Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sharon Parmley Saves the World One Chink at a Time

Sunny Hi 107 Lo 79 for Baghdad, Iraq
Mostly Cloudy Hi 83 Lo 70 for Northern Kentucky, USA

Before I get started--- Happy Birthday Papaw!!!

Song of the week: Sunday Morning, No Doubt

I was seven years old when I learned the meaning of the word prejudice-- even though I didn’t know the word itself.

It was recess at Allison Street School and I was sitting on the stairs with a group of girls from my class. I was new to the school and painfully shy. I don’t know that I was trying to fit in--- I was just trying not to stick out… Allison Street School as I remember it was an enormous 3 story building most likely built at the end of the 19th Century. I was ecstatic to be going to school. I loved my new teacher, Mrs. Reed. As we were sitting, two older boys walked over toward us all the while pointing at me. I remember looking at the other girls and a few of them just smiled, a couple looked away and ignored them and I distinctly remember that two of them giggled. One of the boys said, “You need to come with us.” I don’t recall being frightened, anxious, intimidated, distressed, sad, angry, annoyed, irritated, or offended… I just remember feeling confused. I slowly got up and the one boy spoke into my ear in a quiet voice, You’re a chink and you’re stupid. You’re our prisoner now.” Each boy gently held one of my hands and walked me over to the chain link fence that surrounded the school playground. There, out of sight of the teacher, they proceeded to tell me to stand against the fence facing the school.
They took my hands and put them above my head through the chain link fence. I was instructed to stay there and under no circumstances was I to leave. If I did, I’d be killed. All I could think was what (the hell) is a chink??? While I stood there, the girls that I had just been sitting with were now pointing and laughing at me. I wanted to die. As I stood there not knowing what to do and feeling completely ashamed, two other boys brought another girl over. Although she must have been a little older than me she was smaller, frailer and in hindsight she was Vietnamese. She was bent at the waist as they guided her to a spot on the fence next to me. I didn’t know what to do… so I looked away… Then the two boys that brought me to the fence brought a boy to the fence. He was also older and he lived at the orphanage. His name was Vincent. He was black. Like me and the other girl, he didn’t fight or speak; he just quietly walked to the fence. He looked over at the two of us and shook his head. No sooner than he was placed on the fence a girl, from the fourth grade and someone I recognized as living in the house behind ours marched over and took Vincent by the hand and pulled him off the fence, she grabbed my hand and the other little girl’s hand. She then gave the meanest look I have ever seen to those awful boys (I try to use that dirty look to this day when someone ticks me off). She walked the three of us over to the jungle gym and looked each of us square in the eye and said, “Don’t ever be afraid of those boys. They’re bullies and mean and think they can be mean to you.” You don’t have to do what they tell you to do—ever!!” Then she walked away and I don’t ever remember talking to her again. Sharon Parmley was the first person I knew to stand up and fight for what was right.

***OK… quick little sidebar… and for the record… Technically, I would not be classified as a “Chink”. A “Chink” would be a derogatory name for someone of Chinese descent. I would fall in the “Jap” category…. Good grief… idiot bigots***

Remember the following when reading the next segment----I’m a proud 1st generation American of Japanese heritage. Michael is a proud 1st generation American of Hungarian (Jewish) heritage. You know my mother’s story. Michael’s father escaped the Nazi’s and the Russians… It’s quite a story what little we know and one I’ll leave him to tell in his own time.

After I posted Anger and Hope I received a lot of feedback, most of it positive. I received a few that knocked the wind out of me. One person qualified their note by stating that they knew it was not politically correct nor was it rational, but went on to write “I want all Muslims dead.” Another wrote, “Anyone that follows Islam needs to be killed.”

What bothered me was the thoughtlessness of these "blanket" statements. This same high strung emotional blubber is what sent Americans of Japanese heritage to internment camps during WWII—those individuals lost all personal possessions, property and dignity, and in many instances their lives defending our great flag all in pursuit of the American dream.

Here is a better example… Lets round up all the Jews…kill ‘em all… Why? Well…because…IT IS THEIR FAULT!!! They’re Jews!!

The other evening Michael and I went to dinner with another couple that we love very much. Over drinks we discussed the hurricane and all the destruction and how horrid the situation was. “John” went on to spew how awful the president was. He was definitely on the bandwagon of “Blame Bush”. I believe he referred to President Bush as an asshole. Michael and I have an agreement. Everyone knows our political views, so when in mixed company (liberals and conservative) we bite our tongues and try to turn the other cheek--- we have a success rate of about 60%. There is one soul in our family that needs to be knocked upside the head… (Anyway… rambling…) Michael countered “John” with, “You wouldn’t sit down to dinner with President Bush if given the opportunity? Out of respect I would sit down with Bill Clinton.” I don’t think “John” realized how hateful he was being and I can’t properly describe it. The diatribe was straight out of the “Michael Moore Hates America” handbook. The venom in his voice, the look in his eyes was truly disturbing. I can’t tell you how upsetting this was to me to see him behave like this. This is a man I love dearly. I later made the comment, The government is not responsible for taking care of us.” “John” said, “IT most certainly is!!…………………………”

It hit me, like a ton of bricks. “John” loves his family. He has some amazing qualities- a lover of the arts, an outdoorsman, fine wine, and good food. BUT, he is a cultural elitist. He believes others are beneath him. He believes he is obligated to take care of those that are beneath him. That is the worst kind of prejudice. “John’s” inability to see his idea of helping is in fact keeping them shackled and dependent upon the government. As long as we provide hand outs and not a helping hand, they will continue to be dependent upon the government and not understand what it is like to be self sufficient and independent and free.

We should have asked him if he would have expected his own children to find a means out of New Orleans. We didn’t. We should have. I would be curious to find out his answer.

Prejudice has no boundaries. Prejudice can be found in a Republican or a Democrat, a conservative or a liberal. Prejudice can be found in churches, synagogues and mosques. Prejudice can be found in the faithful and in the faithless. Prejudice can be seen in private and public schools. Prejudice can be overheard at the grocery store or a five star restaurant. Prejudice can be seen on the evening news...

Prejudice is found in the individual soul and perpetuated by passing on that irrational hate on to the next generation. It is the ugliest most vile trait a person can have.

I don’t know what happened to the four boys. I wish I were noble enough to wish them the best and say I forgave them. I’m not a good Christian that way… They were mean and had no idea why they hated me—except that I looked different… To them I had slanty eyes and yellow skin (I have great olive skin—that doesn’t burn when I go out in the sun all day without sunscreen—HA!)… Yeah… yeah… all good reasons to hate me and “my kind”...

Sharon Parmley… I don’t know where you are, what you are doing, but know this…You stood up alone and helped a frightened little girl learn a tough lesson. I’ll never forget you and I’ll always be grateful….

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you haven't seen the movie Crash please rent it. It is a thought provoking film that should be watched by everyone.

"Prejudice is a premature judgment--a positive or a negative attitude towards a person or group of people which is not based on objective facts. These prejudgments are usually based on stereotypes which are oversimplified and overgeneralized views of groups or types of people. Or, a prejudgment may be based on an emotional experience we have had with a similar person, sort of our own personal stereotype. Stereotypes also provide us with role expectations, i.e. how we expect the other person (or group, like all Japanese) to relate to us and to other people. Our culture has hundreds of ready-made stereotypes: leaders are dominant, arrogant men; housewives are nice but empty headed; teenagers are music crazed car-fanatics; very smart people are weird, and on and on. Of course, sometimes a leader or housewife or teenager is somewhat like the stereotype but it is a gross injustice to automatically assume they all are. " More

Welcome home Mikey.

Meet Kenneth Welch. He gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Use this link to find cheap gas prices in your area.

Have a great week everyone.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Celebrities and Mocha Soy Lattes

Sunny Hi 110 Lo 81 for Baghdad, Iraq
Mostly Sunny Hi 80 Lo 61 for Northern Kentucky, USA

Before I get started--- Happy Birthday Aimee!

Song of the week: Celebrity, Brad Paisley

As a kid and like those of my generation I loved television, I read magazines like Tiger Beat, 16, and Teen Magazine to learn more about my favorites in television and in music... I had crushes on the likes of Bobby Sherman (Here Come the Brides), Jack Wild (Dodger in Oliver, H.R. Puff N Stuff), Parker Stevenson (Hardy Boys), Scott Baio (Happy Days), David Cassidy (The Partridge Family), Mickey Dolenz (The Monkees), and Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky and Hutch) to just name a few. I have never liked the pretty boys-Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, Davey Jones, etc...) I wished that I could hang out with the likes of Kristy McNichol, Jodie Foster and the Brady Kids.

As I got older my adoration turned to bands.... Like television, music was a way to escape the trials and tribulations of growing up-- More accurately, it was a way of tuning out... zoning out... It was a means of getting away from my family and setting myself apart and finding my own "unique" identity.... I always seemed to have a crush on the drummer or bass player... I followed groups such as The Talking Heads, Echo and The Bunnymen, King Crimson, Squeeze, XTC, The Plimsouls, The Boomtown Rats, Pretenders, The Cars, The Clash, Elvis Costello, U2, The Specials, and The Police to name a few... I was there when MTV was born. How many times did you see J. Geils' Angel is a Centerfold...? I also had a passion for the "older" stuff- The Beatles, Elvis, Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, Rolling get the picture...

So because of this, I followed these folks and their lives through magazines and newspaper articles... Now remember all you young whipper snappers... this is all pre-cable, pre-Entertainment Tonight, pre-E!, pre-internet..... Would I call it worship?...No... I liked them and I wanted to know more about them...It was all innocent...

I can whoop just about anyones butt in tv trivia... I'm telling you... there is so much useless information floating in my head its amazing there is room for anything else... I'm talking about all the older television shows also... from Gilligan's Island to The Andy Griffith Show to The Adams Family to Mary Tyler Moore to M*A*S*H to Taxi to Mad About You to Cheers to Seinfeld.

Prior to March 2003, I was completely enthralled with television, especially the reality shows... The first reality show as I recall, was The Real World... "The true story of seven strangers picked to live in a loft and have their lives taped...." I adored Julie and wanted her to stay away from Eric. I loved the friendship between Heather and Julie. I loved Andre the rocker and his hair... always felt they didn't focus on him enough... I digress... Nearly 10 years later Survivor premieres... man... I was psyched!!... I bought into all the hype. I adored Rudy... that crusty old Navy Seal... but alas...Richard.... Richard won...

The second season of Survivor was so much fun because a local man was on the show... Rodger Bingham from Crittenden, KY was actually a teacher of Master Jedi Rob. Rob was thoughtful enough to get an autographed t-shirt for me... I still have it... Rodger was the one man on all the seasons I watched that remained consistently decent. He was the exception on the television show, in life he is the rule- One can play this game and play it honestly. One can speak about Jesus Christ and one's faith and those listening are not forced to do anything. No, he didn't win the one million dollars, but he did ask that the others vote him off before they voted off Elisabeth. --A noble and gallant act and all genuine--Some things are more important than being rich... To this day, I hold him in the highest regard.

March 2003.... What happened Cath? Well, "reality shows" seemed silly... As you recall we went to war in Iraq... Soldiers and Marines were putting it on the line "for real". The real reality was watching embedded reporters--Greg Kelly and Rick Leventhal on Fox reporting. from the front lines live as our brave fighting men defeated a murdering dictator. Today we rarely watch network television and when we do, we are stunned by some of the things we see...

I'm not sure when everything on television became bitches and whores... I'm not sure when men became stupid and disrespected in their own homes... its just not funny... When watching television or a movie, its more difficult to dive into that fantasy world... I'm too preoccupied with thoughts of... "I wonder if so and so is still married to so and so"... or I bet he is still doing drugs... look at how sick he looks..." or "Oh my God... Botox.... she can't blink..." or " help me God... he needs to shut up... I don't want to know what his politics are...don't make me dislike you...for the love of Pete..."

Don't misinterpret... I'm not a prude and I love to laugh at a good dirty joke... Yes, of course I watch the History Channel, Discovery Channel, etc etc... but I'm also a fan of SouthPark... Reno 911 (hysterical raunchy show), and of course Michael and I are fans of Spongebob favorite character being Gary...

What's my point? I dunno.... I'm not sure I have one... I just wish we revered good behavior instead of bad behavior. I wish we would admire couples that have been married for more than a minute. I wish television was something I could watch with my grandfather and not be embarrassed by what is being said or what is being worn. I wish they would keep their traps closed. Let me like them for their body of work and not be preoccupied with the causes they support. I wish the kids weren't smart asses and had some sense knocked into them. Since when is talking back to your parents acceptable behavior? I wish the women had more respect for themselves... I wish the men behaved like men...

So, with that said... here is my salute to todays celebrity... Y'all make us proud....

"Healthy Relationships..."

Renee and Kenny....Already?
HT: The Therapist

Let's not forget these... Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, Tom Green and Drew Barrymore, Britney Spears and that guy that she was married to for about a day, Madonna and Sean Penn, Liza Minelli and that gay guy, Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett, Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, Nicholas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley, Nicholas Cage and Patricia Arquette, Nicholas Cage and a 20 year old sushi waitress, J.Lo and anybody....

Run a Google search "celebrity divorces"...Some of these people are on their 5th and 6ths marriages... and they are younger than me!!

Predictions for future failed marriages...

Sandra Bullock and Jesse James

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

Paris Hilton and the other Paris... Britney and her baby's daddy...

"Because My Opinion Matters..."

Please, please Gwyneth...
HT: Beware the Dark Side

Celine please shut up. Please shut up. "I open the television, there's people still there, waiting to be rescued, and for me it's not acceptable," she said on CNN television's Larry King Live late Saturday."
HT: My Pet Jawa

Jane Fonda just can't help herself...
HT: Scootertrash Conservative

Kanye West

"Acceptable Behavior... "

Poor misunderstood Russell Crowe.
HT: Ace of Spades

Anna at the AMA Awards. click on "watch now"
HT: The Superficial

Robert Downey Jr.

Read This

"It's Important that I Feel Good About Myself..."

"[...] by doubling aid, fully cancelling debt, and delivering trade justice for Africa, the G8 could change the future for millions of men, women and children." Live8
HT: A North American Patriot

Sean Penn single handedly saving the planet.... 1 cup at a time...

Martha has a show coming out this fall... good to remember... I won't be watching, but let me know if she speaks about ethics...

I did a Google search "celebrity causes" and got this and this and this.

For Fun...

Dateline: Hollywood

So, the Emmy's are on tonight... and don't forget about the pre show..."Who are you wearing?" blah blah blah.... Michael and I won't be watching... we will most assuredly miss all the wardrobe malfunctions, bleeps (if they still do that...) and all the lecturing on Katrina and the war and that awful Nazi President and Dick Cheney and Haliburton .... not interested... you watch and give me a full report...

Someday I'm gonna be famous, do I have talent, well no
These days you don't really need it thanks to reality shows
Can't wait to date a supermodel, can't wait to sue my dad
Can't wait to wreck a Ferrari on my way to rehab
Cause when you're a celebrity
It's adios reality
You can act just like a fool
People think you're cool
Just 'cause you're on TV
I can throw a major fit
When my latte isn't just how I like it
When they say I've gone insane
I'll blame it on the fame
And the pressures that go with
Being a celebrity
I'll get to cry to Barbara Walters when things don't go my way
And I'll get community service no matter which law I break
I'll make the supermarket tabloids, they'll write some awful stuff
But the more they run my name down the more my price goes up
'Cause when you're a celebrity
It's adios reality
No matter what you do
People think you're cool
Just 'cause you're on TV
I can fall in and out of love
Have marriages that barely last a month
When they go down the drain
I'll blame it on the fame
And say it's just so tough
Being a celebrity
So let's hitch up the wagons and head out west
To the land of the fun and the sun
We'll be real world bachelor jackass millionaires
Hey hey, Hollywood, here we come
Cause when you're a celebrity
It's adios reality
No matter what you do
People think you're cool
Just 'cause you're on TV
Being a celebrity
Yeah celebrity

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It couldn't have a decaf latte...

I want to get back to my original premise of blogging once a week- you know, Sunday mornings... BUT (monkey--for all you Laura Ingraham fans), before I do, I must ask you to go visit Pettifog and check out Chrys' passionate commentary on this weeks issue of Newsweek.

This brings me to that Canadian broad, Wonder Woman, and her acute observations. Go check her out- she likes it when you look.

The book, Letters from a Nut is pure sophomoric humor. I love it! So when I visited my Therapist this evening, I was thrilled to see that he has been doing this for years...Ron, I urge you to publish your letters. I guarantee that me and possibly one other person will buy the book. Funny stuff. Check him out... Also, when you are there, read about NAAMP. Important stuff...(she chuckles to herself...)

Lastly, as of today, I have talked to all my customers in the Gulf Coast region. All of them (and their families) are safe. Some suffered minor damage, others lost everything... Some have made the decision to leave the area to never return, others have more resolve to rebuild... All the folks down there still need our support, despite the ridiculous behavior of the few... Michael and I are already discussing plans to go down for Jazz Festival. We have already been invited to a Crawfish Boil... We are there!

And another last thing.... (rambling...see that?)... I still have not received my credit from HSUS. To be continued...

Oh.. and can anyone tell me how I can populate the right sidebar? Please?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Four Years Later

Sunny Hi 109 Lo 80 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny Hi 89 Lo 66 for Northern Kentucky, USA

Song of the week: Times Like These, Foo Fighters

"it's times like these you learn to live again
it's times like these you give and give again
it's times like these you learn to love again
it's times like these time and time again"
-Foo Fighters

It's been four years since the events that took place on September 11, 2001. The following is something I wrote nearly a year ago when I joined an organization to be more active in my community, to be vigilant, to not be a whiner or a complainer, to do my part and stand up for what I believe in and to always do what is right.

I can't really add anything new. I've changed it somewhat to meet the needs of this blog, but it IS in my voice. It was originally read aloud and with the passion of someone that loves this country that loves this life. There will be others that will write much more eloquently. There will be plenty written on comparisons to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and our lack of preparedness. There will be a lot of gnashing of teeth and ongoing name calling and finger pointing. The only comparison that can be made as I see it is that we didn't ask for the attack on 9/11 (or any of the other attacks for that matter) and we didn't ask for a hurricane to "attack" us on 8/29. The comparison comes with the intestinal fortitude of the American people. The "can do" spirit that resides in this country will overcome this and any obstacles we may face in the future...

My name is Cathy. I’ve lived in Burlington nearly 9 years. I’ve been married to Michael for over 14 years. We have a great life together- we own our home, we pay taxes, and we both work full time jobs. We have too many cats- but I wouldn’t give any of them up.

I can’t recall a time in my life when being an American..., being proud that I was part of a family full of Marines, being politically opinionated wasn’t part of my life. Some of my earliest childhood memories revolve around my grandfather calling Walter Cronkite all sorts of unflattering but accurate names… I remember watching the footage on the evening news of the Vietnam War and having to leave the room when a tape cassette came in the mail from my Uncle Steve—listening to an account about the awful realities of war from a 19 year old wasn’t something a 5 year old needed to hear. One of the big mantras of my childhood was “GET US OUT OF THE UN NOW!”

With exception to a couple of misguided years while in college, I have been a conservative. The first election that I was old enough to vote in was to re-elect President Reagan to his 2nd term and I did cast my vote enthusiastically.

On September 11, I was at work—my first day back from vacation—a Tuesday. I received a phone call from a dear friend--- “Hey, have you heard the news? A B-25 or some plane has crashed into the Empire State Building. I poopooed him—I was in a fowl mood… after all, it was Tuesday, and I had just gotten back from vacation, so work had piled up… “Yeah yea right, whatever, ok, Rob-- gotta go bye see ya.” I can’t recall if Rob called me back, but I somehow found out—it wasn’t a B-25 into the Empire State Building—it was a Jet airliner into the World Trade Center…. Oh God.....—then another jet flew in to the 2nd tower... and then we all knew........ We weren’t safe and someone wanted us all dead. Like everyone, I was stunned, frightened, moved to tears over the loss of human life, overwhelmed by stories of courage. The shock turned to anger-- In Burlington, the skies were silent for a few days… being so close to the airport… it was eerie… I remember seeing a couple of jet fighters. Then President Bush spoke to us. He told us---he PROMISED us, these murderers- these terrorists would be caught. I believed him and still do. Like countless others, we put our flag at half staff; I became a bigger talk radio junkie. I found it critical to become active—I needed to do something to show support for our President and for our military. The anti-war protesters were already out there before the war began and Michael and I wanted to give voice to the numbers that supported our troops, that supported their Commander in Chief. Rallies were proposed and we went… as close as Florence as far away as Washington D.C. Our numbers mattered- it was good to be around people with similar views. It’s easy to be sucked into the vortex of America sucks and blame America first….

Pre-election 2004. Going to the rallies was a great experience- I met some wonderful folks, but it still did not ease that need for wanting to make a difference. Griping and moaning and complaining simply were not resolving any of the issues we were facing as Americans. The thought of having someone like John Kerry as president was more than disconcerting. Then in October, a friend, Jeff, emailed us about putting a “club” together for conservative thought… We conservatives are out there and I think there are a lot of us. But we are working, we are paying taxes and just trying to make it to the next paycheck hoping to sock a little away for retirement. The excuses started going through my mind…. I’m too busy; I’m tired after work… Only an unemployed liberal from Seattle has time to protest on a weekday at the Republican Convention… NO excuses --- we are going to do this and it’s going to be great!

We are going to make sure that our Representatives know where we stand and if they do not represent us--- we will vote for someone else who WILL represent us. We are going to write letters to editors—our voices will be heard! I feel I am giving back to my grandparents, my mom and I am doing my part to make sure that we give my nieces and nephews a fair shot at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

To the family and friends of those lost on 9/11, we will never forget.

To our fighting men and women in the military, thank you, thank you for your service.

And as for me, I will remain viligant, I will keep doing my part and I will never forget...

"Officers and men and women of the corps, ladies and gentlemen, I came here today to pay homage to the heroes of Lebanon and Grenada. We grieve along with the families of these brave, proud Americans who have given their lives for their country and for the preservation of peace.
I have just met with the families of many of those who were killed. I think all Americans would cradle them in our arms if we could. We share their sorrow. I want all of you who lost loved ones and friends to know that the thoughts and prayers of this nation are with you.
If this country is to remain a force for good in the world, we'll face times like these, times of sadness and loss. Your fellow citizens know and appreciate that marines and their families are carrying a heavy burden.
America seeks no new territory, nor do we wish to dominate others. We commit our resources and risk the lives of those in our Armed Forces to rescue others from bloodshed and turmoil and to prevent humankind from drowning in a sea of tyranny..."
-Ronald Reagan

Remarks to Marines at Cherry Point, North Carolina, on the United States Casualties in Lebanon and Grenada
Cherry Point, North Carolina

I urge you to visit all the links listed below... the first few are tributes. Visit Take Back the Memorial...don't let them turn this into a mockery.The last link is to bring to light to the Flight 93 Memorial. Calling it a disappointment is an understatement... however Rob and Michelle have it covered.

GCS Distributing Tribute

9/11 Remembered

9/11 Pentagon

9/11 America Attacked

St. Paul's Chapel

"...We'll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.
Our war on terror is well begun, but it is only begun. This campaign may not be finished on our watch -- yet it must be and it will be waged on our watch.
We can't stop short. If we stop now -- leaving terror camps intact and terror states unchecked -- our sense of security would be false and temporary. History has called America and our allies to action, and it is both our responsibility and our privilege to fight freedom's fight..."

-President George W. Bush
State of the Union
29 January, 2002

So that we never forget...Take Back the Memorial

Thank you Cap'n Bob.

Rob reports The Hijacking Continues

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."
-Abraham Lincoln
Annual Message to Congress
1 December, 1862

Friday, September 09, 2005

Soldier Memorial

Thanks to Mr. Goomba I made my way over to Sactodan's place...

"The statue was created by an Iraqi artist named Kalat, who for years was forced by Saddam Hussein to make the many hundreds of bronze busts of Saddam that dotted Baghdad.

Kalat was so grateful for the Americans liberation of his country; he melted 3 of the heads of the fallen Saddam and made the statue as a memorial to the American soldiers and their fallen warriors. Kalat worked on this memorial night and day for several months."

For more...

Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday to my husband. I'll see you tonight!

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Thanks to superhero, Wonder Woman at A North American Patriot, I have removed my link to the Humane Society of the United States as well as pulling their logo. You can view my original blog entry here.

I have since contacted HSUS and they have assured me they will credit my charge card. I will let you know... In the meantime, if you should change your mind and redirect funds, Pet Finder is a sound organization.

You can contact HSUS @ 202-452-1100 or 1.800.486.2631.

Sept. 4: Connecticut medic Donna Nicholson gives water to surrey mules in the French Quarter as they roam New Orleans. AP

I hope Knucklehead is one of these fellas...

Hurricane Katrina victim Sondra Sercovich from Mandeville, Louisiana, waits in line for a food stamp application, and shows off her new furry friend 'Peanut', a 4-week old baby squirrel she rescued after the hurricane. The animal lover who has 11 cats, 12 tortoises, three dogs, two chameleons, and five children, has been keeping the squirrel warm on her chest, and will be intregrating the squirrel into the family.(AFP/Paul J. Richards)

Michael sent this one to me.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

WWL 870 AM Radio - New Orleans

You can listen to local New Orleans radio here.

An update, another of my colleagues has been in touch! An email from Charlie...

"I heard from Roger. He, his wife, and son rode out the storm in Alabama/Florida area. He was concerned about his dad, sister, and brother-in-law--thus he traveled the back-roads to his home area (major roads were off limits). Story Time: The 3 of them had decided to remain home. Storm got worse and 30 foot waves sent them to the roof. A big one carried them away, but they were able to grab another roof top. Next wave took them away again, but once again they were able to grab (all 3 of them) a floating deck and hold on while the wave returned to the gulf. At that point, they were able to run for their lives to a safe haven. I told Roger that I hoped after he hugged them, that he gave them a few choice words."

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Am I prepared?

Sunny Hi 106 Lo 79 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny Hi 81 Lo 58 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: New Orleans is a Mighty Good Town, Eddy Raven with Buckwheat Zydeco

My rambling blog as you know are my very personal observations of the human heart and soul. I usually reflect on things from days past and how it has an impact today. My mind is reeling over what has happened to our brothers and sisters in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. There hasn't been enough distance to put this in perspective-- the enormity of it all, the repercussions and the ripple effect will no doubt have an impact on us for a very long time.

I am troubled by the images of evil-stealing of items- NOT food, mayhem, assault, rape and murder. I have heard and read it countless times..." times like this bring out the best and worst in people". I submit that times like this actually MAGNIFY what was already there in the heart of that individual. That is what troubles me so. I am disturbed and deeply saddened by those that would do harm to others while in this crippled state.

I'm frustrated by the finger pointing... I think we should start by looking at ourselves. Am I prepared for a disaster? No. Could I survive on my own given similar circumstances? On my own, I'm thinking I have a 50% shot...with my husband I have no doubt, we would survive. After the events of 9/11, President Bush called the American people to stay vigilant, to be prepared and help our fellow man. "Become involved", he said... I signed up immediately for our County Emergency Response Team. (At the time, a local organization didn't even exist. The Department of Homeland Security had just been created, I emailed Citizen Corps. to volunteer. About a year later, I started getting email from the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. Then this past July, I received an invitation to attend training classes in August--26 hours + certification testing. It was canceled... due to lack of interest... lack of interest... one more time... It was canceled due to lack of interest... OK. Another class will be held in November... hopefully, I'll get another shot... So, do we wait for the government to get their act together? No. Do I wait for my community to become involved? No. I'm sure there are counties within the state that have moved a little quicker than my county. The point is... we have to save ourselves...and from 9/11/01 to 9/3/05 the only thing that Kentucky has to show for Homeland Security is a really cool website... a lot of good that will do us in the event there is no infrastructure. Is this a pessimistic way of looking at things? Perhaps. My mother and my grandparents taught me to be self sufficient, depend on no one- a pretty valuable lesson based on what we have witnessed.

I am not criticizing the folks that decided to "ride" out the storm. I understand some people could not leave. Given the same circumstances, Michael and I may may have done the same thing. I think of the line from Forest Gump... Lt. Dan (Gary Sinise) says, "I'm living off the government tit." Or how about, "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you will not have to listen to his incessant whining about how hungry he is."

On the other hand I am encouraged and thankful for the good works of so many and this is what needs to be the focus. Afterall, good always conquers evil. People helping each other. A nation coming together and reaching out to those who have lost everything. The stories of heroism that are starting to trickle out. The acts of kindness. Strangers helping strangers.

We are better than the slugs that were causing havoc in the city of New Orleans. We are better than those that would take advantage of folks that have nothing. Case in point--- On my way up to see my brother yesterday (North on Interstate 75) convoys of military vehicles were heading south. People in cars were honking and waving at them (me included). At a rest stop that I pulled into, there were several cars from Louisiana. I was witness to strangers from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Canada giving money to these weary folks. I watched one family from Michigan take their very nice Coleman cooler and put it in their trunk. There was nothing in the trunk of the car except for that cooler.

This has been an awful tragedy and will take years to recover. My hope is that some good comes of this, that our moral compass is corrected a bit. We are losing our way and it is times like this when we are reminded of the things that truly matter.

A new life is what truly matters. Let me introduce you to Kaeli Olivia, my one day old niece and the reason for my trek up to Toledo.

Prior to my blog I used to send out a weekly email. Here is a portion of one sent on 4/10/05.

OK- So Michael and I just came back today from a “business trip” to New Orleans. The company I work for sent me down to a conference and trade show—(more like an appreciation party held by one of our distributors…) It was their annual crawfish boil. (Up until this past Tuesday, swear to goodness, I thought they were calling it a Crawfish Ball. If you have ever been to N’Awlins, our hotel is located in the Warehouse District-

On Wednesday, I visited Northrop Grumman Ship Systems- Ingalls in Pascagoula, Mississippi. I had the privilege of getting to board and tour ALL levels of 2 separate ships, LHD 8- the USS Makin Island and LPD 17- the USS San Antonio. Words and pictures can not describe how amazing these structures were. If I did not have a guide, I most assuredly would have gotten lost. I was permitted to climb around on all levels of both ships- you can not imagine how huge these things are. On LHD 8, the link above reflects current photos of it in modules as it has not been put together yet. Now the LPD is almost finished (it was moved from Avondale to Ingalls a number of months ago. It is behind schedule- it should have only taken 4 years) If you ever have an opportunity to tour a ship, I urge you to do so. OK. I’ll stop w/ the geek/work talk… By the way--- I was caught in the worst storm driving back to New Orleans after we left the shipyard…

Thursday morning, Michael and I went to the D Day Museum, a must if you are a history buff- a must if you aren’t. Not only was the European front covered, but so was the Pacific.

If you have never been to New Orleans (NOLA, N’Awlins, etc), I suggest you make it a destination if you love any of the following: food, spirits, music, art, history, Southern Hospitality, and 500,000 friends… The people -locals and tourists (except for one street car driver) are friendly - everyone is your friend (just know when you are being looked at as a mark). Did I mention spirits? . or or

This past weekend was the French Quarter Festival! Tons of good food and drink and MUSIC everywhere… Had a blast… these folks know how to have a party.

Ask Michael about “open containers” and drive through daiquiri joints---

Michael’s best moments in NOLA— 1) our carriage ride, 2) our mean street car driver on the Riverwalk line (oh my gosh, she was mean!!) - “Dees hee ah streetcah do not go to Canal. If you’d want to git on de Canal, you got to get off dis cah!! , 3) eating massive amounts of crawfish at the crawfish “ball” (I did too!!).

My best moments – 1) our carriage ride, 2) watching the weirdoes on Jackson Square
3) the street performers 4) the food…

Places we ate—Dragos--- the best bbq oysters… Mr. B’s and of course Pat O’Brien’s . We did not make it to CafĂ© Du Monde … the line was stupid long…

I hope all these folks are ok. I hope they got out.

Terry-I hope you had a Happy Birthday

Kaeli- Welcome to the world

Have a great week everyone. Michael and I are off to Cleveland in a few hours for the airshow.

David and Knucklehead. Posted by Picasa

wow Posted by Picasa

A Kentucky Bluegrass Band performing during French Quarter Festival Posted by Picasa

street performer Posted by Picasa

only in N'Awlins' Posted by Picasa

St Louis Cathedral- French Quarter Festival 2005. The flag is at half staff because this was the day that Pope John Paul II was buried... Posted by Picasa

Riverwalk, immigrant statue Posted by Picasa

hope Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Refugees in Baton Rouge (aka New Orleans annex)

The following is an email from Charlie- I mentioned him in my Sunday 8/28 blog entry...

First, I want to thank each of you for your thoughts and prayers.
Second, I apologize for not being able to respond sooner.

You probably have more updated information on the big picture than I do, but I'll give you a brief overview of my status. The dtailed version would make for a good novel.
*I have not had electrical power since Sunday and I am unsure when it will be restored. We now have a generator that at least moves the hot humid air, but finding fuel to keep it operating is a challenge.
*I now have 7 displaced N.O. family members (+3 dogs) in my home and anticipate more tomorrow. My folks have 15 displaced family members (but no dogs).
*A network of other displaced friends and family now spans several states + many are staying at various locations thorughout Baton Rouge.
*I have a brother who lives in Gulfport, MS. We learned this morning that he has been in a shelter. Relief!! His house is gone.
*A close friend's father lives on the beach in Gulfport and we have no news on his status, since he had chosen to remain at his home during the hurricane.
*My daughter and her inlaws (+ other family members) anticipate the worst with their homes in Kenner & Metairie, LA (suburb of N.O.). They hope to have an opportunity to return for a brief visit early next week. Unfortunately, my daughter left with very few of her belongings.
*Baton Rouge has traffic gridlock. A city of 450,000 people just became a city of over a million. Housing (rental & purchase) is near zero availability.
*You probably have been seeing the unbelivable rioting and looting in the N.O. area, but I want you to know that the outpouring of support from across the country far exceeds the negative. SPIRITS are up with most everyone concerned and Louisiana will survive.

Since outgoing phone service is nearly impossible, I'll be checking emails once a day. Incoming calls seem to be working sometimes (cell phone), but voice mails don't work. I am trying to contact our customers to offer our business support during the rebuilding process.

On behalf of my family( particularly, those most affected by Katrina) I again want to thank each of you for your kind thoughts. We are alive and well--everything else can be replaced.


On behalf of Charlie's family and friends... please do what you can to help.

No updates on any other folks. Hopefully tonight we'll get through.

Blog for Relief Day

***Update: 9/8/05 Thanks to Wonder Woman who always seems to have my back. It was brought to my attention that The Humane Society of the United States is a group that I do not wish to sponsor. I have removed their link from my sidebar and have also removed their logo from this blog. Wish me luck in trying to get my donation diverted to an organization that will actually help the animals...

So many have provided useful and insightful information.

I have added a list of charities and information sights to my sidebar.

A big thank you to our friends in Canada. You are good friends and I thank God for you guys.

North American Patriot


Colbert's Comments

Thank you to Instapundit.

For a first hand understanding, visit with Wizbang.

On a personal note, more friends and colleagues have been located. We are still waiting to hear from others. (I've been rambling over at WW's place).

This will be it for me.... So many bloggers are doing a tremendous job of coverage... I'm just too tired and I have to get up in a couple of hours for work...