April 27, 2011

Four of My Favorite Divas...

While watching American Idol tonight, Scotty came up with a rendition of  "You've Got a Friend" by Carole King. I had to prove to Michael that it was not Janice Joplin that performed the original. I found this cool video of Carole King, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, and Shania Twain singing the same song back in a 1998 live performance:

I also "Wickipedia'd" the song and proved to him that Carole King (wrote and first performed the song) and James Taylor re-recorded it almost 2 years after Joplin's death.

I actually loved Scotty's performance, but these four are now on my favorite "playlist"...

Over and "Out" from a nostalgic Portsmouth, VA

April 25, 2011

Me and You...

Thought I'd post something more cuddly today (after that nasty picture from yesterday). This is dedicated to all of you that have visited my little place on the web, and especially to the great friends I have made in here!

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA

ps: thanks to my facebook/blogging friend Adam for the photo

April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday 2011

Happy Easter All!

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA

April 21, 2011

Baby Gym Rat 2?

I couldn't have called this Baby Tree Rat, after my first post...

Ok, so Audrey (the upstairs neighbors Great Dane) is in the front yard being slightly distracted by me, Michael has gone over to check out the baby squirrel two doors down...

All of a sudden I hear Michael yelling something. My attention was still on Audrey trying to keep her occupied, so the words he uttered were not really that clear. He yells a bit louder and I hear "Get a Box"!!! and my mind is saying "NO he IS NOT" bringing a critter back to the house.  I see him trotting down the sidewalk with a small animal on his shoulder, through my eyes, but this is all my mind sees:

"SQUIRREL!!!" is all my mind hears... Michael has a baby squirrel on his shoulder!!! I go inside to look for a box and Audrey sets off to see what all the fuss is...

Audrey approaches Michael, the squirrel jumps off and then next thing you know, the squirrel is in Audrey's mouth... I can say at least one thing at this point that may make the PETA followers out there feel better, Audrey is one of the sweetest most harmless creatures I have ever met. Her oral grasp on this baby squirrel was more like a mother (dog's) hold on one of it's own pups. She let go as soon as she was told to...

We got the squirrel into a box and covered her with a sweatshirt to try to calm her down. I then went and "googled" (yes I just used that as a verb) "baby squirrel rescue" and found a local wildlife rescue organization Wildlife Response, Inc... I called the local number and left a message... I then searched further and found two people locally that rescue small animals (birds and mammals), called one who referred me to the other (who specializes in squirrels) and attempted to call her several times, receiving nothing but a busy signal...

After a few other tries, we made contact and she suggested I bring the baby to her home a couple of miles away. I arrived and she invited me in to assist her. She first took a look at suggested the baby may be very underweight. She attempted to put her on a scale and the little rascal jumped out and onto her kitchen floor. She thanked me for being there and asked if I could lift up the end of her kitchen island so that she could catch the squirrel, which I did and she did. After finally getting a weight, she confirmed that the baby was about half it's healthy weight. First thing she did was give it an oral antibiotic (in a proper dose) to ward off any infections it may have received from the cat or dog. Next she offered a syringe full of (a special) formula to the baby and checked it's sex. The baby "Shirley" was in fact a female and took every drop of the formula.

Afterwards, Susan (the WRI volunteer) told me what her treatment plans were and assured me she would keep in touch as to Shirley's progress (more for Michael, than me)...

She has, and Shirley is recovering well...

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA

April 18, 2011

Baby Gym Rat 1?

Oops, I meant Baby Tree Rat (better known as a squirrel)...

Yesterday I arrived home from work, changed, grabbed a cocktail, and went to go sit on our front porch. While out there, enjoying the beautiful afternoon, I noticed one of the ferrell cats from across the street in our front flower bed. They are usually quite skittish but this one seemed intrigued by something... After I spooked it off, this little thing appeared on the porch right beneath my feet:

I called her Shirley, she seemed so docile and friendly (very unusual for our neighborhood squirrels) but then she was just a baby... She wandered around me for about 45 minutes, then headed out through the railing at the end of the porch, most likely (I thought) never to be seen again...

Michael and our neighbors arrived home shortly afterwards. Our upstairs neighbors have a Great Dane (I have posted about her in the past) named Audrey, and she loves to chase squirrels but never catches them. We were all chatting, when a family walking down the street started making a bit of a fuss. Michael (my own little "snoop dog") went over to see what was going on...

Apparently, Shirley was in the lawn in the front of the house a few doors down. The family saw her and got a little freaked out. Michael noticed that she (Shirley) was a bit distressed and wanted to see if he could help. She was very scared (of the cats chasing her) and when Michael found her, she jumped up onto his shoulder for safety. Then, as he was returning home, shouting to me to "get a box", Shirley jumped off his shoulder and onto the cross street, one house down from our's...

Audrey was out in our front yard and I was trying to keep her occupied by pointing to things in the opposite direction. It worked for awhile until...

The rest to come tomorrow, Over and "Out" from the wild kingdom, here in Portsmouth, VA

April 14, 2011

Who Needs American Idol when we have Jennifer Lopez?

During my search for the previous video I came across this a few times, and have also been listening to the song on my Sirius Hits One channel and felt the need to see the music video...

After all the repositioning (ie: film, TV, etc...) Jennifer comes back to her roots... No man could possibly be disappointed:

This video rocks...  I might even get up and dance to it!

Over and "Out", once again, from Portsmouth, VA

April 13, 2011

Yet other Canadian Achievements...

It's not always Lady GaGa that get's the blood to boil (musically speaking) in a gay man's body...

While watching Good Morning America this morning, I was reminded of the exceptional performance KD Lang gave during the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games... I searched high and low for a decent video and ended up with this Russian satellite link. What a beautiful song, written by an articulate lyricist/songwriter, performed by a wonderful artist, during this exciting event... All from Canada, proudly our neighbors to the north!

Don't use the "play" on the top right, use the one in the center, and "x" through the commercial... For full screen use the button (third from right) on the bottom right... It's AMAZING! (sorry for the Russian subtitles and links)...

I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
You don't really care for music, do ya?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby iv'e been here before,
Iv'e seen this room and ive walked the floor,
I used to live alone before i knew ya
But ive seen your flag on the marble arch,
Our love is not a victory march,
It's a cold and its a broken hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there's a God above,
But all iv'e ever learnt from love,
Is how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya,
It's not a cry that u hear at night,
It's not someone whos seen the light,
It's a cold and broken hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Over and "Out" from a beautiful Spring day, in Portsmouth, VA

ps: The song, performance, and telecast are all used without permission (my bad)

April 10, 2011

Little Heads...

Sorry about the title of this post and it's possible misleading innuendo...

By this point in my life I have tried most foods and have definite "likes"... Likewise I have definite "dislikes" (only a few), brussel sprouts being one of the latter... I haven't had a "little head" since my Mom forced me to eat them and I nearly vomited on the dinner table, some 40-45 years ago. Every time I attempted to re-try them, the smell alone would put me over the edge.

I know, I know... Brussel sprouts are just like cabbage (which I actually love) only smaller and a bit more bitter. While at the grocery the other day, I decided to buy some (frozen) and give them another try. This time on my own terms, prepared in a way I thought I might like them (not someone else's recipe)...

They were AWESOME!

I even asked Michael if he was going to finish his, if not I would...  Easy way to prepare them if anyone wants to try or retry:

.  Defrost frozen heads (microwave works)
.  Slice them in half from the base to the head
.  Place in a mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil to coat, and sprinkle with sea salt
.  After tossing it a bit, throw them into a medium saute pan on medium high heat
.  Let the edges brown a bit while cooking (about 10 mins)

I tried them this way, as I like to do the same with cabbage and figured the added salt may take some of the bitterness out after caramelizing the edges...

Happy Sunday from a newly converted "little head lover"!

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA

April 8, 2011

Something New... And Cool...

Thanks to my friend JoeBlow, over at The Closet Professor, I have found another blog worthy of my non-famous blog-roll...

It's Davey Wavey over at Break the Illusion...

Check his introduction video out, then click on his blog... Very deep for a 27 year old...

Over and "Out", once again, from Portsmouth, VA


There is a donkey's head attached to an elephant's body (with Lipton bags hanging between it's legs) running Washington...

I am relatively astute in my political views. In large I support the ideas of the democratic party. Equality, a woman's right to choose, but at what cost? I am also a firm believer in a balanced (federal) budget. I mean, come on, we all have that responsibility every month... We have income, we have debts, and for the most part we make the ends meet... ta-dah...  Balanced...

Now for some reality...  September 11, 2001 came along and "we" entered an invasion to "support democracy" in Iraq... No complaints from me, "we" all believed that the evil that attacked us that day was based there and supported by their evil dictator...  Anyone object yet?

Now we start the "Cha-Ching" machine...

Wall Street started it's downward spiral on 9/12/2001, with a lot of Social Security and Federal funds invested in the robust market prior to that dreadful day. I look at the history of my own 401k and feel the pain that Washington "hopefully" felt after the market demonstrated the same characteristics of  "Flight 93" in that Pennsylvania field, the day before...


WMD?... I heard that acronym every day (as I suppose must of us did). Our nation's leaders had all agreed that the tyrant in Iraq had them and they made sure that we all experienced and agreed to the need for continued "support" of the (then) civil war "we" started in Iraq...


GW... (another unforgeable 8 year acronym) Continued to involve "us" in what then became considered the "war on terrorism". The men and women of our military do get paid for their service, as do the "contractors" enlisted to do the "dirty work" our service-members took an oath not to do... (and yes, I voted for the GW once)...


Then comes the banking and auto-manufacturers crisis. I'm not saying that "we" created it, but I do believe that the decade's financial whoas were a tsunami of sorts, propagated and "fear instilled" into all of "us" by the administration.


Welcome to 2009 and the Happy, Dreamy, "Changey" afterglow of a new President (with a same-party Senate and House) being elected... What could be better? I don't know... Maybe the unforgiving mid-terms of 2010? I'm just saying "Maybe" we expected too much of our new Administration, too soon...

There are a few "Cha-Ching" moments between then and today, yet now we have a stale-mate between Congress and the Administration based on deficit reduction... After the elections of 2010 the House is now controlled by the "Elephants and their Lipton bags".  Fiscal responsibility is every member's job. Where were they when we were spending 100's of BILLIONS of dollars in the middle east? (Actually most of them were there voting to "go for it")...  Then along came the extreme right "Lipton-ites". Their bags/balls swinging low and hard against the grain... Americans thought that was "cool" after the "Happy, Dreamy, Changey" thing didn't work out in the first year...

Now comes some reality... Many of my friends and acquaintances here in Virginia are military (or civilians employed by the military). If this Washington shut-down happens (based on the politicians "we" elected)'s inability to come to some sort of compromise or agreement, my friends will not be receiving a paycheck on the 15th (as they would normally)...


Our elected officials in Washington will, however, receive theirs...  Ask them to refuse their check or deposit (yes that includes the President)...  Let's see how quickly they can resolve the impasse...


And what about this whole Planned Parenthood proposed ban by the right? They would choose to close down the Federal Government for this? Why not take a few billion from defense spending? Or maybe all our political elected officials take a 10% cut in their offices's spending?

Over, "Out" and a bit cranky today, from Portsmouth, VA

April 7, 2011

Funny or Die... When Harry met Sally 2

Thanks to Kelly over at Rambling Along in Life... On his Facebook page...

This is too funny...  How in the world did they get them to do this?

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA

April 5, 2011

Blogger Request...

Hey all...

I have separated my favorite blogs (blogroll) into two categories... The one I used to have that featured Virginia blogs has now been expanded to include all of the Mid-Atlantic...

If you are based in SC, NC, VA, DE, DC or MD, please let me know so I can move your link (or add it if not already on my list)...

Thanks, and Happy Blogging!

Over and "Out" from the Mid-Atlantic, here in Portsmouth, VA

April 4, 2011

Too Much Gaga?

You Decide:

Maybe just a little less crotch grabbing???

Some of the special effects have some "interesting" shapes in them too...

Over and "Out" from a stormy morning off, in Portsmouth, VA

April 2, 2011

Worth Saying, Over and Over...

I got this from Alexander's blog:

When You’re Straight…
You get your name in the paper for getting married.
You get looks of admiration when you hold your partner’s hand.
You get a tax break for being married.
You get to keep your kids no matter how bad a parent you are.
You get to stay in the military if you engage in non-consensual sex.
You get AIDS, and you’re an “innocent victim.”
You have a life.
You Stand up for your rights and it makes you a “participatory citizen.”
When You’re Lesbian or Gay…
You get your name in the paper for committing sodomy.
You get spat upon and jeered at when you hold your partner’s hand.
You can’t get married.
You get your kids taken away from you no matter how good a parent you are.
You get kicked out of the military if you engage in consensual sex.
You get AIDS, and you obviously “deserve it.”
You have a “lifestyle.” not a Life
You Stand up for your rights and it makes you a “militant homosexual.”
Thank you my blogging friend, I could not have said it better!

Over and "Out" from a lesser place, here in Portsmouth, VA

April 1, 2011

A Canadian "Outing" of sorts...

I truly wish it were as well defined here in the USA...  But I so totally support my friends in "Canadia" (my personal interpretation of the pronunciation of our neighbors to the north)...  The following was posted on a blogging friend of mine from Canada, back in January of 2011...  

I always believed we (here in the USA) had it all together, until I read this...

"I am absolutely confident that my kids will be fine when my "outing" reaches our wider community. To start with, each kid is exceptionally self-confident and secure. Both are very much leaders. From an early age, each of them has shown remarkable courage in walking away peer pressure when the group was doing things which were unkind or just plain bad. I frequently wonder where this came from because neither of their parents had that degree of self-assurance, even as young adults!

The other important reason that I'm not concerned about them is the exceptionally "gay-friendly" school which my children attend.
Much as been said about the advantages of coming out at an early age, rather than at 45 as I did. Readers of this blog from less gay-friendly countries than Canada, such as Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Malaysia let alone parts of the United States and Australia, might have difficulty even imagining the gay-friendly atmosphere at my kids' public high school. (Canadian catholic high schools are very much less gay friendly)

While we are not some gay "shangri-la", I am very proud of the advances made in my town and country in recent years. You would expect the big Canadian cities to be gay-friendly, but the smallish city in which we live is also amazing in this regard.

The school has an extremely active GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) which has announcements most days over the PA system, frequent high-profile "gay awareness" events in the school and community, and posters everywhere.

In the past year, the school has flown the rainbow flag on the main flagpole outside the front of the school at least three times to mark days such as Word Aids Day, Anti-gay Bullying Day etc. On these occasions, the rainbow flag was there for an entire week, not just that day. The Canadian flag was actuallyremoved from the flagpole for that time; could this ever happen in some small "bible-belt" town in the southern US? On Pink Shirt Day, (an anti-bullying campaign which originated in Canada), there was widespread participation from staff and students alike, either wearing pink clothing or agreeing to put on a pink ribbon.

I see little grade10 kids going around the school, quietly "out" wearing a rainbow belt or rainbow shoelaces and marvel at their courage and confidence. They probably have no idea how much their lives were improved by the GLBT pioneers of previous generations.

Of course, there always will be morons who will bully and harass LGBT students.... as long as they tell an adult in the building, the school administration (with full school division support) will come down on the offender like a ton of bricks. They have a "zero tolerance" policy for bullying of all kinds, especially LGBT bullying.

There are a small number of "out" gay teachers, some married to same-sex spouses, who invariably are the coolest and most popular teachers in the school. (Don't know why that is.) It helps that Canada as a whole has had full same-sex marriage rights for over 10 years and protections for LGBT people in every aspect of life, such as employment and every other area.... it is the only world these kids have known.

Of course, there are fundamentalist religious groups who oppose all this, who may have passed their intolerant views down to their children. However, they are much fewer in number in the United States and much less vocal. Canadians, as a whole, really support LGBT rights and loud vocal protests from religious nut-jobs would receive very little (ie: close to none) public support."

Thank you, my blogging friend... Over and "Out" from a regular day here in Portsmouth, VA