Friday, April 28, 2006

Crocodile Attacks Chainsaw

I love these strange but true stories!

SYDNEY, Australia (Apriil 28) - A 14 1/2-foot crocodile mauled a chainsaw a worker was using Friday to clear up debris left by a tropical storm that lashed northern Australia. While the croc and worker were both uninjured, the saw's woodcutting days are over.

Freddy Buckland was cutting up a tree that fell against a crocodile enclosure at the Corroboree Park Tavern, 50 miles east of the northern port city of Darwin when the crocodile, called Brutus, apparently took exception to the chainsaw's noise and attacked.

"As he was trimming up the tree on the outside the croc jumped out of the water and sped along the tree about 18, 20 feet and actually grabbed the chainsaw out of his hands," said Peter Shappert, the tavern's owner.

"It must have been the noise ... I don't think he was actually trying to grab Freddy, but I'm not sure. He had a fair go at him ... I think he just grabbed the first thing he could and it happened to be the chainsaw," Shappert added.

Neither Buckland nor Brutus were injured.

The saltwater crocodile, which Shappert said he now is considering renaming Two-stroke in honor of the saw's fuel, appeared to like the snack.

"He chewed on the chainsaw for about an hour-and-a-half, then we finally got it out," Shappert said, adding that the saw was destroyed when it finally was retrieved from Brutus' giant jaws.

Saltwater crocodiles have been known to attack small power boats, apparently because they do not like the noise of outboard motors.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Last night's American Idol

If you don't watch this show, then you may be excused!

I think most of the performances on last night's show were awful. As cute as Kelly is and as beautiful as Katharine is, they just couldn't make the jump to something big. Paris showed her big voice, but I agree with one of the judges about the fact that she over sang the song.

I was surprised at how well Elliot did. I thought he would easily go home tonight, but he did well. Taylor's performance had no energy to it. Chris rocked the house. I was fully prepared for him to sing his song lying down on the stage. That would have been funny. He was an awesome singer before, but now that he has discovered his diaphragm and taught how to use it...Watch out!

Unfortunately, at this point in the competition it is a popularity contest instead of a true singing competition. For that reason, I believe that Paris or Elliot will be going home tonight.

I wonder what it would be like if AI let people vote for their favorites, but then let the judges make the final decision anyway. You know they cannot cut out all those millions of calls or lose Cingular as a sponsor. I think part of the whole AI experience is that people are actually making the decision and they like the power. Perhaps politics should be run that way...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Mishmash & A Recipe

I can smell cigarette smoke watfting up through the open door to the deck. I haven't spent as much time on the deck since I quit smoking NINE WEEKS ago today. I think when it warms up I will resume my habit of typing and doing most everything out on the deck. Since I am no longer smoking, I do not have to endure the cold cloudy days with two or three layers on. Instead, I am at the kitchen table a mere few feet away, but with a glass door barrier.

Back to the smell of smoke. It never occurred to me all that time that my smoke, at least sometimes, was coming in the house or into a neighbor's house. I do not like the smell either. I am not Turning into a righteous ex-smoker that I detest so much. I simply do not like the smell, any more than I would if it were on a pillowcase. I do however like the initial lighting of a cigarette. I smelled that the other day in a parking lot and it smelled so good. I suppose it always will.

We had a power failure this morning. A pretty lengthy one too. It shut off the TV that has been on for weeks. The plasma TV that has a bad switch which can probably be fixed for a mere $700. My handyman said he couldn't do it. After much research he decided that it would be a nightmare to go through five layers of circuit boards and declined to do it. I can't blame him. I am not looking forward to hooking up a completely new TV with the wires changed, with Tivo, the cable box, the DVD player and the theater system! Cripes, what a freaking nightmare this will be without a smoke! UGH Why is it that the wires cannot be universal and easy to understand. One simple S-cable and you are good to go. If only it worked that way. Each set up is different. If and when we get a new TV, it could take me days to get the wiring done, but I will get it done!

Katharine is due home from NYC tonight. They are all tired and will need a day off before school begins again on Monday. She did have a blast though. They left their hotel in the morning, breakfast at eight. Home by midnight most nights. I am happy she is coming home.

Zoe has been cleaning her room for days. We went to The Container Store the other day and got her some very cool stuff. Her room looks great and she worked very hard to get it that way. Still has the closet to do. Bins and bins of toys and dolls that she no longer wants or needs. She has already managed to get a lot of stuff out of her room and it has so much more space. My input was very minimal. Moved a bit of furniture, swept and made a few suggestions. This was Zoe's way of spending a few days of her Spring Break. I am very proud of her and all she got accomplished! We all know how fun it is to clean and change things around. It makes us want to spend more time in our rooms. At least initially.


1lb salmon
1/4 c soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground cumin

Wash and place salmon in microwave safe dish
Mix soy sauce, garlic salt and cumin in small bowl
Pour mixture onto salmon. Let sit 5 min and turn over
Cover with cellophane (or a lid) and nuke for about 6 minutes

Remove from dish. Put on a plate, toss marinade.
Serve with rice and a veggie.

You may think you will not like this microwaved fish.
I bet you will though, just give it a try. It is fast and
delicious, I promise!

FYI, this recipe is for making fajitas. I use it on EVERYTHING!
Fish, chicken, meat, this marinade is very good. I usually nuke
fish, but this can be used for grilling or cooking in a pan.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

American Inventor

I just watched two episodes from last weeks Tivo'd reality show, American Inventor. I was not going to watch this program when it first came out, but it hooked me. Some of the inventions were so lame or funny that I couldn't resist watching it again the next time it came on.

Last week four judges narrowed it down from 50 inventors to 24 then down to 12. I absolutely balled my eyes out watching these twelve people as they were told they were getting checks for $50,000 and they were going on to the next round. After listening for an hour to the sob stories and then watching them win, I was glad nobody was in the room with me while I cried about a reality show. It is bad enough when it happens from other stories on TV or in movies, but this caught me totally off guard.

What is amazing is how much these people put into their inventions. Money, lots of money and in some cases their life savings and homes in foreclosure. Watching the man who invented a different kind of car seat after his daughter was killed in a car crash was so very sad. He has a very clever and potentially life saving idea. Another very clever idea which is small and nobody died, was a clamp to hold shut bathroom doors in public places. The woman who invented it made it the width of a small bag of tissues, the kind for a purse. The clamp can go on the tissues very nicely until needed. It goes on top of the door and slides to the side and locks the door for those often broken latches on public bathroom doors. I would buy one. Simple and smart.

There are other inventions that are both okay and not so wonderful, but the passion and drive of the inventors is something to really see. Especially for those who have literally given up everything they own in pursuit of becoming the American Inventor and winning a million dollars.

This is the last show I ever thought I would shed tears over, but it really touched me in a big way. There are two episodes on tonight and I cannot wait to watch them.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A VERY Early Morning

I dropped Katharine at a friend's house a little while ago. They were meeting there to take a limo to the airport. No need to park and the same limo will pick them up. It was supposed to seat six, but it seats ten. I wish we would have know that yesterday as one girl and her daddy were quite upset that Katharine got a ride in the limo and she didn't. Of course we did book it last Friday and not the day before the trip...I did offer her a trip home in the limo and I would get Katharine another ride and they declined. Okay, enough of that.

Katharine and about 120 other kids, parents and teachers from both the middle and high school drama classes are going to the big apple. They must be at LAX by 5am for a 7am flight. They are going to see five plays. They are going to the MoMA, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero to see the Eternal Flame, Empire State Building, Chinatown, Little Italy, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, NBC and behind the scenes at the studio, Greenwich Village, SoHo and Fifth Avenue to shop. They get to see Trump Tower, Tiffany's, etc. They are going to have a blast.

Today for instance they will arrive about 3pm. They will go to Greenwich and SoHo. They will have dinner and they will see the Off Broadway Show "Blue Man Group." They will finally check into their hotel at 11pm. Up at 8am tomorrow to have a full day again. This week they will also see these Broadway Shows, Doubt, Spamalot, The Color Purple, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. It is a whirlwind touristy visit and they are going to arrive back home at 10:30 Saturday night.

We have family in NYC but we never did the touristy stuff. I think this will be a trip of a lifetime. Going to NYC in seventh grade without parents. We were up at three, I made scrambled eggs, toast and oj for breakfast. Confused the hell out of the dog. We are not supposed to be up, let alone be eating at this hour! But, he wanted to eat nonetheless. He is sawing logs now. I need to wind down and try to go back to sleep.

It has been so crazy and my girls' spring break is this week so I haven't been around to say hi to very many people lately. I want to do so this week though. I miss reading all of your stories!

Have a great Tuesday.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter and Passover

Seems like Christmas just got over and here it is, already Easter. This is the first year we didn't dye eggs. I am okay with it though. In a year or two, I may miss it, but who's to say we cannot dye them in future years? The girls are older, 13 and 14, but even last year they wanted to dye and then search for eggs. There is no age limit.

I look to my childhood to gauge how long to carry on traditions with my children. I don't know why I do that. I always over do and exceed what I had in my childhood. It just seems my girls are younger than I was at their age. They verbalize wanting traditions to continue. I never did that. When it was over, when the Easter bunny stopped coming to our house, it was over. I didn't put in a request for the Easter bunny to keep coming. It never occurred to me that it was an option. Which continues to show me how smart kids are today. Younger than I was, but absolutely smarter. Or maybe it was part of their early Montessori teachings, use your words that enabled them to speak up when they want or need something from us.

The girls are still getting baskets this year, not large and not overly full. A few chocolate items, some jelly beans, a mini stuffed bear and bunny respectively. I have learned from the past that the candy in the baskets lasted at least til the next holiday and we ended up tossing what was left. These baskets should be devoured in the next week or so. That will be perfect.

Zoe asked me if she should wake Katharine to see her basket. I told her, "Absolutely not, let her sleep as late as she can!" I didn't buy hair supplies, pens, pencils or any other goodies to go into the baskets this year. It will take a mere five seconds to see it is about sugar this year. They will appreciate it.

I made a turkey yesterday. It was in a bag already cleaned and seasoned. All I had to do was put it in the oven. We made mashed taters, stuffing, green beans and had a very nice dinner. We will have leftovers today, but I will throw a ham into the mix. Personally, I love ham on Easter. Dinner will be simple and lovely, just because we are having dinner together as a family.

Happy Easter and/or Passover to you all.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Convenience fee a rip off

I paid the property taxes yesterday and had every intention of doing so online. I read the insert which said, why pay for postage and envelopes? Pay online. What it didn't say was save money by not using a stamp or envelope! It's all in the wording because I thought it would save me 39 cents, when actually it was going to cost $50 for a convenience fee!!! I sure hope only people who had no other choice used the pay online system. Maybe then they will make it more cost friendly to use. Who pays $50 for a convenience fee? That is hardly convenient. Writing a check, using an envelope and putting on a stamp is not so obsolete that I would pay that kind of fee on an already hefty amount due to the county. Perhaps I should write a letter to the editor of the local paper. I think it is wrong to charge us for something that doesn't cost them much. No employees necessary to open envelopes or manually remove checks and post to the appropriate accounts. It is done automatically via payment online. Maybe that is the problem, they don't want to loose employees to technology.

My rant for the day.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Horoscope says....

I was thinking about what to post today. I could write about the hawks nesting in the tree in our yard and while that is very cool, the fact that they are not putting caca on my car is a bonus! I could wonder out loud about who that man was on American Idol who sounded like Kenny Rogers but in NO WAY looked like him. I could go on and on about all the plastic surgery here in Orange County as well, but they already did a few shows about those people. I could tell you about how embarrassing the newest show is...I won't go into how I feel about the other shows...Well...No, I am not going to. I could mention how the internet was down all day yesterday and I felt like I was on an island without any news. Actually, I have been on an island without any news and it's wonderful. This was more like being out of the loop. See I had a few ideas, some not even mentioned here as well. But, I didn't have a lot to work with. I have an out though...My horoscope said, "You may be truly inspired today, but it might be an uphill battle to transform your vision into anything productive," also, to avoid frustration by letting go of my need to show others what I know!!! HAHA

Happy Thursday....

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Treading Dangerously

I am happy that the outcome of Jill Carroll's kidnapping was a good one. I am not happy about those who are left behind.

It is so unnecessary for the press to "get to the bottom" of the video Ms Carroll made on her last night of being a hostage. What she said to get out of Iraq, out of the situation she was in was completely understandable. Anybody would have made a video that said they didn't agree with Bush's war to go home again. Whether they believed it or not.

To harp on the reasons in the press, is dangerous. Dangerous to the hostages still being held. Who is going to believe them if and when they get the chance to make a video? Are the pissed off kidnappers going to believe that their hostages feel what they say and then let them go? I don't think so.

I think Ms Carroll was extremely lucky to get out of Iraq alive. Now I think all should remain mute until a later and more appropriate time to discuss this whole ordeal in the press. This includes a full disclosure article written by Ms Carroll herself. Ratings and seizing the moment are not the most important things in life. I would think Ms Carroll for one, must certainly realize this after all she has been thru.