Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Yahoo! News - CDC Chief: Bird Flu Could Become Epidemic

Yahoo! News - CDC Chief: Bird Flu Could Become Epidemic: "The avian flu now spreading in Asia is part of what is called the H1 family of flu viruses. It is a pathogen that is notorious in human history.
'Each time we see a new H1 antigen emerge, we experience a pandemic of influenza,' said Gerberding. In 1918, H1 appeared and millions died worldwide. In 1957, the Asian flu was an H2, and the Hong Kong flu in 1968 was a H3.
There had been small appearances of the H1-type of avian viruses in other years, but nothing like the H5 now rampaging through the birds of Asia.
'We are seeing a highly pathogenic strain of influenza virus emerge to an extraordinary proportion across the entire western component of Asia,' she said. 'The reason this is so ominous is because of the evolution of flu.... You may see the emergence of a new strain to which the human population has no immunity.'
Study already has shown that the virus can infect cats who can then infect other cats, which Gerberding said was 'another harbinger' of the possibility of a human pandemic.
'The science here is all alerting us that we have a great deal to be concerned about,' she said.
The CDC chief said her agency is getting ready for a possible pandemic next year. "

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Odd Footnote to Scandal

This was one of the oddest footnotes in the strange saga of the corruption scandal involving CT's Governor.

ctnow.com -: "Ruling On Document Nullified
January 27, 2005
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. -- A federal appeals court on Wednesday nullified a ruling that awarded an original copy of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights to the state of North Carolina and sent the case back to court to determine whether a Connecticut businessman is the rightful owner.

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said a federal judge in North Carolina lacked jurisdiction to decide who owned the document after the U.S. government voluntarily gave up its attempt to seize it under civil forfeiture laws.

The ruling causes further confusion over who owns the parchment document - one of 14 original copies of the 1789 draft and worth as much as $40 million.

The case now goes back to the U.S. District Court in Raleigh to decide how to sort through competing claims by Connecticut businessman Robert Matthews and the state of North Carolina, which contends the document was stolen.

'The idea is to put everybody where they were immediately before this whole thing got started,' said Joel Faxon, Matthews' attorney. 'You can't just turn the thing over to the state of North Carolina.'

Noelle Talley, spokeswoman for North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, expressed disappointment in the ruling, but said, 'We're confident that the trial court will move quickly to resolve the remaining issues so that North Carolina's copy of the Bill of Rights will come home to the people of our state.'

Matthews maintains he took a 50 percent interest in the document when he paid business partner and antiques dealer Wayne Pratt about $100,000. Pratt said the money was a loan, not an investment. Pratt has turned over his stake in the document to North Carolina. That makes it possible the court will find both Matthews and North Carolina share an interest in the document, Faxon said.

Matthews is the subject of a federal corruption investigation that recently snared former Gov. John G. Rowland, who resigned last year. Pratt is cooperating in that case and pleaded guilty to being the front man in a real estate deal that sent money from Matthews to Rowland.

Pratt's lawyer, Tom Dwyer, said North Carolina attorneys can still argue that the document is stolen property and should be returned to the state.

The document is one of 14 original copies of the Bill of Rights, which contained 12 proposed constitutional amendments.
"

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Possible Da Vinci Workshop Uncovered

How Cool.
And how can it be that 'for some reason the rooms hadn't been studied carefully?'
Yahoo! News - Possible Da Vinci Workshop Uncovered

The rooms, which aren't open to the public, are on the upper floors of a what was a convent in 1500-1503, when, some believe, Leonardo lodged there. Santissima Annunziata Monastery is now occupied partially by the Institute of Military Geography, some of whose researchers were intrigued by the rooms.
Those who think there's a good chance Leonardo might have painted in the rooms cite Giorgio Vasari's account that the convent let the artist stay there for free.
Skeptics point out that Vasari's lively biographies of Renaissance artists were written decades after the years Leonardo was said to have stayed at the convent.
The birds in flight could have been done by Leonardo's school, Alessandro Vezzosi, director of a Leonardo museum near Florence, said Friday.

"The researchers made the hypothesis that these were the rooms where Leonardo and his pupils worked," said Vezzosi, the curator of a recent exhibition on Leonardo who helped present the results of the research.
Vezzosi said Leonardo could have conceived or completed an early version of the Mona Lisa in the workshop, since the family of the probable subject of the painting, Lisa Gherardini, had links to the monastery.
Leonardo arrived in Florence in 1500 and likely stayed in the rooms, Vezzosi said.
For some reason, the frescoes on the rooms' walls hadn't been studied carefully.
"For the first time in this case, we see birds which are absolutely dynamic, animals which are absolutely vivid and remind us of the study done by Leonardo of birds in flight," said researcher Roberto Manescalchi.

But art historians were quick to point out that contemporaries and predecessors of Leonardo also often depicted birds.
"There's nothing about these bird studies that are unique at that date," said Colin Eisler, a professor at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. "A hundred years before, there were extraordinarily naturalistic bird studies."
While hastening to note he has not seen the frescoes, Eisler said their discovery appeared to be "not complete eye openers."

Also in the rooms is an outline of a kneeling angel similar to Leonardo's Annunciation, which hangs in Florence's Uffizi gallery.

Another clue to those seeking some code to help read the Florence frescoes could be the discovery in the convent of frescoes of animals attributed to Vittorio da Feltre. Vasari wrote that da Feltre came to the city in the early 1500s to visit Leonardo and Michelangelo.
Beck said convent archives would have to be examined to see if there's evidence, like receipts or a letter, that Leonardo stayed or worked there.


Sunday, January 23, 2005

Late-Night King Johnny Carson Dies at 79

Yahoo! News - Late-Night King Johnny Carson Dies at 79: "Television - AP
By LYNN ELBER, AP Television Writer
LOS ANGELES - Johnny Carson (news), the 'Tonight Show' host who served America a smooth nightcap of celebrity banter, droll comedy and heartland charm for 30 years, died Sunday. He was 79. NBC said Carson died of emphysema at his Malibu home.
'Mr. Carson passed away peacefully early Sunday morning,' his nephew, Jeff Sotzing, told The Associated Press. 'He was surrounded by his family, whose loss will be immeasurable.'
The boyish-looking Nebraska native with the disarming grin, who survived every attempt to topple him from his late-night talk show throne, was a star who managed never to distance himself from his audience.
His wealth, the adoration of his guests � particularly the many young comics whose careers he launched � the wry tales of multiple divorces: Carson's air of modesty made it all serve to enhance his bedtime intimacy with viewers.
'Heeeeere's Johnny!' was the booming announcement from sidekick Ed McMahon that ushered Carson out to the stage. Then the formula: the topical monologue, the guests, the broadly played skits such as 'Carnac the Magnificent.' But America never tired of him; Carson went out on top when he retired in May 1992.
Carson's personal life could not match the perfection of his career. Carson was married four times, divorced three. In 1991, one of his three sons, 39-year-old Ricky, was killed in a car accident.
Carson choose to let "Tonight" stand as his career zenith and his finale, withdrawing into a quiet retirement that suited his private nature and refusing involvement in other show business projects.
In 1993, he explained his absence from the limelight.
"I have an ego like anybody else," Carson told The Washington Post, "but I don't need to be stoked by going before the public all the time."
Carson spent his retirement years sailing, traveling and socializing with a few close friends including media mogul Barry Diller and NBC executive Bob Wright. He simply refused to be wooed back on stage.
Carson did find an outlet for his creativity: He wrote short humor pieces for The New Yorker magazine, including "Recently Discovered Childhood Letters to Santa," which purported to give the youthful wish lists of William Buckley, Don Rickles and others.
Carson made his debut as "Tonight" host in October 1962 and quickly won over audiences. He even made headlines with such clever ploys as the 1969 on-show marriage of eccentric singer Tiny Tim to Miss Vicki, which won the show its biggest-ever ratings.
In 1972, "Tonight" moved from New York to Burbank. Growing respect for Carson's consistency and staying power, along with four consecutive Emmy Awards, came his way in the late 1970s.
His quickness and his ability to handle an audience were impressive. When his jokes missed their target, the smooth Carson won over a groaning studio audience with a clever look or sly, self-deprecating remark.
Politics provided monologue fodder for him as he skewered lawmakers of every stripe, mirroring the mood of voters. His Watergate jabs at President Nixon were seen as cementing Nixon's fall from office in 1974.
He made presidential history again in July 1988 when he had then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton (news - web sites) on his show a few days after Clinton came under widespread ridicule for a boring speech at the Democratic National Convention. Clinton traded quips with Carson and played "Summertime" on the saxophone in what was hailed as a stunning comeback.
In 1980,...the show was scaled back from 90 minutes to an hour. Carson also eased his schedule by cutting back on his work days; a number of substitute hosts filled in, including Joan Rivers, Jerry Lewis and Jay Leno, Carson's eventual successor.
Rivers was one of the countless comedians whose careers took off after they were on Carson's show. After she rocked the audience with her jokes in that 1965 appearance, he remarked, "God, you're funny. You're going to be a star."
"If Johnny hadn't made the choice to put me on his show, I might still be in Greenwich Village as the oldest living undiscovered female comic," she recalled in an Associated Press interview 20 years later. She tried her own talk show in 1986, quickly becoming one of the many challengers who could not budge Carson.
Born in Corning, Iowa, and raised in nearby Norfolk, Neb., Carson started his show business career at age 14 as the magician "The Great Carsoni." After World War II service in the Navy, he took a series of jobs in local radio and TV in Nebraska before starting at KNXT-TV in Los Angeles in 1950. There he started a sketch comedy show, "Carson's Cellar," which ran from 1951-53 and attracted attention from Hollywood. A staff writing job for "The Red Skelton Show" followed. The program provided Carson with a lucky break: When Skelton was injured backstage, Carson took the comedian's place in front of the cameras. Producers tried to find the right program for the up-and-coming comic, trying him out as host of the quiz show "Earn Your Vacation" (1954), the variety show "The Johnny Carson Show" (1955-56), the game show "Who Do You Trust?" (1957-62). A few acting roles came Carson's way, including one on "Playhouse 90" in 1957, and he did a pilot in 1960 for a prime-time series, "Johnny Come Lately," that never made it onto a network schedule.
After his retirement, Carson took on the role of Malibu-based retiree with apparent ease. An avid tennis fan, he was still playing a vigorous game in his 70s. He and his wife, Alexis, traveled frequently. The pair met on the Malibu beach in the early 1980s; he was 61 when they married in June 1987, she was in her 30s. Carson's first wife was his childhood sweetheart, Jody, the mother of his three sons. They married in 1949 and split in 1963. He married Joanne Copeland Carson that same year, but divorced nine years later. His third marriage, to Joanna Holland Carson, took place in 1972. They divorced in 1985.
His nephew said there will be no memorial service.
AP Writer Jeff Wilson contributed to this report.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

11:15, in the middle of a snowstorm, I have retired to bed, surrounded by books and papers. Unfortunately, many of them are my financial record books which I will perhaps update.

Why am I so helpless at this? Its like an ADD symptom. Two weeks ago, I thought I'd set up terrific systems that would be easy for me to maintain. Now I sit here and can't think where to begin, what to do first.

This happens to me all the time....What is it?

Friday, January 21, 2005

Good Grief!

Are we blaming the victims here?
The article implies they were they so high they truly couldn't save themselves.
News
Young Couple Dies in Nebraska Snowstorm

By JOE RUFF
PAPILLION, Neb. (AP) - A young couple lost in rural Nebraska died in a snowstorm despite calling 911 at least five times from a cell phone.
Details of how Michael Wamsley and Janelle Hornickel died Jan. 5 and the police search for them were to be discussed by law enforcement officers on Friday.
Copies of the 911 tapes were being prepared, as well as a timeline of events, maps and a videotape of the area that was made during the search, Sarpy County Chief Deputy Sheriff Jeff Davis said.
Toxicology and autopsy results also will be made public, Davis said.
Hornickel was a junior at Creighton University in Omaha. She and Wamsley had dated about a year, and most recently they had worked at the same telemarketing company.
Police were investigating why the couple were out on rural roads just southwest of Omaha in the middle of a heavy snow.
Police had received telephone calls from the couple from about 2 a.m. CST until 4:56 a.m. the day they died. The calls, however, had bounced off different cellular telephone towers, making it impossible to accurately trace their whereabouts.
Wamsley's snow-covered body was found Jan. 6, and Hornickel's was found six days later at the edge of a sand pit lake. Both were within two miles of the truck.
On the evening before they died, Wamsley and Hornickel, both 20, had been stopped by police for traffic violations in Geneva, about 100 miles west of Omaha. The couple, both from Ord in central Nebraska, said they were lost, and the officer pointed the right way to Omaha.
01/21/05 06:28 AP

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Tsunami-surviving hippo in Kenya seeks solace in a century-old tortoise

Yahoo! News - Tsunami-surviving hippo in Kenya seeks solace in a century-old tortoise: "Tsunami-surviving hippo in Kenya seeks solace in a century-old tortoise

Thu Jan 6, 3:23 PM ET

NAIROBI (AFP) - A baby-hippopotamus that survived the tsumani waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise, in an animal facility in the port city of Mombasa, officials said.
The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about 300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean, then forced back to shore when tsumani waves struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, before wildlife rangers rescued him.
'It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a 'mother',' ecologist Paula Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park, told AFP.
'After it was swept and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatised. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together,' the ecologist added.
'The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it follows its mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother,' Kahumbu added.
'The hippo is a young baby, he was left at a very tender age and by nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years,' he explained.
In 2002, a barren Kenyan lioness made several attempts to play mother to baby antelopes, one of which ended with a rival lion making a meal out of the calf, and the others when rangers separated the animals. "

Thursday, January 06, 2005

No Wonder

Play the numbers game.
Count calories, carbs, fat grams or steps, but count something, nutritionists say. You have to burn 3,500 calories more than you consume to lose a pound. If you usually eat 2,200 calories a day to maintain your weight, you need to cut back by 500 calories or increase exercise by that much to create the 500-calorie deficit to lose 1 pound a week.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Mom Forced to Choose Sons During Tsunami

Yahoo! News - Mom Forced to Choose Sons During Tsunami: "Mom Forced to Choose Sons During Tsunami

Fri Dec 31, 8:50 AM ET

PERTH, Australia - Struggling in the raging flood waters, Jillian Searle had to make a choice: which son to hold on and which to let go.
Searle, of Perth, Australia, was near the pool with sons Lachie, 5, and Blake, 2, when this week's tsunami hit the Thai island resort of Phuket where she and her family were vacationing.
'I knew I had to let go of one of them and I just thought I'd better let go of the one that's the oldest,' she told Sky News television. 'A lady grabbed hold of him for a moment but she had to let him go because she was going under. And I was screaming, trying to find him, and we thought he was dead.'
Lachie was found safe two hours later after surviving the raging waters by clinging to a hotel room door.
'I cried for mom for a long time and then I was quiet,' he later told his father, Bradley Searle. With mud and water marks up to his ears, his first words to his father were: 'My hands are all dirty and I need to wash my clothes.'
Jillian Searle said the family feels extremely fortunate. Thai authorities say around 3,500 bodies have been recovered along the beaches of Phuket, while an untold number remain missing and are believed to have been swept out to sea or buried in debris.
"We are just so lucky to walk away with the small children I have got," she said. "I just can't believe they are still here."
"

Friday, December 31, 2004

Bummer...

I just read some of my previous blogs, enjoying it as I've been away so long it was fresh.
Until I reached the quit smoking section, that is.
Would you believe I made it a full 2 months and then started again. Just up and started. I can't even give you a good reason for it.
Its a bummer though. I was so enthusiastic and optimistic.
Next time, this record will help remind me why I don't really want to start again.
Next time, I should also record my progress and hope it helps shore up my resolve.

TO GO OR NOT TO GO

It's 11:20 pm.
Am I going to a New Year's Party or not?

I'm not dressed for it yet.
And I'm in a solitary, get organized for the New Year kind of mood.

But will I regret it later? end up depressed because I'm home alone for New Years?

I've missed this party in other years, too, for much the same reason. I don't want to go early, so I putter around for a few hours by myself and end up pooped and or not in the mood for all those others or not in the mood to get all dressed up or all of the above.

I realize writing this that I'd be upset if they missed my party... and they haven't for years. So I think I just found my answer.
Up and at 'em Molly. Your public awaits!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Return to Blogging

I have been so very bummed since the elections that a lot of the fun of blogging disappeared for a bit.
Having no computer access at home hasn't helped.

The New Year brings new energy and resolve, however.
At least one hopes and prays it does.

I am returning.
And I have missed my blog world.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

YUCK

Suddenly, I feel tired, aching, grumpy and fat.

Went grocery shopping for the first time since Sean left for college and am reminded of why I hate it. My back is killing me.
First I browsed for recipes and made a shopping list. Then I went to grocery store, and bank within it, and spent $126.+, loaded the bags, loaded the car, unloaded the car to the back porch, carried bags from porch into kitchen, unpacked and put away food, after wiping bottom shelf and top 2 drawers in fridge clean, folded all bags, ate hot chicken bought at the store while standing up, washed all the dishes, brought chicken trash bag out to trash, dried the dishes, the dish drainer and the sinks, put the dogs to bed, picked out my clothes for tomorrow and here I am.

Good grief.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Unit Refused Mission

Unit Refused Iraq Mission, Military Says
By JOHN J. LUMPKIN
WASHINGTON (AP) -
News: "Relatives of soldiers who refused to deliver supplies in Iraq say the troops considered the mission too dangerous, in part because their vehicles were in poor shape.
The Army is investigating up to 19 reservist members of a platoon that is part of the 343rd Quartermaster Company, based in Rock Hill, S.C. The unit delivers food, water and fuel on trucks in combat zones.
Convoys in Iraq are frequently subject to ambushes and roadside bombings.
Some of the troops' safety concerns were being addressed, military officials said. But a coalition spokesman in Baghdad said ``a small number of the soldiers involved chose to express their concerns in an inappropriate manner, causing a temporary breakdown in discipline.''
The coalition said in a statement Saturday that the troops are ``not being guarded or detained. They are being interviewed. They're taking statements.''
But the relatives said they were told the soldiers had been confined.
Teresa Hill of Dothan, Ala., who said her daughter, Amber McClenny, was among in the platoon, received a phone message from her early Thursday morning saying they had been detained by U.S. military authorities.
``This is a real, real, big emergency,'' McClenny said in her message. ``I need you to contact someone. I mean, raise pure hell.'' "

Ghosts, Spooks and Specters

Ghosts, Spooks and Specters Haunt City
News: "
If local legend is true, there are almost as many ghosts wandering the streets of the ancient English city of Exeter as there are people.
Dating back at least to Roman times more than 2,000 years ago, the riverside city in the rural southwestern county of Devon claims to be the most haunted place in England.
'I could talk all night and still not finish telling you all about our ghosts and legends,' said city guide David Fantarrow on a tour of Exeter.
From the ghosts of cats and dogs to Elizabethan sailors and star-crossed lovers in a suicide pact, Exeter claims to have it all -- in the specter department at least.
Judge Jeffreys, who in 1685 presided over what became known as the Bloody Assizes in which he condemned more than 200 people to be disemboweled and more than 800 deported after a failed revolt against King Charles II, is among the city's ghouls.
Many of the rebels came from the Devon area, and most of the trials took place around the region.
A year after he passed sentence, parts of the bodies of the executed were still to be found hanging on trees in Exeter's Southern Hay area that doubled as a recreation and execution ground.
'Legend has it that he was so hated in the west country after the trials he was cursed to return as a ghost in the form of a black pig. That animal has been seen in the city,' Fantarrow said.
Southern Hay is just next to the city's 12th century cathedral and is the location of most of the ghost sightings.
THREE-HEADED GHOST
On the northern side of the cathedral square is a narrow alley called Martin's Lane in which stands the Ship Inn public house which was one of Elizabethan naval hero Francis Drake's favorite watering hole."

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Soldier in Iraq abuse photos has baby

There's a profound book in this, beneath the sordid and horrifying details. Transcendant themes....
Seeking to understand man's inhumanity to man - part of the unending fascination with Hitler and the Nazis- why did so many go along?
Its a tale of innocence perverted and abused by a compelling and violent figure.
And the story of individual corruption, corrosion. What did she think and feel as she moved deeper and deeper into the morass. Was she troubled? Was she having trouble sleeping or having nightmares? Did she cut off contact with home?
Truly personal values without the strength to live by them are not really values - they're ideas of values, value outlines or shadows.


Soldier in Iraq abuse photos has baby
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 Posted: 11:29 AM EDT (1529 GMT)
RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP

Pfc. Lynndie England, the soldier seen in some of the most notorious photos with naked Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, is a new mother.
The 21-year-old reservist had the baby on Sunday at the post hospital at Fort Bragg, Col. Billy Buckner, public affairs officer for the 18th Airborne Corps, said Wednesday.
Post officials said they do not know whether the baby was a boy or a girl, but the Baltimore Sun said it was a boy, citing an unnamed military source.
England became a focal point of the scandal after the release of photos of her smiling and posing with nude prisoners stacked in a pyramid, pointing and flashing a thumb's up, and holding a detainee on a dog leash.
Attorneys say the child's father is Spc. Charles Graner Jr., England's ex-boyfriend, who is also shown in the prison photographs, including one with a dead body packed in ice in a body bag.
England and Graner are among of seven members of the 372nd Military Police Company of Cresaptown, Maryland, charged ....
England faces court-martial in January on charges of abusing detainees and committing indecent acts. She faces a prison sentence of up to 38 years, a dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of all pay and allowances if convicted.



Monday, October 11, 2004

My Kind of Horoscope...

For Today
March 21 - April 19
What began only recently as a working relationship may actually develop quickly into something else. You are sure to be surprised.

Stranger than Fiction

Wow.
And the wildlife officials were in the area 'eradicating pigs.'

News:
"A 60-year-old woman jumped on the back of a crocodile as it dragged a man from his tent in northern Australia on Monday, but was then attacked by the crocodile, which dragged her toward the ocean until it was shot dead.
The 60-year-old woman and 34-year-old man suffered broken limbs, cuts and bruises in the attack by the 12.6 foot crocodile, said wildlife and rescue officials.

The attack occurred around 4 a.m. as the man slept in a tent with his wife and child on the shores of Bathurst Bay, 186 miles north of Cairns in Queensland state.
'The crocodile walked into the tent and dragged the man out,' said Stephen Pemberthy from the Royal Flying Doctor Service, which airlifted the injured campers to hospital.
'A 60-year-old woman in an adjacent tent heard the commotion and jumped on the crocodile,' Pemberthy told Reuters.
The crocodile let go of the man and bit the woman, pulling her toward the water before another person shot it dead.
The injured campers managed to set off a rescue beacon, capturing the attention of government wildlife officials in the area who were eradicating wild pigs. "

Thursday, October 07, 2004

FlyLady

It seems I'm one of the last women to hear of this fun website.
Its for the hopelessly disorganized 'home executive'. For those of us whose second job, keeping a house, is the one they do less well.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

French Lesson

Dialogue. 2 co-workers who run into each other at the store.

1. Salut
2. Salut
1. Comment ca va?
2. Ca va. Et tu?
1. Comme ci, comme ca.
2. a demain soir.
1. au revoir.

Monday, October 04, 2004

And the answer is...

On my lower back.

# 7.

1 full week.

I'm pretty happy about that, though its way too soon to feel any confidence.

I think one thing I'm going to do differently is to stepdown the nicotine level right away - so I'm kicking more of the habit while I'm still not feeling well and not at full speed.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Day 6 - No Cigs

Tomorrow makes a full week with no cigs.
Hurray!
I have felt sorely tried several times. Found myself automatically reaching for a cigarette, only to remember.
Even now as I write, my mind strayed to the cabinet where the packs are hidden....just one my mind whispers, just one.
It is the first time my mind has gone to that cabinet - I hope its not a sign of worse temptation to come.

the seventh day is tricky with the patches - right arm, left arm, right shoulder, left shoulder, right collar bone, left collar bone - where to put number 7?

Happy Birthday, Wallace Stevens

I would have liked this, but was working. Imagine a poet hidden within a gray and seemingly boring insurance executive.
ctnow.com - BOOKS: "September 30, 2004

Happy birthday, dear Wallace, happy birthday to you.
It's time once again to honor the memory of one of America's greatest poets, Wallace Stevens, who was born in 1879 and lived and worked as an insurance executive in Hartford while composing some of the most challenging and complex poetry of the 20th century.
The Ninth Annual Wallace Stevens Birthday Bash will take place Saturday, from 6:30 to 10 p.m., at the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St., Hartford. Parking is available on the deck at the rear of the building and guests are asked to enter from Arch Street.
Eugene Gaddis, archivist and curator of the Austin House at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and the biographer of its famous former director, A. Everett 'Chick' Austin, will give the keynote speech. His talk, 'The Life of the Imagination: Wallace Stevens and Chick Austin,' will show how the lives of these two exemplars of modernism intersected in Hartford.
Stevens' daily walking route from his home in the West End to Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., now The Hartford, was recently chosen as a National Poetry Landmark by the American Academy of Poets.
Tickets for the bash, which includes wine, champagne, hors d'oeuvres and birthday cake, are $30. The party is sponsored by the Hartford Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens with the Connecticut Center for the Book at Hartford Public Library.
For more information, call 860-586-8030."

Reed reads `Thinner Than Thou'

THIS THURSDAY. will I be well enough to go? How much do I want to?
ctnow.com: Reed reads `Thinner Than Thou': "Reed reads `Thinner Than Thou'
- Carole Goldberg
September 30 2004
If you are a regular reader of The Courant's book reviews, then you have read Kit Reed.
On Tuesday, Reed would like to read to you.
The novelist and writer of short fiction, who lives in Middletown and teaches at Wesleyan University, will read from her latest novel, 'Thinner Than Thou' (Tor Books, $24.95 ), on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Yale Bookstore, 77 Broadway at York Square, New Haven.
'Thinner Than Thou' is set in a not-so-far-off future when the current alarming penchant for trying to perfect the body has morphed into a full-blown religion. Churches have been replaced by health clubs of the Crossed Triceps, and a leading TV evangelist preaches about the heaven of the Afterfat. A religious order called the Dedicated Sisters are sworn to help the anorexic, the bulimic and the morbidly obese.
Publishers Weekly said of the book: 'With this sharp-eyed look at America's obsession with image, Reed provides much food for thought and reaffirms her position as one of our brightest cultural commentators.'
Reed has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Rockefeller Fellow. Her earlier novel, 'The Ballad of T. Rantula,' was named to the American Library Association list of Best Books for Young Adults, and she has been published in the Yale Review, Omni and 'The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Literature.'
The reading is free. For more information, call 203-777-8440. "

Childrens' author visits hometown

Great formerly local author. Wish I'd made that booksigning.
ctnow.com: Childrens' author visits hometown
Carole Goldberg

September 23 2004

A much-honored children's book author/illustrator will visit his hometown, Meriden, on Sunday, to begin a book tour and celebrate his 70th birthday. He'll also visit a bookstore in Madison on Monday.
Tomie dePaola, who won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for "Strega Nona" in 1976 and the Newbery Medal for "26 Fairmount Avenue" in 2000, has written and/or illustrated more than 200 books during the nearly 40 years of his distinguished career.
His latest, "Guess Who's Coming to Santa's for Dinner" (Putnam Juvenile, $16.99), is a rollicking tale of what happens when St. Nick invites his whole family to celebrate with him at the North Pole. Santa doesn't count on having to deal with a party-crashing polar bear, a family snowball fight or fiery flaming plum pudding.
On Sunday, dePaola will sign books from 2 to 4 p.m. at New England House of Gifts, 1231 East Main St., Meriden. Some of the proceeds will be donated to the Meriden Public Library, of which he is a longtime supporter. For information, call 203-634-7509.
On Monday, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., he will sign copies of his new book at R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison. Tickets, which can be obtained free by buying a copy of "Guess Who's Coming to Santa's for Dinner" at R.J. Julia, are required for this event. For information, call 203-245-3959.

Today's Rocky Start

I'm not off to a great start today.
Slept very late.
Even late I didn't want to get up.
I ache from head to toe, all over.

I did a lot yesterday...too much it would appear.
Worked 5 hours, then slept a few hours, then felt pretty good
so I did housework and visited with my dogs,
and even did some yoga.

I am paying for it today.

The bright sunshine beckons, but I may not find my way outside.

there are so few days left like this, I feel pressure to make it out....

Friday, October 01, 2004

MY HOROSCOPE FOR TODAY:

Don't take chances with your safety or with your health. You can do much to increase both profit and pleasure at work and at home.

Perfect for today- I stayed home sick and to do some work. Putting my health first.

Quitting Smoking Thought

I just saw an anti-drug campaign ad on TV that made me think.

It was children's pictures of their 'Anti-Drug'. One said, 'my piano,' another her singing. What a good idea. Its not just rejecting something bad; it's embracing something good.

So What is my Anti-Drug?
Puttering?
Writing?
Movies?
Exercise?
Dog-Walking?
Tai Chi?

Tai Chi - now there's a thought. I've wanted to take classes and also do it from tapes at home. It feels ridiculous, though, to do something so healthy and calming and then light up on the drive home.....
So, something I really want to do that being a smoker hinders my doing....

I think I'm getting closer.


Opportunistic Bear

Bear Ransacks Home as Paralyzed Man Lies in Bed
"A paralyzed man in Aspen, Colorado lay helplessly in bed for two hours while a black bear known as 'Fat Albert' went through his kitchen looking for a tasty snack. But, this isn't the first time--the man's home has been invaded nearly a half dozen times by the bear."


Big Bully!

Thursday, September 30, 2004

You Can't Make This Up!

Surfer Takes Brief Ride on Whale
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) -
A surfer says the swell he was riding on a recent trip turned out to be more than just a wave - it was a whale. Spyros Vamvas, a 60-year-old San Clemente therapist, felt the ocean swirl under him and was lifted up by the giant mammal.
``All of a sudden I just felt, wow, this huge noise and bump,'' said Vamvas, ``and it lifted my board up. I'm looking down, and there's just swirling water and I see barnacles on the back of the whale. I'm used to dolphins. This was different. It was huge.'' Witnesses at Lasuen Beach on Monday morning began yelling.
``We were all screaming, `Oh my God!''' said Mona Ferner, who was playing volleyball with her sister when she spied the whale.
Vamvas had no idea how big the whale was. Others on the beach guessed between 15 feet to 30 feet long, meaning the whale was likely a juvenile.
Vamvas, who has been surfing since he was 12, said the whale lifted him gently. ``I never changed position on my board,'' he said.
Those who saw the incident said that after setting Vamvas back onto the water, the whale turned and headed out toward the open sea.
http://cnn.aimtoday.cnn.com/news/story.jsp?maxphotos=5&phototerm=surfing+not+hurricane&flok=FF-APO-1110&idq=/ff/story/0001%2F20040930%2F0639664302.htm&sc=11100&photoid=20040831ORBEN801

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Day 1: Mission Accomplished

Taking Wellbutrin and with a patch slipped on my arm and 2 pieces of nicotine gum, I made it through Day 1 without a cigarette.

This morning, the ashtray on my nightstand was full. Two full cartons of cigs were at the foot of my bed and two partial packs sat within arms reach. And I did it anyway. I emptied that ashtray, then picked up the two packs and the two cartons and took them to the other end of the house and tucked them out of sight.

My resolve faltered of course, as it has so many times before. This time though, I am so sick that I know I couldn't enjoy them anyway. That helps my resolve.

I can't exercise right now, so I'll be getting antsy, twitchy. A dozen times today I mentally reached for a cigarette. Again, if my throat wasn't so sore, I don't know if I could have said no. Glad I did.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Poor Whale

News: "It wasn't until the U.S. cruise ship had pulled into port in Atlantic Canada that those on board made a gruesome discovery -- the body of a large whale was impaled on the vessel's bow.
Officials said on Monday that the 60-foot finback whale could have been stuck there for up to two days before 'Jewel of the Seas' docked in Saint John, New Brunswick, on Sunday, after a cruise through waters where the giant mammals abound.
'The captain of the vessel was not aware there was a whale basically impaled on the bow ... this is an extremely unusual case,' said Wendy Williams, a spokeswoman for Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Coast Guard officials quickly removed the body of the whale and towed it out to sea. The Royal Caribbean ship had been cruising the St. Lawrence river and the Bay of Fundy on the Atlantic coast, an area rich in whales.

Shipping routes through the Bay of Fundy were changed last year to protect the rare right whale. Finback whales are relatively common.
'This is the first ship strike (on a whale) that I'm aware of in the past year,' said Williams. 09/28/04 11:12 "

Eat Breakfast!

Home & Real Estate:
"Three surprising results:
1. People who ate quick breads for breakfast, which include pastries, cookies, and waffles, were among those with lower BMIs compared to other groups.
2. Those who ate meat and eggs for breakfast had higher average BMIs and ate significantly more calories throughout the day than people who had something else for breakfast.
3. People who skipped breakfast consumed the least amount of calories per day, but had higher BMIs. Why? One explanation is that they're eating the bulk of their calories later in the day, which contributes the most to weight gain."

Iambic Pentameter

ab ab ab ab ab
ab ab ab ab ab
ab ab ab ab ab

5 Steps to Any Behavior Change

"The five stages of motivational readiness that can be applied to dieting, exercise, or just about anything in your life:

Stage One: Precontemplation
A person has no intention of changing.
Stage Two: Contemplation
A person intends to change--later.
Stage Three: Preparation
A person is ready to change within the next month.
Stage Four: Action
This stage is reached when a person has recently changed a behavior.
Stage Five: Maintenance
This final level occurs only when a person has carried out the new behavior for at least six months to two years."

When we get stuck in one of the first three stages, the difficulties we perceive with the change outnumber any advantages. In addition, Collins says we lack confidence in our ability to successfully make changes. "If you want to move forward in living a healthy lifestyle, the 'pros' have to outweigh the 'cons' in your mind," says Collins. "Find ways to get around barriers that you think are inconvenient, expensive, boring, or difficult. Be specific about what you are trying to overcome and creative about possible solutions. Research shows that the balance of pros and cons relates to each small behavioral change, not just to the goal, like losing weight."
She explains that someone who is trying to lose weight may see many more benefits to shedding the pounds than remaining overweight, but if all the person can envision are barriers--instead of benefits--to decreasing food portion sizes and exercising regularly, then change is unlikely. "However, if you are ready to change some behaviors, make at least these changes," Collins advises. "Small successes can build your confidence in making more changes."

Monday, September 27, 2004

Time to Quit Smoking

Time to call it quits again.
My timing is off - I just bought two cartons of cigs.
But I had a scare today. Ear infections, swollen glands, sore throat, nodes sticking out of my neck, swellings on my head.....Yuck. I am sick. Doc gave me anti biotics for ears, but no idea of the rest....Took a blood test and I know he's checking for lymphoma or leukemia.

Warning! Warning!
How many do I think I'll get before the real deal arrives and its too late?

So, starting tomorrow, I'm smoke-free. I'm still smoking now and it's killing me....killing my throat that is. I'll throw on the patch, grab some gum, and that will be it. For the foreseeable future. Or in reality, through at least the end of the day tomorrow. Its a start.

I feel so sick.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Just a week?

One week ago today I was sitting in that dingy Chicago motel room feeling sorry for myself.
Feeling blue.

It feels like a month ago. Sean seems so far away - so in a separate life already.

I've been too busy at work and then away from Thurs night to return Sunday - haven't been home long enough to be contemplative. Time is flying. I'll be going out there in less than 3 weeks.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

More Than Coping I'm Hoping

What will help

Exercise

Staying busy at home
cleaning
hobbies
photos

Train the dogs.

Write

Create

See Friends

Step by Step Today

FOR ME
EXERCISE CLASS
NO ICE CREAM CONE, COFFEE INSTEAD
On-line Book collecting classwork and reading

Signed up for new class

FOR FAMILY
CALLED RON


FOR MONEY
Deposited what I had in bank.
Called a Client.


FOR BUSINESS

Monday, September 20, 2004

Aries. September 20, 2004
Avoid brooding, or otherwise sinking into a mood that doesn't enable you to see things clearly. Keep yourself moving forward.

Appropriate horoscope for today. and tomorrow. and the next day.
Don't you think?

Step by Step, Day by Day

FOR ME Exercise class.
Quiet lunch out.
Ice cream cone for dessert.

FOR WORK 3 impt calls for 3 appts - two of them difficult. Ran great meeting.

FOR HOME Washed dishes. Cleaned grill - (still had food from Sean!)

FOR FINANCES Sorted Bank account info for state report

FOR FAMILY Mailed to Sean - Office supplies and Sentimental note -

40 by 50

Lose 40 pounds by next March....

Losing 50 by 50 sounds catchier, but I don't think there's any way I'd really do it.

I don't even really desire to weigh that little. It would be about what I weighed when I was 18.

I think I'll settle for weighing what I did when I was 25.

That sounds ridiculous too. Maybe it should be 30 by 50.
That would take me to a weight I've actually had as an adult, most recently c. 1980. Yikes. that would be when I was approximately ...oops, 25.

Hmmm. Enough of this sloganeering. Have I been too heavy for too long and I should strive, like those annoying charts would indicate, to weigh what I did at 25? Or should I be happy to take 20 pounds off, still be officially overweight, but look and feel so much better?

Lets start with 20 pounds by Christmas and take it from there.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Still not ready

Deslolation.
Is that what to expect?

An expectant hush awaiting his return home,
listening for the key in the lock,
or the muted rumblings of his feet on the floor above me as he stumbles out of bed.



Such melodramatic handwringing!
Be Off! I should cry.
God Speed!
For it is not his path that loses light
but mine.


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Counting Down

In 22 hours, I'll be leaving for the airport to take my one and only away.

In in 57 hours, I will be instructed to say good-bye and leave.
I'll be trying not to cry, as I am now. I am truly happy for him and I'm not overly worried about him.

It's me. Desolation.

In 75 hours, I'll arrive home.

Home. Will it even feel like a home with no Sean here?

Friday, September 10, 2004

Exercize Compulsion

It's been clear to me since my teen years that there is a compulsive addiction-prone aspect to my personality.
Various iterations accompany my memories of various life phases. Pepsi and cheese popcorn were what I would pickup everytime I road my bike to the library or home from school or down to the river to read. Never coke, never regular popcorn.
When I was pregnant, it was ringdings and a container of milk I became addicted to.
In college, where money was a serious issue, it was elbow macaroni and butter. Yup. It still is a comfort food for me today, evocative of an earlier era.
I'll admit that my early experience with alcohol was not one of moderation and here I am still struggling with smoking.

So I have long longed for a healthy addiction. Why can't my addictions be the kind that help me lose weight, make more money or get healthier?

Over the last two weeks, one has begun to develop toward my water exercise class. I feel frustrated, even angry when I can't make it. I plan my week around which of the 5 classes I can attend, and how to compensate with additional pool visits when I have to miss too many.
My compulsion even led me to resist a plea from Sean to take him to the store for more college 'essentials.'

Now you know that if I am resisting such a plea when he has less then one week left at home, then I must be committed indeed.