Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day: Moving, Memorable, and Motivating.

What a rip-roaring blast this weekend has been! Mostly great beach weather and folks eager to enjoy the sun after the brutal winter here in the mid-Atlantic states.

The restaurant was stuffed to bursting from Friday through today with parties of two to parties of 20 or more. On average we served 1300 meals daily (lunch & dinner) with an all time record made on Saturday.  Lunch = 500+ Dinner = 1100+. That's right almost 1700 diners passed through the doors and tonight I am totally exhausted, but in a good way.

Everything went remarkably smoothly until last night when the "restaurant management" computer system experienced a nervous breakdown and sent everyone reeling for over two hours. Still, they pulled through.

A few items of note this holiday weekend from the "nation's summer Capitol":
More large family groups dining together than in past years.
Veterans from WW2, Korea, Viet Nam, Kuwait, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq were in town in full uniform and honoured with a special program dedicated to their service and sacrifices. (I got to shake hands with a few and thanked them for their service. Very moving experience.)
Many gay and lesbian couples holding hands openly on the streets. (They always did in the restaurant, so to us this was nothing new.)  A bold statement to the other visitors, to be sure.  No one seemed to care.
Many DC government workers sporting tattoos and multiple piercings.  This would have been a scandal a few years ago.
The obnoxious parking meters were operating properly, as opposed to last year when they bilked many out of their money registering no time and coughing up parking tickets by the dozens.
More people of colour are visiting the town. Now that's a nice change.
On a personal note I noticed that my quiet street has no sidewalks, so everyone walks in the street and still feels perfectly safe.  Now that's saying something! Click on the image above to embiggen.

Suppertime, and the livin' is easy.  No, wait! Never mind. I smell olives. I am one tired stump-jumper!


And so it goes.

Memorial Day - Remember Them All.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Just Another Invasion at the Beach

The rain began falling a half hour before I left for work. It stopped as I walked out the door. Started again as I reached the restaurant. Miracles, miracles. The kitchen staff, bar staff, and the bosses were right behind me. Good thing, too.

Wait staff began arriving 15 minutes early to prep for the day.  Good thing, too.

We were ready to open 15 minutes early, good thing too, because the deluge began at that moment and didn't let up all day. The rain and sun played tag and by 1:30 there was a 20 minute wait for a table. By 2 pm, it was an hour as larger parties of 8, 12, and 20 arrived. At 3:30 the wait for service was over,  things slowed down long enough to get our second wind, regroup, and introduce the dinner staff to the mix while phasing out the lunch crew. Sounds complicated, but it worked very smoothly today.

Tonight is totally booked and I am happy to live on a quiet street in a quiet building where I can now review all I learned today, which includes having more authority and responsibility for the front of the house - as it is called. I have been endowed (well, that too) with special computer privileges to correct or delete minor errors made by servers. Who'da thunk it?   This was an absolutely fascinating experience!

I had a ball and it's only just begun!!!

Tired?  Yes, but exhilarated and happy that our friends are back for another season at the beach. And, as we say in NOLA, "A good time was had by all."

In the excitement, I spilled half my shift cocktail on the bar, so I am enjoying a FULL martini as I compose this and prepare supper.  A Good day, for the most part.  Damn! I hate spilling good Gin!


And so it goes.

Celebration Caturday

I am sure there are a lot of tourists in this position this morning. There were some clouds, but no rain and spirits (both kinds) ran high yesterday beginning at the restaurant at 11:30 am and well into the night. Can't wait to see the remains of the chaos when I arrive this morning.

More later.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Walkin' Man, and Just in Time!

Second night sleeping on the new mattress.  Initially attributed yesterday's back pain to the last move on Tuesday, but today I am not quite sure - the pain is still with me.  Getting used to this new bed may take a while.

Had blood work the doctor ordered yesterday morning, followed by breakfast at the Filling Station (the other restaurant owned by the dos locos), then hit every thrift/consignment store I could find in an effort to find a small kitchen set and/or living room chairs and loveseat.  Everything worthwhile was already sold and awaiting pickup. This kind of shopping isn't a viable option for a guy with one day off each week.

 Did 2 loads of laundry when I got back to the apartment. What a luxury to have a laundry room right downstairs instead of driving 15 miles each way to do the deed. Emptied more boxes during washing and drying cycles. Nice!

On the next day off the search will continue for a computer desk so the printer and speakers can be connected, and a chair as well.

Enjoyed a festive martini followed by a supper of broiled rosemary chicken and my grandmother's artichoke salad last night.

The move concluded just in time.  The tourists begin arriving this evening to kick off the Memorial Day weekend - the official start of Summer. The car is parked across the street. Walking to work for the very first time today. With my luck I thought it would be rainy, but the forecast is for sun and warm temperatures with light breeze. The new life begins now.

More later.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm Back! Well, Only Just.

I must be a resident of the City of Rehoboth Beach. My polling place information card arrived in the mailbox today! I guess it's true.

Regular readers may be surprised by this, but I came to realize (late, of course) that there are only 2 three-prong outlets in the apartment - one in the living room, the other in the bathroom - and I was too tired to face traffic to get to Lowe's for more after a long day at work. There was a voicemail waiting from Verizon informing me that the DSL was up and running.  Not to be deterred, I checked out extension cords and telephone cables and came up with a makeshift solution for the evening. Plugged the surge protector into the living room outlet, connected the computer, monitor, mouse and DSL modem to it, then ran a 25 ft. phone cable from the bedroom to the modem.  Worked immediately and I cannot detect a difference in the speed.

Anyway, I finished the move this morning before work before returning the key to the landlady and shedding a few tears with her. We're both moving on. I'd known that she was my angel these past three years, but I didn't know that I was also hers. Both of us getting over broken marriages, I can't imagine being an angel in the state I was in back then. If I overlooked anything I am sure she'll call.

I am having my first martini in the new place, and will prepare a first meal, too. Tomorrow is the only day off and I am sure you can guess what is at the top of the to-do list. Yes, three-prong outlets!!! There are also a few leads for furniture at thrift and consignment stores in the area.  I'll check them out and see what I come up with.

The sheets are on the bed, more boxes emptied and ready for the recycle center, which is actually the top item on the list, but closely followed by the damned outlets. I hope I remember how to replace them. Without cable or other service, I have That's Entertainment running in the background to keep me going.

This building is old and there are things requiring adjusted thinking (see outlets above) nothing that can't be worked around in the future. Whatever. For now I am thrilled to be close to the Atlantic and work; not dodging tourists in traffic; and the possibility of getting out more socially. We'll see.

For now, I want to furnish the place sparsely with things that strike my fancy.  My fancy what, I don't know, but I'll know it when I see it.

BTW, thanks to everyone for the good wishes, comments, and offer of a home blessing.  I am overwhelmed.

And so it goes.

Image by friend Ron. Click to embiggen.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Move Planning on the Fly

For some strange reason things have been falling into place regarding the final days of the move. Seemingly, without thinking about it too much, I have planned pretty well as to what to take to the new place, when, and what to leave behind as I get the place cleaned and ready to vacate - hopefully by Tuesday.

Cabinets are empty and clean, bathroom is too, except for shaving and showering stuff for the next two days. Stainless steel kitchen sink is sparkling this evening. The bathroom fixtures are clean; only a vacuum and mop are needed by Tuesday.

Taking things day to day and keeping the few necessities required as I continue to sleep in the old place has worked out quite well, so far.

Took half of the refrigerated items to the new place this morning - leaving behind a few things I will need - and leaving the other half for tomorrow. More clothes, food, artwork, and file cabinet moved today, too.  I spent 2 hours putting things away in cabinets, refrigerator, closet, and linen closet. Took flattened boxes to recycle center and marveled at the progress made it the past week doing this daily routine. This offhand planning is working and I am enjoying the process and progress.

Tomorrow the TV, stand, and DVD player find their place in the apartment, along with the rest of the clothes, knives, utensils, and remaining refrigerated foods.

Feeling good and the martini hit the spot. Some more light packing and a viewing of "The Story of Us" on History - one last time. All plugs are pulled tomorrow.

I'll be offline for a day or two. If you are so inclined, please keep me in prayer.

And so it goes.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Harvey!

What would our world look like if you had lived, we will never know, but we were fortunate to have your insights and courage to push us forward. We may not be where we ought to be, but we're on the right path.

Thank you, Harvey.

And so it goes.

Wishful Caturday

So close to the finish line with the move and all I want to do is curl up and sleep. Working every day this week (and longer hours with the season upon us) means little time to move things and clean the old place up to return it to what it looked like three years ago. Once the personal stuff is out I can begin the mopping, sweeping and vacuuming.

And so it goes.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gallows Humor - NOLA Style

A gift to BP, perhaps?  When you've been through what these folks have over the last 5 years, you know it's their sense of humour and the love of their land (and coastal waters) that keeps them going.

From what I can find, this is a real cake on sale at Beaux Mart on Magazine Street in NOLA.

And so it goes.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Moving, Imagining, and Taking Ownership

Counting the days, hours, minutes until I am entrenched in the new digs. Brought more things over early today, then spent 2 hours unpacking boxes and putting things away; taking ownership of the new place, I guess.  Doing this relaxed and took me into another place. I began to imagine what the place will look like when all the pieces fall into place.  Probably not until after the season. I am in no rush, but I would like a chair or two and a small table.

Though I had to be super careful about the weight I was lifting, that didn't dampen my spirits. I took great pride in collapsing the boxes and taking them for recycling - there are 7 fewer boxes than yesterday - along with my usual recyclables.

When I arrived at the restaurant I was calm, energized, and ready for the day ahead.

I'm taking a break tomorrow and only running a few necessary errands before work. I just can't run up and down that flight of stairs another day without a respite. And, the errands are an important part of the process, as well. No guilt here.

Didn't sleep well last night, so following a festive cocktail and a light supper, it's off to bed. I am really exhausted

Image by friend Ron, who helped with the move on Wednesday. (Click the image to embiggen.) Yes, the apartment boasts 2 skylights - 1 in the kitchen and another in the bathroom.  I love does Ron.

An so it goes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

One Forward - Two Back

Even as torrential rain slammed the area this morning, I took another load of boxes to the new place before heading to the doctor's appointment at 9:45. It was slow going; hard to see the road and other cars, but just as I arrived at the apartment, the rain turned to a drizzle. I moved quickly to get the things inside and put a few things away to reuse the the reusable shopping bags and boxes for another trip.

As I began the drive to the doctor's office I ran smack into another heavy storm, and this one was unforgiving. I was soaked just running from the car to the front door and little time to drip dry. I was called in about 10 minutes early for the nurse to take the vitals and check my current weight.  Lost a little over a pound since last visit, but blood pressure is elevated again. Possibly from the stress of the move and the hectic schedule I've been keeping, but who knows. He gave me a scrip to have blood work done asap and asked that I monitor the pressure twice weekly and call him if the pressure got any higher.

The doctor brow beats me and continues the exam.  He has me lie face up on the exam table and proceeds to check out the upper stomach area, stops in mid-poke and asks if I'd been doing any heavy lifting. I say no, not since the back injury a year and a half ago. "Well, you've got  hernia! Are you in any pain? Can you think of something you may have done to cause this?" I can't, really. I've been super careful because if I do lift anything heavy, I pay for it for days after.
"If you're not in pain, hold off on surgery until it becomes absolutely necessary, but if you begin to experience pain, get your butt to the emergency room right away."

Ah, the joys of being uninsured - and he wonders why the blood pressure is elevated. Jeez!

And so it goes.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hello, I Must be Going...

I cannot wait to park the car in town and not drive anywhere for a week. Today was another whirlwind of activity to help the move along.

Before reporting for work pay a visit to:
Credit Union - activate change of address and order new checks.
Insurance Co. - change of address and driving status (to reduce cost of premiums) and give odometer reading.
Dry Cleaner - drop off dress shirts to be ready by end of the week.
Drop off Boxes at new apartment.
Unpack boxes of food stuffs and store in cabinets. (Came across some personal items belonging to the Ex and my previous life. Can't bring myself to throw them away, so they are being packed into another box in hopes I can find someone to deliver them to him.)
Recycle boxes to be filled again.

A busy day at the restaurant - especially for a Monday - with a good staff and diners in a very bouyant mood. The season is upon us...

After work:
Ordered Spicy Wings takeout for supper tonight - tired of leftovers.
Checked out prices for step stool and light fixture for kitchen - maybe a ceiling fan with light kit - at 2 stores.
Stopped at Hardware store for picture hooks and hardware.
Made a quick stop for Gin.  (We do needs our Tinis, precious)

Packed a few more boxes and now settling in for that festive Martini followed by those wings and a salad.

Stay tuned.

And so it goes.

PSA for the Tea Party & FreedomWorks

 D.C. Douglas may have lost his gig as a voice over announcer on Geico commercials, but he's found another use for his time and talent ... making a tongue-in-cheek PSA warning people, "don't drunk dial FreedomWorks."
Notice he doesn't say 'don't call at all.'

So much rushing these days. I hope to post an update this evening.
More later.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


That's today's watch-cry!

More later, if I'm still standing.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Close Encounters of the WTF Kind.

As I headed back to the present digs after work this afternoon to do a bit more packing (yes, I know) I was this close to the 5-points intersection when state troopers stopped all traffic - in all directions - and moved a crane and cherry picker into the roadway to raise the power lines manually so this humongous high and long cylinder, followed by 2 others, could make the turn taking them toward the Atlantic. In the image you can see the cherry picker being used to lift the wires so the cylinders and get through. (Click on the image to embiggen.)

No idea what they will be used for, or what may be built with them. As one can see, they are quite large and though it can't be seen in this photo, very long as well.

Things that make you go, hmmmmmmmm!

And so it goes.

A Cute Observation

Racing back to the apartment yesterday after work to do yet more packing all traffic on the coastal highway suddenly came to an abrupt halt as lane after lane of cars stopped to allow a mother duck and a brood of about 10 chicks cross the roadway. Mother duck seemed unconcerned by the event, I suppose expecting nothing less of the huge, noisy machines.

Surprisingly, traffic remained stopped in both directions until the waddling family made it all the way across and the safety of the large pond on the side of the road. I'd never seen anything like it.

I just hope mama doesn't get a hankering to cross again.  She may not be so lucky next time.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Posting, Packing & Perspective

Sorry for the light personal postings, but lots going on right now. Packing, making lists of needs for the move and the new space, working 6 days a week, and juggling doctor's appts. doesn't leave a lot of free time. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe.

A lease application was submitted, accepted, and the lease signed. I was given a set of keys and may begin moving personal things in as soon as the power company approves the request for service - about 4 or 5 working days - after the 15th (the current tenant is moving out on the 15th, seems he can't wait to get into this new place in Ocean City and that's fine with me.) then schedule movers to bring items (currently in storage) to the apartment before the end of the month.  It's going to get even more hectic with Memorial Day weekend (the kick-off to summer) coming up at the same time. I hope to be ensconced in the new space beforehand. Fortunately, I won't waste a precious free day running around to the utility or phone company offices.
The landlady was informed of the lease application and I updated her today on what's going on, so we'll connect sometime this week . She has been wonderful to me through some of the worst of times, but I suppose it's time for us both to move on. I will miss her and the serenity of this place.

I knew that I had a small window of time to find a place before the season began, or there would be no hope until October, if even then. This also means I will be out of the realtor's hair, giving the landlady a better shot at selling the house. I received a call from the realtor asking permission to show the place - and my place - this week.  I told him that was OK. This is another reason I am grateful to have found a new place. Privacy. Never an issue before but that all changed when the FOR SALE sign appeared out front.

I guess all things eventually work out for the best. The new place is much nicer than the one I liked before. The appliances are newer, the rooms brighter and the layout is much better than the others. The one drawback is that anyone having to use the bathroom has to do so through the bedroom. But, I don't think it will be such a big deal.  I don't expect many visitors.

Being out-and-about around town and the community again has made a huge difference, as I doubt I would have ever known of these opportunities otherwise. Evidently, most of these rentals are not listed in newspapers or with realtors, but via word of mouth and referrals. It seems I came highly recommended. I am more than flattered.

OK, here's today's dish...

1. Picked up copy of the lease.
2. Drove to DMV to get address changed on driving license. (reason for lease copy.)
3. Dropped off more boxes at the storage unit.
4. Drove to Parking Permit Division to pick up a resident's permit hang-tag so I can park on the street in town without getting ticketed.
5. Romanian friend and co-worker, Eddie, stopped by and filled his Hybrid SUV with boxes and took them to the storage unit. (this way the boxes are out of the apartment and the place will show better.)
6.. Just got off the phone with Verizon transferring phone and DSL service to the new digs on May 25th. (They gave me a new number, but are not certain it will actually be THAT number. (huh?) I will know by the 26th.

Resigned to the possibility that I would never have another place to call my own, all this is quite a shock. I keep pinching myself to insure this isn't a dream. As usual, it's all how you look at things. Putting this into perspective hasn't been easy. I'll learn, albeit slower than others.

The back hurts from lugging boxes, and other stuff. A hot shower followed by a festive Martini and supper, then it's off to bed to rest these weary bones.  Cheers!

And so it goes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lovely Lena - R.I.P.

Lena Horne, who was the first black performer to be signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio and who went on to achieve international fame as a singer, died on Sunday night at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. She was 92 and lived in Manhattan.
Ms. Horne might have become a major movie star, but she was born 50 years too early, and languished at MGM in the 1940s because of the color of her skin, although she was so light-skinned that, when she was a child, other black children had taunted her, accusing her of having a “white daddy.”
Ms. Horne was stuffed into one “all-star” musical after another — “Thousands Cheer” (1943), “Broadway Rhythm” (1944), “Two Girls and a Sailor” (1944), “Ziegfeld Follies” (1946), “Words and Music” (1948) — to sing a song or two that could easily be snipped from the movie when it played in the South, where the idea of an African-American performer in anything but a subservient role in a movie with an otherwise all-white cast was unthinkable.

The rest is HERE.

More later.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Gulf: Oyster & Shrimp Harvests Shutdown

It's only a matter of time before all LA and MS waters are closed to watermen. From the Times Picayune:
The massive BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has forced state officials to close additional oyster beds and cancel the central coast of Louisiana's shrimp season.
Alan Levine, secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, and Dr. Jimmy Guidry, the state health officer, on Saturday signed an order to close molluscan shellfish harvesting areas 14 and 15, west of the Mississippi River in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes. The measure was designed as a precaution protecting oyster meat from contamination, according to a DHH announcement.
DHH's Office of Public Health continues testing oyster beds along Louisiana's 8-million acre shoreline. Meanwhile, scientists and engineers are regularly testing oyster meat from closed beds as part of a process to determine when oysters from beds affected by the oil slick are safe to eat.
Oysters harvested in unaffected areas and oysters collected prior to affected beds' closures are safe to eat, DHH said.
Meanwhile, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham closed the shrimp season on waters from Four Bayou Pass to Freshwater Bayou. No shrimp harvesting will be permitted on outside territorial waters from the Mississippi-Louisiana border to Freshwater Bayou, according to the announcement.
BP's little condom thingy didn't work out so well, but their spin doctors are still on the airwaves jacking up their efforts. Does anyone believe them anymore?

The sadness continues HERE.

More later.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bp. Gene Robinson Advises Pope

A gentle, subtle missive to Benedict about the dangers of scapegoating gay clergy. From WaPo:
Your Holiness,
Though our churches differ in many ways, we believe in the same God. As your brother in Christ, it pains me to see Catholics struggle with your response to recent allegations of sex abuse by priests. Since my denomination has also battled these demons, I want to share with you what I have learned as a bishop of the Episcopal Church.
About 20 years ago, our church became aware of sex abuse by our clergy here in the United States. To our shame, we learned of it in lawsuits filed by victims alleging that some of our bishops had minimized the seriousness of the abuse and/or swept their claims under the rug. Some cases were related to the abuse of children; others involved male clergy who took advantage of their pastoral relationship with vulnerable women to manipulate them into sexual relationships. These men violated the sacred trust placed in clergy to focus on parishioners' needs and to separate those needs from their own. To prevent further such abuses of power, we moved quickly for the good of the victims and of our church.
Whether or not civil courts recognize a statute of limitations, the church must hold its clergy members accountable to their vows to be faithful shepherds of their people. In 1994, the Episcopal Church opened a two-year window of opportunity to hear complaints about priestly abuse of the pastoral relationship with adults. Just because an event occurred many years ago did not make it any less egregious, especially since perpetrators rarely have only one victim. We addressed all complaints through our canonical disciplinary process.
As for instances involving children, we have no statute of limitations on reporting abuse. Those suspected of committing child abuse are immediately reported to the civil authorities for investigation.
Rather than refusing to acknowledge our transgressions, we sought to change our church's culture -- an effort that took no small amount of courage. In my diocese in New Hampshire, and across the Episcopal Church, we perform a thorough background check on every bishop, priest or deacon who serves under my authority. We correspond with every employer the clergyperson has ever had and every bishop under whom the clergyperson has ever served to determine whether there is a history of complaints.
While procedures vary from diocese to diocese, we here in New Hampshire require six hours of abuse-prevention training for clergy, all other employees of the church (organists, parish administrators, maintenance workers), youth workers and elected parish leaders. A refresher course is required every five years. Events with and for children may never be conducted without two adults present and always in view of each other. This protects children from abusive behavior and protects adults who might be falsely charged. Many of our parishes have installed windows in the clergy office doors, so that no activity -- even private counseling -- may go unobserved.
We want many pairs of eyes watching for signs of abuse. We want everyone to know how to report suspected abuse of children and abuse of the pastoral relationship between clergy members and parishioners. We want to keep the issue before our church -- clergy and laity alike -- and to keep the conversation going.
But the thing victims most want to hear from the church, especially its leadership, is: "I am so sorry. This should never have happened to you, especially here. We are going to do everything in our power to see that nothing like this happens again." Victims live with their horrific experiences and know that their abuse can never be undone. And so they seek assurance that the church will change the system that allows abuse to go undetected and take action to hold perpetrators accountable. Child abusers do not deserve protection; they must be reported immediately to civil authorities and prosecuted.
The Christian church -- like any institution -- is as capable of sin as any individual. We have been wrong before, from the Inquisition and the Crusades down to our defense of slavery (using scripture) and our denigration of women. Over time, the church has repented for these sins and sought to change its ways. The discovery of sexual abuse by clergy is another situation that calls for the church's repentance and reform.
I would not presume to instruct you. That would be arrogant. Nor would I impose upon you advice you've not sought. But I do offer you the benefit of my experience as you seek to deal responsibly with these challenges to the integrity of your church. Your letter to the faithful in Ireland and your meeting in Malta with victims were a good start. I hope the future will bring more truth-telling, which will make your church a better, safer place.
However, I believe it is misguided and wrong for gay men to be scapegoated in this scandal. As a gay man, I know the pain and the verbal and physical violence that can come from the thoroughly debunked myth connecting homosexuality and the abuse of children. In the media, representatives of and advocates for the Roman Catholic Church have laid blame for sexual abuse at the feet of gay priests. These people know, or should know, that every reputable scientific study shows that homosexuals are no more or less likely to be child abusers than heterosexuals. Psychologically healthy homosexual men are no more drawn to little boys than psychologically healthy heterosexual men are drawn to little girls. 
It is a long, but very powerful read HERE.

I love Bishop Gene.  

And so it goes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Big Oil Spent 2.5 Million Lobbying Congress

$249,813,232 spent lobbying Congress since 1990 – Slabbed

Though former oilmen George W. Bush and Dick Cheney occupied the White House for eight years, the oil and gas industry could not win support for repealing bans on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. However, Congress voted in 2008 to lift a ban on offshore drilling. These companies are also wary of cap-and-trade climate change legislation, such as the measure Democratic President Barack Obama supports. Yet Obama still received $884,000 from the oil and gas industry during the 2008 campaign, more than any other lawmaker except his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
In contrast to former President Bush’s largely pro-industry stance on energy and environmental issues, the Democratic-controlled White House and Congress will probably grant these companies fewer favors. Bush consistently rolled back Clinton-era restrictions on commercial uses of federal lands—including nature preserves, national forests and national monuments. To the oil and gas industry’s delight, he got one step closer in March 2005 when Senate Republicans passed a budget resolution containing a filibuster-proof provision to allow for drilling in ANWR.
 And guess which party received the most $$$...Click the subtitle above and read the whole thing, includes graphs and charts.

h/t Editilla

Meanwhile, look out Key West, it's coming your way.

More later.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Treasure & Trash Discovered

You never know what you're going to find when you're planning a move. Thankfully, I haven't hoarded silly things in these past 3 years. Probably because there is no space. Period!

As I began packing odds-n-ends from the kitchen "catch-all" drawer - a storehouse for batteries, small tools, rubber bands, bag clips, twist-ties, you know the kind, and probably have at least one in your home - I came upon a file folder containing printed recipes I've been unable to prepare due to the limited available appliances. Many of these are from my Dutch friend, Peter, and finding them made me even more anxious for a real kitchen. (sigh.)

I have an appointment to see another apartment before work tomorrow. This one boasts a dishwasher AND a washer & dryer, but is also more expensive. I wonder what savings, if any, the W & D will mean in reality. And as for the dishwasher, I've been washing dishes by hand for 3 years and since it's only me, I'd probably run the damned thing once weekly.  Hardly worth it.

Still waiting to hear more about the place in town, but the tenant hasn't moved out yet. I am not sure what is going on there. My co-worker connection suggests I'll hear from the landlord in a week, or so.

In the process of sorting and tossing, I unearthed an Italian designed white and yellow gold bracelet received as a birthday gift from the Ex a few years before the breakup. Of course, he purchased it from my previous place of employment and at MY discount. Clearly, I ought to have sold it when gold was selling at higher prices.

I've also found a pair of cuff links from my grandfather. These are a treasure since they are handmade cameos and quite fragile. I will wear these at the first possible opportunity, though wearing a dress shirt with French cuffs is a rare occurrence here at the beach.  I'll find a way to celebrate.

And so it goes.

It's Like Domino Dancing

Did you ever have one of those days with a long list of things to do and getting them done hinged on the first item in the chain accomplished successfully?

The first item didn't happen - so I couldn't watch the others all fall down in rapid order, as planned - and if matters aren't addressed quickly, my single day off will be totally wasted. What a frustrating disappointment. That is my day, so far. The domino effect inaction.

Eight important issues that must be resolved soon and the only person with any knowledge is not in the area today.  Everyone else is out of the loop. Ah, big Gubmint at it's finest.

With high humidity and temps in the mid-eighties, today would have been ideal to drive around in air-conditioned comfort listening to music while taking care of this business. But  the day is pretty much a wash out. I refuse to get angry and ruin my day when all of this is out of my control.

Well, fiddle-dee-dee, tomorrow's another day.

More later.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Howard Dean at the DADT Rally Today.

He wasn't scheduled to speak and what he said was spontaneous and to the point. As far as I can tell, this has never happened before, but I am so happy it did - Former DNC Chairman, Dr. Dean.
I have to admit this blew me away - the former chair of the DNC making an impromptu speech at a rally for a repeal that is very unpopular in the White House, even after the promise to repeal.
I love you, Howard Dean.

And so it goes.

Secret NOAA Report

Leaked report: government fears Deepwater Horizon well could become unchecked gusher.

Are they afraid the public will panic? If so, I believe they are tad too late.
A confidential government report on the unfolding spill disaster in the Gulf makes clear the Coast Guard now fears the well could become an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf.

"The following is not public," reads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Emergency Response document dated April 28. "Two additional release points were found today in the tangled riser. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought."

Asked Friday to comment on the document, NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen said that the additional leaks described were reported to the public late Wednesday night. Regarding the possibility of the spill becoming an order of magnitude larger, Smullen said, "I'm letting the document you have speak for itself."
Well, thanks for that quick comeback, Scottie, it's a big help in understanding what the Gulf - and the rest of the east coast are up against. Clear as the oil slick, I'd say, and just a useful.

Read the rest HERE.

More later.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Beach Day & A Celebration Begins

Oy! What a day!

 Beautiful clear sky (sans clouds), a light ocean breeze and temps in the 80s. It topped 94' as I made my way back to the apartment after work.

The joint was packed with before and after beach go'ers and of course, the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration kicked off today with killer drink prices and special menu items for the next 5 days. There will be a "Crazy Pinata Hat" contest tonight that I am sure will be a screamer. The first prize is $100. The possibilities are endless. Can't wait to see the pictures tomorrow.

The 6 servers opening with me were almost perfect in every way and everything clicked and all the bits fell into place. The best team I have worked with so far and we had a ball. Margaritas and Mexican Beers flowed all day and the evening is totally booked with reservations. I worked an extra hour due to the crowds and when I finished my shift the bar was too uncomfortably full, so I skipped my badly needed post-shift cocktail.

I know I've written this before, but I really and truly love this job, the people I work for, and the crew I work with. Now to get an apartment finalized before Memorial Day is the only major necessity left on this guy's gay agenda. Last night I dreamed that I made a quiche - something I have been unable to enjoy doing in three years. Is the Universe telling me something, or am I just delusional?

Have shed the work drag and am enjoying a festive martini as I prep supper and write this.

And so it goes.

Margarita Caturday

More later.
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