Tuesday, January 31, 2012

BP Oil Spill Coverage Reappears

American Zombie believes this (glitch, mistake, truth?) is due to the fact that BP's advertising cycle has ended at WWL-TV and it won't be long before BP coughs up the money to shut down coverage of such unpleasant stories.

Money talks and nobody walks, crawls, or swims if BP has anything to say about it. 
WWL-TV News.  January 27, 2012:
NEW ORLEANS-- It's been a busy few months for Suzanne Smith of the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas."We keep all kinds of species here," she said.
Smith is also a part of the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program. Just last week alone, she conducted necropsies on three dead dolphins found near Grand Isle.
"We're finding, unfortunately, more dead dolphins than we normally would," Smith said. "So, the testing on the necropsies has gotten very strict and we are taking duplicate and triplicate samples on all parts, externally and internally on these animals, to try and find out what is happening out in the wild population."
Since the beginning of the month, 14 marine mammals, including a dozen dolphins, have been found along the northern Gulf of Mexico. Half of the dead dolphins washed up on the Louisiana coast.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calls it an "Unusual Mortality Event" in the northern Gulf and next month will mark two years since it began. The tally so far: 630 dead.
"The ongoing death of these dolphins speaks to the idea that we haven't seen all of the impacts from the BP oil drilling disaster end yet," said Dan Favre of the Gulf Restoration Network
Since there is an ongoing investigation and litigation involving the BP spill, Smith and other scientists are not allowed to reveal what they have found in the necropsies. Last fall, NOAA said some of the dead dolphins showed signs of a virus called Brucella. What role, if any, the oil spill may have played with the immune systems of the dead dolphins is still not clear and neither is when the strandings may finally stop.
"I hope we don't see anything more, but I would say we still have a little more time where we're going to be on the edge of our seat in seeing what might actually happen in the future," Favre said.
 There is video to the story at the link above.
And so it goes.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Boredom in a Beach Town

OK, I realize it's January in a beach resort town, but frankly, we've been spoiled.  The weather has been so unlike previous winters that the restaurant has hummed along with diners coming out to enjoy 60' and 70' temperatures.  Not so today.  Diners were in short supply though the weather was quite mild. I haven't experienced this sort of thing in the 4 years I've worked there.  Must remember though, it IS January.

My 2 days off are going to be beautiful and mild with the thermometer reaching the mid 60s F. both days.  Having finally received the last link in the chain of documents required to do my taxes, that will take up part of one day. Praying that I don't owe more and maybe even be in line to receive a small refund.  Hey, it's a dream, ya know.

With the Chariot fitted with new tires and a fresh tune-up, I plan to take it out for a long ride.  Driving 2 - 5 miles weekly isn't good for the engine, battery life, or my own health, for that matter.  Fenwick Island, DE and possibly Ocean City, MD are in my sights, not for anything in particular, just to visit, see what's new and open, and maybe take a few photos in the process.

Someone from the previous life dined with us on Sunday, and while we caught up on life, I mentioned that I was in search of a new doctor, since mine has taken a prestigious new position with the area hospital and only sees a few patients (I am one) on his "light" schedule of 2 half days weekly.  Not acceptable for me.  I cannot wait 2 months for an appointment. I was given the name of a new PCP in the area and will call to find out if he is accepting patients.

I reluctantly finished "Pops a Life of Louis Armstrong" over the weekend and want to thank a certain Mermaid for her post that spurred me to order the book in the first place.  It was an amazing experience to read about his life, his genius, and his music (which I had always taken for granted because I adore his work) in a book written by a musician and historian.  I didn't want it to end.  You may enjoy it, too.

And so it goes.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Editorial: No Reason To Flee Girl Scouts.

This is priceless. From NOLA(dot)com:
Alone in the entire country, Covington (Louisiana) moms closed down their troop after Colorado Girl Scouts admitted a transgendered 7-year-old. The withdrawal is purportedly a manifestation of Christian faith, but these sure are some uptight moms. They have nothing to fear in Louisiana, where the Girl Scout council declared in November that no gender ambiguities would be tolerated. That policy was promulgated only after the Colorado Girl Scouts accepted Bobby Montoya, and the matrons of St. Tammany asked whether a similar abomination would be permitted here.
The policy was not promulgated quickly enough for their tastes. Louisiana Girl Scout leaders felt it necessary to discuss the matter before reaching a decision, the issue never having arisen here before.
The slight delay was viewed as a sure sign of moral decay. So the troop that met at Northlake Christian School was disbanded and everyone is joining American Heritage Girls, where the word of God is paramount. And moms familiar with God's views know that he takes a dim view of the transgendered. It is not for us to question why he put them on earth in the first place.
Maybe it wasn't to join the Girl Scouts at that, and anxious Covington moms would not be alone in a preference for anatomical uniformity on, say, camping trips. But it should not be too hard for leaders to avoid embarrassing scenes. Since there is no danger whatsoever of transgendered infiltration in Louisiana anyway, for the moms to pick up their skirts and flee does look like overreaction.
The Colorado decision may just have been the last straw, however, given that Girl Scouts of America is famously subversive and left-wing. No, I didn't know that either, but American Heritage Girls would not exist if lots of moms had not decided that the Scouts had strayed from the path of righteousness. When reciting the Girl Scout promise, for instance, it is nowadays permitted to substitute another deity or concept for "God." In the depths of their depravity, the Scouts are even said to be sympathetic to Planned Parenthood.
 The stoopid, it burns, precious, yes it does.

It just gets funnier, and more bizarre from here.  Read it.

And so it goes.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Ass Needs a Holiday!

Make that 'still' needs a holiday.  I mean it's only been 9 years, after all.

Just about everyone at work is either planning, already on, or returning from a holiday. California, Mexico, Colorado, Florida, and a couple of cruises. All holidays must be taken before the tourist season begins in May.  None are allowed during the season for obvious reasons. $$$!

They are all excited in one way or another.  I am happy for them and love to hear their stories and plans, but for some reason, I am very depressed this evening.

That is all.  I've got nothing more tonight.

And so it goes.

Pew-Pew, Caturday.

Not one word need be said.

More later.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hungary Holocaust Memorial Day

Iron shoes are pictured on the bank of the Danube on January 27, 2012, marking the Holocaust in Hungary. Hundreds of Hungarian Jews had to leave their shoes on the bank before they were shot into the river by Hungarian militiamen during the World War II.

The United Nations declared in 2005 the Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27 to commemorate the 6 million Jews and other victims murdered by the Nazis.

And so it goes.


Random Restaurant Silliness

Those recent solar emissions must have had more of an effect on the humans of earth than anything else. 
Phone rings.

Me:  Good Afternoon, Dos Locos.
She: Oh, are you open?
Me:  No, actually I'm taking calls from home today. Of course, we're open!
She: Oh, well, will you be open at all this weekend?
(The restaurant is open 7 evenings a week and 5 days for lunch in the off season.)

Phone rings.

Me: Good Morning Dos Locos.
He: Will you be showing the Super Bowl on your big screens?
Me:  Of course - all 6 of them.
He:  I'd like to make a reservation for 6 for the Super Bowl.
Me:  I'm sorry, we don't take reservations for the bar and lounge.
He:  How am I supposed to see the Super Bowl without a reservation?
Me:  The way I see it, there are 2 choices; show up and take your chances like everyone else, or stay home where you're bound to find a good seat.
He:  That's not funny.  Let me speak to the manager.
Me:  This is he.  Any more questions?

Phone rings.

Me: Good Afternoon, Dos Locos.
She: What are your hours today?
Me:  We're open from 11:30 to 11.
L O N G  S I L E N C E
She:  So, you are only open for a half hour today?

(You cannot make this stuff up.)

NOTE: Remember, Rehoboth Beach, DE is known as "The Nation's Summer Capital" for many reasons.  Here's one.

Arrived this morning to find a reservation for Saturday evening in the name of a customer from Washington, DC. He works for a member of the House who happens to be extremely homophobic, therefore he isn't 'out'.  Not that he would need a neon sign, or anything. Ahem!
The request tag on the reservation states that he wants "cute servers" to cover the party of 18.  All, no doubt, government staffers in good jobs and possibly similar situations.

Now, this is where I get angry. Who qualifies as a "cute" server? All of our servers are good looking, male and female, and some are knock-outs.  Depends on your taste, I suppose.
Why are these people working for those who spend their lives (and make lots of money) oppressing the LGBT community?  IMHO these types will get what they deserve sooner or later.  I am just grateful I don't have to be present when this party arrives.

I will make certain that their tables are set up in a festive (read GAY) manner -  I'm wondering if I ought to have colorful condoms rolled in the napkins with the flatware and beads.  Just kidding.

And so it goes.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Tires - Old Story

The new tires were mounted and balanced yesterday afternoon and when I saw the old ones, I was glad I made the purchase. I would never have seen the damage because it was mainly on the inside of the tire which means it would not have been detected until the tires were rotated.  That's how the dry-rot was discovered on Tuesday as the car was being serviced.

The new tires seem to make the ride smoother and the car handles better, unless it's my imagination.  It also offers a quieter ride, at least to my mind. I'm a happy camper - and I feel safer, too.

Of course, the old story is that the expense couldn't come at a worse time; with shorter work hours and the recent medical expense due to the sinus infection (I have no idea what the ER bill is going to be), I am a little deeper in the hole than I had hoped.

Needless to say, I used a card to pay the auto bill. I'll work out the payments next month when the statements arrive. The owner of the repair shop (and most of his staff) are regulars at the restaurant, so I was given a nice little discount, which was very kind and unexpected. A nice surprise, that.

Finished the antibiotic yesterday (Yay!) and feeling a little more energy every day.  The infection took its toll but now it's gone. Looking forward to getting back to work today - not to mention my first after shift cocktail in 10 days.

Have a craving for greens lately (don't ask!) and picked up a bunch of Kale and fresh spinach for dinners over the weekend. 

More later.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

BP Worker Fired Over Cleanup Data

The outrageous behavior continues, but only a few are listening: It's been almost 2 years since the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and while I am sure you've seen their slick ads touting their cleanup efforts and how it is perfectly safe to eat Gulf seafood (I see them at work but don't have to listen  - no sound on the TVs) all is not what BP says it is.

I'm wondering if anyone remembers what happened to the Gulf beginning in April 2010 and the destruction caused to the wildlife, marshes, and people by the greed, cover-up, and lies of the oil giant. Or, maybe no one cares anymore. From Courthouse News Service, January 24, 2012:
NEW ORLEANS (CN) - A leader in BP's oil spill cleanup claims the company fired him for refusing to change data so that BP could claim the cleanup phase was over and it could begin restoration, which a BP vice president told him "would have an upward impact on BP stock prices."
     August Walter sued BP America in Federal Court.
     "Walter began his employment with BP under its Gulf Coast Restoration Organization ('GCRO') with the position of State Planning Lead for the purpose of developing a descriptive plan to accomplish the cleaning of oil caused by the BP oil spill in April 2010," according to the complaint.
     He claims BP fired him on Nov. 9, 2011, the day the company announced that it had cleaned up the Gulf Coast and was moving into the "restoration" phase of cleanup.
     Walter says BP's cleanup plans had to be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard's Federal On-Scene Coordinator, and comply with federal and state environmental laws and regulations. He says BP's Shoreline Treatment Recommendations (STRs) also had to comply with the laws and be approved by the Coast Guard coordinator.
     However, Walter says: "BP refused to follow the STRs and Walter opposed BP's refusal to comply. Ultimately BP demanded that Walter misrepresent clean-up data to get approval from the unified command to Legacy Coast Guard management."
     Walter says the misrepresented data was meant to mislead Coast Guard officials into believing that the cleanup in Mississippi was nearly complete.
     "Walter opposed this action and advised BP management and Unified Command of the problem. Walter was terminated shortly thereafter for a pretextual reason," according to the complaint.
     BP's cleanup requires Coast Guard approval because BP shares responsibility for the cleanup with the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard holds 51 percent responsibility for the cleanup, BP 49 percent, according to the complaint.
Read that last sentence again.  Yes, this means that 51% of the responsibility falls to the Coast Guard - meaning we, the American taxpayer.  Think about that.

Now go and read the rest of the complaint HERE.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Soloist vs. Ringing Cell Phone

A while back I posted a piece about a performance of Mahler's 9th being interrupted because of a ringing cellphone.  I also recalled times I witnessed similar situations in Broadway theaters, but this one is simply priceless.

This violinist, playing a bit of Bach to an obviously "select" group, does his own, tasteful take on the situation and I am hopeful the offender was suitably embarrassed - never to be invited to such a concert again.
A class act, but did he finish the Bach piece? Not likely.

I'm no prude, but when I spend $100. for a Broadway show, or even just $10 to see a movie, I want to get lost in the experience for the allotted time; not be brought back to reality too soon or have the performance interrupted because of selfish people like this - who should stay home and rent the show or movie on DVD for viewing while they chat on the phone.

I stopped going to the movies here simply because flashing a slide on the big screen asking that patrons turn off all electronic devices doesn't cut it and there are no ushers to police the theatres for violators. 

How long before this kind of obnoxious behavior causes violence? Some humans should not be allowed to breed - or breathe!

And so it goes, again.

How I Feel Right Now

Another step forward, then two steps back.

The good news:  Took the car in at 8 am for the 24K mile service.  Oil change, filters, belts, etc. checked and changed as necessary. New wiper blades and the tires rotated and balanced.

The bad news:  The tires are terribly dry-rotted and must be replaced.  Two are in very dangerous condition. It was suggested that I drive as little as possible for now. A set of new tires was chosen, ordered, and will be installed tomorrow afternoon.  Today, I wish I had a magic carpet, you know, no wheels!

Needless to say, the other items and stops on my to-do list are cancelled and only the laundry will get done this afternoon.  That's good enough.

I won't be ordering any books or purchasing meats & cheeses for a Muffuletta sandwich any time soon. The tires and service will cost a hefty amount, though I won't find out the total until tomorrow.  They plan to put it all on one bill, makes it easier that way. Of course, this is sending me right off the edge of a cliff, financially. No more, please!

But it needs to be done.  I can't complain, the car is 7 years old (I've had it since 2007) and those are the original tires.  With as little mileage as I have on the car I guess the tires ought to have lasted longer but, it isn't garaged, and life on the street subject to the elements takes its toll.

Besides, it is what it is.

The weather is gloriously warm today and the sun just came out after 2 days of rain. I may just grab the camera and head down to the beach for a few pictures to take my mind off these things.

Update:  Tomorrow is the LAST day of antibiotics and I've been promised a big surprise after my shift on Thursday.  Gee, I wonder what that might be?  Hmmm.

And so it goes.

Day Off: To-Do list

Right out of the box there is an appointment to take the flying carpet, 'er car in for routine maintenance; oil change, filters, tires rotated, etc.  This is long overdue and the first thing on the gay agenda.

Next is a visit to Staples for a few supplies, and while in that center, the purchase of a couple of wedges of cheese needed for upcoming recipes.  Following that is a short stop at the supermarket for a very few items that I've run out of.

Then back in town to the book store to place an order and a quick stop at Taste of Italy for the meats and cheeses necessary to make Muffuletta sandwiches.  Yes, I am in the craving mode again. BTW, my home-made Muffuletta Olive Salad written about 2 weeks ago, aged nicely and turned out better than expected.  Great flavors with a tangy zip, as well.  Probably why I'm in the crave mode again!

Back home I'll get some laundry done and perhaps do a little cooking for next week.

Whew!  I haven't left the apartment yet, and I am already exhausted.  It sounds like more than it actually will be.  I should be back in town by around noon-time.

Anyhoo, that's the plan.

More later.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Giant Solar Storm Sends Particles at Earth at 4.5 Million mph

Just in case your life is suddenly interrupted tomorrow morning, you will know the reason why...
The largest solar storm in seven years is expected to peak tomorrow, threatening GPS signals and the electrical grid.
The cloud of particles streaming from the sun is headed for the Earth at 4.5 million mph and is set to hit us at around 9:00 a.m. EST tomorrow. The faster the radiation travels, the harder it will hit as it bounces around the Earth's magnetic field.
The geomagnetic activity depicted in the image above occurred on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 10:59 p.m. EST.
And. There. Is. Nothing. We. Can. Do. About. It.  How small do you feel now?

And so it goes.

Robo-Calls & Sinus Stress

Seventh day into the antibiotic and I am finally feeling the difference.  The head is clearer, the sinus cavities are pain-free, no trace of blood, and I feel energy returning to this tired, old body. It just doesn't heal as quickly as it did when I was younger.

Taking no chances, I've driven to work every day this week. It's been raining and/or cold and it was just easier all round. Work and customers have been a welcome diversion and without clogged sinuses, more pleasant as well. A great way to pass the days taking the drug and not thinking too much about anything stressful or unpleasant.

And, no, I will not list those things because that would only cause stress.  Duh!

On the subject of stress; the home phone rang last night at 11:30 pm, long after I had gone to sleep. Now, no one wants to receive a phone call at that, or any later hour of the night, so I looked at the clock, turned on the light and cautiously answered the call - expecting the worst.

Would you believe me if I told you it was a recorded robo-dialer asking me to bring all of my old gold jewelry to some hotel on Monday to make some 'real' money.  Ya know, you just can't make this stuff up.  I hung up and started to laugh uncontrollably as I sat on the edge of the bed feeling like a fool.  Needless to say, it was not easy to get back to sleep after such an incident.

I mean, the nerve to set the timer of a robo-dialer to such a late hour - there may be angry insomniacs lying in wait at that hotel on Monday.  I'll check the newspapers and let you know. 

Looking back, it really seems a very clever idea, since I think most people fear late night calls and are more likely to pick up the call rather than let it go to voice-mail.  That said, I'd still like to strangle the bastard who thought it up.

Meanwhile, I am going to enjoy (?) a stiff iced water while preparing supper.  All bets are off for the rest of the evening.  Sigh!

And so it goes.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Met's New Gallery with "Washington Crossing the Delaware"

A controversial, (some hate it while others love it) though iconic painting is the star of the new gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. I paid my respects to this mammoth painting in the 70s  while it was the crown jewel of the Washington Crossing Museum in Pennsylvania. I was struck by the size of the thing, paid no attention to any flaws that only the art-elite had noticed, and didn't care. I thought it pompous and just right for its time. Anyway, an interesting story and I thought I'd share.

It was quietly dismantled at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art by staff who didn't like it, shuttled around the country for years, and held hostage in Pennsylvania by a woman who really liked it. Starting this week, Emanuel Leutze's iconic "Washington Crossing the Delaware," once the Met's redheaded stepchild, is back as a star.
Leutze's ode to the U.S. revolution now anchors the third and last addition to the museum's $100 million, 10-years-in-the-making American arts wing. It's a far cry from being kept in a small side gallery or eagerly sent on loan across the country, as it had been by the Met for more than 100 years. Since Monday, visitors can enter the New American Wing Galleries for Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts -- 26 new Beaux Arts-style rooms lit by the sun -- at what wing director Morrison Heckscher calls "the 50-yard line." Leutze's painting ("the goal post") sits 150 feet west at the end of a clear sight line past high-coved rooms, made to look the way Americans would have seen it in 1864.
It wasn't always this way between the Met and its famous charge. Indeed, the museum's 48-page Leutze-centric issue of its quarterly bulletin (which visitors can and should get their hands on) reads more like a case file for a brilliant but difficult foster child than the story of a prized work of art.
From the moment Leutze's operatic panorama entered the Met's holdings in 1897 as a gift from philanthropist John Stewart Kennedy, the museum struggled with whether to display it at all. Though the painting was popular with crowds, it wasn't considered great art. It is rife with historical and physical inaccuracies (so much so, an artist was commissioned to correct it last fall). Plus the work is too large to ignore or easily get rid of. At 12 by 21 feet, the 1851 canvas could easily shade a pair of midsize Hummers parked side by side. Its surface area exceeds that of all other works in the museum's American collection, and (not unlike a Hummer's size) is both why people love it and hate it.
The rest of the fascinating story is HERE, which also contains a slide show.

And so it goes.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Harper Lee Caturday

Uh-uh, no apologies from me. I love it.

More later.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Etta James, Johnny Otis: RIP

Saw the shocking news this morning without sound on the big 60" flat screen at the restaurant, and although she had been fighting one demon or another all her life, it was leukemia that brought her down. Still it was a hard reality to take in.

Everyone knows her signature song "At Last" but I like another one, a raunchy honky-tonk tune titled "WALLFLOWER" subtitled: (and best known as) "Roll With Me Henry" - ahem! Do I have to draw a picture?  The song was later cleaned up for the white folks and presented as "Dance With Me Henry" by none other than (brace yourself) the extremely white Gisele MacKenzie. You can look it up for laughs.

Thanks for all the good times and music, Momma. 
Etta's death comes a day after that of another R&B legend Johnny Otis. A white guy who loved black culture and music is probably most famous for "Willie and the Hand Jive."
If you liked to dance, or just move, his music made you do whatever you wanted to do. And you did it without apologies.

Etta was 73. Otis was 90. Great talent and good, long lives. Y'all go and rest now.

And so it goes.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The 1984 New Orleans World Exposition

Otherwise known as the 1984 New Orleans World's Fair!

Here are a few of the slides that I saved color-corrected and cleaned up yesterday. Unable to do much else due to the sinus infection and antibiotics, this was a perfect way to use up the precious time between doses.

The fair was a failure as was the one one hundred years earlier, but when I was there in early June (less than a  month after it opened) the crowds were pretty large and everyone seemed to have a good time. Sadly, almost  nothing remains, but bits and pieces.  Most everything was auctioned off after the bankruptcy. Anyway, here goes:
Small segment of huge sculpture near the entrance.
The African Queen, but no Bogey or Hepburn.
Yes, they brought in the Shuttle, Enterprise - down the river by barge.
Dancing fountains with part of the WonderWall behind.
The MART Tram (2 supports can be seen in the picture above). The gondolas transported visitors across the Mississippi River.  It was fun, scary and breathtaking.
The WonderWall, fanciful buildings with shops and goodies. The alligators and pelicans were all over the fairgrounds.
Another small segment of the sculpture near the fair entrance.  Cool, huh?
These were all shot using Kodachrome film. (Click any image to embiggen) If you want to learn more about the Fair, just use the Google.  There are lots of history, collectors, and photographers sites and some are quite fascinating.

Thanks for visiting.  Please leave a comment if you wish, or if you were at the fair, too.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Passing Cloud Reinvents Traveling

Passing Cloud is a project by Tiago Barros for the international ideas competition: “Life at the Speed of Rail”, organized by the Van Alen Institute  in New York City. It reveals a strong conceptual approach on new ways of traveling based on the old Zeppelins.
Nowadays, traveling is achieved with this idea of having a fixed destination and an estimated time of arrival. Passing Cloud completely inverts this system. A floating device is introduced that travels around the entire USA territory according to current predominant winds. It has no fixed time of arrival or place for arrival. The journey becomes the essence.
This project envisions a distinct approach towards moving around the United States being also a revival of the act of traveling. Why traveling at high speed? Why having the final destiny always defined? And why always departing and arriving on a tight schedule? Nowadays, everything is set and everyone is always running around. 
Passing Cloud is an innovative and environmentally friendly method of transportation that doesn’t require expensive steel tracks or concrete highways. It is made of a series of spherical balloons that form the shape of a cloud. Its inner stainless steel structure is covered with heavy weight tensile nylon fabric. During the journey, It moves according to prevailing winds speed and direction at the time of travel. Since it moves with the wind, no wind is ever felt during the trip, offering the passengers a full “floating sensation”. (via Evolo)
From brain-food:


Tell Congress NO on SOPA & PIPA

The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Click HERE. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.

More later.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

CNN Segment on BiNational Couple Hits Home

Now, as you know I have no TV service, so I depend on the Interwebs for news. Well, raise my rent!  Blogger buddy Mark, of "Our Simple Lives" and his husband, Fred were interviewed live today on CNN. I spotted the clip on several sites and finally located this one.

The guys have a family that includes 4 adorable children and a true HAM of a dog.To be honest I didn't know of their plight until recently. They were pretty private people until now. Their story is heartbreaking.   Watch the clip then take a trip to Mark's blog, say "Hi" and learn how you can help change the incredibly harmful and stupid DOMA.
Go over and send the guys some love, and get to know a real American family HERE.

And so it goes.

SOPA: Wikipedia, Reddit and others go Dark Wednesday

To Protest Stop Online Piracy Act. (SOPA)

From Amy Goodman at TruthOut: Includes a transcript of an interview with Corynne McSherry. Try this on for size:
Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia and sixth most visited site in the world, will join websites like the content aggregator Reddit to "go dark" on Wednesday in opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its companion bill, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), which are currently being debated in Congress. "What these bills propose are new powers for the government and also for private actors to create, effectively, blacklists of sites that allegedly are engaging in some form of online infringement and then force service providers to block access to those sites," says Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "What we would have is a situation where the government and private actors could censor the net." Chief technology officials in the Obama administration have expressed concern about any "legislation that...undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet." But the bills’ main backers—Hollywood movie studios and music publishers—want to stop the theft of their creative content, and the bills have widespread bipartisan support. A vote on SOPA is on hold in the House now, as the Senate is still scheduled vote on PIPA next Tuesday.
Here's the whole piece.

And so it goes.

Overdue Visit to Medical Clinic

At 2 am I woke unable to breathe and without thinking, grabbed for the tissues.  Glad I did. What followed was the grand-daddy of all nose-bleeds.  After 10 minutes of nose-pinching it finally stopped and I was able to sit up in bed, not lie down, and attempt to sleep again. Didn't work too well. 

I tried to visit the emergency medical clinic last weekend after work, but the place was packed (mostly with moms and small children) G*d knows what I may have contracted had I stayed. Although it was pouring rain, the temperatures were warmer so I dragged my sorry self to the clinic early this morning. I was first in line and taken in immediately for examination when the doors opened.

The upshot is a serious sinus infection. I must stop taking any anti-inflammatory meds, including the arthritis scrip, even the lowly aspirin. All blood thinners.  A scrip for  an antibiotic was emailed to the pharmacy as I sat on the exam table and ready for pick-up when I arrived, as if on cue.  I have never heard of this one - Cephalexin - but there are so many I am not surprised.   It wasn't too expensive, either, so that was a plus. One tab thrice daily - every 8 hours and no cheating. The regime will be 6 am, 2 pm, and 10 pm.

I am not to honk my nose for 24 hours and only dab when necessary.  You know that just because I can't, I want to anyway, but...I don't want a repeat of last night. To keep the area from getting dry and irratated, I am to apply Vaseline to the inside of both nostrils. Oh, and no exertion allowed.  Lifting and bending are out of the question.

Scary time, indeed, and frightfully annoying.  Now that I am home, it's raining much harder, so I couldn't do anything on my day off, anyway.  I'll change into sweats and make a bit of lunch. Maybe I'll watch a movie DVD to pass the time. 

I don't like being bored. I don't like being sick

And so it goes.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the Thirteenth

First a bit of history: The Knights Templar were imprisoned on the date, and FDR refused to take a train trip (his preferred mode of travel most of the time) on this date.

Maybe I should have stayed in bed!

My day got off to an appropriate 13th start. Put music on the player, brushed teeth, then headed to the kitchen to brew a mug of coffee in my Senseo machine. While it brewed, I took out a few things for a light breakfast. When coffee was done, I added a bit of milk and sugar, and sat on the sofa to enjoy the hot mug as I listened to Stan Getz.

A rude awakening occurred with the first sip. It was sour, bitter, gag-inducing. After running to the kitchen to spit it out, wondering who could have sabotaged the coffee pod, it dawned on me. I had descaled the machine yesterday afternoon and I guess somehow forgot the THIRD cold water run-through rinse. Running cold water through the reservoir to get rid of the vinegar used in the process.

Another teeth-brushing and copious amounts of mouthwash did little to solve the problem. It wasn't until I whipped up and downed scrambled eggs with chopped calamata olives & jack cheese with sourdough toast that my taste-buds would even communicate with my (by now) wide awake brain.

Happily, it was all sunshine and lollipops after that. Even the lowly tuna salad and tomato baguette I had for lunch was a little slice of heaven, if you get my drift.

Home now and lying low until Saturday the Fourteenth blows in.

And so it goes.

"Never See The Likes of This Again!"

Here is the full version of that great short clip in "That's Entertainment"  featuring Eleanor Powell (the best tap dancing lady at MGM) and Fred Astaire (yes, we all know he's best) and it is truly a knock out, breathtaking dance number. And as Sinatra said in the film "it's not likely you'll see this any time soon."
Finding this video really made my day. The memories of the movie remain strong and make me very happy indeed.

Interrupt Mahler, Will You?

The offender and their entire party should have been tossed out of the hall.  Literally, thrown out of the building.  I'll bet the house manager and ushers would have received a standing ovation.

NEW YORK (AP) — It's the dreaded sound at any live performance — a ringing cellphone. That's what happened Tuesday night at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall during the final movement of Gustav Mahler's Ninth Symphony by the New York Philharmonic.
Music Director Alan Gilbert stopped the orchestra until the phone was silenced.
When the iPhone's ringtone initially went off, the conductor turned his head to signal his displeasure. But the ringing from the first row persisted.
Gilbert asked that the offending noise be turned off and finally stopped the orchestra until it was.
Betsy Vorce, speaking for Lincoln Center, says an announcement is made before every performance telling audience members to turn off their phones. If a device does go off, ushers are directed to discreetly ask the owner to turn it off.
I've been in Broadway houses when the cast halted a scene, walked down stage, sat down, and waited for the offender to finish the call.  They then ordered the house crew to remove that person, or their phone - and until that was accomplished, the play did not continue. I would not have been so generous.
Whatever happened to class?

And so it goes.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Amsterdam 1990

No description necessary for this one.

click to embiggen.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Updates and Loose Ends

- (*)

The good news is there have been no nose-bleeds in 24 hours.  Not much sleep either, but that's another story. For all the bed-rest, liquids, and pampering I don't feel a hell-of-a-lot better today.  Unable to breathe lying flat, I was reduced to multiple propped up pillows to get any sleep at all.  Of course, that's not good for the back, but hey, breathing is more important.  At least I think it is.

I had a hardy breakfast and took another shower before heading back to bed.  When I looked into the mirror I was stunned a bit.  Although I am squeaky clean, I look like a street bum, not having shaved since Monday and with the ragged look in my eyes.  Only missing the chenille bedspread and grocery cart to complete the look. Jeez!  What a mess.

Just finished a lunch of sourdough toast with butter and jam, washed down with cup of green tea and honey, and thought about a post.  Though not much has happened here of note, I thought I'd update a few things and tie a few loose ends of things posted about earlier. So, here goes.

The new shower-head:  No good.  Although the description said it had a 360' function, that only meant horizontally, not vertically. So, if I wanted to use it, I would have to sit down, or kneel in the tub to shower.  Not an option.  When I feel better there will be a trip to home depot for an inexpensive single function model, and that will be that.

The promised photos of Christmas and Hoodie from the locosguys:  Yes, I know.  Sadly, not yet downloaded - or taken - respectively.  Near future, promise again.

The hand-me-down gift of "The Griddler":  I have used it a few times and it does an OK job and it's super fast at high temps.  It's been used for steaks, chops, chicken breasts and panini.  Truth be told, it's not as good as the stove-top cast iron baby I purchased earlier.  Yes, the griddler is super easy to clean and fast, but the cast iron does a better job at searing.  I don't do lots of grilling, anyway, so I guess it will depend on the meat and the mood.  You can quote me on that.  You of the filthy minds!!!

Dr. Spo and the shirt of many colours: He is working on it and provides updates just to taunt me.  The Dear. I am kidding of course, I am honoured to be a future recipient of one of his creations. And, only ONE other person will have the exact same shirt as I. Nope, not telling who that might be.  I provided the fabric and the good doctor, the talent. I just know it will be worn with pride as will mine.

The food processor:  My tiny Cuisinart 20 oz. processor has given up the ghost. Large cracks in the blade spindle and blade slots make me think that one more use and those (and other things) will go flying about the kitchen.  It will never be used again.

I have my eye on one of those duo-units = food processor & blender combo, use the same base.  One appliance instead of two. While I rarely have need for a blender, it would be a convenient tool. It's also from Cuisinart and could be stored in place of the present one.  Almost the same footprint for the base, only extra space for the alternate container is needed.

Hospital payments:  Unless I have another major health crisis beforehand, my last monthly payment will be April 2012.  At which time I will do a Snoopy Happy Dance at the thought of the extra cash, and probably break my neck!

Dental payments:  Again, if all doesn't fall apart in the next few months, the last payment to "Care Credit" will be June, 2012.

Note: Don't be seduced into using this company unless you plan to pay off the initial balance within 12 months. Their interest rates are outrageous and, as of this date, still legal.

Social Security Administration:  Received the first communication of 2012 and essentially it says "you make too fucking much money, so no checks for you, you rich bastard." In so many more words, of course.

I did earn more in 2011 than in the previous 5 years (crawling my way back) following the breakup. That's when everything was ripped from me or went up in flames, but to live under their requirements of $1,140. monthly (gross income) I would have to live in a box.

Fuck'em!  I'll wait...Like I have a choice?

Ain't life grand, huh?

 *  Above image is for Mark of 'Our Simple Lives' he will understand.

 And so it goes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pretty Awful, Not Pretty.

Had a bad night.  Woke at 2 am with a splitting headache that ultimately ended in a 2 towel nose-bleed.  Took a steamy, hot shower then applied an ice pack to relieve the pressure and stifle the bleeding. Finally fell asleep again waking up at regular time feeling a little better, though still under pressure, if you get my drift.

I haven't had a nose-bleed in over 30 years!  Why now?  Dunno! It ain't pretty, that's for sure.

Took another hot shower and felt tired again. There's still blood present, but not in the nose-bleed sense. I use extreme care when using a tissue to relieve that pressure.  I probably need a humidifier because the air in the apartment is probably very dry.

The eyes are no longer watery or itchy.  I have no other symptoms, so I doubt it's a flu bug that's going around. More than likely, it's a head cold. Although I am feeling better than yesterday/last night, I will stick close to the bed today. I've got soup, stew, tea, all ready for the microwave.

The upside is that I can stay home today and tomorrow so I can take care of myself without subjecting others to my miserable countenance.  Hopefully, all will be better by Thursday.

Back to bed for now.

More later, maybe.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Short Films - Short Fuses

Remember that crew that was to have shot a short video for YELP last Monday? It turns out signals were crossed and they were "really"scheduled for today. Oh!  Last week we had a dining room full of people and a pretty good bar crowd.  Not so today.

Snow flurries (not forecast) likely frightened everyone indoors; even the $10. stonegrill steak dinner special didn't seem to have much effect.

Again, the crew was due at 3 pm, but didn't arrive until after 4. The dining room was about half full, with only 3 people at the bar.

When the evening host arrived I chose to get the hell out before the locosbuys blew a fuse. I've  had dealings with the camera people in the past and didn't want to witness the conflagration that could possibly ensue.

While the locosguys were "having words" with the cameraman I logged out, put on my coat and hit the street.  Why?
1. I've been fighting indoor allergies - or the onset of a head cold for 4 days - and not in any condition to put up with histrionics from either side.
2. I think it a bad idea to shoot in winter and expect it to look sort of summer-ish, but they're going to do it anyway.  How they are going to hide coats, hats, and umbrellas is anybody's guess.
I am happy to be home, out of the snow/rain and ready for a festive cocktail before starting the evening meal. I have 2 days off starting tomorrow and I am so looking forward to doing mostly, well, nothing. And plenty of it.

There is a tiny to-do list, but that's all.

And so it goes.

BP, Katrina & Cat Island: The Heartbreak Continues

I've not had a lot of time to read blogs of my southern faves, but I just came across this one and it broke my heart, again. It's pretty much a photo essay, so I'll post a teaser and send you over to judyb54 at NOLAfemmes for the rest.

Cat Island…the heartbreak continues
I have been lucky in friending Plaquemines Parish P.J. Hahn, Director of Coastal Zone Management on facebook and following his photography. I did so during the oilspill of 2010, knowing he would provide local, honest first-person reporting of an incident that was censored by BP, the Coast Guard and our government.
I can’t watch the repeats of the footage from the BP Oilspill. The carnage just makes me ill in the same way the the replay of the explosion of Challenger in 1986. But I will never forget those dark periods in our history.
I remember that I had jury duty during one of the first weeks of the spill and I absent-mindedly chose the book Bayou Farewell, published in 2004 and authored by Mike Tidwell . This book basically predicted a Katrina experience. Of course a lot of books and articles were floating around during the early 21st century regarding the perfect storm that would be called Katrina. In the book Tidwell visited and worked with the heart and soul of southern Louisiana: the fisherpeople. The one thing that was repeated over and over by these hard working folks was the loss of our coastal wetlands and the speed in which it is happening.
The BP poisoning of the Gulf Coast is still having its effects from Louisiana to Florida, 20 months later. Just this week P.J. Hahn took a boat ride out to Cat Island in Barataria Bay to assess its health. It turned out to be extremely disappointing, as evidenced by P.J.’s pictures below:
See the rest HERE.

And so it goes.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Additions to Congress Film Registry

I am happy to see that "The Kid" is being recognized, as well as many others, including Bambi, Frank Capra's "The Negro Soldier", and Forest Gump
WASHINGTON — Bambi, Forrest Gump and Hannibal Lecter have at least one thing in common: Their cinematic adventures were chosen by the Library of Congress to be preserved in the world's largest archive of film, TV and sound recordings.
"The Silence of the Lambs" (1991), a harrowing psychological thriller about the cannibalistic serial killer Lecter, and "Forrest Gump" (1994), starring Tom Hanks as the guileless hero who thinks "life is like a box of chocolates," were critical and commercial successes that won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The animated Disney classic "Bambi" is among the most beloved movies ever made.
A majority of the 25 titles chosen this year for inclusion in the National Film Registry are lesser-known – including silent films, documentaries, avant-garde cinema and even home movies. The Library of Congress announced the selections Tuesday.
The registry began in 1989 under an act of Congress and now includes 575 films. Its aim is not to identify the best movies ever made but to preserve films with artistic, cultural or historical significance. Previous titles chosen range from "The Birth of a Nation" to "National Lampoon's Animal House."
"Forrest Gump" has its critical detractors but was praised for its technical achievements, including the seamless incorporation of the title character into historical footage.
More than 2,200 films were nominated for the registry this year. The National Film Preservation Board pares them down before Librarian of Congress James H. Billington makes the final selections.
"Each year, we do try to pick one of the titles that the public nominated the most, and `Forrest Gump' was way up there on that list," said Stephen Leggett, program coordinator for the National Film Preservation Board. "Everything on the list is subject to dissenting opinion."
Staffers at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va., work to ensure that each title is preserved for future generations, packing away original negatives or unreleased prints into the facility's massive vault and collaborating with other preservationists, movie studios and independent filmmakers.
"These films are selected because of their enduring significance to American culture," Billington said in a statement. "Our film heritage must be protected because these cinematic treasures document our history and culture and reflect our hopes and dreams."
Leggett said he was pleased by the inclusion of "The Negro Soldier," a 1944 documentary produced by Frank Capra that was groundbreaking for its realistic and positive depiction of African-Americans. It became mandatory viewing for soldiers entering the army in the latter stages of the war and was shown in commercial theaters.
"It was kind of ironic because the official Army policy at the time was still segregation. You had a film which was implicitly if not explicitly promoting integration," he said.
Films must be at least 10 years old to be considered for the registry.
The oldest movies selected this year are both from 1912. "The Cry of the Children" is about the pre-World War I child labor reform movement, and "A Cure for Pokeritis" stars John Bunny, regarded as the American film industry's earliest comic superstar.
"A lot of people would argue that the humor is kind of dated," Leggett said of Bunny's films – mostly short domestic comedies in which he played a henpecked husband. "He really was a major figure at the time. It doesn't help your reputation when people like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton come after you."
Chaplin's first feature, "The Kid" (1921), was also chosen for the registry.
More HERE.

And so it goes.

Caturday, BIG Caturday!

Aren't they beautiful. As usual, click to embiggen.

More later.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Resolutions vs. Change

I don't make resolutions; I think it's a waste of time, energy, and makes change virtually impossible. It's a self-imposed guilt trip.  It's a set-up for failure.  I cannot force myself to change something that I really don't want to change."Be it resolved" is a great phrase, but the issue at hand is seldom, if ever, "resolved".

Maybe I want to lose 5 pounds; walk more; get out of the apartment more; eat more fish; subscribe to a TV service, etc.  You get my drift.

If I want to make a change, I have to want it to happen. That's the bottom line - WANTING that change. I have to make it happen. I cannot fake it. It's like that old definition of crazy, "keep doing what you've always done and expecting a different outcome" and it doesn't work that way.

I don't mind being alone. In fact, I'm not sure I could live with someone now.  I love the privacy and never having to explain anything to anyone.

Instead of resolutions, I have a goal or two, for 2012. I want to meet some blogger buddies, especially those who live nearby.  If it becomes financially feasible, I'd like to meet others farther away. I'd like to break bread, share a drink and learn more about them and their environment.  Likes and dislikes, pet peeves and petty annoyances are secondary, since I follow bloggers with similar taste and sensahumah. No names, I think you know who you are.

I strive to maintain my health, such as it is, and work at staying up-right and mobile even with the arthritis and spine problems. I keep moving and exercising, regardless of the pain. The alternative is not an option.

And...I am still searching for one person who has a hankering to take an Alaskan cruise or cruise-tour.  I cannot afford the price of a cabin alone.  I'll just leave this out there and see what happens in 2012.

The Universe is full of surprises.

And so it goes.

Congrats to Mittens

More later.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Luxury of Doing Nothing

I DID try, honestly I did.

But other than eating, sleeping, reading, watching YouTube videos, and cleaning up a few scanned images, not much else got done these 2 days off. Tuesday was a total chill-out day - didn't leave home at all.

Today, I've had only enough energy to do the bit of grocery shopping for necessities, and whip up a Remoulade sauce and Muffuletta olive salad. Both need to settle for a few days to a week, respectively.

Weather turned clear and cold overnight with a morning temperature of 13'F here.  That was almost enough of an excuse to turn me off the idea of driving to the supermarket (almost!), but I knew I had to get those few things because I couldn't do without them for another week.

Arrived home to find  the landlord's van parked in the driveway and 2 maintenance guys emptying the apartment next door of furniture, bedding, rugs, kitchen supplies, and God-know-what stuffed in huge plastic bags, and dumping it curbside. One of their big trucks will come by later this evening to take it all away.

It appears that the neighbor (who had lived there for 14 years and never missed a rent payment) suddenly vanished without a trace. No foul-play is suspected because there was no TV, audio equipment, cable box, or telephones.  Just all the stuff he didn't want, I suppose.

I had not seen him in about 2 months, but his car was usually parked nearby as I walked to work daily. However, I don't remember seeing it during December, but I was too preoccupied to really notice.

I can only hope the next tenant the landlord finds is a non-smoker. It's a new year and one can hope for the best.  The smokers on the other side have been pretty quiet and I haven't smelled tobacco smoke - yet.  That could change as the weather turns colder. (sigh!)

And so it goes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A More Recent Relic: At The Blue Room, New Orleans.

About a year ago I came across an interesting piece detailing the renovation and re-opening of the famed Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans and in introducing the article I mentioned memories of spending evenings there with friends dancing to the house band and drinking cokes.

Today, the daughter of my beloved dance teacher posted several photos of the old dance company and this photo was among them. Top and bottom at left are the teacher and husband. Girls on the floor, boys on the bandstand.  (Click the image to embiggen.) While I don't remember everyone in the photo, I am still in touch with those who hung around for years and became friends. And yes, I am in the picture, though it's unlikely that you'll find me without help.

HINT: I sorta stand out like a sore thumb! No, I am not the redhead on the right with the big hair.  She was Louie Prima's daughter, and a damned good dancer, too.

It was posted on FB and I was tagged in a bunch of others, too.  But this one is validation that I didn't dream or make up stories about our time together in the 50s and 60s.  If I get over the embarrassment, I may post a few others in a separate post - if you promise not to laugh too hard.

I once had this photo (an original 8 X 10,  from The Blue Room photographer - all good hotels had one on staff back then) but lost it with everything else in the break up.  I am thrilled to see it again, even in digital form.  

Please don't think that I am an "Elder Sage" (thank you Ur-spo) wanting to live in the past.  On the contrary, I want to share what a wonderful past it was and how those years laid the foundation for becoming the person I am today.  Remembering what I learned from that time is a treasure to me. Reliving the past is not my thing.

OK, if you haven't been able to find me, here I am.  I was the only guy in a very thin 1960s necktie and a white sport coat.  Well, it was summer in NOLA, after all...and those pencil-thin ties were all the rage.

Update-2013: I've been informed that I am wearing a light seersucker suit,  not a sport jacket. Seems my attire that evening was the envy of all the other guys in their heavy dark suits.

Hard to believe, huh? That I had real hair back in those days, I mean. If memory serves, I believe this was taken in 1961 - and I was 15 years old.

Well class, the bell has rung and that ends this short journey through history for now.

And so it goes.

Levees.Org Weighs in on SOPA

This is a guest post by Stanford Rosenthal, designer & developer for Levees.Org since 2005.

Levees.Org’s success would not be possible without online services such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Wikipedia, Paypal and Scribd. YouTube alone has allowed us to broadcast our message to nearly 400,000 viewers. These services have flourished amid a free and open Internet protected by a law called the DMCA. Each of the companies behind these services publicly opposes a bill called SOPA.
SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) is a bill in Congress intended to prevent illegal sharing of copyrighted material such as music and videos. However, the bill’s broad language poses a threat to the Internet as we know it. For the first time in history, the United States Federal Government will be able to dictate which websites you have access to. As a group of 83 engineers instrumental in creating the Internet put it in an open letter to Congress:
If enacted, either of these bills will create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet infrastructure. Regardless of recent amendments to SOPA, both bills will risk fragmenting the Internet’s global domain name system (DNS) and have other capricious technical consequences. In exchange for this, such legislation would engender censorship that will simultaneously be circumvented by deliberate infringers while hampering innocent parties’ right and ability to communicate and express themselves online.
My mother and I are fully aware of how powerful organizations can violate our First Amendment rights. We believe that SOPA goes against the best interest of Levees.Org supporters, and we have already taken action by transferring one domain away from and canceling our automatic renewals on GoDaddy.com, a supporter of SOPA. Godaddy has since reversed its stance following customer outrage.

We encourage you to urge your members of Congress to vote against SOPA.

More later.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Eight-Day Work-Athlon Ends

Just in time.  No injuries or deaths reported, though there were a few close calls.

Truth be told, a co-worker who put in the same days and shifts with me began to fail by early afternoon today, we both had that sinking-feeling, but made it through to share a few hearty laughs and an AS drink together before heading home for a 2-day rest.

A film crew was due at 3 this afternoon to shoot a short video for YELP, but they were a no-show when I finally headed home at 5 pm.  The locosguys were not amused because we had a full dining room for the evening's special and it would have been an easy shoot. 

By the time I left there had been a few scathing emails sent and I can understand why; the whole staff is assembled by 3 pm, the entire restaurant is camera-ready, special dishes are being prepared for the shoot and - - - nothing.  As far as I know, there were no replies to the emails.  It is what it is.

There's not much on my gay agenda tomorrow, just a few errands and a bit of grocery shopping followed, of course, by some winter cooking. Other than that, nothing is planned, and that's fine with me.

Spending time cleaning up and editing slides will be a relaxing way to enjoy the time off. I continue to be amazed by some of the images I've been able to save all these years later. Even more amazed by the quality of those images.  Most of them I have little memory of shooting, but the location and dates, I remember distinctly.

We are due for frigid temperatures overnight and a cold, brisk day tomorrow. It appears that winter has finally caught up to us.  Still, the days grow longer, spring is only 2 months away.  Cheer up, it's all good. At least that's what I tell myself.

And so it goes.

1,100-year-old Mayan ruins found in Georgia, USA

When It's History Time in Georgia!  

This is truly wonderful. As some of you know I love this kind of historic story and just came across this one last night.  I had to share.  From Raw Story:

Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of an ancient Mayan city in the mountains of North Georgia believed to be at least 1,100 years old. According to Richard Thornton at Examiner.com, the ruins are reportedly what remains of a city built by Mayans fleeing wars, volcanic eruptions, droughts and famine.
In 1999, University of Georgia archeologist Mark Williams led an expedition to investigate the Kenimer Mound, a large, five-sided pyramid built in approximately 900 A.D. in the foothills of Georgia’s tallest mountain, Brasstown Bald. Many local residents has assumed for years that the pyramid was just another wooded hill, but in fact it was a structure built on an existing hill in a method common to Mayans living in Central America as well as to Southeastern Native American tribes.
Speculation has abounded for years as to what could have happened to the people who lived in the great Meso-American societies of the first century. Some historians believed that they simply died out in plagues and food shortages, but others have long speculated about the possibility of mass migration to other regions.
When evidence began to turn up of Mayan connections to the Georgia site, South African archeologist Johannes Loubser brought teams to the site who took soil samples and analyzed pottery shards which dated the site and indicated that it had been inhabited for many decades approximately 1000 years ago. The people who settled there were known as Itza Maya, a word that carried over into the Cherokee language of the region.
The city that is being uncovered there is believed to have been called Yupaha, which Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto searched for unsuccessfully in 1540. So far, archeologists have unearthed “at least 154 stone masonry walls for agricultural terraces, plus evidence of a sophisticated irrigation system and ruins of several other stone structures.” Much more may still be hidden underground.
The find is particularly relevant in that it establishes specific links between the culture of Southeastern Native Americans and ancient Mayans. According to Thornton, it may be the “most important archeological discovery in recent times.”
Nice way to begin the new year.

More later.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Even Doggies...Today

Off to work.  Two more days to go and I'll have 2 days off.  Yay for me!

More later.
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