Monthly Archives: January 2010

have you seen this man?





“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.”
Ella Wilcox

January 30, 1948 – Gandhi assassinated

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, is assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu fanatic.

Born the son of an Indian official in 1869, Gandhi’s Vaishnava mother was deeply religious and early on exposed her son to Jainism, a morally rigorous Indian religion that advocated nonviolence. Gandhi was an unremarkable student but in 1888 was given an opportunity to study law in England. In 1891, he returned to India, but failing to find regular legal work he accepted in 1893 a one-year contract in South Africa.

Settling in Natal, he was subjected to racism and South African laws that restricted the rights of Indian laborers. Gandhi later recalled one such incident, in which he was removed from a first-class railway compartment and thrown off a train, as his moment of truth. From thereon, he decided to fight injustice and defend his rights as an Indian and a man. When his contract expired, he spontaneously decided to remain in South Africa and launched a campaign against legislation that would deprive Indians of the right to vote. He formed the Natal Indian Congress and drew international attention to the plight of Indians in South Africa. In 1906, the Transvaal government sought to further restrict the rights of Indians, and Gandhi organized his first campaign of satyagraha, or mass civil disobedience. After seven years of protest, he negotiated a compromise agreement with the South African government.

In 1914, Gandhi returned to India and lived a life of abstinence and spirituality on the periphery of Indian politics. He supported Britain in the First World War but in 1919 launched a new satyagraha in protest of Britain’s mandatory military draft of Indians. Hundreds of thousands answered his call to protest, and by 1920 he was leader of the Indian movement for independence. He reorganized the Indian National Congress as a political force and launched a massive boycott of British goods, services, and institutions in India. Then, in 1922, he abruptly called off the satyagraha when violence erupted. One month later, he was arrested by the British authorities for sedition, found guilty, and imprisoned.

After his release in 1924, he led an extended fast in protest of Hindu-Muslim violence. In 1928, he returned to national politics when he demanded dominion status for India and in 1930 launched a mass protest against the British salt tax, which hurt India’s poor. In his most famous campaign of civil disobedience, Gandhi and his followers marched to the Arabian Sea, where they made their own salt by evaporating sea water. The march, which resulted in the arrest of Gandhi and 60,000 others, earned new international respect and support for the leader and his movement.

In 1931, Gandhi was released to attend the Round Table Conference on India in London as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. The meeting was a great disappointment, and after his return to India he was again imprisoned. While in jail, he led another fast in protest of the British government’s treatment of the “untouchables”–the impoverished and degraded Indians who occupied the lowest tiers of the caste system. In 1934, he left the Indian Congress Party to work for the economic development of India’s many poor. His protege, Jawaharlal Nehru, was named leader of the party in his place.

With the outbreak of World War II, Gandhi returned to politics and called for Indian cooperation with the British war effort in exchange for independence. Britain refused and sought to divide India by supporting conservative Hindu and Muslim groups. In response, Gandhi launched the “Quit India” movement it 1942, which called for a total British withdrawal. Gandhi and other nationalist leaders were imprisoned until 1944.

In 1945, a new government came to power in Britain, and negotiations for India’s independence began. Gandhi sought a unified India, but the Muslim League, which had grown in influence during the war, disagreed. After protracted talks, Britain agreed to create the two new independent states of India and Pakistan on August 15, 1947. Gandhi was greatly distressed by the partition, and bloody violence soon broke out between Hindus and Muslims in India.

In an effort to end India’s religious strife, he resorted to fasts and visits to the troubled areas. He was on one such vigil in New Delhi when Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist who objected to Gandhi’s tolerance for the Muslims, fatally shot him. Known as Mahatma, or “the great soul,” during his lifetime, Gandhi’s persuasive methods of civil disobedience influenced leaders of civil rights movements around the world, especially Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States.



“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”
 – Mohandas Gandhi

birthday star!

happy, happy birthday to the very best sister-in-law, outstanding mother and overall fabulous person, laura cagnassola!



“A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses. ”
~Chinese Proverb


9:45 pm

it poured rain all day long and now it smells like worms outside.



“The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser – in case you thought optimism was dead.”

 Robert Brault

7:45 am

january 25, 2010.  it’s 7:45 am,  58 degrees, pitch dark and raining.  of course the heat is going strong and i suspect it’s somewhere around 79 degrees in the apartment and i am experiencing a  light case of stress induced vertigo. this is what my backyard view should look like at 7:45 in the morning:

backyard view

58 degrees & raining

.                                                                                                                                                                         this is my current view.  

i have made a plan to have a productive day anyway.


“I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge?”
 – Douglas Adams

just wondering



“I always thought I should be treated like a star.”
 – Madonna

just fyi

The next time you head into your grocer’s produce department, keep this in mind:  The average non-organic fruit contains more than 20 pesticides.


High-tech tomatoes.  Mysterious milk.  Supersquash.  Are we supposed to eat this stuff?  Or is it going to eat us? 
~Annita Manning

subtle butt fart pads

strange new products – may be my new favorite website.

Subtle Butt – Fart Pads

by Steve
Wednesday, December 12, 2007 

Subtle Butt Fart PadsA company called The Pond Inc. is now selling a product called “Subtle Butt”, billed as a fart neutralizer, to eliminate smelly flatulence.

It’s an activated carbon fabric pad, measuring 3.25″ x 3.25″ square, and adheres to the inside of your underwear with two self-adhesive strips.

As the wind breaks, Subtle Butt filters the flatulence, absorbing and neutralizing its odor. Now you can eat as many burritos you want and still have a social life.

Available in a five pack, they retail for $9.95 per pack…



“There is nothing so strange and so unbelievable that it has not been said by one philosopher or another. ”
 – Rene Descartes

dolce & sweet pea

today i met dolce and sweet pea on first avenue and 70th street. dolce is 180 lbs and sweet pea weighs 120 lbs! they live together with their owner in a small apartment.

sweet pea



“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they’re okay, then it’s you.”
 – Rita Mae Brown

good words


          People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

            If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

            If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

           If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

            What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

            If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

            The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

         Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

         In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa



“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
 Mahatma Gandhi

a new designer dog

they used to be called mutts.  and it always seems as though their owners are so proud of their designer pet brand.  kind of like owning a genuine hermes.

ivan and i just met a very cute 8 month old puppy on first avenue. a tiny little long haired golden ball of cuteness.  when i asked what kind of dog she was, her owner prouldy told me she is a hybrid – dachshund and  yorkie –  she’s  a  “dorkie.”

i just wish i had my camera so i could show you a picture  .  .  .  .  of the woman.

here are some more mutts i found online:

Beabull (Beagle / English Bulldog mix)
Bernedoodle (Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle)
Biton (Bichon Frise and Coton de Tulear)
Boggles (Boston Terrier and Beagle mix)
Bull Russel (American Bulldog / Jack Russel Terrier mix)
Buggs (Boston Terrier and Pug mix)
Carlin Pinschers (Muggins (Pug / Min Pin) mix
Cavallons (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Papillon mix)
Cava-Tzus (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Shih Tzu mix)
Chinese Frise (Chinese Crested and Bishon Frise mix)
Chi-tzu (Chihuahua/Shih Tzu mix)
Chonzers (Bichon Frise / Schnauzer mix)
Chorkie (Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier mix) aka Yorki-chi, Yorky-chi
Chug (see Puha below)
Chuggles (Chihuahua, Pug, Beagle mix)
Chug-Tzu (Chihuahua and Pug and Shih-Tzu mix)
Cockalier (Cavacocker) (Cocker Spaniel/Cavalier King Charles Spanel mix)
Crusties (Chinese Crested and Yorkshire Terrier mix)
Dachsadors (Doxadors) – Miniature Dachshund and Labrador Retriever mix
Deagle – (Beagle and Dachshund mix)
Dorkie (Dachshund and Yorkshire Terrier mix)
English Bulldog and Boston Pug mix
English Bulldog and Boston Terrier mix
English Bulldog and Olde English Bulldogge mix
Foxxy T Poms (Toy Fox Terrier / Pomeranian mix)
Golden Chessies (Golden Retriever Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix)
Golden Labradoodles (Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever and Poodle mix)
Havachon (Havanese and Bichon Frise mix)
Havahuahua (Havanese and Chihuahua mix)
Havorkies (Havanese and Yorkie mix)
Jug ( Jack Russell Terrier and Pug mix)
Lachons (Lhasa Apso and Bichon Frise mix)
Lhasaliers (Lhasa Apso and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix)
Maltese mixes (Variety of mixes year round)
Maltichon (Maltese/Bichon Frise mix)
Maltipom (Maltese and Pomeranian mix)
Maltion (Maltese and Papillon mix)

i don’t know if i would ever get another dog.   if i do,  i will consider a crustie havorkie,  but i know i will never find a better breed than this:


“Breed a Boxer with a German Shorthaired Pointer, you get a Boxershorts. A dog never seen in public.”

 – Good Dog! magazine

give, pray, pass it on

this tragedy is unimaginable to the mind.  i know this because i lived in nyc on 9-11.  on 55th street i was terrified and horrified but that was not nearly as terrifying as being in tribeca, just 3 miles closer to ground zero.    nearly 3,ooo people died that day.  i can’t pretend to know the grief, the pain and the fear people are feeling today in haiti – what i know is, that  no one can.  i also know they need prayers, they need money and they need everyone’s help.

i anticipate many stories of heroism, goodness generosity and kindness to flood the media.  it is good to be reminded of our true nature.

5:14 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2009 — A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck southern Haiti, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

11:45 p.m. — “Can hear people gathered in the distance singing prayers”
8:41 a.m. — U.S. was the first to offer help, says Haitian ambassador to the U.S.

9:39 a.m. — “I heard a lot of people praying, saying that Jesus is coming, saying that we need to pray, we need to save our lives by believing in God,” witness Carel Pedre tells CNN.

10:20 a.m. — People of Haiti will have full support of the United States, President Obama says.

10:35 a.m. — Twitter is playing a critical role in collecting donations to help disaster victims.
11:03 a.m. — 50-member Chinese rescue team ready to depart for Haiti, China’s Xinhua news agency reports.
11:07 a.m. — Catholic Relief Services staff member Karel Zelenka provided this account via e-mail. “Damage incredible all around … People have been screaming and chanting all over the place … It is a disaster of the century, we should be prepared for thousands and thousands of dead and injured.”

3:05 p.m. — The U.S. Coast Guard has mobilized ships and aircraft to positions where they can be quickly sent to Haiti if needed, the service says on its Web site. Standing by are: A C-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater

4:00 p.m. — The World Food Programme is immediately airlifting an additional 86 metric tons of food from its emergency hub in El Salvador, which will provide more than half a million emergency meals

4:01 p.m. — The World Health Organization is sending a 12-person team to Haiti to help with the medical response

4:02 p.m. — AmeriCares is sending $3 million worth of medical aid to Haiti, including antibiotics, bandages and other medical supplies, and is sending relief workers to help distribute the supplies

4:02 p.m. — Habitat for Humanity is sending an assessment team to Haiti and putting together resources “to address shelter solutions for low-income families affected” by the quake

4:04 p.m. — Brazil’s Ministry of Defense ordered its troops in the country to offer whatever assistance they can

4:07 p.m. — Spain is sending three planeloads of aid — two from Panama in Central America and one from Madrid

4:10 p.m. — U.S House of Representatives holds a moment of silence for earthquake victims in Haiti.

4:18 p.m. — Cuba sent an additional 30 doctors, plus medical supplies, to join the 344 doctors and paramedics it already had working throughout Haiti on humanitarian missions

4:19 p.m. — France, Haiti’s former colonial ruler, dispatched two planeloads of rescue personnel, one from Guadeloupe in the Caribbean and one from Marseilles

4:47 p.m. — The World Bank promised $100 million in emergency funding for recovery and reconstruction

5:31 p.m. — Search-and-rescue teams from the U.S. prepared to head to Haiti, among them the 72-person Los Angeles County, California, Fire Urban Search and Rescue team and the 80-member Miami-Dade, Florida, Urban Search and Rescue Team. The teams include paramedics, search dogs, communication specialists and rescuers trained in combing through collapsed structures

6:43 p.m. — Iceland is sending a 37-man search-and-rescue team and offered to help evacuate foreign nationals

7:11 p.m. — Under a U.S. State Department program, individuals with U.S. cell phones can donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting “Haiti” to 90999. The State Department said Wednesday afternoon that the campaign had received nearly 83,000 hits.

7:15 p.m. — Former U.S. President and U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton urged people to donate to

7:50 p.m. — The Jolie-Pitt Foundation announced it would contribute $1 million to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières’

8:29 p.m. — One of two U.S. miltary planes carrying a 30-man assessment team arrived at Port-au-Prince airport about 5:30 pm

8:36 p.m. — A unit of U.S. Air Force Special Operations Forces left Hurlburt Field in Florida, with the unit including airmen, search-and-rescue experts and equipment to set up temporary air traffic control systems

9:00 p.m. — The Dominican Republic was the first country to give aid to Haiti in the aftermath of Tuesday’s devastating earthquake

9:45 p.m. — The New York Yankees announced a donation of $500,000 in support of rescue and relief efforts.

4:09 a.m. — Doctors, medicine and more rescuers were scheduled to land in Haiti on Thursday as nation after nation pledged to help the earthquake-battered country.

6:30 a.m. — Chile was sending 20 doctors, a rescue team, 12 tons of medical supplies, food and 3 tons of medicine to Haiti

6:42 a.m. — A 60-member rescue team with three sniffer dogs arrived from China on Thursday, the official news agency Xinhua reported. Taiwan also sent a team of 23 rescuers and two dogs late Wednesday, according to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

6:45 a.m. — A four-member rescue team from Israel was scheduled to arrive Thursday morning, followed by two more jets carrying a field hospital and 220 rescue and hospital workers
cnn story

what will you do?

  • CARE, which have deployed emergency team members to Port-au-Prince to assist in recovery efforts. They’re focusing their efforts on rescuing children who may still be trapped in schools that collapsed.
  • Oxfam has four offices in Haiti and over 200 highly-experienced aid workers on the ground. They are already responding to the situation where assistance is most needed.
  • AmeriCares has already committed $5 million in medical and humanitarian aid, is sending emergency response experts to Haiti, and is currently preparing an emergency airlift to their partners in Haiti.
  • Action Aid’s Strategic Crisis Fund, which coordinates immediate disbursement of funds for rapid or slow-onset humanitarian response, such as providing medicines, food and shelter to people in need.
  • MADRE has activated an emergency response through its partner organization, Zanmi Lasante Clinic.The most urgent needs right now are bandages, broad-spectrum antibiotics and other medical supplies, as well as water tablets to prevent cholera outbreaks.The doctors, nurses and community health workers there are working to get bring medical assistance and supplies to areas that have been hardest hit.
  • B’ANI B’RITH DISASTER RELIEF FUND, the most widely known Jewish humanitarian, human rights and advocacy organization. Since 1843, BBI has worked for Jewish unity, security, continuity and tolerance.

Of course other important groups are doing essential work:

Doctors Without Borders operates one of the only free trauma centers in Port-au-Prince as well as an emergency hospital in the capital for pregnant women, new mothers, and newborn children. All three of its primary medical centers have collapsed, but DWB has already set up temporary shelters and is offering emergency care on the ground.

If you want to do something super immediate, Text “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 to Yele Haiti charged to your phone — Famous musician Wyclef Jean (@wyclef) created this foundation to permanently improve the lives of the most impoverished in his home country of Haiti. The L.A. Times reports Wyclef has already helped raise $400,000 through Yele Haiti for the disaster.

Donate to Partners in Health— PIH (@pih_org) is already on the ground in Haiti and mobilizing their relief efforts. If you have heard of Paul Farmer, this is the organization he co-founded. Working to provide health care and education to the poorest of Haiti.


Support Disaster Relief in Haiti

On January 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. Join recovery efforts mobilizing around the world to assist earthquake victims. Your donation will help disaster victims rebuild their lives and their communities. We’ll donate $1 million to help organizations provide relief.

Donate to UNICEF

  • UNICEF has been the world’s leading international children’s organization, working in over 150 countries to address ongoing issues that affect children, such as clean water, education, and emergency response.
  • 100% of your contributions will reach the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support emergency relief efforts.

Donate to CARE

  • CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.
  • Our mission is to serve individuals and families in the poorest communities in the world. Drawing strength from our global diversity, resources and experience, we promote innovative solutions and are advocates for global responsibility.

we can all do something.   give,  pray,  forward this link.


 “If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.”
 Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama

get your veges!


health food

health food



excellent source of vegetables


when i first saw this i was at a loss for words.  the more i obsessed on it, many questions came to mind.  most importantly, who is the boss of the ‘marketing genius’  who allowed this product to come to market  and, has he / she been fired yet?    if not, why?   also,  does the management of pepperidge farms seriously think there are human beings on this planet who may honestly consider goldfish a vegetable source?    is it possible that even one person may fall for this insanity?    lastly, and most importantly, when pepperidge farms management  conceptualized this new food item, why didn’t they just go all out and  tout all the nutritional benefits of the actual fish?  rather than simply promoting goldfish as  a  ‘baked’ (translation – healthy!),  ‘natural’  (translation – healthy!) vegetable source (translation – healthy!),  why didn’t they add  just a drop of  dehydrated fish scale  to the recipe  and  make it a good source of protein and omegas 3 & 6 too?   that way it could be a complete meal.

maybe i could get a job in the pepperidge farms marketing department.  they’ll pay me good money and i’ll  make a television commercial for my sea & garden cheddar goldfish.  there will be a family of four sitting at the dinner table.  the mom and dad will have  plates with  salmon, broccoli  and salad.  the children will be eating  sea & garden cheddar goldfish, a good source of vegetables, protein and omega 3 fish oil!  everybody will be happy and smiling.

i’m updating my resume.


“Insanity is the only sane reaction to an insane society.”
Thomas Szas

ammonia treated beef?

do people know that their children eat ammonia treated beef in school?
do people actually know they are serving ammonia treated beef to their families?

Customers back ammonia-treated beef after report

The Associated Press
Thursday, December 31, 2009; 6:50 PM
— Restaurant chains and beef processors defended their products’ safety Thursday after a report that an ammonia treatment thought to kill harmful germs in meat isn’t as effective as the industry and regulators believed.
The New York Times reported Thursday, citing government and industry records, that E. coli and salmonella were found dozens of times in testing for the federal school lunch program on ammonia-treated beef from Beef Products Inc. The meat was not served.
A spokesman for Beef Products, based in Dakota Dunes, S.D., said samples mentioned in the report showed traces of E. coli in 0.6 percent of the company’s production, while USDA tests found E. coli in 1.03 percent of other beef samples.
“We intend to continue as a leader in food safety efforts,” spokesman Richard Jochum said in an e-mail. He said the company’s proprietary process that treats beef trimmings with ammonia to kill bacteria is just one part of its safety and testing regimen.
No illnesses have been linked to Beef Products’ meat.
Fast-food chains McDonald’s Corp. and Burger King Holdings Inc. and agricultural conglomerate Cargill Inc. all use the meat in their hamburgers. All said they’ll keep using the meat and that their products are safe.
McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast-food chain, tests its products throughout the supply chain, said Susan Forsell, vice president of quality systems at the Oakbrook, Ill.-based company. McDonald’s said it doesn’t plan to change its relationship with the company.
“McDonald’s food safety and quality assurance standards are among the highest in the industry,” Forsell said.
Cargill spokesman Mark Klein said the company plans to continue to work with Beef Products, whose meat it uses in hamburger patties. He said Cargill does testing beyond standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That means requiring certificates that show the meat tests negative for E. coli, along with tests of finished food products.
Burger King uses a “small percentage” of Beef Products Inc.’s beef trimmings in its U.S. hamburgers and does not plan to change that, spokeswoman Denise Wilson said.
She said the company’s suppliers must test products themselves and submit them to Burger King-approved labs for more testing.
USDA officials had endorsed Beef Products’ treatment and said it destroyed E. coli “to an undetectable level.” The agency trusted the method so much that in 2007, when the department began routine testing of meat used in hamburger sold to the public, it exempted Beef Products, the Times reported.
The Beef Products meat has been widely used by restaurants and in products sold in grocery stores. The federal school lunch program used an estimated 5.5 million pounds last year, the Times said.
Morningstar restaurant analyst R.J. Hottovy said food scares don’t usually have long-term effects on restaurants’ business. The prominent exception, he said, was a 1993 E. coli outbreak that killed four children and sickened hundreds that was tied to hamburgers served at the Jack in the Box chain. Fallout from that incident cost Jack in the Box millions.
American Meat Institute spokeswoman Janet Riley said the association generally doesn’t comment on specific companies like Beef Producers. But in an e-mail statement she said nearly 8,000 federal inspectors oversee roughly 6,200 meat plants nationwide, and that human infections from the especially dangerous E. coli strain 0157:H7 have fallen 44 percent since the year 2000.
The report is unlikely to change beef consumption, said Abner Womack, senior economist at the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri.
U.S. beef demand for beef has remained relatively constant even amid massive recalls, disease outbreaks and scares over mad cow disease, Womack said.
“We tend to trust, more than any country in the world, the (government) food inspections,” he said.
Restaurant stocks were nearly unchanged Thursday in a light day of trading. McDonald’s gained 6 cents to $62.95 and Burger King lost 4 cents to hit $18.96. Cargill is privately held.


“Mosquitoes remind us that we are not as high up on the food chain as we think”
 Tom Wilson 

happy year to you, lori!

may it be the best so far!

a good grape!


“It’s true, some wines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place. ”
– Abigail Van Buren


best friends

what happened, my friend? what happened?
your memory lives on in my heart.

until we meet again,



“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace”
 – Thomas Paine