Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sex Preference Abortion

I just heard that the house voted to defeat the bill which would ban abortions on the basis of sex preference.  That is just wrong.

Have we gone so far in wanting the "perfect" life that we would kill an expected baby simply because it is the "wrong" sex?  What is wrong with people?
In my opinion, abortion is wrong even when there is a suspiscion that the child will have health problems, but this is over the line.

Our society has taken a giant step backward and I doubt we will ever recover.

Ding, Ding,Ding

Or how I learned to love penny machines.

Yesterday some of us took a ride to Atlantic City.  It was a long ride because a tractor trailer had overturned on the Parkway.  We heard about this because several people on the bus were able to check conditions on their cell phones, which was very helpful.  There's nothing worse than being stuck in traffic and not knowing why.  But I digress.

I have always said that I won't play the penny slots because I don't understand the winning combinations.  Sometimes it seems that what wins one time, doesn't the second time.  I went first to the quarter machines, using the bonus that the casino gave us.  That money went very quickly.

Then, I thought I'd try the penny machines.  After all, so many people seem to win on them.  I sat down at the first one, played 20 lines and played three credits.  This amounted to only 60 cents.  After a while I started winning, then I got bonus free spins and the pennies began mounting up.  All of a sudden I had 6950 pennies or $69.50.  Time to cash out and put the coupon in my purse.  Then I started all over.

Soon there were many more free spins and the pennies added up, this time to 13840 or $138.40.  Time to cash out again.  This went on for most of the day and I wound up winning $200.00.  All on pennies.

I still don't understand the machines, or how I win, but I like it.  Penny machines are my new best friends.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Today on the TV I heard a story about a little girl, if I remember right, about 8 years old.  It seems that her teacher gave her an award for being the best at making excuses for not doing homework.  Her mother was incensed that the teacher should do that.  She felt that the teacher was bullying her little darling.

That story reminded me that when I was in first grade, whenever the class acted up Sister Julia would threaten to leave us.  That always triggered my tears and soon I had a new name, "Woodhaven Waterworks".  I don't ever remember feeling bullied, in fact I wore the title proudly.

Years later, my son had a teacher in 2nd grade who would sing the theme from the Twilight Zone whenever someone  was caught not paying attention.  Eventually, the whole class caught on and chimed in.  It almost seemed to be a badge of honor to be sung to.  As far as I know all those children turned out OK.

I think this child's mother is doing more harm than good by calling attention to this "award".  Give the teacher credit, she found something that the child is good at.  If this child is not getting her homework done on time, some of the blame belongs to the mother who should be checking her daughter's homework.

Things have gone too far.

Monday, May 28, 2012

13 and Counting

Strawberries that is.

Last year I planted a few strawberry plants in a container.  I watched and watered them faithfully and was delighted with the blossoms.  Soon those blossoms turned into actual berries.  There were 7.  When I last saw them, they were almost ripe.  They needed one day more, then I would cut them into my breakfast.

The next morning they were missing.  A few days later I saw a rabbit on my patio.  He must have been the one who ate all my berries. 

After that, I must admit I ignored the plants and even left them in their container on the patio all winter.  I guess because we had a very mild winter here in NJ, they survived and even multiplied.

There have been several blossoms and so far I have harvested 13.  There are still a few unripe ones and several blossoms. 

I've learned my lesson; I take them before they are fully ripe.  I know it's mean, but I don't intend to feed any rabbit this year.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tonight while I was enjoying Jeopardy, the show was interrupted for breaking news.  Usually, this "important" news is something minimal and can wait until the end of the show.  I was annoyed.

Then I heard what it was all about.  It seems that after 33 years, the NYPD have made an arrest in the case of a missing 7 year old child Etan Patz who was walking alone to the school bus stop for the very first time..  This child was only a year younger than my son who also had just started walking to school alone.

I don't remember any story of this type that has affected me so much.  I felt so sorry for his parents and couldn't imagine how they must have felt.

Over the years, this case came to the media's attention, but there was never a definite answer.  There is one child molester who is in prison on another case who was a suspect and about a month ago, the NYPD searched a basement in the neighborhood, but found nothing.

Until today that is.  The suspect lived in the neighborhood when he was 19.  Evidently, the police received a tip from someone who said that the suspect has told people that he did a bad thing, he killed a child in New York.  Apparently, he said this a few times over the years.  I wonder why no one has come forward with this information.

According to his confession, he strangled the child, wrapped the body in plastic and put it in the trash.  What a horrible end for this little boy.

It must be somewhat of a relief for the parents to know for certain what happened, but that doesn't bring their child back.

I always hoped that some day he would be found and there would be a happy homecoming.  All I can do now is pray for his parents and hope they can find some peace now.

As an aside, he was one of the first missing children who's photo appeared on a milk carton.

Good work NYPD!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Two weeks ago I got caught up in the excitement and hype of the Facebook Initial Public Offering (IPO) and asked my broker if I could get a few shares.

Many years ago I worked on Wall Street in the department that handled IPOs, so I had an idea of how it worked, but since my broker's company was one of the major underwriters I thought I might have a chance.  He sent me some paperwork to be signed and returned.

As luck would have it, the post office was a little slow that week and my paperwork didn't arrive in time.  I was disappointed, I thought it would be fun to get into a stock at the beginning of its public "life". 

That is, until Friday when it started trading.  There was no spectacular movement of the stock on Friday, and today it was off about $5.00 from its initial price of $38/share.  I  lucked out on that, I really can't afford another loser stock.

But, I'll keep my eye on it and maybe in a week or so I can get a bargain.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I made someone's day today.

I went to the supermarket this morning to pick up a few things for a dinner I'm planning.  While I was wandering through the aisles, I saw a woman looking for something on the lowest shelf.  I'd guess she was in her late forties or early fifties.  She was squatting in a deep knee bend and in the middle of the aisle.  There wasn't room for me to pass, so I excused myself and she stood up.  She apologized for being in the way.

I answered that it was OK and that she was probably just showing off how well she could still do a deep knee bend without losing her balance.  She laughed and thanked me.

I can't remember the last time I was able to do a deep knee bend.  Ah, those were the good old days.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lost and Found

What was lost has been found.

A few weeks ago I had an attack of neat and cleaned and organized my closet.  I switched to lighter weight clothes and shoes.  I put my boots away and took out my sandals.  It was then that I realized that my shoe shopping had gotten out of hand.  I have far too many shoes to mention.

While organizing and cleaning I threw out several empty shoe boxes, without checking which is something I never do.  A day or two later I remembered that I had ordered and received a pair of denim penny loafer type shoes.  I looked all over the closet but couldn't find them.  I hated to admit it to myself but I must have thrown them out in one of the boxes which I never checked.

Yesterday, I was trying to find a pair of shoes in the brown/tan family.  I picked up one pair and discovered the new denim shoes.  I had been looking for a pair of denim shoes and didn't realize that the ones I thought had been thrown out had a tan trim on the heel and the denim wasn't visible on the shelf.

I wore them and they fit perfectly.  I had been so embarrassed by my foolishness that I didn't tell anyone about the missing shoes.

There's a lesson to be learned here.  Never throw out a box or bag without checking to see that it really is empty.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Race is On

I guess by now you've all heard about the article in the Washington Post about Mitt Romney and his alleged bullying and haircut of a classmate way, way back when he was in high school.  If they have to go that far back in history to find something that Romney has done wrong, I guess he'd make a very good president.

I'd like to know why the media doesn't dwell as much on the past of President Obama.  They haven't made too much of his younger days when he used drugs.  I wonder why.

Is self admitted drugging less serious than alleged bullying? 

All I can say, and I think this would make a good campaign slogan, is this,


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mixed Message

For at least the past 30 years we've been hearing that marriage is not necessary, that it's just a piece of paper and that it is commitment to each other that keeps partners together.

Now, it is urgent that gay and lesbian people be allowed to marry and the president agrees.  So too, do the many heterosexual Hollywood couples  who do not believe it is necessary to marry and have that piece of paper that proves their commitment.

Could someone please explain to me why it is necessary that gay and lesbian couples marry while it is not necessary for heterosexual couples? 

We're definitely getting mixed messages.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I swear sometimes I have the attention span of a gnat, or maybe I just don't want to wade through all the filing and papers piled up on my desk.

I started out with all good intentions.  I actually filed a few pieces of paper, then my troubles started.  I found a print-out of what I call my "memoirs".  Actually, it's just a collection of family history and my childhood through the present time.  After my mother died a while back, I realized I had so many questions about the family history and that now there was no one to answer them.  So I decided to start writing my memories and impressions.

Now, back to my original problem.  When I found this print-out I had to sit down and read it.  Then I saw errors and had more thoughts, so I had to start writing.  That was well over an hour ago, and the papers keep piling up.

Guess I better go back to work.

Monday, May 7, 2012


I've spent a lot of time thinking about two tragedies this past week and how I could talk about them without seeming cruel.

Last weekend, there was a horrific traffic accident in the Bronx.  According to news reports, an SUV went out of control on the highway, went through the guardrail and fell several feet to the ground, killing 7 people in the car.  I know it's all about semantics, but the wording bothers me.

The car didn't go out of control, the driver lost control, possibly because of excessive speed.  Then, all the reporters went on and on about the "dangerous" road.  Granted, there are some curves and there have been several accidents, but roads aren't inherently dangerous, it's the drivers who are the danger.  Now, there's a push to increase the height of the guardrails to prevent an out of control car/driver from going off the road and onto the road below.

My sympathies go out to the families of those killed, but it's not the fault of the car or the road or the guardrails, it's simply the fault of the driver who, for whatever reason, lost control of the car and went through the guardrail.

The other tragedy that got my attention last week was the suicide of a former football player, Junior Seau.  According to reports, he had been a star linebacker in the NFL.  This has resulted in calls for investigations into the head injuries received by football players, although this particular player had no record of concussions.  Is it possible that after being told he was special, a wonderful player and a star probably since his early teens that he just couldn't adjust to becoming just another face in the crowd?

If any field warrants an investigation into concussions, I believe it should be boxing.  Those men take a lot of head hits, and they don't wear helmets.

Time to get off the soapbox, but I want to reiterate that I don't mean to be cruel and I feel sorry for these families' losses, but, let's stop blaming outside influences and look more closely at the facts.