Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Look closely...

do you recognize this young lad?

How about now?
Photo taken December 17, 1970

Surely you must now?

The swastika tattooed on his forehead is a dead giveaway.

Charles Manson

Corcoran State Prison

Photographed March 19, 2009

74 years old

If I didn't notice the swastika I might not have known who this was. Maybe I'd have thought he was an older, scruffy gentleman who was down on his luck. But nope, this is the latest photograph of Charles Manson released last month by the prison.

Manson was the leader of a cult/family of impressionable young people. For some reason they followed his every word. August 8, 1969 he sent Tex Watson, Linda Kasabian, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins to 10050 Cielo Dr with the instructions to kill everyone inside. They did, gruesomely. The next night the same four as well as Leslie Van Houten and Clem Grogan were sent out to murder again. This time their victims would be Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

Now at this time news didn't travel like it does today, news and pictures for the Vietnam War sometimes didn't get to the American public for weeks or months. I hadn't heard of this happening plus I was just 11 years old. Fast forward to 1974 when the prosecutor of Manson, Vincent Bugliosi wrote the book Helter Skelter, the story of Manson and his rise and fall.

I enjoy reading and no romance novels for me! My favorite type of books to read are eerie ones ala Dean Koontz and Steven King as well as murder mysteries and crime books. I read Helter Skelter shortly after it came out and it scared the crap out of me. Manson may be evil and crazy but crazy like a fox. He's smart, sly and cunning. The way he got into people's minds, controlled them and got them to do his bidding is frightening. I was so scared after reading it I told my parents if Manson was ever released from prison and relocated east of the Mississippi we'd have to move.

Helter Skelter and The Exorcist are the two scariest books I've ever read. I find books to be scarier than movies. There's something about reading the words and using your own vision and imagination rather than Hollywood's that makes it more spine chilling.

I think I'll go to the library tonight and check out Helter Skelter to reread 35 years later.
Oh and an interesting tidbit about Charles Manson. He was sentenced to death but they were commuted to life in prison but not for murder. For conspiring to commit the murders.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Edit to my previous post:
After going 39 hours without solid food this was my dinner at our favorite restaurant Timothy Patrick's Irish Pub. Yummy. But what made it even better was that my youngest was home from college on spring break and my oldest came up from New York City for the weekend so this mom is very happy.


Holy crap (no pun intended) am I glad that colonoscopy is over. The prep...words can't describe it, well they can but you don't want to know. The actual procedure was okay, somewhat uncomfortable at times but okay. Turns out they don't totally put you out. I could open my eyes and look at the screen and hear them talk about my many diverticuli. TMI I know.

The strangest thing of all was what was hanging on the wall. In my exam room and the procedure room they had this on the wall.

Minus the stuffed head.

Just the rear ends.

At first I didn't really think about it, I was too preoccupied with what was about to go down (or up) in a few minutes. It wasn't until afterwards and still drugged when I really looked at them and thought, "oh I get it, I'm in an ass doctor's office and he has a sense of humor!" I'm just glad I don't have to see them for another 10 years.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I am a colonoscopy virgin. That will all change tomorrow morning at 0900 hours. Everyone tells me that the prep is the worst part. First the day before you cannot have any solid food. I'm starved. Hubby and son went out for dinner, no food in front of me! Then at 1800 hours (6 pm for those who don't know military time, I had to use it in my old job) you have to start drinking 8 oz of liquid mixed with the magic powder every 15 minutes over two hours. That's a total of 64 oz. It reminds me of when I had ultra sounds when pregnant with my second child. Except this time there will be no pictures of a baby to look at, just the inside of my colon. At this stage in the game I guess that's better than seeing a baby! One glass down, only seven to go. Let the fun begin.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Barbie

As a kid I didn't really get into the whole Barbie thing. Of course she didn't have all those accessories back then like the dream house or cars and she was a stay at home wife while Ken worked. She did have a few friends like Midge and Skipper. What clothes we had for her my grandmother made. I wish I still had them. Anyway Barbie and I have something in common besides being well endowed on top. We're the same age! My sister sent me this and I thought it was funny.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


After 26 years in our house Hubby and I are finally giving our main bathroom a complete face lift. When we first moved in the bathroom was hideous with that 1970's gold color toilet, sink, one piece tub surround and linoleum floor plus the walls were painted that color. It was gross. We replaced the toilet and sink, painted the walls and put carpet on the floor over the linoleum. For years I've wanted to get rid of that tub.

Are you familiar with the Kohler commercial where the hoity- toity couple is at the pretentious architectural firm, she looks at the architect with a challenging look on her face and deadpans, "design a house around this" as she pulls a faucet out of her designer bag and plops it on the table. I always thought that was the stupidest commercial until now when I've found something I want to design my new bathroom around. That commercial not ringing any bells? Click on the video...

So here's the faucet I found for my bathroom...

Ha, I'm so kidding about that! Who would ever put this in their bathroom??
But I fell in love with this beautiful Kohler sink.

Another angle, isn't it lovely?? It's shallow, they call it a wading sink. It has no faucet holes, your faucet would either go directly into the counter top or be wall mounted. Does it look expensive?? If you thought yes, you'd be right. Four hundred dollars! But now that I've seen it... Hubby and I are trying to come to some sort of compromise. He would rather have a one piece Corian type counter top with a molded sink or some sort of stone. I'm willing to forgo the stone and go with a very nice Formica top. As a matter of fact I found one and for the sink and top it will be about 825.00. We need to price out his option.

I said I would give up my pricey ($1,000 +) Italian ceramic tile floor I wanted if I could have the sink. The tile is gorgeous too. The blue and green you see in it is melted glass. The thing about me is I seem to automatically go to the very expensive items when shopping. It's really hard having champagne taste on a beer budget.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Florida animal life

I've been to Florida several times and this trip was the first that didn't involve our kids. Number 1 lives in Queens now and Number 2 is in college. It was a relaxing vacation due to the fact that it didn't include any amusement parks. Well, we did go to Downtown Disney but that's not a park. This trip was more about nature. A fellow blogger that I read, Avitable, did a post stating that he was going to Blue Springs State Park to see manatees. While he didn't do a follow up as to how it was it sounded like something I'd like so off we went while we where down there.

While at Blue Springs we took a boat tour where we saw beautiful birds, alligators, manatee, trees, feral pigs and learned a lot too.

While I really dislike the stuff that hangs in the trees it looks good here. In the water along the shore line are manatee. More about them later.

We don't have alligators in New York so I find it exciting when I see some. Maybe I'm easily amused. These were along the bank of the St. John's River. Maybe a year or so old.

More gators on the bank. These are called fingerlings and are still being cared for by mom. No doubt she was somewhere close. No way I'd get off the boat.

They almost don't look real.

He looks happy sunning himself, maybe thinking about his next snack.

This area was where the spring is and the water is a constant 72 degrees. That's why the manatee hang here in the winter. There's a boardwalk that runs along the shore allowing you to view them. The water was so clear, it seemed like you could reach out and touch these gars. They were hanging out with the manatees. The day we were there the park staff counted 30 manatee in residence and said that in January they had about 200 and were packed in like sardines.

Manatees are also called sea cows. They really don't do much except eat and sleep. They spend a lot of time eating and when they're finished they go into what's called a food coma. That's why so many are injured by boat props. They are so deeply asleep they don't hear or see an oncoming boat. When they do move there's nothing fast about it. Very languid.

While on the cruise they stopped the boat and one manatee came up for a look at us. He stuck his face out of the water right below me. Of course by the time I got my camera ready he was headed back underwater.

What I love about the manatee is they're like an ugly duckling. Not so much to look at but I think they're cute. They're gentle and peaceful animals.They have no predators and are herbivores themselves. Do you know their closest living relative? If you guess the elephant you'd be correct. It was a great trip to Blue Spring and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys peace and quiet along with nature.

I'd like to say I took this pic but alas I didn't. I want to include it because my photos weren't so great and I wanted you to see how friendly they seem.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

American Idol

I missed season one of American Idol but have watched the rest. Each season I make a prediction of who I think will win. I always pick the one I like the best but they never win. This season I hope I'm right.
Adam Lambert. I love him. Not the hair, guys shouldn't have hair that looks like it takes that much work but his voice, oh his voice, I love it. He could sing Queen easily. Add in his stage presence and blue eyes and the whole package is complete. That must be how I judge the winner, if they can sing like Freddie Mercury. Can you guess I love Queen?
On to another topic...
My sister sent me a funny today that made me laugh even with my bad cold.
Here goes:
In recognition of Nadya Suleman, the single mother of the octuplets and her six previous babies, all by in vitro fertilization, Denny's Restaurant has introduced a new breakfast called
"Grand Scam"
You get 14 eggs
but no sausage
and the guy next to you has to pay the bill.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Rock Obama

I've watched Saturday Night Live since its inception and some years have been great, some not so great. My favorite episodes are ones that have McGuber skits. I was happy to see that happen yesterday even if they weren't new ones. But by far the funniest skit since Tina Fey was Sara Palin was this week with Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock. He is one good looking guy and shirtless, even better. Ok, snap out of it, back to SNL!

Enjoy this skit entitled, "The Rock Obama"

Saturday, March 07, 2009


A good place to eat, Crabby Bill's. Casual and good seafood.
I liked the name because my dad's name is Bill but he's not crabby.
Clearwater Beach


This girl just flitted around on the beach like the butterfly she was.

I love palm trees, maybe because they're so exotic to me.

We went on a dolphin trip out of Clearwater Pass, the exact place the
doomed deep sea fishing trip took place five days later. The dolphins love to frolic in the wake and waves of the boats.

Under a new bridge that cost multi millions to build and had to have four major repairs before it even opened for travel. Your tax dollars at work.

The dolphins were very playful, rolling over on their backs to wave hello at one time.

The water is just beautiful. Up north water is a deeper blue, sometimes a steely blue, never this light aqua or turquoise color.

When I tried to take pictures of the dolphins I would miss and all I got was water. On his first try hubby gets this shot.

There is a lot of money in Clearwater. I was envious as to how the other half lives but I wouldn't want all the problems that come with it. This is Hulk Hogan's house.

And here we have one of John Travolta's homes. No surprise he has one in Clearwater as the Church of Scientology's world headquarters is located here.

At the marina at Clearwater Pass waiting for a snack from a fishing boat.

While it's a very lovely place to visit I'm pretty sure, no make that positive, I couldn't live here year round for the reason above. I am petrified of wind, sure a gentle breeze is fine, I'm talking about wind over 50 mph or so. No thank you.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I big red puffy heart the beach

We escaped from the senior citizen community (remember I mean that in a nice way) and spent 2 days in Clearwater. Again the weather was sunny and a little cool but you could tell the vacationers. They were the ones in the shorts or bikinis.
We stayed at the Best Western located at the very south end of Clearwater Beach.
We found a great restaurant in our travels that evening, The Conch Republic located in Redington Beach. I had grouper and it was scrumptious.

I love the beach, the sound of the surf and looking for seashells. I'm used to northern beaches having spent lots of time on the beaches of North Truro on Cape Cod. The sand is coarser and tan in the north with not many shells, most of the time I collect pretty stones. I hit the mother lode at this beach, finding more than enough seashells for me as well as for my kindergartners. The shells are also different in Florida. The one above was a perfect specimen, I couldn't believe it was just laying there but...

if you look closely it has an animal living in it, most likely a hermit crab. I'm very careful about this, I will not take a shell if it has something living in it so this crab lived another day. I tossed more than a few great shells back into the ocean but at least I got to see them.

One of the bridges that takes you over to other barrier islands.

This poor little bird has a broken leg.

Sunset at Maderia Beach, it wasn't warm when the sun went down.

I'm a beach babe even though I use 70 SPF sunscreen and don't don a bathing suit. Fair skinned with freckles, green eyes and red hair is asking for trouble with the sun.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Reality has bitch slapped me across the face. I'm back from Florida and the temp. here today is 15 degrees. Now the weather down there was perfect for me for two reasons. First it was SUNNY everyday and second the temps. were in the low 70's. Hubby and I walked around in shorts and t-shirts (sometimes long sleeved t-shirts) and the natives were wearing long pants and sweatshirts.
One difference between New York and Florida is the vegetation. None of that so called Spanish moss that's neither Spanish nor moss. It's everywhere and ugly. Every time I walked by some that I could reach I wanted to pick it out.
No palm trees in New York.

I want one of these in my yard.
It's called a bottle brush tree but of course it won't grow up here.

These we can get up here but not until it's warm out.

I don't know what this flower is but I wanted it too. What I was really looking forward to in Florida was seeing green. Here in the winter the trees are naked and the landscape is drab. Unfortunately Florida recently had some very cold weather with a few hard frosts. Most of the plants, the grass and many of the smaller palm trees were brown.