Friday, March 30, 2007


Last night SB called my at 1940, he was exhausted. It had been a long day and he knew today was going to be as well. I didn't have the heart to tell him that while we were talking I was already in bed (this head cold is sapping my energy) and as soon as we hung up I was rolling over and going to sleep for the next 10 hours or so.

Even I'm not that mean!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

National CounterTerrorism Center

Hmmmm, LOL!

Some People Think......

....the Air Force is going to ask Congress to investigate a possible violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, lol.

The Navy is just taking over the whole deal, baby!

Socom Leader To Retire; His Deputy Likely Successor

Army Gen. Bryan "Doug" Brown, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command since September 2003, will retire this summer after four decades in the military. His deputy, Vice Adm. Eric Olson, is the front-runner to replace him, according to officials familiar with the internal deliberations.
If Olson, who once ran the elite SEAL Team Six counterterrorist unit, is nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate, Navy officers will be in charge of the two war fighting organizations most responsible for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Adm. William Fallon was installed March 16 as commander of U.S. Central Command, which along with Socom is based at MacDill Air Force Base.

Grace Should Be Relieved......

....but she's not. Last night we went to our parent's house to ambush Grace with a party. She turned 44 and wouldn't celebrate. Isn't that silly? I turned 46 and the festivities went on for a week and included 5 birthday cakes. Anyway, Jen and I picked up a cake at White's Pastry Shop in Hingham and took our Crate & Barrel presents (thanks for wrapping Jen) and met her at our parent's. I had forgotten to tell my parents we were coming and there was some agitation. They had the dining room ripped apart, with all the furniture in other rooms. My mother questioned where we would sit. I just laughed. There is always chaos where I am! Anyway, I made a big show of returning the pan the fudge was made in (my father protested giving it to me because so much of his stuff never gets returned). Then I gave my Dad the CD version of "Victory at Sea" that I got for a song on EBay. I am the favorite daughter of the moment!

So Grace is telling us about a conversation she had with her husband. She explained that she needed to go to Costco for TP. Dave pointed out that there was a ton of TP in the attic. Grace was almost apopleptic at the suggestion of dipping into the bird flu supplies! LOL That reminded me of an article I read in The Atlantic.
A worldwide outbreak of bird flu that followed the pattern of the 1918–1920 influenza pandemic would kill between 51 million and 81 million people, according to a new study—but if history repeated itself, very few of the dead would be Americans or residents of other wealthy nations. The authors compared death rates across 27 countries during the period 1915–1923 and found that the rates varied wildly from place to place, even within a single country: In British India, for instance, the mortality rate ranged from 2.1 percent in Burma to 7.8 percent in the province of Berar. The best explanation for this variation turned out to be per capita income alone; for every 10 percent increase in income, the death rate declined by roughly 10 percent. Given present income variations, a flu pandemic that followed a similar pattern would claim just 4 percent of its victims in the developed world—here defined as members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
So, I said "Don't you feel better?" Her answer, "No, no."
Oh well, I tried.
By the way, recently the Pope came out with a statement re-iterating Hell is a real place. I told Jennifer. She said "Good, now we know where you'll be." Grace agreed. Why should I try to be nice now? It will be too little, too late anyway.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Am John Doe

Go over and see Michelle Malkin's latest video. Don't miss a special cameo from one of my fellow pub crawlers. Read the manifesto.

Related story - Congress did the right thing!! Final vote: 304 Ayes, 121 Noes. Here in Massachusetts, my congressional delegation has one stand up guy........Stevie Lynch. I called his office and told the person who answered the phone that I thought Stevie was fabulous! He's from Southie, that explains it.
I went over to Frank's place and bought a "I Am John Doe. Sue Me." T-shirt.

Howie Carr

Howie is reading Michelle Malkin's post. It's great!

Go read it.

Uncle Jimbo is involved. I love Uncle Jimbo.


Jennifer called my cell to ask a question, but I was tied up. She left a message with Nic. Usually we communicate via Windows Messenger. However, for some reason mine constantly signs itself out. She has complained that I am constantly popping in and out. So, I signed in and asked if she needed an actual phone call. She said no, it's just that I wasn't signed in. I asked if she had run my problem past the CMC for a possible solution. She said no.

I said "That's because you don't care about my problems." She answered "That is a true statement."


SB will like that one.

Jennifer and SB do not understand the proper way to show respect.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Someone in Washington with a brain!

From Morning Edition: A top aide for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says she will invoke the Fifth Amendment when testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee wants to question Monica Goodling about the firings of eight federal prosecutors.

Ms. Goodling understands the wisdom of the great James Michael Curley
"Never write when you can speak, never speak when you can nod."

She saw what happened when Scooter tried to talk to a grand jury about a leak he wasn't responsible for. She knows that once a witch-hunt is on that just being not guilty of wrongdoing is no protection from persecution.

Good for you, Ms. Goodling.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Another Deval Debacle

OMG, the fun just never stops!

WCVB, The Boston Channel reports
Gov. Deval Patrick launched a new page on his political Web site this weekend to organize supporters behind his issues, but Secretary of State William Galvin Monday asked the governor to take it down, fearing the identity of voters may be compromised.
Team 5 Investigates Janet Wu discovered that when people register to participate, it discloses their home address as listed in the Massachusetts voter database. Wu found that anyone could enter a name and a town and find the street address for any registered voter. For some searches, unpublished phone numbers were revealed

Janet Wu posed this concern.
"I think we're all concerned about people's private information getting public. Just to be clear, this information did not come from my office," said Galvin. "We know elderly voters in particular (are) concerned about people finding their address, what apartment they're in."

The response form Ms. Morningstar on his behalf is stunning.
"It's information that's publicly available from your city, your city hall, your local voter registration, " said Liz Morningstar of the Deval Patrick Committee.

Team 5 Investigates entered the name of a woman with a restraining order against a stalker. Her full address popped up on the Patrick campaign Web site.
Morningstar said if anyone has a complaint to lodge, she welcomes them to go online and register their concerns, but she said the campaign has no intention of taking down the new page.

So, I go and sign up to say I agree with the people who want the website taken down.

This is being discussed on several blogs that do a better job than I do. Hub Politics, DevalPatrickWatch, New England Republican, and RedMass Group.

If you lilve in Massachusetts, go to and register and join in protesting this violation of our privacy.

The Truest Thing I've Read In The New York Times

This is from an article in today's NYT. “The bottom line is that insurance companies make money when they don’t pay claims,” said Mary Beth Senkewicz, who resigned last year as a senior executive at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. “They’ll do anything to avoid paying, because if they wait long enough, they know the policyholders will die.”

I deal with insurance companies every day. Some are good, some aren't, but to some extent, all of them follow this maxim. There is an insurance company I deal with on a regular basis that routinely denies a certain percentage of "clean claims". That is to say, there's nothing special about them, they don't have any errors and when you call in to their provider service line, they say "My bad, we'll reprocess." The point of doing this is two fold. One, they got to keep their money in their accounts a little longer. Two, some of these claims will not be called on for several reasons and the insurance company will not have to pay. This is a big part of my job. It's my job because I can be persistent without being rude. I call these people and get claims reprocessed and I will keep at it and at it. Sometimes though, my boss will say, "Nevermind, the cost of your time vs. that claim isn't worth it." It's true the claim in question is usually short money, but multiply that out. How many companies? How many claims? Just by denying claims on the first and sometimes second level (which doesn't cost the insurance companies anything significant - just a form letter), how much are they making? It's fraud and there is nothing I can do about it. Every company does it, Medicare too.
I have no solutions, I have no answers. I am just venting.
This rant in no way endorses socialized medicine, Clinton medicine or Romney medicine. At least the way it's done now patients still get choice and quality and providers make money. We just get cheated a little. It's like having to kick up a little to the "boss".

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me

I love "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me", I manage to listen every week thanks to their website. This week's guest for the "Not My Job" segment was Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. LOL, the Yahoo headline is misleading. It's sounds as though he failed a news quiz and that is not what happens. He failed the nonsense part of the show.
Justice Breyer goes 0-3 on NPR news quiz
Here's what Justice Stephen Breyer revealed about the Supreme Court in his appearance on a radio quiz show: His judicial robe gathers no lint because it's synthetic.
When it came to cracking wise, Breyer held his own with a panel of people who are paid to be funny on National Public Radio's "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me."
Being the funniest Supreme Court justice, he said, "is like being one of the shortest tall people."
On why he even agreed to answer questions outside his area of expertise in the humbling, and often embarrassing, "Not My Job" segment: "Well, it was my sister-in-law who wanted me to do it, and I wanted peace in the family."
The show was taped Thursday and will air this weekend on NPR stations. NPR provided a transcript on Friday.
Breyer spent a half-hour or so chatting with host Peter Sagal and panelists Luke Burbank, Paula Poundstone and Mo Rocca.
In response to questions from Poundstone, Breyer let listeners in on the secret of his lint-free robe, purchased 25 years ago after he became an appeals court judge in Boston.
But Breyer struck out when it came to the "Not My Job" questions, failing to answer any correctly about strange moments in the lives of rock stars David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne and Iggy Pop.
In the end, the NPR regulars confessed they were relieved that Breyer didn't know Bowie once tried to exorcise Satan from his swimming pool, Iggy Pop spent a year eating nothing but German sausages or Osbourne once asked for directions to the bar immediately after checking in to rehab.
"I feel more and more confident about your ability to protect our Constitution knowing that you didn't know the answers to any of those three questions," Poundstone said

I Have Been Very Productive Today.......

****UPDATE*****03/25/2009 - This post (which is 2 years old) is getting a ton of hits from people clicking through the picture of a pile of money. What gives? How are you getting here? Email me or comment or something, I'm dying of curiosity******
......unlike Pia yesterday. LOL Seriously, it's ok, she deserves it.

I got up at 0630 and did some laundry and some packing in case the USN decides my presence is required in Newport.

That's right, my stray is back stateside! Then into work for a few. At 1000 I was getting a burn permit for the monstrous pile of willow debris in my yard. A pitstop for new rakes, gloves, Dunkin' (can't get jack outta Frank without a bribe) and on to yard work. My face is still burning hot. Nothing blazes up like old dry Christmas trees and willow branches. Then I had to drag my smelly self into work to cover the rest of the day. We're closed, thank heaven, because I SMELL!

So, as I was leaving and giving Frank and the rest of the posse final instructions on the yard, this conversation takes place.

FX: What's the deal? What's your plan for tonight?
Me: Work until five, then maybe Newport.
He lights up, instantly picturing my living room turned into a FIFA video game tournament, complete with snacks and pizza.

FX: Yes! I've got money! Do you need money? Bounce!LOL, bastid! I would have thrown something at him, but I can't raise my arms from all that raking.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I'm In Trouble Again!!

It is NOT my fault. I have no idea how these things happen.

Here's the story.

We start with a local neurologist that my company occasionally does business with. We will call him Dr. X. Dr. X has won awards, has a thriving practice, etc. Personally, I found him to be a cold fish and autocratic, but whatever.

Fast forward to about 18 months ago, charges surfaced against Dr. X re: "inappropriate touching". I read the stories and based on my personal experience and cynical nature, jumped to the conclusion that it was a scam on the part of the two women and dismissed the story. After all he seems like the last person to want to touch someone.

Fast forward to about a month ago. Jen and I are discussing her neurologists. The first recommended another who specialized in Jen's condition, MS. The recommended doctor had a lot going for her (smart, world class hospital affiliation) but had a terrible bedside manner and didn't listen. Dr. C had a set agenda and stuck to it. *WE* didn't like her.

The next one we found via a friend of Jen's who casually said "I know the head of the MS Department at BI". Hi! Get us in! LOL Gary got us in. The new neurologist, Dr. V is just what we wanted. He's smart. He listens. He puts up with our crazy questions. Great guy, love him, but he is shifting his focus back to research and is less and less available. So Jen and I will soon be on the hunt again. She asks me about local guys. Lots of people ask because in my work I know the other good they are in responding to patient's to look up on the internet and see stuff about them. So I mentioned a few locals and said the smartest was probably Dr. X and reminded her of his award from the MS Society. We were both there the night he received it. I also mention the "cold fish" part and we dismiss him from further consideration. Bad bedside manner, been there, done that, all set.

Fast forward to a few days ago. The newspapers are full of stories about Dr. X pleading guilty to "inappropriately touching" 9 women!!!!!!!!! LOL They range in age from 32 to 78. Christ! I was shocked. Oh well.

Fast forward to dinner last night (Girl's Night) when the subject comes up and Jen starts ripping me a new one. "You were going to send me to "Chester-the-Molester"!!!!!! You were going to send me to some pervert? What part of a neurological exam requires humping someone from behind!" I am laughing too hard to defend myself. No one at the table is helping me.

Then she starts bringing out the big guns. "Wait until Sunday (another family birthday party - Grace and my nephew Frankie)! Wait till I tell our family that you were going to let me get molested. Wait till I tell Mum that you were going to take me to a pervert. What would you have done when I came out of that exam room covered with blood, looking for a shovel?"

I gasped that she is never in the exam room alone. I am always with her. She just rolls right over me. "You are in such trouble! Our family will rip her to shreds!" she tell the others. She is right, I am in such trouble. I will never win this. I will never live it down. Forever and ever, no matter what I do, I will be the one who tried to send Jen to a pervert doctor. Just tattoo the big "B" on my forehead for "bad sister".

Then, the unkindest cut of all. "Wait until I tell my friend, SB". Now I'm sunk. SB and Jennifer are always one against me. It is completely irrational. My only hope is the fact that I get to tell my side first.

Fast forward to this morning. SB calls. There are a million things I want to say. There are a million things he wants to say. "Wait, wait, wait. I must tell you this." I say. I tell him the story. Any rationale person can see that I did nothing wrong. Anyone can see that I merely suggested his name. That had we pursued this, I would have remembered the allegations and ruled him out.

When I conclude my case, he says............

"Well, I'll have to hear Jennifer's side of this............but it's not looking good for you."

Not looking good for me? Not looking good for ME!! What. The. Fuck. LOL This just isn't fair!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


So, I haven't posted about this because I don't want to draw the moonbats and have to edit the "Die Na2zi/Repu%blican b&^itch" comments (I fiddled with the comment because I don't want to even know would be drawn here by Googling that phrase). Generally, I go cause trouble in other people's blogs.......Jarhead John, Ace of Spades, The Castle, etc. But a discussion over at JJ's place got me thinking. Do any rational people really, truly, honestly believe that Scooter should be doing time over this crap? Do they further believe that he got fair and equal treatment when compared with other political investigations or criminal matters?

JJ posted about Scooter and double standards, go read it here. Then go read the comments. This pretty much sums up my point of view.

I agree comparing Berger/Kennedy/Jefferson to Libby is a case of apples vs. oranges. Or, more to the point, actual crime vs. sneaky stupidity. Scooter was stupid. We (I use that in the royal sense) had the high moral ground. Joe Wilson is a lying weasel. Instead of standing up and condemning him in the hard, cold light of day.......Scooter was whispering. Not that it mattered, Armitage is the guy who let the cat out of the bag.
So.......Berger steals/destroys government property, Kennedy is caught OUI, Jefferson has 90 large in marked bills...........but Scooter faces JAIL for lying about a matter in which there was.... no..... underlying...... crime.....

Dustin Willis

Body identified as missing sailor
Boston police confirmed last night that the body pulled yesterday from Boston Harbor was that of missing sailor Dustin Willis, a 26-year-old petty officer who had last been seen near Quincy Market during the snowstorm Friday night.

The conditions that night were terrible by the water. I had to cover my face leaving Jen's house, I couldn't see anything. Fortunately, I knew where I was going with my eyes closed.

This is a young man who had a spotless record," he added, adding that last week Willis was honored with a Navy achievement medal for superior performance.

What a sad, sad story. A tragic accident. This is a satellite photo of the area.
People are coming here by way of "googling" Dustin's name. They are sad and upset, some leave comments, some don't. I didn't know Dustin, I just posted because the story caught my eye, it was local, it involved the Navy, etc. But I want to say one more thing. A man, or a woman, is nothing more than what they leave behind. It is obvious that Dustin has left behind a loving family, good friends and shipmates who liked and admired him. I am sorry he did not get the fun night on the town he deserved after being underway for some time. But he left his mark on the world and he will be missed. That's not all bad.

Italy Screws The Pooch

Italy Swapped 5 Jailed Taliban for a Hostage

An Italian journalist who was held hostage for 15 days by the Taliban in lawless southern Afghanistan was ransomed for five Taliban prisoners, the Italian government and Afghan officials confirmed Wednesday.

What the hell were you people thinking?

We think that the life of a person is very precious,” said Mr. Prodi’s spokesman, Silvio Sircana, who is also a friend of Mr. Mastrogiacomo’s. “So if there is a chance to save a life, we must do all we can do. And this was our very simple line, and not anything more.”

Well that will be cold comfort to all the people who are taken hostage by the terrorists whose hope you have renewed!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Jen and I went to see "300" tonight with our brother opposed to my son Frankie, or my cousin Frankie, or my nephew Frankie, lol.

We loved it!

Again, I strongly recommend IMAX, some movies are best viewed on IMAX and this is definitely one of them.

Lots of this movie is overblown and larger than life, but it's based on a comic book. It is not a secret plot to convince people that "W" is right about the war on terrorism (even though I think he is). As the Armorer suggests "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar".

If you want history, watch the History Channel......we do, but if you want entertainment, go see this movie.
Favorite lines.........
Stelios: "Then we will fight in the shade."

Queen Gorgo: "Only Spartan women give birth to real men."

Both were delivered in a very understated way and therefore the most effective.
Now I have to go to bed and wake up tomorrow to Atkins. Tonight was the last of the birthday celebrations. I had chinese for lunch, one last piece of birthday cake, popcorn, M&Ms, Coke, and Ben&Jerry's. Tomorrow......meat.........meat..........meat.

A Fantasy Crushed

Rick Lynch is married! Happily! LOL Oh well, he's still my favorite army guy.
Reported by Dal Cannady
WTOC caught up with Major General Rick Lynch to get his feelings on his soldiers, their challenges, and this community.
When it comes to deployments, he is just as torn as his soldiers.
"I'm dreading leaving my wife. I'm dreading leaving my children. I'm dreading leaving my Labrador retrievers but, candidly, we do this in our profession. We go off to fight our nations wars," he explained.
Lynch says he and his soldiers are also anxious to make their country proud and show why the division is considered one of the best fighting forces in the world.
"I've never been part of an organization more prepared, more ready, and more focused on mission accomplishment," he noted with pride.
While he's proud of the men and women of the division, he's also proud of the community that cares for their families while they're gone.
"In 30 years, I've never seen a community, not just Hinesville but coastal Georgia, that reaches out to military families like they do here. We can go and fight our nation's wars and know our families will be okay," he added. "It's frustrating to me to look across the country and hear people say they support our soldiers but the words don't match their deeds. Here in Hinesville and liberty county, the deeds follow the words."
For their sacrifice to leave home and family yet again, Major General Lynch and the rest of the Third Infantry earns another WTOC Military Salute

Jen pointed out that he has dogs, so he was out anyway (we are not animal people). I told her SB has a dog (Jen & SB have the most complete mutual admiration society you've ever encountered) and she replied "That's unfortunate." I can not wait to exploit that chink in the armor. They team up against me tooooooooooo often.


Fun little thing I found over at SWWBO's place. Her scores were somewhat like mine. It's a visual DNA test. You answer some questions and it profiles you. I couldn't manage to make it pop over here, but you can go see it. It said I was insatiable. Smart people.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Saying Goodbye to MG Rick Lynch

Third ID Commander Heading To Iraq

Thousands of dog-faced soldiers are already in Iraq, and Tuesday, their commander will join them.
Major General Rick Lynch leaves in the morning, and Monday, took the time to say goodbye to the community that's charged with taking care of Third Infantry Division families in the meantime.
At a ceremony Monday Hinesville, Liberty County and the community unveiled a pair of yellow ribbons on a great oak, and bid Major General Lynch a fond farewell.
"Keep your face to the fight, and know that we have your back," said Hinesville Mayor Tom Ratcliffe.
"Don't worry about us," replied Lynch. "We're trained and ready."
Lynch will be joining some 6,000 soldiers already deployed in Iraq, and says he can't wait to be reunited with them quickly.
"It's important for me as their commander to be on the ground with them, sharing the same hardships," Lynch told WTOC.
Lynch says those soldiers are already doing a good job, and he's eager to see how much more they're capable of.
"Your soldiers, your division are the most trained, best equipped, most prepared soldiers I've ever served with," said Lynch.
Major General Lynch says one thing he doesn't have to worry about with this deployment is his family. He says he's confident in Hinesville.
"Whenever I look around and I talk to soldiers and I talk to their families," said Lynch. "They tell me this community cares."
"We think that we are equally prepared and expectant of our responsibility as we attempt to support this division," said Ratcliffe.
It's something they've done before, and something they say they're prepared to do again.
"God bless you. God bless the troops. God bless America," said Liberty County Commission Chairman John McIver.
City officials say the metal ribbons will stay up for the next year, while the Third ID is deployed.
Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite

GodSpeed, General!!!

Random Stuff

It's 72 degrees in Dubai.....where I should be celebrating my birthday.
I am wearing Pevonia Botanica Ligne Nymphea The vernal equinox will not happen today as it usually will occur just after midnight.
My boss sent me an arrangement of chocolate covered strawberries with a card that wishes me a happy birthday "WEEK!!!" LOL
I am going to take my two "birthday" coupons to Aveda and buy myself a gift.What do I want to have for dinner?????????

Today In History

March 20th.........there are lots of choices........but what was the most important?

Was it.....
In 1852, when Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was published?

Was it.....
In 1916, when Albert Einstein published his theory of relativity?

Was it.....
In 1922, when the United States Navy commissioned the USS Langley (CV-1), the Navy's first aircraft carrier?

Was it.....
In 1896, when Marines land in Nicaragua to protect US citizens?

Was it......
In 1995, when 12 people were killed and more than 5,000 made ill by a nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.

Was it.....
In 1942, when Gen MacArthur vowed "I shall return."?

It was 1961, silly! Now, give me a present. Read the post below and go over to Anthony's and make a donation.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Caitlyn McGuire

Anthony of Headspace and Timing has sent out an email to request help on behalf of Caitlyn. Caitlyn is the daughter of a soldier and she is battling cancer. So go read Anthony's post.

On May 19th, 2007 I will be taking part in the 3rd annual Sam Nutter Memorial 5K Run at Sea Girt, NJ. This year the run will be held to raise money for Caitlyn McGuire the daughter of a fellow soldier who is waging a battle against cancer. I am posting this and asking for your help in raising money for Ms. McGuire. to learn more about the run you can visit the Nutter Run Website. At the site, you can donate either by mailing in a donation or through PayPal. If you would like to sponsor me in the run, you can do so by e-mailing me. The Nutter Organization is a non-profit organization and your donations are tax deductible.
Thank you in advance for your support and, as always, prayers are appreciated too

Then throw a few bucks in the kitty.

The Fudge is Put Away

Because it's my day on the "Rolling Victory Fast 2007". It will be more delicious tomorrow.

So I wandered over to the Castle this morning and the Chief paid me a lovely compliment.

*Someone* has been reading The Book of Five Rings with one eye and Bored of the Rings with the other. Heh -- hang around with Maggie and you, too, will discover talents hitherto undreamed of...

Thank you Chief!

Now it's off to the shower where I will agonize over which of my presents to use first.
So, we went with The Body Shop coconut shower cream, scrub and body butter........the packaging says it's "Made with PASSION"........suits me!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Rolling Victory Fast 2007

My turn again. Last time was August 4, 2006, I blogged and commented here.Today I dedicate my day to Michelle Shea, a Gold Star mother and all Gold Star mothers. I wrote about an article in one of the local papers where Michelle was interviewed. The grieving mother worries that people have forgotten. Michelle, I haven't forgotten. Your sacrifice and that of your son matter to me. Thank you.

So today, I will fast. Some people over at Tanker Brothers write about how easy it is. It isn't for me. But it is important.

What A Great Day!

Really it started last night with one last call from SB as he spent his last seconds in the United States talking to me. He really is the best! After our phone call, I sent him a text teasing him that he should have used the last few moments to sing "Happy Birthday". He sent back a text with the whole song typed out. "Thanks," I typed back "but you still have to sing it when you get back."
So this morning it was off to Mass & CCD. The kids in my class are so great. We discussed Penenance and Lent. I love their inquisitive minds.
Then down to the supermarket to buy ice cream for my Dad. When he asked for it, I told him that we were having ice cream cake. "Yeah, yeah." he said "I want chocolate chip." LOL I said "It's my birthday, not yours!" "Yeah, yeah." he said "I want chocolate chip." Fine, he'll get his chocolate chip.
After that trip it's off to Cold Stone Creamery in City Square, where I buy not one.......not two......but three different cakes. I know, I know. When Grace's daughters questioned me I told them "Someday, when someone asks you to describe me with one word.....that word will be excessive!"
I wimped out and had my father park my car. Charlestown is a mess of snow and ice, what would have taken me an hour took him 45 seconds.
We had chinese food from Tiki Island. My mother was horrified by the overwhelming amount of food. I explained the whole "excessive" thing....she shook her head.
I got shower scrub, foot scrub, foot cream and body lotion and an assortment of Molton Brown which I love! That's what was in the shower in the apartment in Dubai. I also got "The War Tapes" on DVD and a book about political scandals. Finally there were restaurant gift certificates so I won't have to cook for a bit.
My mother made me fudge! She hasn't made it in at least ten years. It's grainy and nothing like what they sell in stores. She has to whip it and whip it and she told me that the whole time she was thinking what a pain in the ass I was. I am. I shared very little of it. I will eat it until I have a stomach ache!
I will gorge myself tonight on leftover chinese food and ice cream cake and watch trashy TV (Desperate Housewives). I have to store up, tomorrow is my turn at the "Rolling Victory Fast 2007" over at Tanker Brothers.
I love birthday week........Tuesday dinner at Cedars in Foxwoods........Thursday I got chocolate cake at Paparazzi........Saturday night Trish and I went to Straga where I had delicious Italian food (I wanted dinner at Ilaria, but their kitchen was closed early)........Sunday dinner with nearly all of my nieces and nephews, my sisters, my brother and my parents...............and it's not over yet! My birthday is actually Tuesday.
And just in time for my birthday...........MG Rick Lynch news!
Society will present an authentic Irish thornstick shillelagh to Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I Am So Steamed!

This story was in the local paper today.

Families of fallen lament: Americans losing interest in the war in Iraq (it's a slow loading site)

So that in and of itself is bad enough, but this part killed me......

Shea’s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Burgess, a 2001 graduate of Plymouth South High School, was killed in Iraq on March 25, 2004, when his vehicle struck a land mine outside Fallujah.Shea, who now lives in the Sagamore Beach section of Bourne, was at a Memorial Day parade in Plymouth the year after her son’s death when members of a color guard made a point of snapping their heads in her direction in a sign of respect as they marched by.‘‘A week or two later, a woman brought that up and said, ‘Isn’t this carrying on a little too far?’’’ Shea remembered. ‘‘I told her that these are types of things I do not ask for, but this is the way my life has become. I did not ask to be a Gold Star Mother.’’

I am stunned and horrified. Words fail me. I say this not because Shea's son was killed in Iraq. I say this because the woman who said this to Shea is an asshat. Your child is your child and losing one is not something you "get over".
When I worked in the phone company (back in the day when there was only one) my friend Claire told me a similar story about her sister and nephew. The nephew had been killed by a hit-and-run drive while crossing a street in Boston. a year after his death Claire's sister met a casual friend who asked how she was doing. Claire's sister mentioned an upcoming memorial service for the nephew. The woman told the bereaved mother that she should "get over it". OMG! I can remember wanting to hunt down this woman and punch her in the face! Yes, that is completely useless and with's who I am.
Today, reading this story, I felt the same anger. I want to find that woman who had the nerve to say anything to Michelle Shea and punch her in the face.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit

Friday, March 16, 2007

SB's Excellent Adventure

SB is off for a bit and will not be CONUS for my birthday. Worse he will be out of comm for my birthday. Don't tell anyone, but he will be easily forgiven.

This morning's text message from SB
"The start of another adventure"

My reply
"I wish you fair winds and following seas. Safe home to my bed. You are always with me and I am always with you."

People ask how I can stand it when he dashes off to place himself in harm's way. I just laugh. When he comes back from blowing things up or "screaming across the harbor with his hair on fire"....................he is ab-so-fuckin-lutely white hot! God! I can't wait!
Pia left this comment and I cracked up!
Tell it, sister. We seem to be like-minded when it comes to our freedom-fighters and their hotness. Woo hoo!! Here's to a righteous homecoming! : )

Whale Pusher Video

As noted elsewhere, when Jen & I see the liberal, crunchy, granola, birkenstock people being stupid, Jen yells "Whale-pushers!". Sol has a funny video of the whale pushers being led astray. Sol has a very good blog you should be checking it out.

Happy 205th Anniversary, West Point!

In 1802, the U.S. Congress authorized the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

I'm Exhausted

Just got in from "Girl's Night". We hit Joe's wake before dinner. I was conveying my condolences to Joe's daughter and something I said triggered a response and she said "You're BostonMaggie!" LOL I was floored, but laughed and confessed. She was surfing the web looking for stuff about her dad. She thanked me for the post. Funny stuff. Then I met her sister who was standing with a friend. The friend turns to me after a moment and says "Two pees to a flush!" I was completely thrown and it took me a moment. She was referring to a speech I made before Town Meeting years and years ago when we were fighting for town sewerage funding. It was actually "Three pees to a flush" but, whatever. The engineering company loved me and credited me for the positive vote. They were too kind, the credit actually belonged with Red Rizzo, my dear, dear friend who passed away last week.

Then it was on to dinner where I was ripped by Jen over the firefighter story. I maintain that I was flirting and he was interested. Jen's view is that he was "frightened" by my "craziness". Whatever.

I was doing some light surfing and came across a few things that made me laugh. This tag line was one of them.
I drink in moderation. "Moderation" is an imaginary place that exists wherever I am.
I don't really drink, but if you substitute chocolate.......

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I'm Back

I snuck off with my mother and sisters Tuesday night until late last night.

Came back to news that I now have a 5th wake to attend. A friend of Frankie's, young kid, only 23, killed on his motorcycle.

Don't stand too close to me. This is not how I want to spend the run up to my birthday next Tuesday. I wanted to blog about the rest of the EPIIC Symposium and the details of my mini-trip with my mother and sisters. I want to blog about my birthday wishlist and phone calls to SB where I torment him with tales of attentive firefighters. I hope this isn't a sign of how 46 is going to be for me.

I doesn't help that 20 minutes after telling me about his friend, Frankie mentioned wanting a motorcycle.

Ahh, the Ides of March.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Joe Palombo

Joe was a great guy and a good friend. He was a Selectman in the town of Kingston. He will be missed by many.
I am having a bad week. This will be the 4th wake in 8 days.
Joseph M. Palombo, former three-term Kingston Selectmen, dies at 66

Joseph M. Palombo, who served nine years on the Kingston Board of Selectmen, died on Tuesday, March 13, following a brief illness. He was 66.
Mr. Palombo was also a charter member of the Kingston Housing Authority, first elected to the position in 1973 and re-elected every five years thereafter. He served as both Chairman and Vice-Chairman of this board. He was part of the original membership that oversaw the construction and completion of the 48-unit Meadowcrest Housing units on Hillcrest Avenue
Born in Boston, he was the son of the late Joseph James Palombo and Carmela (Millie) Caliri. He moved to Kingston in 1971. He was first elected to the Board of Selectmen in 1981. He was re-elected twice and served on the board until 1990. He was the board's chairman from 1983-1984 and from 1989-1990. He also served on Kingston's Zoning Board of Appeals from 1996 to 2004.
He was the founder of the Silver Lake Regional School's Youth Football program.
Mr. Palombo was one of the original members of the Kingston Democratic Town Committee, serving for more than 25 years. He held a similar role with the Plymouth County Democratic League, and served both organizations as chairman for a number of years.
In 1988, he narrowly missed the chance to become the State Representative for the 12th Plymouth District, losing the Democratic primary by only two votes. Although he did not run again for that position, he did remain active in supporting candidates for local and regional office. He worked in law enforcement in a number of different capacities, as a Deputy Sheriff as well as most recently Director of Civil Process for the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department and as a police officer in the Town of Rochester. He had also served in the Army National Guard.
In addition to his work in the public sector, he ran his own Civil Process business known as Legal Support Services.
He loved hunting, and being able to help people wherever he could.
Mr. Palombo was honored in late November at the Halifax Country Club by more than 400 well-wishers, family and friends. He received glowing tributes from Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph MacDonald, former Sheriffs Flynn, Forman, Decas and Dorr along with Senator Therese Murray, former State Representative Tom O'Brien, State Representative Tom Calter, former State Representative Peter Forman and many others, all characterizing Mr. Palombo as someone who gave unselfishly to the community and to others. State Representative Daniel Webster presented him with Resolutions from the Massachusetts House of Representatives for his dedication and contributions to Plymouth County and the Town of Kingston, along with a Governor's Citation for his dedicated service to the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department and the Town of Kingston.
He is survived by his wife, Priscilla (Violette) Palombo of Kingston; a son, Mark Palombo of Plymouth; daughters Deana Palombo of Plymouth and Lynne Palombo of Portland, Oregon; sisters Joanne (Joni) Green of Panama City, FL; Mary Werlin and her husband Harold of Winchester, MA; a granddaughter, Abigail Jenkins of Plymouth; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins
Calling hours will be held Thursday, March 15 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Shepherd Funeral Home, 216 Main Street (Route 106), Kingston. Family and friends are welcome to gather at the Funeral Home on Friday, March 16 at 9 a.m., followed by a Mass at St. Joseph's Church in Kingston at 10 a.m. Burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery, Kingston. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Renal Cancer Research Fund, c/o Dr. Michael Atkins, Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center, Kirstein Building, Room 185, 330 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02115.
The truest line in this story is "He loved hunting, and being able to help people wherever he could." I don't know jack about hunting, but Joe was always willing to help people, even people who had been less than kind to him. He'd joke about it, but he'd do whatever he could for you. Also, he was more fun to flirt with than I can possibly tell you here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Happy 95th to the Girl Scouts

In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scouts of America troop in Savannah, Ga.

You know.........I was a Girl Scout.......

Well, I Certainly Understand

Halliburton Moving C.E.O. From Houston to Dubai

HOUSTON, March 11 — Halliburton, the big energy services company, said on Sunday that it would open a corporate headquarters in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai and move its chairman and chief executive, David J. Lesar, there.

How I wish Halliburton needed me! LOL

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Major General Lynch & The 3rd ID

The unit that America can depend on.

It was a day of celebrations and farewells at Fort Stewart. Four thousand 3rd Infantry Division soldiers have been deployed to Iraq since the first of the year. Another 1,000 soldiers - including the division headquarters- will be leaving by mid-March.

The community and fellow soldiers got a chance Thursday to say thanks to the many going back to the war zone. Several hundred soldiers attended a luncheon this afternoon and heard words of encouragement from University of Georgia's head football coach Mark Richt.

In addition to the luncheon, soldiers got a chance to party with their friends and family. A street dance included a live band, food, and lots of activities for children. Fort Stewart held the event for everyone to come together and just have fun.

One of the day's most emotional events was the Division Casing and Retreat Ceremony. The ceremony is very symbolic because it shows that the commanding general and his division are deploying from Fort Stewart. It may just seem like a bunch of flags to civilians – but for soldiers, it's much more.

"The heart and the soul of the third infantry division reside in those colors. You see, they're more than mere fabric. They represent the blood and sweat of all Marne soldiers who came before us," explains Major General Rick Lynch.

Now the division's colors are being cased for the trip to Iraq and many soldiers at the ceremony will soon be there, too.

"You always know that you're gonna go back over until they say that's it. We're done in Iraq and that the Iraqi people are really free," says Private 1st Class Anthony Bonvino.

"I hope people just look at it and realize that a lot of soldiers lost their lives to help our country and make the world a better place in general and a lot of young people did it, too," says Specialist Shawn Brouhard.

Major General Lynch told the crowd that the 3rd ID has a reputation of being the unit that America can depend on. Many soldiers are ready to show everyone just how true that reputation is.

"I just re-enlisted for six years. I love what I do and I love serving my country," says Sergeant Angelo Glover, and he'll soon have that chance. This ceremony and the casing of the colors marks a new chapter for the 3rd ID.

"They are a record of our past, the standard of our present and an inspiration to all those who will follow us in the future," says Major General Lynch. "You inspire us and we will not let you down."

In his speech, Major General Lynch asked the crowd to keep the 3rd ID in their prayers, help keep their families strong, and when the time comes – be back at Fort Stewart to welcome them home

Will do, sir.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Should You Vote

I stole this from the Castle. I only got an A+. I was careless and clicking through too fast, so that's all I deserve. As stated on their's mission is to combat the "Get out the Vote" movement that is pushed by organizations that would like to increase the number of uneducated voters to help their cause. encourages people to Vote, but only AFTER they have educated themselves on the policies and individuals for which they are voting. Voting should be considered a privilege and exercised with responsibility and discretion. Just like a final exam, responsible voting requires self-education and thought. When the time comes to cast your ballot, if you don't know for what or whom you're voting, then DON'T VOTE.
I completely agree.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mini Blog Meet

Tonight I had dinner with Sanger Magee (aka SangerM @ The Castle). We talked non-stop for three plus hours over pizza at Za's in Arlington. He brought along a friend from class and we all had a great time. We'd probably still be there but they shut off most of the lights and cleaned every table except the one where we were sitting.

It was a true adventure, I had the Bosc Pear, Sweet Onion, Gorgonzola, EVOO, Toasted Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, Thyme, and Scallions pizza. It was delish!

SB - My car and it's Bush bumper stickers emerged unscathed despite being parked on Mass Ave for several hours.

I really enjoyed the evening - Thanks Sanger.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Charles "Red" Rizzo

Someone very important in my life..............since childhood.........has passed away. A good friend......a Marine during WWII.......a community leader...........

I will miss you Red.

Charles S. “Red” Rizzo a Needham resident for over 50 years died on Tuesday, March 6th at Avery manor in Needham He was 84 years old. Born in Boston, he was the son of the late Charles and Mamie (Sozio) Rizzo. Red at the age of 19 enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a veteran of World War II. He served in the South Pacific and was discharged in 1945 with the rank of Sergeant. Mr. Rizzo worked as a salesman in the graphic arts industry in the Boston area for many years. An active member of the Needham community, Red was a former Town Meeting Member and a former Park and Recreation Commissioner. He was a Past President of Needham Little League, a member of the Needham Exchange Club and was involved with the Charles River Workshop. Mr. Rizzo was also a member of the Plymouth Country Club. Red summered in and ran Rocky Nook in Kingston for many years. The beloved husband of 45 years of the late Florence T. (Anacone), he was the loving father of Ronald and his wife Joanne Rizzo of No Weymouth and Stephen and his wife Patricia Rizzo of Needham. Brother of Rita Covelle of Stoneham and Marie Rizzo of Medford. Dear grandfather of Christopher, Jeffrey, Jennifer, Brandon and Stephen Rizzo. Funeral from the Eaton Funeral Home 1351 Highland Ave Needham on Saturday March 10th at 9:00 AM followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Joseph Church at 10:00 AM. Visiting hours Friday 4-7 PM. Interment St. Mary’s Cemetery in Needham. In lieu of flowers memorials in Red’s memory may be made to the Stanley Tippett House 920 South St. Needham MA 02492.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Long Day

No posting due to my 11 hour work day today. Plus when I got home I had to entertain SB. You know how I do that, don'cha? That's right..........I breathe. LOL

If you are bored here, head on over to Blackfive and watch Uncle Jimbo discuss Iran. He is a funny bastid.

Monday, March 05, 2007

EPIIC - Some of Saturday

Somehow I managed to be only 20 minutes late for the first panel at 9 am "Confronting Pandemics". I missed the beginning of Frances Townsend's remarks on avian flu, but what I caught was good. Then onto a favorite from last year, Gwyn Prins from the London School of Ecomonics. He spoke about AIDS and mentioned a paper he wrote for the UN "HIV/AIDS and Security". I haven't read it yet, but I intend to (as you can imagine, I have a whole new reading list). He sat next to me on Friday night and broke into one of the panels. I teased him for being a troublemaker. He is a very engaging person. Lots of the questioned bristled about the lack of money being spent on AIDS research, etc. He brought up a very interesting point about the anti-retro-virals and how if people are not taking them correctly they are just creating stronger bugs. The questions are often where the most interesting info comes out. One student asked Ms. Townsend about closing the borders if/when the avian flu hits our continent. She told us that according to the experts it only buys you 2 weeks and that's not enough time to create the vaccine so that's not part of the plan.

Next up "Global Enviromental Crises: From Climate Change to Water Scarcity"
Leon Fuerth - Gore apologist, long pauses, made me sleepy.
Jin Zidell of Blue Planet Run Foundation - great speaker, great video, good points, good cause. He wants everyone to give just $25.00 to provide one person with clean, safe drinking water for life. He stated that 50% of hospital patients worldwide were there because of unsafe drinking water. I did my part.
Gwyn Prins - again, I adore him.
David Jhirad - Ethanol is not the answer, Bush took a hit. Carbon footprint needs to be reduced.
Overall, what you learn is that in the future water security is going to be as important as energy security and I've already heard this from SB (that SB is a smart cookie). Still, very interesting. Gore's film is premeiring on Flix Sunday night and Jen and I will watch it. I never said I wouldn't watch it, I said I wouldn't pay for it.

After this panel finished up, people were milling about while they set up for the next one. I looked up and saw Peter Roudik of the Library of Congress, (where he is a senior foreign law specialist). He came over to say hello. He absolutely stunned me when he asked about the blog and I realized he read it, lol. Yeah, that's right, I was speechless.......too bad the rest of you weren't there to enjoy it, it's a rare occurrence.

It's late and I will pick up with the next panel tomorrow.

EPIIC Thursday and Friday

Thursday night's panel "The Future of Nuclear Proliferation" was more upbeat than the subject matter would suggest. There were five interesting speakers although the best was Jim Walsh from MIT. I learned lot's about the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, India's nuclear program, and what the current thoughts are regarding Iran's nuclear program. I enjoyed Dr. Walsh very much.

Friday's first panel wasn't until noon and I still missed it. I am always tardy.

The second panel was "Cocaine and Kalishnakovs: How Illicit Trade Fuels Conflict". I am now more worried about MS13 than Al Qaeda. My favorite speaker in this panel was Paul Kan from the US Army War College. Another speaker was Moses Naim, the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine (I am a subscriber and a fan).

After a dinner break, during which I checked into the hotel Priceline picked out for me (Naval officers in the lobby, yum!), there was "Forward Engagement: Global Risks and Governance". Interesting topic and stimulating questions raised by William Moomaw. This one was quick and then we were onto "Democratization in the Middle East". Several interesting speakers and then,..........duh, duh, duh.......there's always one! On this night it was Tony Smith. What an asshat! According to him, America is a "rogue state". Yeah, whatever buddy. Don't get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I go to these things deliberately to keep my mind open. I learn lots and lots of new things. I always come away the better for it. But how does it advance any discussion to spew such vitriol and hate? Bush is the imperial presidency or...wink, wink, nudge, nudge...... Cheney is the imperial vice-presidency. Yeah, pal, that's helpful, I'm really listening. Fortunately there were several speakers and they were all more reasoned even though pretty much everyone had a view to the left of mine.

So, back to the hotel, where I'm thinking that finding the bar in the lobby full of sailors would be nice.....but no. So I went to bed.

My Only Defense is Lack of Sleep

I popped over to Murdoc and started reading and rubbed my eyes in disbelief. Murdoc, soliciting anti-war protesters? WTF? Then I re-read and realized he was poking fun at anti-war protesters. That's better.

Wouldn't You Be Disappointed.......

....if you came out here and didn't find a post about the Boston Massacre? Of course you would!

Today in History - March 5th

In 1770, British troops killed five colonials in the Boston Massacre, one of the events that led to the American Revolution.

Remember, history is important. American history is more important. Boston history is the most important. But some other stuff did happen on this day. Winston Churchill visited Westminster College in 1946.
Mr. Churchill painted a dark picture of post-war Europe, on which "an iron curtain has descended across the Continent" from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic

I'm Home

I'm exhausted. I have 66 emails...........I'm too tired to read them. I have lots to say about the EPIIC Symposium. My head is swimming. So much really great stuff, so much aggraavating stuff.

SB, I answered your MaryLou's girls comments. My arms are crossed. I am going to bed pouting.

Friday, March 02, 2007

No Blogging....

......for a bit. EPIIC will take up my weekend and I will stay up in the city. Also, Sunday I may go see the Kennedy with my nephews. It's in Boston this weekend on it's final tour.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


The 2007 EPIIC Symposium starts today and continues through the weekend. I will miss the first panel, "UNcertain Future?"
But I should make all the others starting with "The Future of Nuclear Proliferation" at 1900 tonight.

Arthur Schlesinger

Arthur Schlesinger, Historian of Power, Dies at 89

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., the historian whose more than 20 books shaped discussions for two generations about America’s past and who himself was a provocative, unabashedly liberal partisan, most notably in serving in the Kennedy White House, died last night in Manhattan. He was 89.

Camelot fades everywhere but in own hearts, huh Southie.

Dunkin' Donuts

I don't drink coffee (although I have eaten more donuts than I should), so I've never really understood the Dunkin' Donuts phenomenon. There is a funny piece in the Phoenix about it.

Mom’s got it bad. Who can fault her for hoping to pin blame on nefarious additives for her daily five-mile trek to and from a Dunkin’ drive-thru for a fix in a Styrofoam cup? She’s not alone. Heck, she’s better off than a lot of people. Like the lady in the TV ad — based on one Brocktonian’s true story — who bushwhacks her way through what seems like miles of highway-side bramble, finally steps gingerly over a guardrail, and crosses three lanes of traffic to bring coffee to her gridlock-stuck carpool mates. Or the transplanted New Englander in Houston who drove 35 miles every weekend to the nearest Dunkin’ just for a cup of that sweet, creamy Arabica nectar.

It's the one aspect of Boston life I have always felt slightly removed from. I prefer tea and Dunkin' Donuts tea always seemed too weak compared to Irish breakfast tea......they don't have Chamomile and Starbucks Chai is better. As far as donuts go, Lori-Ann's on Bunker had incredible donuts that no other place could touch. Alas they closed a few years ago.

Dunkin' Donuts actually caused a low score for me in one of those online quizzes. "How Massachusetts Are You?" I only scored 84% because I missed all the Dunkin' questions (and I wouldn't own a T-Shirt with an obscenity on it, no matter how much I hate the Yankees).