Friday, April 30, 2010

Gulf Spill Reaches Louisiana Coast

This is probably the end of life in the Gulf of Mexico as we know it. Sea life and livelihood of man may never be the same. Of course, the powers that be are running for cover, or as Gov. Jindal chooses to do, play the blame game. This carnage will reverberate throughout the country and beyond. As one official said last evening, "this is going to make the Exxon Valdez pale by comparison." Not very encouraging. From the TP:
With an oily stench permeating the air across southeastern Louisiana, a massive oil spill was expected to start coming ashore in the Mississippi River delta early Friday, triggering all-out efforts to stave off an environmental and fishing industry disaster as some state officials feared a repeat of the botched response that doomed the region during Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

Pushed by strong southeasterly winds and rising tides, oil that has gushed from a well in the Gulf of Mexico since an April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig was expected to reach the tip of Plaquemines Parish as early as Thursday night.

Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Thursday after the Coast Guard confirmed that the undersea well was spewing five times as much oil as previously thought and that it was leaking from three spots instead of two.
Read the rest HERE.

Did we learn nothing from the Alaska, North Sea, or Australia disasters? Deregulation, much?

Last day of April, Friday, and beach-weather is expected.  Yes!

More later.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bill Moyers Retires

A thoughtful, sincere journalist; modest, intelligent, and low key, a rare creature in today's media. I loved his interesting multi-part series on PBS but alas, I've only been able to see snippets posted on the Net since PBS isn't available to me anymore. While is is hard to imagine TV without him, he had a good run, took his lumps, but was never called out for being biased or one-sided on any issue he covered, as I can recall. Written by Eric Alterman...

From Alternet:

Nearly twenty years ago, I spoke to Edward R. Murrow's top producer, Fred Friendly, who told me he thought of Bill Moyers as "the Murrow of our time...the broadcaster who most upholds his mantle." But while Murrow remains television journalism's most admired historical figure, it's all but inarguable that Moyers long ago surpassed his achievements.
This is no knock on Murrow, who, after all, spent most of his career on radio. His See It Now--the program that helped take down Joe McCarthy in 1954--enjoyed just four years of life in a regular prime-time slot before it gradually disappeared as an occasional series, unable to find a sponsor. Defenestrated at CBS, Murrow gave up on network news entirely and accepted John Kennedy's offer to head up the USIA in 1961. But when Bill Moyers likewise found his brand of journalism unwelcome on network news, he had another option. He was able to return to PBS, where he had begun his career as a broadcaster fifteen years earlier. With his decision to found his own production company, Public Affairs Television (PAT), together with his wife and executive producer, Judith Davidson Moyers, he assured himself complete editorial independence, and in the quarter-century that followed, he fashioned a body of work without parallel in the medium's brief history.
Who but Bill Moyers could have devoted so much time to the work of Joseph Campbell and Robert Bly; done television's most hard-hitting reporting on the Iran/Contra scandal; investigated the media's failure in Iraq; defined the human impact of economic inequality; examined the ability of corporations to manipulate the "public mind"; evaluated the real-world impact on local communities of corporate-driven "free trade" agreements; devoted hours and hours of TV to a poetry festival, to the Book of Genesis, to the sources of addiction and to the relationship between the environment and religion, etc.? The variety of topics, moreover, is only half the story. Moyers's methods were unique. Where else but on a Bill Moyers program were Nobel laureates and laid-off steelworkers invited to speak at length to America, without interruption or condescension?
 Read it all at the link above.

Enjoy retirement, Bill. Job well done. You will be missed.

More later.

Gulf Gushers - No Words

As of Tuesday, the oil slick was reported to be 80 miles across and 48 miles long, and even visible from space. (Click to embiggen.) The Coast Guard is considering a "controlled burn" of the surface oil, which, as of today is only about 20 miles from the Delta National Wildlife Refuge.  They better make a decision soon. More HERE.

Editilla has MORE.

Sad, sad day.

More later.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

NOLA's Thriving Slave Trade

I ran into this piece a few days ago and couldn't decide whether to post it, or not. Now, with all the hoopla over "Celebrate Confederate History Day" with no mention of slavery's impact on the Civil War - followed by southern politicians dismissing slavery as having little to do with that war, this post is important.

Slavery was a hideous part of our history and we will never know all the heartbreaking stories, this is a small part of what went on in my home town, and no one is proud of the facts presented. From the TP:
It was a chatty group that gathered this week outside the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel. There was a happy buzz among the 20 or so men and women, delegates to a literary conference, as they waited for their guide to start their walking tour.

Then Walter Johnson, their leader, started talking about the subject of the excursion, and the mood quickly grew somber. For Johnson was talking about the business of buying and selling human beings that used to pervade the area where these people stood.

Reading from a 19th century ledger, Johnson, a Harvard historian who is an expert on the slave trade, told his audience about Charlotte Rankin, who was sold for $550 to John L. Day. She was 14 years old.

She was one of thousands of slaves who were cooped up in pens throughout the Central Business District, waiting to be sold.

Johnson, the author of "Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market," took his charges up Baronne Street and down Gravier Street -- streets now lined with hotels, stores and office buildings that used to teem with slave pens.

About 150 men, women and children would be crowded into a high-walled pen the size of a house lot, he said, and the stench of human waste was overpowering, There was a pervasive smell of bacon, too, Johnson said, because slaves who had been underfed to the point of near-starvation were hastily bulked up to make them more attractive to prospective buyers.

Shouting and moaning were common inside the pens, he said, because about half the approximately 100,000 human transactions that took place in pre-Civil War New Orleans broke up families. Nearly one-third of the sales were of children younger than 13.

People died in the pens, he said, but the bodies were hustled out at night so no one would know.

New Orleans was largest slave market.  Despite the squalor and suffering, slavery was an integral part of life in New Orleans, which became the country's largest slave market, according to the National Park Service. Because of slavery's importance to New Orleans -- and, indeed, the entire Southern economy -- there was no attempt to obliterate it.
And some of you may be surprised to learn that the Church condoned the practice, even Ministers owned slaves. Read On.

More later.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday, Bait n' Switch, & Wasted Time

Following a painfully slow day at work, I took a look at another apartment outside of town. A small one  bedroom condo about 10 minutes from work. Open and airy with a tiny - but functional kitchen - a  dishwasher, even. The price was within reason and budget. Nice and cozy. But, suddenly the rug was yanked from under me when the owner changed his tune and told me that I was mistaken, the place was not a year-round rental, but a seasonal one. I wouldn't have bothered or wasted his time and mine if he hadn't told me the place was a year-round rental.

OK, he's trying to rent an unfurnished space from May to October? Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. No one in their right mind would truck furniture and other necessities to a place for 6 months unless they were building or buying a place and needed temporary housing.

Anyway, the market isn't hot anymore, and I doubt that he told the truth. Personally, I think he didn't like me for some reason and didn't want to rent to me. Just a hunch, but my intuition is seldom wrong.

Anyway, I am still checking out furniture sites for a loveseat and small kitchen set. While I haven't checked the local furniture stores yet, a co-worker suggested I check out J C Penney's for ideas. She says they have online-only specials that are not available in stores and they deliver and set up - FREE. I'll check into that, as well.

Re-taping boxes and hoarding others to hold the items in daily use - the challenge will be finding boxes large enough for the linens and towels. Picked up a few boxes from the liquor store that are the perfect size for items I can carry without further injury to the back or hands.

Still asking for positive thoughts (or prayers) for the apartment in town, if you can spare them. May is going to be a hectic time, but in a positive way, I hope. If this deal happens it will be a whirlwind 31 days:
Sign lease.
Get key and make copy.
Take proof of residency to the DMV to change address on license.
Take new license to Rehoboth Clerk to verify address and receive parking permit.
Open account with power company & have service turned on. Deposit. Added expense.
Call Verizon (ow!) to move phone and DSL service to new address. Added expense.
Get movers to pick up what's in storage unit & deliver it to the apartment. Added expense.
Transport boxes from this space to the new one - daily before work.
Whew! I think I need a cold compress and a few olives after all that.

And so it goes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

If the Tea Party Was Black...

This is too incredible not to share. Just think about it. (Click image to embiggen.)
Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.
The whole thing is HERE.

But, of course the Teabaggers aren't racists. Not at all.

h/t Americablog

And so it goes.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day - 40 Years On...

I remember the first Earth Day in New York City. It was a beautiful spring day and the crowds were small, but curious.  It was held at the foot of South Street, one of the dirtiest and mostly boarded up little cobblestone roads in lower Manhattan.  Not at all what it has become today, a tourist trap!

There were lectures, tours of an old sailing ship, workshops for kids teaching them (city dwellers) how to be more respectful of the planet. There was even a movement to begin a modest recycling plan which, of course, got shot down from every direction in 1970.

I was in film school at the time and shot a lot of 16 mm film of the day's events, but that's all gone now, lost in the settlement of my previous life. I still have those memories, though, and they are lovely.

Happy Earth Day to all.

PS - Check out Peter's Gift tribute for the day.  Priceless!

More later.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Move: A Furniture Dilemma

Got a huge list of errands out of the way today. I was almost finished when the rain came down - in buckets. I was soaked to the skin from head to toe when I arrived. Every item of clothing is drip-drying in the bathtub and I am warming these old bones.

I've decided to hire the same moving company that moved my things into storage in 2007, to move them to the new apartment.

I'll try to coordinate with co-workers to move much of what's in this apartment to the new place, as well. As soon as all paperwork is finalized and I have the key I'll begin taking boxes over daily before work.

Kitchen and Living room furniture is a challenge. I cannot tote a table, chairs, or sofa up a flight of stairs, so this evening I am searching furniture websites checking out prices, delivery services (and costs), as well as other services.  Unpacking and setting up the pieces, removing the packaging, etc. will be critical and if it costs more, so be it.

I found a few pieces at IKEA that would fit the small space, but most are not available on their website, or they nickel and dime one to death for assembly and delivery.  An inexpensive Loveseat almost doubles in price with the extra charges, so that's out of the question.

Checked out the websites of local stores, but they are slow, clunky, and lack specific information about the pieces and prices. It's clear they prefer a personal visit to the store - so why the website?

I think a search of department stores may be the way to go, since they're suffering due to the recession. Most offer delivery within a 50 mile radius, and some offer FREE delivery if a certain amount is spent on one order.  At least I'll give it a shot. It's worth a try.

A Crock-Pot (yes I know, the damned crown!) supper is ready, so after the meal, I'll settle in with a few olives and begin my quest.  Any ideas? Please leave a comment with your suggestions.

I must say I'm excited about a place of my own and the ability to have folks over for a meal, drinks, a movie night, or whatever. G*d, I feel like a young'en busting out of the parent's house.  Freedom!!!

Calm down, Cajun. Things could still fall apart. It ain't a done deal, yet.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crock-Pots, Trust, and Surprises

 Subtitle: Crock-Pot Quean Ready to Abdicate.

Another beautiful day at the beach, possibly made more beautiful because I returned to the new apartment to get a second look and scope out things like electric outlets per room, bathroom items needed, location of phone jacks, etc. None of this registered on the first visit - I was lusting too overwhelmed at the idea of a full kitchen.  That may sound bizarre, but after holding the crown of Crock-Pot Quean for three years, I am ready to pass it on to some other worthy debutramp and move on.

Let me back up and give a little back story. When bouncing off walls subsided and realizing I had not focused on important things about living in an old (though renovated) apartment, called the landlord to request the key for a day to fill in the gaps. I also said I wanted to give him a deposit check to hold either the 1 or 2 bedroom apartment. (I have since decided that the 1 BR fits me needs, perfectly - it even boasts a huge walk-in closet) His response was that I could pick up the key at his office and, no, there was no need for a check - our handshake was enough.

I was floored by this. I haven't heard anyone saying that since I was a kid. That's how my grandfather did business. Trust was a big deal back then. He took someone at their word and more often than not, wasn't disappointed.

I can't believe this is happening to me, but an old friend said today, "after the crap you've dealt with for the past 4 years, you deserve something good to come your way." While I agree, I  never dreamt anything like this would ever come my way.

When I arrived at work this morning the boss asked, "are you packed yet?", laughed, then quickly added, "ask the crew taking in any deliveries to save the boxes for you, they're sturdy and won't fall apart. Perfect for bottles, food stuff, and canned goods." I think he's enjoying helping me and my good fortune as much as I.

So, unless I die, the place burns down, life on earth as we know it disappears, or a nuclear attack,  within 6 weeks I will realize my dream of living in the city of Rehoboth Beach. Oh, and 2 servers (whom I adore) today offered to help move my things from the current space to the new one. I am flattered and surprised beyond belief. Of course I accepted.

(So, Peter, thank you, but I didn't have to ask.  Something difficult for me, anyway.)

Today was to be a day off, but I covered for another coworker which leaves me 1 day to run plenty of errands and gather more info on what I need to live in town.  Parking permits tops the list. Cleaning supplies and other necessities for after the move are a close second. Hopefully this will all be over before the locusts tourists descend for Memorial Day weekend.

It's time for an olive or 2;  while sipping I'll surf for living room furniture and a small bistro table and chairs for the kitchen.

And so it goes.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Leap of Faith - Another New Beginning

Before work yesterday morning I took a look at an apartment in town - 3 blocks from work and 4 to the beach - and I fell in love. No, that's not correct. I fell in lust with the place and the full (real, live) kitchen is boasts. A real stove, lots of cabinets (I currently have 3) to actually store things, (you know, get them out of boxes) and big enough for a table and chairs. I would only have to use the car for running errands and grocery shopping. No more fighting the summer tourists on the highway or in town. ( I no nothing about the image. Found it on the Net and loved it. Click to embiggen.)

It would cost more than I am paying now, but it IS in town after all, and when I calculate the savings of fueling the car and the monthly rent on the storage unit - it is a no-brainer.  The cabinets are new, as is the pecan hardwood flooring throughout. And I was also elated to learn that there is a laundry room on premises - so no more driving 20 miles round-trip to do that deed, either. Another saving in time, money, and fuel.

The same co-worker who put me up during the February blizzards hooked me up with these remarkable people. Kind, generous, and so Rehoboth Beach. Before we parted and I headed to work we stood chatting on the sidewalk in front of the building when the gentleman pointed to an old bungalow across the street and said, "That's the house I was born in."  That sent shivers down my spine - he's in his 80s. A gentle soul and I feel blessed to have made his acquaintance, let alone become his tenant.

As I wrote earlier I sold the living room furniture, which is fine, still have the bedroom set and all my kitchen stuff in storage. This will be a good home for the stuff and me. I can hunt for living room pieces that will fit the room and have no back story as reminders of my previous life. I can take my time and choose exactly what I want.

The co-worker who connected me with these folks was off yesterday so there was no one to share my joy.

I have it bad! I even had a dream about the place last night.  Now is that bad, or what?

When she got to work today she was all over me asking about the apartment, my reaction to it, the landlords, (who she refers to as her 'other' grandparents - they've been family friends for years) and their reaction to me. It was positive on all counts, I think.

With all the tax money owed and the real estate critters lurking about, I am happy to have the job that I do, work with the people I do, and have people in my life who are there and pulling for me to do well and live well. That means more than most people can imagine.

I will take the leap of faith that I can do this and call the landlord tomorrow to let him know that I will take either the one bedroom, or the two bedroom, apartment by mid-May. At this point I am usually scared to death when unsure of the financials, but not this time.

How many new beginnings can one experience at my age, I wonder. Stay tuned, I will find out and pass along my findings. I smell olives!

And so it goes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hey! It's Caturday.

Sorry, I just couldn't help myself..

More later.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Palin's Discovery Show Hits New Low for Network

 Discovery's Bad Decision, indeed.  Via HuffPost:

We have an inside source at Discovery Communications and we've been leaked information on Sarah Palin's show for Discovery's TLC network.
Last week Discovery had its annual sales conference for ad buyers for all of its 13 networks. The presentation showcases all of their new shows across the different networks. That night the presentation was on Sarah Palin's Alaska.
Our source says "the whole thing [was] comical." Apparently the ad buyers were not impressed. This Discovery insider said, "When the promo was over, people (employees and buyers) were rolling their eyes, snickering, and even laughing. People were laughing and it's not even a comedy. No one took it seriously."
This person was concerned that given the lack of interest from ad buyers that Discovery would have to dump the show to "a crappy time slot" to cut its losses. They added, "Bottom line everyone thought it was a new all time low for Discovery. My guess is the show is going to tank big time."
Oh well, it's only 2 million dollars, after all.
More later.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vatican Damage Control? Not so Good.

 Seems everyone else on the planet is responsible for the abuse, except the Vatican & Pope. They've blamed the Jews, the homosexuals (what about all the abused little girls that no one ever talks about?) and the Media.  All this from men in dresses, no less! France just called them out on it.
From the BBC:
The Vatican has sought to "clarify" remarks made by a senior cardinal, who linked homosexuality with paedophilia in the abuse scandal facing the Church.

A spokesman provided "data" to support the claim, but also said Church leaders were not trying to make assertions of a "psychological or medical nature". Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said it was homosexuality - not clerical celibacy - which lay behind the abuse of children.

Earlier, France condemned the cardinal for making "an unacceptable linkage".

Earlier this month, Pope Benedict's personal preacher apologised for having compared criticism of the Roman Catholic Church over abuse allegations to "the collective violence suffered by the Jews". In a sermon, Father Raniero Cantalamessa likened allegations that the Vatican had systematically hushed up cases of sexual abuse of children by priests to the "most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism", with the use of stereotypes and the spreading of collective guilt.

The Vatican said his remarks did not represent its official view. 
Maybe Ratzi will choose to remain in Chile.  It appears the circular firing squad motif is in vogue at the Vatican at present and damage control isn't working as the scandal grows by the day. Jesus weeps.

Read the rest HERE.

More later.

Realtors & Reality.

A horde of real estate critters are to descend upon this place today for an agent's open house. They will likely be tramping through the apartment as well as the main house and I am not going anywhere. They're holding some sort of meeting of Realtors today and the primary agent is a frustrating old quean, to say the least.

 I've kept the place as clean as I can considering all the plastic tubs of clothes and things I've retrieved from the storage unit. In any case, there is no place to hide them and I am not taking them back to storage. I'm glad I have the day off so  I can be here all day to monitor the comings and goings of the sale-starved cretins and keep them at bay if necessary.

Yes, the owner/landlady is officially putting the place up for sale.  Yes, the market is weak, but trust me, the DC money is out there and if someone truly wants the seclusion and natural setting of this lovely place it will be sold and I will be out on the street - again.

Another door is about to close - I just hope another one will open, as well.

More later.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Clues in Post-Katrina Shooting at Algiers Point

How many stories like this will never be told because there is no one to tell the tale? We will never know. From Truthout:
Three days after Hurricane Katrina turned New Orleans into a ghost town, somebody shot Donnell Herrington twice in Algiers Point, ripping a hole in his throat.

Herrington, who is African-American, says he was ambushed by a group of armed white men who attacked without warning or provocation. He barely survived the shooting, which shredded his internal jugular vein, a key vessel that transports blood from the brain to the heart. He believes the assault was racially motivated.

No one has ever been charged in the incident, but now, more than four years later, at least two figures have come forward with information implicating a neighborhood man in the attack. These two people linked Roland Bourgeois Jr. to the shooting in interviews with ProPublica, the Times-Picayune and PBS' "Frontline."

Click to see FRONTLINE video of Terri Benjamin describing the attack she witnessed.

Terri Benjamin, who lived in the area, said she saw Bourgeois, 47, pledge to shoot anybody with skin "darker than a brown paper bag" while clutching a shotgun. At one point, she said, he held up the blood-drenched baseball cap of a man who'd just been shot.

Bourgeois' mother, Pam Pitre, said her son did fire his shotgun at an African-American man that day in Algiers Point, and acknowledged that he kept the man's hat. Pitre, who insists her son "is not a racist," said Bourgeois was accompanied by another man who also fired shots.

Herrington, whose story closely tracks with the accounts of Pitre and Benjamin, lost his navy blue baseball cap when he was shot. After viewing a photo of Bourgeois, Herrington identified the man as one of his attackers. Bourgeois, he said, "definitely was one of the guys I saw that day. … I definitely remember him. He was one of 'em."

Bourgeois, who has not been charged with any crime, declined to be interviewed.
"Anyone darker than a brown paper bag." Anybody wanna bet that ol' Bourgeois is a Teabagger? I'm just sayin'.
Click the link above for the rest of this sickening story.

More later.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Trailer: Stonewall Uprising

This arrived in my inbox this evening. Thought I'd share. From the YouTube site:
"It was the Rosa Parks moment," says one man. June 28, 1969: NYC police raid a Greenwich Village Mafia-run gay bar, The Stonewall Inn. For the first time, patrons refuse to be led into paddy wagons, setting off a 3-day riot that launches the Gay Rights Movement. Told by Stonewall patrons, Village Voice reporters and the cop who led the raid, Stonewall Uprising compellingly recalls the bad old days when psychoanalysts equated homosexuality with mental illness and advised aversion therapy, and even lobotomies; public service announcements warned youngsters against predatory homosexuals; and police entrapment was rampant.

A treasure-trove of archival footage gives life to this all-too-recent reality, a time when Mike Wallace announced on a 1966 CBS Reports: "The average homosexual, if there be such, is promiscuous. He is not interested in, nor capable of, a lasting relationship like that of a heterosexual marriage." At the height of this oppression, the cops raid Stonewall, triggering nights of pandemonium with tear gas, billy clubs and a small army of tactical police. The rest is history.
- Courtesy of Film Forum
The Trailer:

I hope they do it justice. The unrest and riots lasted almost a week, as I remember events.

BTW, if you want to know what gay life was like prior to the riots, check out "Before Stonewall" which is an excellent documentary (even I appear in a quick cut of a photo with 3 other friends in a totem style shot)that I hope is available on DVD by now. I have the VHS version.

And so it goes.

Wanted: A Two-Day Getaway

Nothing much here. Aside from work, that is - and it's been a great weekend.

However, I have been looking for a place to visit for a day or two, just to get away before the season gets into full swing and I am pressed into service 6 days a week. But...

Can someone tell me when the Bed and Breakfast rates shot up so high?  Even if their breakfast is 'gourmet' something similar is available at a good hotel for no more than $40. tops. Many in the mid-Atlantic charge more than double that of suite in a good hotel, (over $400. per night!) so what gives? Even the most expensive B & Bs here are around $200. per night - in season. Less in the off season. And it is still the off season here.

Most B&Bs here are within walking distance to the beach, with a couple farther away in secluded, wooded areas away from the crowds. Perfect for folks who want to chill far from the madding crowd. A quite good one is just off the road where I live and they are busy all 4 seasons.

I don't care about a room with a 'theme', cable TV, or Internet access.  Just a good comfortable bed and peace and quiet will do fine, thank you very much. Breakfast and perhaps a little wine and cheese in the late afternoon with other guests would be a delight. That's why we used to call these a 'get-away'.

 And what's with the "3 night minimum" in the off season - even mid week?  With only 2 days off I can only manage a two-nighter. If I leave directly from work I can settle in and get a good night's sleep, spend the next day playing tourist and finding a good place for dinner, spend a second night, and then drive back to be rested before work the following day.

I am looking at a couple of interesting sounding places in Virginia and Maryland that require more research. Both are inland, not near the beach. A place within driving distance and gay friendly is the goal. These places are reportedly both.

I'm just throwing this out to the universe to see what happens.  It may all be wishful thinking on my part.  We shall see.

Any thoughts or suggestions on this subject would be appreciated. Just leave a comment.

And so it goes.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Margaritas, Greyhounds, & Women's Weekend

A recipe for beauty, madness, and great fun on tap here.

The group that rescues greyhounds when their racing days are over and before they are put down spend a weekend here with their beautiful dogs. There are parades on the streets and on the beaches. About 40 owners will be celebrating at the restaurant this evening (sans hounds, of course), which has become an annual event for the past few years. They're dedicated animal lovers and deserve our blessings and a big "thank you" for their efforts.

Another annual event is "Women's Weekend" which consists of food, fun, workshops and entertainment all around town. I was told by attendees today that this year is the best attended yet.

This is where the margaritas come in.  Following a brutal day of fun, interesting workshops and meeting other women many gals flocked to the restaurant to enjoy pitchers of margaritas at special prices. When I left they were still coming in. Tomorrow there will be a brunch at nearby restaurant, followed by a special Happy Hour with us.

The weather was cooperative, if a little cool and windy at least the sun was out. The restaurant is totally booked for tonight and there are reservations for tomorrow's lunch.  I will be busy.  Feelin' good!

I must admit I am a tired big cat this evening. A shower, a festive martini followed by a light supper are the only items on my gay agenda this evening.

Hope your weekend is a fine one, as well.

And so it goes.

A Post Katrina Discovery.

From Thanks, Katrina.
After almost five years post Katrina, volunteers recently discovered a house that was washed into a marsh by the storm from Bay St. Louis' Second Street.
What follows is a recent piece on NPR about the house and family. Talk about "the never-ending story." Fascinating and tragic.

Read the entire transcript HERE.

More later

Disco Caturday

More later.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wading at Low Tide.

Following my disastrous attempt at TurboTax (touted to be FREE, but always look for the asterisk (*) in the ads), which cost me $65. only to learn that I was up to my eyeballs in hock to the IRS and the state (whew!) I decided to ask a pro to help me out. She's one of the best around and a very busy lady, but she took me on and I delivered all documentation to her a while back. If she chose not to I would be trying to contact the taxman to ask for a payment plan or go to jail.

As usual for me, I have been a basket case over the amount TT calculated that I owed. Don't know if it was my error (likely) or something else.  Today when she called to make dinner reservations I was told that she had found a few errors in the paperwork and I owed substantially less to the IRS, but about the same to the state.  How can this be?  Dunno.

I'll take what I can get. Wading at low tide one risks getting stuck in mud and sand and I didn't want that to happen.  Not this year.

It's the end of the week for many, but this was my second day back to work, so it was "Tuesday" and lunch got off to a slow start due to the inclement weather.  That all changed as the sun came out and the clouds were blown away. It was still chilly compared to the past 4 days but that didn't seem to matter. People came out in sunglasses, light jackets and picture hats. Both sexes...Oh, baby!

The staff, including the boss, was in high spirits and pumped for the weekend. This is "women's weekend" in town featuring entertainment, workshops, dining, and lots of other good stuff. We are a participating restaurant offering 10% off all meals and $1.00 off all cocktails for the extended weekend. There are 9 others offering the same or similar. Should be a fun time.

Enjoyed a fantastic Cosmo as an after-shift cocktail this afternoon and now that supper food is prepped and ready to cook, will enjoy a festive martini.

Which reminds me, I must address Dr. Spo regarding his book-readin' as it applies to martinis. Dr. Spo, the dear, is being misinformed (don't believe everything you read) and since I know he loves olives too, I feel obliged to help set the record straight - so to speak.

And so it goes.

Hurricane Katrina Victims Had Human Rights Violated

Excuse me, but I was under the impression that this was a known fact four years ago. Well, I guess now that Amnesty International has put their seal on it(4 years after the fact) that somehow makes it official.  Who knew?
NEW ORLEANS — Amnesty International says the U.S. government and Gulf Coast states have consistently violated the human rights of hurricane victims since Hurricane Katrina killed about 1,800 people and caused widespread devastation after striking in August 2005.
Amnesty's report entitled "Un-Natural Disaster" says government actions in housing, health care and policing prevented poor minority communities from rebuilding and returning to their homes.
The White House and Louisiana and Mississippi officials said they had gone to great lengths to help people recover from Katrina.
Amnesty urged Congress to amend the nation's main disaster response legislation, the Stafford Act, to guarantee the humane and fair treatment of all disaster victims.
That's it. No details or link to the report. Check it out for yourselves. HERE.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pam to Straights-Only Prom Attendee: No!!!

She will not remove the Facebook pictures and explains the reasons.

Referring to this post at Pam's House Blend.
Yes, it was Itawamba Agricultural High School's private party, where student Constance McMillen was not invited, but sent to a prom for pariahs in Fulton, MS, that includes in their minds, gay folks and the learning disabled. Given Holly, who is clearly less wise than her years compared to Constance, is unclear about the world of social media, I decided to do a little email teach-in.
Unfortunately your Facebook profile was public, therefore you gave permission for the whole world to see and distribute your information. The photos aren't coming down."
Since I think the pictures are ugly and disgusting I will not post even one of them here. Besides, I really like the chosen graphic, instead. So Old South - New South, don't you think?

Here's the rest of what Pam had to say in the email and post update.

And so it goes.

Dutch Planners, Architects to help New Orleans Live with Water

Maybe even thrive. (Image is a an actual photo of the street, below is a rendering of what could become a neighborhood water garden. Click to embiggen.) Since the Army Corps of Engineers can't (or won't) seem to get it right and the various Levee Boards are backing away from supporting, or even trusting what the Corps does or says anymore, this sounds like a very good idea to me. The Corps could learn plenty from the Dutch who have centuries of technological experience living and working around water. From today's Times Picayune:
A group of American and Dutch architects and urban planners will meet in New Orleans this week for a third session aimed at finding ways to better incorporate water into the city's effort to rebuild more safely after Katrina.

Dutch Dialogues 3 is meeting in tandem with the annual conference of the American Planning Association, and will announce its results at a public forum Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel.

The participants will focus on a segment of the city stretching from the Lafitte Corridor abutting the French Quarter -- an abandoned railroad right-of-way that was once the site of a canal that connected the Quarter to Bayou St. John -- to the lakefront, including City Park and a section of Gentilly.

"New Orleans has a history of having had water in it and then moving away from the water," said David Waggonner III, a principal of Waggonner & Ball Architects of New Orleans.

But in the 20th and 21st centuries, New Orleanians shut itself from the water, hemming in the Mississippi River with levees and draining the backswamp with massive pumps and drainage canals that hid the water from view.

Redesigning the city with water

The planners hope to spur redesigns of sections of the city where waterways, urban wetlands and green, open areas can be used to store additional rainfall or where developed areas are redesigned to better hold rainwater through use of new absorbent street and sidewalk building materials or adoption of cisterns and other water-storage containers.

Planners from the Netherlands will share their knowledge of similar efforts adopted in that country, with a recognition that differences in New Orleans' geology and climate will require significant adjustments.

Former wetlands on which Gentilly and other suburban neighborhoods were built used to keep the city's geology buoyant, Waggonner said. Today, vast areas of the city have sunk to as much as 6 feet below sea level, the unintended result of those areas being drained by canals that suck up the water that had kept the soil elevated.

The trick, he said, is to find ways of reintroducing water into soils in ways to reduce subsidence, and in finding ways of transforming the canals into spaces attractive to the public.
But, will it ever come to pass?
More HERE.

CNN: "Homosexuality — is it a problem in need of a cure?"

 I gave up on CNN over a year ago when their "to be fair" position began overworking the credibility of some guest "pundits" - IMHO.
Insulted?  You bet. Surprised? Not at all.
AfterElton. By Michael Jensen.
Tuesday morning CNN's Kyra Phillips ran a segment about the repeal of a homophobic and archaic California law (follow the link to Towleroad for video) requiring state health officials to seek cures for homosexuality.
Phillips started the segment by asking, "Homosexuality — is it a problem in need of a cure?" and then led a discussion which included "conversion therapy" expert Richard Cohen. For those not familiar with Cohen, he wrote the book Coming Out Straight which refers to homosexuality as a "same-sex attachment disorder." 
In 2001 Cohen was expelled from the American Counseling Association for violating it's ethics standards and he's been widely discredited for his findings and methods. contacted CNN to ask A) why Phillips would phrase her question in such an offensive way B) why they deemed it necessary to present both "sides" of whether or not gay people can be "cured" when it's been so widely discredited and C) why they deemed the discredited Cohen — whom they termed a sexual orientation "expert" — as someone qualified to speak about the subject.
Here is CNN's response:
By bringing this story to the fore, we engage various advocates from all sides. This story does not end here and CNN will continue to explore other views and positions.
Because this is a story that was simply demanding to be brought to the fore. 
It's 2010 and CNN expects me to seriously sit here and expect that this issue is really still up for debate? It certainly is in some quarters, but those are quarters that at this point respectable journalists should stay out of. 
Read the rest HERE.
More later.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Eleanor Powell - Fascinatin' Rhythm.

Be still my heart. The best damned tap dancin' lady at MGM, or anywhere for that matter. In my opinion Ann Miller was all hair, attitude, and bitterness over not being part of the Freed unit.

I watched That's Entertainment 2 and 3 last night (yes, my life is a bit dull) and staging of this number was one of the segments. It revealed the behind the scenes operation involved in moving the bits of stage out of the way for the final dance.  Yeah, Fascinatin'!  And that's an understatement. Enjoy.
I'll be watching the original That's Entertainment this evening after supper.
And so it goes.

ExxonMobil Pay Taxes? Fugetaboutit!

I'm looking at having to pay the IRS almost a thousand bucks and another 4 hundred to the state of Delaware, so this kind of story burns my biscuits, big time. I cut up and returned my Exxon credit card following their response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  They begged me to reconsider for years, even sending me another card a few times.

There is this from Forbes via Think Progress:
Last week, Forbes magazine published what the top U.S. corporations paid in taxes last year. “Most egregious,” Forbes notes, is General Electric, which “generated $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion.” Big Oil giant Exxon Mobil, which last year reported a record $45.2 billion profit, paid the most taxes of any corporation, but none of it went to the IRS:
Exxon tries to limit the tax pain with the help of 20 wholly owned subsidiaries domiciled in the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands that (legally) shelter the cash flow from operations in the likes of Angola, Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi. No wonder that of $15 billion in income taxes last year, Exxon paid none of it to Uncle Sam, and has tens of billions in earnings permanently reinvested overseas.
Mother Jones’ Adam Weinstein notes that, despite benefiting from corporate welfare in the U.S., Exxon complains about paying high taxes, claiming that it threatens energy innovation research. Pat Garofalo at the Wonk Room notes that big corporations’ tax shelter practices similar to Exxon’s shift a $100 billion annual tax burden onto U.S. taxpayers. In fact, in 2008, the Government Accountability Office found that “two out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005.”
Reinvested billions overseas?  Oh, that must be all the R & D they're doing for alternative solutions to the energy crisis.  Yeah, that's it.

There is something foul about corporations in this country.
More later.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Weekend Weather - Easter Sunrise, and me.

It's been a while since writing a personal post, so here goes...

As per usual for a beach resort town, the weather-critters lied through their rotted teeth about the weekend forecast. Touting clear skies and highs in the 80s for Friday and Saturday which translated to sun, clouds, wind and highs in the high 50s - low 60s both days.

The restaurant was packed to bursting on both days with families who came to the beach hoping to kick-start their tans, but ended up eating and drinking with us, instead. I had up to a half-hour wait for lunch alone. Jeez!

Easter day was an absolute gem of a day and lived up to the most unusual accurate forecast - mid-70s, blue skies, light breeze and perfect for the Sunrise Service held annually on the beach. Another beautiful new beginning it was, too. The sun burst forth from low-lying clouds on the horizon, as if on cue from C.B DeMille, at the beginning of the final hymn.  There were tears. Yes, I am a sucker for fine stagecraft.

Each year the restaurant offers a special traditional Easter menu along side the regular ones. The Easter menu has become more popular over the years by families visiting for the weekend, getting their vacation places opened, and don't want the hassle of having to cook and clean up after themselves. There were 8 or 9 big parties yesterday (between 10 and 16 people in each) and many were repeat customers from previous years.

I was totally drained when I left work last evening, but it was a good kind of drained. Following the much-needed shift cocktail, I made my way back to the apartment where I enjoyed another (well-deserved) cocktail as I prepared supper.

The plan was to watch a bit of tee-vee, but I was too tired and opted instead for a shower and sleep.  Smart choice.

Woke today refreshed and ready to par-tay and grateful I was. Many folks took advantage of the glorious weather, choosing to stay at the beach one more day.  Lunch was a busy affair both in the dining room and at the bar. Not as chaotic as the weekend, but a lovely, steady stream of delightful characters trying to extend the good vibes for a few more hours - and we all know what it's like to want just a little more of a good time.  Especially after the horrid winter we've experienced here in the mid-Atlantic area.

Not at all wiped out tonight as I prep a festive turkey burger and spinach salad for supper, after a festive cocktail, of course. Cheers!

And so it goes.

Friday, April 2, 2010

"Teabonics"- New Language of the Tea Party

From The Guardian.  Who else?

Exploring 'Teabonics', the exciting new variations on English spawned by the US Tea Party movement's sign language.

Along with the Tea Party has risen not only an incoherent political movement but exciting and refreshing variations on the English language. Now Flickr user Pargon has collected together many fine examples of "Teabonics", the curious pidgin that has emerged on the simple signs and crude posters handcrafted by the modern-day Poujadists:

    These are signs seen primarily at Tea Party Protests. They all feature "creative" spelling or grammar. This new dialect of the English language shall be known as "Teabonics."

This being the Guardian, we take a liberal view of the uses and abuses of English, and we'd be fools to pretend otherwise. There but for the grace of god, and so on. Obviously, signs like the one above – "Don't mortage my childs future" – are amusing enough for the mis-spelling. But signs such as these below, with one saying "Honk for English" and another next to it saying "No Amnety" – something to do with immigration – are even more delightful.
Love it, love it, love it!
Follow the link above and see more hilarious pictures, if you can stand it.

More later.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

High School Sings Away Hateful Westboro Protesters

This link arrived via email and the video gave me much hope for our future.  Kids get it! Too bad we have to wait for these old hate-filled people to die off before everyone can be accepted for who they are.
From the YouTube site:
TheWorkingGroup March 30, 2010 — When the Kansas hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church announced they would picket Bay Area schools and Jewish institutions, students at Gunn High School decided they could not sit by quietly.
And so it goes.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...