Updates!

May 23, 2013 at 11:27 am (Birthday Wishes, Day to Day, Family, For Tom, News, Updates) (, , , , , , , , )

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One baby born! This little boy was actually born last week, but as you all know, I am lame. Hopefully any family people saw it on facebook. I mean, you can just go with this site for your local, state, national, news, but you will be getting very specific, and very late updates.  Specific to me and my life and the things I feel strongly about, and, more importantly, anything I actually have time to post about. Good thing it’s not my job. Anyway, this is my brother’s new baby. About a week old now with several names. John Thomas James. It’s a nice strong set of names. I just looked up the date and it was May 16th. Now all of my siblings have children in May. (My one sisters kid was actually born June 1, but I’m counting it because it’s close enough and I still have to send the card in May) I guess I know what everyone’s been doing in the fall. Labor Day Fun Times. Ah love. So he is pretty cute huh? And he’s already got that look in his eye that my brother has most of the time. Congrats!

And a special thank you to my brother for telling me the good news in a hilarious and awkward fashion. It made me laugh all the way to work. You know you want to know, and I hope it translates here as funny as it was when he did it. He calls me and of course I figure it has to be about the baby so I just say, “Hello? What’s going on?” And he says (very seriously and literally), “Uh, well, um, well, you know, uh, we, uh, um, the baby, you know, um, well, it’s here. The baby is born and you know, it’s, um, it’s born now…” That may not be word for word, since he was mixing those “ums” and “uhs” and “wells” up all over the place, but it’s pretty damn close. I said, “Geez Tom. Could you tell me any more awkwardly? Just say ‘we had the baby!’ It’s not like, Oh hey, you know that thing that’s been growing in April? Maybe you noticed that she’s been getting kind of fat lately? Well, we went to the hospital because she was complaining about some pain in her stomach, and well, turns out it was a baby! So they, uh, got it out of there and it’s here and we have one now that we get to keep and take home!” Man, I love my little brother!! Hopefully he won’t be mad that I shared in this public place! Love and all that stuff. Later.

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Boston. In Our Thoughts Over Here.

April 15, 2013 at 6:49 pm (Day to Day, News, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Support) (, , , , , )

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Sending a quick shout out to any and all Boston friends and family and those who need a kind word of love and support. We are thinking of you and will continue to hope for all the best in a bad time.

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And then, THREE MONTHS later…

June 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm (Day to Day, Employed Posts!, High Score Alerts, News, Updates) (, , , , , )

Yada yada yada. I’m back. Just like that.

Let me explain. No. There is no time. Let me sum up.

Still dealing with the poop and the pain on a daily basis. It has been 5 months now and I believe that I am finally settling in. Relaxing. Using the skills and critical thinking tools I was armed with from the start. They said it would all make sense. They said it would get “better”. And it has. It is. I no longer go into panic mode every day at 2 pm when I am about to walk through the doors of hell and into the fire pit. It’s not hell. It’s my job. And so far it’s good. And from what I have been reading from some of my fellow classmates who have been working in various other locations, my job ain’t all that bad. Plus, I lost 30 pounds! Bone. Ass. (!!) Seriously.

The kids are great. My son graduated, as scheduled, from the 8th grade and is now moving onto high school. We had him a little party two weeks ago that I think was an awesome success. Most of you all were invited. And most of you all came! He had a blast and was super thrilled to see how many people would come over to our tiny little house and pack in and eat every last scrap of food, including the cake (a full sheet). And then stay through the ever hilarious, gods of weather, thunder and lightning show and torrential downpour of rain that we hadn’t had for over two weeks, but picks our party night to decide that the clouds are full enough.

The next day, we wake up to a burst water pipe in the front yard. Flowers and landscape timbers floating all over the front. A giant mound of grassy water bursting through the ground. Like a giant pimple on the day of the big prom. But we had our moment. One day earlier and all would have been lost. I still cried though. I pictured the sidewalk gone, the driveway gone, most of my front grass…it truly looked like water was pouring out from everywhere.

But in the end it was just a few hours with no water and no toilet, some splattered mud, and 100 degrees of fun for the village workers who fixed it asap. Luckily for them we had cases of water chilling in the backyard coolers. Now I just have one, big, muddy spot near the front of my grass where it meets the sidewalk. And two, square, bracer divots where the back hoe sat digging up the nearly perfect lawn that my son had been working on all spring.

Next up, football training camp. For the boy. Not me. It has already started and ended for the first session. Those first few days were not good. Lots of work. Lots of drills. Lots of getting knocked down. The mandatory vomiting due to extreme physical exercise that one is unprepared for. Could never be prepared for. But now I think he likes it. He’s part of the team. And the team is good.

It also helps that he’s the second biggest player on the whole team. Freshman and Varsity. Respect for the linemen. Especially when they get right back up and don’t complain. Plus, they get free lunch! Football player perks! FYI…that, above, is a good illustrative picture and an excellent book for teenage boys. Read it if you want a fast story with humor and drama and sports. Young adult is the way to go lately and I am not the only one that thinks so.

But I digress. Moving on…

The girl is just as cool as ever. An awesome little chick that is fast maturing from girl to teenager to young adult.  Transitioning this year from 7th grade to 8th. Last year of Jr. High. Of course she’s in the NJHS,  (National Junior Honor Society), and they had a great ceremony at the school to celebrate the smarticles of all these hard working kids.

And did I mention FIRST place, OVERALL, at the Science Fair this year? Yep. First. Place. Over. All. She’s interested in her friends, boys, clothes, hair and makeup, but still found the time to go hang with her aunty and her bestest cuz Elexa for a week, just because she hasn’t been there since spring break, and she missed her!

Good kids I got, for real. As for today, this very minute, they are gone from me again. As they do every year, they have left for Kentucky, with their dad, to visit their grandma and stay for the week over the Fourth of July. They left at 10:30 am and the house is quiet. The way it used to be, before the BF, and after my little ducks would leave the pond for a long trip somewhere else. It’s non-stop, fishing, swimming, and boating, on the lake or in the pool. I don’t expect to hear from them because the days blend when you are on that kind of vacation. Plus they’re 13 and 14. They go where the day takes them. But they have technology now and pictures will be posted. So we can all follow along. Yoodle yoodle yoodle yoodle! Live action!

Oh yeah! I almost forgot! Another tree limb fell in the back yard! You can see it in the picture hanging on the phone line.

And here you can see it denting the metal table we have on the patio. It pretty much fell straight down into the yard from the tree. Luckily we were able to move it ourselves and get it off the AT&T line. The real tragedy would have been losing internet access. And that is no lie or exaggeration. Ipods and XBox really don’t work very well without it. Our whole life revolves around those wireless connections. But we still need the wire outside to connect us. The tree did pull it down pretty low though. AT&T came out and pulled it up tight, just in time for the party. And one of the BF’s friends came and removed all the extra stumps and wood logs we had lying around from the last year. It’s scary empty in the back. And it’s weird not to have the constant reminder that we live with these insidiously malevolent trees that decay from the inside, but attack on the outside. No warning. You can see how sunny and pleasant it looks in the picture. Because it was. You hear a loud boom.  A rattling jangle of metal.  A heavy thunk. It’s not even windy. Whatever. Pick it up. Move it to the back. Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity for your son to use the chain saw for the first time. Yes. He was super excited. Yes. There are pictures.

And because I just scrolled through all my pics in the last few months…

A random crawfish strolling across our back patio. Big too. Don’t know where he came from. Don’t know where he was going. Haven’t seen another one since. I might have even already mentioned him. If not, there you go.

Mother’s Day.

Found money. Seriously. We found this 100 dollar bill folded up, laying on the ground outside of a store in the parking lot. Most money we have ever found in our silly game. (Street Money. You can click the link to the right or this whole sentence, and read all about it.) For the record, we did go back and try to see if anyone had lost any money. Nope. Ours to keep. I promised it to the kids, to split, if they would remove every single weed from the bricks on the back patio in preparation for Mason’s party. They did. In fact, they removed every single paver and brick individually, weeded all around them and put them all back in place. In about 4 or 5 hours. Money. The great motivator.

The Avengers!

Best red blend and white blend. Ever. And I don’t like white wine. Never drink it. Tried it on a whim because it got reviewed deliciously. Not even going to explain why. Just buy them and try them. Good price too. Less than 15 dollars. You will not be sorry.

As for me, I thought I would finally catch up here. I don’t have time to really do anything any more because my work schedule is shit. 3-11. Not conductive to a social life. You work, you sleep. You go back to work. If you make the effort to get up in the day, you will be tired by the night. But you really won’t. You get that second wind. And because you stay up those few hours after work like you would if you worked in the day,  the hours eventually start to run into each other and you spend your day off sleeping until noon. Or later. Then the only thing you can do is play phone games (highest score for me so far!) and watch old re-runs of shows you used to love and try to take back the life you once had.

So, I couldn’t help but wonder, am I going to wrap this up or keep typing like I have nothing else to do?

Truth is I do have something else to do. The BF has booked us a nice hotel room away from our town and made reservations at a restaurant that we have never been to. We have a birthday party, with drinks, to go to after and then, who knows? He is out with his friend test-riding a motorcycle trip right now in preparation for the 4000+ mile motorcycle trip they are going to take at the end of the month. And I promised I would be ready by 3. I am lucky. For the first time since I started this job, I have had two, whole, glorious days off, that I got to spend, every minute, with my kids. And soon I will have these two more, glorious days off to spend with the BF. And I have received the ultimate gift of 4 whole hours, of pure alone time, smack dab in the middle of a long weekend off. The house is clean. The dishes are done. The beds are made. The laundry is washed. And dried. Folded. And put away. My overnight bag is already packed. The flowers are watered and weeded and dead-headed. The grass is cut. The sky is blue. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. (And happy and fat with lots of food available in all the feeders.) My legs are already shaved and my hair is the perfect color. Finally. Let’s just type this last sentence and go hop into the shower.

That’s the motorcycle. Which just pulled up and is my cue to really put this thing to bed so I can go have a nice night out on the town.  “Out on the town.” That’s funny sounding right? Kind of old fashioned.

And for those playing along with my TV/Movie reference game, I’d like to thank Seinfeld, The Princess Bride, Call of the Wildman, and Sex and the City. There’s another one in there, I think, that I cannot place. I even called my girl for help but she’s already on vacation time and the connection was lost. It’s kind of funny how in this saturated media world we can never be sure anymore if our words are even our own.

Anyway. Hopefully. This post, after so long without, will bring me back to every day. I have been taking pictures and keeping a list of ideas and things to write about this whole time. And I’m telling ya’, some of it is pretty good. And some of it is a lot of birds. I am still obsessed with getting pictures of all the birds that fly into my backyard. Cardinals, hawks, woodpeckers, mourning doves, red-winged blackbirds, hummingbirds, and this year, we have blue jays! I’ll try to minimize the pictures of the sky though. The kids have already told me no more sky pictures. No one cares. It’s enough. And be funny. Funnier. Only the laughs. So here’s to turning a new leaf while still hanging off of the old tree. Birds. Lots of birds. Sitting.

And in the sky.

I hope you enjoyed today and will continue to follow again through the summer and beyond. I appreciate all my readers for hanging through the flood and the drought. This is me, in my life again. I mean, it’s the same life as before, but with better time management. Have a great day and night wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Stay safe. I will talk to you. Later.

L.

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Bummer. RIP Arch West.

September 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm (For Amanda, News, RIP, Tips to Live) (, , , , , )

The man who created the delicious snack chip near and dear to our collective family hearts has passed away, last week, in Dallas, Texas. Arch West was 97 years old. He came up with the idea for the Dorito, on a family holiday to San Diego, in 1961,  when he visited a food truck selling fried tortilla chips. Genius is recognized! He took his idea back to Frito-Lay where he was a marketing executive, and said, hey….big idea here! They said, hmmm…not sure. But thankfully, in 1964 when they rolled out those cheesy chips, the world said, HELL YEAH!! And a legend was born.

My family personally loves the Dorito. My sister in particular, has been known to snack on a bag or two from time to time…it’s the never-ending story from our past…Amanda eats Doritos! Sorry sis, it’s just too good to pass up and I know you’d feel a bit sad to hear the news and maybe want to pay your respects by having some and NOT feeling guilty! Or care what OTHER people think about your Dorito loving habit!! Be proud! Besides you are an adult now and you can eat as many as you like! Haters are always gonna hate!

My son loves them too. He switches back and forth from Nacho Cheese to Cool Ranch, so we get them both in the Frito-Lay Lunch Pack. My personal fav is the Taco flavor. (Coincidentally, also the very first flavor of Dorito to be introduced) Seriously, they just rolled them back out over the summer. Before, if you wanted them you really had to search them out. They’re even in their original packaging. I don’t know why. All I know is they are THE essential component of this Taco Dip that I make and without them, the dip just tastes like taco-flavored cream cheese with nacho chips.

Here’s the recipe to try for next weekend if you like, or tonight! Monday Night Football! That works. Super easy, NO cooking required! In fact once you make the core dip you can basically do whatever you want to it. It’s low maintenance. This is one batch. Just double the amounts for more. One bag of chips is good for one batch of dip.

8 oz. Cream Cheese (Does not matter what kind, unless you like a particular brand. I’d use full fat though for this and the sour cream and just suck it up. The dip hold better with the extra fat. Much like everything right??)

8 oz. Sour Cream (Again, whatever brand you like. Stick to full fat.)

1 packet of Taco Seasoning Mix (Any kind. Your choice.)

That’s it! Blend them together in a bowl. Use a hand mixer if you have one because sometimes the cream cheese can be hard to smooth out. It should be thick enough to hold a shape, but not solid.

Now you can let it sit in the fridge, melding flavors (cover it up), while you chop up the toppings to add to it. Remember this is a Taco Dip, so add stuff that you would put on a taco. There is no limit to how much of any one ingredient or what kind/flavor of cheese. These are my suggestions:

Shredded Cheese. I started off with just plain cheddar or colby, but they make so many different kinds now, you can really get creative. My kids like more flavors now too, so things like the cheese blends with taco spices adds extra oomph. Queso’s are good too. Get a crumbly kind. My only real advice is to stick with the taco flavor theme, or it’s gonna get confusing.

Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Black Olives. These are my main tops. Lettuce even comes in a bag shredded for you and olives come pre-sliced. Onions are hit and miss, as are tomatoes, and I guess black olives too, but they’re easier to pick off. It’s all up to you and what your particular audience likes and won’t whine about.

Additional add-ons can include: Avocado, Sour Cream (as an extra topping), Salsa, Hot Sauce, Jalepenos; anything you can serve up on a taco. I would also offer the advice to stick to COLD items. Things that taste good cold. Hot toppings or meats aren’t all that great with this and it makes the whole thing way harder than it has to be.

Now get a disposable pizza pan or a big plate or serving platter if you aren’t concerned about losing any dishes in a traveling party situation. I started using disposable cooking pans or roasting pans because they have sides and the dip doesn’t get lost to the edges. Keeps it in nice and tight.

Take your dip from the fridge and scrape it out onto the platter, in the center, into as tight of a ball as you can manage. Basically just try to keep it in one big lump. Then add the other stuff to the top. I start with cheese. I use enough to cover the whole dip ball. I like to put everything in smaller containers or sandwich baggies to take with if I am making it somewhere else or leave it on plates until I am ready to assemble. You can make the core dip ball ahead but I wouldn’t add the “taco” stuff until just before serving, otherwise it gets kind of runny, and that’s no good. Then I dump on the other stuff. Kind of layering it and adhering it to all sides of the dip. Eventually you will have a core lump of dip covered in many different ingredients. It should be colorful and look pretty impressive. Don’t worry about any of the toppings falling to the edges of the pan. Here’s where the “Greatest Dorito Chip Of All Time!” comes in!

(We really took the long way today) Break out your bag of Taco Flavored Doritos. I have to stress the Dorito kind here because they do have this very specific flavor that cannot be matched. Now just put them all around the edges of the dip like a life preserver. This is where the pan with sides comes in handy. I used to use a flat platter, but the chips would always end up falling off or getting shoved off trying to scoop up dip. The pan keeps it all in and gives you something to brace against when scooping. And it’s super-easy to move around if you are trying to steal it away from the crowd and keep it all to yourself.

That’s it. It’s really simple even if the instructions have taken up 10,000 words. And it’s really good. People seem to love it wherever I bring it and it usually gets eaten first and to the last cheese shred. I may have a picture of it somewhere on this site already. If I do, I’ll post it later. If not, next time I make it, I will for sure.

This ends my tribute to the man who invented Doritos. I have done my best to research the details of Mr. West’s awesome creation to the world, but if I have missed anything or gotten something wrong just drop me a line and let me know. His funeral will be held on October 1 in Dallas.

One more fun fact: His family, daughter and sons, will be tossing Dorito chips over his urn, into the ground, where he will be buried. As of my posting, the flavor is still undetermined. Taco was first, but Nacho Cheese was most successful. They say he would have loved it!

Arch West (1914-2011)

Rest In Supreme Nacho Cheese Peace.

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Good Morning America!

September 11, 2011 at 9:03 am (Day to Day, News, Thank You) (, , , )


You look beautiful today! Sunny and bright with a clear blue sky. Very still. As if our morning is trying to pause itself for a while and stay in this moment. It’s early here in Chicago. No one is up yet. I just thought I would take a  quiet moment to be thankful that I live in a country that allows me to have something so public like this to say whatever I want, whenever I want. And to be thankful that I am alive. My kids are good and healthy, my family and friends  are well, and I have someone great to share these days with. I was avoiding TV and internet programs about today because I don’t like to cry very much. I remember enough. I worked in the city at the time, right across from the John Hancock building. I used to take the train and I had no technology available to listen to a radio or TV or internet, and when I got to work, our friend from New York was running through our hallways crying hysterically because he knew people that had been involved in whatever the hell was going on over there. We had no clue. We were evacuated and sent home. The whole city practically was. I got my kids from daycare and I sat home and watched like everyone else, what had happened, on TV. My kids were about to turn 3 and 4. They remember practically nothing. And I think that’s OK. Everything they have to do, everything that came from that period, as a result of that time, is just normal for them. It’s good. They understand enough  right now. School is doing a good job of making them understand the what and maybe some of the why and how it impacted the world, our country, and our people. I just want them to know that tragedy strikes and the world keeps spinning. Take your moment and feel that pain. It’s amazing the support that you will receive, but it’s heartbreaking because it’s you, and some people just won’t care. Always move forward but with the occasional  eye-check on that past so you don’t go there again. Do what needs to be done. Help where you can. Sometimes you never know what kind of impact you have. Hope for the positive. I definitely do not want to go on and on today because I am no authority on these kinds of things and tons of other people can tell a ten-times more interesting story with a better philosophical ending. I have none. And I’ve been trying to think of something! I am just going to enjoy the silence for a bit longer, drink my coffee, and be happy for this particular moment. It’s  good to remember. Don’t let it freeze you in time though. Never forget.

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It is cold cold cold…

January 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm (Animal Deaths, End of the World, News, Phone Camera, Pictures, Random Images, School News, Updates, Wasting Study Time Posts) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

This is a picture I took with my phone of some crazy ice melting/freezing thing that happened and I don’t know why. You could almost fool yourself into thinking this is way out in nature instead of in the Wal-Mart parking lot. City folk  got to get their outdoors from somewhere. Hey. You really can get everything from Wal-Mart!

Before you get too cozy with it, here is the other shot, where you can clearly see the Best Buy thru the trees. How enchanting!

And yes, I have all kinds of other things I could be doing right now. Like school. School is sitting in the kitchen, scolding me because I haven’t cracked a book for two days and I have a test Tuesday. Procrastination is a bitch.

Speaking of…in case you think I have no follow thru, the News of the World claims there is nothing to worry about with all those animal deaths that were occurring a few weeks ago. Oh, what? You forgot? Just because it is totally and completely gone from the news? Refresh your memory and scroll down my little blog here. I posted a whole bunch of stuff. But not to worry, it’s a natural thing that happens ALL the time. Practically EVERY day, all around the world. No big deal. No poisons, no accidents. Not because of fright or fireworks or lightning or even someone doing it on purpose. And most definitely NOT environmental or related to global warming or the end of the world or any other crazy conspiracy theory you crazies have out there. Crazy! It just is what it is. Animals die in mass numbers, at random times, in random locations, every day. No need to look into it any further! Hey look! Kittens playing in a box! Adorable! Let’s roll one more phone photo!

Here’s a picture of my car. With some snow gently falling on it. Its pretty. Especially when you don’t have to go anywhere.

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Dang! My neighbor is trying to start a riot over here!!

January 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm (Day to Day, Football, News, Wasting Study Time Posts) (, , , , , , )

If you read me, you know I live in the Chicago area, and even if you don’t read me, I just told you, so…

This is MOSTLY Bears territory around these parts. We do have the Packer fans of course. We ARE a tightly populated, close proximity region. Dense, even. With people of all sorts. And that’s cool. Except this weekend.

In case you haven’t heard, or have been out of the country, or just don’t read the paper or watch the news or look at the internet, this weekend has a football game going on. It’s kind of a big one. It’s for our NFC championship title and then the Superbowl. People DO get a little nuts!

It’s the Green Bay Packers of Wisconsin and the Chicago Bears of Illinois. Playing in OUR town. In OUR stadium. In OUR lifetime! It’s only been about 70 years since they played each other in a championship game! Seriously! 70 years!! (FYI–Chicago won that game AND the 1941 version of a Superbowl, played at Wrigley Field no less!) And I have to say, it is pretty exciting!

But my neighbor is like 80 years old and lives mostly alone, except for her daughter, who is not there 24/7! Good thing football is played in winter. Less traffic and likelihood of hanging around outside comparing teams.

Basically the city of Chicago, Green Bay, and probably pretty much all of the south to north area of Illinois and Wisconsin will shut down for a few hours on Sunday to see what will happen on this historic day! And it’s not just me.

I can almost hear my sister’s eyeballs rolling inside her head, thinking that I am being overly dramatic. Uh uh. Click on any sports link on any internet, the game will be there. And it sucks for Pittsburgh and NY because they play too, for the Superbowl, but no one seems to care. At least no where around here!

These are some quotes from articles I thought were funny (the first two are from the same one–click here to read the whole thing):

Not that the Super Bowl seems to matter much: Packers fans said beating the Bears at Soldier Field would be a wonderful cake, with a Super Bowl victory serving as the frosting.

AND THIS:

“For guys who have followed the Bears all their life and truly hate the Packers, yeah, this is their Super Bowl,” said Mark Foster, 54, who plans to erect a 5-foot (1.5-meter) inflatable Bears helmet outside his home in Lansing, south of Chicago. “We can lose 50 to nothing in the Super Bowl to Pittsburgh or the Jets, but if we beat the Packers, who cares?”

AND THIS (A little history if you have the time—click it!):

The next chapter in the “NFL’s oldest rivalry” puts the Bears and the Packers up against each other for a spot in the Super Bowl. Some are saying this is the biggest game in the teams’ history; they’ve faced off 181 times before – dating back to 1921 – but only once in the playoffs, in 1941.

For nine decades, they have broken each other’s bones, and they have smashed each other’s teeth, and they have irrigated their fields with the blood of the other,” says the St. Petersburg Times. As this year’s teams head into their rubber match, both Chicago’s and Green Bay’s hometown papers are reflecting on this storied rivalry and reviving the excitement of the teams’ 1941 postseason matchup. Here, a look back, through Chi-town and cheesehead eyes, at that winter day:

Nope…gotta go read it! Link at the beginning…it’s worth the few minutes.

And even though this is old and we KNOW that the Bears and Packers are going to play, this is still a good article from ESPN (linked here):

If all goes well, Soldier Field will be the epicenter of all humanity on Jan. 23.

Now, that is drama!

Anyway, I’ll keep an eye on my neighbor, make sure no one throws stuff at her house and whatnot. And for the record, I am a FOOTBALL fan. I love the game, the whole game, the teams, the players, the physicality of the whole sport and I am totally rooting for the BEARS because they are MY home team and I want US in the SuperBowl!!

But I can’t say that I hate the Packers. And they are really good this year. The Bears are too, but man, I just don’t know! For sure it will be a good game. No doubt everyone on the field will be playing the best football of their careers. Oh yea. It is that serious! But not too serious. Lots of jokes flying around. And just cause I like you, I will end this with a joke on behalf of Bears fans everywhere. It’s from the internet, where else?

A teacher tells her class she’s a Packers fan. The class agrees with her except one little girl. When asked who she likes the girl said the Bears, the teacher asked why and the girl said “because my mommy and daddy are fans”. The teacher replies “that’s no reason to like them, what if your dad was an idiot and your mom was a moron then what would you be?” The little girl replied back, “a Packers fan.”

Thank you and Goodnight!

GO BEARS! GO BEARS!

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Last one and I will move on

January 13, 2011 at 5:17 pm (Animal Deaths, Birds, Day to Day, End of the World, Fish, News) (, , , , , , )

So this will be the last post for now unless something really weird happens. School is starting soon and my time is almost over for hanging out waiting for birds to fall to their deaths and marine life to wash up on shore. I had heard there were others and this is a good sum up for the 2011 slaughter of random species of animals. As usual….lazy…so here is the re-post from my internet friend Brian Merchant. And he included pictures! Which, thankfully, also copied! I haven’t checked everything, but I am hoping the links all link too. Thank you so much! As usual I added nothing to this and everything below the “enjoy” is his! End of the world! ENJOY!

 

Mass Animal Deaths Around the World: Dead Birds Fall from Sky, Millions of Fish & Crabs Wash Ashore

by Brian Merchant, Brooklyn, New York on 01. 6.11

    dead-birds-fall-from-sky-animal.jpg
    Image: Inquistr

    As you’re likely aware, there’s been a pretty bizarre spate of mass animal deaths reported around the world. First, it was the thousands of birds that fell from the sky in Arkansas on New Year’s Eve. Some 100,000 fish also washed up on the shores of a river 100 miles away. Birds fell from the sky in Louisiana and Kentucky, too. Two million fish washed up dead in Chesapeake Bay. 50 birds fell from the sky in Sweden. 100 tons of fish washed ashore in Brazil. 40,000 crabs were found dead in England. All of this carnage has left people around the world wondering the same thing: What the hell is going on?

    Unfortunately, there’s no good answer. The explanations offered up so far run the gamut — from being dismissed as a series of unrelated, unfortunate coincidences to the suggestion that the deaths are a result of unusually cold weather to full-bore conspiracy theories that claim the US government is behind it all — but nothing conclusive has been determined. Here’s a closer look at the various incidents:

    Thousands of Dead Birds Falling from the Sky
    The AP reports that “Environmental service workers finished picking up the carcasses on Sunday of about 2,000 red-winged blackbirds that fell dead from the sky in a central Arkansas town.” The blame? Still open to speculation (though the loud-noise theory has gained traction):

    Arkansas Game and Fish Commission ornithologist Karen Rowe said Saturday the birds showed physical trauma, and speculated that “the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail.” The commission said that New Year’s Eve revelers shooting off fireworks could have startled the birds from their roost and caused them to die from stress.

    Then, around 300 more dead birds fell from the sky in Louisiana, and still more were reported found dead in Kentucky. 50 more were found fallen from the sky in Sweden. And around 100 blackbirds dropped out of the sky in New Zealand as well.

    fish-kill-chesapeake.jpg

    2,000,000 Dead Fish Wash Up in Chesapeake
    Here’s the Baltimore Sun: “An estimated 2 million fish have been reported dead from the Bay Bridge south to Tangier Sound, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment, which investigates fish kills. The dead fish are primarily adult spot, with some juvenile croakers … Large winter kills of spot have been documented at least twice before, the MDE spokeswoman said, with about 15 million dying in early 1976 and a smaller number in 1980.”

    crabs-wash-shore-apocalyspe.jpg

    40,000 Crabs Wash Ashore in Kent
    The Daily Mirror reports that “More than 40,000 Devil crabs – also known as Velvet swimming crabs – were found strewn along beaches in Thanet along with dead starfish, lobsters, sponges and anemones.” Scientists have blamed the death on colder than usual waters, which may have induced hypothermia in the sea life.

    100 Tons of Fish Dead in Brazil
    According to the Brazilian news outlet ParanaOnline, “A survey conducted by the Federation of Fishermen’s Colony of Paraná, Paranaguá on the coast of the state, indicates that at least 100 tons of fish (sardine, croaker and catfish) have turned up dead since last Thursday off the coast of Parana.” The fish have washed ashore, and no cause has been determined yet.

    fish-kill-brazil.jpg
    Fish kill in Brazil. Image via ParanaOnline

    All in all, these incidents have led to a search for a unified theory that explains the phenomena — what could be killing all of these animals? The conspiracy theorists that point to the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP (a government research project that investigates the ionosphere that’s been blamed for many a mysterious event) as the culprit certainly don’t have me convinced. But the patchwork, “great big coincidence” theory leaves something wanting as well.

    Though the phenomenon may indeed be partly the result of self-fulfilling prophecy; the Washington Post points out that “when one news report about dead birds becomes big news, a few dead birds anywhere in the world becomes big news.” After all, sudden mass animal deaths do occur more often than most of us realize: “About 500 million to 1 billion birds are killed every year and mass deaths have been noted about 16 times in the past 20 years,” the PBS NewsHour reports. Even so, there’s plenty to chew on here, and you can’t blame the conspiracy theorists for tackling this one head on.

    More on Mysterious Animal Deaths
    Death Toll in Mysterious Mass Pilot Whale Beachings Hits 168 …
    An Ocean of Plastic … In Bird’s Guts
    Mystery : 500 Dead Penguins Wash Up on Brazilian Beaches

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    Hmmm…

    January 4, 2011 at 6:47 pm (Birds, End of the World, News) (, , )

    So Arkansas is off the hook. Birds decided to end it all in LA too. (Louisiana, ya’ll) Here’s another story, from the Associated Press. Thank you to Jeannie Nuss. I re-posted it without alteration. Enjoy.

    Louisiana has mass bird kill just days after Arkansas

    JEANNIE NUSS • Associated Press • January 4, 2011

    BEEBE, Ark. — Blackbirds are having hard time staying alive in the Southeast.

    Just a few days after 3,000 blackbirds fell from the sky in Arkansas, about 500 birds dropped to their death in Louisiana, littering a quarter-mile stretch of highway near Baton Rouge. It wasn’t clear if the deaths were linked, but such massive wildlife kills are far from uncommon.

    Biologists were trying to figure out what killed the birds in rural Pointe Coupee Parish, La. About 300 miles to the north, in the small town of Beebe in central Arkansas, scientists said celebratory fireworks on New Year’s Eve likely sent thousands of discombobulated blackbirds into such a tizzy that they crashed into homes, cars and each other before plummeting to their deaths. Still, officials acknowledged it’s unlikely they’ll ever pinpoint a cause with certainty.

    Wildlife officials in both Arkansas and Louisiana were sending carcasses to researchers at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis. and the University of Georgia, but it’s not clear the bird deaths were related.

    In Beebe, New Year’s revelers spent the holiday weekend cleaning up between 4,000 and 5,000 dead red-winged blackbirds. Some speculated that bad weather was to blame. Others said one confused bird could have led the group in a fatal plunge. A few spooked schoolkids guessed the birds committed mass suicide.

    “There was probably some physical reason, but I doubt anyone will ever know what it was,” said Thurman Booth, the state’s wildlife services director.

    The birds were the second mass wildlife death in Arkansas in recent days. Last week, about 83,000 dead and dying drum fish washed up along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River, about 100 miles west of Beebe. Wildlife officials say the fish deaths are not related to the dead birds, and that because mainly one species of fish was affected, it is likely they were stricken by an illness. Full test results could take up to a month.

    The U.S. Geological Service’s website lists about 90 mass deaths of birds and other wildlife from June through Dec. 12. Five list deaths of at least 1,000 birds and another 12 show at least 500 dead birds.

    The largest was near Houston, Minn., where about 4,000 water birds died between Sept. 6 and Nov. 26 from infestations of various parasites.

    Red-winged blackbirds are among North America’s most abundant birds, with somewhere between 100 million and 200 million nationwide, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y.

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    News from the armpit of America

    January 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm (Big Fish, Birds, End of the World, News) (, , , , , , , , )

    As I fondly refer to the state of Arkansas. And for all you about to jump on the comments, just know that I call it the armpit out of love (and because armpit starts with an A, and I like the repetition of it all).  My daddy moved there, lived there, died there, and is buried there. I have been to Arkansas several times and don’t plan on going back anytime soon. It’s pretty and country and closes early. It has modern parts and really backward parts and now it has alot of dead parts. Unconfirmed, of course, as to what is causing the deadness. I think it’s very interesting so I reposted the article I found that kind of summed up the birds and the fish, with links I believe, in case you want to explore further and don’t have anything else to do tonight (especially since football is no longer an option—sad face). The whole thing is below. My favorite explanation so far is the end-of-the-world thing. I personally have been talking about it for some time, ever since I saw the special on Krakatoa (the volcano) and its part in the destruction of life as we know it. It’s one small reason why I wanted to be a nurse. I plan on living. So I have to start my shelter construction and supply gathering as soon as I graduate in May. I’ll have the money to do it, the knowledge to keep us alive for awhile, and access to hospitals and medicines. The kids are used to it. They think I may be crazy but these dead animals should change their minds! I realize that other stuff has happened lately that’s much cheerier, like Christmas and New Years, and I have stuff like pictures and things, but the mass killing really grabbed my attention and felt post worthy, especially with my close, personal, family connection. I have to hurry because my 4 shot vodka martini is kicking in and it’s getting hard to type. Don’t worry the kids are gone with their dad for the evening. It’s all good. So enjoy the article!

    Thank you to “The LookOut” a Yahoo News source, and Brett Michael Dykes for writing it. I haven’t altered it, just re-posted it for more people to read.

    Oh yeah! And Happy New Year!

    Mon Jan 3, 12:10 pm ET

     

    Thousands of dead birds and fish in Arkansas leave many

    scratching heads

    By Brett Michael Dykes

    (sorry I don’t know what the hell that is below there, or why I can’t get rid of it)

    Maybe the Mayans were on to something?

    That’s surely what students of the famed Mayan 2012 prophecy for the end of the world had to be thinking with the news of recent eerie wildlife die-offs in Arkansas. Just as the calendar nudged a year closer to that fateful date, birds began falling from the sky in Arkansas and  a massive fish kill occurred some 125 miles to the west.

    [Rewind: Mysterious bee deaths explained]

    Roughly 5,000 red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky over a mile of land near Beebe, a small town in northwest Arkansas, and observers spotted the fish kill near the town of Ozark. You can watch a video report on the blackbirds below, courtesy of ABC News:

    CLICK HERE FOR THE ARTICLE WITHOUT SEARCHING THE SITE

    And here’s a CNN report on the incidents:

    CLICK IT

    No one seems to know just yet what caused the two die-offs. But theories abound.

    In a statement Saturday morning, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission quoted staff ornithologist Karen Rowe as saying that such events have happened before around the world: “Test results usually were inconclusive, but the birds showed physical trauma and that the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail.”

    [Rewind: Haunting images of Gulf Coast oil spill]

    Because it happened New Year’s Eve, some officials suggest that revelers shooting fireworks may have spooked the birds, to the point that they died en masse from stress-induced cardiac arrest.

    “It is unlikely they were poisoned,” Rowe said, “but a necropsy is the only way to determine if the birds died from trauma or toxin.” Tests were to begin Monday.

    Click image to see photos of the dead birds


    Daily Citizen/Warren Watkins, via AP

    Meanwhile, wildlife officials say that the estimated 100,000 drum discovered by a tugboat captain over a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River appears to be a natural occurrence that isn’t tied to the bird kill in any way.

    [Photos: Massive fish kill hits Louisiana]

    “The fish kill only affected one species of fish,” Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission told CNN. “If it was from a pollutant, it would have affected all of the fish, not just drum fish.” He added that fish kills in the area are common, though this one was larger than most.

    UPDATE: A state veterinarian tells NBC that preliminary necropsy results show that the birds died of “multiple blunt trauma to their vital organs.”

    (Screengrab via CNN)

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