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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reconnections

A couple of months ago I received an e-mail from an old friend. We had reconnected through the internet.

We had met on our first job when we were very young. That company was small and we girls all knew each other and even went to dances and dinners together, all the while hoping to meet our future husbands. Barbara had been googling various names and found Grace who had a website. Barbara gave me the information and I followed up from my end.

Evidently, after our company moved out of state, Grace went back to school, got a degree and had a very busy and full life. She has even written a book, a mystery called, THE LAST ENEMY.

I just finished reading it and I enjoyed it very much. It is set in Italy and I imagine that anyone who has been to Italy would really enjoy it more. The descriptions of the town and homes make them real to the reader. It's a nice, easy read and the mystery is not solved until near the end.

I've been very lucky to be able to reconnect with old friends through the internet. It's been great finding out how we've all grown over the years along with all our accomplishments whether it's a loving family, a career or both.

Love, love, love that internet!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Missing Woman Found

The news about Tanya Rider was all over the radio and tv today.

She's the Washington State woman who left work eight days ago and never arrived home. Her husband reported her missing when she didn't arrive. The police in Bellevue WA checked her office and learned that she had gotten into her car and headed home which was out of their jurisdiction.

Her husband then went to the King County sheriff's office and asked them to search for her. Because she's an adult and free to come and go as she pleased, they were slow to start a search. In an interview today, her husband said that he asked the police to check her cell phone signal, he even offered the phone records without a warrant. It took a week before they decided to check for her cell phone signal.

Fortunately, the phone battery was still good and they were able to find and rescue her. She is in critical condition because of dehydration and the doctors are cautiously optimistic. Obviously, she is a very strong woman, both physically and mentally, and must have a very strong will to live. It's possible to survive for weeks without food, but eight days is a very long time to be without water.

I guess there are some lessons to be learned here. Make sure your cell phone is always fully charged, keep some water and snacks in the car and if someone you love is missing, keep pushing for a search.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The City

Today I went into the City. I was early for my appointment so I walked instead of taking the train from the Port Authority. It was wonderful. I haven't lost my knack for fast walking and dodging oncoming people. I also got a chance to cross against the light. It felt so good.

There's a certain excitement about the city. I passed all the theaters and all the street vendors. There were even some giving things away. In addition to the usual flyers, they were giving complimentary copies of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS and the NEW YORK POST.

I was really surprised there weren't as many hot dog vendors and coffee carts as I was used to. Could the natives actually be sitting down to eat, and going into Starbucks for their coffee?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

To Exercise or not To Exercise

I just read the most wonderful article in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL today.

Gary Taubes has written an article in New York Magazine that says most studies on the link between swimming laps and losing weight demonstrate little except that exercising makes us hungry and may even lead to weight gain even though it does have many health benefits.

He said that until the 1960's most people dismissed the idea that exercise could help shed pounds because light exercise burns so few calories and vigorous workouts stoke hearty appetites. Jean Mayer claimed there was a link between sedentary lifestyles and being overweight. He promoted his message like a moral crusade the the media jumped on the bandwagon.

Mr. Taubes who was criticized in 2002 for an article on low-carbohydrate diets suggests that what determines how fat or lean a person is has more to do with the body's internal programming. He sees lean people as those whose bodies are programmed to send the calories they consume to the muscles to be burned rather than to the fat tissue to be stored.

I don't know how sound his theory is, but I like it. Now maybe I can guiltlessly sleep a little later in the morning instead of running to the gym or pool.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Columbia University

Now that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is here in the states, we have his address at Columbia University to look forward to. The dean of Columbia seems to think there will be a dialogue. That's not likely, it will probably be more of a monologue.

You have to wonder why a school that will not allow an ROTC program because of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays would allow a representative of a country that persecutes gays to speak on campus.

Columbia University welcomes the leader of a nation that that has threatend to use nuclear weapons against us, but does not welcome the founder of the Minutemen to speak. Last year, Jim Gilchrist had been invited to speak to the students, but a group did not want to hear him and stormed the stage as he was about to speak. President Bollinger's reaction to this violation of Mr. Gilchrist's right to free speech was deafening silence.

As a peace offering the Columbia Political Union voted to ask Mr. Gilchrist back this year, but they then rescinded the invitation.

Columbia claims anyone would be welcome to speak. I agree that the president of Iran does have a right to speak, I just wish that Columbia would also give that right to pro Americans too.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

WHAT WAS HE THINKING

Several times over the past few days I've heard a tape of a broadcast on a New Haven, CT radio station on 9/11.


James Brolin, husband of Barbara Streisand, was on the phone for the purpose of plugging his new movie (I didn't know he was still working) when he was reminded of the date - 9/11. His reply was, "Happy 9/11". Needless to say the broadcaster was speechless, then Brolin added to his insensitivity by adding something about celebrating the day. The broadcaster reminded him there was no reason to celebrate, the day was commemorated, not celebrated, and tried to steer Brolin to a discussion of his new movie.


Is this man a moron, or was he making some kind of statement?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sitka

On my trip to Alaska I stopped in Sitka and saw the New Archangel Dancers. They are a group of women who wanted to preserve Sitka's Russian history by performing folk dances using authentic music, choreography and costumes.

When the group was originally formed, the women asked their husbands and other men of the town to join them. The men all refused to join, so the women went ahead with their plans and some of the women took the roles of the men.

The group was very successful, travelling throughout Alaska, the lower 48, Japan, Mexico, Canada and even Russia. The performance was very good and the ladies seemed to be enjoying themselves.

After a few years, when the men saw what a good time the women were having and how successful they were, they asked to join the group. This time it was the women's turn to say no. There are no men in the group.

New Archangel was the original name of the town known as Sitka.





On my trip to Alaska I stopped in Sitka and saw the New Archangel Dancers. They are a group of women who wanted to preserve Sitka's Russian history by performing folk dances using authentic music, choreography and costumes.


When the group was originally formed, the women asked their husbands and other men of the town to join them. The men all refused to join, so the women went ahead with their plans and some of the women took the role of the men.


The group was very successful, travelling throughout Alaska, the lower 48, Japan, Mexico, Canada and even Russia. The performance was very good, and the ladies seemed to be enjoying themselves.


After a few years when the men saw what a good time the women were having, they asked to join the group. This time, it was the women's turn to say no. There are no men in the group.


New Archangel was the original name of the town known as Sitka.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I was looking at some of my pictures from my recent vacation. I realized what a really great camera I have. I don't know any of the technical details, but I do know that I have a really fantastic zoom. The Hubbard Glacier looks so close, you'd think the ship was right next to it. It wasn't, we were quite far from the wall of the glacier and I was on the other side of the ship when I took these pictures. It also picked up the different colors of the water.








Tuesday, September 18, 2007

PRIVACY

I've been going through some old family papers and found a listing of my father's retirement benefits. He retired in 1968. This paper listed not only his benefits, but the benefits of four other retirees. It also listed in full their social security numbers.

How times have changed. Back in 1968 there were no worries about identify theft. Were we more honest then, or has technology made such things easier? There was no blacking out of the amounts due these people and their addresses along with their date of retirement and pension number. It was all there for anyone of these five people to see each of the other's personal data.

We didn't worry about privacy then, or that someone would use our social security number for their own unethical purposes. This is one time that they truly were "the good old days".

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fall

According to the calendar, summer ends this week. According to the outside temperature tonight, summer is over now. I'm not sorry to see it end.

I really enjoy the cool crisp air of autumn. It's even better now that I'm living in this community. I don't have to sweep the leaves anymore. I have more energy now, during the summer, it's usually too hot to do anything.

Now it's time to clean out the closet and get rid of all those clothes I'll never wear again. I just got rid of two suits I haven't worn since I retired three years ago. I can't believe how long I keep my clothes. I've promised myself that I'll weed out the old worn out clothes and not keep anything just because it was a great buy 15 years ago.

Until then, my closet will be crowded (the worst thing about the change of seasons) with clothes that are ready for fall and winter and lighter clothes that I might need in the next few weeks when I know it will get warm again.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

MALLOMARS

It's Mallomar season! I thought I'd bag a couple of boxes for myself yesterday. I just love those chocolate covered marshmallow cookies.

However, since I'm on another of my "diets", I decided to hide them to prevent temptation. My will power lasted all of 24 hours and today I decided to have one or two or more. My hiding place was excellent. I looked all over the kitchen but couldn't find them. Later in the day when I was getting something out of the freezer for dinner I found them. I had put them in the freezer so they would be safe from me. They weren't. They're very good frozen with a nice hot cup of coffee.

I wonder why they are not sold in the summer. Maybe they were first made before air conditioning and didn't travel well in the heat. Whatever the reason, keeping them for the first cool days makes them more of a treat.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Leonard the Goldfish

When I was in Seattle recently I saw a small group of people with placards. It looked like they were going to a demonstration. So of course I followed them.


Their cause is a campaign to put a goldfish in the Seattle Aquarium. According to the protestors, the aquarium doesn't think a goldfish would be a meaningful addition to their collection.


You can read about and see Leonard on his website http://www.letleonardin.com. It's very cute, he's just swimming around his little tank, you can even click on some papers that tell his story. He even has his own page on myspace.com. There are other websites devoted to Leonard and his plight. To find them, just Google leonard the goldfish.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Vacations & Cats

Here it is September and our Travel Committee has already planned our trips for 2008. There are so many good ones planned, I don't know which to do.


They're going to Ireland, the Mediterrean, Canada's Atlantic Coast and Washington DC. It's a full schedule. And, I want to do some travelling on my own. It's a tough decision to make.


The biggest problem I have with travelling with the community is that many of my friends also take these trips. Then I have to search for a cat sitter. While cats are fairly self-sufficient (they don't have to be walked), there aren't many people who are willing to do the job. I don't know if my regular cat sitter will be willing to take care of them again.

On my last vacation, Burnie hid on her for a couple of days. Her first thought was that although she was very careful, Burnie might have gotten out. Then, her next thought was that he had died somewhere in the house. Eventually, he came out of hiding as if nothing had happened. He's done that to me several times. He doesn't even come when he's called. I wonder if his hearing is OK.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

TV Remote

We're having a small problem in our community. The tv remotes are disappearing from our Fitness Center.


I was speaking with someone about this problem and I mentioned that I couldn't figure out how someone could innocently leave with a remote. She agreed, but then mentioned that some of the men are probably so used to having a remote in their hands that they don't realize it's there when they leave.


That's the only logical reason for the disappearance. Surely, no one would consciously steal a $10 remote, especially when the cost of replacing it will eventually be added to our monthly maintenance fees.

9/11

This morning while I was watching the commemoration ceremonies from the park near Ground Zero I was reminded of the horror of that day.

All the names of the dead were called and a few more were added. They were the people who died as a result of illness after their recovery and clean-up efforts. How many more will there be next year? I've also read that some contaminents escaped from the Deutsche Bank Building after the recent fire there.

The attacks lasted a few hours, but the fallout will probably last for years.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cuisine

Last week when I was in Seattle I kept passing this restaurant that serves "aSian" food. I kept trying to figure out what kind of food that was. I thought I knew about the different types of cuisine out there. There's French, Spanish, Mexican, Thai, etc.

I kept repeating the name of the restaurant, Dragonfish, and then it finally dawned on me. They serve Asian food, but tried to be fancy with their sign.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Caller ID

Caller ID, while a convenience for some, has caused a lapse in phone manners. I don't have caller ID on the phone I usually answer. I've recently had a few calls where the caller just starts talking without any identification. I'm then left with trying to recognize the voice without letting the caller know I have no idea who they are.


I can understand close family members not identifying themselves, but I think other people should just say, "Hi, it's so and so", then get into the conversation. It's embarrassing to try to stall until I can identify the voice.

Or, maybe I should start using the other phone.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Cats

My vacation lasted two weeks and while I was away my neighbor took care of my cats. Even though I warned her that Burn likes to hide, she did get concerned when he was missing for two days. She even called another friend to help her look for him. As usual, he just walked into the room when he felt like it. I did discover his possible hiding place. I had left a small travel bag unzipped on the floor and the other day I saw him climb into it. He just loves boxes and hiding places.

Crash is now driving me crazy. She won't let me out of her sight. She follows me around the house. Maybe I should just walk around the house, she needs the exercise. I guess she's glad I'm home, or maybe she's just hungry.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Change of Season

Labor Day has just passed along with the unofficial end of summer. That means that we will soon be inundated with catalogs offering ghosts & goblins, autumn leaves, turkeys and, of course, Christmas trees and other decorations.

Because I get so many catalogs and hate to throw any out, I put off ordering, so my favorites are usually buried, not to be found until the end of January.

Winter and Christmas are my favorite seasons and I look forward to receiving all these catalogs for the various decorating ideas. But I'm still using my air conditioner. Even the stores are starting to show the winter items.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

TRAVEL

I love to travel. There are so many places to see, things to do and people to meet.

On my most recent trip, I saw glaciers, mountains, a rain forest, dog sled teams and Russian dancers. I met two very nice ladies from Washington and entered a trivia contest with a family from Ohio. It was wonderful and I wouldn't trade this vacation for anything.

One of my favorite parts of this vacation however occurred yesterday. I came home! It's wonderful to travel, but there's nothing like walking into your home and sleeping in your own bed. Unfortunately, there's a downside to coming home - unpacking. I usually put it off as long as possible, because that means the vacation is really over.

Time to start planning the next trip.

Monday, September 3, 2007

WILDLIFE

I've just returned from a seven day cruise vacation to Alaska. It was a wonderful trip, but my only disappointment was the lack of wildlife.


I saw several signs saying that it was bear country, but I saw no bears. I took a whale watching sail and saw a few whale sprays and whale tales, but no full sized whales. I saw a lot of eagles, probably because they were injured and could not fly away. The salmon were spawning so I saw a lot of dead salmon


I would really like to see some animals in the wild. Last year, I went to Yellowstone but saw only elk and deer, in the Canadian Rockies I saw elk and deer. Where do I have to go to see bear and wolves.

I suppose I could always take a trip to the Bronx Zoo.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I'm back from Alaska, but still in Seattle. After speaking with several people on this trip and now knowing how to answer the first question everyone asks, "Where are you from?", I've decided that I am now and always be a New Yorker.

Several times I've answered, "New Jersey" (it just doesn't feel right), or "The New York Area" (too cumbersome) and once or twice "New York". The other night a couple answered that they were from New York, then they admitted that they have been living in Tennessee for the last five years.

Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker. It's who I am.