. That goes back tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I have to beg/pray/order platters of hors d'oerves for Christmas eve, and tomorrow evening I AM/YES I AM going out with friends. Thinking about Christmas eve, I still have to decorate, etc. There will be no tree this year. I'm not up to that emotionally yet.

Today, I was so tired I overslept and missed the annual Christmas party for my clients and their families. My boss will be livid, fortunatly she may have a chance to calm down before I retrun to work January 3rd!

The dogs, at least are happy with me being home. They want to play, play, play.... and I try!

Christmas day, I'm cooking turkey with all the trimmings again (the dogs don't eat red meat), which will be consumed sometime next week since we are spending Christmas day with my sister and her family. (at least I remembered to order the bird)

Next week, I'm doing nothing!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Winter Solstice ~ YULE





Tuesday, December 20, 2005

An Intelligent Santa Claus.......

Judge rejects call for teaching 'intelligent design'

HARRISBURG, PA., Dec. 20 - A federal judge ruled today that it is unconstitutional for a Pennsylvania school district to present intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in high school biology courses because intelligent design is a religious viewpoint that advances "a particular version of Christianity."

In the nation's first case to test the legal merits of intelligent design, Judge John E. Jones III issued a broad, stinging rebuke to its advocates and a boost to scientists who have and fought to bar intelligent design from the science curriculum. The judge also excoriated members of the school board in Dover, Pa., who he said lied to cover up their religious motives, made a decision of "breathtaking inanity" and "dragged" their community into "this legal maelstrom with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources."

The six-week trial in Federal District Court in Harrisburg gave intelligent design the most thorough academic and legal airing it has had since the movement's inception about 15 years ago, and was often likened to the momentous Scopes case that put evolution on trial 80 years before.

Intelligent design posits that biological life is so complex that it must have been designed by an intelligent source. Its adherents say that they refrain from identifying the identity of the designer, and that it could even be aliens or a time traveler. But the judge said the evidence in the trial proved that intelligent design is "creationism relabeled."

The Supreme Court has already ruled that creationism, which relies on the Biblical account of the creation of life, cannot be taught as science in a public school.The decision by the judge, a longtime Republican nominated for the federal bench by President Bush during his first term, is legally binding only for school districts in the middle district of Pennsylvania.

It is unlikely to be appealed, because the school board members who supported intelligent design were unseated in elections in November, and replaced with a slate that opposes the intelligent design policy and said it would abide by the judge's decision.

Published: December 20, 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

Empress Josephine and her PUG Fortune

1796: Napoleon and Josephine marry and retire to the wedding bed. Josephine's dog Fortune, a pug who has had sleeping privileges, resents the intrusion and bites his rival on the calf.

" He sat beside his mistress and growled, and on one occasion, bit Josephine's favorite writer, Antione Arnault, on the calf." Gilbert Stenger

Somehow, somewhere Daisy and Fortune must be related. Pugs in general are friendly with one exception........ and that would be my girl Daisy.

When I walk the dogs in the evening, people will be passing by across the street and it never seems to fail....... "Oh look, Pugs. How cute, can we pet them?" I don't even have a chance to open my mouth before they start crossing; and it begins. I see it coming. The low growl, followed by the scratching of paws on the ground, dirt flying; followed by hair standing on end, with finally the barking. Daisy is in "protect daddy mode, and she's doing it well. The lovely people start walking backwards and finally continue on their way. "Damn, that's some mean ass pug" or worse, I hear. I smile and whisper softly, "good girl, Daisy!"

At home, Muggs becomes the guardian. When the outdoor security lights go on, trust Muggs to be immediately at the door and barking.


Of course if you're an invited guest, trust the pugs to make you feel welcomed. They love to entertain and their antics can be quite amusing. But the word remains "invited guest!"

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Attention all ye peoples of the United States. King George Bush II demands your immediate compliance. It has come to his attention there are rumblings of discontent, within his immediate empire. I remind you it is HE who commands America and it is HE who controls the National Security Agency. It is HE, not the people, who will decide the American Empire's course of action.

Dec. 18, 2005 — Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., believes President Bush is acting more like a sovereign monarch than an elected leader by authorizing the National Security Agency to listen in on Americans' phone calls. "We have a system of law," Feingold said. "He just can't make up the law … It would turn George Bush not into President George Bush, but King George Bush."

In a televised radio address Saturday, Bush said he has reauthorized the NSA's new powers over 30 times since 9/11, and "intend(s) to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups." The president, and members of his staff including Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and White House counsel Harriet Miers, reevaluate the spying every 45 days.

Bush said the surveillance helps catch terrorists and is within the scope of his Constitutional powers.

Since the Watergate scandal during the Nixon administration, the executive branch's power has been significantly restrained, Bush administration officials say. It has been the mission of White House officials such as Vice President Dick Cheney to reassert executive power.

Feingold, the only senator who initially opposed the Patriot Act, which was designed to protect Americans from terrorism, said that the spying is indicative of a "pattern of abuse" including torture and secret prisons. The president, Feingold said is "grabbing too much power."

Friday, December 16, 2005

SLEEP is the word!

For the next 18 days, the alarm will not be going off at 4:30 AM. I won't be crawling out of bed, jumping into a shower and getting ready for another day of work.


There will be no Christmas in New Orleans this year......... the current plan is to visit in February.
There will be no Christmas with friends in Boston or family in Canada........ the current plan is to visit mid April.

Christmas will be spent in Tampa Bay; socializing with a few friends, attending two parties and entertaining at home Christmas eve.

True to my word, I spent most of Saturday morning in bed. It was raining outside and the perfect time to rest.

Shopping was on the agenda and I left the house mid afternoon stopping off at Starbucks for Gingerbread Latte, which was addictive! While enjoying my delicious drink, I scanned the newspaper and found my horoscope for today "This is not a good day to go shopping. Buy nothing except food." Damn, damn, damn!

Uncertain what to do next, I defied the stars and hit the malls........

Remembering the horoscope, I decided not to purchase any electronics, fearing something might blow up or whatever.

I did purchase a blanket, a picture frame and the Polar Express DVD. [the pugs want to watch it Christmas eve]. Hopefully, the blanket won't strangle me, the picture frame will not fall and shatter, and the movie won't burn up in the DVD player!

Tomorrow is another day.

Superstitious? WHO ME!

The War on Christmas

Call it what it is - a right-wing snow job. Conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly and friends are now trying to convince us that there's a "war on Christmas" in America. As proof, they point to the growing number of secular "holiday" celebrations obviously designed to drive out the more Christian-focused word "Christmas."

Shame on the Ebenezer Scrooge who uses the term "holidays" to refer to the series of events from Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year's Day. Rebuke the mean old grinch who steals "Christmas" so that he can be inclusive of his friends who are Jewish or Muslim and celebrate their own holidays. No God-fearing, Wal-Mart loving, red-state Christian would dare exclude the name of his savior from the most sacred holiday in capitalism.

Let's be honest. There is no war on Christmas. If anything, there's a war on intelligence in America, and the lefties didn't start it. Every few years, the conservatives dream up some other evil threat to American civilization and they convince all the hinter-state yahoos to send money to stop blacks, women, Communists, environmentalists, the ACLU, pacifists, flag burners, liberals, gays, Christmas-haters from taking over America.

These people thrive off of hatred and fear. Their survival seems to depend on their ability to convince their followers to be afraid of all that is different from their white Anglo-Saxon Protestant middle-class American upbringings.

No, the liberals didn't start some new war on Christmas. This was a pre-emptive war started by the right-wing lunatics looking for weapons of mass distraction from the real issues facing America. These Sunday morning moralists don't want to deal with poverty, homelessness, unemployment, the lack of health care, or crumbling inner city schools.

The War On Christmas
By Keith Boykin
December 16, 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005

"The Vice President for Torture"

Dick Cheney used to be portrayed in cartoons as the ventriloquist of the administration, his hand inserted into a George W. Bush puppet. Now the cartoons of the vice-president have a darker tone, with his hands controlling various instruments of torture.

The image reflects his dominant role in efforts to prevent Congress from outlawing the use of any interrogation methods deemed to be cruel, inhumane or degrading. After he lobbied senators to dismiss the amendment a Washington Post editorial dubbed him: "Vice-President for Torture".

Bowing to bipartisan pressure on Capitol Hill and international uproar, President Bush has agreed to back legislation specifically barring the torture of prisoners held by the US.

The change of course by the White House was a big victory for Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who last month crafted a resolution outlawing "degrading, cruel and inhumane" treatment of detainees that passed the Senate by 90 votes to nine.

Vice-President Dick Cheney lobbied senators in person to revoke the amendment, but was undercut when the Republican- controlled House, normally more obedient to the White House, also voted by an overwhelming margin for a similar measure.

Thank You!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

As a child, I loved to read. I remember reading so late into the nite that I would have to hide under my blankets with a flashlight. That way my mother would think I was sleeping!

Do children still read books?

A Love That Will Never Grow Old


Best Original Song - Motion Picture
"A Love That Will Never Grow Old" - Brokeback Mountain.

Movie: Brokeback Mountain
Artist: Emmylou Harris
Song: A Love That Will Never Grow Old

Go to sleep, may your sweet dreams come true
Just lay back in my arms for one more night
I've this crazy old notion that calls me sometimes
Saying this one's the love of our lives.

Cause I know a love that will never grow old
And I know a love that will never grow old.

When you wake up the world may have changed
But trust in me, I'll never falter or fail
Just the smile in your eyes, it can light up the night,
And your laughter's like wind in my sails.


Lean on me, let our hearts beat in time,
Feel strength from the hands that have held you so long.
Who cares where we go on this rutted old road
In a world that may say that we're wrong.



Brokeback Mountain has phenomenal opening

The long-awaited film version of writer Annie Proulx's cowboy love story, Brokeback Mountain, opened December 9 to long lines of moviegoers in three cities. By the end of the weekend it had broken box-office records and carried home some of the first major prizes of the year-end season.

Open only in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles—five theaters total—the Focus Features film raked in more than half a million dollars, for an average of $109,000 per location, the highest per-screen average for any movie released in 2005.

Directed by Ang Lee (The Wedding Banquet, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), the film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as cowboys who meet on the titular mountain in 1963, where they spend a summer together herding sheep and discovering a mutual attraction they can't resist. The film covers the subsequent 20 years of their lives as they continue their secret affair through marriages, long distance, and fear of societal condemnation.

The Advocate December 12, 2005

The Los Angeles Film Critics Circle honored "Brokeback Mountain" on Saturday as the best film of the year, with director Ang Lee named best director.

Actor Heath Ledger, one of the two male stars in "Brokeback," received runner-up honors for best actor. The winner was Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who stars as gay author Truman Capote in "Capote."

On Sunday, "Brokeback" received eight nominations -- the most of any film -- for the Broadcast Film Critics Association's annual Critics' Choice Awards. In addition, the American Film Institute selected "Brokeback" as one of the 10 outstanding films of 2005.

Planet Out December 12, 2005

More Questions?

Alito Snubs Congressional Blacks

As Democrats and Republicans spar over a potential filibuster by Democrats to block Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, members of the Congressional Black Caucus say Alito snubbed their recent request for a meeting.

"We never heard back from anyone in Alito's office," Myra Dandridge, a spokeswoman for the Congressional Black Caucus, told Monday.

Dandridge said the caucus, which has been critical of Alito's judicial opinions involving race, asked for a meeting with Alito last month but never got a response.
"We just assumed the answer was no," Dandridge said.

Last week, the Congressional Black Caucus announced its collective opposition to Alito, saying Alito's conservative views could place longstanding civil rights legislation in jeopardy.
"The members of the CBC are concerned about Judge Alito's opinions, many in dissent, in race cases where his decisions have disproportionately affected African-Americans," Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), chairman of the caucus, said last week.

"We are troubled by what appears to be a very conservative judicial philosophy that seems greatly at odds with much of 20th century constitutional jurisprudence," he said.

The Caucus is particularly concerned that Judge Alito has been nominated to fill the seat of a moderate justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, who was the deciding vote in decisions of great importance to blacks, including civil rights, reproductive health, religious liberty and environmental protection.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bush and the Constitution!

Bush on the Constitution: 'It's just a goddamned piece of paper'

Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.

Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

"I don't give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."

"Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said. "There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

Put aside, for a moment, political affiliation or personal beliefs. It doesn't matter if you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent. It doesn't matter if you support the invasion or Iraq or not. Despite our differences, the Constitution has stood for two centuries as the defining document of our government, the final source to determine-in the end-if something is legal or right.

Every federal official-including the President-who takes an oath of office swears to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Capitol Hill Blue
Dec 9, 2005

The Shame Game

Another holiday season, another embarassing office Christmas party video—except this time, the office is the San Francisco police department and the employees behaving badly are cops.

At a news conference at City Hall Wednesday evening, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom described the videos as "a series of vignettes, skits, that are some of the most egregious skits I've seen." "One such gem [parodied] a white police officer in a patrol car running over a black homeless woman."

About 20 police officers who were in the videos also face suspension during an internal affairs investigation, including a police captain.

Police Chief Heather Fong said the officers were shown in a series of skits that featured uniformed officers making fun of Asians, blacks, women and members of the gay and transgender communities. "The content ranges from immature and vulgar to sexist, racist and homophobic," the two said in a joint statement. Fong added, "This is a dark day in the history of the San Francisco Police Department."

At the news conference, Newsom said a special task force, the city's Human Rights Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women would investigate the officers, most of whom were stationed at the Bayview police station.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Raining on my parade

I moved to Florida in September 1989 and during that time of year, we take beautiful weather for granted; no matter where we live.

I remember waking up one day in early December feeling very strange. I was sitting on the patio, admiring the flowers growing so beautifully in my small garden and wondering what the hell was wrong with this picture when suddenly it hit me! This was the first week of December and the sun was shining! The grey days of Boston were far behind me, no longer a part of my life.

That was the year my family and I spent New Years day at the beach. Life was beautiful!

Today reminiscent of Boston, we're having a grey day in Florida. It's been raining on and off most of the day, and the weather is cool and damp. I've done nothing all day.... it's just all too damned depressing!

Now, after years of living in warm weather, my blood has thinned. The weather was in the 60's today, going down to 50 tonite. That is cold. I've already bought a knit cap and gloves, plan on wearing them tomorrow.

As for Boston, I'll always miss Boston. My closest friend and his family still live there. The Red Sox still play there. I miss drinking cognac at the Ritz, I miss the Boston Commons, the T, the restaurants, the theater, the ballet, the symphony. I miss walks along Newbury Street, Harvard Square, Copley Place and Haymarket. But most of all, I miss JR.

What I do not miss is the bitter cold and the snow!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

250 years later... Picture Sunday!

EVANGELINE by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the history of my family

My ancestors originally emigrated from France in the early 1700's and settled in Acadia (which is now areas of New Brunswick, Canada) on the north Atlantic.

Many European powers had tried to settle parts of North America. The bitter rivalry between the French and the English colonizers was a crucial factor in the fate of Acadia. The colony had been passed back and forth from English to French control many times in its history. Finally, after the war of the Spanish Succession and the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Acadia rested in the hands of the English.

England didn't initially make great efforts to establish a presence in Acadia. But it did demand of its conquered subjects that they take oath of unconditional loyalty. The Acadians agreed only to an oath of neutrality, promising that if war broke out they would not take up arms against either France or Britain. Initially, the Acadian position was accepted. But it was a sticky point.

In 1755. after refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the crown (England), the deportation of the Acadians began.

"Your lands and tenements, cattle of all kinds, live stock of all sorts, are forfeited to the crown, with all your other effects, saving your money and household goods, and you, yourselves are to be removed from the province. Thus it is peremptorily His Majesty's orders that the whole French inhabitants of these districts be removed."

The intention was to scatter the Acadians among Britain's Thirteen Colonies along the Atlantic Coast. In such small numbers, and immersed among an English speaking population, the Acadians would surely be absorbed.

Not all Acadians were prepared to give up so easily. Some resisted deportation and fled into the woods with their families. Those who were relocated arrived bewildered, impoverished and destitute. Most ended up in the area of Louisiana, never to return to Acadia. But many clung to the hope of one day returning to the land that had purged them, and almost immediately began the long journey back to Acadia.

Seven families who resisted deportation made their way to the Atlantic coastline of New Brunswick, Canada and became the original settlers a small seaside community. My mother, her 4 sisters and two brothers are direct descendants of the original settlers and still reside in homes side by side on the original land.


This photo (taken of my late foster son riding one of my family's "dirt bikes")was taken directly at the bottom of cliff from the back yard at my parents home.

My parents home eventually became a vacation home after we moved to American (Boston, Mass.) when I was seven. After my sister and I graduated from college and became independent, my parents retired and moved back to Canada where they still reside.

My sister and her family moved to Florida in 1988 and I followed in 1989.

The Eleventh and Twelfth Generation....
009 and MARC

This photo of my nephew and I was taken while vacationing in Canada. He is now a sheriff here in Florida and engaged to be married.

My father is of Arabic descent which I think shows in the above photo. Another story, another picture Sunday!

The expulsion of the Acadians must be judged by itself in the light of British history and of British customs ; and view it as we will on that light, it will remain forever an indelible stigma on England's reputation. We can not undo it; we can only deplore and regret."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


It's federal audit time and I've now been working without time off since the day after Thanksgiving..... I need sleep!

The dreaded audit ended yesterday....... Life will soon be returning to normal and tomorrow will make my 15th day of working with no day off. I am tired, the PUGS are confused.

This was a difficult time for me because the case management team is normally composed of four case managers, we've been operating with only two for the last five months.... which means my case load was almost tripled because the other case manager is relatively new to this corporation.

The good news....... we received the highest rating possible. Better news, the boss today approved, without hesitation, my vacation which begins December 17th and lasts thru January 3rd!

In the meantime, I'm hunting for old photographs to publish on this blog for Photo Sunday! Just a quick reminder to those nearest to my heart that I only keep my photos on line for one day......

Saturday, December 03, 2005

God and politicians!

Some Christians seem to me inclined to lose track of love, compassion and mercy. I don't think I have any special brief to go around judging them, but when the stink of hypocrisy becomes so foul in the nostrils it makes you start to puke it becomes necessary to point out there is one more good reason to observe the separation of church and state: If God keeps hanging out with politicians, it's gonna hurt his reputation.

Quite a few people have been mishearing the Lord lately. The Rev. Pat Robertson thinks the Lord told the people of Dover, Pa., they shouldn't ask for His help anymore because they elected a school board Robertson doesn't like. And Rep. Richard Baker of Louisiana said right after Hurricane Katrina that "we finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did it."
It is my humble opinion that some folks should do a lot more listening to God and a lot less talking for Him.

In that category, I put a whole passel of politicians including that God-fearing professional patriot Rep. "Duke" Cunningham of San Diego. Cunningham resigned his office after pleading guilty to having accepted $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. Rep. Tom DeLay, who is under indictment in Texas, is another fine parser of the Lord's intent.

I'm afraid one actually has to allow for the denial and self-delusion that make it possible for people to be both self-righteous and sleazy at the same time. We are all capable of fooling ourselves in a grand variety of ways.

Here we sit, watching a great, stinking skein of corruption being fished to the surface of Washington, while the town is simultaneously filled with a great babble about God, prayer and morality. Corruption trails head off in all directions lobbyists, wives, jobs, perverting intelligence, outing agents for petty revenge, all this and a Prayer Breakfast every day.

[Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins]

Friday, December 02, 2005

Racial Profiling at Walmart?

TAMPA - GAF Materials Corp. is handing out gift cards from Target as a reward to select employees this holiday season. That's because Wal-Mart, the discount store that held the business for years, last week called sheriff's deputies to apprehend a GAF manager on a bogus bad check rap while he was trying to buy this year's gift card supply.

"I keep going over and over the incident in my mind," said Reginald Pitts, the 34-year-old human resources manager for the roof material manufacturer's Tampa distribution center. "I cannot come up with any possible reason why I was treated like this except that I am black."

GAF has been spending about $50,000 a year on gift cards at the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 11110 Causeway Blvd. in Brandon.

For years GAF sent a white, female administrator to buy them without incident. This time, when she was on vacation the day before Thanksgiving, Pitts did the job himself. He phoned in the order for 520 cards, got the accounting department to issue Wal-Mart a $13,600 check and then encountered a royal hassle trying to exchange it for gift cards at the store.

"For a while there I thought I was going to prison," he said. "It was a totally humiliating experience."For about two hours, store managers stalled on accepting the check for the already-printed gift cards, while Pitts stood waiting by the customer service desk. He had handed over his GAF business card, his driver's license and the toll-free numbers to GAF's bank. His accounting supervisor assured them over the phone that GAF, the nation's biggest roofing systems maker with revenues of $1.6-billion in 2004, was good for the check.

Dressed in khaki pants and a blue button-down-collar dress shirt, Pitts finally got upset over the lengthy wait. He asked for the check back so he could go to another store. But store managers, who had kept huddled in a nearby office during most of his two-hour ordeal, refused to return it. The only explanation he got was that the store was having trouble "verifying" the check or who Pitts was.

Later, two Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies appeared. "We need to talk with you about this forged check that you brought in here," Pitts recalled deputy Bryan Wells saying.

Within 19 minutes deputies reviewed the evidence, determined there was no grounds for a criminal charge and learned Wal-Mart would not press the issue further.

Wells handed the check to Pitts."Our deputies didn't even see enough (of a case) to write a report," said Lt. Carmen Rivas, the shift commander. "We responded only because Wal-Mart called in a bad check report."

So far, four Wal-Mart officials, including a regional vice president of operations at corporate headquarters in Bentonville, have called Pitts and apologized for the incident. But no one from the store did. And nobody from the company has offered an explanation of what happened."They have it all on tape someplace. I have been trying to find some reasonable explanation why they did this to me other than something racial," Pitts said. "So far they have not provided one."