Monday, January 31, 2011


Thank You Ralph Fato via The NorthEast Quadrant for pointing out I live in the BULL'S EYE....


Photo Thanx to Frederick Sinclair via The NorthEast Quadrant



Basically Abandoned.

Quite a few of my friends have been asking, "What about those poor ferals?"

Ice covers the inside as well as the outside of the windows.

Fear not, I return once a week to leave food for them.  Though my heart is still broken in not being able to find a home for Grandma.  She had been through so much, and had turned into a sweet cat just wanting a safe home.  She had been wild her entire life, and could not tolerate my other cats.  So I left her behind, and prayed, hoping that she would be okay staying in the place she had lived her entire life.  But she wasn't strong, which the vet verified when I had her fixed.  The last time I met with her was in the fall after we had moved. 

The whole place is abandoned, this is the snowbank I had to crawl over this week to get to the secret spots where they can get into the basement through the foundation, at least out of the wet snow and wind, if not the cold.

The snow is up to my waist now, and not having snowshoes any longer is making it a chore to plow through the snow, with 15 lbs. of cat food, but it's good, worthwhile exercise.  I always call for Grandma, and someone will show up, but not her.  Week before last it was Dead Beat Dad.  This week it was either Grandma's daughter or grandson.  I'm hoping she is staying in the basement and safe.  This week only one coyote track, one deer track, and a cat paw print with blood frozen into the imprint, hoping its not too bad of a cut on the paw.

And just to prove how truly hopeless I am, if I do ever find Grandma, if she's still alive she's coming with me. I'll find a foster home for her until I find her the home that poor thing so deserves.

 I left extra food this week, just in case.  Our current oncoming storm is named Ella. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Needless to say, New England has had it up to their ears in the with snow, as well as the cold that prevents it from melting and simply going away.   Snow control and removal budgets are, for the most part, nearly depleted due to the record breaking snowfall here for the month of January.Our area has been hit with 56 inches of snow, just this month alone.   The snow banks are so high, even on the main drags, that it makes those of us old wise enough to remember when cars had tall antennas and bright colored things such as ping-pong balls or flags stuck at the very top, warning on-coming traffic a vehicle was soon to emerge from behind a mountain of snow.     People are cranky, drivers are raging, the snowbanks are dirty and just when one thought it couldn't get worse...

A director of meteorological studies here in the state explains it all.  "There is no immediate change on the horizon."   He goes on to relate this is due to a persistent high pressure over Greenland, a phenomenon known as 'North Atlantic Oscillation.'   This high pressure blocks the cold air from lifting out of the Northeast.     

Wonderful.  They name the major winter storms, this does not include the squalls that leave an inch or two of the white stuff before moving on.  Our last was Denis.  With one 'N.'  Just to be clear about this.

On rare sunny days like today, one notices a marked difference in the mood of the general public, which makes it hard to imagine how those poor souls in Alaska manage with all those months of relative darkness.

Which brings me to the Silver Lining.   Even though, at this point, there is no end in sight due to this weird weather phenomenon which has a 90 to 120 day cycle, once it does break, it means...............

AN EARLY SPRING.        All righty then, I can deal with the rest of the bloody cycle.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011


STEP ONE:    How much money did you make last year?                                      $_______.__

STEP TWO:             Mail It In.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


BOB? - seen calmly napping to the right - has shown Precious the joys of hot chocolate, and how to obtain it from a forgotten mug....


Without going into the gory details of an incompetant doctors staff, as well as what appears to be moronic surgeon, the kid had his double-hernia operation cancelled again for the second time, the day before the operation.  Alledgedly the paperwork wasn't correct, which is probably a good thing.  I got a reference for a good surgeon from my friend in another doctor's office. They were faxed the paperwork in question, and find no problelm with it.   He's on hold until he sees the new doctor, but we'll feeel safer with the new one and his excellent references.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


When There's This Much Snow...

and the cars have been brushed off three times already since 5AM...

When we still have three more hours before the edge of the storm passes this part of the state, and the city plows have not made it to our street,

All one can hear is the loud, panicked cursing of the gentleman two doors down who is trying to drag his HUGE snowblower, that has run out of gas, out of the street and back into his driveway, rrrk.

The winds have picked up again, the major highways throughout the state are all partially closed, with entire citys CLOSED and warnings TICKETS will be issued for those who dared venture out,  we watched a 45 second burst of lightening that streaked through the sky, lighting up a zillion snowflakes.   Pretty darn incredible.  The last time I saw lightening during a snow storm I was about twelve years old, and in northern New Hampshire.

They can't quite figure out what all this white stuff being tracked in is.

With the worst part still heading for my daughter's territory, we're heaving a sigh and waiting for the sky to stop falling.  On us.

Happy Snow Day?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


It would come to pass that the prodigal son would injure himself severely enough to require surgery.  I omit the 'major, 'minor' aspect while mentioning surgery, as I view any sort of surgery requiring general anesthetic to be major.

Somehow the kid lifted a heavy object and gifted himself with a double-hernia, which must be extremely painful as every time he coughs he makes a noise.  Which means it must be basically unbearable for him.

  I believe this because the year he was working for a landscaper and dropped a chainsaw on his leg, which cut through the meat to the bone before the chainsaw continued its noisy decent to the ground, the kid never made a noise.  He calmly turned off the chainsaw, called for an ambulance, sat down and while applying pressure to the wound, patiently awaited his transport to the hospital.  There he demanded a local anesthetic, and they promptly stitched his leg back together .

This he has to be knocked out for.  He is trying to maintain an air of bravado, claiming he will have Superman Kevlar Abs after the event, but I know he is doing that, "I may not wake up," game most of us play with the first surgery adventure.

I didn't realize just how much the upcoming event was affecting both of us until Sunday evening.   After I had rearranged my tiny bedroom; twice.  When I was done I went to the kitchen to make hot chocolate, and nearly bumped into the kid.  Exiting his bedroom with a mop.   "I just cleaned my entire room," he said.  I peeked in.  My mother would have been proud.  Clean was the wrong word.  Sterilized would have been more appropriate.  Not a speck of dust anywhere, not a knick-knack out of place.  His cats were in there looking confused.

Monday would find me repairing picture frames that had not fared well during the last move, and cleaning the rest of the apartment. It's an automatic overdrive thing.  Keep moving; don't think.  Try to forget he is thirty-two and never out grew of his asthma. That every time he has dental work done they make sure he has a rescue inhaler in his hand in case he has a reaction to the local anesthetic. 

His surgery will be done by laproscope, and will be approximately six hours.  I've done the steps to the Waiting Room Dance far too many times, waiting for individuals in operating rooms.   I am never able to concentrate on a book, though I always bring one.  I find myself watching everyone else, waiting.  The surgeons -  some not bothering to change their scrubs, covered in the blood of their victims - come to the waiting room to retrieve family members, then take them into a glass-walled, soundproofed room,  in full view of those left waiting.   Those remaining in the waiting area know the news is not good if the curtains are slid tightly closed across the windows, and nurses enter the room five minutes later to allow the surgeon an escape hatch.

There is nothing left for me to do in this apartment, but the approaching snow storm that is predicted to be carrying two or more feet of snow our way, will luckily keep me busy nesting outdoors shoveling until 6 AM Friday morning.  At which time I will drive my son to the hospital.  And begin THE WAIT.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I have been forced to join that infernal 'Social-Network' FaceBook.  I have been staying away from it intentionally, not into herding with the group, and I simply abhor the mundane remarks, spawning further mundane remarks, ultimately ending in disconnected conversations.  However it appears that most of my former co-workers have decided it is easier to stay in the loop on their days off with FaceBook, rather than e-mail.   Resulting in my receiving an informal order to get on FaceBook, no-one checks their e-mail anymore.    So I did.   It's not all bad.  It enabled me to finally speak to a friend I had not seen since I left work.


Who is now this ERIC.

Houston, you have no problem.  You have Eric.
[In cowboy hat and boots *sigh*]

Which makes me want to add that he was educated in France, and along with the majority of the 'old guard' I had the pleasure of working with, is extremely bright.  I add this due to the national publicity one applicant received when he appeared on the David Letterman show claiming he was too ''smart to be a cop,'' in our city.   He had been turned down due to being over qualified, the powers that be deciding he would not stay as soon as he was offered a more lucrative position related to his education.

When I first began dispatching in the city, the winter parking rules were put into effect around the first of November.  On short or narrow streets parking was allowed on one side of the street only.  It was decided that if it was an odd year, winter parking would be on the odd side of the street.  Which created problems every January, as odd became even, or vise versa, confusing a lot of residents.   This confusion led to plow operators becoming unhinged when they could not plow the streets with cars on both sides of the road (apparently you can confuse some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people, all of the time).    Which in turn led to their calling us to send the police.  The police would respond, then call in license plates.  We in turn would figure out who owned the vehicle, try to call them and have them move the vehicle, and when worst came to worst, the police would be forced to leave a ticket on the vehicle.  Even though technically the vehicles creating the problem could be towed away, this was avoided unless absolutely necessary.

The day would come when the powers that be decided switching from odd to even with the year was far too confusing, and the decision was made to make it odd or even, the year the winter actually started, all year.  Which made it a whole lot easier for the plow operators, and a whole lot easier for us not having to listen to them whine.   And not have to waste police man hours on searching for confused people whose vehicles were on the wrong side of the road.   At this juncture it is crucial to note, these rules were only strictly followed by the city during actual storms.   Snow regulations didn't become Marshall Law until one lone confused person parked on the wrong side of the road during a storm.  The rest of the residents of that street had parked on the correct side of the year in question.

It was a wicked Nor'easter that was blowing through, the plow operators had been out for nearly twenty-four hours and were just plain tired.  So around  3AM, on the second day of the storm, through the blowing snow, a plow operator spied a vehicle parked on the wrong side of the road, just in time to swerve and avoid it, in the process taking out the sides of about fourteen vehicles parked on the correct side of the road that fateful year.   Despite the disaster, an air of civility was still maintained in attempts to contact owners to move vehicles during snow storms.  To this day, Winter Parking Regulations are only in effect there during storms.

The city I worked in was a lot smaller in area than the city I live in now, and although the population is nearly the same, it is not so compressed here, though there certainly are narrow streets.  The mill rate here is through the roof, which probably explains the sheer number of on duty police at every hour of the day and night. A lot more manpower than I was ever able to have the pleasure of working with.  

And so it would happen, that a neighbor would call around the end of October to inquire if I knew when the 'Winter Parking Regulations' went into effect here, as her son was staying with her during the week, due to a job transfer.  I didn't know, so she called City Hall, and was advised that the regs. went into effect November first.  What that employee neglected to tell the woman was November 1st, at 2400 hrs.   Midnight.  Meaning if they went to bed before midnight on October 31st, they would awaken on  November 1st.   Not a lot of non-shift workers understand this, through no fault of their own.  Consequently there was a twenty dollar ticket on the woman's son's vehicle the morning of November 1st.  With no snow storm in sight.

Somehow I couldn't imagine cops in a busy city being this ticket crazy, until I remembered the city ordinance ticket money is just about the only police generated income that does not go directly into the state's general fund, but into the city's.  The city is the benefactor of the monetary fines.  But with the money this city collects in taxes alone due to a 29.4 mill rate, it didn't make sense.  At least until I checked to see if a friend had gotten back to me regarding a private message I sent her on FaceBook.

One of the retired 'Old Guard' had posted the following on FaceBook which popped up on my page, regarding the city I used to work in, and in which he still resides...

"Man, this city is just crazy. Public Works has a guy driving around in a pick up taking photos of people shovelling snow into the street. Then they sic the cops on the people and make them shovel the snow back onto the sidewalk! Whatever happened to crime fighting? People getting shot and stabbed all over this city and this is what the cops are doing? They just got done making my neighbor shovel the snow back."

{He fails to mention  that if said person forced to 'double-shovel' has a heart attack due to the added exertion, the resulting law-suit would be astronomical. Most folks remember back when things were polite, and are probably acting accordingly. If you shoveled it into the street, the bucket loaders would eventually show up to put all the pesky white stuff into a dump truck to haul away.}

Well, there you have it, even a retired cop is astounded.   If they do not 'catch' the offender, a ticket is issued to the homeowner.  The proceeds of which go directly back to the city.

And that my friends, is the sad State of the Union.....

The good news is, we were spared the brunt of last nights storm.  We only got two inches of heavy, wet snow.  My daughter on the shore got seven inches and has been whining all morning.  Someone throw her a towel, the waterworks are pouring through the phone....

Saturday, January 8, 2011


It snowed... again.

It's not that I don't like it.  I am actually quite fond of the floofy white stuff.   On Christmas cards. Or in movies. Or in the swirling mountain winds around a Swiss Bank, holding numbered accounts, and oh, sorry, drifting like the snow outside for a second I was.  It's going to be one of those days.  I've already found a slew of nit-bitsy little things to do around the house before I actually put on the boots and go try to find my little car, because you see it continued to snow long after this picture was taken at 9 PM last evening.

MUCH LATER:   All the floofy stuff is removed.  Next up, yet another wave of IT expected tonight.