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31 December 2004

Reluctant Posting...


...the Tsunami
I didn't want to write about this on the last day of 2004, but I know I definitely don't want it to be my first post of 2005. But I find the need to make a comment on this catastrophic event.

I can't even begin to get my head around this tragic event. They are now estimating 125,000 140,000 150,000 confirmed dead with the possibility of an added 24,000.

I sit and read the stories and simply shake my head. So much destruction, so much death, so much terror and fear. People say that God has His reasons for allowing things like this to happen. I honestly have been searching for a reason. Perhaps the reasons haven't made themselves apparent as of yet.

The ONLY reason I can see right now is that this tragic event will bring nations of the world hopfully together and closer through their humanitarian aid, etc.

I think if I have one wish for 2005 it would be that SOME good comes out of the ashes.

The Years...


...Just Keep Rolling On
and on and on and on. When I was 12 I couldn't wait until the new year because I would turn 13 and officially be a teenager. When I was 20 I couldn't wait for the new year when I would turn 21 and be "legal" After that it's all kinda downhill.

I was never much of a New Year's person... I was more a Christmas type. In my whole life I may have gone to maybe 2 or 3 parties. For 5 years I did march with the Murray Comic Club in the Mummer's parade... that's pretty much it for my new year's activities. Now as I sit here on New Year's Eve, I think... holy crap where did the year go? Actually, I think I thought the same thing last new year's eve also. And I sit and think... "i'm gonna do much better next year." Uh huh... laugh

I gave up making new year's resolutions a long time ago... I never kept them... however my resolution not to make any new year's resolutions has remained in tact... I have kept up with that one stinkin' resolution.

But on the positive side, I have a lot to be thankful for in the passing year of 2004... actually too numerous to even begin mentioning on here. I'd make a list but I would be typing on here for days... laugh I did treat myself yesterday to a new year's present... I bought the latest version of TurboTax so I could computerize my income tax return... sigh

Happy New Year's to all of my old friends, and a very special Happy New Year's to all of my new friends!

An Idea...
If you're not going anywhere tonight and want to celebrate online, join us in our chat room. Real live chatting is much better than having to post comments and wait for replys.
30 December 2004

Up Broad Street...


...and down Two Street

After many years of trying the famous Philly Mummer's Parade will be shown on TV. Not the entire 12 hours but just 2 hours of it. WGN will broadcast the parade from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM EST on New Years Day.

This parade started back in the late 1880's and has gone up Broad Street every New Year's Day since... except in inclement weather when it is changed to the following Saturday. Transplanted Philadelphians will be able to enjoy the parade on national TV for the first time, ever!

The parade is divided into 3 categories: Comics, Tring Bands and Fancies. The parade known to residents simply as the Mummer's Parade, has a sponsor and therefore a new name for TV... the Southwest Airlines Mummer's Parade.

29 December 2004

Talk About...


...Perseverance and Dedication
I saw this in yesterday's Channel 2 Newsbeat and just had to reprint it here.

When a Tomball woman runs the HP Houston Marathon next month, it will be a feat that few could even imagine. Not because of the 26.2 mile distance, but because of what happened to her three years ago.

"It was a brutal attack. Somebody outright tried to kill her," said Capt. Bruce Greenberg, a Houston Fire Department paramedic. Amanda Adamo was stabbed 27 times at her apartment complex by a co-worker. "She was laying in a pool of blood. Just a ton of stab wounds, bleeding profusely," Greenberg said.

Adamo went into cardiac arrest in the back of an ambulance. "We were putting pressure on as many wounds as we could find," Greenberg said. "Luckily, the guy who was driving her has a bit of a lead foot. It probably saved her life."

"I was actually dead," Adamo said. She lost 75 percent of her blood. "They decided that there was nothing else that they could do, so they stopped and they started to do a death certificate and a toe tag. And as they lifted me up to look at the wounds on my back, one of my nurses let me take a breath," Adamo said. "I went through surgery after surgery. The doctors' prognosis was basically bad. They told my mom the chances were I wouldn't even make it past the first 72 hours due to possible infection."

She spent nearly a month in the hospital. "When I was in the hospital, at one point in time I told them I didn't want anymore pain medicine because I was afraid I was going to fall asleep and not wake back up," Adamo said. Before the attack, Adamo loved to run. Now, after years of physical therapy, she's ready to go the distance.

"It was something that I always loved. After I got hurt, it was something that I really missed," she said. After not running for two years, on Jan. 16, she'll run the Houston marathon with scars on the inside and out.

"You go through something like that and you have an appreciation for life. It's something. You wake up every day. You take it for granted. Something you can't really do because you don't know what could happen," Adamo said. "(The scars) don't bother me. They're kind of who I am now. I'm just glad to be me. I'm alive."

While she runs, she will be raising money for the American Stroke Association through the marathon's Run for a Reason program. Her goal is to finish the course in less than five hours.

For more information on the Houston marathon, visit www.hphoustonmarathon.com

-----------
This kinda jolted me enough to go to the Marathon's website and volunteer myself at a table doing something relating to the marathon. So on January 14th at the Geo. R. Brown, I'll be at a t-shirt table. Stop by and say "hiya" I'll be there from 11-3:30PM

I Have A...


...Decision to Make
Here's my situation. I have been taking Naproxen, better known as Alieve for about 4 years. It was prescribed by the VA hospital here in Houston back in 2001. One tablet 375 mg every morning and one at night. It was prescribed as a pain killer for my back. It was recently on the news that people taking Naproxan have a higher risk of having either a heart attack or stroke.

In April of this year I had several Ischemic strokes and then a larger, more official stroke. Naturally I became concerned when I began seeing the nightly news and they were linking Naproxan with having heart attacks and strokes. Yesterday I called the attorney that handled my Social Security Disability claim. He said we could go after the Doctor that prescribed the dosage of the Naproxen since the recommended dosage is only 225 mg and only for 10 days. As I said before, I am taking 375mg, twice a day, everyday for the past 4 years.

My problem is that I am still going to the VA Hospital for various treatments, etc. If I sue the Doctor for over-dosing... will the VA label me a trouble-maker and eventually stop treating me? I go to the VA because of the cost. $0.00. See my problem? Will I become a persona non grata at the VA? Anyone have any advice? I am supposed to see the attorney this afternoon.
28 December 2004

Be A Hit...


... at your next office party!
Are you just waiting for the opportunity to impress your boss with your knowledge? Want to score with that cute girl a few cubicles over? Then you have come to the right place!

The next time you are at the water-cooler find a way to non-chalantly bring up the following: At 4:30PM on any given day over 75% of people don't know what they are having for dinner. Of those 75%, approximately 43% decide on Pizza. Did you know that? Of course you didn't. If you did however know the answer, then you need a life just about as bad as I do.

Also, do you know which country, per capita, eats the most pizza? The United States, right? Wrong! Would you believe Reykjavik, Iceland? Yes, astonishingly true. And who says you can't learn anything from visiting my corner of the world on the 'net?

The Very First Pizzeria in the United States
While conducting indept investigation and research for the above article I came across the very first pizzeria in the United States. Lombardi's Pizza in New York and Philadelphia was the very first. Founded in 1897 as a little grocery store, it became the very first pizzeria in the country in 1905 with New York's issuance of the mercantile license. The very best ingredients, Coal fired ovens and long lines can attest to what Zagat Survey reviewers exclaimed as "Best on the Planet". Not the Best in (insert your city)... but the Best on the Planet!

In New York: 32 Spring Street (bet Mulberry and Mott in Manhatten) - Telephone 212-941-7994 and Philly: Rittenhouse Square, 132 South St.(bet. Walnut and Sansom)- Telephone 215-564-5000

The History of Pizza In Detail
Ok, ok, so I am getting carried away here with pizza info... what else do you have to do today that so important? Plus, trust me on this one... your boss will be so impressed with your knowledge of pizza, you will surely be moved to a more suitable position.

It's kind of silly to talk about anyone "inventing" pizza. Pizza has undergone a very slow process of evolution over the centuries, but it is quite certainly the cultures of the Mediterranean that deserve credit for creating it. Historical records suggest that people in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome all ate things that are very similar to our modern pizza crust. Ancient Egyptians had a custom of celebrating the Pharaoh's birthday with a flat bread seasoned with herbs, and Herodotus, a Greek historian described Babylonian recipes that are very similar to contemporary pizza crust. The word pizza may be a derivative of the Latin word picea, a word which the Romans used to describe the blackening of bread in an oven.

Predecessors of Pizza in The Middle Ages
Pizza most clearly took the form that we are now familiar with in pre-Renaissance Naples, a large city in central Italy. Poor peasants used their limited ingredients (wheat flour, olive oil, lard, cheese and natural herbs) to make a seasoned, flat bread garnished with cheese. Mozzarella cheese was one benefit of an invasion from Asian peoples, who brought the water buffalo to Italy. Today, the best mozzarella cheese is still made from water buffalo milk.

The word pizza, as it is currently spelled, also emerged some time in the Middle Ages. It was used to describe both sweet and salty pies that were becoming increasingly popular among Italian aristocracy.

The Feared American Tomato
Europeans returning from Peru and Mexico brought with them what was originally thought to be a very poisonous fruit: the tomato. Precisely how they decided that the tomato was actually edible is unclear, but as Southern Europeans overcame their suspicions, the tomato became enormously popular. Today, of course, the tomato is a crucial component of Mediterranean cuisine, and is still used in most pizza recipes.

Naples Becomes the Pizza Capital of the World
Naples gradually assumed its reputation as having the finest pizza in Italy throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, pizza became a popular fast food.

Before pizzerias became very popular, however, street vendors (typically young boys) walked around the city with small tin stoves on their heads, calling out to attract customers. While undoubtedly uncomfortable for these 19th-century delivery boys, this street-vending method made pizza ever-more popular, and paved the way for the opening of the world's first pizzeria.

The world's first true pizzeria, "Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba", opened in 1830 and is still in business today at Via Port'Alba 18 in Naples. Pizzerias in this era usually included a large brick oven, a marble counter where the crust was prepared, and a shelf lined with ingredients. Contemporary Neapolitan pizzerias are prepared in the same way they were 100 years ago. The large brick ovens make the pizzerias uncomfortably hot in every season except winter, but the unique flavor of these brick-oven pizzas is unmatched. Pizzaioli (makers of pizza) often assemble the entire pizza on a marble counter right before the customer's eyes.

Some writers have considered the pizza an invention of the man who is responsible for making it an international phenomenon (but the fact that this man worked in a pizzeria makes it difficult to call him the father of pizza!). In 1889, Rafaele Esposito of the Pizzeria di Pietro e Basta Cosi (now called Pizzeria Brandi) baked pizza especially for the visit of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita. To make the pizza a little more patriotic-looking, Esposito used red tomato sauce, white mozzarella cheese and green basil leaves as toppings. Queen Margherita loved the pizza, and what eventually became Pizza Margherita has since become an international standard. Pizzeria Brandi, now more than 200 years old, still proudly displays a royal thank-you note signed by Galli Camillo, "head of the table of the royal household", dated June 1889.

Neapolitan pizza is still widely regarded as the best in the world, probably because of the fresh ingredients available to Neapolitan pizzerias: herbs, garlic, and tomatoes grown in the rich volcanic ash of Vesuvius, and fresh mozzarella from water buffalo milk.

Today, the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (the Association of True Neapolitan Pizza) maintains strict member guidelines for ingredients, dough, and cooking. This elite organization maintains that pizza dough must be made only with flour, natural yeast or brewers yeast, salt and water. Dough must be kneaded by hand or mixers which do not cause the dough to overheat, and the dough must be punched down and shaped by hand. Also, only wood-burning, bell-shaped brick ovens are permitted in pizzerias that belong to this organization. The pizza must be cooked on the surface of the oven (often made of volcanic stone), and not in any pan or container, with oven temperatures reaching at least 400-430° C (750-800° F). These ovens often have to heat up for hours before the first pizza is cooked.

You have the knowledge now... don't abuse it. But I have a strange feeling that blondie, a few cubicles from you will be looking and thinking about you in a whole new light.
27 December 2004

I Rearranged...


...Everything

I just rearranged my postings on here. It was just too confusing to read about my trip all backwards. Unfortunately we lost some of the postings from visitors. Sorry...

How I Spent...


...the Week Before Christmas by Denny Shane...
What a week it was... it had everything: excitement, fun, anticipation... I could go on and on. The flight from Houston to Philly was unevenful. This was my 6 year old daughters first flight. As many of you know, on your first flight, the airlines usually give you a pair of wings pin. They didn't have any left. Even though we were only going to be there 5 days between my ex-wife and 2 daughters they had 5 pieces of luggage... not bad. Once we got our luggage we headed to Enterprise Rentals. Got the car and then it was up I-95 towards my daughters house in the historic Fishtown section of Philly.

We got there and stayed for a little while before heading over to Jersey to the Howard Johnson's motel. We checked in, rested and then drove over to my sister's house in Turnersville... about a 10 minute drive. My sister was there along with her husband and my parents. They all finally had the chance to meet my 6 years old daughter whom they never had met. It was a good time. The next day, Sunday was for sightseeing and my sister's annual Christmas Party.

Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell
No matter how many times I see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall I get excited. Simply standing there in the Hall, where the really great people of our nation stood is something: Ben Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson... you could almost hear their voices deliberating and arguing the cause for freedom. Of course when I was growing up in Philly, the Libery Bell was housed at Independence Hall... you could touch it, look underneath it... whatever... when my oldest daughter was about 5 years old I took her to see the Liberty Bell and stood her ontop alongside the bell and took her picture. Now it has it's own building, screening devices and roped off... there are so many guards around that if you tried to touch it, you'd be arrested... shame... Then I decided that the girls would love the Franklin Institute. It's filled with fun inventions of Franklin and other energy things... we drove around and around and around and couldn't find a parking spot. We'd save that visit for another day I guess.

The Christmas party at my sister's house was fun. I got to see a lot of relatives that I hadn't seen in 5 years. Everyone loved seeing my two daughters. We exchanged polyanna gifts, sang Christmas songs. Then my father dissappeared "to go to the store", about 30 minutes later Santa Claus arrived! He patiently listened to everyone as they sat on his knee. I am sure Santa's 80 year old knee needed BenGay that night. After Santa left, my father got back from the store and was sad he missed Santa. Then it happened.... it started snowing! My two girls loved it since they have never seen real snow... they were in heaven. Snowball fights galore. It was a fun time and I am glad it snowed, even just a little for them.

Mondays......
...Seem To Be a Bad Day To Sightsee in Philadelphia and Jersey. On our way up to Philly, we went through Camden and I saw a sign Visit the NJ Aquarium (Shame I didn't look at the website before we went to Philly) Everyone wanted to go, so off we went driving through beautiful, downtown Camden. Not only was the place closed on Mondays... it was also closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as well. What a bummer. So it was onward to the Betsy Ross House...

Is Anything Open on Monday?......
We made our way through construction detours onto Arch St. I found the last parking spot and grabbed it. I even put $1.00 in the parking meter to give us extra time. Down the street we marched to the Betsy Ross House. We got there and stood in silence as we read the sign: Closed on Mondays... Well, crap...

I got a brainstorm! The girls would love the Franklin Institute! So back into the car and off to 20th and the Parkway we went. We drove through downtown Philly, passing City Hall which was recently cleaned... not the inside, but the facade. It really looked nice. There was the Franklin Institute at the end of the Franklin Parkway... the excitement was building. Well, we got there and then started looking for a parking spot... and we looked, and we drove, and we looked and we drove... we drove around in circles. Finally, I gave up and told the girls we would come back during the week.

So let's do a recount:
NJ Aquarium, Closed
Betsy Ross House: Closed
Franklin Institute: Might as well been closed.

Can you spell: Pissed Off? Now we were hungry. I told the girls all about Chinatown.. so off we went searching for that excellent egg roll... finally in Chinatown... we drove, and drove, up streets, down streets, in alleys... not one stinking parking spot... nothing zippo, zilch. Add "no parking" in Chinatown to the list above.

All in all Mondays suck in the big pretzel! Oh... on the way back to NJ, the gas station was open.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2004
Tuesday......
will we actually?? can we get in??
... Yes Virginia, you will get in! We were determined this time. First stop... the Betsy Ross House. Home of the seamstress who sewed the first American Flag. This is an extremely small house. Betsy never owned the house but rather rented it from 1773 to 1786. You can take a virtual tour of the BR House at Betsy Ross House

After paying our $14.00, the guard warned us about taking pictures... not allowed I thought... uh huh, we'll see... laugh Anyway we walked through the house, went up and down very narrow stairways peering into all of the rooms. I couldn't resist... snap... snap... snap... Heh

Ok gang after the BR House it was off to the Franklin Institute. Growing up in Philly I was constantly making the trip downtown and to the Institute... it was a kids paradise of gadgets and electrical things and the planetarium. It use to be $0.25 to get in back then. Slightly higher now at $45.50 for 4 of us... But the girls had fun... first stop was the planetarium, then through all the rooms of inventions, electrical displays... some of Franklin's inventions. Then I realized my time was up out at the parking meter... Quickly I went outside, walked around the block only to see a tow truck beginning his backward movement towards my car. Hobbling on my cane I raced and limped to the meter and stuck in 4 quarters. I stood there smiling as the truck driver lost another one. He didn't have far to go. A few cars from mine had run out of time and was about to get towed. I searched for more quarters but als I didn't have any. All in all, Tuesday wasn't a bad day at all.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2004
Wednesday, Wednesday......
...What Will We Do?. Vacation time in Philly was coming to a close very fast. We drove back into Philly to visit an aunt of mine. Stayed there and enjoyed our visit. Afterwards we drove back to the motel in Jersey and decided to simply rest up for the night's adventure to Storybook Land

It took about an hour to drive south on the Blackhorse Pike and we got there about 4PM. Not cheap at $16.95 per person, children included. But it was a lot of fun. In addition to Christmas displays they also had rides for the kids. It was mobbed! I'll bet an easy 1,000 cars in the lot. The weather at 4:00PM wasn't too bad... but as the night wore on the temperature dipped and it really started getting cold. The girls were relentless running from ride to ride... from hobby horses to the roller coaster.

Driving back to the motel room I happened to look down at the gas gage... Hmmm, an 1/8th of a tank left. Could I make it all the way back without gassing up? I hate playing that game, but it gets my blood pumping. At one point I realized we were going to run out of gas on the Blackhorse Pike and be found frozen stiff the next morning. There were no gas stations for miles and miles. Finally, as the needle hit the red zone a gas station appeared on the horizon. Please God let me get there and get gas and I'll be good from now on.

Yes! It was open! Once gassed up, we were back on the road and eventually back to the Howard Johnsons. Being out in that cold for 5 hours really zapped me of my energy.

All in all, looking back, we did have a good time... my ex-wife and I even got along all week! The girls loved the trip... my youngest finally got her wings for her first flight and she loved it... even though her knuckles were white from holding onto her armrest at takeoff.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2004
Guess What???...
...I'm baacck!!
Last night, sitting in the Philly airport for 8 hours I tried to think about all the fun things I was going to write about today. Unfortunately the only thing I can think about right now, is the 8 hours I sat in the airport. The plane was supposed to leave at 3 PM... get into Houston at 6PM.. did it? Nooooooo... I didn't get home until midnight!! An announcement came over the PA system that the plane was circling the Philly airport. About an hour later they made an announcement that because the plane was constantly circling the airport, it was running low on fuel and had to go to LaGuardia to refuel.... then it got stuck at LaGuardia... that was all we heard until the plane finally did get back to Philly. The only people with angrier faces than the people sitting in the departing lounge... were the faces on the people that got off the plane... Baaa Humbug!!! Nah, not really... just seemed like a good ole Baaa Humbug should go there!

25 December 2004

Merry Christmas...


...Merry Christmas to all!
Spanish: ¡Feliz Navidad a todo!
French: Joyeux Noël à tout !
German: Fröhliches Weihnachten allen!
Italian: Il buon Natale a tutto!
Dutch: Vrolijke Kerstmis naar iedereen!
Portuguese: Natal feliz a todo!
Russian: С Рождеством Христовым все!
Norweigian: Lystig Jul til all!
Simplified Chinese: 圣诞快乐到全部!

and to all... a Happy and Prosperous New Years

17 December 2004

On Vacation...


...in Philly!

But I'll be back in time for Christmas!!

It's 2:30 AM...


...and I've been awake since 12:15AM Well, last night I settled in to watch the next installment of "Earthsea" on the SciFi channel. Got myself nice and comfortable on the sofa, laid back a little, got more comfortable... didn't feel as comfortable as I wanted to feel... stretched all the way out on the sofa... Can you see where this is headed? After I guess 10 minutes I woke up and it was 12:15 am. Then I couldn't go back to sleep... so here I am. I need to get all of your phone numbers so when this happens I can call and wake everyone else up.

But I have been a little productive... and created some new banners for the message board. I think eventually the message board will take off once we start getting good traffic over there. Well, I'm off to do something else... be back later.
16 December 2004

I Am...


...really perplexed
I hope I can explain my thinking... This web blog has been up and running for 2 weeks tomorrow on Friday. It's had 687 visitors with exactly 81 people posting "comments" Over on our newly created Message Board, there have been 875 visitors with 31 postings and there are 3 members and it's only been up and running for 4 days. Does anyone understand what I am saying? On one hand the message board is getting a lot of traffic but little activity. On the other hand this Blog is getting less traffic but more activity. If I am babbling, please let me know. Laugh

Cell Phone Users Unite!...

...1-888-382-1222 Actually it is the number to the National Do Not Call Registry. As of January 1, 2005, companies will now be allowed to call your cell phone and bug you. What's worse, it's still a call to your cell phone and as normal will deplete minutes from your program. This is simply outrageous.

I called last night. If you call, you need to be calling FROM your cell phone. They also have a website as well... .Do Not Call Registry

I'm not sure how effective it will be simply because I still get calls on my home phone and I am registered on the primary "do not call list." I swear I am going to start writing down the phone number, day and time. If you do this and go to the proper government agency and file a complaint you may actually get money, if they are fined, per call.

Maybe I should start publishing the phone number from telemarketers on the sidebar. Laugh...

Moderators Wanted...
Have you ever wanted to join the exciting world of Topic Moderating but just didn't know how? Well, here is your chance to get in on the ground floor!! The link is on your left and up a little. For a limited time, maybe a year or so, over on our message board, we are looking for Moderators. Right now we have a few subjects, but if you have a particular subject you would like to create and get your friends involved with and writing about... this could be for you. The pay is $0.00 per hour... but on the bright side... you need not be bothered with tax forms either. You will have complete control over your department... who can post, etc. Either send me a quick email or leave a message here! Thanks!
15 December 2004

Update! Update!...


Denny gets gold tooth!... Oh geez, well it's mission accomplished. I got back about 10 minutes ago. I have to say Dr. Teresa Honeycutt, D.D.S here in Houston was excellent. No pain, nothing!

Ouch! Ouch!......


Denny, Want a Lollipop?... I am not going to be a happy camper today. I am having one of my teeth, in the back, ground down in order to get a gold tooth put in... It was either that or pull it... Pulled: $60.00... Gold Crown... $600.00 I really debated about this... if it was pulled then I would be done with it, forever and also not chewing back there. So "spend-a-million" Denny opted for the gold tooth... She gave me a choice of either gold or veneer, but explained that the veneer would crack in time and I would need a replacement, with the cost being the same. What the hell, let's go for the gold!

Times have changed...
When I was a kid I use to go to Dr. Marquis de Sade, DDS. (in his off hours, I just knew he was into S&M or B&D). He pulled, drilled, poked around stabbing at cavities... all while saying "Now this might hurt a little" A Little?? Talk about an understatement!He NEVER used novacaine... The only good thing about his office was his nurse, but that's another story.

The first time I ever got novacaine was in the Navy when they filled a tooth. I saw the needle heading for my mouth and I bolted upright in the chair. "What the hell is that?", I screamed. I never knew there was such a thing as dentistry without pain. To be honest, the Navy "dental technicians" (translated= I'm learning) weren't all that reassuring either... the needle to "deaden" the pain looked like a jack-hammer on steroids.

I thought writing about it would make me feel better... An old Professor friend told me writing about "situations" that scared me would take the fear out of things. So I am here, writing about my fear... Ummm. he was wrong...
14 December 2004

Am I...


going off the deep end?... Anyway, we now have a message center! It only took me 5 attempts at signing up for this message board, and being software challenged... it tooks me dunno, a dozen tries at getting it to work.

But it's done... I think. After I got it set up I tried to post a message and kept getting a pop-up that said I wasn't authorized to post anything. So if you log on there, y'all might be administrators and moderators and I'll be the one outside looking in.... Let's see how this goes... Enjoy!

Should he Live...


...or should he Die? I put a short, easy poll to the left. Take a second and vote. The basic question is should he die or get life without parole. The jurors, who convicted Peterson of murder in November, deliberated for about 12 hours before coming to a unanimous decision that he should die for killing his pregnant, 27-year-old wife, Laci, and unborn son, Conner, two years ago.

The Judge Could Change the Sentence...

Under California law, Superior Court Judge Alfred Delucchi could break with the jury and impose a life prison term when he sentences Peterson on Feb. 25. But California judges rarely overturn the will of juries in death penalty cases.

With a lengthy appeals process, death sentences in California typically take two decades to be carried out. The state has executed 10 people since 1978 and currently has more than 600 men and women on death row, the nation's largest. Well darn... they beat out Texas. In Texas, we execute first, then have the trial.

Peterson will be moved to death row at San Quentin prison on San Francisco Bay, just miles from the spot where his wife's body was found.

I'll let the poll run a few days to see how it goes.

Other Things On My Mind at 3:45AM


I'm debating about putting a Forums attachment on here. Even though I have the "comments", they are primarily for responses to my postings, like this one. A Forum deal could be anything we want it to be, about anything... you can even pick the topic. There are a few of these Forum packages out there, but the free ones come with a price... You get a zillion advertisements and annoying popups. I'll scream if I see another "happy face" popup. I'm open to any suggestions.

Another addition... is the Headline News section to the left. Instead of the major news of the day, this is those out of the way, oddities type headlines. This is another "I Don't Know..." thing. Keep it or get rid of it? Actually, I am more interested in whether or not all this junk is slowing down your page... Let me know in the comments... if it's causing problems, then it's gone... Thanks...
13 December 2004

What a letdown...


...to my Ego At the very bottom of this page is a counter. It tells me how many people are reading my Blog at one time. After I installed it I was thrilled... I was amazed that there were 50 people reading it. I would log on at 4AM and there would be 60 or 70 people. I thought to myself... wow, I am popular.

Then it happened...

I'm not sure what, but something happened to the counter. I thought maybe while adding or deleting items on this page that maybe... I may have erased some of the code. So I went to their website and got the info again, and this time I actually READ the info. Laugh...

Sigh... no wait make that a double Sigh, on the rocks

I discovered I made a mistake in the previous installation. I forgot to take out their blog name and insert my blog site. So what I was actually monitoring was activity to their site! What a letdown... now I look at it and there might be 2 people on here... me and someone else... and that someone is probably lost.
12 December 2004

No New Post...


...on a Sunday. Today, Sunday, a day of rest and is reserved for all the things I've ignored during the past six days. So there will be no blog report for today. None, zippo, nada, no comprende...

I need to shave and shower and get moving here fast. First I need to go to church... ummm well to the rectory and slip my envelope into the mailbox. That way they don't know for sure if I really attended Mass or not... well actually... God, me and you know who down there knows...

Then off to the bagel shop to buy my two "everything" bagels... one for today and one for tomorrow..... (NOTE:) I ate tomorrows bagel, today. Then it's to the supermarket... after the supermarket I need to stop and buy something at Walgreen's. I'm not saying what I am buying there on this Blog because I might bring out the wrath of the non-smoking coalition here in Texas, and end up on the I Wanna Quit Smoking website.

So that's it folks... I am not writing a column today.... it's my day off!
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I'm back! I know y'all have been just hanging around to see if I accomplished what I set out to do today... Well, here's the legend. Accomplished or Failed Miserably
11 December 2004

Tenui Nec Dimittam...


...is the motto which translates into: "What I have, I will not lose." You can see that phrase right under the title of this Blog. When I was in politics, I used it a few times. It can also be translated into: "I have attained the truth, and I will never let it go."

It all became more relevant when I received ( i before e, except after c) yesterdays mail. There in all of it's ominous forbodding was a letter from my alma mater, Northeast Catholic High School for Boys, better known to Philadelphians simply as "North." (Yea! Go Falcons!)

What could they possibly be writing a letter to me all the way down here in Texas about? Oh my God! Could they honestly think they finally discovered that I may have cheated on my senior year religion test and they are informing me that I really didn't graduate??? Nah, that couldn't be it. I know!! I've won the "Lifetime Achievement Award" I'm so proud, I have so many people to thank...

Tenui Nec Dimittam is the school motto. I honestly don't think any graduate has ever forgotten that motto. At one time, in 1953, North had become the largest Catholic High School for Boys in the world! Yep... in the world!

...all four thousand, seven hundred and twenty-six students... all at one time! For my Spanish friends: cuatro mil setecientos y veinte seis. Italians: quattro mila settecento e venti sei, and to all of my faithful readers in China all 2 of them: 四千七百和二十六. (My Chinese is a little rusty, I may have just ordered 4726 egg rolls)

I reluctantly opened the envelope fully expecting a revoking of my diploma.

Even worse...

I read all about my up coming, fun-filled, back-slapping, handshaking 39th anniversary alumni party. It struck me like a lightening bolt... 39 years? Thirty-nine years? Hold on a second here...lemme think about this... 2004 minus 1965, carry the one, subtract... oh crap, I ran outta fingers and toes... = Thirty-where did time go-Nine years? No matter how I say it or write it, it all sounds the same... almost 40 years! Holy Detentions, (<---inside joke) Batman!

This brings me to why am I telling you all of this... The only thing that really comes to mind is...

Misery loves company... when is your alumni party?
La miseria adora la compañía
La miseria ama la società
悲惨爱公司
or
请取消那些蛋目录 ("cancel those egg rolls please")



Tenui Nec Dimittam...


...is the motto which translates into: "What I have, I will not lose." You can see that phrase right under the title of this Blog. I've used it a few times, in speeches, when I was in politics. It can also be translated into: "I have attained the truth, and I will never let it go."

It all became more relevant when I recieved yesterdays mail. There in all of it's ominous whatever was a letter from my alma mater, Northeast Catholic High School for Boys, better known to Philadelphians simply as "North." (Yea! Go Falcons!)

Tenui Nec Dimittam is the schools motto. I honestly don't think any graduate has ever forgotten that motto. At one time, in 1953, North had become the largest Catholic High School for Boys in the world! Yep... in the world! All Four thousand, seven hundred and twenty-six students.

I opened the envelope and read all about my up coming 39th anniversary alumni party. It struck me like a lightening bolt... 39 years? Thirty-nine years? Thirty-where did time go-Nine years?
10 December 2004

The Appian Way...


...in deepest Italy I was just on a blog reading about a fella that was recounting his daily trips on a bus and the bus driver that drew pleasant middle finger hellos from other drivers. I chuckled and immediately went back in my mind to 1968 in Italy. I don't quite remember where I was coming from or to where I was heading. But I do remember the trip...

The Appian way is probably the most famous road built by the ancient Romans and specifically Appius Claudius Caecus around 312 BC. Winding up and down hills, mountains and through villages, it went on for over 350 miles.

Anyway, the point of this whole story is that I zoomed back in my memory to this bus trip that was going DOWN the steep hills, and around bends and circles. Prior to the bus leaving the spot where I got on, I noticed the bus driver and the passengers bless themselves and thought that this, maybe, was not a good sign.

Everytime the bus driver made a spectacular turn, nearly careening off the side of the mountain, doing wheelies but successfully staying on the road (that was a huge plus), the entire group of passengers on the bus burst out in cheers clapping, laughing... patting old Luigi (the driver) on the back.

...However...

Likewise if old Luigi hit a curb or chicken, an old lady selling bread... whatever, the cheering crowd turned into an ugly mob. I saw a flash of the Collesium in my mind, thousands of thumbs pointing downward. These people hissed and put curses on the guy. I wasn't sure if I was going to heaven or hell... it all depended on that next turn...

Now see, this isn't so bad... you got a little humor, a little history and a little geography all mixed together. Ciao! or Slainte'!

Happy Birthday...


...to My Anything But Normal Life Happy Birthday to you! Wow, I just now realized that today is my blogs' 1 week birthday! Gosh, how time flies... I can remember the days when my Blog was a tiny little brain cell waiting to develop... ummm... like last Friday.

Thinking, thinking...


about you, yes... you!... It's about 4AM here in Texas right now. Last night I was watching the SciFi channel and all kinds of great things were running through my mind... regarding what I was going to put here this morning. About a half hour ago I woke up, got my coffee, sat down, logged on to put really interesting stuff here for you to read and... it happened.... my brain malfunctioned and went blank. So now I am right back where I was at the same time yesterday... looking at a blank screen. Why is this so hard?

I could entertain you with my medical problems: heart attack, two strokes, diabetes (Type II), high blood pressure, and on top of that, Clinical Depression. My bathroom closet looks like a drugstore. Medicines not your bag, huh? Ok, how about two divorces, five kids... two boys and a girl in Pa. and two girls here in Texas. (I'm getting a little more interesting now, huh?) Laugh

At one time I was very into politics. I even held various elected offices. I've met and had dinner (and have the pictures to prove it) with Jerry Ford, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and was invited to the swearing in of GB1 and worked alongside GB2 when GB1 was running. That was all back when I was a hawkish Republican... now I am more of a mellow, middle of the road type person. I think that came with age... or the strokes. OK, that's it for now.

As you can maybe now see, the title of my blog... My Anything But Normal Life is now coming out, especially in the last two paragraphs. Of course those paragraphs are the Cliff's Notes version.

I've thrown some ideas out there... let's see where they all land.
09 December 2004

I Was Worried...


...about the junk, bells and whistles. I wondered if it had an effect on people when they came here. I saw a post from Amanda who stopped by and made a comment. Amanda, I'm sorry your computer crashed, etc. I took your advice and got rid of a lot of junk. Hopfully things will run smoother now.

So now you have just me to entertain you. Well, me and the clock over there in the corner. I have to think of something I really like and start talking about that in order to justify the time spent on here....

Is The Music...


... too monotonous? ...putting you to sleep? I thought it was soothing to listen along with as you wander around this exciting page. You may have noticed that I've added a few more items to my Blog. Yes, I know that I already stated I had enough Bling. But these are items that you need to see... a clock? You could be late for that very important meeting but now you can see what time it is while spending it on here. A new Google search at the bottom of the page, to find other things you need in your brain.

How about the scrolling Marquee that thanks you for stopping by my Blog? And I just added the music at 3AM. This will eventually turn into your one stop Blog!

I wonder if there is a local BA (Blogs Anonymous) here in Houston? Ok, I swear I am not adding another thing here. I just discovered the Christmas tree on the left and put it on here for the holidays. It comes off on January 1st.

Honest

Ok, I just now decided that after going around looking at everyone else's Blog... they have "groupies" People that come to their site religiously and chat amongst themselves. I want "groupies" as well! Even though this blog is fairly boring, a large number of "groupies" would make it look as though this is a very popular blog. Get in on the ground floor!!
08 December 2004

A Royal Faux Paux...


Made By The Queen...

You would think someone would have told her Majesty that you do not wear white gloves in public with a yellow hat.

Even the Pope...


has a Blog!...
I was whirling around just now and came across his Blog. I even snagged a picture of him, on a Vatican laptop, very possibly updating his Blog or under an assumed name or handle in a local chat room. I am not however providing his Blog address since I tried to link my Blog to his and the site doesn't accept referrals. Well.... if he wants his Blog site to become as popular as mine, he needs to get with the program! Pronto!

Have I Created...


...a monster here? What started out as a curious "thing to do" is now developing into a search, implement and worry scenario. Well, maybe not 'worry'... laugh

Let's see I've added flags which represent the U.S., then the Texas flag where I live now. The Pennsylvania flag where I used to live and the Jersey flag where a lot of my family live and where I had a summer home at one time. Hence all the waving flags. I actually looked around for a thing where upon when you entered my blog, music played in the background. Maybe I'm getting carried away with Blogitus or some other blog related disease.

But the real shocker came when I went on someone's Blog and there was an icon for PayPal. You could click on it and be taken to a screen where you could donate $1.00 to the creator of the Blog. The creators claimed it was to offset their expenses. What expenses? The only thing this venture has cost me so far...is time, which I have lots of free time to spend. If anyone reading this feels putting a PayPal icon on here so you could donate money for my efforts, please let me know as soon as possible. Laugh....

I think for now I have more than enough "bling" on here. I really need to get down to posting something catchy to keep people coming back. So far 150 people have come to my little blog here (which includes the "oh my God, why did I click on this guys Blog-people) I just wish more people would make comments... I like the inter-action.

Well, Ciao for now... I'm just gonna sit back and watch the money roll in... zzzzzzz
07 December 2004

I Did It!....


>...finally!!. Geez, now I can go to sleep a happy camper. I had to use a program called imageshack.com. I uploaded the picture there and then linked it from the Blog and... oh crap, who cares anyway. I think I'll take the rest of the day off...

Good Morning...


.. and it's not raining here in Houston today..., so far anyway. I received a lot of comments via email about this Blog... from friends and especially the anonymous people kind enough to email me to tell me this Blog sucked. I accept all criticisms, both positive and negative. Well, actually I take the positives and tuck them away, negatives I usually just hit the delete button of my brain.

This morning I put a questionaire at the bottom of this page. Please remember to vote. You'll decide how this thing shapes up in the future.

I just read somewhere that a person doing a Blog on her terrible love life was just signed at Random House to make her Blog into a book deal. Maybe that's where this should head... but now I would have to think up things that would go into a book... an exciting book, filled with adventure, passion, excitement and interesting facts... yep, that's what it should be, unfortunately it wouldn't be about my life... maybe a work of fiction. Shrug.

Someone told me I should put a lot of pictures on here. Pictures of what? I already put one picture... I tried to be artsy with a mystique... darkened my face but high-lighting my eyes. Laugh...

Well, it's 7AM and I need some breakfast. Ciao!
06 December 2004

I Need Help....


...Please! I am trying to upload a photo of me to be placed next to the "info" section, About Me above. It seems I can't do it, or don't know how to do it. I am using "Hello" and it simply uploads the picture to right here and this is not where I want the photo. If anyone would like to help me out, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

I'm still debating on what to make this BLOG thing about. I hate to be pompous enough to think people really care what I do in my spare time... but they might be. I'm very much into genealogy. Recently (6 months ago) I discovered that I was decended from the Merovigian kings. These guys go way back... about 100 A.D. actually. Now the kings swore they were decended from... hold on to your chairs... Jesus.

The story in short is that Jesus survived the Crucifixtion. Everyone crucified usually took 24 hours to finally die. However, as we all know, Jesus did it in 3 hours. This leads to the theory that he didn't die on the cross at all. His body was taken down and tended to by Mary Magdalene, and Joseph of Aramethia.. Then Jesus and Mary M. took off for France where they had 3 children... the story really gets complicated from there. Mary M died in France and Jesus died in India.

Another interesting theory is that a double was switched during the march to Calvary. Half the population in Jerusalem along the procession route didn't know what Jesus looked like anyway. So theoretically when Simon was pulled from the crowd to carry the cross, that is when the switch was made. All done with the approval and help of Pontius Pilate. Well... have I lost you now? and now you are convinced I am a heretic, right? Laugh...

So anyway... discovering Merovech, King of the Salian Franks was my 50th great grandfather and his life started me on this whole thing. I can't believe just how many books are written on these theories... and even more astonishing as to how these theories are quite widespread throughout Europe. Now I didn't say I believed any of this... it's just interesting how many people in the world DO believe in it.

Ok, I need to stop right here or I'll be typing all day now. Laugh...

So if I know you, click on the comments link below and leave me a note... even if I don't know you, I'll get to know you.
05 December 2004

Well, I just learned...


>....what not to do while in the middle of writing a Blog. , I decided, after writing about 5 paragraphs to go and download a few Blog related items. After downloading and installing I figured I better go back and finalize my latest Blog. Did you guess it wasn't there? You win!!

Now I'm pissed. Anyway... I've been browsing around looking at other Blogs and I am amazed at the content and thought that has gone into many of them. One of my stops took me to Miss Kimberley's blog. Very nice MK... geez, after reading it I feel like I've known you for years. I hope the party was fun last night.

I'm still not sure what will go here... either personal thoughts or Tips on How Not to Change a Lightbulb (while standing on a bathroom sink).... in case you didn't know... mirrors in the bathroom are made of glass! Duh!

Since I have no idea what to get people on my Christmas list, I will forgo that painful ordeal and head down to the Museum of Art here in Houston. There are a few new items that I've wanted to see and figured this is the best time to do that.

Mainly, because I am heading back home to Philly for the week before Christmas. That's always fun but tiring. I am hoping it doesn't snow while I am there... I HATE driving in it... Mush and slosh and ice and cars and people sliding all over the place.

Hey, I think that's it for this morning. Maybe I'll be back after the museum and tell y'all what I saw there. Ciao!

P.S. Can you tell that I've discovered the CTRL button? laugh
04 December 2004

Doing Nothing


Woke up really early this morning, about 3AM. Played around on the computer for awhile. I decided my little "window town" needed more snow. Opened the second bag and sprinkled it all around the houses and buildings. Looks better now. I went outside and looked at the buildings and it seemed like the one light in each building wasn't enough. So I went back in and inserted 3 lights per building... much better now.

Went to the supermarket and picked up a few things. What a dull life.
03 December 2004

Christmas Decorations


Well, I just finished decorating my apartment windows for Christmas. I went to Walgreen's and bought about 15 little houses, library, city hall, etc. Bought bagged snow... Laid the snow out on the window sil and then put each little house and people in the window. I used Christmas tree lights and stuck one light in each house or building so I can lite it up at night. Looks pretty cool, even if I have to say so myself.