Sex and Snakes

I have not been writing much in the last few weeks. I spend most of my time outside in the Summer. I check in on this blog on a daily basis just to see if anyone has left me any comments. Of course with few blog entries come few comments. I have noticed something about my blog and about some of those from around the world that visit it. On the lower right hand side of my blog, you will see a "FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed" widget. This widget shows me where people, who are visting my blog, arrived they got here, what entry they are looking at or interested in, how long they stayed at my blog or on a specific entry and some other general information. I have noticed that I get a lot of "hits" and views on 2 certain blog entries. One blog entry dated February 28, 2009 that has garnered much attention is titled .."Worlds Largest Snake Found Dead". I am kind of surprised that this entry would be one of two of the most popular blog entries that I have. I get visitors from around the world looking for this topic. I did not realize that dead snakes were that interesting. The popularity of the other blog entry does not really surprise me. It is called "Is KKK the new C Cup? I Sure Hope Not" As we have all heard...Sex Sells and it is amazing how 1 three letter world can bring in people from just about every country in the world, to one location. I bet you that if we wanted to try an experiment.....let's say we just make a blog entry that says Sex in the title and in the body of the entry, just type the word sex several times....kind of like Of course in the label or tags section of the entry just type in sex....see below. I bet if anyone would try this out, you would get many more people coming to view your blog or at least this particular blog entry. By writing this blog entry, the one you are reading, I will see if there is an increase in visitors to my blog. Let the experiment begin.

Rollerblading Into The Record Books

I just read an article about a German daredevil named Dirk Auer who broke a world record by using in-line roller skates to race down a 1/2 mile roller coaster in just under a minute. Auer set this new world record at Trip Drill theme park in Stuttgart, Germany. His record-setting stunt included a steep 98-foot drop and speeds of up to 56 mp. This is not something that I will be putting on my "bucket list" that's for sure. For more information and a video to see Auer in action, please click on the link below:
Roller Coaster Skating

Great Company Bad Food

This last Friday was the end of Veronica's complete store remodel. It has been a grueling 5 weeks for her. Because of the amount of work and time that she had put in doing the remodel, I thought that the least that I could do for her was to take her out to eat. Around here, we have plenty of restaurants to pick from. At first we were thinking about going to the Olive Garden for their lunch time special...all you can eat soup, salad and bread sticks. Because of how hot it was yesterday, I wasn't sure that having hot soup on a 90 degree day would be such a great idea. So we decided to go to Joes Crab Shack. We had been to Joes a couple of times in the past and each time we had gone, things had changed for the worse. The last time we went, we told each other that we would not be returning there again. So what did we do? We ended back at Joes Crab Shack. My meal was ok but Veronica did not like hers at all, including the salad. It was not what I had in my mind, when I thought that taking her our for a good meal would be "congratulations for a job well done". After finishing our meal and leaving, we were heading back to our car and I looked around and from the parking lot, there was a couple of restaurants that would of been much better choices...Longhorn Steakhouse and Cracker Barrel. All were within walking distance of Joes Crab Shack. I will take Veronica out again for a nice meal, to make up for the lousy one that she got but I promise WON'T be Joes Crab Shack that we go to.

Canada Bound

I just checked the calendar and counted the days...only 23 days and a wake up until Veronica and I leave for our annual migration up to Andy Myers Lodge on Eagle Lake, in Ontario Canada. I will have to cram 2 weeks of fishing into one week this year. I am hoping to get my trophy fish in 3 fish species...musky, walleye and northern pike. Opposite of what I have been doing in years past, I will be downsizing some of the lures that I will be using to catch some of these fish. I found out that the larger bladed bucktails were giving my old joints and back fits so this year downsizing is in order. If I fished with the larger bladed bucktails everyday, my body would get used to it but when you only throw these baits once a year, it can be quite the shock to the body. I am hoping that one of these days, I will be in a location where I can fish daily for these types of fish. It will be great to get away for a week and I know Veronica could sure use the break after the last 5 weeks of punishment that she has taken over the whole store remodel. Hopefully I will have some great photos and stories to share with everyone.

Ken Gauthier, my friend from up at Vermilion Bay Canada, sent me this Evian commercial. Thanks for sharing Ken.

Eco-Labeling on Consumer Products

I was reading an article online, that was written by Alex Salkever. It is about Wal-Marts mandate to have all product suppliers eco-label all of their products. This means that suppliers would have to calculate the environmental costs of their products. These costs will then be tabulated into an easy-to-understand green rating. A green rating label would be posted next to the price tag on each product. Some retailers claim that this new policy would cause the supplier more work and would cause them to change packaging styles to accommodate such a label. Some feel that supplier would have to pass the cost of the extra work and packaging changes onto the consumer, which could raise the cost of a product anywhere from 1% - 3%. By applying this mandate, Wal-Mart has forced transparency and accountability on the entire consumer products market. This mandate would have drastic and long-ranging effects not only on what we buy but also on what chemicals go into our homes, our bodies, and ultimately into our ecosystem. Currently there is a vast weakness of labeling and transparency laws in the U.S. Large areas of the consumer products sector are not required to reveal the chemical content of their products. This includes products like household cleaning agents and cosmetics. Some think that if a company is not providing a complete ingredient disclosure, that this lack of disclosure would imply the presence of harmful ingredients in their products. Other companies would claim that if they disclosed all ingredients, they would be giving away secret formulas. Some consumer products companies do list ingredients on their products, but tend to use very small print, making it difficult to read the label -- let alone understand what the chemical names really mean. Suppliers who fail to comply with Wal-Mart's eco ratings mandate, would get no shelf space. In order to receive the green-ratings label, suppliers will likely have to disclose the absence or presence of potentially harmful substances. This information will be factored into the label rating, and also appear somewhere on the eco-label itself, perhaps in the form of a warning or an explanatory note. This means that over the next 4 years companies will have to reformulate products and production processes to get rid of any 'bad" ingredients. Products might cost more initially. Over time companies will learn how to produce better products for the consumer and for the environment. In the end, companies would be able to get those prices lower. And if a company is not willing to comply....there is always an eager competitor offering a lower-priced but still eco-friendly product will be more than willing to take their place.
This all sounds great but not being a scientist myself, I sure hope that the label explains what a chemical is and what impact it has on me and the environment. I really wish that I had paid more attention in my high school science classes. I also wonder if this same eco labeling mandate will be applied to those companies that make cigarettes and other tobacco related THAT would be interesting to see.

Suicide Clinic - Death With Dignity

Here is an article that I found yesterday. I am glad that this option was available to this couple. I hope that this option is available to me should I ever decide to go this route. I feel that it is my decision and my right.
It was written by By Jill Lawless , AP. The story is called:
Maestro, Wife Die in Suicide Clinic

LONDON (July 14) -- British maestro Edward Downes, who conducted the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Opera but struggled in recent years as his hearing and sight failed, has died with his wife at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland. He was 85 and she was 74.The couple's children said Tuesday that the couple died "peacefully and under circumstances of their own choosing" on Friday at a Zurich clinic run by the group Dignitas. "After 54 happy years together, they decided to end their own lives rather than continue to struggle with serious health problems," said a statement from the couple's son and daughter, Caractacus and Boudicca.The statement said Downes, who became Sir Edward when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991, had become almost blind and increasingly deaf. His wife, a former dancer, choreographer and television producer, had devoted years to working as his assistant. British newspapers reported that she had been diagnosed with cancer. Dignitas founder Ludwig A. Minelli said he could not confirm the deaths due to confidentiality rules.Downes' manager, Jonathan Groves, said he was shocked by the couple's deaths, but called their decision "typically brave and courageous."The deaths are the latest in a series of high-profile cases that have spurred calls for a legal change in Britain, where assisted suicide and euthanasia are banned.Despite the law, British courts have been reluctant in recent years to convict people who help loved ones travel to clinics abroad to end their lives.London's Metropolitan Police force said it had been notified of the deaths, and was investigating.Born in 1924 in Birmingham, central England, Edward Downes studied at Birmingham University, the Royal College of Music and under German conductor Hermann Scherchen. In 1952 he joined London's Royal Opera House as a junior staffer — his first job was prompting soprano Maria Callas. He made his debut as a conductor with the company the following year and went on to become associate music director. Throughout his life he retained close ties to the Royal Opera, conducting 49 different operas there over more than 50 years. He also had a decades-long association with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, where he became principal conductor and later conductor emeritus.Downes was known for his support for British composers and his passion for Prokofiev and Verdi, on whom he was considered an expert.In the 1970s he became music director of the Australian Opera, conducting the first performance at the Sydney Opera House in 1973. He also worked with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra and ensembles around the world. The couple is survived by their children, who said their parents "both lived life to the full and considered themselves to be extremely lucky to have lived such rewarding lives, both professionally and personally."The family said there would be no funeral. Associated Press Writer Ernst E. Abegg contributed to this report from Zurich, Switzerland.

My Dads Tribute To His Brother

My Dad has been working on this for a while now and today he gave me a copy of it. I thought that I might share it. I apologize for the small print. You can click on each page and it will enlarge it.

A Feathered Friend Indeed

Today, while I was doing some work outside, I noticed a small robin standing still near our a/c unit. The robin did not move much as I got a little closer to it. I sat in the grass and watched this little fella for a couple of minutes and then decided to hurry into the house to grab our camera. Upon my return outside, the robin had moved around a bit but I was able to get some closeup photos without scaring this bird to death. I did not see any obvious injuries to the bird but it was acting kind of strange. Hopefully it was nothing more than the bird getting ahold of a bad worm.

And Now From The Give Me A Break Department

And just when you thought that you might have heard it is an article written by Sally Worsham on Jul 10th 2009 called Pregnant By Swimming???The pool can be a dangerous place: Kids can get sunburned or slip on the wet deck. But can the pool get you pregnant?
Magdalena Kwiatkowska of Poland thinks you can. She is suing an Egyptian hotel because she claims her 13 year old daughter became impregnated after swimming in its pool, during their recent holiday. Ms.Kwiatkowska says that there must have been errant sperm floating around just waiting to implant themselves in an unsuspecting female taking a dip. She swears that her daughter did not meet any boys during their vacation, so the mysterious sperm in the pool had to be the culprit.
Surely this lawsuit will be thrown out of court on inconceivable (pun intended) grounds. First off, wouldn't the chlorine kill any random sperm? But even further, did Ms. Kwiatkowska follow every moment of her vacationing daughter to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she spent absolutely no time with anyone of the opposite sex during their Egyptian holiday?
The only reassuring thing about this story, perhaps, is that frivolous lawsuits are not exclusively an American thing.
This gives the swimming pool game, Marco Polo, a whole new meaning.
As John Stossel of ABCs 20/20 would say....GIMME A BREAK!!!!!

Life Imitates Music and Vice Versa

This afternoon I went for my usual walk. While walking, I found myself mentally drifting to a better place, a place completely opposite of the life that I live now. A place where Veronica and I can be ourselves and not have to deal with the control, ignorance, meaness and lunacy that seems to have fused itself into every fiber of our lives. I have learned that some people can't be happy and actually don't want anyone else to be happy. They are at their best when playing the victim. They want everyone to feel sorry for them and they want every one to be as unhappy and miserable as they they have always they have always wanted you to be. This is the type of person that deliberately finds a way to to turn anything good into something bad. The type of person who seems to deliberately try to ruin every relationship that they have ever had with anyone and then feel sorry for themselves because no one wants to bother with them. It seems to be a life cycle that does nothing but go in circles with nothing good or productive coming out of it. When you are subjected to this type of behavior for so long, you fear that you will become this person. It is almost like a in and day out..the same behavior continues. What you see and what you are subjected to becomes your normal. You try to fight against it as hard as you can because you know that there is a better life out there and that this is not "normal" in the outside world, but it is your normal within the confines of these 4 walls. Sometimes you feel like you are drowning in this vast sea of lunacy but you hang onto your life ring as hard as you can...doing everything in your power to keep your head above water so as not to drown in the craziness of it all. You do not want to become a mirror image of this type of person and it becomes a daily battle to keep your spirit and soul intact and to not fall into the clone trap. And here I was, walking and day dreaming of a better time and of a better place that is somewhere out there. A place waiting for Veronica and I to arrive. And the whole while that I was thinking these thoughts, music was playing in the background. It was a song by Billy Joel....River Of Dreams. I replayed the song several times while walking and I was amazed at how the lyrics of this song fit where I was in my life and our current environment. I know that things will change for us and it will be in a good way, but until those changes arrive, I will continue to be "carried along by the river of dreams".

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To the river so deep
I must be lookin' for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it's too hard to cross
even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and stand on the shore
I try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find what I've been looking for
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the valley of fear
To a river so deep
I've been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I'd never lose
Something somebody stole
I don't know why I go walking at night
But now I'm tired and I don't want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn't take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is I've been looking for
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
To the river so deepI know
I'm searching for something
Something so undefined
That it can only be seen
By the eyes of the blind
In the middle of the night (break)
I’m not sure about a life after this
God knows I've never been a spiritual man
Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
That is runnin' through the promised land
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
By the river of dreams
In the middle of the night

2 Once In A Lifetime Moments All In The Same Day

Today there were supposedly 2 once in a lifetime moments and both had to do with numbers in sequential order. Roughly four seconds before 12:35, the digital date was 12:34:56 on today's date of 07/08/09. Then this afternoon at 4:56 the numbers are sequential again at 4:56 on today's date of 07/08/09. But were both of these occurrences actually once in a lifetime moments? Well they weren't if you were born before 1:23AM on April 5th of 2006, which would make the sequence 1:23 on 04/05/06. These particular numerical events only occur in countries where the month comes first when writing the date today is 07/08/09. Countries such as Britain put the day before the month, which would make today 08/07/09. I am sure that somewhere in time, Britain has had their share of numerical once in a lifetime moments. Were you aware when these sequentially numbered events occurred today? Did you stop and take a moment to acknowledge the event? Like most of us, these one minute events passed me by while I was busy doing other things. But isn't that the way it usually is? Each of us have once in a lifetime moments on a daily basis. They might be something very small or trivial or something very grand but no matter how big or small, unfortunately most of these special events pass us by without us even realizing that they have occurred. Or maybe by the time you realize it, it is too late to relish and treasure the moment. Maybe it really is time for each of us to slow down just a bit and as that old saying goes....take a moment to smell the roses.

Traveling Plans

Veronica has been going through a complete store remodel, so her days have been extremely long and her nights extremely short. The job will be done in about 3 1/2 weeks. A couple of weeks after the job is done, we will go up to Canada for a week of relaxation and fishing. Veronica will really need that vacation break after all of the hours that she has put into the remodel. She has one week of vacation left after we go up to Canada. We have been tossing around ideas of things to do that would not cost an arm and a leg. We decided to go to the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg TN area. We had rented a cabin in the area before and had a real nice time. That was back in 2007. We decided that we would ask my parents if they wanted to go. There were a lot of things to consider before we asked them. My Dad is on dialysis so he would have to set up his treatments for our time there and then there is my Mother who likes to do nothing but shop. There is a lot of shopping areas in Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg but we did not want to drive that whole way just so she could spend every ones time shopping. They are both getting on in age and this would most likely be the last opportunity for us to go anywhere with them. It has also become very evident that if we did not invite them, then they would not be going anywhere on their own. There were a lot of things to consider before we came to our final decision. After coming to the decision of inviting them, I went searching a for a cabin to rent. We would much rather rent a cabin with mountain views than get a hotel room in the city itself and having views of the traffic. I found us a nice 2 bedroom cabin that is far enough away from the busy tourist areas but close enough to get every where we want or need to go. My Dad has set up his dialysis to be done on the Saturday before we leave and then on Tuesday, Thursday and on the Saturday right before we head back home. We have also explained to my Mother that she would have a certain amount of time for her shopping. If we did not limit her, we would end up shopping everyday there and all day long....not our idea of a vacation at all. We will be going the last week in September, beginning of October. It should be interesting to see how this vacation goes, especially with our relationship as far as my Mother is concerned. Hopefully by the time we return, Veronica and I might have something really exciting to look forwards a move.

Happy Canada Day!!!

I would like to wish all of my Canadian readers and friends a Happy Canada Day!!!!
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