Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday night

Back from gym (no store). Weighed 173 lbs. -- I didn't even have to adjust the slider things when I got on the scale. Watching "Dateline NBC." I think "60 Minutes" is a repeat, even though, as usual, the program guide says it's "new." "Desperate Housewives" is back on tonight.

Having mild turkey Italian sausage for dinner (they didn't have hot, which I prefer). Maybe some Stouffer's spinach souffle with that.

Good dinner. They went together well.

[Later] DH very good. Now Holmes on Homes. Have to pay attention since it goes by fast, and lots of technical stuff. Kind of a challenge to watch but rewarding.

Sunday afternoon

Just back from Starbucks. Sat outside for an hour and a half, drinking two cups of coffee and reading a magazine. It's a bit cool and overcast, perfect weather for sitting out over there at that time -- you don't have to contend with the sun descending in the west. Also had a turkey and Swiss sandwich. At one point, when I went to get a refill of ice water, they gave me a free green tea Frappuccino they'd made by accident. Pretty disgusting, I thought. And it was very green, like dyed green. I took a couple of sips and threw the rest away.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday night

I didn't make it out of here till dinner time and went directly to Flanigan's for a surf 'n' turf dinner (8 oz. NY strip + 6 lightly breaded fried shrimp). Had steak soup first. I'd had hardly anything to eat all day long, just a little Stouffer's pot roast meal.

Then did grocery shopping. Going shopping on a full-stomach has the opposite effect of shopping while hungry: I didn't feel like buying food, but I had to focus and get something for the coming week.

[Later] Called my friend in STL/FTL. (He's in STL this weekend.) He's a Republican and started talking politics. He was in a tizzy. He knows where I stand on issues and I found it somewhat impolite and disrespectful for him to be pushing "talking points" on me. One thing he said was that he would never be able to recover any respect he had for Obama unless Obama apologized for calling out the Supreme Court (during SOTU address) on the recent campaign-finance ruling. He was really on a roll and said there were two things Obama had done that were basically unforgivable: calling the Cambridge, Mass. police "stupid" over the fracas with the black professor, and now calling out the Supreme Court during the State of the Union Address. He said the latter was the most egregious. He even got a little high-handed telling me he had read Obama's address in the Wall Street Journal (his Bible), so he was speaking from the utmost, highest authority (as if only the Wall Street Journal ran a true transcript of the speech). This was a put-down to me, but I told him I had actually watched the speech myself and also had ready access to a transcript of the speech. (He probably hadn't even watched the speech.) (I think there's quite a big difference between watching a speech and just reading a transcript of it.) (I even googled transcripts of the speech and found discrepancies.)

This went on and on and I just let him rant. I refused to be contentious and let him engage me in an argument, but I stood my ground. I'm fairly savvy on the issues, even though I don't read the Wall Street Journal (I used to subscribe, however, and was a business reporter myself). Finally he got out of that mode and apologized for bringing up politics.

He and I are friends based on our both being raised in Miami within blocks of each other and belonging to the same downtown church. I never broach politics with him. But he just can't resist. I think Obama is right about the Republican mind-set these days. It's all about politics with them and not about the good of the country. And this guy is gay, too. How a self-respecting gay person could identify with a political party that treats gay people as second-class citizens (or much worse) is beyond me. (But he's at least 10 years older than I am -- he signed up for Medicare and Social Security last year -- and attended military school somewhere in the South. Also, he earned his living in Missouri.)

Finally, he said he arrives at his opinions as an accountant (another assertion of higher authority) (he's a tax lawyer, too).

Meanwhile, his much younger, schizophrenic BF, who was recently adjudicated incompetent and put on Social Security and Medicare for life and is unemployable, is still a constant source of torment. Makes me glad I'm alone (or with cats). (Thank goodness for those social safety-net programs to take care of the people who are in dire need of help.) (We need Medicare for all.)

I say, if you want to rant about politics, better to do so on a blog and not offend your friends.

Saturday afternoon

Lost my profile photo on Facebook and spent hours trying to fix it. I googled the problem and discovered it was a Firefox setting thing (Tools, Options, Content, images setting). Facebook sites were blocked.

Well, now it's time to get cleaned up and go over to Starbucks. It's too nice outside today to sit around here.

Friday, January 29, 2010


I decided to take a clean, two-week break from the gym and will return on Sunday. I did walk home from the far bus stop tonight. The weather has been so nice for these walks lately.

Today at work I was relieved we had one of our bodies back, but then another body was out.

Just ate two Starkist SeaSations (lemon and herb) and eating cold, left-over Sirloin tip roast, watching portions of Obama's session today with the House Republicans at their retreat in Baltimore. I got this in an email just now:

Next "20/20" and then a new "What's Not To Wear". John Edwards' former right-hand man is spilling the beans on Edwards. Juicy!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday night

I've been walking my mile every night this week. I may go back to the gym tomorrow night.

Rachel Maddow interviewed Tracey Ullman tonight (below).

Will be glad when this week is over, since we've been short-staffed. But everything has been holding together so far. Thank goodness one of the night people has been coming in early. Only one more day.

So Bernanke is in. He appears to be well-qualified. Neat beard too!

Florida 1st in U.S. to have high-speed rail

Obama mentioned this in his speech tonight. He's coming to Florida tomorrow to kick this off. It's about time we had something like this in the U.S. The first leg, between Tampa and Orlando, will be completed in 2014. Next, Miami to Orlando.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday night

Liked Obama's speech. I refused to listen to any pundits afterwards, as I usually do after listening to an important speech like that. (I like to digest it on my own.) Hell, they were even punditing before the speech. I especially didn't want to hear what Chris Matthews had to say.

10: 30 p.m.: I've been watching CNN, so I couldn't really believe Chris Matthews had said this when I first saw the quote popping up on Twitter, but I'm informed it's true: After the speech, the anchor said of Obama, "I forgot he was black tonight for an hour."

Normally, this is the part where I'd try to say something witty, but I'm literally speechless. . . .

What a creep. (I don't read "live blogs" in real time. I just pay attention to the speech, which is probably what the live bloggers should be doing instead of blogging and trying to act witty.)

I agree with Digby here:

I confess that I've always been strangely immune to the Obama speech magic for some reason, but he always puts at least one thing in them that I like. Tonight, it was this:
To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve some problems, not run for the hills. And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that 60 votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it's not leadership.
The sermon about "change we can believe in" I could do without. Then again, I'm immune, so don't listen to me. As I said earlier, these speeches are always considered clinkers by the gasbags and the people usually love them. So I would think that this will be well received. . . . [There's more]

(She and I could be friends.) She also includes this in an update to her post:

The baby, by the way, is holding her own, on last report.

Paranormal night

Watched a few of those paranormal shows on A&E after Olbermann and Rachel. I believe in that stuff, since I've had paranormal experiences (and I'm a hard-science person), the last being visitations by my deceased cat Lucy in my (or, I should say, our) bed. Haven't had those in a while.

The baby of the nephew of the friend of the friend on Facebook is back home now. Saw a picture. She looks normal and very sweet, but they did an MRI tonight and nothing has changed there, sad to say.

After napping on the bus, I had my walk after work and brought home one of those third-pounder Angus burgers -- with cheese, bacon and not-your-usual pickle chips -- from McDonald's. Had that for dinner. Very tasty. (I'd had one before.) Also made a sirloin tip roast and mixed vegetables and will take some to work for lunch.

Probably won't go to the gym tomorrow so I can watch the State of the Union Address. Maybe I'll start back on Friday. I love going to the gym on Friday night since hardly anyone's there. Now they close the gym on Friday at 10:00, while staying open 24 hours the rest of the weekdays.

Another cold front here, but not as uncomfortable as the last one.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday night II

Walked my walk after work, stopping off at the store for cat plates (cheap paper plates). The cats go through six of these a day, so I buy them in bulk. I myself was hungry, so I stopped by Subway for a double-meat roast beef sub and ate half of that for dinner when I got back home.

Tonight's a new Anthony Bourdain. He's in Brittany. Looking forward to that.

Tired. Stayed up late last night messaging about the baby.

[Later] Anthony Bourdain in Brittany was kind of a disappointment. Rather dull, no edge. Can't always be a winner.

Monday night

Update on the baby of the nephew of the friend of the friend on Facebook. It turns out the baby contracted Group B strep (GBS) while still in the womb, which caused the pervasive brain damage. This is from

An estimated 12,000 infants in the United States will become infected with GBS each year. This bacteria will result in the death of an estimated 2,000 infants yearly, while leaving many others mentally and/or physically handicapped. . . .

In certain cases, evidence exists that GBS may cross intact membranes to infect the baby in utero. . . .

[L]arge numbers will suffer permanent handicaps such as brain damage ranging from mild learning disabilities to severe mental retardation, loss of sight and hearing, and lung damage (full statistics do not exist for the total number of surviving babies who will have these permanent handicaps)

The parents are taking the baby home, where she will pass away from her injuries in the care of a hospice organization.

My mother had a baby brother who died from meningitis in infancy. This could be a Group B strep-related occurrence.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

'If The Republicans Finally Did Destroy Obama ...'

From Andrew Sullivan.

Road Runner Funny Clip - The best free videos are right here

Sunday night

Spaghetti sauce turned out great. (It'll be even better after it sits overnight in the fridge.) Just had a big plate of angel hair with my sauce and a generous grating of Locatelli Pecorino Romano cheese (from sheep's milk). Expensive, but a little goes a long way. Watching a Dateline NBC show on three health insurance horror stories. Also a segment on an alleged organ-harvesting scheme. (Good verdict.)

Now, "The Tiniest Girl in the World," on TLC. I can't believe Lucky just jumped up on top of the HDTV. I shouted out at him and he jumped off. I don't think he'll do that again. There's no way he can sit or lie up there -- it's too narrow and slanted.

Next, an excellent show on twins. Got to see twins being delivered by Cesarean section. Now, "The World's Strongest Toddler" (repeat, though I haven't seen it). Lucky's fascinated with this program.

Me, not so much. Not into jocks.

Sunday afternoon

Was up a little earlier than usual and washed a load of clothes. Right now I'm making a pot of spaghetti sauce with chicken livers and fresh mushrooms. Also onion, green pepper, fresh garlic, a little wine, etc.

I ran into one of my neighbors while I was doing the laundry. She told me that the previous condo manager tried to murder the present manager by cutting the brake lines on her car. I hadn't heard that before, but it doesn't surprise me. And this guy is the bud of B.'s BF. Oy vey. (According to the public records, the BF was even on the guy's deed here but was quitclaimed off it before the apartment was foreclosed on.) (He had been making a very good living here.) He's gone now. Whew. My neighbor said the police are on the attempted murder case. Apparently the current manager talks about this openly. I'll ask her about it when she calls me about the toilet tank. (Maybe she won't want to talk about it over the phone.)

Another nice day out (75 F.). Guess I'll head over to Starbucks in a bit and sit outside. I'll start going back to the gym next week. I needed a vacation from that. (I have been doing a lot of walking.)

Having an eggplant Parmesan now, watching "Dr. 90210."

Late night Saturday

Been following a harrowing story on Facebook. The niece of a friend of a friend (and I only know the friend) just gave birth to a baby who had aspirated meconium (fetal feces) and now has severe brain damage. (See here for info on aspiration of meconium.) The baby is unconscious and has been on life support.

Normally, babies don't have their first bowel movement until after they're born. (See here.) But a certain small percentage excrete the meconium in the womb, though usually it doesn't lead to serious complications. The meconium is very thick and sticky, however, and if enough of it is inhaled by the baby in the womb, it can clog the lungs and cut off the oxygen supply to the baby's brain at birth. That appears to have happened here.

In this case, the mother had a staph infection in her umbilical cord (though she didn't have the infection herself). From what I've read on the Internet, the infection could have put the baby in distress and triggered the premature excretion of the meconium.

I pored over the photos posted by the mother on the Internet and read her narrative. After the initial enthusiasm over the birth, the mother now writes that, according to an MRI, the baby will never be able to walk and perhaps not even know who her parents are. What a terribly sad prognosis.

My heart goes out to this family of a friend of a friend.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday night

Back from stores. Watching "How Do I Look?" Bizarre. The woman dressed like a 4-year-old.

Having Michael Angelo's frozen Italian stuff for dinner: chicken Parmesan with spaghetti, and eggplant Parmesan. Delicious. I'm full.

Next, "What I Hate About Me." I don't know... ("I hate my huge boobs.") No. Back to HGTV. A new "Outdoor Room with Jamie Durie." Not a bad show, but he's always leaving the project -- where's he going? -- and then, when he comes back, something's gone wrong. They haven't followed the plans, or something. I guess they do that to create tension, but he comes across as a somewhat of a slacker.

Next, a new "Curb Appeal" with John Gidding, a 33-year-old, openly gay Turkish-American with a BA in architecture from Yale and a master's in architecture from Harvard. (He was a model, too.) I've always liked this show, with all its different hosts over the years.

It's 10:00 and not much on. I think I'll walk over to Star- bucks and have a tea. I'll take a magazine I haven't even opened yet.

[Later] Had a Zen (green) tea over at Starbucks and read the magazine. Not very busy over there at that time. Sometimes it's mobbed on Saturday night. Go figure.

Hemmed up one leg on a brand-new pair of pants. Half the hem came loose, and they aren't crappy pants. (They're Kenneth Cole, from Macy's.) Now, what to watch...

Saturday afternoon

Got a kick out of this newswire headline: "Obama's State of the Union agenda: Yes, I get it".

Guess I'll go over to Starbucks with a magazine for a while, but first I must get cleaned up.

Lately I'd been having some aches in my upper back and the vertebrae in my neck have been, like, grinding. Made me more than a little worried. Last night, however, I discovered that my special wedge-shaped memory-foam pillow was upside down on the bed. Apparently I'd been sleeping on it like that for a week or so. No wonder. I made myself stay in bed late today. When I got up, my neck and back were back to normal. Whew!

Some progress around here. The condo manager thinks her crew can fix the leak in my toilet tank. It needs new guts. (The leak is slow but getting faster, and I'm catching the water in a container.) Originally she'd told me to call a plumber after one of the maintenance people looked into it. But apparently they had confused my apartment number with someone else's. (Someone else has a cracked toilet, which needs to be replaced.) The management office has advertised its handyman services in an attempt to bring in more money for the association, and so I'd approached the manager about it. She said the contraption inside the toilet costs about $10 (doesn't include the handyman charge). She said a plumber would charge $150 to fix it. I know a plumber would charge at least $75 just to walk in the door.

I also found out yesterday that Goodwill no longer picks up furniture, etc. -- according to their website, the cost is prohibitive now. I need to get rid of the big, broken rear-projection TV here, which I'm sure can be fixed and donated to a nursing home or whatever. The condo manager gave me the names of some other charities to contact. (And, no, I can't throw it in the dumpster.)

Got rid of the last vestiges of Christmas here. Threw away my cousin's evergreen arrangement (still green!) and the Christmas cards, which were still lying around. Feel better already. The uneasy grabbing sensation in my solar plexus is now gone.

Matthews Tells Congressman Grayson That He Doesn’t Represent ‘The Real World Of Congress’

From Think Progress here (via MyDD). (See my previous post from last evening.)

As Congress enters the final stretches of the health care debate, members are looking for the best way forward following the election of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) to the U.S. Senate. One path being suggested is for the House to pass the Senate bill as is and then later use the reconciliation process — which requires only a simple majority vote in the Senate — to amend the bill and make it more progressive and acceptable to members of the House.

This evening, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball With Chris Matthews to advocate for this plan. As Grayson floated the idea, the MSNBC host repeatedly attacked the congressman, claiming that Grayson is part of the “outside world represented by the netroots” that doesn’t understand how Congress operates:

MATTHEWS: This is the problem, Congressman. Every night we deal with two worlds, the real world of Congress that has to do things and get things passed, and this outside world represented by the netroots and people like yourself, who play this game.

GRAYSON: What are you talking about? I sit in meetings with the Democratic caucus with meetings every week! I’m telling you, this is what we’re talking about. This is what the leadership is telling us.

MATTHEWS: We’ll make a side bet that it’s not going to happen. Congressman Alan Grayson, a true believer that you can get things done by willing it to get done! [laughs]

Watch it:

It is true that Grayson embraces the netroots, with an active Daily Kos account and multiple issue campaign websites. But unlike Chris Matthews, Grayson is also a member of Congress and has a vote.

See what I mean? (Also see Digby here.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday night

Watched two episodes of "What Not to Wear" while the Haiti telethon was on MSNBC (and elsewhere). Two good shows I hadn't seen. Now Olbermann and Rachel are on.

Jon Stewart zings Keith Olbermann

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Friday evening

Just got home from my walk, fed cats, and ate some cold chili. I love it cold -- it's a completely different experience. (Love it warm, too.)

So Paul Krugman (and others) must have gotten to Obama. Today he's back being "The One We’ve Been Waiting For." (See Krugman post below.) Back watching Chris Matthews again tonight. There he goes, being combative, shouting over his guests (Alan Grayson now). Chris Matthews is now lecturing Grayson on reconciliation. He's such an asshole.

This is what Grayson was getting at, but Matthews kept cutting him off and basically telling him he didn't know what he was talking about. It was disgraceful. From Big Tent Democrat here ("Progress On the Health Bill").

E.J. Dionne:

[L]eaders of both Houses are considering: The House would pass a version of the reconciliation bill containing the various amendments and send it to the Senate. The Senate would change it slightly (in ways that the House agreed to), which would require the House to vote on it again. Only after it got the revised reconciliation bill would the House take up the Senate bill. The House could then pass both bills and send both to the president. Problem solved, health-care passes, and we move on.

Finally, someone is addressing the situation constructively.

Digby goes on and on about Chris Matthews' latest show here. (I knew she would.)

[Matthews] arrogantly goes on and on and on pretty much saying that Grayson is a dipshit because nobody who knows anything about how Washington works would ever suggest such a thing as using reconciliation to pass the bill. . . .

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday night

Just watched "Project Runway." Lauren Hutton was one of the judges tonight. Hadn't seen her in years. Looks pretty good. Lots of talented designers.

Walked home from the "far" bus stop and stopped off at Publix along the way. Got my mile in. Maybe I'll start going back to the gym tomorrow. But lately I've been glued to the TV after work, with all the political stuff going on.

So the Supreme Court is allowing corporations direct, unlimited contributions to political campaigns -- a "free speech" issue, as if corporations were real humans. Some of the pundits tonight were apoplectic. But Barney Frank pointed out that corporations are entities created by law and that Congress makes the law. The "scary" aspects of the Supreme Court decision can be dealt with in Congress. See here and here.

The court upheld, however, disclosure requirements for corporations that spend $10,000 to produce election-season ads, and ads will still have to disclaim who paid for them.

I, for one, would love for corporations to have to put their name directly on ads for political candidates or ads promoting or attacking legislation. When people see, for example, Exxon-Mobil backing a certain candidate, they'll know the guy is in the corporation's pocket. Exxon-Mobil could spend billions to fill up the airways with these ads, but they wouldn't be fooling anyone. Right now, it's confusing when the ads are attributed to the PACs, whose names often connote the opposite of their purpose. (As a hypothetical, an organization called "Clean Air Now" is funded by the coal industry.) Maybe there'll be more truth in advertising now. Just hoping.

Seriously, perhaps the worst consequence of this ruling is that it will now become easier for corporations to go after a politician they don't like by buying an opponent. Meanwhile, I'm counting on our free press and the netroots to be vigilant when it comes to who's buying whom. People know corruption when they see it, and they don't like it.

Made chili tonight and had that for dinner. Fried up a large ground-round burger for tomorrow's lunch, which I'll savor with mixed vegetables.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

'He Wasn’t The One We’ve Been Waiting For'

Interesting. From Paul Krugman here.

Health care reform — which is crucial for millions of Americans — hangs in the balance. Progressives are desperately in need of leadership; more specifically, House Democrats need to be told to pass the Senate bill, which isn’t what they wanted but is vastly better than nothing. And what we get from the great progressive hope, the man who was offering hope and change, is this:

I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on. We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people. We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don’t, then our budgets are going to blow up and we know that small businesses are going to need help so that they can provide health insurance to their families. Those are the core, some of the core elements of, to this bill. Now I think there’s some things in there that people don’t like and legitimately don’t like.

In short, “Run away, run away”!

Maybe House Democrats can pull this out, even with a gaping hole in White House leadership. Barney Frank seems to have thought better of his initial defeatism. But I have to say, I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.

(Via AmericaBlog)

I'm no apologist for Obama (as you know, I was a Hillary supporter), but he's got more on his plate than just health care reform. See here. It's not his fault that the Senate nowadays is barely functional. The Senate needs to reform the filibuster rules or get rid of it altogether.

Wednesday night

I've decided to continue my vacation from the gym and stay home and watch the MSNBC shows to hear what everyone has to say about yesterday's election in Massachusetts.

Starting with Hardball. I normally don't watch this show. Chris Matthews is too frantic and combative (the opposite of Rachel Maddow). Tonight he's supposed to be questioning Howard Dean and won't let him get a word in edgewise (which Dean points out). (Read a transcript of the interview and also Digby's take on Matthews here.) Moreover, I can't stand some of Matthews' regular right-wing guests, like Pat Buchanan. I don't want him on my TV.

[Later] Howard Fineman was just talking on Rachel Maddow about this, from MyDD here ("The best path forward on health care reform"):

Democrats could then offer the insurance reforms you can't pass through reconciliation as regular bills. Will the Republicans dare to vote against allowing re-importation of prescription drugs, or revoking the insurance industry's anti-trust exemption? Will they dare to vote against banning insurance companies from discriminating because of pre-existing conditions? I don't think so. We should be able to get 60 votes for all of those reforms and more. If we can't, everyone will be able to see who stood up for consumers and who voted to protect corporate interests.

The smaller bill wouldn't solve all of the status quo problems with health care delivery, but neither would the Senate bill. Politically, this course would be less risky as well.

Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell was good, too. I should post a clip of his interview (available tomorrow). One thing he mentioned was making the Republicans filibuster against the bill -- see what they have to say to the American people (see points above). Fineman pointed out that FDR would hold people's feet to the fire.

Now I have to figure out what I'm watching at 10:00, and it won't be politics! I think I'll first sample "The Kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard."

Email to the White House

Now that the "filibuster-proof" majority has been lost in the Senate, please push for reconciliation to enact a health care bill that includes features that a sizable majority of Americans originally thought were good ideas while the debate was going on but didn't get included in the final Senate bill, such as a public option and/or Medicare buy-in and/or re-importation of pharmaceuticals and/or denying monopoly status to health insurance companies, just to name a few. It appears the American people want a stronger health care bill, not a weaker one.

Thank you for your attention.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Take action

Tonight, Democrats lost Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in a bitter special election.

This is already a sad day for those of us who loved Ted Kennedy. But to make it even worse, conservative Democrats are claiming that the loss happened because Congress was "too far to the left." Really?

Democratic politicians are on the verge of learning exactly the wrong lesson from tonight's election. Can you sign this emergency petition telling them to be stronger -- not weaker -- in 2010?

PETITION: "The loss of Ted Kennedy's seat -- due to a lack of enthusiasm among Democrats and Independents -- sends a clear message to Congress. The Senate health care bill is not the change we were promised in 2008, and it must be improved. The Senate must use 'reconciliation' to pass a better bill with a strong public option." Sign here.

Reconciliation is a procedure that only requires 51 votes to pass a bill instead of 60 -- and with the loss of Kennedy's seat, it's the only option Senate Democrats have to improve their bill.

The only other options are to give up or for the House to pass the previously-passed Senate bill -- which was largely written by insurance companies and would cause Democrats even more losses in 2010.

Poll after poll shows that Americans think President Obama and congressional Democrats aren't fighting hard enough for change.

CNN reported tonight on Massachusetts voters: "the message is that they’re frustrated with the slow pace of change."

But conservative Democrats are out of touch. Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) said, "Whenever you have just the furthest left elements of the Dem party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country -- that’s not going to work too well.”

But a huge majority in Bayh's home state, and across the nation, support the public option!

Can you sign our emergency petition telling Democrats to be stronger -- not weaker -- in 2010? Click here.

We're joining with Democracy for America and CREDO Action to send this petition to two million progressives, and we'll soon deliver it to congressional Democrats.

The more people that sign, the bigger our impact will be -- so please tell your friends.

Thanks for being a bold progressive.

-- Stephanie Taylor, Michael Snook, Max Berger, Andrew Perez, Natasha Patel, and the PCCC team

Tuesday night

Watching a new "Paranormal State." I love this stuff. Never seen this show before, but I don't care to listen to pundits talking about the Massachusetts election, and nothing new on HGTV.

Watching "Paranormal Cops" now, also a new show. Really good. The last program was just OK.

Jon Stewart: Mass Backwards

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday evening

Happy MLK day!

Beautiful weather today. Was over at Starbucks. Had a turkey & Swiss and sipped coffee while reading magazines.

Just saw this:

If Coakley loses in Massachusetts, I don’t see how health care reform passes without reviving reconciliation, and, by default, the public option. The evidence indicates that Nancy Pelosi could not find the votes to pass the Senate bill as is. It would seem her only option is to promise to seriously fix the bill right away with reconciliation, or pass a completely redesigned bill using reconciliation. Either way, I don’t see how health care reform could move forward without using reconciliation in some manner.

From Firedoglake here. Actually I hope she does lose. Then people will get the health care bill they wanted in the first place, instead of this turkey. It'll be a win-win for everyone. There's this too:

Joe Biden, seeming to lay the groundwork for the case for moving health care legislation forward without 60 votes in the Senate, described the supermajority rule as a perversion of the Constitution.

"As long as I have served ... I've never seen, as my uncle once said, the Constitution stood on its head as they've done. This is the first time every single solitary decision has required 60 senators," he said at a Florida fundraiser, according to the pool report. “No democracy has survived needing a super majority."


[Much later] Finally got in touch with my friend in Canada tonight. Had an important chat.

Monday afternoon

Off today for MLK.

Just saw this at Talk Left here.

[T]he Massachusetts surprise should be a wake-up call of the most fundamental kind. Obama needs to stop playing inside games with bankers and insurance lobbyists, and start being a fighter for regular Americans. Otherwise, he can kiss it all goodbye.

(From a piece by Robert Kuttner here.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday night

Taking a vacation from the gym this (long) weekend.

Did some laundry and cleaning today. Had Chinese food delivered for dinner -- subgum pork chow mein (bag of crunchy noodles on the side) with wonton soup and eggroll. My fortune? "Practice makes perfect." (Not original, guys!) I found this:

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT - 'The more you practice, the better your skills are. The proverb has been traced back to the 1550s-1560s, when its form was 'Use makes perfect.' The Latin version is: 'Uses promptos facit.' First attested in the United States in 'Diary and Autobiography of John Adams' (1761)." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

Will watch "60 Minutes."

Was hard to watch the segment on Haiti, as I'd feared.

"Desperate Housewives" not so great.

Tired. I stayed up way too late last night. Never should have had the Frappuccino after dinner, on top of iced tea with dinner.

Haven't been able to talk to my friend in Canada for a while. I called again tonight and left another message. Recently he emailed me that his "heart is in a cloud." Hmmmm. I want the story.

Saturday night late

Had a long nap this afternoon and then drove up to TGI Fridays for a steak dinner al fresco and afterwards had a light Frappuccino (venti) at Starbucks, also al fresco. Did a little grocery shopping in between. Like this weather.

Passed by B.'s place of business on the way. His (i.e., the BF's) vehicle wasn't there. Hope B.'s OK.

Watching "Pet Psychic Encounters" now. I believe in that stuff. After "It's Me or the Dog" I'm going to bed. (Famous last words.) (I'm overly caffeinated.)

I'm trying to watch as much of the Haiti coverage as I can, but it becomes overwhelming.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday afternoon

I was up at 9:00 a.m. and attended the annual condo meeting at 10:00. My neighbor across the hall, who takes care of my cats when I'm out of town and whose cat I take care of when he's out of town, got the most votes for the new board. He's also the most qualified, with a Florida "Community Association Manager" license and a college degree. Currently he manages an Art Deco condo/hotel on South Beach.

The condo is doing as well as can be expected in this terrible economy, with some of the owners not paying their condo fees and foreclosures going on. We recoup money from the foreclosures but the courts are clogged with foreclosures right now, so recoupment is slow.

To save some money, they're going with a "virtual" security desk in the daytime -- the desk will not be manned but there will be someone on a TV screen at the entrance, screening the visitors. Were it not for that, they'd have to raise our maintenance fee substantially. (The daytime security guard costs $16.50/hr. The virtual security costs $5/hr.) This will not be permanent -- maybe a few months only.

The virtual security guard can call the police in an emergency (just as the "real" security guard does now). (We have cameras everywhere.) Someone said there would be more "speeding" in the parking garage without a "real" security guard, possibly resulting in damage to the gates. But if the gates are damaged, we're compensated through the speeder's insurance. (I don't see speeding as a real problem, since there are speed bumps everywhere-- but of course I don't see everything that goes on here.)

We had the pool drain retrofitted to prevent people from being sucked into it and killed. A company came out and did it in scuba gear, so the pool didn't have to be drained and refilled. (That company was also the lowest bid.)

The roof over the (non-functioning) gym -- destroyed by Hurricane Katrina or Wilma -- was repaired and the doors and/or windows replaced with high-impact glass. (The roof had been destroyed by way of the winds busting through the old doors and windows.) The gym will become functional again with further repairs.

The crooked receiver is gone, and we have new lawyers. Someone objected to the fact that contacting the lawyers was now restricted to two contact people. It was pointed out that the law firm itself had proposed that policy to save us money, since they charge by the hour (as is customary). (By the way, the legal fees under the receiver were exorbitant.) That same someone objected to the fact that our lawsuit to oust the receiver was settled "with prejudice." The president pointed out that the receiver is still subject to criminal proceedings if criminal activity can be substantiated.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday night

Tomorrow morning at 10:00 is the annual condo meeting, so I have to get up earlier than usual for a Saturday, which is fine. I cast my ballot tonight for the board members by depositing it in the mail slot on the management office door.

No gym tonight, though I napped a bit and ran to the store for some cat food. Watched a lot of Haiti coverage on TV and did some reading on Haiti's history. Now that the weather will be warmer and my toe has almost healed from stubbing it, I'll resume my mile walks after work.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday night

It was warmer here today but hardly warm. When I got home, I turned off the heat. But it's back on for sleeping tonight. Since it's been getting into the 60s inside my apartment at night and waking me up, I should get a good night's sleep tonight with the heat on (since it's not as cold). I'll definitely buy a space heater for cold snaps to come. I threw one away during a move, but it was kind of scary anyway (and not cat-friendly). In this place, I need one to put beside my bed at night when it gets cold.

Anyway, I think the cats are getting tired of it being cold in here, too. They should be happier now.

Socks are off, tank-top back on, but still wearing pajama bottoms. I really like cool but there's a limit.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haitian President: 'I Don't Know' Where I'll Sleep Tonight

From TPM here.

In an interview today with CNN's Sanjay Gupta, Haitian President Rene Preval said that he can no longer live in the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, or his private home, because both were destroyed in yesterday's earthquake.

"I cannot live in the palace. I cannot live in my own house, because the two collapsed," Preval said.

"Where are you going to go tonight?" Gupta asked.

"I don't know," the president responded, then brushed the comment aside. "I have plenty of time to look for a bed. But now I am working how to rescue the people. But sleeping is not a problem."

Wednesday night

Been watching news coverage on the earthquake in Haiti. MSNBC's been doing a good job. The whole Today Show crew is down there. Made an online contribution to the Red Cross. (See previous post.) I have Haitian co-workers whose families in Haiti have been impacted. Some are homeless and living outside because their houses were destroyed and they had to be pulled from the rubble. More later.

Help Haiti

The White House Blog

Help for Haiti

The President has been receiving updates on the urgent situation in Haiti late into last night and throughout the day, and top members of his team have been convening to formulate the government response.

You can also help immediately by donating to the Red Cross to assist the relief effort. Contribute online to the Red Cross, or donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999." Find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information.

Families of Americans living in Haiti are encouraged to contact the State Department at 888-407-4747.

Update: Watch the President's remarks this morning below, or read the transcript.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday night

I'll be glad when this cold snap is over, only because I really can't get my place warm enough with my central air/heat and have no space heater. (And all space heaters are sold out in Miami.) I just wear more clothes.

Early this morning I was awakened by the sound of one of the cats throwing up. I did go back to sleep, but when I got up, there was vomit in practically every room, pale foamy stuff. I couldn't tell which cat had been sick. Bootsy came to sit at my feet here when I turned on the computer. But when I went to feed the cats, Bootsy slinked back into the bedroom and curled up on the bed, with no interest in eating (not like him at all). So he was the sick one. He looked comfortable enough, however, so I went along to work.

I worried about him all day long, not knowing in what condition I'd find him when I got home. Fortunately he was OK -- he'd fully recovered. He was lying in the same place on the bed but got right up and ate. He seemed to be exceptionally hungry and ate well. (Maybe he hadn't eaten all day long.) Then he went out onto the terrace and I fed him some catnip (Lucky too). Glad he's feeling better, and he seems to be glad too.

Tired. Couldn't nap on the bus, worrying about Bootsy. Had a cup of tea earlier.

Watching Rachel Maddow now, then a new "Tabatha's Salon Take-Over."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday night

Back from gym and store. Watching "60 Minutes" now. I did locate a pair of sweatpants (dark red ones), which I wore to the gym today, along with my red Converse sneakers. I also wore a t-shirt rather than a tank top.

Just had a bowl of collards with ham, then some shrimp. I'll no longer buy farm-raised shrimp, no matter how cheap it is. Not even cocktail sauce can disguise the muddy flavor they often have. I thought these wild Florida shrimp would be good, but they taste faintly of chlorine. (I think I can disguise this with cocktail sauce.) I saw on the Internet:

"Shrimp should not smell like ammonia or rotten eggs - that would indicate the shrimp is old, according to Charles. She also says they should not smell like chlorine - that would mean they were washed in chlorine to kill bacteria. (Rebecca Charles is the chef and owner of the "Pearl Oyster Bar" located in New York City.)
I read also that while it's not illegal to wash shrimp in chlorine, it's "unacceptable." (This isn't the first time I've bought shrimp at Publix that tasted like chlorine.)

Tonight I located a pair of gloves to wear tomorrow. I haven't worn gloves in years. This isn't the pair I was looking for but they'll do. If it's going to feel like freezing tomorrow morning while I'm waiting for the bus, I think it would be a good idea to wear them. They're black leather and a little dried-out. They're also almost worn out but not yet holey. (I've lived in some cold places, including Germany and Montana.) (I also have a pair of leather ski gloves for extremely cold weather. I'll probably never wear these again -- and I don't ski.)

I'll do a little work in the kitchen before "Desperate Housewives" starts.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Saturday night

Drizzly and cold outside. I just drove over to visit B. and then drove back home. Then I remembered I needed something at the store, so I drove back out to two stores. The first store had run out of the Cumberland Gap ham steaks (2 for $7, which I bought last night). The other store didn't have those on sale but they had good-sized Smithfield ham steaks (what I normally buy) for $3.59/lb., so I bought one of those. I wanted plenty of ham to add to my collard greens.

The smoked ham hock stock should be about ready. I put it on after 4:00. Now I'll cut any meat off those to add to the collards.

B. was busy when I got there a little after 4:30. I sat there and had a bowl of split-pea soup and two cups of green tea.

B.'s auto accident happened around Sept. 12. He and the BF (not sister) had gone to Cozumel for their birthdays. The BF was driving when they were hit head-on, and B. got the brunt of it. It could have been much worse -- they spun around five times and this was in an open Jeep -- but B. only got a gash on his forehead. (B. said they hadn't been wearing their seat belts. How dumb.) He didn't go to the hospital -- the guys in the ambulance put a butterfly on the cut. The BF was bruised up. But they went on with their vacation.

[Later] Collards are done. Perfectly seasoned. And the diced ham makes it a meal. Eating it now (9:00). Had two Boca Burgers earlier.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday night

Back at the gym and store tonight, after a little nap. It warmed up some today. Heater's off, place is opened up. Lucky is enjoying the terrace. It's supposed to get cold again tomorrow.

Bought some healthy things at the store: a frozen turkey breast, 5 boxes of Boca Burgers ($10), two bags of collard greens, some fat-free Greek yogurt (Chobani), large Florida wild shrimp ($2 off/lb.). Also bought fried chicken, however, which I shared with Bootsy. The greens will be cooked in a smoked ham hock broth and eaten with diced ham steaks (2 for $7) (maybe not so healthy). (I saved $8.14 on groceries tonight). I haven't cooked fresh collards in ages (probably not since before B. left). Ditto turkey. (But the kitchen was out of commission for many months during remodeling.)

I'd never had Greek yogurt before until a co-worker brought some in (unless it's in my Tzatziki sauce from the Greek restaurant). It's thick like sour cream, which I love. Tastes almost like sour cream too.

Just finished watching Rachel. One of her guests tonight was John Stanton of Roll Call magazine. I'd seen him on the show before. He's a nice-looking guy but his left ear sticks out while the right one lies flat. (I didn't even notice this the first time I saw him on the show.)

(I didn't doctor the photo except to eliminate the glare from the flash.)

Tomorrow I'll visit B. at his place of business to find out more about his auto accident in Mexico.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wednesday night

Not going to the gym tonight. Didn't get a really good nap and I don't want to go back out in the cold. Meanwhile I'll locate some sweatpants and a sweatshirt and will go on Sunday afternoon.

Getting used to using the heat here. I've used it maybe once in the past. It's different from the air. I'm trying to keep the place from not getting stuffy. I like cool. Been leaving it at 75 F. for the cats and it seems too hot when I get back home.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Ron Paul hits back at Cheney: ‘He’s caused a lot of trouble’ for the U.S., so it’s ‘best he not be so critical.’

From Think Progress here (includes video).

Yesterday on CNN’s Larry King Live, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) sharply criticized former Vice President Cheney — a member of his own Party — for throwing stones at President Obama on national security:

KING: All right, Congressman Paul, what about — he’s in — he’s in your party. What about Dick Cheney’s complaints?

PAUL: Well, I think he had his eight years and he’s caused a lot of trouble for our country and he perpetuated a war in Iraq that was unnecessary and wrong-headed. So I would say that it would be best he not be so critical right now. But I’m still not only critical of that policy — I think the policy remains the same and we’ve heard it on the show tonight already. They — they are going to attack us and they’ve declared war against us. And it’s always they and them. But — but who are they?

You know, after 9/11, 14 or 15 of the terrorists came from Saudi Arabia. I mean we didn’t attack Saudi Arabia, we attacked Iraq. So it — it doesn’t make sense. . . .

The NRCC, the GOP body devoted to electing Republicans to the House, is now gay baiting Democrats

From Americablog here.

It's clearly gay-baiting.

The National Republican Campaign Committee has a child running their press outreach, and apparently the GOP frat boy thinks it's funny to insinuate that Democrats are gay, simply based on innuendo (which is ironic, when you see his photo). You see, the NRCC spokesman informs us, repeatedly, that the candidate in question cares about "his body image." And we all know what it means when a guy cares about his body image.

In unrelated news, it must have been one hell of a party that same NRCC spokesman, Andy Seré, attended last May, according to his Facebook page. The Fete was called the "GOB Freedom Festival." It caught my eye since "gob," among other things, is gay slang for oral sex, and for young gay sailors (and, an even odder coincidence, the party was for a military friend coming back to the states). It gets even odder when you look at the photos from the GOB "festival" that I found on Facebook. (The NRCC chap is listed on the GOB page guest list as having attended.) The photos are below. Now, I'm not going to comment on the body image of Mr. Seré's friends, but let's just say that Manhunt may get a run for their money.

Let me be clear, I'm not suggesting that the NRCC spokesman or any of his (international) male friends are gay. I'm simply admiring his soft boyish looks, his seeming obsession with homosexual innuendo and the male form, and his incredibly muscled, half-naked, Bel-Ami boy friends who like to get together for long hot weekends without the necessity of all that clothing covering their tight sweaty pecs.
PS Is that last name French?

See here too.

Tuesday night

Went to take B. his Pepe le Pew slippers when I got home from work. He was standing at the cash register by the door when I came in with the shopping bag. Right off, I thought I saw a fairly pronounced scar on his forehead that didn't appear to be the same as the one he had from a childhood injury. As I was about to do a double-take he told me he'd been in a pretty serious head-on automobile collision while he was in Cozumel with his sister, but that everything was OK. I was dumbfounded. (I did ask whether it was his fault and he said no.) He was busy so I'll call him Thursday to find out more. He appeared happy to get his slippers and wished me Merry Christmas, etc.

(On second thought, I'll go visit with him at the restaurant on Saturday when he just gets in and it's not busy.)

I was out in the truck and was hungry, so I drove down to Taco Bell on 125th Street (a good street for head-on collisions if ever there was one). Went through the drive-through and took home a Mexican pizza and three tacos, which I ate before feeding the cats and changing clothes.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Goofy slippers

(Mine don't have the green hats.) (Just took them off. They were getting hot.)

Monday night

Having a cold snap here. It's not supposed to get above 70 F. all week. Down into the 40s at night (30s tomorrow night). Last night I woke up cold and turned the heat on. (It's extremely rare that I use it.) I left it on at 75 this morning before I left for work, so the cats would be comfortable. I turned it off when I got home and opened the place up some -- it was stuffy -- but just turned it back on and closed the slider. Also put on a cardigan, plus my Goofy slippers.

B. left his Pepe le Pew slippers here in the closet when he moved out. (I only noticed this a few months ago since the slippers were sitting up on a shelf, vs. on the floor.) Tonight I put them in a big Macy's bag with a piece of tissue on top. I was going to drop them off at B.'s restaurant if he was working tonight. He was off, however, and had gone to Flanigan's (saw the Hummer parked there in the handicapped space). No doubt he'll be back at work tomorrow and I'll take him the slippers when I get home from work. Have had no contact with him since last summer before I went on vacation.

I got a nice bonus today and deposited the check in my bank tonight, along with some other checks, so that put me out on the road, going by B.'s place of business and Flanigan's (all on US 1). I had the Pepe le Pew slippers in my truck when I drove by Flanigan's, but I wasn't about to take them to B. there and risk a confrontation with the sociopathic BF. Better to do that tomorrow, as planned.

Re-watched the "Desperate Housewives" episode on the computer tonight (very poor quality, however -- maybe a lot of people on the website watching it). As my friend in Canada confirmed, Tom was in Lynette's dream about the future, wearing a mustache. (I'd thought it might be him.) Very brief shots of him, however, and he wasn't sitting up close to Lynette.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday night

Back from gym and store. The football game is still on. It'll be a while before "60 Minutes" starts.

[Later] "Desperate Housewives" was back on tonight. One of the best episodes in a long time. Following the plane crash on Wisteria Lane, the wives were dreaming or daydreaming about the future. Susan in a fat suit and fat makeup -- excellent. Carlos with salt-and-pepper helmet hair. Gaby with stringy white hair, watching her daughter's old band aid commercial, living amidst dusty clutter (with no Carlos) on food stamps. Lynette in granny glasses and a sensible dyed-blonde do (with no Tom?) while her prospective disabled baby graduates from law school, making a speech while holding onto a Canadian crutch.

So Karl is dead, as is the woman trying to extort the New York couple, and one of Lynette's twins in utero.

Next week sounds interesting, too.

Sunday afternoon

Just spent an hour over at Starbucks. Pretty chilly out there (56F). Had a cup of coffee and a turkey and Swiss sandwich while reading the latest New Yorker.

I'll go to the gym in a minute. Need to go to the store afterwards and don't want to miss "60 Minutes" at 7:00, although the football game could delay that. New "Desperate Housewives" tonight. Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Saturday night

Watching a new "How Do I Look" about a woman who wears only purple.

Tonight for dinner I made Beef Stroganoff out of Hormel canned roast beef, with mushroom gravy (from a mix) and sour cream. Over wide egg noodles. Not bad if you're hungry. Won't make it again, however.

Fantastic transformation on "How Do I Look." Now I'm watching "What I Hate About Me." Never seen that one.

Cut my hair. Now watching a Nova program, "What Darwin Never Knew." Humans have fewer genes than an ear of corn and the same number as a nematode.

Word of the day: 'naff'

Jamie Durie used the word tonight on his new HGTV show. See here.

Saturday evening

Laundry done.

Fried cubed steaks and then topped with some tomato paste, grated fresh Romano cheese, and basil and oregano -- then covered over low heat to melt cheese and warm up the tomato paste. Not bad, considering cubed steaks have no flavor of their own (only buy on sale). Kind of like Veal Parmesan but with Romano.

Mattress rotated and bed made. (Lucky had a ball.)

Saturday afternoon

Holiday funk is lifting. I'm now "free" to tackle some projects around here. Washing a bunch of bed linens. Hung pictures in bedroom. Will rotate mattress.

Bootsy is doing well today. I was a little worried about him last night, afraid he might come down with a cold after his bath. He was sneezing a lot.

More new shows on HGTV today.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Later than same night

Bootsy is clean, or at least clean where it counts, if you get my drift. (No need for a total soaking.) I just wish B. would come and see him. I don't know how much longer Bootsy has left. I know his kidneys aren't in the best shape, and when I was trying to dry his belly a little, he kind of snapped at me as if I'd hurt him.

I think the shower loosened some phlegm in his sinuses, since he's sniffling now.

Jamie Durie happens to be hosting "Dream Home" with Monica Pedersen. Australian accents aren't my favorite but Durie's is fine. And now for his show.

Good show. Now "The Antonio Treatment." Saw some of it earlier today. (Antonio won the last Design Star contest.)

New Year's Night

Still haven't bathed Bootsy yet. He got out of bed a while ago and wanted to sit around (usually here at my feet, which bugs me sometimes). I brushed him and then it was the cats' dinner time. He's back on the bed now, so I can easily carry him into the bathroom.

Meanwhile, I took a shower, got dressed and walked down the street to the convenience store for some cigarettes. I noticed Starbucks was back open. Cars were lined up in the drive-through.

Lots of new stuff on HGTV today. I'll watch two new shows and then bathe Bootsy while the Dream House show is on (don't care about that). Don't want to miss the new outdoor space designer from Australia at 10:00. (It's almost 8:00 now.) This guy (Jamie Durie) used to be a stripper with an Australian group similar to the Chippendales.

Just had a Marie Callender's meatloaf dinner. Delicious.

Gay Married Couple Arrested in Malawi

From The Advocate here.

A gay couple in the southern African country of Malawi, which has severe penalties against homosexuality, have been arrested and charged with public indecency after holding a public wedding ceremony on Saturday. The men, Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, could face up to 14 years in prison.

A police spokesman told Reuters: “We arrested them last night at their home and charged them with gross indecency because the practice [homosexuality] is against the law.” The men, who are due to appear in court on Wednesday, are being held in separate cells in Blantyne until their case is heard.

New Year's Day

Just chilling. On that note, it's rainy and the temperature has been dropping throughout the day.

I must have accidentally pushed Lucky out of the bed last night or something, since he's been giving me the cold shoulder all day.

Bootsy needs another bath. Will do that. I have to get psyched up, however, since Bootsy gets upset and complains the whole time, which is a little much. Having coffee now.

Happy New Year!

Got back from Magnum a few minutes ago. Not what I expected. While the outside area was all "candled up", the outside bar was closed and no one was sitting out there. Had three drinks, toasted in the New Year, and left. Quickly caught a bus back home.

[Later] Called friend in STL/FTL to wish him Happy New Year. (He got into FTL today.)

BTW, saw the Blue Moon tonight. Sky was clear.