Category Archives: buzz

Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Was My Dancing With The Stars

I was a pre-teen with a mission. I wanted to be a teenager so I could go to Philadelphia and be on Dick Clark‘s American Bandstand. My mom was pretty good about not bursting my bubble as we lived far away from Philly, I was years away from the age requirement of I think 13 or 14 to be on the dance show, and hundreds of kids lined up daily to be on the show and mostly the “regulars” from Philly the “dancing stars” I watched daily after school, were the only kids that actually danced on the show. But she would routinely say things like; “you’re a really good dancer and could do just as well as those kids.” Nothing like a mother to instill confidence and keep the dream alive.

When American Bandstand went national on ABC in 1957 with Dick Clark, it was on weekdays after school and the favorite part of my day. The couples on the show became stars by virtue of how well they danced, how cute they dressed, how cool they looked as a couple and how much we liked their hair styles. I got to know these dancers on a first name basis as Paula and Ritchie who won the Mashed Potato (dance) contest or Bunny who was the best at the Pony or Justine and Bob who everybody loved. I learned how to do the Stroll, the Hop, the Twist, the Locomotion and if I needed a partner my mom filled in. She taught me how to Jitterbug and once in a while when my dad came home from work and I would be showing him some of my new steps, he would grab my mom’s hand and “show me real dancing.”

Dick Clark gave so many singers a start on his show and it was always about the music. I watched Paul Anka, Fabian, James Brown, The Jackson 5, Connie Francis and even one hit wonders like Edd Byrnes, from the popular 77 Sunset Strip TV show. Hard to believe now but his popular song “Cookie, Cookie Lend Me Your Comb” which he sang with Connie Stevens, also from the TV show, was a hit. What I liked most about the music on Bandstand was the variety. When no one paid attention to what diversity was all about, Clark was busy practicing it. He brought us singers, acts and bands from all walks of life and acted like it was normal–because it was. He was way ahead of his time in realizing all music was to be enjoyed by everyone and never pidgeon holed certain music or musicians to certain segments of the population. As many teens have said over the years on Bandstand when rating a new song, “it has a good beat and you can dance to it.”  Those words were certainly my mantra as a kid. Thank you, Dick Clark.

Someone gave me this book on Dick Clark and American Bandstand a number of years ago. Whenever the nostalgia bug hits me I skim through it;  As an Amazon affiliate I make a tiny commission if you click through my site to buy it but I’m sure you could find it used somewhere on the internet as well. Great memories.

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My Encyclopedia Britannica Set is Dusty but Not Forgotten


Britannica (Photo credit: SimCity0x50)

The Encyclopedia Britannica is ceasing publication of its print, dead-tree edition and will continue with just their digital online edition. I know in my head this is progress and probably makes economic sense for both consumers and Britannica but in my heart? I will miss the 32-volume printed edition that I haven’t laid eyes on in years, collecting dust in boxes in a closet because my set is as outdated as me. I even remember as a very young child learning how to spell encyclopedia from Walt Disney’s Jiminy Cricket via some goofy sing-songy bit on the after school Disney show. I couldn’t read yet, but I could sing/spell encyclopedia.

The Encyclopedia Britannica has been around since 1768, and was first published in Edinburgh, Scotland. A new set costs $1400, and it seems they have had plenty available in their warehouses these last few years. I don’t know if ceasing publication will drive the price up of used sets, think of the shipping costs of buying a set on Ebay? While Britannica has been in the digital world for many years, officials at Britannica said the print edition was just becoming impossible to maintain and keep up-to-date and of course there is the physical delivery of the huge, heavy sets. While they haven’t stated it, with the resources of Wikipedia and Google at your virtual fingertips you would be hard pressed to open an encyclopedia for information anymore, let alone pay a fee for their online encyclopedia.

When I was a kid my parents couldn’t afford to buy a set from the Britannica salesmen that rang our doorbell on a regular basis in my Chicago neighborhood and tried to get you to buy them on the monthly plan. My dad wasn’t a monthly plan type of guy, so we used the encyclopedias at the library. If a school assignment called for a paper on Paul Revere, a teacher could expect every kid in class to have the same information, taken from the same big impressive burgundy book, with only vague differences depending on writing style. If you waited until the last-minute to write your assignment, as I often did, you had to wait for hours at the library to get the specific alphabetized book you needed because other slackers were using it.

By the time my youngest brother got to school, my folks had a little more expendable income and my brother got his own Encyclopedia Set (the rat). He didn’t have to take the bus to the library as he had his own source materials right at his fingertips. The youngest kid is always spoiled of course and since he was the “brain” of the family he would sit around reading the encyclopedia as his light reading. Who does that? Certainly not my sister or I who only cracked an encyclopedia under intense pressure to perform a knowledge based task. Years later as an adult I bought a used set from a thrift store for next to nothing. I don’t even know why, I just wanted them, I loved books anyway and just liked the way they looked. Maybe I thought having them would make me look scholarly.

While I feel bad for employees of Encyclopedia Britannica, I can see that the whole world has gone digital–or will, it’s progress of course, but for us in the older generation it is bitter-sweet. A lot of my memories are tied to old stuff which is why I’m still hanging on to my old Encyclopedia Britannica set, my grandfather’s Kodak Brownie camera, my Sony 8-track, my old LP’s and my record player. If for no other reason than when I am long gone, younger generations of my family can say things like; “Wow, you mean they had to turn pages?” And then find out my old “stuff” is worth a ton of money.

(Just got this Encyclopedia Britannica interactive science library; earth, space, humans for the grandkid (age 5) complete with highlighter talking pen; It’s totally cool, he’s learning but he thinks he’s playing and that is what is important. Never knew they had anything like this until I started looking up stuff for this post. I am an Amazon affiliate so I do get a tiny commission if you purchase through my link but where ever you may find it, its a terrific idea for kids.)


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Susan G. Komen VP Karen Handel Better Race For The Pink Door

English: Mahindra 6030 Turbo tractor in downto...

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UPDATE: I wrote this blog on Sunday, February 5, on Monday, February 6, Karen Handel  “resigned” from Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I can’t confirm if the door hit her in the a– on the way out. 

The Huffington Post is reporting they found an inside whistle-blower at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure breast cancer charity, that has proof that Karen Handel, Komen’s vice president for public policy drove the decision to defund planned parenthood. While the deep-throat informer couldn’t hand over the goods, the Huffington reporter was allowed to view enough evidence (emails etc.) and interview the source who said Handel was heard stating “If we just say it’s about investigations, we can defund Planned Parenthood and no one can blame us for being political.” Handel, Republican politician for years and a strong anti-abortion advocate, must have missed the memo about not mixing politics and ideology with women’s health. Or the one about cancer not caring what your political affiliation is, it kills people from all walks of life–even agenda driven Republicans. Komen for the cure shouldn’t be concerned with pro-choice or pro-life just pro-cure. And that it what the “public policy” should be at Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Komen for the Cure officials have spent the last four days lying to the public about their charity. They used buzz words like “our mission” and “new directives” to tell us that they couldn’t possibly continue to fund a group (Planned Parenthood) that was “under investigation.” When the person calling for the investigation was a Republican Congressman. In the meantime they were still going to continue funding Penn State (their research hospital) which happens to be under big-time Federal investigation. Bank of America is also a huge sponsor/partner of Komen, and they are under various State, Federal and you-name-it investigations.

Planned parenthood has gotten millions of dollars donated in the last few days, including a huge amount by the New York Mayor. The rest was given by 10,000 private donors that know an attack on Planned Parenthood is simply an attack on poor women. The Komen funding earmarked for Planned Parenthood was never used for abortions it was used for breast exams and mammogram referrals. The huge backlash on Komen, from the well-known and the unknown, especially on Facebook and Twitter caused them to reverse their course yesterday but their message that they would continue to allow Planned Parenthood to apply for funding struck some as unusual and cryptic wording.

The next time you are inclined to Walk for the Cure, keep in mind that the Komen Republican/anti-Planned Parenthood/sorority/marketing club puts a heavy emphasis on “cause” marketing so you will purchase their pink spatulas, pink socks and pink KFC buckets of chicken (very healthy for cancer patients or anyone). They slap pink on everything from tractors and cars to hats and water bottles–for a price of course. They care far more about their “brand” and being the biggest cancer charity as evidenced by their law suits against small charities that tried to use the words “for the cure.” According to Charity Navigator 21% of their donations/income is spent on cancer research and prevention and the rest on salaries and “administration.”

The head of Komen makes $500,000 a year plus traveling expenses and she always flies first class. Handel’s salary is reportedly, $400,000. Because of this fiasco, Komen hired a “crisis management team” this week because the staff and board can’t quite get on the same page with their lies. I sure wouldn’t want my donation to go for paying for a crisis management team as opposed to real help to real women with cancer. But then, I never bought into all that pink crap, it’s a ruse to make people think they belong. They are an elitist, arrogant charity that needs to kick a few butts out the pink door–and even then they have a long way to go to regain public trust. You would think the Komen foundation particularly, being a women’s charity for breast cancer would understand the power of women but they misjudged, because they were focusing on their non-charitable agenda.

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The National Anthem: The Pro Singers Just Don’t Get It

American Idol 's Katharine McPhee performs the...

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Last Year at the 2011 Superbowl, with millions of people watching, Christina Aguilera decided to add her rendition of The National Anthem to the archives of flubs by trying to make the song “her own” with a few change-ups and an entirely missed line.  Her viewers and listeners were less-than-thrilled with the Grammy winner’s performance but her “people” blamed it on nerves. This is a woman who is used to performing at sold-out venues of thousands, so nerves is unlikely. Not being well-prepared and/or messing around with a perfectly good melody and not-quite landing the notes shows more at work here than “nerves.” Tons of internet polls said Aguilera’s botched anthem was an unforgivable mess.

More recently, rock singer Steven Tyler , frontman for Aerosmith, decided to take-on The National Anthem a few days ago at the Ravens-Patriots football game. He didn’t change many lyrics but somehow I don’t think America was quite ready for the “Screeching Star Spangled Banner.” You could hear the boos of the crowd over the screeching and he has received non-stop criticism since the event. But, I ask you? Why would they ask a rocker to sing the anthem anyway? It’s not exactly like the guy has a velvet voice to begin with.

There is of course, a long history of less-than-perfect National Anthem performances from American Idol winner Scott McCreery to Cyndi Lauper. But perhaps the worst of all anthem performances was back in 1990. Rosanne Barr (a comedian) who put on the worst non-funny performance by a non-singer and is oddly still alive to talk about it. It actually hurt her career because she was basically making fun of the National Anthem. She now lives on a farm in Hawaii, presumably far out of earshot of humans, thank God.

I can’t sing a note, but my hearing is so far, well within the average range. I might not understand the nuances of tone and range, but I do know the average American does not want singers altering the lyrics and melody of their National Anthem. They don’t want a “stylized” version of it, they don’t want a new beat and they generally like to have it sung with feeling and heart. Just like this version sung by a young high-schooler from a Chicago suburb, who is not a professional singer–but undoubtably will be, because she gets it. This is how the National Anthem should be sung:


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Top 10 People Or Things I Don’t Want To Hear About In 2014

an old post card

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1. Anything Kardashian. I don’t want to hear about their “reality” shows, or their having or not-having babies, their clothing lines, purse lines or lines on their faces. Their boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands, marriages, divorces, diets, weight gains, sex tapes or general whining about anything. I need a total break from ALL things kardashian–for the rest of my life would be good.

2. Big banks. The only thing I ever want to hear a too-big-to-fail bank utter is; “I’m sorry I screwed up the entire economy, and we will drop our bonuses and a portion of our profits into the laps of the American people as restitution.” Aside from those words I want to hear nothing from these greedy charlatans in 2014.

3. Congress. These people are an embarrassment. Unless they make BIG strides in voting for measures that will actually help the American people, the economy and the jobs front then they need to crawl back under their rocks. I don’t mean a small token vote that will give us a little help for a few months, I mean an actual plan for Americans that puts us first, not them. If they won’t do it, I don’t want to hear any more of their crap whining in 2014–or crying, either.

4. Pseudo journalists. I don’t really need to read the same news story 100 times with no new info. The prevailing wind in journalism lately is taking an already over-done story and changing the words around and making it “your own.”  I guess they call it “spinning.” I call it plagiarism and lazy. I’m sick of this pretend journalism and would love for it to go away in 2014  (ha, ha, fat chance).

5. Twitter freaks. Some idiots on Twitter have turned a once fun, helpful , and sometimes insightful form of communication into a Twitter-robot-boring-marketing extravaganza of lifeless comments and shameless self-promotion. These people need to disappear into the oblivion of cyber-space. What twits.

6.  Pundits. So, everyone with a mouth is a pundit. All it really amounts to, is a person with a point of view. Pundits are not in a secret Mensa club, or even a semi-smart club. It is not a lofty title saved for people who actually have insight, experience and knowledge of a topic anymore. Let’s face it if everybody on Fox Network is a pundit, the term is meaningless. Pundits go away in 2014.

7. People who write books, and call themselves authors–who aren’t.  Just because you eat doesn’t mean you can write a cookbook. If you’re 25 your memoir is short-lived and if you’re Snookie from the Jersey Shore, or an aging star looking to make a few bucks, yes, you can write a book or use a ghostwriter–but that doesn’t mean it’s good. It would be great for the landfills and trees of the world to have less of this garbage clogging up the system in 2014. I won’t even get into the people who write 10 page e-books that they self publish, charge $1.99 and tell people they are published authors. Yes, I love short stories and essays but they need to be really, really good.

8. Women that have babies and get rid of the baby weight in three days. I’m way beyond this age but the Hollywood set seems to be telling women of childbearing ages that you can have a baby and almost like a shot of botox–instantly get rid of the baby weight. And they act like this is normal. When these narcissistic women are the ones that are not normal. Once again they focus on style and looks over substance and smart, emotional and physical health.  My wish for 2014; shallow people go away.

9. Politicians that say they get it, they understand, they’re just like us, they too used to be poor, they want the same things we do, they want to turn the country around and blah, blah, blah. Plain and simple; they are liars. They need to go far, far away in 2014 and/or simply be voted out of office.

10. The sad stories that are becoming the norm. This is America, not some third world country with no resources, no education and no freedom. It is preposterous that the U.S. Government lets Wall Street, big pharma, insurance companies, oil companies and any large business with money–dictate U.S. laws and policy. It is far more than a travesty of justice, it is a sign of a country in crisis, a country in despair and a country that has leaders that put themselves first above all else. I hope to God I don’t have to hear about any more sad stories in 2014, but I know in my heart–it is a dream.

(Wow, my blog is really a rant today with all my whining so I am going to go and read this book; called “What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. It’s super popular and I want to find out why everyone is buying it. The reviews look amazing and it should take my mind off whatever my mind needs a break from. I am an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase through my link I get an “absurdly” small commission.


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The Ghost of Black Fridays Past

Black Friday (1940 film)

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$2 waffle maker Black Friday shopping fight I watched this Black Friday shopping video in utter shock (click on link at beginning of this sentence to see it). Then the sadness set-in as I realized how horrid, inhuman, barbaric and utterly disgusting the whole situation was. People acting like animals over $2 waffle makers points to an abysmal picture of Americans as-a-whole. This video is all over the internet for all the world to see. Here are the ugly Americans at their worst; greedy, ill-mannered consumers that will stop at nothing to purchase crap.  A $2 made in China piece of garbage waffle iron that probably has the expected life span of a week.

In other “fun” Black  Friday events yesterday, A woman who allegedly fired pepper spray at other customers during a sale of Xbox video consoles  has surrendered to authorities according to Los Angeles police. The woman  allegedly caused minor injuries to 20 shoppers at a Los Angeles-area Wal-Mart.

The attack took place about 10:20 p.m. Thursday shortly after doors opened for the sale. The store had brought out a crate of discounted Xbox video game players, and a crowd had formed to wait for the unwrapping. The woman began spraying people in order to get an advantage. Did she really get an advantage? No one seems to know if she ended up with an Xbox after all and it is unlikely she could use it in jail when she most likely will be charged with 20 counts of assault.

In a quite serious Black Friday event, a robber shot a shopper who refused to give up his purchases outside a San Leandro, Calif., Wal-Mart store, leaving the victim hospitalized in critical but stable condition.  What ever happened to the rule, if a robber approaches you, give him whatever he wants or you could end up dead? Is dying worth anything that Wal-Mart could possibly have?

Back in the simple 1970’s and 80’s when people were nice and polite and seemingly not crazy shoppers, I stood in a black Friday line a few times waiting for department stores to open at a normal time (9 am) for a couple of requested items on my children’s Santa list.  One year I stood patiently in line for an unattractive doll with its own unique name and birth certificate. It was called a Cabbage Patch Kid and it was the only thing my daughter had on her wish list. The dolls were in short supply and moms everywhere were on the hunt but I never saw a fight, or a push or an unkind word in my search. I ended up driving an hour away from my home to a friend’s Ace Hardware where he had three of the dolls and saved one for me. He said no one really thought of Ace as a place to purchase dolls and they had been on the shelf for a few days. I think he thought I was a little crazy for going on and on and thanking him profusely.

Another Black Friday moment had me standing in line at Sears for $2 plastic Star Wars figures (of course they are worth a lot now) to complete a Star Wars set complete with a carrying case. My son never asked for a lot for Christmas and it was my mission to find Darth Vader and some of the harder to find figures. Once again it was mostly moms shopping and we were all standing around a huge bin of Star Wars charactersshouting out the names of the characters we found to other moms in need of certain characters to complete a set. We were all helping each other and I walked away with a complete set, as did others. We were laughing, joking and actually having fun. No pushing, shoving, grabbing, pepper spraying or shooting. Not an ugly American consumer in the bunch–evidently a much kinder and gentler crowd and time. Ah, sometimes the good old days–are good.

(Amazingly I found a Cabbage Patch Kid here; It is the 30 yr. celebration doll that is similar to the one I stood in line for. I think I’ll get for my 38 yr. old daughter as a memory. I am an Amazon affiliate so anything you purchase through this link will net me a small commission.)


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Hey Herman Cain: You Got Problems? ‘Blame Yourself’

Pizza man's here! . . . Herman Cain - Cartoon

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Herman Cain was recently quoted in a Wall Street Journal  interview criticizing Occupy Wall Street protesters stating, “don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and are not rich, blame yourself.”

It boggles my mind that this fountain of knowledge pizza-man was in essence, telling the people who have been hurt by the financial crisis through no fault of their own, that they were in fact, to blame. The classic blame the victim stance  from a not-so-classy ex-pizza CEO running for the Republican nomination for President.

When the Cain circus first came to town many people thought he was a breath of fresh political air. Here was a guy who had no political background or knowledge, did not necessarily have command of the English language, knew nothing about those foreign places like China etc. and had a simplistic 9-9-9 economic fix that would cost the most needy more money. That fresh air has quickly grown stale.

In the last few weeks no less than four women have stepped forward and accused Cain of sexual harassment that allegedly happened years ago, when he was head of the National Restaurant Association. Three of the women did so anonymously and one came forward complete with a press conference and attorney/spokesperson by her side.

Cain and his camp were very slow to respond to these allegations, refusing to talk to reporters about the issue for days. He kept telling reporters he wanted to “stay on message” and “don’t bother asking.” When he evidently regrouped and got all his Republican ducks in a row, he had a press conference himself yesterday and stated none of the events ever happened. He is of course, calling four women with similar stories liars. Two of the women had been paid off years ago by the NRA and signed agreements to not speak on the issue as they had been employees. This action alone would lead reasonable people to think their could be some truth to the accusations.

It is not uncommon for powerful men, bosses and those in control of others to use that power in unethical and demeaning ways. I do not know if Herman Cain did what he was accused of but four women stating they have had similar encounters with him certainly shows a pattern of behavior that would be unbecoming a President of the United States.  And if the allegations are true, he would also be guilty of lying to the American People, which might not be such a stretch from what we are used to with our present politicians.

If Herman Cain has done anything even  remotely close to what his accusers are saying, then he needs to get off his platform and go back under the rock he crawled out from.  As his approval ratings dip and his Republican nominee chances get slimmer by the day, I wonder who Herman Cain will choose to blame for his probable political fall? “Blame Yourself.”

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Bloggers Shall Inherit the Earth–My 100th Blog Post


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This is my 100th blog post.  And while it isn’t the same type of milestone as say, my first bra or my first marriage it is still something I did 100 times and so could more than qualify for habit status. World of Psychology says that a habit can be formed in as little as 18 days on up to 254 days. The average they claim is about 66 days. While I am now in the habit of blogging, I feel like it is more of a necessity so that bloggers can inherit the earth.

We all know the meek are not going to inherit the earth no matter if God or anyone else says so. Lately the geeks have gotten in on the act and are pushing for the geeks to inherit the earth, just because they think they are so smart–and geeky. That’s not going to happen either because the geeks might be high-tech bastions of computer/internet/whatever  knowledge but many lack that ability to relate to the masses.

So that leaves us bloggers. The obvious reason that bloggers should inherit the earth is that we write about everything on earth. We dispense information like big-pharma dispenses pills–only better and faster and for free. We make people think, laugh and cry– often in the same post. We report on the news and more importantly on reactions to the news. We instruct people in every conceivable subject matter from baking, sewing, crafts, art, health and cooking to photography, writing, marketing, social media and affairs of the heart and soul. We bloggers are walking encyclopedias (quite an old word I know) of knowledge in our respective niches  and whether that is useful or useless knowledge is not for us to say–our readers will let us know.

I started blogging because I could pick my poison and write away. I was in the news business for years and of course, we had stringent guidelines to adhere to and other than my newspaper columns, my articles were void of opinion just as news stories should be (what a concept, huh). Blogging is very similar to writing a newspaper column with the potential to reach many more eyes. The WordPress platform is perfect for me because I’m no geek and the technical side is easier than other platforms but I do plan on self-hosting in the future (I suppose I’ll need a geek to help me).  Since my blog focuses on current news rants and raves (rarely raves) comments aren’t always agreeable but that’s okay.  Since I’m very opinionated I would expect my readers to be also. Controversy is just one step closer to inheriting the earth–and I need to be ready.


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Keeping nude or lewd pictures on cell phones or computers–stupid?

Cell Phone Cameras

Image by compujeramey via Flickr

If someone hacked into my computer or cell phone the entertainment value would be nil. Sure there is that fully clothed photo of me on my sexy pink scooter (woo-hoo) and then all the how-I-spent-my-vacation photos depicting various family members, dogs and scenic highways and byways. It’s the run-of-the-mill stuff that would surely disappoint hackers looking to make a few bucks on blackmail or a quick sale to a rag magazine.  But of course,  I don’t live the life of Scarlett Johanssen, Jessica Alba, Miley Cyrus, Mila Kunis, Vanessa Hudgens or Chris Brown. I’m not in their age group and aesthetically, I appeal to a much older crowd.

Now, all these stars mentioned  and about 50 more, have recently or in this past year,  had their cell phones and/or computers hacked into and had nude or some type of compromising (to them) pictures stolen. The photos either ended up on the internet or in the hands of people who evidently had plans that didn’t involve keeping them for their own secret stash.  These stars are absolutely “shocked,”  have expressed they are “victims” and of course the FBI is now involved in the mystery-of-the-hacked-photos-caper. Evidently a “ring” of hackers are involved in this type of cyber crime according to the FBI. Putting this type of stuff on your cell phone or computer isn’t quite as stupid as filming a  private video of your escapades as some stars have done over the years–but it is a runner-up to stupid.

Nothing involving the internet is iron-clad private. Nothing involving wireless is private. If as  a celebrity, you don’t understand that your nude picture is worth way more than a thousand words then you should probably stick to taking photos of your pets or shoes.  Stars are hounded everywhere they go, why would they not be smart enough to think they might be hounded in cyber space?   I don’t get it. Where are their business managers and security people to mention; “oh, by the way, if you are ever inclined to take compromising pictures of yourself, even in private–don’t, it could come back to haunt you.”  But, then again maybe the “stars” only surround themselves with like-minded people.

According to the L A Times, the FBI has been investigating allegations of the phone hacking of multiple celebrities since 2010.  A victim, according to the dictionary is one who is harmed or made to suffer from an act, circumstances, agency or condition (such as war) and also a person who has been tricked, swindled or duped. I keep thinking of all the real victims in the country that the FBI could be probing for instead of wasting our tax dollars on celebrities that evidently don’t have a clue . I feel duped.

(If you want to hide underwater and take pictures; this Intova waterproof video digital camera will do the trick. No one can see you unless your dumb enough to put the pix on your computer or leave you camera laying around for anyone to see. I am an Amazon affiliate so I do get a tiny commission if you purchase through my link. I had mine for years and used it when snorkeling, then I kind-of dropped it off a boat.  I keep hinting to family members whenever I get yet another dumb gift.)


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September 11, 2001 carved in the memory of the living and in bronze for future generations

It is pretty rare that just a date on a calendar says it all.  But just about every American living at the time, old enough to understand ,  knows exactly what 9/11 means. On September 11, 2001, four jet liners were hijacked by suicide bombers who crashed two of them into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and the last was diverted, thanks to Americans on the plane, to a field in Pennsylvania, where it crashed killing our heroes on board.

Most of us also remember exactly where we were when we first either saw or heard of the horrific events via television or possibly radio. For some of us old enough to remember the JFK assassination, that too was a horrible event in our history that most people define by where they were, what age they were etc. when they first heard about it. Although young, I remember distinctly I was in chorus and our teacher, a Dominican nun, came in to class in tears. She offered no explanation but then the head nun got on the school p.a. system with that towering voice and told the whole school. We got the next day off and at my house the TV was on all day (rarely allowed) and that is when I saw Jack Ruby on live TV kill Lee Harvey Oswald.  Today I barely remember what I had for breakfast but I remember that as if it was yesterday and I was just a kid.

On the morning of 9/11  my husband and I had just gotten back from an RV trip to meet up with my son and his wife and the grand-kids in Omaha at a state park. It was about a nine-hour drive for us and I slept a little later than usual.  My husband the early riser yelled up the stairs for me to turn on the TV. That was an odd statement for him and his voice sounded urgent so I quickly turned it on. Like everyone, including those reporting on the event, I was in shock.  I then saw the second plane enter the field of vision on the screen and like everyone else–it became painfully obvious that this was no accident. It truly was terror in the skies.

I have once again been watching TV all day today, starting with the 10 year memorial ceremony in New York at ground zero. It was a well thought out ceremony and the memorial itself  is a beautiful sight with the water fall pools and over 2900 names etched in bronze but it was a hard watch. Seeing the children born after their fathers perished was the hardest. Watching loved ones take pictures of the etched names, kiss the names and cry on the names was just such an emotional experience I couldn’t put the tissue box away. I can’t even imagine what these survivors had to go through over the last 10 years but in my eyes they are all heroes.

I am Irish and when the bagpipers started to play at the ground zero ceremony I couldn’t help but think of deceased family members of my own who always had  bagpipes played at their wakes. And just like the countless Irish wakes I’ve attended,  barely a dry eye was evident at the 9/11 memorial, as everyone witnessed the two weeping waterfalls in the exact footprint where the twin towers once stood.


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