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Saturday, August 30, 2008

CoCo, The Neighbor's Pit Bull

This is an old issue with me, but have not written it on the blog.

This is my neighbor's second pit since I've been living here and this one is being abused just as bad as the other one was. The dog barks at all hours of the night and day and as these squalls are coming through, this animal is outside barking in it.

I've called the police once on them. That time, the dog was outside barking for 7 hours.

The problem has for the most part subsided, but there are these times, in wind and heavy rain, that I hear the poor animal whimper. Their other pit was a nice dog and I did pet him, but this animal is vicious and I will not go near him. I also tell people that come to my door that if they are going next door to BEWARE. If they open the door, all of their dogs come out.

Scary.

Hurricane Gustav Cat 4

Hurricane Gustav has been upgraded to a Cat. 4 and we here in Hollywood, FL are feeling an outer band from him. Heavy rain and gusty winds are now occurring.

I had a call about 30 minutes ago from Eddie, who does my grass. He said he could do my yard work today, but in these conditions, it looks like my quick trip to the bank was unnecessary except for the fact that in my haste to leave Publix last night, I failed to ask for extra cash at check out. I know better. When there is a chance that electricity might be out, ATMs may not work, always good to have a little extra cash.

We'll see.

Hurricane Gustav Update


000
WTNT62 KNHC 300609
TCUAT2
HURRICANE GUSTAV TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072008
210 AM EDT SAT AUG 30 2008


DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT GUSTAV CONTINUES TO STRENGTHEN AND NOW HAS MAXIMUM WINDS NEAR 100 MPH...155 KM/HR WITH HIGHER GUSTS. THIS MAKES GUSTAV A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE.

$$
FORECASTER BLAKE/AVILA

Went to Publix tonight and stocked up. Haven't looked at the update for Hanna yet.

For those who don't know me, I usually go grocery store shopping about every 6 weeks, so I went early. Last time I went shopping was about 4 weeks ago.

Friday, August 29, 2008

As Obama said: "You're on your own!"

An airline in Canada is removing lifevests from all its planes to cut weight and so reduce fuel costs. The regional airline Jazz says government regulations allow it to use flotation devices if the planes stay within 50 miles (80km) of shore.

Passengers will be directed to use seat cushions as flotation devices.

Full Story

Good Lord! Does this sound like common sense to anyone?

... oh wait, Canada right?

Bill Maher: Back at last!


After what seems like a hiatus too long, Real Time with Bill Maher returns to HBO at 11:00 pm EST.

Tonight's guests will be: Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA), TV host Craig Ferguson, journalist Michel Martin, and Real Time Correspondent Matt Taibbi.

I'm sure it is going to be a wonderful show!

Real Time with Bill Maher Website

Couldn't say it better myself

Click Here

Don't know who did the graphic, but I just love it!

CNN Weatherman fails Geography


Watching the latest on Gustav on CNN this morning, the weatherman said that hurricane Gustav could hit either "... As far South as the Galveston/Houston area or as far North as Pensacola."

That's West and East, you dork!

2:40 update: MSNBC's Weatherman has a New Flash: Mobile, AL is South of New Orleans!!!

Have I missed something here?

The Republicans have their VP pick

So, McSame has selected Sarah Palin from Alaska; A gun-toten', baby-makin' Anita Bryant.

There is never a fruit pie when you need one!

The Democratic Party Convention

After watching all four nights of the convention, I have only one question.

What happened to the Super Delegates?

After all the hoopla during the primaries, not a word, mention or concern about all those Super Delegates that might throw a monkey wrench into the whole arena.

Okay ... Who paid for this study?

Fly's brain 'senses swat threat'

Researchers in the US say that they have solved the mystery of why flies are so hard to swat.

They think the fly's ability to dodge being hit is due to its fast acting brain and an ability to plan ahead.

High speed, high resolution video recordings revealed the insects quickly work out where a threat is coming from and prepare an escape route. The research suggests that the best way of swatting a fly is to creep up slowly and aim ahead of its location.


Full Story.

It makes me wonder just who funded this study and if they funded it because they were curious, or just couldn't think of any other way to spend their money?

There was a crooked man ...


And then of course, we could say There was a crooked storm ... when talking about TS Fay. It looks like TS Hanna is going to be somewhat like that.

A 90 degree turn in the cone!

Oh Dear!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Democratic Party Convention: 3rd Night

All the excitement continued on this third night of the DNC. The night's theme was regarding the United States as it relates to the national stage.

What I got out of it was seeing the Democrat past, present and future. One of my pre-Clinton speech favorites came from that tough old broad, Madeline Albright, who I have always loved. Speeches from the future of the party that impressed me came from Patrick Murphy, who freshly from tours in Iraq, joined the Democrat party and was joined on stage by former members of our military. These fine men and women need better resources after defending our country; resources that were shot down by the Republicans, including John McCain.

The second newcomer that we should keep an eye on is Capt. Bo Biden, Joe Biden's son. He is currently a Captain in the Army reserves, whose unit is being deployed for one year to Iraq. He is also the Attorney General for Delaware. His unit will deploy in October.

From the past, a great speech from Bill Clinton, which brought down the house and a powerful speech from John Kerry rounded out the evening before the nomination and acclimation to make Job Biden the Democrat Vice President candidate.

Joe Biden's speech touched on all points of the Obama/Biden ticket. The night ended with a surprise appearance of Barrack himself.

I'm looking forward to tonight.

Hurricane Gustav and TD 8

This picture scares me!

Hurricane Gustav in the gulf and TD 8 (if named, will be Hanna) in the Atlantic, affecting the US at the same time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Global Poverty


www.one.org

The Democratic Party Convention: 2nd Night

I feel for the millions that are missing this convention by watching it on network and cable stations. They are not experiencing the impact that the last eight years have had on the speakers that the DNC chose to speak tonight. The topic tonight were kitchen table issues that are close to every American.

There was more substance at the convention podium than what the network and cable stations showed and its direction came to the final impact of Hillery Clinton's speech.

The speech was the highlight of the evening, this support of Barrack and Joe and their desire to work for the American people. A Unity speech of all unity speeches. In the audience was a very emotional Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama and Joe Biden with his wife.

As you may know, Barrack is on the campaign trail, primarily because the Republicans decided not to keep with tradition by keeping a low profile while the other party is having their convention. He is out there fighting to get elected and start helping all those of us who are in the 99% of the population who don't have 7 homes to go to.




At this point, I must condem one cable network news station for their absolute disregard of truth in reporting. That network is CNN.

At 4:00 am this morning, I flipped on CNN in hopes that they had gotten off of their one-news-story day only to find them talking through the 7:00pm-8:00pm time slot at the convention complaining that the convention so far had no direction. That it was slow and had not meaning. It brought me to tears, and is why I did not blog this 2nd night until I had slept on it for awhile.

For while the pundits were complaining about the convention, those of us watching C-SPAN heard directly from every-day people like us. People who had lost their jobs and couldn't find another one, or had to work 2 and 3 jobs just to cover expenses. It is one thing to hear a politician talk about the people they have met. It is quite another to see an average American, with no speaking experience, and only a pain in their heart and will power, to stand in front of a crowd of people, a lot of them talking, and speak what is on their mind.

SHAME ON YOU CNN

Then, a response from only one delegate, who was overwhelmed by Hillery's speech, told the reporter/camera that what she heard was her president talking and that Obama had not proved anything to her. She ended by saying that she would never vote for McCain, but Barrack had two months to convince her and that she would rather not vote at all than to vote for Obama. This clip on CNN has been repeated hourly and is still being repeated. CNN is twisting the message folks. They are not reporting the news. CNN is trying to make your mind up for you.

SHAME, SHAME on you CNN!

AIDS: Global Disaster


This year, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is departing from tradition with its world disasters report, to focus on what it says is one of the most long term and complex problems facing the world: the HIV/Aids epidemic.


Full Story

Voting machines are not alone in U. S. glitches

My friends D and D holidayed in Peru this summer and returned today safely, despite a glitch in the air traffic computer.

See News Report.

Batten Down the Hatches, New Orleans!


The NHC has New Orleans in their newly updated cone for Hurricane/TS Gustav, currently over land in Haiti with 70mph sustained winds.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Ghost Election was today

The Ghost election was today. It spirited itself away from my mind. Well ... let us just say that I forgot.

How forgettable.

Seems I'm not the only one to forget either. Full Story

From the full story link above, I read that the workers are basically worried about the election in November, when turn out will be high and people will not know how to vote. I guess people just threw Dr. Snipe's flyer away!

Like I said before, I feel a nightmare coming on, but next time, the eyes of the country will be on us. Instead of the nation talking about FL and Chads, they'll be talking about how we don't even know how to hold a pen and fill in a circle completely.

Horrors!

Hurricane Gustav Update

Hurricane Gustav is a Category 1 hurricane with wind speeds sustained at 90 mph. While the East Coast of South Florida (SoFL) is currently out of the cone, the eastern edge of the cone scrapes the western SoFL coastline and the lower Keys, including Marathon and Key West, are well inside.

Once inside the Gulf of Mexico, I guess it is, for now, a mystery. I personally have a bad feeling about this storm!

The NHC is also keeping a watchful eye on three other storms; one has low (less than 20%) chance of forming a Tropical Depression (TD); the other two have a medium (20-50%) chance of forming a TD.

Aghast

Full Story

It has been reported that four men were arrested with firearms in Denver last night. They were planning to assassinate Barack Obama on the final night of the convention. I've read this story from several sources, the link above is from the New York Times.

A shameful "Happy Hour"

Meanwhile, on the other side of town in Denver, The Republicans where holding a Cocktail Party for Hillery Supporters. They were calling it The Hillery Clinton Happy Hour.

Tasteless!

The Democratic Party Convention; First Night

I'm am quite impressed with C-SPAN. I truly enjoyed myself. The uninterrupted coverage made me feel like I was there. C-SPAN has come a long way since I saw it last. It no longer has just a fixed camera, but very nice shots and a pure view of what was going on in the convention hall.

The coverage started at 5:00pm EDST and ended at 11:00. It showed the opening ceremonies, including the color guard from the Navajo Nation to one of the best band/orchestras I've heard in a long time. At first, I thought people were dancing to a recording of Aretha Franklin until the camera zoomed in on the singer. Even I was ready to have a cocktail and join in on the fun.

We got a chance to hear Barack's half sister speak, as well as Michelle's older brother. However, the real shocker and treat was Jesse Jackson, Jr. Mr. Jackson, as passionate as his famous father, was articulate and intriguing as he spoke to a very receptive crowd. I see a great future in the young politician

With each new segment, each with the wonderful and lively music, the hall continued to fill up. Once Mr. Joe Binden and his lovely wife and a rather toned down, incognito-esque Maria Shriver had entered the hall, Caroline Kennedy was introduced. Caroline talked about her "Uncle Teddy" and introduced the DNC's video tribute. After the video, Senator Kennedy was helped on stage and I must say, he looked better than I had thought he would. He may be very sick, but you couldn't tell it. His passion and vigor electrified the entire hall.

The highlight and grand finale was Michelle Obama's speech. She was extremely personable and passionate about her work, family and her husband. Her strength in all she does was very clear in this moving and motivation speech. After her speech, Barack appear via satellite from Kansas City, where he had watched his wife speak. Their two young daughters said hello to their Daddy and he wished them and the audience a very good night and that he would see all of them on Thursday Night.

Now and then, throughout the night, I switched very briefly to CNN to see what they were doing. I realized that they were on a 2-3 minute delay and talking/editorializing through all that was going on, including the speeches. They advertised that if you wanted to hear the speeches without commentary, you could go to CNN.com/politics and watch it on "your laptop." I guess CNN thinks the only computer anyone has is a laptop and that they are not duty-bound as journalists to show the convention "as is."

I'm sticking with C-SPAN for the duration of the Convention. As for the BBCAmerica coverage, they will only be showing the convention during the 10:00-11:00 time slot. I'm disappointed, but not surprised.

Monday, August 25, 2008

TS Gustav

Well.. #7 is now Gustav. 60mph sustained winds. WNW 15 mph.

Click for interactive tracking map.

Yep.. it is Hurricane Season

As we enter the historically observed height of the Hurricane Season, we are now watching Tropical Depression (TD) #7.


Click image for full size

Ain't life grand?

It's that time again!

I opened the letter with much trepidation. Anytime I see a letter from Lori Parrish, Broward County Property Appraiser and it has written next to my address Official Notice of Taxes; my heart just skips a beat.

The envelope had exactly what I thought would be in it: The Proposed 2008 Property Taxes.

My feelings are a little mixed. My taxes are down by $690.25, however, my property value has dropped $21,080, bringing it in $10,000 below what I paid for it.

Like I said, it was a mixed reaction.

On the confusing side, was that I only had $25,000 deduction for my homestead. Now I know we voted on an amendment and it passed in January whereby the exemption would double, so I looked in the accompanying brochure. Under the heading "... But Where is My $50,000 Exemption?" was written:

The constitutional amendment which doubled the Homestead Exemption to $50,000 is rather complex. By law it ONLY applies to the third $25,000 of assessed value (i.e., the portion of assessed value above $50,000 and below $75,000). If a homesteaded property has a Save Our Home assessment of less than $50,000, it will not get any added benefit this year from the new exemption. Likewise, a homesteaded property with an assessment of $60,000 will enjoy only $10,000 additional exemption -- as it is the only portion over $50,000.

Okay, I'll buy that.

But my house is assessed at over $240,000! Why am I not getting the additional $25,000 deduction?

Anyone out there have an answer?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A message from Biden to Supporters

Culpeper, VA

I'm very familiar with Culpeper, VA. Just 30 miles from my home town, Fredericksburg, VA, it is where my Grandmother lived for the last 10 years of her life. Before "The Mall" was built, we would go up there to shop at their huge Leggett's (now Belk). We would go eat at one of several quaint eateries, one that had a giant pig out front. My cousin's daughter and her husband bought a home in Culpeper, just prior to their July 3, 2008 wedding.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I turned on the BBC Nightly News to find that they had chosen Culpeper as a town they would report on to "take the temperature" of the nation.

BBC News America will be showing the Democrat Convention. Having recently added Ted Koppel, formally of ABC late night fame, it should be interesting to see how they report it. I had planned to watch the convention on C-SPAN, but being curious, I will try BBC America for the convention. I have been watching more news on BBC America mainly because they actually report news. Imagine that!

BBC News may be found on your local PBS station (check local listings). It can also be seen on BBCAmerica: Monday-Friday 6am-9am; Monday-Friday 7pm-8pm with encore at 10:00; and weekend mornings 6:00am-6:30am.

Click here for the BBC News archived videoed segments about Culpeper.

Blooms of Plunkett

Blooms of Plunkett
A Banana tree in the backyard in full bloom