Friday, October 29, 2004

Threat Level Raised to Chartreuse!

Well, it's official. We are at like def-con 15,000 at work. First the elections are next week and being in Florida we know there will be problems. We even have a disaster team in case something bigger happens.

And now, on top of it all Osama Bin Laden is all over TV with a taped message to the U.S. saying that it doesn't matter who we elect to the White House he still hates us. Unless we change our bad American ways, he still wants to kill us. You know how dang predictable Osama! Like I or anyone else didn't see you doing something like this.

Bring it on. Let's get this election started!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Smiling On the Way Home

Last nights sunset here in central Florida was spectacular! I wish I had a camera to catch it. I walked out of the supermarket and was stunned. It was the most wonderful pinky-purple the sky. I got into my car and started to drive home. I smiled the whole way there. I am lucky that my entire drive home is west so I get to see some spectacular sights.

Tonights the total eclipse of the moon! Don't want to miss that. In Florida it'll be full at 10:14 and stay for about an hour.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Curl Up with Your Pet and Read This One

A Good Read...Mostly Posted by Hello

I finished Whisker of Evil by Rita Mae Brown last night. I have to admit it did take me a little while to finish it because it took me a while to get into it to begin with.
Harry Harristeen is the main character and is joined by her two cats Pewter and Mrs. Murphy and her dog Tucker to solve a murder mystery of a local horseman who they find in the woods. There are so many other characters that at times I did find myself looking back at the list of characters at the beginning of the book, I was thankful it was there.
This book had great intentions, the storyline was good, Rita Mae showed that she is a talented writer (at points), and the characters are different and interesting. The problem I found is the how complicated Brown made the storyline at times. She seemed to want to get so much into the why and hows, the main story line sometimes got lost.
Brown has a talent for description and I appreciated it. But just as she really started picking up the pace, she would slow you down so much with description and back story that you almost forget the main plot when you got back to it.
But at the end I was mostly satisfied with the book. It was fun and different since the animals speak to each other throughout the book and helping their "humans" out whenever they can.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Hoosiers R' Growin' Pumpkins

A Pumpkin Patch in Indiana Posted by Hello

I saw this interesting article today about Indiana growing more and more of the nations pumpkins. What is interesing is that they are not for pies but more and more people want them as decorations. I got to see my first pumpkin patch when I was up in Indiana in September, the picture above is just outside of Shipshewana, Ind. The story is below:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - Indiana farmers are growing more pumpkins to meet a rising demand for jack-o-lanterns and other seasonal decor, rather than food production. Indiana is No. 7 in pumpkin production in the United States, with 4,242 acres of pumpkins planted in 2002, according to the Census of Agriculture, published in June. But only five of the state's 495 pumpkin farmers grow their crops for processing into pie filling and other food, said Greg Preston of the Indiana Agricultural Statistics Service. Most pumpkins are destined for carving or other seasonal display. The state's pumpkin patches expanded by 45 percent between 1997 and 2002, according to the Census of Agriculture. Ralph Kurtz shifted crops on his 1,300-acre farm a few miles east of Fort Wayne in the 1990s when wholesale buyers began ordering more pumpkins. Now he grows about 50,000 pumpkins each year. Kurtz said chain stores are now a major market for pumpkins. "Ten, 15 years ago, Meijer, Wal-Mart, Menards - none of those people had pumpkins. Now they do," he said. Retailers are catering to increasing numbers of people who are spending money on pumpkins and other seasonal decorations. Halloween ranks second only to Christmas in decoration spending, said Scott Krugman, spokesman for the National Retail Federation. "It's really shifted from one night out of the year to more of a seasonal holiday," said Krugman. A survey conducted for the federation estimated consumers will spend about $780 million on Halloween decorations this year, said Ellen Tolley, a spokeswoman for the group. ---

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Shoe Shopping - What a Pain!

Toe Cleavage Posted by Hello

I know I need to get some new work shoes. Mine are looking pretty sad. I am one of those people who don't buy them too often wear them until they start to fall apart. I'm not like some women who have many pairs of shoes. I have a black pair, a brown pair, athletic shoes, flop flops and one pair of canvas shoes, that's about all. I know some men I know have more shoes than I do.

So I go out looking for something new and I didn't have much luck. Either the shoes were all low cut for maximum toe cleavage, big and clunky or a 3 1/2-inch heel or higher. I don't know why there are so many shoes cut so low. On most people they aren't cute. Anyone without perfectly skinny feel, it makes your feel look pretty pudgy. And the clunky ones were cute a few years back. And why would I even want to wear something with a tall heel? I do like my feet NOT to hurt. So I guess I will be out looking at other places for some new shoes. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Weekend Hangover...

Laying in bed this morning hearing enjoying the birds singing and a coolness in the room, it was really hard for me to get up. We have had beautiful weather here in Florida the past three days. Bright blue skies, breezes and comfortable temperatures. Friday evening Hubby and I ventured out to Fort Desoto and went fishing. It was actually chilly enough for me to wear jeans and a sweatshirt. I should have had a jacket too because the wind was gusting pretty hard. Only catches were catfish which we quickly sent back to the Gulf of Mexico.

Saturday we watched The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe. I have to say I really enjoyed it. The scenery was beautiful and the story was touching and sad.

And here I am back to work... I wasn't ready to be here. But you do what you have to.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Rain Brings in the Autumn..For a short time.

A lovely line a showers is pushing through the Tampa area. This line of showers is supposed to be bringing Autumn in. Our lows our supposed to "dip" into the lower 60's and highs into the upper 70s. I am so looking forward to this. I am hoping, even for one evening, I can open my windows and let the fresh air flow in. I know this may be a temporary, but I'll take any I can get.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

'Da Bears

Ok, so guess who is sitting about 20 feet away from me here at the newspaper?

Mike Ditka. Former Chicago Bears coach and hall of famer. How cool is that? The guys in good shape it looks like and he is taller than I would have thought. I am resisting the urge to go up to him and say 'da bears! Dave is trying to figure how to get his picture taken with him, knowing Dave, he'll find a way.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Women- Another Reason to Vote, You Can

Today I came across another article talking about women in other countries with respect to voting. On Saturday I was reading that in Friday's first ever election in Afghanistan, 41 percent of all registered voters were women. And on the way to vote many of these women were threatened if they were seen with their finger darkened with ink that showed they had voted, their hands would be cut off.

Today in an article I saw this from the Associated Press:

"Some women considered the move yet another indignity in a country where they need their husbands' permission to study, travel or work. But others said they wouldn't trust themselves to judge whether a candidate is more than just a handsome face."

This was in response to them finding out that women would not be allowed to vote in upcoming elections. I get so frustrated when I hear so many women who don't vote. So many women fought so hard to get that right here and there are so many women who can't around the world. And here, where anyone 18 and over and meet some basic criteria can and don't. It doesn't take much out of your day and as many recent elections have shown, each vote does count.

So whatever affiliation you side with it doesn't matter. What does is that we as American's stop taking this right we have been given as something so petty. What is dumb? Those who don't believe those are effected won't have a great affect on their lives. And those who don't vote, I don't want to hear a peep out of them complaining about the government. You had your chance to speak up, and you didn't take it.

'Twas the Night Before Frances...

Thanks to my mom for sending this...One last hurricane related item.

'Twas the night before Frances
When all through the state
Not a gas pump was pumping
Not a store open late

All the plywood was hung
On the windows with care
Knowing that a hurricane
Soon would be there

The children were ready
With flashlights in hand
While bands from the hurricane
Covered over the land

And mamma with her Mag-Lite
And I in my cap
Had just filled the bath tub
For flushing our crap

When out on the lawn
There arose such a clatter
I sprang from the closet
To see what was the matter

The trees on the fence
And the neighbor's roof torn
Gave the fear of us dying

In this terrible storm
With a little wind gust
So lively and quick
I remembered quite clearly
Our walls weren't brick

More rapid than eagles
Her courses they came
And she whistled, and wafted
And surged all the same

Off shingles! Off sidings!
Off rooftops! Off power!
Down trees! Down fences!
Down trailers! Down towers!

In the center of Florida
She continued to maul
Screaming Blow Away!
Blow Away! Blow Away All!

As wind ripped and tossed
The debris through the sky
I peeked out the shutters
At cars floating by

So go to the safe-room
My family did do
With a portable radio

And batteries too
And then, in a twinkling
I heard on the set
The end was not coming
For a few hours yet!

As I calmed down the kids
And was turning around
Through the window it came
With a huge crashing sound

A tree branch it was
All covered in soot
The wind blew it smack-dab
On top of my foot

A bundle of twigs
Now lay in a stack
And my living room looks
Like it was under attack

The wind - how it howled!
The storm - very scary!
Myself and the family
Were all too unwary

The dangers of hurricanes
Are serious, you know
They are taken for granted
As Frances did show

With the winds dying down
And the danger beneath
I noticed my tool shed
Was missing its sheath

So I grabbed my last tarp
And nailed it on down
Then I got in my car
And I headed to town

The traffic was awful
And stores had no ice
My five gallon cooler
Would have to suffice

Generators were scarce
Not one left in town
There were trees on the roads
And power lines down FEMA was ready

With people to work
Electrical companies
Came in from New York

And in the midst of
This peculiar routine
Another storm emerged
Named Hurricane Jeanne

I sprang to the car
And gave my family a whistle
Then away we all went
Like a Tomahawk missile

You could hear us exclaim
As we drove out of sight
"The heck with this place,Vermont seems just right!"

Thursday, October 07, 2004

A Touch of Fall in Florida

It wasn't 80 degrees when I walked outside to get into my car. Woohoo it's Fall in Florida! I mean it'll still be 86 today at least, but the humidity is a little lower and a nice breeze has come in. I'm so excited. I even put out my Halloween decorations earlier this week. Being I've never had a house to PUT stuff outside, I don't have any of that stuff, but after the holiday I will be looking for stuff on deep discount.

And a pumpkin shock happened to me last night. While shopping at Publix I came across some lovely pumpkins and other gourds. The pumpkins I saw were $7. The same ones at the Amish market? $1. Man, what markup! I should have brought some home. I could have held one or two in my lap on the airplane. I am sure they wouldn't have minded.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Fav. Headline for the day...

I bet the headline writer that got to do this had a good laugh. - 'Team America' cuts puppet sex, gets R - Oct 6, 2004

He didn't get no respect

Comedian Rodney Dangerfield died last night after complications from a stroke and heart sugury. The guy was funny. He didn't have to be crude, just had lots of silly jokes, he was just funny. Here's some of his jokes:

"I tell ya I get no respect from anyone. I bought a cemetery plot. The guy said, 'There goes the neighborhood!"

"When we got married, the first thing my wife did was put everything under both names -- hers and her mother's."

"With my wife, I don't get no respect. The other night there was a knock on the front door. My wife told me to hide in the closet."

and finally..

"When I started in show business, I played one club that was so far out, my act was reviewed in Field and Stream."

Thanks for the laughs.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Top Notch Fun!

Laugh Out Loud Funny! Posted by Hello
This was the second vacation book for me and it closed it perfectly when I finished it last night. To The Nines by Janet Evanovich was great. As usual it follows bounty hunter Stephanie Plum through her getting into (mostly) and out of trouble due to a case she's on. This one has her drawn into a sick "game" that ultimately could cost her her life. But all the ubserd things that happen along the way makes this novel so fun. From the first guy she's tyring to catch who lubed himself up with vasoline to avoid capture, to her sister who's pregnant and is eating for a family of four rather than two, there's many laughs. I looking to reading the next. But next it's on to a Rita Mae Brown book Whisker of Evil. Yup, I'm reading a book where the animals talk to each other. Looking forward to it.

Dirty Girls Makes For Great Reading

You'll Never Think the Same about Hispanic women/Latina's Again. Posted by Hello

I finished The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez towards the end of my vacation. I am glad I had the chance to read this book. Valdes-Rodriguez is a talented writer who gives a group a women a voice that is desperately needed.
This book follows six Latina/Hispanic/Mexicana/Cuban women who met in college in Boston and continue their quirky friendship. Each of them comes from a completely different background and bring their own set of problems to the table.
Lauren is a reporter for the Boston Globe who is feisty but battling many demons and drinks to compensate. Sara is the Cuban Jew who seems to be leading the perfect life as a homemaker, but her husband is not who her friends think he is. Amber is the rocker who is looking to break into showbiz while at the sametime bring the Mexican cause front and center. Rebecca is the perfectionist who runs a successful magazine whose personal life isn't as ideal as she portrays it. Elizabeth is a local news anchor whose secret may destroy her career and her best friend. And Usnavys is the proud plus-sized women who can't see what's really good for her is in front of her face.
Lauren introduces them all and then each of the characters narrate their stories.
As mentioned before the author can write, and well. She is able to easily differentiate each voice, slow and speed up the pace and introduces many ideas that many be unfamiliar territory to many. Mainly reminding the reader that these women are all different as are those who make up the Hispanic/Latin/Caribbean/Spanish, ect. world. She looks to dismiss many of the stereotypes and does a good job of it without preaching to you. I may look for her next book Playing With Boys because I enjoyed her writing so much.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Whew is it hot outside or What?

Brad and his little brother Michael Posted by Hello

I picked this photo to represent my vacation because that's what it was all about, family. My family is going through a baby boom right now and there were lots of members to meet. Like Michael above. He is almost 1 month old, tomorrow in fact.

We spent lots of time catching up and having fun. Once I get through my pictures I'll post some more. I'm not ready to back to work tomorrow, I was getting used to being up a little later, rising about 9-9:30, sitting around in my robe, drink a nice cup of coffee and taking life at a slower pace. But alas, the bills must be paid so back I go. Also, it's hard to get used to the 90 degree weather after enjoying the 60's and 70's for daytime highs.

Tomorrow it's back to the grind and the 1,000 plus e-mails I'll be sorting through I'm sure.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Fall is Lovely In Indiana

Whew! Tonight is my last night in Indiana. I have had a great time! The weather here has been spectacular the past two days. Low 70's for highs and 50's for lows. But the cooler weather is a comin'! There is a potential frost tomorrow night and some rain tomorrow. Also, since being here, many of the trees are starting to turn brilliant colors of red and gold. It is a really cool thing. I want to go out and grab some and stuff em' in my suitcase to dress up the house. We went to a large garden yesterday and saw some of the most lovely roses. (I have pics and will have to share!) and went to dinner with my crazy Aunts and Uncles (and one in particular is particularly ornery). Then we went back to Aunt Sandy and Uncle Mike's and played a MEAN game of 99, for cash of coarse. Dad won, which is always good. In the process we heard more about them as young adults...somethings I really didn't need to know. It's funny because you grow up with your aunts and uncles and you don't see them as young adults. But now that we are adults they are a sharing! Today it was a little shopping and home to fix dinner with sister Laura. It was fun and good. We were very lucky to share the evening with my cousins and my cousin's Dave and Kim's new son Michael. He is a doll. (Of course, there are photos.) I finished a book, The Dirty Girl's Social Club, I'll review later and am on to a Janet Evonovich book my mom had brought. Tomorrow it is off to the airport and home again. I do miss my hubby and he says because I'm not home he is off his rhythm (hopefully it's not because he's out of clothes and is waiting for me to come home to do that for him.) (JUST KIDDING!) Well, off I go, don't want to stay up too late because it's back to work on Sunday at the flea market and then back to my other job Monday and the 1,000 e-mails I am sure I have waiting for me. Ta ta from Indiana.