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I voted and was #107 November 6, 2012

Posted by judylobo in Uncategorized.
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It always feels good to vote.  I voted at 7:10AM and there was a small, but steadily growing line.  Most everyone was dressed up to go to work.  The guy in front of me pulled out his driver’s license to show to the clerk.  The clerk laughed and told him we do not have to show ID in New York State. A few people around me laughed – one guy applauded. Who did I vote for?  I proudly voted for the entire Democratic Party line.  I vote for my interests. Don’t forget – if you don’t stand for something – you’ll fall for anything.

I voted and was #8 September 13, 2012

Posted by judylobo in Uncategorized.
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Yes, it is another election day.  I just got home after voting at 1:30PM and was #8 at my polling place.  That does not bode well for the turnout, does it?

I got a notification from the Board of Elections that my polling place had changed.  “Hmm”, I said – as I looked at the new address on the mailer.  It seemed to be the same place as before.  As I strolled to my old polling place, I noticed that indeed it was the same place – the thing that has changed was the name of the High School. Is this a form of voter suppression?  Not likely – just a Board of Elections mix up.

As I walked into the school gymnasium I was greeted by 9 people including two Police Officers.  They smiled as if it was Christmas morning. They got off their folding chairs and went into action.  Yes, I was the 8th person to vote and they were thrilled.  Glad to have made them happy.

So what was on the ballot?  Two names for Public Advocate (I voted for the name that the NY Times endorsed) and there were two columns of about 30 names each.  All were running for delegates and alternates.  I had to pick 11 delegates and 11 alternates. They were all Democrats. I voted for the women on the ballot.

I told them as I was leaving that the November election day  would be more crowded.  They said ‘Do you think so?”  I told them I would bet on it.

So go find your polling place and vote today.  It is good practice for November.

Don’t forget – if you don’t stand for something – you’ll fall for anything.

My Benjamin Netanyahu Story March 8, 2012

Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Photography, Politics, Religion, wildlife, Zoos.
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My friends are now rolling their eyes and saying ‘Nooooo – not the Benjamin Netanyahu story AGAIN!’ But since he is back in the news as the Prime Minister of Israel some stories just need to resurface. So here goes -

Time: March 2001

Place: The Central Park Zoo

Background: As a long time volunteer Zoo Guide in the education department at the Central Park Zoo I was asked ‘if I minded’ giving a tour to the recently ousted Prime Minister of Israel and his young family. Did I mind? Did I mind? (We Jews like to repeat ourselves). Heck, no.  I was thrilled.

Story: So after the formal introductions, Bibi, his wife, their two young sons, two undercover Israeli agents, two under cover NYPD officers and the head of security at the Central Park Zoo and I took off for an informal tour of the Zoo. The boys were excited, the Netanyahu parents seemed relaxed and the under cover officers were tense. I was trying to look cool, calm and collected. The only Hebrew I could recall was ‘shalom’ and how often can you say that on a zoo tour?

Meat of the story: As we toured the upstairs close-up gallery in the tropical rain forest we stopped at the tarantula exhibit. I spoke for a very short while about tarantulas. The boys and Bibi were fascinated by the creepy crawly critters.

I say to Bibi – “Do you have tarantulas in Israel?”

Without skipping a beat, looking straight into my eyes, Bibi replied – ‘”Only in politics”.

Oh yes, he was good. Very good. I just wish he were not such a hawk. Oh well. That is my Benjamin Netanyahu story. The above photo was taken of us by Tom,  the head of Zoo Security. I told Tom at the time that if the photo did not come out – I would have to kill him.

Yellowstone’s Winter Wildlife January 22, 2012

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Photography, Travel, wildlife.
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Yellowstone National Park is spectacular anytime of the year but especially stunning in the winter. The crowds are gone and the wildlife and landscape are a snowy sensation.  Here is Part One of my photo montage/homage to Yellowstone’s winter wildlife.  For reference, the photos include the ever present bison (who have the right of way on the roads), pronghorn, big horn sheep, Barrow’s goldeneye ducks, a Dipper bird, Trumpeter swans and elk.

When things go Beeeeeeeeeep in the night January 2, 2012

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Life at Casa Lobo, Photography, This 'n That, Videos.
12 comments

So last night at 3AM I am awakened by a high pitched, deafening ‘beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep’ – ‘beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.’

Why do smoke alarms only go off during the wee hours of the morning.  Once my heart slowed down to a normal beat I assessed that there was no fire and most likely no carbon monoxide leak and jumped out of bed.

What to do?  What to do? (Benny the dog and Madsion the cat were not at all helpful).

I fumbled to get my big ladder out of the closet and climbed up (almost falling backwards in the process).  It was not a pretty sight. I could not reset the darn thing so I yanked it out of the ceiling.

It continued to ‘beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.’

I hit the reset button and this awful voice started yelling ‘FIRE!  FIRE!  FIRE’!

I hit the reset button again and the awful voice ceased but the high-pitched ‘beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep’ continued. OY!

I could not figure out how to remove the battery (it would have helped if I had put on my glasses).  So I wrapped the noise machine in two fleece blankets and stuck it in the refrigerator.  I returned to bed – not very optimistic about going back to sleep.  I finally relax and about to drift off when I hear a muffled ‘beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.’

Seven hours later, my wonderful building handyman, Ross, replaced the newly bought five year warranty 9Volt battery. He also showed me how to remove the battery if this happens again).  After a good laugh he then proceeded to tell me stories of other condo owners in the building with even funnier tales of smoke alarm low batteries.  I felt less foolish – but still…

Fasten your seat belts… January 1, 2012

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics.
1 comment so far

If you thought 2011 was a roller coaster – fasten your seat belts. The 2012 campaign for President, Congress and local Governments are going to be bigger, louder and nastier than ever.

The Year in 100 seconds

My Vote Got Applause November 8, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Politics.
5 comments

It is Election Day.  The City is quiet as schools, City agencies and many other businesses honor this very special day.  Yes, it is an off year in politics in my State.  In NYC we did not even get a mailing from the Board of Election to tell us where to vote or what to vote for.

So off I went to my local polling place about 90 minutes after the polls opened.  As I walked into the school gymnasium I was greeted by 12 people including one Police Officer.  They smiled as if it was Christmas morning. They got off their folding chairs and started to applaud.  Yes, I was the first person to vote and they were thrilled.

So what was on the ballot?  There was one column of 10 names.  All were running for a Judgeship without any opposition.  And they were all Democrats.  Not a tough choice for me.  I voted the party line, got into a short chit chat with the workers and went on my merry way.

I told them as I was leaving that next November it would be more crowded.  They said ‘Do you think so?”  I told them I would bet on it.

Keeping the faith. Don’t forget – if you don’t stand for something – you’ll fall for anything.

What to Wear to the Revolution October 6, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics.
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4 comments

We (my sister and I) decided it was time to go downtown and see what the Occupy Wall Street Protest was all about.  So, decked out in the usual protest gear (jeans and a black turtleneck), traveling light (just in case we got arrested), smiles on our faces, we hit the streets. My first impression was that tiny Zuccotti Park looked like a street fair that had just broken up.  Cartons everywhere, tables of food in no particular order, and the oh so gentle smell of marijuana in the air. It was generally a sloppy, disorganized mess, and seemed to be filled with rag tag characters out of a 70′s hippie movie.

We wandered around for about an hour, criss crossing the small park.  We read all of the posters, spoke with a few people and generally felt a cheeriness throughout the air despite the gloomy signs and ocassional creepy outfits.  We saw people getting free haircuts.  They asked me, or I thought they asked me, if I wanted a muppet?  A muppet? I said.  They laughed and laughed. No they wanted to know if I would like a mullet!  Then we all laughed heartily.

We spoke at length with a guy who had a scary beef with Johnson & Johnson. Really serious accusations about attempted murder, etc.  Being J&J shareholders, we did not like what we heard. Oy!

The street was theater and felt like performance art.

Then again, was it the beginning of a movement?  We donated some money here and there and hoped against hope that this was, indeed, the start of something big.

The Left needs to lift its voice and get its air time back from the Right.

Did we get arrested? No we did not. In all my years of placard carrying, bra burning, women’s rights, war protesting and then some – I have never even gotten close to being arrested and today was not going to be my first arrest.

When I got home after 8 PM there were a couple of voice messages from my dear friend Carol and her husband Matt, the Police Officer.  Did I get arrested?  Why wasn’t I home?  Worry, worry, worry.  When I phoned them back I realized that I had failed to tell them that after the Protest we went up to the Museum of Modern Art to see the DeKooning show and then went to The Paley Center for Media to hear Susan Orlean speak about her new book on Rin Tin Tin. For some reason, Carol and Matt found this incredibly funny.  What?

Keepin’ the faith….

Ten Years Later September 11, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Uncategorized.
2 comments

Gathering my thoughts to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center has been daunting.  There’s already been a bucket load of depressingly, sad commemorations, TV specials, books, and magazines articles about what others think about today.  So I will keep this post simple – nothing particularly profound or clever.  Just some random musings. I have been writing since the day of the attack.  Many of you have been there through all of my rants – regardless of the topic.  Many things have stayed the same but lots of things have changed.

These are the things that now make me crazy:
- The term ‘Homeland.’  It makes the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I expect goose-stepping brownshirts to fill the streets.
- Going to airports and made to submit to body pats, body scans, partial undressing and chaos.  I do not feel any safer. They should offer free xanax to all travelers.
- I abhor just about all politicians these days.  Both sides of the aisle are gross buffoonish figures of corruption and dysfunction.  We are broken both economically and politically.
- I hate Fox News, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdock.

These are the things that keep me sane:
- Going to my job at the zoo and documenting with my camera what happens each day.
- I still like going to the movies but don’t have as much time as I did awhile back.
- Seeing a good exhibit at a museum energizes me.
- I like to travel (just hate the airports).
- I probably like a lot of other things but thinking about happy thoughts today is too hard.

- I am still living at Casa Lobo with my now 10 year old cat, Madison, and of course the newer resident, eight year old, Benny the dog.

- My friend Carol and I remain close.  She still works within spitting distance of the ‘pit’ (excuse me – the construction site) and my hat goes off to her and her coworkers who go there every day. Carol, managed to get to my apartment that September day, and stayed with me overnight. She and I still chat a lot and find many things to laugh about. The photo below was taken when Carol and I tried to walk her home to Brooklyn on September 12th, 2001. We were not allowed to walk over any of the bridges that connected Brooklyn to Manhattan so we had to take the train. You can see the smoldering pile of smoke and ash still looming over the site. This went on for weeks.

- Her husband, Police Officer Matt is also doing just fine. He is working downtown at the WTC site today. He is a member of the Emergency Services Unit and is a detective. He leaps tall buildings, climbs bridges and works that wacky jaws of life machine to save people.  Matt wrote this to me last year – “I still remember coming home around 2:45 am on the morning of September 12th and writing to you and Carol. My uniforms were being washed and I had to be back in work in less than an hour and a half. I still have a ton of “hatred” feelings and a ton of sad feelings. It’s a very sad day.  I hope everyone out there takes a few minutes to think about what happened that day and think about all who are no longer with us. We lost a supervisor from my truck that day, Sgt. Rodney Gillis. His mom will be stopping in to our quarters this morning to see us and her son’s memorial plaque, locker and equipment storage bin before she goes to the city for the memorial. I touch his equipment bin every day I work because it’s next to my equipment bin. You never know when those you work with aren’t going to come home”.

Will I keep writing?  Even though I do not blog as much as I used to – I blog in my head and yell at passing clouds.  The short answer is sure – I’ll keep writing and ranting and hope you will keep reading and responding.

So what am I going to do today?  I’ll probably go to the gym, watch some of the 10th anniversary ceremony, cry a bit and then go to see a movie for escape.  Tomorrow is another day.

- If you want to take a look at what is happening at the World Trade Center site there is a great Interactive look at the ongoing construction here.

- WTC remembered on film

Laboring on Labor Day September 5, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, Videos.
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3 comments

Labor Day is a day when we are supposed to honor the laborer by not laboring.  In today’s job market – that is an easy task.  Jobs are hard to find and the horizon does not seem any brighter.  Today’s headline grabber in the New York Times indicates that the Post Office is on the brink of shutting down and the possibility of 120,000 postal workers being laid off (talk about ‘going postal’).

I am a long time believer in unions and do not blame them for our present economic problems.  That is just one more ‘class warfare’ tactic that the Repugnants use to attempt (quite successfully) to break the unions. Do we have to look any further than Wisconsin to see what an of control Repugnant legislature will do?

Am I at all optimistic about the President’s jobs speech this Thursday to a joint session of Congress?  No, I am not.  I will listen and count on my fingers all of the things he will propose and then try to figure out when he will cave on them when dealing with the other side.  I have begun saying to my friends that we already have a Republican in the White House and we do not need another election to switch parties in that branch of Government. Oh dear – I am wandering off topic.

Back to Labor Day. Last year on Labor Day I wrote “I would like to proudly say that I have never crossed a picket line but three of my friends would know that’s a big fat lie.  Does it count if I was out of town while guiltily crossing the picket line?  Here’s the story in a nutshell.  We were on a fun holiday to Chicago.  I had no idea the hotel I booked us into was on strike. I gasped when I saw the picket line.  What to do? What to do? Luckily I found a side door that I could sneak in and out of each time we entered and left the hotel but it was extremely unpleasant for me (my pals got a good laugh out of my discomfort).  So, in conclusion, I will proudly say that other than those four days in Chicago, I have never crossed a picket line”.
‘The first Labor Day in the US was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. It became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the US military and US Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with the labor movement as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously (can you imagine anything unanimous in Congress today?) and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.

The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor – Thomas Donahue

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