Friday, June 29, 2007

London car bomb

This morning I got up out of bed around 4am. Like the morning before, my back was killing me and I decided to take a pain pill and watch some TV until it kicked in. I tuned in FOX news and the story was just breaking, a car packed with nails and "patio gas" (what we would call propane tanks) had crashed into some garbage bins in front of a nightclub in London's Haymarket area near Piccadilly Circus. The driver fled on foot leaving the car. An ambulance crew noticed what they believed was smoke inside the car and called the authorities. The car bomb was defused and a few hours later was loaded on a car hauler and taken away.

This incident comes after the jury went out in the trial of six men accused of taking part in a plot to carry out a series of suicide bombings on London's transport system on July 21, 2005. Maybe this little incident was a "welcome note" to Gordon Brown who started his second full day on the job today. Letting the change at the top of government know they still live under threat of terrorism. We are one week away from the 2nd anniversary of the London 7/7 bombings and we know how islamist love dates and anniversaries.
Coincidence? I think not. Nightclubs and bars are considered by islam to be symbols of western decadence and "ladies night" would have been a perfect scenario for the death cult. But I may be rushing to judgement here blaming the religion of peace for a car bomb with islamic, homicide hallmarks. In August 2001 a fertilizer car bomb exploded in London's west end, was the work of the Real IRA or Irish dissidents as described by the BBC. Perhaps Scotland Yard should take another look.

As I write this FOX via Sky news is breaking a story that authorities have closed Park Lane to investigate a suspicious vehicle in Hyde Park.

Do you think America will ever wake up to hear news such as this in New York, Washington, Chicago or Los Angeles?

Monday, June 25, 2007

It's good to have a friend in the "business"

First off, our garage sale went well. The weather wasn't as nice as the forecasters had predicted but your normal, run-of-the-mill garage sale goers were out despite the cloudy overcast skies. We made about $50.00 and most of our junk is gone. Not bad but not enough to repair the sofa.

Over the weekend I developed an abscessed tooth. This the 3rd time the same tooth has become infected since our move to the Columbus area. I know what you're all thinking. But I am absolutely terrified of the dentist. My teeth are in good shape, with a few more cavities than most and the repairs as of late have been to replace fillings and one root canal. I still hate going and can fill my heart rate increase as the days turn into hours before my appointment. I'm not kidding, I really do work myself into a nervous wreck.

When Nick accepted the the position here in Lockbourne, I called my dentist to consult him on dental plans since I fully intend to continue to employ his services. I've only had 3 dentists in my life. My current provider is a childhood friend. Doctor "Elmer" and I met in kindergarten, my last name beginning with "M" and his beginning with "N" he was always seated in front or behind me, depending on how the teacher arranged the class. We went to prom (with different dates) the senior class trip to Hawaii and graduated together and have been friends ever since. Elm is one of those "good" guys, a what my mother calls a "change of life" baby. Never got in trouble and studied hard and became a productive member of society. His parents were blessed with Elmer when they were in their late 40's and early 50's. The "N's" had 3 daughters (in their 20's) before Elmer was born, the eldest being the same age (24 years older than Elm) as my mom. They both passed away 2 years ago, first his dad and mom went a few months later. They were really great people and a little over protective of their only son, (though my mom believes his sister "G" is his real mother, coming from a time in our culture when being an unwed mother was shameful).
He just moved back to the "hood", with eldest sister G, a few streets over from my parents, in the house he grew up in. At first they were going to sell it and have G move into Elmer's condo. More room and a better neighborhood which is closer to his dental office where G fills in as receptionist when his other sister E is unable.

Anyway, I'm going off topic. My left cheek was starting to swell and the same tooth was loose again. I needed to get an Rx of antibiotics before he could do anything with the tooth so I emailed Doctor Elmer and asked him to call me when he had a minute. His office is closed on Friday because he teaches at Youngstown State, so I knew he wouldn't get back to me until Sunday. It was nice to hear from him, not only on a professional level but personal as well. After he diagnosed me over the phone, got the phone number to the Walgreen's I use and asked if I need anything for pain to which I declined. He said he'd put my Rx (with 1 refill) in the database so I could pick it up in the morning and begin to kill the infection in my tooth.

He asked how the move went and if I enjoyed the area. Elmer attended OSU (in addition to Toledo U, Youngstown & Kent State and Columbia University) for a while and knew the area well. He told me his woes of readying his condo for sale and the balancing act between moving, painting, teaching and work. "G" was happy she didn't have to pack up and move, she even got Elmer a chocolate lab puppy as a homecoming gift. I said I'd be in Cleveland on the 11th of July so he'd check his calendar and fit me in while I was in town and remedy this nuisance once and for all. After we hung up I could feel my heart race in anticipation of the appointment. I may have to ask him to call in an Rx for xanex so I don't suffer a heart attack before then.

I just got an email from Walgreen's telling me my Rx is ready to be picked up. That's what I call service. Yes, it's so nice to have a friend in the business!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Busy weekend ahead!

I've added the color sheets, after reading the post I realized you really couldn't visualize the colors.

This past week I've been forced to go through and unpack the boxes in my basement. Our development is having a garage sale this weekend. Nick unpacked shed boxes and donated many items that will soon fill my garage with junk that will soon be someones treasure. If we stay in our own yard and don't wander the neighborhood, we'll remain junk free and make a few bucks. I'm hoping it's hot because I purchased 2 cases of bottled water at an average price of 16 cents a piece, if I can sell them for 50 cents I'm make $24.00 on a $7.60 investment.

Our plan for tonight is to move the cars to the driveway and set up the garage after Nick comes home. We have to set up tables and make-shift stands for our junk and hang a few metal rods to hang the clothes and coats on. We also have to cover up the stuff in the garage we're keeping so it doesn't accidentally get sold. This way we'll be able to sleep in a little. The sale goes from 8am to 4pm both days. In the morning we'll move the Jeep and my car to the street and leave Nick's "baby" in the driveway. I've got tons of clothes and coats, slacks and dresses and nic-nacks galore. No furniture, had I known I would have brought the dresser, TV stand and various shelving units I left in our Cleveland house.

I never thought we had this much stuff that I'd be willing to part with, for a price of course. I emptied 3 or 4 boxes from the basement and half of my closet is now clean and I can actually take a few steps inside. It's so sad how quickly the walk-in closet I thought I'd never be able to fill when we looked at this house has now become over-run with, well, junk.

The proceeds will hopefully go towards the upholstery bill for my sofa. I haven't made any calls yet because I have so many irons in the fire now, and quite honestly, lack of funds. I'm not sure how much it's going to cost, but I want to save a bit more money before I start the project and jump at the cheapest price and have my sofa look like it was the fixed by cheapest vendor.

We also have to paint the master bedroom and all 3 bathrooms. We bought the paint last weekend and are just waiting for a dry, humid free weekend to start that project. Greenwich (a shade of green) and Butterscotch Candy (a dark shade of khaki) for the master bedroom and Wind Blown (blue) for the bathrooms. 3 gallons in all. We'll have to get a 5 gallon bucket of white for the all ceilings. Once that's complete we'll hire someone to paint the living room wall. Nick won't trust me after the fan incident and we only have a 10 foot ladder.

Nick is going to be busy at work in July, so it looks like the begining of August for the painting to start. I'm thinking I could paint the half bath by myself and have it completed in a few hours. But, if I'm going to have the can open you might as well keep going until it's gone or you're spent. We'll see. I'll have before and after pictures posted for all to enjoy once we get started.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Good Bye Snickers!

What you see pictured here is my living room sofa, or what it looks like now. Needless to say, the new puppy is going to her new home (at the Franklin county animal shelter) after Nick arrives from work.

I was gone for 50 minutes and returned to find my sofa had become a dog toy. I blame myself for not restraining her before I left, but I did give her 2 xanex about 2 hours before I left and she seemed very calm. (I gave it to her so Hershey could get some rest from her) I have left her in the house before for 15-20 minutes and have never returned to find my house like this. I don't want to live hostage to a dog that can't be trusted in the house when we're gone for a few hours. Not only did she eat my couch, one of my lamps no longer has a power cord since she also found copper wire and rubber to be a tasty treat.

I have a fine, well adjusted dog in Hershey. I feel like an ugly person now for having / wanting to get rid of her. But it wasn't working out well anyway. Hershey was on constant guard of being attacked by Snickers (day and night) and his toys are all in the "hospital" waiting for me to sew them.

She was too old for us, at this point, to train her the way we did Hershey. I don't want to have to hit this dog all the time for being bad or for being a puppy.

With that face she'll capture someones heart and will be adopted quickly. I just wished I had the $250 we spent at the vet Saturday to call an upholster to fix my sofa.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I've become an "old geezer"

I made my bi-monthly trek to Cleveland yesterday. My appointment was at 11am, taking the 2 hour drive into account I woke at 4:45 to be out of the house by 6:30 at the latest to miss the 270 loop traffic around Columbus. Nick washed and detailed my car on Sunday and being unemployed and all, it was still clean when I ventured out in the cool central Ohio morning. We were expecting temperatures in the 80's with sun so the ride home this time wouldn't find me going 40 MPH on the highway in a torrential downpour doing a hydro-plane dance between semi-trailers.

I'm normally one of the "dogs' following the "rabbit" on the freeway. I'll set the cruise at 80 if there's 1 or 2 more cars in front of me doing the same. Again, I'm unemployed and really don't want to see those flashing red and blue lights coming after me. It's also been my experience, I don't possess the skills to whine, cry or flirt my way out of a ticket.

Anyway, the trip up was uneventful. The normal idiots who don't know how to drive and tons of construction. I made it to my Moms house in exactly 2 hours. We had coffee and visited for a while before I had to leave for the doctor.

After probing and twisting my back which always makes it hurt worse than when I entered, Dr. "Sami" gave me my Percocet 7.5 and Kadian 30mg Rx's and I was on my way. Two months ago he gave me (thank you Aetna) an electo-type device, manufactured by Empi, to help with the pain. It does work much to my amazement. I told him I was no longer using the Kadian 50mg at night or the Lyrica for the foot and ankle pain. He seemed pleased and said the "lump" I've been complaining is nothing to worry about. I noted that in my calendar "just in case" Nick needs to sue because I had a growth that took over my body and "had we only caught it in time" he could own Dr. Sami's palatial estate in Moreland Hills.( I told you I'm having a hard time seeing the glass half full these days)

I returned to my Moms and chatted for about 45 minutes and went home. Before I left I took the tops off my car and decided to get some vitamin D. On my way to the freeway entrance ramp, I noticed several "youngsters" looking at my finely detailed ride. On several of the faces I noticed a look I (about 20 years ago) would give an "old geezer" I saw driving some sweet car like my beloved Camaro (of which the one pictured is my 3rd) or a Corvette. It was a look of disgust, as if to say "Hey there old man/woman, you should be drivin' a 4 door sedan in the slow lane!"

These looks only seemed to embolden me. As I enter the freeway instead of tuning in 1420 WHK talk radio until the "dead zone" I popped in a CD mix I made of 80's music. I hit the gas and shifted over 3 lanes to get to my exit and turned the stereo up (so I could hear it over the whipping wind). And I must say, the Monsoon 500 watt stereo in that car is awesome. Joe Jackson, Soft Cell, Spandau Ballet, The Police, The Smiths, Modern English, After the Fire and my most favorite song on the CD, Jane by BNL preformed live.

I was looking cool with my (prescription) sun glasses on and half temped to put on my wrist supports because hangin’ my hand over the steering wheel (also looking cool) was shooting pains up to my shoulders. I decided to just alternate between arms, so I could continue to emanate the illusion to fellow motorists.

I could only take about 20 minutes of my hair snapping me in the face and I dare not dig in my consol to look for a rubber band at these speeds. So I rolled the windows up which cut the wind down considerably. I was still looking cool!

I passed the slow pokes and negotiated through the construction on 71 south I found myself at the front of the pack going 78 MPH. Not only was I cool I was the cool leader of a Mustang, a Cadillac and BMW. Yes I was the one to get the ticket if the highway patrol was out using their radar.

By the time I hit the 270 loop my head was pounding and my back and arms were aching. Loud music, whipping wind and the sun had all taken their toll on this old geezer. I couldn’t wait to get in the air conditioned house, pop a pain pill (or 3), let the puppies out and go up to my Tempur-Pedic bed and lay down.

Yes, I've become an old geezer with a sweet, sweet ride.....

Saturday, June 09, 2007


I was in my office yesterday when I heard, what I believed to be, the dogs wrestling on the deck outside. When Hershey barked (only once which means "let me in") I got up and let both dogs in the house. Totally forgetting about the sound I heard earlier, I went on about my daily domestic duties. A few hours later Nick and I took the dogs out so they could release the afternoon energy before we settled in to eat dinner and watch a rerun of "Man vs. Wild" (I love that show, even the reruns). It's our new Friday night routine. You can't really call it a tradition yet, can you?
Anyway, when we came around the deck to go back in the house Nick found an orange paintball on our patio walkway. Right away I'm thinking it's one of our neighbors shooting at my dogs. (I've been in a real defensive mood lately and can't seem to see the glass half full). So, like a CSI detective I turn and figure out where it came from in relation to the splatter on the patio bricks and flowers. Nick then discovered the paint on our house about eight feet up the siding. It had been shot from southwest direction where (we think) lives a skinhead. We believe this because he's bald and has a lot of tattoos. (It's a bit boring here and we tend to let our minds wander while we walk around the "hood". It's sort of like playing The Sims, only we assign personalities to folks we see based on their looks and how their property is kept up, or not)
Anyway, a few months ago I found our development website. One of the "families" who linked to the site claimed to own a paintball park, he also has two (rouge) stepsons ages 13 & 14, at the time he last posted. Using my CSI skills I go in the house and log on to retrieve their address. As it turns out they live on my street and not behind us. I took a picture of the siding just in case this turns out NOT to be an isolated incident.

It's not a good time for someone to be playing games with me, I'm not in the mood.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

What do you say after 15 years?

What do you do when your father comes into your life after being absent for the last 15 years? When he saw you last you were anesthetized. He also left before you woke from having your tonsils removed? Even though mommy said he would, I had no proof he’d been there. Christopher never saw him, he was 6 years old.
I divorced him when Christopher was 4 and we moved in with my parents. I got a job bought a house and new cars, took my son to church. I never asked for child support when we divorced and he never asked for visitation. Because Christopher wanted to, I allowed him to visit. The last visit came when Christopher had a bruise on the side of face and he was covered in flea bites.

I petitioned the court for support 2 years later. Even at that time he did not ask the court to see Christopher. Based on him making minimum wage I was entitled to $49.00 a week. As time elapsed, the amount owed continued to grow. I would get a state or federal refund check from time to time that is if he bothered to file taxes. Every other year or so we would be summoned to court and rehash the support (or lack there of) issue. The court had several warrants for his arrest for nonsupport and he spent a 30, 60 and 90 day stint in county jail because he didn’t take this debt (or any debt) seriously. To date, the amount owed is $29,106.05. That doesn’t cover the tuition I paid at Trinity High School.

Throughout the entire 16 year ordeal no one spoke ill of this man. Christopher would ask my mom, whom he’d always been close, about his “dad.” Through clenched teeth (and newspaper clippings detailing his arrest and photos of my bruised face the day my niece was born tucked away) my mom would turn the questions on Christopher to see what he remembered and that usually pacified him for a few months. My brother and sister in law told him we just fell out of love BUT loved him very much. He never asked me and I offered no information. Maybe I should have.

Every birthday and Christmas that passed without so much as a card in the mailbox brought sadness and disappointment to my son (and me). I was hurting for him, a simple call or card from him would have out shined anything I could have put under the tree. Like I knew his address, he knew ours, it’s on court papers and our number has always been listed. Yet for 15 years he chose to be out of the picture.

Time passed and I moved on, realizing he didn’t want to be a family with Christopher and me after he got out of prison, I found a wonderful man who became the dad Christopher needed.

Nick never had children of his own, and I told him up front I was a package deal. My son came first. As we dated, at least 2 days during the weekend the 3 of us spent together. Ball games, family parties you name it we did it. After we wed, Nick only became more fatherly, completely taking his roll seriously, doing all the things a dad does. Teaching him to tie his tie, how to use a knife and fork and to drive. When Christopher failed his test for the second time in the Jeep, Nick purchased him a Pontiac Grand Am, you know, so he could pass his test. Private schools, soccer camps, birthday at the ball park and a Diamondback Joker bicycle that was all the rage for those who rode to school. Nick would wake at 4am during the week to get Christopher to the rink for hockey practice. He would wake at 5am on the weekends to drive him to work at the hospital cafeteria, where Nick also convinced me at 14 Christopher needed to get a job. Not that he was a drain on our income, rather to teach him responsibility, the Protestant work ethic and the value of a dollar. All that entailed employment of a minor Nick took care of. Going to our city high school for a work permit (Christopher went to a Catholic High School in a different city) to 3 weeks of physicals and TB testing, Nick was there adjusting his schedule to get it done for his son. Upon his graduation from nursing school, it was Nicks idea to buy the 2005 Mustang for his son.

I knew this day would eventually come. I hoped it would have played out differently than it has. Wishing my, our son would have told this person he’s not needed in his life, he’s got a dad. (The spitting in his face was just an added bonus had that happened, I can dream can’t I?)
Christopher now has 2 stepsisters whom he proudly displays on his fridge and bedroom dresser. During his visit last weekend (while I did 6 loads of his laundry, Nick and Christopher shopped for a new computer) I learned that my son plans to pursue a relationship with him. He didn't elaborate.

It is my prayer that when his curiosity is fed Christopher tosses him to the curb. The man is a poison. He was an abusive husband and a scofflaw. Either people add or take away value to your life. I know this man, I’ve know him since I was 15. He’s a charmer, and could get the rattle off a snake. Like I’ve outgrown him it’s my prayer Christopher will come to realize that as well.

In case it's eluded you, I have feelings of betrayal and Nick feels heartbroken. Like a lioness protecting her cub, I feel that need again, to protect him from what I know will only bring him pain. I kept him from the poison, that is his father, for many years and many reasons. Reasons not mentioned here, just knowing he was better off in a home with a mom and dad who loved him without the bad influences that being shuttled between families would have brought. We taught him morals, values, patience and love of God. This man could not.

I know he's confused right now and has visions of grandeur this man could never live up to, believe me, I've had them too. I pray Christopher's smarter than I was at 21 and turns and walks away before the heartaches begin.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

islamic civil rights group linked to terrorism

Add "unindicted co-conspirator" to the long list of CAIR achievements in the United States. On Monday, federal prosecutors named CAIR, the islamic Society of America and the North American islamic Trust as participants in an alleged criminal conspiracy to support hamas. The case is against officials with the defunct Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, are charged with "conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists" by sending money, goods and services to palestinian charities controlled by hamas. The case begins on July 16 in Dallas.

The unindicted co-conspirator tag carries no legal weight and only serves to damage their credibility, warranting a closer examination of issues where they're concerned. The outing of unindicted co-conspirators isn't normally done, it has no barring on the case. I believe this action, by prosecutors, facilitates the need for a more intense scrutiny of these organizations.

They operate under the umbrella of freedom afforded to them by our laws and it's by those same freedoms that will allow them to function unmolested by our government. This designation must have the spin masters working overtime.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Meet our new puppy!

Here's Snickers (bar) a lab something mix. She's about 6 months old and a bundle of energy, just ask Hershey! We picked her up Saturday. Her previous owners live next to my parents and it only took them 6 days to realize they're not the dog owning type. Her name was Roxie and may have been abused before we got her.
We renamed her Snickers Bar, sticking with the candy theme. She's very shy around women and cries when Nick leaves the house. Even when he leaves the room she's up and right on his heels.

She's starting to warm up to me. The way I dole out treats, it was only a matter of time.
She's house trained and only had 2 accidents, both of which occurred on the tile at the front door. The only real issues we're having is her constant nipping at Hershey. He'll play for a while and will bark at her (or for us) when he's had enough.
This morning I got up before the alarm and caught her trying to get in Hershey's bed with him still in it. It was way too early for him to be waking let alone playing. He sleeps as long as someone else is in bed, which is great if one of us is ill or want to sleep in on the weekends. I'm not sure how long she'd been awake, but she didn't chew anything or mess in the house.
Once she noticed I was up she quickly followed me downstairs to get first dibs on the food. If you can't tell from the photos, she's a bit under weight.
She's a really good puppy and seems happy to be here with us. I'm sure she'll fall into our routine and settle down in a few weeks.