Sunflower Halved Hypersaturated

Sunflower Halved Hypersaturated
Yes this is a real sunflower I took this shot a couple of summers ago in the garden outside my work window

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Apparently I keep returning to the same path when it comes to friends. There has to be something that I have not learned from past experiences that warrants my repeating the same circumstances. This is the 5th time now and I'm starting to wonder if I'm just plagued with horrible friend choices or if there truly is something hidden within these issues. It's not that they are terrible people and have wronged me to no end, they just do not radiate positivity in my life. I have been blessed to only have one at a time which I believe has enabled me to determine it is an unhealthy friendship to continue. I pray that insight strikes me soon as it seems, right now, to be a complete waste of my time and brain power.

Midwest Flood Information

If you have been affected or have family/friends that have been affected by the recent flooding in the Midwest, the website listed below will provide you with information regarding how to locate family members and friends, where to apply for assistance, where to donate/volunteer and more.

Midwest Flood Info

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Today for Tuesday

It's Tuesday, you know what that means...2 more days until Friday!! Then of course that means 2 more days until Monday. What a vicious circle!

~The 2008 Olympic Basketball Team was named yesterday. The players making the cut are:

  • Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks)
  • Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets)
  • Carlos Boozer (Utah Jazz)
  • Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors)
  • Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic)
  • LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets)
  • Tayshaun Prince (Detroit Pistons)
  • Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat)
  • Deron Williams (Utah Jazz)

The twelve man team's head coached by Duke University's Mike Krzyzewski with assistant coaches Jim Boeheim of Syracuse University, Mike D'Antoni head mentor of the New York Knicks and Nate McMillan head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Best Wishes!

~~Here we go again...Don Imus...another racially spurred comment. Why oh why? I don't understand why he doesn't understand that some things, regardless of how you may feel, just cannot be stated using a public medium. Obviously he has issues with race that he needs to sort out. In the mean time since this is the second may be time for a new profession or a discontinuation of live broadcast. He needs to be edited big time. Some people never learn...I feel sorry for him...ignorance is such a preventable disease.

~~~If you have a child enrolled in school at a Montgomery County Public School...they may be hiking to class. Due to the increase in fuel, the county has predicted fuel cost to be $7.9 million for fiscal year 2009. While a permanent decision has not been made, it is on the table. Currently walkers in elementary school walk a maximum of 1 mile, 1.5 miles for middle school and 2 miles for high school. Don't like the idea? It's better than students sharing text books or having none at all. According to Superintendent Jerry D. Weast, "A million cost in fuel is about 16 1/2 teaching slots." A little walking never hurt anyone, but I hope parents teach pedestrian safety to their children before unleashing them to walk to school. Most schools take in during rush hour and it would be devastating to have a casualty due to lack of knowledge.

~~~~Some Blackberry users are demanding compensation for checking their blackberries after work hours. Some have referred to it as a ball and chain. Seems to me, if you do not have a job that you need to be in contact with 24/7 turn the thing off. And then again if you have a job that requires you to be reachable...didn't you know what you signed up for? If you don't like it...find a new job! Do they teach complaining classes or something...people are coming up with all sorts of things to be up in arms about.

Enjoy the day...start the count down to Friday if you dare...just remember Monday is going to come around a lot sooner if you do!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Water Gets the Go Ahead

If you are living in Nothern Montgomery County...WSSC has cleared all water in the area. No more boiling!!!

Excerpt from the WSSC:

(Laurel, MD June 18, 2008): The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is pleased to report that all distribution system samples collected on June 16 and 17, 2008 meet drinking water standards and indicate good water quality throughout the portions of our distribution system impacted by the recent major water main break. Tonight’s results are the second set of tests that indicate there are no signs of harmful bacteria. Thus, WSSC and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) have determined that it is no longer necessary to boil water prior to consumption. The Boil Water Advisory is lifted as of 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, 2008.
There has been no evidence of contamination in the area of our water distribution system that was affected by the water main break on Sunday. Nevertheless, as a final precautionary measure, in conjunction with MDE and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, residents and business owners affected by the Boil Water Advisory are encouraged to flush all cold water taps for five minutes. This includes water lines in refrigerators. Residents and business owners should also dispose of any ice that was made since 9 p. m. on June 15th. The next three batches of ice should also be thrown out. Ice maker containers should then be wiped clean with a solution of 2 tablespoons bleach to 1 gallon of water.
Repairs on the 48-inch water main in Montgomery County are underway and are expected to take at least a week. Water has been rerouted and all customers have service.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Wrap-up

Middle of the week already...It's going to be autumn pretty soon around here if time keeps flying like this! Not much of a busy week...I had a doc appt yesterday...yay fun! All in all I appear to be healthy!?! Suppose to go back in two weeks so maybe this is a false positive...I was waiting for bad news the whole time....didn't really hear any so I'm prepared, to say the least!

A couple of things to touch on today.

~As we all very well know the dollar is failing miserably compared to the euro (1 US dollar is .65 Euros), which unfortunately has put a halt on a lot of vacation plans to Europe for many people. Well, I am here to tell you...Do Not Fret!!! Why you ask...well it's quite simple. In July's issue of Money, there is an article entitled: The website that knows where dollars go furthest, there is a website that is used by the U.S. State Department to determine per diem rates around most of the world. Basically you'll click foreign per diem rates on the left side of the screen, select a country and it will produce a list of cities in that country along with the going rate for hotels. Of course the listing will not consider 5 star locations, but it will give you a good look into what the average rate you could potentially pay. You may even decide to stay in a neighboring city for a fraction of the cost! Happy hunting!

~~More airlines have jumped on the band wagon of not just charging for a second checked bag, but now, for the first one as well. I understand the cost of fuel is going up, but do you expect people to travel without a bag at all?? Of course there is always the option to mail your luggage to your destination via Fedex or UPS, but you shouldn't have to. I probably will the next time I travel by air because with these new charges there is no guarantee that my baggage will not be lost in the shuffle from point A to point B. Why not just increase the price of the air ticket overall instead of charging these frivolous fees for ridiculous items?

Have an event-filled day!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father Knows Best

Today is Father's Day and to me it seems that it always gets overshadowed by Mother's Day...of course Mom's are special but Dad's are too!!

Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!
-Lydia M Child

Happy Father's Day to all father's; new father's, old father's and soon to be father's! I wish you a joyous day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

No tomatoes because of salmonella?!? I shed a's hot and the first thing you think of is salad; fruit salad, chef salad, cobb salad...the list goes on and on. While you don't put tomatoes in fruit salad, it is a fruit though, they are an important part to my salads. It's just not a salad without a good ole tomato mixed in! Yea yea I know you can still safely consume cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes on the vine and of course tomatoes grown at home, but it's just not the same as a nice round beefy tomato.

Excerpt from the Food and Drug Administration:

The Food and Drug Administration is alerting consumers nationwide that a salmonellosis outbreak appears to be linked to consumption of certain types of raw red tomatoes and products containing raw red tomatoes. The bacteria causing the illnesses are Salmonella serotype Saintpaul, an uncommon type of Salmonella.
The specific type and source of tomatoes are under investigation. However, preliminary data suggest that raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw round red tomatoes are the cause. At this time, consumers should limit their tomato consumption to tomatoes that have not been implicated in the outbreak. These include cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, and tomatoes grown at home.
June 9, 2008: The Food and Drug Administration has expanded its warning to consumers nationwide that a salmonellosis outbreak has been linked to consumption of certain raw, red tomatoes.
At this time, FDA is advising consumers to limit their consumption of tomatoes to the following types of tomatoes. The following types of tomatoes listed below are NOT likely to be the source of this outbreak.
cherry tomatoes
grape tomatoes
tomatoes sold with the vine still attached
tomatoes grown at home
Also, FDA recommends consuming raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw red round tomatoes only if grown and harvested from the following areas that HAVE NOT BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE OUTBREAK:
Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia
Belgium, Canada, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Israel, Netherlands, Puerto Rico
Consumers who are unsure of where the tomatoes are from that they have in their home are encouraged to contact the store or place of purchase for that information.
Consumers should also be aware that raw tomatoes are often used in the preparation of fresh salsa, guacamole, and pico de gallo, are part of fillings for tortillas, and are used in other dishes.
Restaurants, grocery stores, and food service operators have been advised by the FDA not to offer for sale or service raw red plum, Roma, or red tomatoes and products made from these types of tomatoes unless they are from one of the areas listed above.
Since mid April, there have been 145 reported cases of salmonellosis nationwide caused by Salmonella Saintpaul, an uncommon form of Salmonella. At least 23 hospitalizations have been reported.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Oh my...the 90's...for the weekend...I wish I did not have to venture outside, but that was just not the case! This heatwave is real serious...I hate summer and the sad part is summer hasn't even began...hmmm

We went to the National Harbor Thursday and dined at the Pienza Italian Market which was not only very tasty but extremely entertaining. The chefs have a moving band of pots, pans, Tupperware containers, silverware, boxes of pasta and other things. We got to play with them which I have to say reminded me of my sister when she was younger and liked banging on the pots. Surprisingly they sounded really good and they sang well also. Made me wonder if they were really the chefs or a group of imposter's that really play kitchen items!?! Either way it kept dinner upbeat! The Gaylord Resort National Harbor on the Potomac where the restaurant is housed, was nice, but nothing that is to be ooohh'd and awww'd over. The best part was probably the incorporation of live foliage and water features around the interior. I will say the rooms are probably really nice, but I'm partial to my favorite hotel (which by the way is also at the national harbor), so my take on the Gaylord is really jaded :-\ Oh well!

Saturday a friend and I went to see Sex and the City which was funny. At first, I wasn't excited to see it as I thought it would follow the television series closely, but they explained the characters in the beginning so for those that haven't seen the show, like me, you can follow the story line. I will say it was a bit long and towards the end it was a little dragged out, but all in all a good film.

Sunday to celebrate a friend's birthday, a bunch of us had brunch on the Odyssey. Excellent all around and 50 million times better than the Spirit of Washington! Although it was smokin outside it was rather enjoyable. We all know the Potomac River is not the winner of the best looks award, but something about being out on the water, taking in the views, makes you forget the brown unsightliness that surrounds you. Sometimes it doesn't look sooo brown, but yesterday was no exception!


Let's see, in the news this weekend...

~Gas prices hit $4 a gallon on average for regular nationally. The highest prices being found in California at $4.43 while the lowest are in Missouri at $3.80. I know this morning when we stopped for gas it was $4.09. While I know high gas translates to higher prices for almost everything else, some economists believe this rise in gas prices will push automakers to produce more fuel efficient vehicles while turning consumers away from large SUV's and sedans. I think that is great and all, but $4 for regular is high. Yes I know other countries pay between $8 and $9, but it just takes some getting used to.

~~The Susan G Komen race for the cure was on Saturday morning. Congrats to everyone who participated and suported the cause. I believe everyone knows someone who has been affected by this disease and it's only with continued support that a cure will be found.

There is more news, but those are the events that stood out the most to me...besides, I think this post is long enough!

Stay Cool!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Perfect Storm

Usually lightning and thunder do not disturb me, however in light of the recent severity of thunderstorms in the area, flash flood warnings, and increased seismic activity worldwide, I have found myself listening for a tornado and watching the weather reports a little more intently these days. To put my mind at ease, I found a couple of resources to share. When you have a moment, you should take a glance at them to understand these natural disasters and how to prepare/recover. I do hope that when weather warnings come out you are not too nonchalant to prepare for the possibility of an emergency situation arising.

General clean up info after a natural disaster

What is a tornado?
Preparation and recovery from a tornado

What is a earthquake?
Recovery from an earthquake

What is a flash flood?
Preparation and recovery from flooding

What is a hurricane?
Preparation and rcovery from a hurricane

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Well after months of fights for votes, political debates and slander...Senator Clinton has no choice but to concede the Democratic Nomination for President to Senator Obama. I can't even remember when all of this started...when did it all start? It has actually come down to the very end which I don't think I have ever witnessed, but then again, this has been a race like none other! I must say I am happy that we can move forward, regroup and refocus for the next battle which is to vie for the white house against Senator McCain. I do not wish to speak ill of Sen. Clinton as I do believe she is a phenomenal individual with poise and a strong likability factor, however I believe she approached this race with cowardly tactics which ultimately led to her own demise. Hopefully in her next endeavors she will not repeat these actions.

For those Democrats who feel slighted because you wanted Sen. Clinton to take the nomination bid, I pray when it comes time to vote in November that you actually look at the issues at hand. Stating that you will not vote for Sen. Obama, or that you would rather vote for Sen. McCain makes very little sense to me. If you are a true democrat and believe that being a liberal in this country means having an honest government, affordable health care, national security, civil rights and economic growth; then you will stand together with your party to invoke a change from the downward spiral we have been in for the past 6 years. Race should not influence you nor should gender. It always is and always has been about the issues.

If you are a republican, nothing wrong with that, but even you can admit that there is no better time than the present to bring about the change that we need. I ask you to look at the issues too. What do you want to change? What do you think this country needs? I am not encouraging anyone to cross party lines as your vote is just that yours and yours alone, but make sure you look at the issues at hand and decide honestly who will bring change and who will continue the policies already set forth by the Bush Administration.

I leave you with a few websites to visit and a decision. Make sure you take this vote seriously as it impacts the very being of our nation. We are currently at a crossroad. Do not forget the activists that died for your right to vote, the soldiers that have died protecting our liberties or the soldiers who are still serving tours of duty in Iraq.

Think...Read...Encourage...Ask Questions...Analyze...Inform Yourself

The Democratic Party
The Republican Party
Senator John McCain
Senator Barack Obama

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cue Lightning

Wow...first the weather was, well I 'm not going to say nice because hot is not nice to me, but it was pretty toasty out. Then the wind picked up and it got pretty cool which to me is fantastic! However, the storms rolled in. At first it was your typical lightning, thunder, hail and wind blowing hard rain of the usual summer storm, but then it appeared that things started blowing in circles and you know what blows about in circles. Our first line of defense was to retreat to the basement with Sarge in tow. While we have a window down in the dungeon we couldn't really hear much of the action. After calmness prevailed we journeyed back to assess what mess abound and to our dismay, the Bradford Pear in the front experienced a terrible blow. One of the main branches had completely broken off and is now laying across the front entry way to the house. While we are happy that the limb did not fall on the house, we are also saddened that our beloved shade tree has lost part of its glory. Trying to be the machos that we think we are :-) we attempted to move the fallen limb to the back of the house. Funny, we couldn't even lift the thing, so much for that!

Before and After

It appears a lot of trees in the area have suffered the same fate or have completely fallen altogether. I was unable to see any weather reports yesterday due to no power for 12 hours so I'm not able to let you know the specifics of damages in the area.

Yay fun! Primitive living I do not enjoy, however the generator was our best friend. We had a light, the frig, TV and DVD player so needless to say I had entertainment before retiring for the evening. Every time the power goes off the more I believe camping is something I will never do! Kudos to those who like being one on one with mother nature, I am truly not that inclined.