Thursday, April 30, 2009

Catching up

I don't know where the last week went but here I am. Still alive and trying to organize this move. It's always so complicated. I am looking forward to being closer to the family though. It will be really good to be able to see my Dad more often and to be able to call him without running up a huge phone bill. And my sister will only be a half hour away. We'll be able to have lunch or something once in a while.

Big excitement of the week was seeing two crows attack a turkey vulture in the air the other morning. I wish they had been a little bit closer so I could have caught it on video. It was pretty amazing. The crows tagged teamed, taking turns divebombing the vulture. They were making an ungodly racket. At one point a second vulture was sort of circling nearby but didn't step in to help at all. The crows won. Last I saw they were chasing the vulture south.

Meanwhile, swine flu is on everybody's mind and it didn't take long for the internet scammers to exploit the buzz. I hear there are all sorts of email scams running around. Of course, you should never click on any attachment that comes from somewhere you don't know, but you should be especially careful right now as there are apparently a lot of different ones out there. If you click on them all kinds of bad stuff will happen to your computer.

Friday, April 24, 2009


I finally made my major life decision this week. I'm moving closer to my Dad. I like his little town. It's walkable in the recreative sense anyway. And it's got a sweet downtown, just waiting for resurgence I think. Reminds me a lot of Noho in the old days. It's even got some kind of little school of higher learning. I think it's the college town I was looking for, albeit not quite as warm as I would liked. Still it feels like the right choice.

It's time to rebond with my family. I spent most of the day, working on making it happen. So far, so good.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grains of sand

Phila's Friday hope blogging always has great links to visual pleasures. I especially liked these two this week. This is a close-up view of some grains of sand.

Lots more at the gallery here. And I'm really fond of the little matchboxes they sell in Europe because they all have such gorgeous little works of art on them. Here's a whole gallery of matchbox labels.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cat blogging

My Dad and mom Helen have rescued dozens of cats over the years. They've caught abandoned strays, had them neutered at their own expense and found homes for them. Once in a while they keep one. They now have three. Pickles is very shy. I couldn't get a picture of her without freaking her out, so I didn't even try. But the other two warmed up to me rather quickly so I was able to get some pix.

Phoebe is mostly an indoor cat but she likes to go out in the afternoon to catch a little fresh air. She's the only one that likes to be scritched.

Jack prefers the outdoors. He only comes in for food and to sleep. You can see by the nick in his ear, he was a real scrapper when he was out on his own.

They're good old kitties.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Free prescription drugs and more

I had to drop my self-paid health insurance last year when I lost my job and they raised the rates to the point where it was eating up my savings so fast that I wouldn't be able to pay the rent and utilities. Fortunately, my couple of prescriptions are inexpensive, but the cost of seeing the doctor to get them renewed is still prohibitive since I'm still unemployed after all these months. So I was happy to find this information on prescription and health care assistance. I expect even if you still have a job, you probably know someone who has lost theirs, so I hope this list of organizations will be of value to others as well.

Needy Meds, has help for getting more than 4,100 medicines. They also have links to discount drug card and coupon programs and thousands of free or low-cost clinics around the country.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance,, has links to about 475 programs sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, government programs, health plans and charities.

Patient Advocate Foundation,, has prescription assistance and also provides help paying for surgery or large copayments for medical care, help with child care and transportation for patients who need treatments. This organization features specialized case managers., has links to more than 1,000 prescription programs, and also to free clinics and programs that help cope with costs for treatment of cancer and rare diseases.

Rx Assist,, provides links to state-run assistance programs.

Rx Hope, had online assistance applications, links to medical group, patient advocate and drug company sites.

State assistance programs, has information on drug discount cards.

Together Rx Access, offers free cards accepted at most pharmacies that can get you prescription discounts of 25-40 percent.

Linda's tulips

My half sister and her daughter live next door to my Dad. Their place is just a treasure trove of wonderful plants and objects but I can never get a good shot of anything with my cheezy camera. This one of the planter out front came out pretty well though.

Don't you love that frog? He's even better in person.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I forgot to take a picture of the rental car I ended up with, but it looked like this and it was a sweet ride. Made it door to door this morning in two hours and ten minutes, and that was with some slowdowns for rain and traffic.

I don't have a lot of photos, but they all came out worth posting, so I'm going to start with Dad's dogwood. It's a gorgeous tree and when you stand on his porch, it's right in your face, as Dad said, like a white cloud.

It's an old one and the smell reminds me of one of my earliest childhood memories, before my sister and brother were born.

We were driving down a country road and my Dad saw a wild dogwood, very much like this in the woods. He stopped the car and filled the backseat with branches. It was so beautiful. It felt to me, sitting there with them, like being in a fairy tale. It smelled just like that all the way home.

Help with health insurance

I don't usually post political stuff here, but this is worth passing on to everyone. If you know anyone who is struggling to cope with COBRA costs, there's a provision in the stimulus bill that offers significant help.
Short-term COBRA subsidy for involuntarily terminated workers. This provides a 65 percent subsidy for COBRA premiums for up to 9 months, which will put a dent in the considerable cost of COBRA health benefits for the unemployed.
There's much more non-health care related provisions at the link that you probably already know about, but this one was new to me.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No blogging today

I'm having a great visit with Dad. Finally satisfied my craving for decent Chinese food. They have a great buffet in town so I was able to get a lot of dishes I've been missing all at one time.

Dad's town is just gorgeous right now. They're about two weeks behind where I live so I get to enjoy the daffodils and tulips all over again. The dogwood out front here is in perfect peak bloom. No photos until I get back though. I managed to bring the camera but forgot the laptop so I have no way to upload.

They seem to have lots more birds here as well. The riotous clamor of bird song outside my window was really cheering this morning. I'm told in the summer there are two owls nesting in the big tree across the street.

This town has a lot going for it. Lovely downtown, somehow reminscent of Noho in the old days. Lots of lovely neighborhoods. I'm thinking I could do worse than move here, even though there's a lot of fundies. I've realized at this point, there's no where in the south to escape them.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

On the Road

I'm off for the weekend to see my Dad, so not sure if I'll be able to post but here's a video to tide you over.

I had such a huge crush on Peter Noone as a teen.


Yahoo mail finally relented and gave me back my classic view. I can read it again. I hope it lasts.

The upgrade was horrible. It wanted me to change my screen resolution to accomodate their new ad layout. It made the page so small, I couldn't read it at all. Even keeping the larger resolution the damn thing was nearly unreadable and the functionality sucked so much I practically stopped checking the account. I used to check it several times a day.

I think they realized that it was better to get the refresh more often than it was to bombard me with extra ads. It's not like I ever click on them anyway. But whatever, it said I could have classic back forever. I hope they meant it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's been a while

It's been a hectic week. I know I haven't written anything of substance in a while, but it's going to have to wait a little longer. Have another busy day ahead. Meanwhile, this is a song I like that I had forgotten about. And I don't think I ever knew these guys are from Springfield, MA.

[Via Uncle Blodge who is a great and under-appreciated teacher.]

Here's a nice photo gallery of flowering trees from around the world. Spring is out there.

And if by some chance you haven't seen the video of Susan Boyle, the 48 year old rather ordinary looking woman who became Britian's "American Idol" type star -- it's worth a look. It's a real feel-good story.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Glad I made it

Had a bad day. I don't even talk about it, so I'm going to post this video instead. I couldn't embed the player but here's a link to a short movie about Roger Sallom that was taped mostly in lovely downtown Northampton. I knew Roger pretty well because my friend sang backup with his band for a while. I always thought Roger was under-rated but I'm posting the vid because my dear friend Hal Benoit is in it. He's the guitarist on the right when the movie starts. Regular readers will remember he died about a year or so ago. I was glad to see him on tape, but it kind of broke my heart a little too. Life's like that I guess.

Anyway, I also know almost every single person in this short little movie. I'm going to put it on the sidebar so I can watch it when I get homesick for Noho.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Flash dance

I live every day of my life hoping that when I'm strolling along something like this would happen.

More than 200 dancers were performing their version of "Do Re Mi", in the Central Station of Antwerp. With just 2 rehearsals they created this amazing stunt!

The First Pup

I think he's adorable. They're good dogs too. I knew somebody who had one and he was a sweetie. Malia looks a little scared of him but I'm betting they'll be fast friends soon. And the reason they picked the name Bo is sweet.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Have a wonderful holiday for those who celebrate. I found so many good images, I had to share them all.

[More cards here], [photo credits: Public Domain Images, Ruby Lane]

Update: Almost forgot WaPo's annual peeps diorama contest. [h/t mike]

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I feel like I should post something slightly more cheerful. How about some Indigo Girls.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Drown in my own tears

Not that I'm crying anymore but it fits my mood. Wish I could have found a Ray Charles version but this is a good cover by Elvis Costello.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Jonathan Zachary Souweine

Rest in peace

From the Caring Bridge page: Surrounded by his family Jonathan passed peacefully at 2:30pm today. Isaac was with us on the phone from Singapore. With much feeling Daniel read him The Highwaymen - the poem he loved reading to the boys. We read the Mary Oliver poem that Libby Robbie brought. We sang O- Zi - v' zimrat ya with fervor. He was ready. We were ready. We will miss him beyond what words can express. Your thoughts and prayers and admiration of JZS hold us. ~Jude

The family is much stronger than I am. I can't talk about it yet.

Going to be tough day

I has planned to blog something significant today but I just found out my old boss, who is like family to me is in the hospital. They expect him to die very soon. Meanwhile, I'm worried sick about my "mom" who is right now in surgery undergoing a triple valve replacement for her heart. I'm a bit of a mess at the moment. I'll be back later.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Happy Birthday Kitty Cat

What a cutie. Maeve's kitten just turned a year old. More pictures at the link.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Sexy grandma

Could you do a favor for my friend and vote for her mom? Go here. On the left hand side is an article about "sexy seniors". Click on that article and then scroll down the list until you see "Violet Rose Magenta" and click on that please. Thanks.

This link may or may not work to go directly to the voting.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Rest in Peace John

I don't remember the exact date anymore, but it's been just over a year since my friend John Desidero died of cancer. This was taken at his apartment that I called the tree house, just about two years before he died. He lived life to the fullest right up to the end. His courage still inspires me.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bright spots on a dark day

I don't know what's wrong with me. I've been fighting off tears all day. I mean I'm all whiny and morose and feel like sobbing. Working my way through it, but rather than drag everybody down and talk about it, here's some fun links.

A really impressive slide show, photos taken while flying over the Andes. Someday I'd like to do that.

Hours of fun here. The Library of Congress archive of vintage posters. You can browse and download high resolution copies by topic. [via Erin who found some great ones by searching for magic]

And this is very cool. You know how much I love rocks. Here you can find images from the insides of rocks. I suggest you click on themes from the sidebar and then choose any one and click save and search. The seascapes were great. [via Phila who has lots of other cool links in his Friday Hope Blogging post]

Meanwhile, I'm going to go count my blessings and try to forget my troubles.