Monday, October 27, 2008

Do I have "nut magnet" written on me?

I had the strangest encounter on the way home. I was heading to a local gas station to fill up the tank. The person in front of me was driving somewhat erratically (slowing suddenly several blocks before the station), and then, lucky me, this person turned into the same gas station I was going to use. This person's fine driving skills seemed to continue as she (I found out shortly that it was a "she") stopped as someone else was coming out and she couldn't negotiate the turn into the station at the same time.

As the person heading out passed on several openings in traffic while I was hanging out there in the lane, I gave a short toot of the horn. Finally, they moved and the car in front of me pulled in and stopped at the first pump, instead of pulling to the second so I could pull to the pumps and we could both gas up. Fortunately, the guy working there made her pull up.

Once we were at the pumps, she started yelling about how I was following her and how she was going to call the cops if I followed her after we left. She kept it up the whole time I was there, even jumping out of the car at one point. She was screaming as I got ready to leave, so I decided, for better or worse, that I'd better try to stop her before she followed me or tried to ram my car.

I still have a badge from my county days, so I showed it to her, told her to calm down and (okay, this may not have been the best move, but...) told her she needed to get some help. Yeah, that helped. She then started screaming about how I shouldn't be a cop. Remember folks (not that I followed this advice, but...) never argue with crazy people!

BTW, even if I were straight and the type to stalk people, she would have very little to worry about! But isn't that always the way? Like the ugly guys who think gay men want to jump them.

I drove for a few minutes and then circled back toward the gas station. I checked from a distance that her car was gone and then pulled back in. I asked the attendants to save her license plate number for a few weeks, assuming she paid with a credit card and they keep that number, but I didn't even ask that. Honestly, the whole thing really had me rattled. This woman was very disturbed!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Crappy photos of a nice day in the park

This morning, we put the dogs in the car and headed for a park on the south shore. We were going there to participate in something called "Paws for Parkinson's." It was a 1-mile walk to raise funds for the American Parkinson Disease Association. The saddest part came when I met the dog of someone Marc knows from work. It's a Chinese Crested Hairless, and, from the way it was shaking, I think it had the disease!

Okay, okay, I'll behave. I just had to get that out somewhere. Those are the oddest dogs.

Anyhow, we didn't bring a camera (not even the little one we take to parties and such), but it was a lovely day and I felt the need to do something to record the event. So I used the camera in my cell phone. Let me tell you, as you are about to see, this thing is majorly craptastic!

After registering, we took the dogs to a picnic table, where we could sit and wait under the trees. The kids spent some time checking out other dogs and then settled in, getting in touch with their forest-dwelling ancestors...

A view from the picnic table

Another view

Dodger watches to be sure all of those dogs behave

Marc holds Bernice's leash

Princess Mandy

As you can see in that last photo of Her Labradorness, each of the participants was given a little I-don't-know-what-it-was (faux orange spider?) as a collar decoration and identifier as a registered participant. Well, let me tell you, whatever that thing is supposed to be, it looks fabulous on her! You can't really tell in this photo, but the orange on her black fur is lovely!

Mandy checks on me

A view of the starting line

Other participants start to gather

The day went well, and I think the kids had a good time, although this was a lot of excitement for them! I don't think the walk itself was too tough, but all of that time out in the trees and all of those other dogs made for a very exciting and tiring day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?

If you're a politician looking for money, not a thing. If you're someone concerned about ethics in government and corruption of the system, quite a bit.

Before I go into the details, let me say that I don't expect this to change. This is a practice as old as the hills. With that said, let me share something from today's New York Law Journal (yes, I read exciting stuff!). On the front page, they have a list of the top ten donors among New York law firms to Barack Obama & the DNC and the top ten to John McCain & the RNC. Without further adieu, here's the list:

Top 10 Law Firm Donors to Obama Campaign/DNC
Skadden Arps
Sullivan & Cromwell
Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Paul Weiss
Schulte Roth
Gibson Dunn
Simpson Thacher
Weil Gotshal
Jones Day
Davis Polk

Top 10 Law Firm Donors to McCain Campaign/RNC
Kasowitz Benson
Greenberg Traurig
Skadden Arps
Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Sullivan & Cromwell
Proskauer Rose
Simpson Thacher
Eaton & Van Winkle
Gibson Dunn
Babcock & Brown

Now, if you weren't aware of such things already (or if you aren't sufficiently cynical), you might think I made a mistake. After all, a number of those names are in both lists. People can't support both the Democrat and the Republican, right? Not only can they, but it's a common practice. For the ones who don't match up on both lists, I wouldn't be surprised to find them somewhere on the full donor list, if this weren't limited to the top ten.

These aren't contributions in support of a political view (the argument against contribution limits, since it's supposedly "free speech" to support one's political views). Rather, these firms are buying access, and companies, interest groups and wealthy donors all over the country do exactly the same thing. Pay both sides, so you have access, no matter who wins. It's nauseating, it's legal, and it's as American as apple pie!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I know I've been quiet

Thing is, my 'puter died. Well, my laptop 'puter died. It has been repaired many times, and it has died again. This time, I'm not fixing it.

I normally don't buy extended warranties, but I did when I got the HP laptop (purchased through Micro Center). It's a good thing! The laptop was expensive, and the repairs were big. In its lifetime, it has needed a new screen, new motherboard and new hard drive. So the extra for the extended warranty paid off in a big way.

Now that the extended warranty is done and the computer is over 4 years old, I have given in. I ordered a new laptop from Dell. It will take a couple of weeks for it to get here.

Since I usually do my blogging with the laptop, its demise has limited my blogging a bit. But since I'm downstairs at the desktop computer (the one with lots of horsepower that I use for all of my photo work), I figured I'd post something.

So how about more Cape Cod photos before I go back to rugby?

First, some shots of the room in our lovely B&B...

The bed. Always essential for a nice vacation!

Marc in the sitting area, in front of the fireplace

A spot to sit by one of the windows

Part of the bathroom (you can see the jacuzzi)

And now let's get out a bit...

A beach where we stopped with Patrick. This is where I took the photo of Patrick and Marc that was in the prior post.

Marc outside the Wellfleet Candy Company

Marc took us on a tour of Cape Cod candy stores. Wellfleet--coincidentally, in the town of Wellfleet!--was his favorite.

Inside Wellfleet Candy Company, we could watch the candy being made.

Marc and the owner, comparing notes on candy making techniques

Patrick chose some items to sample

There were many fabulous things to eat. These people knew their business! Just looking at these photos of the candy is making my mouth water, as I remember how good they were...

Another enjoyable stop was Arnold's, a local favorite. Don't let the photos of the menu fool you. While it mentions grilled food, etc., I didn't see a bit of it. Everything anyone gets there is deep-fried...

Patrick waits for his order

Wait! This is quite a find! There, on the end of the tray in this next photo, you can catch a glimpse of Arnold's food that isn't deep-fried...

Yes, it's a lobster roll! (Well, part of one.) And wow, was it overpriced!

The rest of the food

Can you say "coronary blockage," children? I knew you could!

Okay, the clam chowder wasn't fried, either. But that would be a neat trick!

Now, back to the room...

Our little balcony where we would have coffee every morning

Our view of the back yard

That's all I have from the trip. I didn't take a lot of photos, but it really wasn't that kind of trip. I hope you liked this post anyhow!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A few photos from Cape Cod

As we watch the debate (taking place just a few miles from here), I want to share a few favorite photos from the trip. First, Patrick's arrival was heralded by "The Official State Bird of Patrick," the dragonfly...

What do you mean, it's not a bird? Are you sure? Hmmph.

Patrick took this shot of us at the bed & breakfast...

And I took this shot of Marc and Patrick at the beach one evening...

They actually make a nice looking couple. (Okay, Patrick, back off!) ;)

There are more photos (and I'll share them in another post), but I think those are the top three.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The weekend

We had a lovely time on Cape Cod. We got to meet Greg, and we also were joined there by Patrick. We had fun enjoying the great outdoors, had a lovely stay at a local bed & breakfast called the Whalewalk Inn and ate some tasty, if mostly unhealthy, food. We also found a candy company that got the Bokey seal of approval. That's not easy to do, so I will include a link to the candy company's website: The Wellfleet Candy Company.

We had a lovely weekend, but now it's back to life as usual. And that's fine. As much fun as it is to spend time with friends (and meet a new friend whom we'd previously known through blogging and e-mails), it's nice to be home with the pups. Getting home is also a nice reminder that I love my life here with Marc. Traveling is fun, but it's important to remember that we have many blessings!

I know you're probably wondering why I'm not including any photos. Well, that's simple. I haven't taken them off the camera yet! :) I didn't take a lot of photos this time--it was mostly a trip meant for pure relaxation--but I soon will share what I did take. Just give me a few days!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Heading for Cape Cod

Tomorrow, we're heading for Cape Cod. We'll meet Greg for the first time, and Patrick will be meeting us up there late tomorrow night. We offered to drive Patrick up there, but he has to work part of the day, so we're going ahead and he'll take the bus up later.

I'm not even sure what we're going to do once we're up there, but I feel sure we'll have fun!

In the meantime, how about more rugby photos? These are from the last match we attended...

Well, what better place to stop than with Jason's lovely body rolling in to score?

I hope you all have a nice weekend!