Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shadows in the Mirror

There once was a woman named Tina who lived by herself in a very old home, fondly named Owl Manor. Her husband had ran away from home about 5 years back and she was planning on moving soon. One day while packing up all the super soakers and red stilettos she noticed the temperature dropped really low. She walked down the long hall of Owl Manor to check the thermostat, but it showed no difference. She thought about it for a moment and thought it must have been broken. She decided she would call Lynn to fix it, as Lynn was know for fixing everything with her farming tools. When she passed the Bronco wall mirror that Dianne gave her she thought she saw a movement of shadow in the reflection. Then the temperature suddenly returned to normal and when she looked back at the mirror nothing was there. She shrugged, scratched her butt and continued on her quest of packing.

A couple of days later the temperature dropped. Again Tina went to the thermostat and it showed no change. She remembered she had called Lynn but Lynn was so busy farming that she could not come and look at the thermostat. Tina promised herself she would call Lynn again after she watched all the reruns of American Idol and beg Lynn to come by. When she passed the Dianne Bronco mirror she saw the movement of shadows. Slightly translucent but visible. The shape was indescribable. It changed shape like water flowing out of a washing machine, the shape seemed to be of a tall person, like her friend Zona, but she knew Zona was swimming her 100th lap. Suddenly she felt something, but when she turned nothing was there. Now she was scared and finally admitted that she wished her husband did not run away from home. She began to tremble and call for DeeDee, but as usual DeeDee was on the Queen Elizabeth 2 for her world cruise getting it on with Captain Stubing. Slowly she turned back to the mirror to see Dianne holding her hand out to her telling her to "get the fuck over here" but Tina stumbled and fell flat on her face, when she looked up the figure was still there, it got closer, and closer, and closer. She screamed out "HEEEEELLLLLLPPPPP" but no one came. Closer and Closer IT came.

A few weeks later Shirley stopped by to say hi to Tina and to make sure the super soakers were all nicely packed. She knocked and knocked but there was no answer. She was short on time because her fish had to be fed and if not they would die, so she left. The next day Officer Whabby came out (in more ways than one) to investigate, but found nothing but a few empty boxes and American Idol playing on the TV. Just_Lin, Whabby's partner wrote on the report that is was a unsolved case, the report also noted the QOTD

Owl Manor was soon cleared out and put on the market for sale.
For many years Owl Manor was empty. The story of Tina was know around the world, the chatter of night owls who lived in the woods continued to tell the story to everyone who came to see the Manor. But one day a small family consisting of a Mother named Goldie and a Mother named Jennifer and their charming daughter named Birdee. They loved the Manor and moved in fairly quickly. Goldie the strong one, was not afraid of anything, Jennifer loved all the night owls in the woods, and Birdee, well, she was just glad she could poop wherever she wanted to. The move went smoothly.

All was well until one day the temperature dropped in the Manor. Birdee went to her parents and asked them what happened. They said they did not know and went to the thermostat to see. It showed no change in temperature. They decided they would call Goldie's friend Jodi to see if she could fix the thermostat with her potato salad tools. Birdee went back to playing with her worms in her room. Had she looked up into her Mo inspired Miss Piggy Mirror she would have seen a shadow peeking from behind the reflection of her nest. But just then her parents Goldie and Jennifer came in to tell her that Jodi was coming to fix the thermostat and that she'll have to deal with it for a while, but when they finished saying this the temperature went back to normal. The parents said to themselves never mind and went into the living room to use the stripper pole and play strip poker.
A few weeks later the temperature dropped again. Birdee was brushing her feathers in front of the Mo inspired Miss Piggy Mirror. She saw the shadow behind the reflection as it started to creep towards her. She chirped as loud as she could. Her parents came running in asking what had happened. She told them but they did not believe her. She tried to make them believe her but it was of no use. They took Birdee to see Tinka, the resident psychologist in town to get her help. They knew if anyone can help Birdee it would be Tinka, as Tinka decorated her house so beautiful over Christmas, her talents were amazing.

Tinka the amazing psychologist convinced Birdee that is was a figment of her imagination. She probably would have kept believing that except about a year later the temperature dropped once again. Birdee happened to be by herself because her parents went out drinking and whoring and her babysitter Mary/MI was not available because she was to busy playing house with the kitchen carpenter hunks (who btw had great butt crack).Birdee was experimenting with bird seed makeup at the time, in front of the Mo inspired Miss Piggy Mirror. She stared in terror as the THING crept out from behind her nest. She trembled so much her feathers started to fall out. Her stomach started to rumble with fear (which of course gave way to a huge poop). She did not call for anyone, she knew no one was home. And now as done before, the THING came closer and closer and closer and closer and closer.....

When Goldie and Jennifer came home, topless and drunk, they had no one to come home to. Officer Whabby came out with a statement that it was another unsolved case and to vote no to Prop 8.

Owl Manor still stands empty to this day, except for one lone mirror on the wall in the long hallway approaching the bedrooms. There is no movement, or sounds from the Manor. However if you go to the Manor at night shadows appear and you can hear the night owls making that oh so familiar sound, whooo, whooo, whooo, and you have to wonder where are the missing? Or are they not missing and perhaps just living among the night owls. One will never know, except for the next sacrifice of Owl Manor, its gates are open, waiting, waiting waiting........

Friday, October 30, 2009

~ Notes Left Behind ~

by Tina~in_ut

When I was little, I would go to my grandparent's house and they had this old clock that I just loved. One day I picked it up to get a closer look. I turned it around, and on the back was a piece of paper with my parent's name on it. I asked my grandmother why it was there. She said that she wanted my parents to have the clock when she and my grandfather were gone.

A few years ago, while at my parents house, I decided to write my name on pieces of paper and tape them to all the things I wanted when my parents are gone. After we had been home a few days, my mom called laughing. She knew I did it to make her laugh and it worked.

When I go to my parents house now, I leave post-it notes for my sister to find. I put one on her nightstand, in her glasses case, on her dashboard, in her bathroom.....just about she finds them a few at a time. They say silly things like "I love you" (she hates that!) or "I know you miss me!" or "I'm prettier than you are!" She calls me laughing, too.

Nothing I have done comes close to comparing to what this little girl did. Take a look:

Here's some kleenex~

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Top 10 Things I Do That Annoy Me

by Just_Lin

#10 Forgetting why I came into a room and having to return to the place of the original thought before I remember what the hell I was doing.

#9 Walk through the doorway from the kitchen to the hall, miscalculate for some unknown reason, and slam my shoulder into the door jamb. WTC?

#8 Poking myself in the eye with the mascara wand. I'm 62 years old. Why can I not apply mascara every single time without incident?

#7 Forgetting to get something on my grocery list even though I looked at the list before leaving the store! Sometimes I've even checked it twice!

#6 Having a really good coupon to use at the store, then buying the item without using the coupon!

#5 Baking something in the oven and realizing I forgot to set the timer and have no idea how much time has passed.

#4 Setting the dryer to "Dewrinkle" because I forgot the clothes in the dryer. Then doing it again several hours later because I forgot them again.! This can literally go on all day!

#3 Hitting the dust pan against the rim of the trash can, spilling everything on the kitchen floor that I just swept up!

#2 Turning on the kitchen faucet and having the water go up the sleeve of my bathrobe.


When I get up in the morning and take my morning pills and see that I forgot to take my bedtime pills the night before!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Totally Comfy!

There is a hotel in NYC called The Roger Smith Hotel.

The Roger Smith Hotel

It seems Henry is the mascot dog at the hotel.

Every night Henry makes his bed just like this.

So cute and comfy!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

41 Life Choices....

by Shirley

My sister sent this to me, and as I read it I knew I had to share!

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
10. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12.. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
13. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
14. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
15. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
16. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
17. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
18. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
19. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
20. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
21. The most important sex organ is the brain.
22. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
23. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?".
24. Always choose life.
25. Forgive everyone everything.
26. What other people think of you is none of your business.
27. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
29. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
30. Believe in miracles.
31. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
32. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young...
33. Your children get only one childhood.
34. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
35. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
36. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
37. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
38. The best is yet to come.
39. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
40. Yield.
41. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift..

Monday, October 26, 2009

Got Swine?

by Just_Lin

A lot of people seem to feel uneasy about the vaccine for H1N1 flu, formerly known as the Swine Flu. I'm not sure why that is. For kids and us adults with chronic health conditions, getting the H1N1 flu is much more dangerous than getting the vaccine.

The first time I got a regular seasonal flu shot was about 5 years ago and my whole upper arm became red and swollen and I had an egg-size lump at the vaccine site. I couldn't use my arm at all and it ached continuously and hurt to the touch for over a week! Fortunately, that was the only time I had such a dramatic reaction.

Usually, I get my annual flu shots at a clinic held at either the local fire station or my bank. They are only 5 and 10 minutes away so I would go there for the convenience rather than go to my HMO which is in a different city and requires that I park in a five level parking structure. I know......I'm lazy. This year I didn't see any notice in our local paper about flu shot clinics being held in our city. I knew that some pharmacies were administering shots so I checked with two of those and found that one had run out of the vaccine, for now, and the other had discontinued giving them at all. So then I had the bright idea that maybe I should call my HMO and check out their flu shot clinics. I found out that they were giving them for free to members every weekday. Well, that made it worth the drive over the hill and off I went.

So today I received a seasonal flu shot in my left arm and an H1N1 shot in my right arm. Here's hoping that I'll still be able to use at least one of my arms tomorrow. If only one arm works, I hope it's my right arm because makeup applied with my left hand would be very, very scary.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

~ Que Sera, Sera ~

by Tina~in_ut

for Mary & Jennifer

One of the "perks" of hanging out with Kgrl was getting to meet Sunway, a local singer in Hawaii. Jr and I went to see her sing while on vacation and one of her friends, Markus Striegl, got up to sing. This is the same guy that Mary and Jennifer have been drooling over on Kgrl's facebook page~

Markus is from Germany. He has a great sense of humor. He's quick, smart, and has the coolest highlights in his hair~ He gave me a couple of his CD's and I've been listening to them this week. One is in German and the other in English. I really like the German songs....even if I have no idea what he's saying. I'm going to have to have hubby translate for me.

Markus really reminds me of Keith Urban. Kgrl told him this, but I don't think he has any idea what a compliment that is......I LOVE Keith Urban. Jr even commented on his mannerisms when he sings.....just like Keith~

I hope you like this song and, if you would like to hear more, you can find Markus on Facebook, Myspace, or his website.

Markus' Website

Markus on MySpace

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The word game

intercom could be internet
snapple could be staples
applebees could be applegate
salami could be tsunami
vcr or dvd or hbo could be cvs
victrola could be radio

confusion rambles in his head
he knows what he wants to say
it is there but when the words
spill out they are not what
he thought them to be

he will stumble and look at me
trying to find the word I will
be patient hoping he can get it
himself but the confusion
takes over and I have to help

"give me more, show me" i say
he thinks of something else
or a name or just confusion
again "take your time it will
come to you" "goddamit" he says
"why can't I think of the word"

I try to think of our conversation
and what word he would be trying
to remember its like a puzzle and
i must find the missing piece he says
a few more words and bam i got it

he says "yes that's it, now why could
i not think of that" damn!

"its ok dad, that"s why you have me"


Friday, October 23, 2009


Mary told me that Marcia loved Children, and asked me to find a picture. I had this picture in my picture file and immediately thought of Marcia, as I can see her giving this young gal a helping hand and a watchful eye as the flowers are being trimmed. So sweet and gentle just as Mary described her. The Beauty of the flowers are as apparent as the Beauty of Marcia~

by Mary/MI

My ex-Sister-in-law Marcia passes away Monday morning. She was a young lady when I married her Brother Mike. She was born as some would say “a slow minded child”. She was taught early in life to take care of herself, make change, play cards etc. She was teased mercifully by her brothers and sent her crying many times. I could never understand this. Marcia could never work at a regular job, but did a lot of babysitting. I dare say she raised most of the 2 generations of children in that small village.

Marcia’s mother passed away about 12 years ago. Many thought she would not survive long without her. Thanks to some of her many friends she has been living in a small house. They would stop in & check up on her. When she was able, I would bring her home to Holiday dinners or take her to fish dinners. She especially loved when I would bring her to my Karaoke gigs in her town. She would tire early and I would take her home. I am going to miss her this Christmas. She loved being here with the family.

When I last saw her on Saturday the nurse on duty told me that most of her village had been in to see her.She asked me if I was one of the "Hubbardston people". I couldn't help but smile. She had a lot of friends.

I am troubled that she has been cremated against her wishes. I was there when she was asked if she wanted a funeral or cremation. She said”funeral”. She was raised Catholic. My ex and his bro. weren’t even going to give her a memorial service! Their Mother would be rolling over in her grave! My Son Tony & I are making sure she has one. I am sure my ex won’t be there. He is a recluse. He never attended any of our son’s school activities including graduations. He didn’t attend our Son’s wedding, or reception which was all of 3 miles from his home!

I hope Marcia haunts him!!

Thanks for indulging me. I had to get that off my chest!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

~ Cinnamon's Hat ~

by Tina~in_ut

The last time we were in Hawaii, I was driving along with my family, and Kgrl called. She asked where we were on the island. I wasn't sure, so I looked around and saw an island not too far out, checked the map, and proudly announced that we were by Cinnamon's Hat.

There was silence on the other end.......then laughter. She asked, "Do you mean Chinaman's Hat?"

Chinaman.......Cinnamon.....same thing!~ :D (I should have taken the hint right then and there that I needed glasses!)

Since then, my whole family has called it Cinnamon's Hat. It's by my daughter's favorite beach. The water is calm and warm and although there are many crabs running around, the beach is peaceful. No matter which way you turn, the scenery is breathtaking.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Morning

by Iteach

Do you have a set morning routine? Are you a creature of habit like me and have to start your morning of a certain way every day? Is your morning hectic like mine or is it more leisurely? I often think of you guys in the morning as I drive to work and wonder how you start day off. Here is my mornings and they are pretty much set in stone.

I wake up at 5:30 without hitting the snooze button. We are cursed with only one bathroom, so I shower first. Then I make my cereal and go to the computer. I farm and read the news while munching on my cereal. Then I do the clothes, hair, and make-up routine.

At 6:45 the Mr. and I work at getting the children up. Only one likes to get up ready the other two take forever. Hubby makes their pancakes and waffles while I try to get their grumpiness away. Then Dean has time to help get one kid dressed and then he is off to work. I get the other two dressed and holler at them to brush their teeth. All backpacks are lined up at the door from the night before.

It is now 7:30 and the race starts. I have to take each kid to a different place. Philip is dropped off at his babysitter's house at 7:35. She takes him to school and picks him up. She is a wonderful elderly lady who loves Philip to pieces. Philip calls her grandma and she spoils him with marshmellows.

At about 7:45 I roll into Carolyn's babysitter's house. She doesn't like to be called a babysitter. She likes to be called a child educator. I still think she is a babysitter, but I just keep that in my head. She does a wonderful job with the group of 2-4 year olds that she watches.

Then at 7:52 I drop Matthew off at Grandma's house. Matthew goes to the special ed. preschool in the morning and the bus picks/drops him off at grandmas. When we searched for babysitters none of them wanted to mess with a bus. Grandma happily volunteered. In fact she wanted Carolyn too, but I declined. She is retired and I felt guilty about using all her time up with grandchildren. She has Matthew for half the day at that works out well. Matthew and Philip start school at the same exact time, so grandma couldn't watch Philip.

Finally, at 7:59 I roll into school. My contract states that I have to be there by 8:00, so it works out. Sometimes, I'm a few minutes late, but I always call the principal and tell him. He doesn't mind at all, because he knows I work late every night.

I'm very lucky that I live in a town that is easy to get to about everywhere in five minutes. So how does your morning roll?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

~ I Got Crabs ~

by Tina~in_ut

I forgot that there are a lot of crabs at this beach. I find them amusing. While Jr played in the water, I infiltrated the crab world~ (Don't be wasn't 90 degrees with a nice breeze and the sun wasn't shining!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Weird Neighbor

by Just_Lin

"Good fences make good neighbors" is a quote from the poem "The Mending Wall" by Robert Frost and I would have to agree with that statement.

I told you all that the recent storm knocked down part of my back fence. It was not the side where my "good" neighbors live but it is the side where my weird neighbors live. I won't go into the long history, as I have known them since they were adolescents, but there is now three brothers living there, all either in their 40's or early 50's. They can't stand each other and each of them has problems and is weird in his own way.

One particular brother has made the backyard his domain. He goes to the dumps and actually brings stuff back! I'm going to refer to him as Rat Boy. He has so much crap back there that it is just like a junkyard and that includes rodents. It got so bad that I had to set a rat trap and electrocute the ones that would come to my side of the fence in the evening. We live at the foot of the mountains so it is normal to see various critters in the night and a rodent or two would not have bothered me as long as they are outside and not inside. Seeing them come over the fence in groups was a little much, though, and I have now killed enough of them not to be seeing them anymore.

A while back I shared with you that several years ago I discovered Rat Boy's giant python in my backyard. He said it had escaped while he had it in a holding pen while he cleaned it's cage. Trouble is, it had been on the loose for days and he hadn't told anyone! Hmmmm...

Anyway, yesterday I talked to Rat Boy and explained to him that I needed him to clear an area near the fence so it could be worked on. He said he would do it that day and he would keep his dog in it's run (there's so much crap back there I didn't even know there was a run), that there were no reptiles (What?!), that he had surrendered that very large python to the Humane Society (Yay!) because it was costing him too much money to feed it 2 rabbits a week (Argh!!!!), and it wouldn't eat rats (Hmmmm) and it had started expanding its territory (??????!!!!!!!).'s........territory? Of course I asked what he meant by that and he told me the snake had expanded its territory to include the street below ours!!!! WTC???!!!!! It was on the loose???!!!! I hope no one is missing a cat or small dog.!

Today I saw that nothing had been done about clearing an area by the fence. I saw him out by his truck so I went over there and asked him again to do that. Once again he said that he would do it today. I smiled sweetly and said very nicely, "That's what you said yesterday". His reply was, "It still is yesterday.........according to my clock".

So this is what I am dealing with. Who else has a weird, annoying, or troublesome neighbor? By the way, it is now 6 p.m. and still nothing has been done by the fence. I wonder if it will still be yesterday tomorrow.

***Note to Bear***

Maybe Rat Boy has gone through time dilation. LOL

Sunday, October 18, 2009

~ Into the Night ~

by Tina~in_ut

I don't know what it is about Santana, but I love whatever he's involved with. This song makes me move. For me it's happy. I don't even think I've ever listened to the's the rhythm for me. I hope you enjoy it~

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sometimes, blank!

I hate looking at this blank screen, it drives me nuts, especially when my mind is blank. Every word I am trying to think of has no meaning. So as I always say, no reason to force, the words will come, perhaps not today, but most def another day. And lately when I think of words, I feel as if I am repeating myself. I look at my old blogs and see so much of me, how I felt, my doings, my family. Most things are the same, so if I want to know about me, all I have to do is read my words from some time ago. I have made a promise to continue this blog, and that is what I shall do, with each day a new blog will appear, it might not be the most gifted of blogs, but a blog nonetheless.

That's it, that's all I got..

Its Saturday, go and enjoy as I will.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It is relevant?

with the weather changing
i realize another year will
come to a end soon

thinking back it seems
i can't remember much
of this past yr
actually nothing really stands out

so i wonder as i always do
what the next yr will bring
and will it be as this yr
not so relevant

i will admit little snippets
come to mind like a skunk
or the bay at the jersey shore
or my nephews making me
smile or a toe that is bruised
with pain

so yes not so relevant

it was yesterday that a balloon
went up in the air supposedly
holding a child captive
his name is Falcon
it came to be that
the child was safe on solid
ground and i could not help and
think "Falcon, in the sky were
he belongs" of all the boys that
could have been in this situation
it was Falcon that was the
possibility, his name will fit
his legacy

so for him and his family
i guess this yr will be relevant
as its the yr their homemade
balloon escaped its reins
and flew into the air leaving
Falcon behind

you have to wonder tho
"ppl making homemade balloons"
whatever happen to ppl making
homemade cookies
to me that would be so much easier

we shall see
as life goes on
and so do we

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Swimming in an Ocean of Spit

by LynnD

My brain has been in a whirl spinning like a tin top you push up and down on, round and round, trying to process all of the negativity and hate that is running through our country right now. Pushing me to try and understand what is happening , leaving me to wonder where civility and being a good citizen has gone. Not even a thin veneer seems to remain.

I have decided that this is not just an assault or political war waged on just our President but on all of us who voted for him and even those who did not and still wish and pray he succeeds in bringing America forward and trying to right this listing ship.

This is what I feel:

When you cheer because the city of Chicago did not win the bid for the Olympic Games you spit on me and all of the Americans that saw an opportunity for jobs and prestige for hosting this event.

When an elected official yells liar in an address to not only our elected officials but to the American people you spit on me and all of the Americans who expect decency and respect for the office of our President.

When you as an elected official go to China and tell the Chinese not to trust the current American government you spit on me and all of my fellow Americans because China holds the card to our financial future presently.

When you as an elected official go to a country to commiserate with a military regime that gained power by coup in a democratic nation, and our President and State Department have decided not to recognize this government you spit on me and all Americans by trying to disrupt the foreign policy of this country.

When you as an elected official get out and make outrageous statements about the census and incite violence you spit on not just me but all of the brave people who are census workers and trying to do a job to support their families. Yes now a census worker is dead murdered in Kentucky.

When you as an elected official can’t or won’t understand why this country needs health care reform and make fear inducing statements to cause panic and keep the status quo alive you spit on me and on the graves of the people who died from lack of health care or lack of oversight of the corporate insurance companies who denied them that much needed care.

When you call our President a Nazi, a Socialist a Communist you spit not only on me but the other people who elected this man our President.

When you make comments about our President not being good enough or deserving of the Nobel Prize again you spit on me and every one in this country as we try to hold our heads up and be proud that our President was recognized as someone trying to reach out to the world for our benefit.

I keep asking myself how much more can or should we take? Is it asking too much just for some civility some common sense for the common good? When should I get mad and fight and spit back?

Then in a moment of clarity it dawned on me I don’t. I follow my Presidents lead and let these poor sad and pathetic people spew their venom because they are afraid, of what I am not sure, change in so many forms swirling around, a shift in the social makeup of our society, and a country pushing past growing pains, that need to happen, is and will always be painful and not with out learning how much we can take.

So I will throw my shoulders back, straighten my spine and hold my head proud that I voted for this President and hope and pray that he is strong and can guide us back to the prosperous and caring country I know we are. Keeping in mind he is one man and will make mistakes but hopefully keeps pushing forward for the good of all Americans.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The End of the Beginning #10

by Whabby

Have we reached the tortured end? No more scientific nonsense on Wednesdays? Yep, we have (at least for the moment…. hehehehe). But before I leave you, I’d like to finish by tackling time dilation as it exists in the real world, as opposed to the imaginary world of Einstein-style thought experiments with vaguely vagina-shaped spacecraft carrying excited naked male passengers.

Did you know that, every second of every day, subatomic particles, mostly protons, strike our atmosphere? You may have heard them referred to as cosmic rays. They are most definitely not rays, though; protons are bona fide particles with bona fide masses. And despite the name, cosmic ray, they’re hardly exotic; there are one or more protons inside every atom in your body, and inside every atom in the universe.

As cosmic rays, though, protons travel to us over phenomenal distances, having been spun up by black holes at the centers of other galaxies to about 0.99 of the speed of light. When these naked protons (by naked, I mean they’re not part of an atom) strike the gas molecules in our upper atmosphere, about 15 kilometers above the ground, they immediately decay, creating a particle called a muon. The muon continues through the atmosphere in roughly the same path as the originating proton at roughly that same high rate of speed. Now, the thing is, muons are very short-lived particles. They take an average of just two-millionths of a second to decay into other particles. That’s just an average, mind you. Some muons survive for a little more time than two-millionths of a second, while others survive for a little less. Since the muons are traveling at about 0.99 the speed of light, or 297,000 kilometers per second, how far do they travel through the atmosphere before they expire?

Distance equals speed multiplied by time. In the muon’s frame of reference, 297,000 kilometers per second (their speed) multiplied by two-millionths of a second (their average time of existence) is roughly 0.6 of a kilometer. This means that the average muon doesn’t come close to covering the distance between the top of the atmosphere, where it was created, and the ground, before it passes out of existence. Even the muons that beat the average, and exist for a little longer than two-millionths of a second, don’t last long enough to travel all the way to the surface.

Or do they? The discussion so far has been all in the muon’s frame of reference. In your (the Earth’s) world (which is stationary compared to the muon), we’ve got to factor in the extra distance that the muon is going to cover due to that now familiar time dilation phenomenon, whereby extra cycles of time/space creation occur for items, like muons, that move very fast compared to you. In the specific case of a muon traveling at 0.99 the speed of light, time is stretched by a factor of about four. In our frame of reference, therefore, instead of existing (and moving) for about two-millionths of a second, the average muon exists for about eight-millionths of a second. That is enough time for the average muon to travel about five kilometers of Earth-coordinate space before decaying, or about a third of the distance to the Earth’s surface.

But that’s just the average muon. For some of the muons that decay more slowly, the time dilation is enough for them to reach the surface, or all the way to you and I (actually, only about four muons out of every hundred last long enough for the combination of their relative longevity, compared to other muons, and time dilation, to allow them to make it).

Of course, you’ll recall that, for the object traveling quickly, time is locally the same as it is for you, and the phenomenon of time dilation turns into a phenomenon of space compression. From he perspective of the muon, it lasts exactly as long as it should, which is never much more than two millionths of a second. The muon manages to make it all the way through the atmosphere, not because it gets a longer period of time in which to move, but because the surface of the Earth lies in the direction of the muon’s motion, so the surface is about four times closer to the top of the atmosphere than it is in our framework. Stated another way, from the muon’s perspective, the distance from where the muon is created to the surface of the Earth is about four times smaller than it is from our Earthly perspective.

Actually, you could verify the presence of muons near the surface with a simple Geiger counter. Muons are radioactive, and many of the clicks you would hear when you turned on the counter would be in response to their presence. If you climbed a mountain and turned the counter on, you would hear more frequent clicks, because more muons get that far.

Well, owls, that’s kind of a wrap! We’ve reached the inevitable point where I need to “close the circle” with Karl, my friend and motivation to research and write these blogs. Frankly, that connection is kind of a downer. Being radioactive, muons are actually kind of nasty. The ones that make it, and hit the surface, also hit us, and become potential cancer-causing agents. I’ve had four different surgeries in the last year for skin cancer, with another biopsy just this afternoon. I wonder if I would be cancer free were it not for time dilation? And Karl died of complications due to surgery necessitated by the strong suspicion that he had colon cancer. I wonder if he would be alive today, without time dilation.

Ah, well. Time dilation is built into the very fabric of our reality, so there’s no point in wishing that it didn’t exist. I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out what it’s all about, owls. I know Karl would have!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

~ Homecoming ~

by Tina~in_ut

I had to laugh at all the first time freshman parents! They were astounded that it was Saturday afternoon and they STILL had no idea what "the plan" was for the Homecoming dance. Who was driving who! Who was going with which group! Where was everyone meeting for dinner? Are they meeting at someones house first for pictures? We told all our kids (senior included) that we wanted to know "the plan" ahead of time, or they weren't going! We knew enough, though, to give them some leeway because so many kids were involved and twice as many parents!

The Freshmen:

The freshman football players were told that they had to ask a girl to the dance or they would be running the next week during practice. So my boy asked Paige. Now, my son has horrible taste in girls. He seems to like the "slutty" ones (according to my daughter!). Paige, as it turns out, is my daughter's friend, and was a delightful girl. I met her at the Homecoming game on Friday night. I asked for her parents phone number so I could call them the next day to make sure we agreed on "the plan." She was a little taken aback and said, "Oh! You want my father's phone number?" I thought that sounded kind of odd and told her that either her mother's or father's phone number would do. She gave me her dad's number. I pulled my daughter aside and asked if there was a mom in the picture. Oh dear Lord! Paige's mother died of cancer when she was in 7th grade. I seem to be really good at opening mouth and inserting foot!!! (i was going to say, "Shut up....." to a certain person or two.....but "Shut up all-a-ya's!!!")

My daughter wasn't going with a date, but luckily for us, she was going with the same group my son was going with. "The plan" was to pick up Paige near school and drive half way back to the restaurant where 40 freshman students were meeting for dinner. Hubby and I were going to eat there as well and then drive the kids back to school for the dance. Three hours later, we'd (I'd) go pick them up, drop Paige off, and come home with the twins. Simple! ......I should have known!

Joe (football player) met at the house at 3:30pm. We drove him and the twins to Paige's house where we met up with a total of 10 kids to take pictures. We had to be at Trio by 5:30pm to meet up with the 30 other kids having dinner. We drove my twins, Paige, Joe, Grace and Eric to the restaurant. We left them there with instructions on when to call us to pick them up. We were on our way to a friend's house for dinner. The kids called us at about 7pm saying they had just gotten the check and to pick them up. I was the lucky one to drive them since the mister was smart enough to start drinking and was in no condition to drive! I took the same 6 kids to the school, but we were too early and I had to drive around for a while so they could be fashionably late (8:05pm!). I drove to the church across the street from the University and told them all to get out of the car and go in and say a prayer! A couple of them thought I was serious and looked so worried. My kids knew better. The church was locked! I dropped them off at 7:55pm. I was hungry and I was lucky enough not to have to pick them up later. Joe's parents were taking care of that, so back to our friend's house I went.

The Seniors:

The seniors were somewhat easier. Pam decided to have 44 of her son's closest friends over for dinner before the dance. Pam's house has what I guess you would call a finished attic. She uses the space for scrapbooking, but that night, 5 tables were set up, china and silverware set out, and a really nice dinner served. She made the yummiest beef I've tasted in a long time. She also served salmon. They had veggies and salad and potatoes. And the desserts! OMG!!!!! All was served by the parents. I didn't know that part when she invited us over for dinner as well!

My son asked Teresa. I had never heard of her. I checked with my daughter (my gauge), and she didn't know anything about her either. Drat! My son was already upstairs when Teresa arrived with her mother. She was being dropped off because she lived an hour away and the mom didn't want my son driving so far. (major points right there!) When she introduced herself (I was standing by the front door letting everyone in), I was so relieved that she wasn't one of the slutty girls I had let in earlier! Her eyes lit up when I told her who I was. She had the prettiest smile and her whole face lit up. Her mom was just as sweet. In fact, we talked for quite some time before we realized that we should be helping! lq~

I was a little bummed that the kids all left while I was carting the freshmen around. Hubby took some group pictures, but he forgot to turn on the flash and they didn't turn out. (the tequila might have had something to do with that!) I'll check with Pam to see if she got any.

All in all, even though it was hectic, it was a fun night for the kids and the parents. The boys had fun with their dates and my daughter was very glad she didn't settle for a boy she didn't want to go with, like some of her friends did.

Oh! I almost forgot. My daughter came home and said that she saw her older brother on the dance floor......grinding.....and said to me, "That's a picture I could have gone the rest of my life without seeing!"

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Don't Care

by EBJ

Tonight when I got home from work, the tv was on, and there was Jon from Jon and Kate Plus 8.

I turned on the computer, there he was again on the Yahoo home page.

There he is on Perez, Comcast, every f*@#ing place I look!

I am sick of hearing about him, seeing him everywhere, reading about him. I don't care!

His wife or soon to be ex wife doesn't seem to be as prominent. I don't care about her either.

To me they are irritating and annoying. I am sure the $$ is why they want to continue on with the show. Well, I read that now he won't be on the show, it will just be her. Oh, now he wants to shut down the production as he feels the children are being exploited!

I just don't care.

Is there anyone you are sick and tired of hearing about every place you turn?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Funny Girl

Chosen by Zona

Barbra Streisand has been one of my favorite singers for as long as I can remember. In the early 70's my folks bought me the Original Broadway cast album of "Funny Girl" for my birthday. I played it so much I not only wore the record out, I wore my family out as well. I didn't have headphones back when I blasted my music...everyone in the house got to 'enjoy' it with me. Although I loved the entire album, "Don't Rain On My Parade" was my favorite song. It somehow struck a chord with the shy girl that I was, and made me feel like I could do matter who or what stood in my way. I would turn the volume up as loud as I dared and play it over and over and over...singing along with Barbra at the top of my lungs. My poor sister...she would cover her ears and run to the furthest corner of the house, begging our folks to make me stop. My dad would knock on the bedroom door and tell me to turn off the music..and I would..until the next day. Almost forty years later, my sis still can't stand this song. How do I know? Well, every once in a while, just for fun, I'll sing the first line for her..she immediately clamps her hands down over her ears and yells "NO!!". I love this song as much now as I did back then. It still makes me want to go out and conquer the world...and when I hear it...I almost feel as if I could do just that.



Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ugly, "berry" Ugly!

This got my funny bone a laughing
hope you enjoy to and it brings
you a smile to start your day!



Friday, October 9, 2009

Silent Night

by Bonacci

Hmmm… Carol says she’s out of blogs. The only better thing I have to do right now is sleep. Since I know that’s highly unlikely, I’ll write this. A better use of time as opposed to laying in a bed and just getting frustrated because I’m in a bed, doing nothing and not liking it.

I am an insomniac. Not the “Gee, I’m having trouble sleeping, give me a pill” insomniac; I’m the real deal. I sleep 3-4 times a week, and for maybe 2-4 hours on a good night. It’s a major lifestyle choice. More of a commitment than kids – that’s only 18 years. I’ve been at this for over 25 years.

I’ve laid down certain rules for me, like not sleeping during the day. There are still those who are convinced that I sneak sleep. WTF? Sneak sleep? Do people do that? Is it a crime? I don’t sleep during the day because I don’t want to screw myself up even more. If I wanted to, then I damn well would.

Pills work at putting me to sleep, but then I’d be popping them all the time and not doing anything to solve the real problem. Maybe it’s not really a problem? I have a lot of energy. Who says we should get 8 hours of sleep every night? Why? I’ve not turned into a pumpkin or anything. I think I’m okay.

Once in a while I catch up on my sleep somewhat. It usually involves getting hit in the head. Man, you don’t even have to try when that happens! It doesn’t even hurt until you wake up. Just, THUNK. You’re out. I don’t recommend this, but if it happens, there’s your half-full glass right there.

People get angry with me for not sleeping. I don’t know why. I ask nothing of anyone. I don’t complain and I’m quiet when others are asleep. That’s mostly true. I’ve been guilty of a sleep prank now and again. There is nothing so entertaining as setting off fireworks in someone’s bedroom whilst they’re buried in restful slumber.

Forget success, discovery and fame. My goal is to one day learn the ancient art of closing one’s eyes and going to sleep. It’s a whopper, I know. My quest continues.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

1/2 Week in Review!

one thing happens
and like magic many things happen
lets see:

"we had a skunk in the trunk
my ac is not working in my car
internet connection @ home sucks
work e-mail down for a entire day
family member having trouble with his son
working out like mad, not losing any weight
family members health issues surround me
forgot to watch "House" my cousin had a role in it
spoke to rudest person in the world yesterday
my toe still hurts"

i know we are suppose to continue on our path
no matter what gets in the way
but i gotta tell ya, i wish the path
was the yellow brick road
cause right about now i would
be the lion running in the fields
to find the courage to complete this week

the good news, it is thong thursday
so lets all let lose
well as lose as it
can be with that damn thong
suck in our asses

which brings me to the inevitable question

how is your week going?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Time Dilation and Space Compression #9

by Whabby

Well here we are, owls: The penultimate time dilation blog! This week we’re going to feast on some of the implications of the effect, such as the solution to last Wednesday’s conundrum. Before we get to that, though, I want to take care of an important piece of unfinished business. I want to be sure you understand that time dilation is all-encompassing: it occurs for any and all events on board Shirley, not just the movement of the light pulse up and down Shirley’s shaft.

What is an “event”, when you really think about it? My definition is pretty simple: An event is anything that has a beginning and an end, and takes a measurable amount of time to occur. What about when an event happens in a frame of reference that’s moving relative to you (like an event onboard Shirley)? We’ve discovered that, during the time that separates the beginning of the event from its end, the moving object covers a greater distance in your frame of reference than it does in its own frame of reference. Shirley is moving at the same finite speed in both frames of reference (in both cases, she covers exactly the same distance per unit of time). Therefore, the only way that she can possibly cover more space for the stationary observer (you) than for an observer (naked George) onboard is for the event in question to take more time.

To further appreciate this point, let’s return to last week’s version of the thought experiment. Shirley was revved up to very close to the speed of light, and the critical event (that light flash traveling up and down her shaft) took almost 13 minutes (as measured by you). Now, suppose you and naked George decide to do something completely different for a change than tracking a light flash. George proceeds to stand up (still erect, of course) with a baseball in his hand. At just the point where Shirley passes over you, traveling at that same 299,999 kilometers per second, George throws the baseball straight up in the air, with just enough force that it travels upwards for 1 second, and back down to his hand for one second.

Suppose also that you have a closed-circuit television that lets you watch the baseball go up and down. What would you see? Well, a television signal is a form of light, so it travels at 300,000 kilometers per second. Since the television signal is beaming directly from the floor of the spacecraft to your television set, what you see is determined by how far the signal has to travel, which, in turn, is dependent on how far away Shirley is when the images that make up the view on your television are emitted (typically, about 120 images are created every second). We saw last week that in two seconds, extra space is being created at a furious rate by Shirley’s high speed (the distance along Line B is stretching out quickly). This means that each successive television image of the baseball is traveling a longer and longer distance, which means a successively longer delay between when the onboard television camera records the image of the baseball, and when you see that image on your screen. The net result is that you would start to see the ball moving very slowly upwards, like your television was showing film of the event in slow motion, and as time continued to pass, the movement of the ball would slow down more and more, until it became imperceptible.

The baseball wouldn’t stop moving entirely, though, and if you took a break and went to the bathroom, when you came back you would see that the ball had moved. 13 minutes after George released the baseball, you would finally see it return to George’s hand, and his new throwing event would be over.

Actually, you could take a lot of breaks from watching your television in 13 minutes. You could go to the bathroom, have a brief conversation with your neighbor, perhaps watch the entire Kentucky Derby if it happened to be on, and even read an Owl’s Nest blog. Meanwhile, George would have no time to do any of these things; he would be fully occupied with throwing the ball up and catching it right away. All his concentration would be on that one very short event, and he’d have no time to do anything else. A text from him might say something like: “I was really rushed! I just barely had time to throw the ball up before I had to catch it again”.

Not so for you, and not so for everyone sharing your frame of reference (which is everybody else on the Earth). Imagine all the things that happen across the world in 13 minutes. Thousands of people die; thousands more are born; thousands exchange wedding vows; thousands get notices of a hiring or a firing; and there’s a distinct possibility that a big natural disaster like an earthquake occurs (and the first reports about it came in on CNN). In short, a busy little chunk of everyday life, full of scores of individual events, passes by.

What would happen if you didn’t stop Shirley from traveling at 299,999 kilometers per second after the two seconds it took for George to complete the ball-throwing task (or the light pulse measurement task)? That is, what would happen if you just let Shirley continue moving at the same speed for, say, two weeks of ship time? You would just go about your normal daily activities during that period, and so would George onboard. But, what would your texts to each other look like at the end of the two weeks?

Remember, when you and George were doing the light-pulse measurement, it was taking about 775 seconds for you to see the light pulse return to Shirley’s floor, versus a paltry two seconds for him. For every second of time that was passing for George, approximately 387 seconds were passing for you. That same multiplier works for any time scale. Thus, while only two weeks of time pass for George, 775 weeks of your life unfold.

But 775 weeks is almost 15 years! At the end of George’s two weeks, if you could exchange photos along with your text messages, he would look identical to what he did before; nobody ages noticeably in only two weeks! But you… you would look noticeably older; depending on how well he knew you, George might even have trouble recognizing you for a moment. And imagine all the pages and pages of news you could put in your text message to him, with 15 years worth of your life to draw from!

If we extended Shirley’s trip a little longer, to say a month, almost 30 years of your life would pass. Again, George would not have aged at all, not really, but there’d be a nontrivial possibility that you would have grown old enough to die. And in fact, if you cranked Shirley up even more, to faster than 299,999 kilometers per second, the time dilation would grow so extreme that in the month George spent on board Shirley, many thousands of years would pass here on Earth.

In just one short month, George could transport himself far, far into our future. Shirley would have become a very effective time machine.

I told you time dilation was a really freaky phenomenon, didn’t I? But there’s one last aspect to it – the answer to last week’s paradox – that may rank as the freakiest of all. Let’s go back to our standard thought experiment with the light pulse. Remember from last Wednesday’s blog that, from George’s point of view, in the two seconds it took for the light pulse to go up and down her cylinder, Shirley had traveled exactly 599,998 kilometers down the line? That’s not a trivial amount, granted; it’s about 1.5 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. But it is trivial from your point of view, because for you, Shirley traveled 236 million kilometers, about a third of the way to the planet Jupiter! By virtue of traveling so far, she and George could well have collided with an asteroid, ending both the time measurement experiment and George’s life. Meanwhile, from George’s perspective, nothing of the sort would have happened.

One afternoon this spring, while pondering this conundrum during my afternoon run on Stevens’ Creek trail, I had an “aha” experience, and the last piece of the time dilation puzzle finally fell into place for me. The light pulse moving up and down the shaft of Shirley is the same event for you and George; therefore, it has to have the same history in both frames of reference. So how do we get around the “asteroid collision” paradox? There’s only one way. The light pulse has to be at the identical location in the solar system at every point along its journey to the top of Shirley, and back down to her bottom, for both you and George. That way, if George and Shirley meet with their doom along the way, they do so both in your frame of reference, and in George’s.

Let’s assume George and Shirley have the good fortune to avoid all asteroids, and the light pulse reaches the floor of Shirley’s shaft quite safely. The speed of light is constant, so according to Shirley’s odometer, she has to have moved exactly 599,998 kilometers to your right when the light flash reaches the floor. The only way to reconcile that fact with Shirley being all the way out in the asteroid belt is if, from George’s point of view, space itself gets compressed – literally, scrunched - in the direction of Shirley’s movement. And that is the simple, but astonishing truth, owls: space actually shrinks along that direction of motion, by exactly the same factor as George’s time expands for you. In other words, when Shirley is traveling at 299,999 kilometers per second, everything in her path, including that final destination out in the asteroid belt, becomes 387 times closer than it is for you here on Earth. That’s why, from George’s perspective, it only takes two seconds to reach it!

We just saw that if you were part of a frame of reference that moves at a sufficiently high rate of speed relative to the Earth, you would become a time traveler, able to take a very short trip and yet return to Earth years in the future. Spatial compression is the amazing flip side to this; it means that, within your lifetime, you could travel to very remote destinations in the universe, including other stars and even other galaxies, which to us on Earth are so far away as to be forever beyond our reach.

Even though this is mind-boggling stuff to me, you may have one final “so what” reaction. You could argue that it’s totally absurd to have gone to all the trouble of exploring and explaining a phenomenon that never actually happens, because nothing actually ever goes that fast. But you know what? Actually, some things in the universe do move at close to the speed of light! What those things are is the topic of next week’s final blog.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's My Life

by Bonacci

We love our children. We make sacrifices for them. We don’t ask for anything aside from appreciation and a little respect. I’d thought I’d done a decent job as a mom. Somewhere along the way though, something went wrong.

I’ve been witnessing the birth of a monster in the form of my 18 year-old daughter. Several weeks ago, she managed to get herself banished from my home after some jaw-dropping remarks she made to Mr. B, the 2nd most patient man in the world. I couldn’t defend her. What she did was so completely inappropriate, I wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on. Independent individual that she is, she went to my dad. Grandpa agreed that she could stay with him, the absolute most patient man in the world, until she went to Florida to finish her studies. The minor glitch of having tuition cut off was something she’d figure out later.

I started seeing the little snot taking advantage of Dad. I was amazed she had the nads to treat him the way she did. We’d discussed it. He said when she left his home, he was going to tell her not to come back. He made a commitment to take care of her until January and by God, he would honor it.

She returned from Columbia (the country) this week. It was some Christian Cultist thing. Oh, she was royalty! Treated like the queen she knows she is. People fawning over her, opening doors, serving and bowing at her feet! Wait. I volunteered at a church-sponsored charity just last week. I spent 5 hours cooking and doing dishes. I was thanked certainly, but nobody got the memo that they should be fawning over ME. Wrong religion, apparently.

Whilst she was busy being royal in Columbia, someone (probably her), managed to spill something on her laptop. Grandpa took her to look at new computers. She showed him the one she wanted, then he called me to get a “professional” opinion. I didn’t agree with her choice. I found a delightful young man (19) at Best Buy who didn’t agree with her choice either. Dad and I decided that she should be required to consult with the guy. Twenty minutes, on the way home from her job. He made a special trip out to her work to let her know.

I don’t know where Dad went. It wasn’t him who came back. It was Mt. Vesuvius, ready to erupt. Apparently she became verbally abusive with him because he’d gone to her very important job of babysitting. The fart went “home” and got a confrontation. My dad’s a patient man; He’s also the scariest thing in the world when he’s angry. I had a front-row seat, folks.
Basically, the little snot told Dad she had “like, 80” different places she could have gone after being tossed from my home. So really, it was an honor that she went to her Grandpa. Did you all feel the eruption? Anybody get burned by spewing lava? I had enough. I told her that if she had so many places to go, maybe she should go. Grandpa agreed.

So now my daughter has managed to alienate every person who would have helped her. It will be hard for me to stand by and watch her suffer. I think though, that it’s necessary. At this point, it’s her life. Maybe she’ll understand one day that it’s a lesson she needed to learn. Maybe not. The house of Bonacci is done being a doormat.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"There is no place like home."

by DeeDee

I know just how this young lady feels......I felt the same way when Rose walked to the stern of the research vessel in the movie Titanic and threw Louis XVI's Le Coeur de la Mer into the sea.....WTF!!

I hope this starts out your week with a laugh!

Disclaimer - The characters in this parody are fictional and for entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to anything you know or have seen is purely coincidental. Residents of the Denver, Colorado area are advised to view in a seated....restrained position.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


by The Traveling Wilburys

Chosen by Just_Lin

It's always nice to hear someone say, "It's all right". Maybe that's why this song always makes me feel good. The Traveling Wilburys were made up of George Harrison, Jeff Lynn, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan. Roy Orbison passed away around the time of the making of this video. His voice had already been recorded and he is represented in the video by an empty rocking chair and a framed photo. Unfortunately, George Harrison is no longer with us, either, but what a great sound these five had together.

Perhaps it's my age, but I especially like the following verse of this song:

Well, it's all right, even if you're old and gray

Well, it's all right, you still got something to say

Well, it's all right remember to live and let live

Well, it's all right, the best you can do is forgive

End of the Line The Traveling Wilburys

Saturday, October 3, 2009

~You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too!~

by Tina~in_ut

I'm sitting here eating my Lemon Creme Cake from the Olive Garden and reading about Christopher Savoie when it dawns on me: Buddy, you can't have your cake and eat it, too! I heard about him on the local radio station on my way to work one day this week. I was appalled when I heard his story and felt so sorry for him. Of course, I only heard the short version on the radio. After hearing "the whole story", well, as much as I could find reported in the news, I don't know what to think!

The radio station reported that Christopher Savoie went to Japan to get his kids, 8-year-old Isaac and 6-year-old Rebecca, back and was arrested by the Japanese police for kidnapping. It seems that he and his wife of 14 years divorced in January, and since she was from Japan and they had only lived in the U.S. for a little over a year, he was afraid that Noriko would take them back to live in Japan. He was right. She took them and when he tried to take the kids to the U.S. Consulate to get passports, he was arrested. The DJ's and I were astounded that someone could be arrested for trying to see their own kids.

After looking up the news stories on him, I don't know who I feel more sorry for. Christopher and Noriko are citizens of both the United States and Japan. They lived in Japan and their children were born and raised there. Christopher moved to the U.S. in January 2008 and Noriko and the children followed in June. Before moving, Noriko tried to get a divorce, but Christopher refused. He talked her into moving to the U.S, and when she finally did, Noriko found that her husband had been having an affair and now wanted a divorce. After much fighting, the divorce was final in January 2009 and Christpher re-married in February. Noriko was awarded custody of the children, but during the divorce proceedings, Christopher feared that she would take the children to Japan and asked the judge to not allow her to take the children on vacation out of the country. In cases of divorce in Japan, custody is almost always granted to the mother, and fathers rarely get to see their children. He didn't want this happening to him. The court decided to hold onto the children's passports.

In March, Christopher took his ex-wife back to court. The judge hearing their case asked Noriko if she planned to take the children back to Japan to live and she said no. She was asked this repeatedly and said no each time. The judge did allow her to take kids on a two week vacation to Japan in July. Noriko was given their passports and they went and returned on time. Two weeks later, Noriko left for good back to Japan with the children. The courts never asked for the children's passports upon their return from their vacation.

Christopher went to Japan and when Noriko was walking the kids to school, he took them and rushed to the U.S. Consulate. Noriko called the local police and they were there waiting for Christopher when he arrived. He was arrested and will be held up to 10 days in jail while this whole mess is worked out. In the United States, once Noriko took the children in August, sole custody was granted to Christopher and a warrant was issued for her arrest, but that warrant has no bearing in Japan.

I have a hard time with this one. You have a woman scorned, living in a foreign country, and she's incredibly bitter. Who wouldn't be? I don't know how he could expect her to want to stay in the U.S. at all. It's almost as if he tricked her into coming here. At the same time, she broke the law. But then again, so did he. And where are the children in all this? It seems that neither one of the parents are thinking of the children. What do you think?

Friday, October 2, 2009

No looking back

and so it happens
a miracle
as the fire is ranging
a civilian becomes a hero
no looking back
just need to help
the adrenaline rushes thru
the body moves
all in the bronx ny
firefighters are ready
they are there to help the helpless
are unsung heros
and the civilian hero
a life is saved
it happens
hero's among us
the good surface's
and on we go

click here
click here for longer version


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Italiano Dessert

This is a Italian dessert its a favorite of my entire family, and whenever we go out to eat someone will always order it. Now, I don't love it, it is certainly not my favorite, but that does not mean I don't eat it. You can buy it an Italian food store and most all Italian Restaurant's offer it on their menu as a dessert choice.

Si può indovinare che cosa è questo dessert? (This is a question, Its in Italian, google it to see what I am asking).