Sunday, July 31, 2005


Let's all welcome the new wee ones and congratulate their new mommies and daddies!
Bryan and Carol plus Rachel of Smiles and Laughter
Chris and Beth plus Mia of So The Fish Said

And I think that we will also be congratulating Rainy Pete and his honey sometime soon! Anyone want to guess whether the wee one will be boy or girl?

Friday, July 29, 2005

A Rhodent Ranting Regarding The Ridiculous!


I am so tired of the drivel. I am so fed up with every news show highlighting this as if it were important news. What are these people thinking?!? Once again, I listened to some morons complaining about the new Harry Potter book as well as the previous books. Most of these people have not even read the books. I have yet to read the new one, but I enjoyed the previous ones.

I can understand why some people would not want their young children going to the movies. At a young age they probably would have given me nightmares. What I don't understand is why people are getting so uptight about these books! Some of these people that are complaining the most have not read one of the books OR seen the movies. They are convinced of the evil that they contain. Did they not see or read the Wizard of Oz as a child? Were there not good and bad witches in the story? Didn't Dorothy do the wrong thing by running away from home? Was Peter Pan evil because he associated with Tinkerbell who used magic fairly dust? Hansel and Gretel met up with a witch. They pushed her into an oven. Not socially acceptable behavior in this day and age. Aladin had a magic lamp with a genie. Cinderella had a fairy godmother. The bad boys in Pinoccio turned into donkeys. I don't remember any stressed out people concerned about what that would teach their children. Superman was a superhero who did things that we could never do. Hopefully, our parents made sure that we knew people don't really fly, so that we would not try to jump out of the window in a cape. Samantha was a witch and did fine for years on TV without people getting worked up into a feeding frenzy.

Super Mouse! Watch out! He is probably pure evil!

The books are very imaginative, well written, and have clearly defined concepts of right and wrong. There are good wizards and bad wizard, good witches and bad witches, good magic and bad magic. Do these people think the books are meant to be reality? I don't know about you, but I know that this is make believe... and so do most children who are old enough to be reading these books. Just like as children we loved the Peter Pan stories. And these stories make great movies for children who are mature enough to see them.

I get the point about showing disrespect to parents. But let's be real. Not all parents or foster parents are nice people. Not all children live in "Leave It To Beaver" homes (and by the way, I don't remember that Beaver was always the perfect child!). There is good and bad in the books, just as there is good and bad in this world. The important thing is to teach our children to know the difference... not hide them away and teach them to be fearful of things that are not real.

If you are a parent who is concerned about the stories, you can (a) read them along with your children and talk about the story (b) not buy the books or go to the movies and explain to your children why you prefer that choice (c) ask your children what they think about the books after they have read them and then discuss them (d) read the books yourself first to determine if they are appropriate for the maturity level of your child (e) numerous other choices besides trying to ban the books from libraries and schools and push your opinion onto everyone else you can.

Oh no! We are doomed!

I have heard people complain how Harry Potter is the first step to a slippery slope that will lead our children down the path of evil. Imagination is a good thing. The books are fantasy. Fantasy stimulates the imagination. Children are exposed to far more dangerous concepts on the evening news, in newspapers, and many of the warped cartoons that they view. I would be concerned as a parent if that is all my children wanted to read or do. Provide other reading materials and experiences for them, talk to them about what is going on in their minds and lives, show them that you love them, teach them that God loves them and that they are worthy of that love, and you probably will never have to worry about Harry Potter corrupting their young lives.

I could continue with this ranting, but hopefully, I have made some sense. If you don't like Harry Potter you are entitled to your opinion, but so am I. Don't let your children check the book out of the library, but don't tell me that the books should be banned from libraries. To those of you who will still insist on such nonsense, I have this to say to you...

Coming Soon... Rhodent Ranting

I am going to do a bit of Rhodent Ranting tonight. There is a something stuck in my craw (whatever that is), a thorn in my side, an absurdity that I can no longer ignore. Generally, I try to respect other people's opinions, but sometimes there are people that have ideas that are so far out there that I feel the need to step on my soap box for a bit... especially when their opinion starts to have an impact on my life!

I have started putting this into writing, but need to put it aside so I can eat dinner. I plan on posting later tonight, but I am not sure just how late I will be. I am curious about what my blogging friends think about the whole thing, so I will be looking for your comments to the upcoming post.

Catch you later!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

If Dishes Were Wishes, I'd Be Lucky Indeed!

Posted by Picasa
This dishes have piled up because we ran out of dishwasher detergent. Allybrat had my car for work so I was unable to get to the store. I could have walked, but I don't think I would have gotten there before I melted in the heat. It amazes me that three people can generate so many dishes in a short period of time.

So here I am, dreading the kitchen. I worked an 11 hour day today, and I am exhausted. My eyes are bleary (actually I started the day that way), and I have to face yucky old pasta sauce on plates and baking pans. Himself didn't even clear his plate from the table. Sigh.

Today started off with a meeting that I really didn't want to go to, but it was probably good that I did anyway. After I managed to keep my eyes open for those two hours, I spent most of my day making journal entries before closing out the fiscal year. I have set up some new account numbers and am now using sub-accounts, so in order to have the history transferred to this next year, I have a ton of journal entries to do. They are not difficult. It is just that I have to go through lines of small print to check the entries. My eyes are getting too old for that.

I could probably muster the strength to go to a movie or go on a ride at Disney, but kitchen duty eats my brain and energy. I would have washed most of the dishes by hand last night, but both Allybrat and Himself wanted to take showers. I wanted to go to bed before midnight. So there they sit. If I can stretch this post out a bit longer, perhaps they will magically wash themselves!
Nah, no such luck.

So I will leave the blog world now, even though I have not had a chance to read my favorite blog sites. Sigh. At least Himself brought a rootbeer home from the store for me tonight! It is chilling in the freezer and should be ready by the time I am done with the kitchen. There is a bright spot!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Today Was...

Posted by Picasa

Which Fantasy/ SciFi Character Are You?

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?


Possessing a rare combination of wisdom and humility, while serenely dominating your environment you selflessly use your powers to care for others.

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Galadriel is a character in the Middle-Earth universe.


Once again. I have been demoted from Crawly Amphibian to Flippery Fish. Sigh. I guess that is what happens when you don't blog everyday. Or perhaps complaining about missing photos is not the stuff of amphibian bloggers. I should have been selflessy using my powers to care for others.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

This 'N That And Then Some...

I seem to be posting pictures okay for the moment. The old ones are not back, but at least no new ones have disappeared for a bit. The main heading for my blog has disappeared, but the title still shows up for me. Hopefully, you are all seeing the whole thing. "L" will help straighten things out when she has a bit of time. So... in the meantime, I have several things to post about that I will include all in this one post.


Just hangin' around the house today since I switched my day off from Wednesday...


One of the things that I did today was to set up my overdue doctors' appointments that I have been putting off for awhile. I made all but one of the appointments successfully without creating any conflicts with meetings, etc.



Internist and Gynecologist

Dentist... the one I forgot... I have to have the bonding on one of my teeth repaired ASAP!

So, I will once again be helping to support the medical community. If I could be sure that it would conclude with only co-payments, I would no be so hesitant. It just never seems to work out that easily, however. At least I am confident that I have very good doctors... I don't have to deal with an HMO where you never know who you will to see.


Fr. Michael Cormier

The above picture is of the new Associate Pastor at my church/workplace. He seems to be a great guy... and very talented! Not only does he have a wonderful singing voice, a good sense of humor (a must in our workplace!), but he is also very artistic! He carves duck decoys and paints. How cool is that? He is also one of those rare young priests who spends time in his office and is present for parishioners and staff alike. I don't know how we lucked out with such a dynamic two-some! Our Pastor is also turning out to be as terrific as I had hoped. AND we still have Fr. Aiden coming around to say masses and visit!


Sunday we took a brunch cruise on Tampa Bay on the yacht Star Ship. It is supposed to be Florida's largest dining yacht. That may be true, but, more importantly, it is completely air conditioned and the food was fabulous! "L" and I were able to enjoy a couple of Mamosas and could have partaken of numerous delicious drinks or after dinner coffees, but decided it was too early in the day for such extravagance. Below are some snapshots from the brunch.

Betty Ann coming back to the table with a bit 'o breakfast!

"L" wore a cute little cotton dress but neglected to bring a hat. Pshaw! However, she was still fashionably dressed and reeking with charm. Betty Ann brought "L" a special gift picked out for her in Orlando by several of her relatives. In case you cannot read the package she is holding, it says "Grow A Nerd"... it expands 600% when watered. Perhaps she will post a picture of it when it has grown to it's full size.


Sometime Sunday, on or after the Brunch Cruise, I lost one of my favorite earrings. It is pink shell with pearls. Sigh. Pink is my favorite color and so the earring went with my numerous pink dresses and other clothing. I am still hoping that Himself will find it on the floor of his car since he drove to and from the brunch.


And finally... I have decided that I need to give up drinking Coca Cola... again. I am an addict. I freely admit it. So I have been trying to wean myself with rootbeer, iced tea, and ice cold water. My weight always drops a bit when I don't drink any soda, but it is the Coke that I really crave. The other sodas I can live without. And forget diet soda... the sweetness still stimulates the appetite, and I hate the aftertaste.

Once again I will attempt to live a healthier life by eliminating Coca Cola. I will try to keep a pitcher of iced tea on hand... I drink it without sugar, and tea has some good health benefits even though it has caffeine. Now don't tell me to drink decaf tea... I need the caffeine! I will let you know how I am doing... unless of course I fail miserably, in which case I won't tell you.


Saturday, July 23, 2005

I Have Tried Everything To Get My Pictures Back!

You may or may not have noticed that many of my posted pictures are disappearing. They have turned into little framed boxes of blank space. I am also having trouble getting pictures to appear on current posts... some do and some don't. I have scanned, de-cookied, de-spywared, defragged, defrosted, and all the other "de-" stuff short of hitting the computer with a sledge hammer. No results. This is very frustrating.

I have a Computer Engineer son who may be able to do something with the problem, but he is more into robotics than blog problems. I have a Mechanical Engineer/MBA son who could try, but he is more in tune with state of the art jet engines, and I don't think I need my computer to fly at high speeds or blow up in a test room. "L" could perhaps be of help. She is a Database Administrator, but since my blog is not posted on the New York Stock Exchange and she is in the middle of some major projects at work, I don't know if she will have the time. Allybrat is currently in love, so her head is in the clouds. What to do? Help me Obiwan Kenobi, you're my only hope!

I'M Having Computer Problems Or Blogger Problems... Not Sure Which One Or Both!

 Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 22, 2005

Some Of The Faces Of Splash Mountain & More Belly Dancing

Here are some more photos... I am still waiting for other pictures to be forewarded from family members and will post them when I receive them.

Some better pictures of the belly dancing session...
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 21, 2005

More Art While I Continue To Work On My Weekend Pictures And Post...

Today was another very usy day for me. I did not get home from work until 7:30 PM. When I did get home, I immediately started to fix dinner. Allybrat fixed some great tabouli, and I tried a new recipe that includes a marinara sauce with onions and green pepper, Italian sausage, eggplant and various cheeses. It turned out to be very yummy! There is enough left over (on purpose) to be an easy Friday night dinner. I am also going to take some to work tomorrow for lunch.

As we didn't get to eat until much later than usual, I still have not completed the work on the photos for my next post... but I will! Promise! So that you will not be totally disappointed (except maybe Cliff) I have posted some more very special art works for you to enjoy. Although "Blue Rodent" is still my favorite, I think you will appreciate these next two well-known artist's works. I am sure that everyone is very familiar with "Mousa Lisa"... and no one could miss Dali's unique style with his timeless rodent drapings... not to be confused with rodent droppings which is an entirely different art form.

Enjoy your evening! TTFN!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

In Lieu Of The Remaining Photos...

Since I brought some work home with me to work on, I didn't have the time to get the rest of my weekend pictures together to share with you. So... I instead decided to share some fine art with you that you can contemplate until I get my pictures together with another post. I do so hope that you enjoy and appreciate these fine works of art.

The Birthday Weekend

Those of you that guessed I was in the Magic Kingdom were correct, and those of you that guessed I was at EPCOT were also correct. We stayed at a villa in Orlando (really more like Kissimee) and spent the weekend doing the park bit. It was fabulous but extremely hot!

We had Mexican for dinner on Friday night and had a grand party. Aunt Betty Ann had a waiter chase after her to retrieve the Mexican hat that had been given her to wear in honor of her 75th birthday. Our waiter was going to let her leave with it, but one of the waiters near the door was too vigilant.

Allison with the birthday girl and her birthday hat

Lloyd posing with the birthday hat.

"L" donning the Mexican birthday hat.

Laura joining the crowd.

Matthew avoiding the birthday hat!

Michael, Laura, Karin, and Peggie

"Chipmunk Cheeks" Jason and Michael

Peggie Ann poses as well

Betty Ann returning the hat to our waiter!

Saturday morning we headed out to Disney World's Magic Kingdom. We had what they call "Fast Passes" which made our waiting in line much shorter. It's nice to be friends with Disney employees! Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Pirates of the Caribbean were my favorite attractions of the day. I usually like to go on the ride at Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, but we ran out of time... we had to go back to the villa and get dressed for dinner at the Bistro in France at EPCOT. The dinner was fabulous and fun and quite expensive. However, since this was Betty Ann's official "Birthday Dinner" we all embraced this splurge with gusto!

Allison, Jason, Matt and Betty Ann
on Main Street

How many people does it take to fill a pixie stick?
A mechanical engineer, a crazy sea-going aunt,
a computer engineer,
and a retired newspaper editor.

Waiting for Godot ... and the rest of the group!

"L" and Betty Ann catching their breath

Matthew displaying patience while waiting
for the group to catch up

We were actually the last guests to leave EPCOT that night. It was really strange leaving the park and being the only ones there except for the staff on their Segways picking up trash. Their security people waited for us to finish our dinner and then made sure that we exited the park in safety (more like they wanted to get us out of there so they could finish up and go home!)

Closing EPCOT Saturday evening after a delicious French gourmet meal...

My favorite foursome!
Matt, Allison, "L" and "JPR"

Sunday we toured the EPCOT attractions. Lunch was in Morocco and included some great music and a belly dancer. It was a long leisurely lunch as we were glad to be out of the heat. After lunch we tried out the new ride in "The Land" called "Soarin"which was great fun... most of the group went twice. We also visited the hydroponic gardens in "The Land" which was a big hit with everyone who had not seen it before. The acrobats in "China" were also a big hit... I was truly amazed!

Allison getting belly dancing lessons against her will

Matthew and Betty Ann playing around with Bruce
in "The Living Seas"

Matthew still clowning around ...

The following pictures are from the Hydroponic Gardening area in "The Land"... the things grown are used in the restaurants... they even raise fish, eels, and alligators! They are experimenting with natural pest control and a variety of hydroponic methods of gardening. If you ever get the chance, plan a visit to this exhibit... it is fascinating!


Sunday night was dinner in at the villa with pizza and a Scrabble game. Yours truly was so stuffed from lunch and tired from the heat and humidity that I missed the Scrabble games! Monday we played tourist for the first half of the day, and then all went our separate ways to get home.

I will post more about the trip tomorrow... hopefully, I will have more pictures to share!