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Wet Dog, Dry Plants – an Irene Postscript August 28, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Dogs and cats, Photography, Politics.
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It is over for us.  Hurricane Irene came and left leaving most New Yorkers unscathed (if you are not counting all of the people that had to evacuate or are calling their insurance companies to assess their house/tree/car damage).

I have started to schlep my outdoor plants back outside (without the energy I had yesterday).  Benny has been on two walks since Irene passed us by –  which he much preferred to this morning’s very wet outside adventure at 6 AM.

a) Manhattan had no power outages.  Why doesn’t the Government spend stimulus money to bury all power cables underground?  Manhattan had no power outages because our cables are all underground.

b) The Battery did not flood very much considering it it all manmade and should be flooded all of the time.

c) Here is the one thing that was damaged in my neighborhood – an upset pot.

d)  Plants going back onto my balcony (a work in progress).

e) I know that life is back to normal.  The lunatic that stands on the corner singing and screaming with his guitar returned.

I hope your experience with Hurricane Irene was as uneventful as mine.  Unfortunately, Mayor Mike has informed us that the transit system will most likely not be up and running for tomorrow’s rush hour.  He is sure ‘we’ will figure someway to get to work because New Yorkers are tough.  Hey, Mayor Mike – you have a chauffeured lim0.  Want to pick us all up and give us a ride?

Waiting… August 27, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Dogs and cats, Photography, Science.
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I cannot believe it is only 3 PM.  I am not very good at waiting.  Yet, here we are at Casa Lobo, waiting out the impending storm.  I look out the window often. Here are a few things that caught my eye from my 11th floor perch.  Madison the cat has found having all of the outside plants inside very entertaining.  Benny is milking my being home by begging for a treat every time our eyes happen to meet.  Sadly, he usually wins the treat war.  I am a sucker for those fluid eyes.

 

Deconstructing Casa Lobo August 27, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Dogs and cats, Photography, Politics, Videos.
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We were instructed by building management to clear our balcony of any furniture, grills or plants before Hurricane Irene drops by.  Easy for you to say, Pedro.  Have you seen my balcony?  (All photos below).  So, I went to the gym at 7 AM to build up my strength for my upcoming arduous task.  My 24 hour gym is closing at 10AM today and will be closed tomorrow as well. In case you are living somewhere else and have not see the news – NYC is essentially shut down as of noon today.  No subways or buses and the airports (all three) are shutting down.  There are evacuation areas throughout the five boros and most food items are gone from supermarket shelves.

I checked my own pantry and found I had plenty of food for the pets, ample wine, pretzels and tuna.  What else does someone need?  Am I nervous?  No (except when I turn on the TV and hear the horrible warnings, statistics and blather).  So I turned off the TV and did my task.  There are now pots, plants and garden supplies all over Casa Lobo and both Benny the dog and Madison the cat are not pleased.  The cat retreated to the closet to hide and benny hid under the bed.  Now that the noise is over they have returned to their normal positions.

Do I think the Mayor and Governor have over-reacted?  I surely do.  I think if this hurricane had hit during the week when Wall Street does whatever it is they do – it would have been a different story.  However – ‘who works on the weekend’ –  the powers that be thought?  ‘Not anyone I know’ – so they shut it down.  Am I cynical?  You bet. Just because I am not blogging much on politics these days do not for one minute think that I have changed my tune or softened in anyway.  I am mad as hell and shake my fist at passing clouds all of the time.

So what will I do today and tomorrow?  I will devote myself to some projects that have been on a list for ages.  I will stare out the window.  I will most likely speak to my good buddy Carol several times and also will yak with my sister Terry.  One more thing – I will call and speak with my zoo buddy, Mary tomorrow as it is her birthday. ‘Happy Birthday, Mary’.

Good night Irene – good night.

Oh dear, it’s a New Year January 1, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Dogs and cats, maps, Movie Reviews, Photography, Politics, Religion, Science, Supreme Court, wildlife, Zoos.
4 comments

Here we are once again.  A new year, a fresh start and all of that other sappy rot that people say on this day.  Yes, this old woman who yells at clouds never put much stock into making New Year resolutions.  I have found that they never quite work out, do they?  I am the type that stopped wishing for world peace as I blew out my birthday candles years ago.  I would describe myself as a realist – with a dash of optimism mixed in with a large helping of cynicism.

–  So what kind of year was it?  I honestly could not remember so I started to look at my blog postings for this past calendar year to see what peaked my interest enough to blog, post photos and generally fill up your in-boxes with my crap.  I laughed quite a bit as I reviewed my interests.  Before I share some favorite posts, let me wish you all a most Happy New Year and while I no longer waste precious time wishing for world peace I do wish you all good health, an energized president Obama, some decent new laws and a renewed, hopeful political scene (sigh).

In chronological order here are some of my favorite posts from 2010:

Goodbye to the Aughties.

–   ‘It’s not the end of the world it just feels that way. – The embarrassing, very sad loss of Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat yesterday by the uber-incompetent Martha Coakley to Scott Brown is crushing’.

–  Joy on K Street – You cannot underestimate the staggering blow to democracy that was accomplished by the conservative side of the Un-Supreme Court yesterday.  Their 5 to 4 decision to grant corporations a new and uber-powerful status will change everything that you know and love/hate about our political process.  The Roberts Court has granted corporations the same status as ‘people’ and therefore has First Amendment privileges.

–  Lost and Found – I found an adorable dog named Gia and was able to return her to her very grateful owner.

–  I was asked by a reporter if I had an opinion –  (Let’s all laugh together at that line).

–  I posted my 1000th movie review : Free popcorn for all!

–  The Fat Lady Sang and health care became the law of the land.

Shower Curtain Geography caught my fancy

–  My blog title “Are you high” has gotten a lot of hits – (I am sure people are disappointed when they get to the post).

While strolling thru the park one day still makes me laugh –

–  The end of Law & Order was sad – Doink Doink.

Remiss, Bothered and Bewildered was featured on wordpress’ homepage for a day and got uber-hits.

–   Manhattanhenge still sparks my interest.

–  I celebrated five years with my dog Benny – here’s to  Cinco de Benny  (that’s Benny in front of the snowman above).

–  The very sad and tragic tale of the Girl Who Lost here E-mail.

–  I still have a dream (but it is getting murky).

–  Nine Years later

Old Woman Yells at Cloud

–  Yes, We Did

I thank you for reading my rantings.  I thank you for your comments.  I thank you for being there.  Oh yes, one more thing.  I really secretly do still wish for world peace when I blow out my birthday candles (don’t tell anyone – it will break my crusty ‘old woman yells at cloud’ exterior).

Happy Holidays from Casa Lobo December 25, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Dogs and cats, Photography, Videos.
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A very happy holiday season to all.  Let’s hope for continued good news from the Obama administration in 2011.  Peace, joy and of course — compromise.

Hanukkah Shmanukkah Redux December 1, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Dogs and cats, Jewish Stuff, Photography, Religion, Videos.
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My top 10 thoughts about Hanukkah Vs Christmas

1. First off, they are not the same thing.  Hanukkah is NOT a Jewish Christmas.

2. Jewish people do not have to wear awful sweaters with menorahs or dreidels on them as a substitute for those wacky Christmas outfits that get pulled out of mothballs once a year.

3. Hanukkah is a moving holiday. It lands all over the place (that darned lunar calendar). For those that like to plan ahead – 2011: Dec. 20-Dec. 28,  2012: Dec. 8-Dec. 16.

4. There is only one way to spell Christmas. Sigh – like most things Jewish, you get lots of choices and opinions. Does it have a ‘C’, 2 ‘N’s, some K’s? What letter does it end with?  There are more than 20 different spellings of the Jewish Festival of Lights and, of course, no one has told us which is the definitive spelling. You know the old adage about the number of opinions amongst Jewish people all depends upon how many Jews are in the room. Here’s the current list of the way you can spell this Festival of Lights.  Channuka, Channukah, Chanuka, Chanukah, Chanuko, Hannuka, Hannukah, Hanuka, Hanika, Hanukah, Hanukka, Hanukkah, Kanukkah, Khannuka, Khannukah, Khanuka, Khanukah, Khanukkah and Khanike. Sometimes even Xanuka (but that spelling seems too much like Xanax to me).  The basic problem is that it’s translated into English from a five-letter Hebrew word meaning “consecration,” which lacks the gutteral, rolling-in-the-throat opening sound. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has “Hanukkah” as the main entry, with “Chanukah” as another option. The Associated Press Stylebook, considered the spelling bible by most newspapers, also goes with “Hanukkah.” The New York Times uses ‘Hanukkah’. The Daily News uses “Chanukah,” although other versions are used. The bottom line is you cannot misspell this word.

5. Hanukkah is not a major holiday. It falls into that group of Jewish holidays with that old familiar theme – they tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.

6. Hannukah has a very small carbon footprint. We use candles and do not have a surging electric bill from decorating the house with a million light-bulbs.

7. Hannukah songs are not that great. Christmas songs are terrific.  The consoling news is that most of the popular Christmas songs have been written by Jews.

8.  Most Christians do not have a clue what any of the Jewish holidays mean.  They get them all mixed up.  “Is this the one where you eat Matzoh”?  “Is this the one where you don’t eat at all”? The fun part of being Jewish around Hannukah is that I can make anything up and my gentile friends will believe me.

9.  Jewish people do not have a Hannukah bush.  It is a menorah – not a candelabra (Liberace had a candelabra).

10. And finally, this just cracks me up.  Richard Lewis said “Most Texans think Hanukkah is some sort of duck call”

11.  Okay, okay – so I have 11 Top 10 thoughts. We used to go to the movies and eat Chinese food on Christmas.  Now a lot of other non-Christians have caught onto the idea and the movies are very crowded on Christmas.  Maybe I will go to the zoo this year.

Eight Gifts of Hanukkah song:


Chipmunk Chanukah –

– So tonight is the big night. We bring out the Menorah and light the first candle at sundown. Factoid about my Menorah. Years ago, I saw a Martha Stewart show where she said if you put your Menorah in the freezer for awhile, the wax will chip right off of it. It was a good thing. Martha probably did not have in mind what I did after that. I now store my Menorah in the freezer all year long. It is a good thing and makes me smile every time I open my freezer. Now where did I put the dreidel?  Where is the Hanukkah gelt? Where should I display the menorah? Is anything going to catch fire after I light the candle? Does my box of Hanukkah candles contain the correct number so I am not short candles?  Do I have any matches? So many questions and only eight nights to figure it all out.  A very Happy Hanukkah to one and all!

Still one of my favorites – Marley The Hanukkah Dog Sings Oh Hanukkah

Old Woman Yells at Cloud October 26, 2010

Posted by judylobo in art, Dogs and cats, Photography, Politics.
8 comments

Yes, it is me.  I know, I know – the sounds of silence have been deafening from Casa Lobo.  My ranting has been redirected into more creative efforts but do not for one minute think that I am not screaming at the newspaper, TV, and the Internet.  My poor dog Benny is often startled by my outbursts of rage.

How angry am I at the Blue team for throwing away a once in a generation chance of their controlling both Houses of Congress AND the White House?  Oh – I am very angry.

I am more angry at the Bush thug policies that the Obama adminstration has chosen to hang on to thereby moving us closer to a police state than ever.  I am angry at the Obama administration for allowing their message to be out-shouted by every Tom, Dick and Tea partier.  The list is long.

I am also depressed, exasperated, incensed and frustrated.  Can the crazies that have choked the airwaves these many months actually win the offices they are running for?  I am frightened to say – Yes, they can!

Will a Republican controlled Congress be a good thing?  Is your memory that short that you have forgotten what they did a few years ago?  With Subpoena power Darrell Issa is going to be getting a lot of face time on your local screaming TV channel.

So what’s this liberal, pro-choice, feminist card carrying old woman supposed to do?  I will continue to fight the good fight.  I will go out in one week, on November 2nd and vote the straight Blue line and bite my nails that very long Tuesday night.

What are you going to do?  Whatever it is – it MUST include voting.  AND – make sure that your friends are voting too.

Nine Years Later September 11, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Dogs and cats, Photography, Politics, Religion.
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My dog Benny and I were out this morning as dawn was breaking and the sky had that September 11th feel.  You know , that crisp, cloudless blue sky that many of us remember all too well. I realize that September always brings those types of skies, but the memory of that particular Tuesday morning does not fade for me. Finally, work is being done at the World Trade Center Site (and I do not mean the shameful demonstrations at the proposed Islamic Cultural Center a few blocks away). I speak of the gaping pile of rubble, pipes, beams and sorrows that has been the World Trade Center for the past nine years.  I will be going to visit the site next week and will see for myself just how much progress has been made. In the meanwhile, last week’s Sunday New York Times had an interesting article about the rapid pace of construction as we near the 10th anniversary of that horrific day.  Do not forget to look at some recent photos of the progress.

–  Not a day goes by that I do not think about September 11, 2001 (unless I am traveling).  Perhaps the proximity of where one lives keeps the memory burning brighter. Every day when I walk my dog Benny, I see where the towers used to stand and it brings a knot in my stomach. We have come so far and in many ways have lost our path.  The crazies seem to be dominating the landscape and the voices of moderation are either too far from the microphone or are too busy quaking in their shoes to say anything.  Gail Collins wrote a fine piece about the ‘crazies’ in Thursday’s New York Times called The 5 Percent Doctrine.

–  Speaking of the New York Times — The publisher of the New York Times acknowledged Wednesday that the newspaper will go out of print — eventually.  Life as I know it – will change.  I am not happy.

–  So what is going on in my fair City since 9/11?  Mayor Mike is in his third term and although I am not a big fan – I do think that his words about the proposed Mosque near the World Trade Center site are pitch perfect and I thank him for his lack of waffling.

–  So why did the World Trade Center site take so long to develop? I blame then Governor George Pataki for the initial screw ups and then blame all of the other real estate hustlers and muckety mucks who would not get out of the way.  Shame on all of you.

–  I hate when out of town politicians and nut jobs claim some bull crap about the sanctity of the site.  Where were you when the bill for the healthcare for the first responders came to the floor and it was voted down?  Shame on all of you.

–  I hate when Rudy ‘9/11’ Giuliani pokes his head into something that has nothing to do with him and is still flying high off of that day in history.  His cohort Bernie Kerik is serving time. Shame on both of you.

–  I am not happy about much of anything political these days.  I am disappointed with President Obama’s lock step Bush view on torture, the law and our civil rights.

–  I am worried about the midterm elections.

–  My pal Carol, who still works a few blocks from the World Trade Center and one block from the proposed Mosque) site is doing well as is my favorite NYC Police Detective, Officer Matt.

Here is what I wrote about this day last year and the year before that.

–  Who knows what nuttiness, mayhem or event will steal the spotlight next year as the country remembers the 10th anniversary of the day everything seemed to change?

Keep the faith – regardless of how hard that seems to be right now.

–  That little kitten who walked into my lobby in October of 2001 is now nine years old and as ornery as ever (see her sitting in Benny’s crate in photo below).  And of course, no post about September 11th can end without sharing a photo of Benny the dog and Madison the cat.

Review: The Girl Who Lost Her E-mail July 22, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Dogs and cats, Links, This 'n That, Videos.
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Review: The Girl Who Lost Her E-mail

Alternate Title: Road Runner Sucks

Story: After having a Time Warner Road Runner account for oh so many years they finally crossed the Lobo line.

Suddenly two days ago Road Runner stopped sending my mail.  I could receive mail and my computer indicated my mail was sent – but woe is me —it was nowhere to be found.  After hours of telephone misery with too many technical consultants it was decided nothing could be done.

A close relative has a ‘connection’ at Time Warner and an ace consultant was sent to Casa Lobo last night.  Everyone had such good intentions.

After 2.5 hours of mad clicking he accidently hit the REBUILD button on my mac.mail program and everything was LOST (like the TV show)… Gone with the Wind.  All of my in-box mail, all of my drafts with what I considered to be brilliant ideas and all of my sent mail were GONE.  They could not be found, retrieved or willed into being.

The very guilty consultant showed remorse but could do nothing and sulked away into the night.

The bad news is all of the above.  The good news is that my wonderful zoo buddy and faithful technical guru, Mary Schwalm , was able to transfer my gmail account into the aesthetically pleasing mac.mail program and while none of my stuff is retrievable I am now weaning my way off of Road Runner.

Acting: I acted as reasonable as any woman who was about to have her head explode.

Trivia: In the scheme of things, I guess losing all of one’s ‘stuff’ is pretty unimportant.

Predilection: None

Critters: One dog named Benny and one cat named Madison

Food: I had red wine, blueberries and chocolate sorbet after the consultant left

Blatant Product Placement: Apple Laptop Computer (good), Time Warner Cable’s Road Runner Program (bad)

Soundtrack: The sounds of police and fire alarms in the streets of Manhattan and the sounds of screams in my head.

Visual Art: Watching my e-mail vanish into a black hole was not aesthetically pleasing.

Weather: Hot and humid (even with the a/c on)

Squirm Scale: 10

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout the nightmare.

Tissue Usage: 10

Length: Two hours and 30 minutes of misery.

LOBO HOWLS:  0

Ma and Me May 9, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Dogs and cats, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
4 comments

My mother is long gone but her advice, warnings and general ‘Lili-isms’ live on in my daily life.  She taught me to fight the good fight, to write letters to City Hall when I was pissed (her time was way before blogging) and she also gave me my moral compass (one glance from Lillian told me instantly whether my behavior was acceptable or not – I got a lot of glances).  My sister Terry and I remember many of our childhood events differently but we both agree that our mother was a pistol. Here’s to Lillian Wolfe and all of the other mothers out there.

A very Happy Mother’s Day to all of the caregivers, nurturers, pamperers, surrogates and generally loving coddlers out there.  You make it all work.

Mother’s Day:The mothering instinct of animals.