To each his own. To me my own.

News

Gateway on the Lake

For some time now, the entrance way into the town of Lake Wylie has harbored the very deserted Waterside Crossing Shopping Center. I couldn’t help but compare it’s sad and desolate appearance with that of my own from several years back, when it’s adjacent boat landing all but became a second home to me. I spent more hours parked in front of that lake than I care to admit – long before I’d ever considered making it my home.

Lake Wylie will always hold a very special place in my heart – it’s the place I chose to start a new life. For sure, I was a stranger in a strange world – but the locals here seemed so friendly and welcoming. Even the fine folks down at the Chamber of Commerce made me feel like I’d known them for years, inviting me to the conference table each visit to sit a spell. I’m almost convinced it’s my own insistent badgering for a new local area map that ushered in the new one. Almost.

I don’t live here anymore, but I still get to cross Buster Boyd Bridge and pass through Lake Wylie on my way home each day. It’s just a given – this is a community that I’ll always love and feel a part of. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve all but ran off the road attempting to look at the reconstruction going on in and around the lake’s abandoned marketplace.

Why? Because it’s being given life again.

Couldn’t squeeze it all in – this is only about half of it.

The new Wylie Gateway on the Lake will feature a 26,000+ square-foot family fun center including a bowling alley, jumphouse and more. Also new will be a hair salon, an Asian Fusion restaurant and a new YMCA. Having joined the Y recently, I’m uber-excited about this addition – which also promises to be the first scheduled opening on April 1st. The old saying ‘you can’t please everyone’ remains tried and true. I have heard that the vibrant colors that were chosen have offended some, while many others approve. Personally, I’m of the consensus that the colors promote a friendly and fun family feel within a vibrant lake community, which is exactly what Lake Wylie needs to boost economic growth. One simply cannot argue the benefit of life being breathed into this location again.

Besides… this place isn’t going to look sad anymore. 🙂

Link to Article in Lake Wylie Pilot

Link to Planning, York Development Group


RIP, Dan Wheldon

It was the finale of the year, the Indy race at Vegas Motor Speedway. Little did anyone know how it would end. It was to be a day in which Indy racing would lose one of their very own… english driver Dan Wheldon.

Anyone who follows any type of racing knows what ‘the big one’ means. It translates to worse-case scenario, a bunch of cars getting together – usually with injuries, sometimes even a fatality. Early on in lap 13, the big one happened. There were fifteen cars total, and it was one of the worst wrecks I’ve ever seen. It immediately took me back to 2001 when Dale Earnhardt died in NASCAR’s Daytona 500.

As many others did, Keith and I spent the rest of the afternoon awaiting word on the condition of the most seriously injured driver, Dan Wheldon. Already considered a veteran in the sport at a young 33 years old, he was respected and admired by the young guns. He was a two-time champion of the Indianapolis 500, this year as well as 2005.

When a car gets covered up with tarps after a wreck, you just know it’s not good. The commentators tried to tell the viewing audience at home it was covered ‘to keep all the parts intact’ – their attempt at a diversion. After about an hour we sensed the outcome, from the heavy feeling in our stomachs to the drivers’ faces when they came out of their drivers meeting. They tried hard not to show their emotion, while the media continued their job of shoving cameras in their faces. About two hours after the initial crash, the word finally came that everyone dreaded. Dan Wheldon had passed away from unsurvivable injuries in the wreck.

It was respectfully decided the race would not continue. The emotional drivers requested a five-lap tribute to Dan, which the officials quickly granted. They lined up in perfect formation and drove three-wide for their tribute, while bagpipes played in the background. It was very emotional to any and all who were watching – but I can only imagine how it was for those who knew him.

The speeds these cars reach is nothing short of amazing. I know it can happen… and these men and women know exactly what it is they’re signing up for. Even if you don’t follow racing, a tragedy like this sends a stark reminder that we never know when our day will come. On any given day, any one of us may be the one to get in the car, buckle up, and simply not come back home. We are never promised another day.

May you rest in peace, Dan. You sure had a lot of people who looked up to you.

Dan and his wife, Susie. © tampabay.com

Indianapolis win. © foxsports.com

Dan and one of his two sons, Sebastian © thestar.com

Indianapolis 500 win, customary milk drink. © huffingtonpost.com / AP


Waterboarding

Aside from the occasional reality show, Discovery and History channels, about the only thing I watch on television is national news channels. I learned a few things about the Warren Jeff’s case in Utah yesterday that were so disturbing I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Unfortunately I’m not talking about one of my favorite water sports here.

I’m aware of the bigamy. The child marriages. The alleged ‘brainwashing’. The whole god-like persona this man has assumed in order to maintain control of his sect. I refuse to label any of this as religion – I will however label it as false religion. False religion as in hiding under the word of God to promote his and others own selfish and unspeakable acts. Hey, I realize it’s just my opinion – but it’s what I believe.

As if all of the above wasn’t bad enough…

I must admit, I had no earthly idea what waterboarding meant. Wiki describes this torture as ‘water being poured over the face of an immobilized captive, causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning’. Apparently there are varying forms of the abuse, and the women of this compound in Utah have put an entirely different spin on it. They are taught to restrict their babies from crying from birth throughout toddlerhood. When the babies cry, they instinctively cup their hands over the babies mouths to ‘quiet’ them. This deprives them of air, thus halting the crying momentarily. As more crying ensues, they repeat this torture until the child is completely exhausted and just falls asleep passes out. By the time the child gets older, they will have been all but voided of their emotions – which was the plan all along. Transformed into a debilitative state of mind, the females become totally reliant on their male elders for literally everything.

This is an absolutely deplorable act. It’s illegal. It’s child abuse in one of the highest forms. It shouldn’t be labeled something as aesthetically or audibly pleasing as ‘waterboarding’. I’ll just call it what it is, thanks – smothering.

As of last night, officials are pondering whether to file formal charges on the adult women with child abuse. Of course they should!! Officials should do anything and everything to take charge of this situation and protect these poor children who have no voice. How could you hand over your 11-year old daughter to a 50+year old man in the hand of marriage rape? Sorry, no mother-of-the-year award for you this go-round. I say charge these women now, and get the children out now. Counseling for undue influence can come at a later date. Know that Warren Jeffs IS replaceable, and will be if convicted – no doubt about that little factoid.

It’s 2011, and these unspeakable acts are still being committed against our children. Simply unbelievable… or is it?


Sense and Sensibility

Once again I’ve let time get the best of me, and I miss writing something. Anything. At almost noon on a Saturday morning with housework and errands poking me on the shoulder, I’m reminded one again of that time thing. About two weeks or so ago, I wrote a quick post on my thoughts of crime and mental instability in the world – but never got around to posting it. I guess a day in which time is pressing hard on me is as good a day as any.

I’ve only read a little bit on the case of Jared Lee Loughner, the man who went on the mass killing spree in Toucson, AZ back in January. As of current, he has been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial for his crimes.

When I first heard of this ruling, I admit my initial reaction was that the world needed rid of this worthless piece of garbage – I was very angry. I had to stop for a minute, take a step back and look hard at the situation. If this man really is mentally incompetent, how could I hold any animosity towards him for that? If it’s truly something mental that dictated his actions, something he himself could not control – how on earth could I blame him?

There are so many psychological issues we have to deal with in the world now. Have these ultra-complex issues actually existed the entire time, of which our medical technology is just now scratching the surface? There’s so much out there in the world now that we don’t understand, things we’ll probably never understand. The human brain is the most intensely complex organ in our body. From mild, moderate to severe – mental instabilities weigh more in our society now than ever before.

During a routine visit to my MD recently, even he admitted there just wasn’t enough medical staff dedicated to the many branches of mental illness that we now know to exist. He said because of this, he and his other colleagues are continually having to ‘up their game’ on their education. This is where we are in the world today – not enough professional help, nor understanding of illnesses or imbalances.

When someone who does a wrong or injustice to another, the human in us wants that person to be held accountable. Unless you are specifically trained in the field, it’s difficult or impossible to recognize a mental illness. Simply said, there are many people committing crimes who are not capable of willfully controlling their actions. All you have to do is watch the world news, heck I’ll take a step back and say local news, to see all the senseless crimes being committed.

I must continually remind myself to tote an extra bit of compassion around just for this cause, and I’ll be the first to admit it’s a tough thing to do.


The Royal Wedding

Well, the big day has finally arrived! The Royal Wedding will take place in less than 24 hours. I must ask beforehand that you forgive the sarcastic undertone of this post. You see, for the past couple of weeks I’ve heard more than my share of negative comments and opinions about the Royal Wedding – in turn, this has propelled me into smartass-Bon mode (not good). Allow me to elaborate.

The original title of this post was “Asses that attempt to ruin Royal Weddings“. I have since changed it, but still thought it noteworthy. I didn’t change it because I no longer believe negative people to be asses… I changed it because I didn’t want the word to be in the same sentence as Royal Wedding. So there. (Negative people – that means you’re still an ass.)

Additionally, I will make it my mission to overuse the words Royal Wedding in this post. If this offends you, know that I find that awesome. Now, on to more talk about the Royal Wedding. Because I can.

Most of the posts I see are so very redundant. If you’re so bored and ‘over’ the Royal Wedding, must you use your precious time to talk about it? By doing this, aren’t you allowing even more ‘air time’ to the Royal Wedding? Here’s some food for thought: posting comments of how sick you are of the Royal Wedding translates into how very intriguing and appealing it must be to you. If you’re truly sick of the Royal Wedding, why not simply change channels or read on to something else? Or perhaps there’s something deeper going on than meets the eye, other than the Royal Wedding. (Hey, how am I doing on that overuse thing?)

Here’s my comparison: when the college ball games were all going on a few weeks back, that entire series of games seemed to last for about a year. I know for a fact that I’m not the only person who doesn’t follow or care for it. But I absolutely would not post on Twitter, FB, ABC News, etc.: “No one gives a s**t about college basketball!!” It would be ridiculous. Why? Because yes, people do exist that give a s**t about college basketball.

Well, so what? It’s my status or comment, and I’ll post what I want! Isn’t that the purpose of it all? Freedom of speech, baby – take it or leave it. I choose to take it. So back off.

Okay, yeah it IS your comment. As far as freedom of speech, I beg to differ – we do not have anything of the sort here in America. There’s only a handful of things we may blurt out without risk of offense to others. If we do say something inappropriate we get blasted for it, or even worse, sued. Freedom of speech, pfftthh – sore subject with me. I’ll save that for another post to be listed in the category The Angry American. Coming soon to a blog near you.

Okay Bon. So what’s your point? If it’s my post and I can write about what I want, and I want to write about how much I hate all the hype of the Royal Wedding, what the heck IS your point?

Here’s my bottom line. Very rarely do we the people get the opportunity to enjoy anything good on the news. Everything is terrorism, war and soldiers dying, missing people, rape, murder and catastrophic weather events. The Royal Wedding is a bright spot in the midst of a storm – dare I even say it brings a ray of light and hope to many. I realize that women tend to be more susceptible to swoon over a fairytale romance, but I also know of quite a few men who appreciate it too. Not swoon over it, mind you – but appreciate it. Who couldn’t use an extra serving of love?

I guess everyone’s got something to say about something – this just happens to be mine. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to enjoy a fantastic Royal Wedding with the haters left scurrying behind me. Cheers!!


Will and Kate

Amidst the daily life struggles, including controversy, drama and in-general mean and miserable people – there is a bright spot I have looked forward to for some time now. An event in which I’ve taken the entire day off from work to enjoy watching.

The Royal Wedding.

I’ve always enjoyed reading other people’s comments when it comes to a subject of interest. Over the past few days, a good many comments astound me. The British Monarchy’s facebook page created an event for the Royal Wedding. How about such negative comments on that as “I’ll bet 79% couldn’t give a toss about the wedding” or “So sick of hearing about this, move on to something else already.”

Seriously? You’re sick of hearing about it but you’re going to take initiative to write about how sick of it you are? That takes precious time, my friend! Newsflash – you liked the British Monarchy’s facebook page to begin with… what do you expect to read about?? The news channels are the absolute worst. Every time something is posted about the Royal Wedding, negative comments come flooding in. Have the majority of these les miserables really become so curmudgeoned to the daily routine of life that they are unable to appreciate a good love story anymore?

Maybe it’s just me, but that’s how I see it – and such is life. As for me, this old romantic shall remain upbeat and continue to appreciate a monumentally happy event. After all, who couldn’t use a little happiness?


A Royal Occasion

I did it… I indulged myself. Call me crazy if you will, though I personally prefer the word romantic. This past Monday, I put in for a vacation day on April 29th. This is the date of the Royal Wedding.

Having had ancestors that hailed from Wales, as well as certain parts of Scotland and Ireland, the Royal Family has always held a special place in my heart. Truth be told, in my own lifetime, I believe it all started with Diana. Of course it started with Diana. Was there a person in existence who didn’t love her? She was the epitome of grace, dignity and beauty – with a kind and caring heart. Her tragic death was a blow to the world.

I’ll never forget where I was when I heard the news. My husband, daughter and I were at the beach celebrating our tenth anniversary. That dreaded news, which we’d stayed up late in apprehension of, came during the wee hours of Sunday morning. I had to wear shades to hide my hideously swollen eyes for the remainder of the trip. These memories are still as fresh as if they’d happened just yesterday.

On his eighteenth birthday, Prince William received from his grandmother a new coat of arms, or crest. He chose to commemorate his mother by including a red scallop shell (escallop gules) prominent in the Spencer ancestors’ coats of arms, four times on his – though one must have sharp eyes to catch it. I’ve always loved what we usually refer to as a ‘sea shell’, but never knew of the association with Princess Diana’s own crest or of the commemoration by her son. I find this so very special.

©www.royal.gov.uk

Prince William and his beautiful bride Catherine Middleton (Kate) will have their own fairy-tale wedding on that last Friday in April. I like to think that Diana will somehow be granted a view of her first-born son and his Princess as they begin their life’s journey together as one.

On March 2nd, the website designed for the Royal Wedding was unveiled. Needless to say, I wasted no time popping that little address into my VIP bookmarklets.

So happy for the two of them…


Define IRONY…

Well, actually it came by way of the 5 o’clock news this evening.

There’s a strangeness that no one can quite put their finger on. In a suburb right outside of my lovely town, a little girl was photographed. By a stranger. Playing in the snow. Zipped up tight to her nose in fluffy coatings and wintry garb. That’s right folks, a picture was taken.

Let me say first, I’m not trying to make light of any sort of potentially dangerous situation, particularly that which involves a child. But I’ve gotta say, there are some things with this ‘story’ that just don’t jive well with me.

The story as told by an 8-year old girl starts with her playing down the street from her house, and looking up to see a man taking a snapshot of ‘her’. She ran home to tell her mother. Mom is then broadcast all over the evening news rolling her eyes and saying “the thought of a sick, perverted man having a picture of my daughter infuriates me”. Every. Ten. Minutes. Well yeah lady, I have a daughter. That particular thought would infuriate me too.

But.

Let’s say for the sake of argument – there was this man going down the road with his wife driving (the little girl reported he was in the passenger seat – with no description of the driver) who decided to take a few rare southern snow pics, like I had the urge to do my own self today. The little girl (or other children) just happened to be in the general vicinity of where the camera was faced. Hell, it’s happened to me many times – I’ve just never been ‘accused’ of anything. But then again… I’m female. Hey, somebody had to say it…

Through many years of photography, I of course have my own photo library. Rather than a subject who happens to be laced, zipped and velcroed all the way up to their nostrils in the dead of winter – I’m quite sure a few of mine are on a public beach (Gasp**) in bathing suits! Certainly they weren’t the intended subjects of the frame – but what if they had been? This is what it’s come to. Yes, this. Here and now.

I must give credit to my Dad and his eagle-eye on this subject, as it was he who called and brought me up to speed on the said situation-at-hand. Yes, it’s pretty bad when you can’t be your normal self anymore. To be forced to avoid situations we’ve not only been accustomed to all our lives but have been raised to admire, respect and enjoy. Now we have to worry about staring a little too long, if at all… whether anything we say might be perceived as a prelude to an abduction… not to mention the subjects that might happen to be in the general vicinity of our cameras… need I even go on? And if you don’t worry about it… well you’d better worry about it. I don’t wish to downplay the possibility of a legitimate threat on this particular story. What I wish to up-play is the fact that we can’t snapshot a timeless moment anymore, without the fear of consequences.

Because this is where we are.

But Bon, where on earth is this irony you speak of? You really mucked this title up – wayyy off!!

Here we go, folks. In between sessions of Mom rolling her eyes and speaking of Joe Pedophile staring at photos of her little girl – a lighter, more airy segment flashed up where us viewers got the chance to see submitted photos of the snow aired on tonight’s edition of the local news. How sweet and funny they were, too – most submitted anonymously. Anything from snowmen, to sledding, to children playing, to pets playing, to…. hey BACK UP just a minute. Did you just say children playing????

IMHO the persons behind each of these two segments had to be on two different wavelengths, in two different buildings. In two different cities. With no communication tools. Ahem, you get my drift. Speaking of drifts…

Just be careful where and what you point those cameras at.

Story as seen on WBTV news


Mary Elizabeth

She is finally at peace. Born Mary Elizabeth Anania, her sunrise was July 3, 1949; sunset, December 7, 2010. Elizabeth passed away on a Tuesday at her home in Chapel Hill, NC after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer.

Although I might not have agreed with some of her political stances, I admire and respect the lady for reasons different than what one may expect.

  • Her family meant everything to her. Through the years she managed a very elegant balance between her home life with her husband and children, her professional career as an attorney, then later becoming her husband’s chief policy advisor during a presidential bid.
  • Her courageousness and perseverance was inspiring to all who have fought a disease and those who continue to fight.
  • She maintained such grace and poise after their oldest son Wade was killed in a car crash (age 17) in 1996. I cannot imagine what strength it must take to go on after the death of one of your own children.
  • She lived her private life on a public stage. Yeah, I’m gonna go there. The level of humiliation she must have endured after her husbands indiscretions came to light had to have been gut wrenching. I simply can’t think of any other term to describe it.

In September 2006, Edwards released a book, Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers, focusing on the death of her son and her illness. In May 2009, she released a second book, Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities, further detailing her illness, the deaths of her father and son, the effect of these events on her marriage, her husband’s infidelity, and the general state of health care in America.

On December 6, 2010, Elizabeth’s family announced that she had stopped cancer treatment after her doctors advised her that further treatment would be ‘unproductive’. The cancer had metastasized to her liver, and she had been advised she had several weeks to live. Her family members, including her estranged husband John, were with her. It was on this day she posted her last message on Facebook:

You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.

Elizabeth always felt that Wade was an angel, and that one day she would be able to see him again. Somehow I feel you’ve already found Wade, dear Elizabeth. May you rest in peace now.

Factual source: Wikipedia


Questions, always

In this day and age I continuously wonder how much shock value I have left in me when it comes to news of violence and crime, especially within the family. Oh, to heck with the shock value – what about the age-old question… why.

Just why.

The latest murder-suicide combo in Gastonia – a husband and wife who were upstanding citizens of the community and were well-known for helping people in need. She was a cheerleading coach and teacher, he was a county building inspector who helped out and volunteered at the school with his wife. Friends, teachers, and students alike loved and respected them both. They also had children, though the news didn’t list their ages.

Just what is it that makes the human brain snap? Is it a split-second occurrence, is it something that’s carefully calculated… are the consequences even considered? Is a chemically-imbalanced person even able to conceive of the repercussions of their actions? Did these family members used to sit around and have conversations about this kind of violence and how awful it is, thinking nothing like that could ever happen to them?

I just don’t get it. I guess we’re not meant to get it.

Story here.


It’s Pier-Thirty…

A man’s hope of evading a domestic violence charge was dashed when he dove into the ocean after a car chase and attempted to swim away. He ended up clinging for his life to a post of the Garden City Pier.

Read full story here.

The Garden City Pier is my very favorite. As much as I love the ocean and this pier, I simply cannot fathom jumping in and swimming out beyond it. I mean, that’s asking to either a) acquire a nice-sized hook in your neck, b) get a chunk taken out of you by the sharks that are known to frequent the waters surrounding the pier, or c) drown.

For this reason, Jerry Lee Thompson, Jr. gets my ‘balls of the day’ award. Congrats Jerry – hope it was worth all the barnacle cuts and scrapes.


The Hawkeye-Pokey

Here’s a nice bright spot for all of you this morning. The University of Iowa Hawkeye fans succeeded in breaking the Guinness world record for the largest organized Hokey-Pokey dance. How cool is that?

The record-breaking event happened September 3rd at the Iowa River Landing as part of Fryfest, an annual festival named after the former football coach Hayden Fry. 7,384 Hawkeye fans gathered to break the record, which was previously recorded at around 4,431 in 2003.

Credit: Sourcemedia Group News

81-year old Fry did not participate in the dance but did address the crowd to announce they were now members of the Hokey Pokey team. The crowd danced for about five minutes as part of the second-annual FRY Fest, which preceded the start of the Hawkeye football season this past Friday.

Credit: Sourcemedia Group News

Former Iowa Football Coach Hayden Fry watches as his wife Shirley (from left), Coralville Mayor Jim Fausset, and radio personality Ed Podolak participate in an attempt to set a world record for the most people doing the “Hokey Pokey” Friday, Sept. 3rd, 2010 during Fry Fest at the Iowa River Landing district in Coralville.

I’ve always said, a little song and dance will brighten up any day. 🙂


Recipe for Disaster

Another one has happened. A death, albeit a celebrity – at the hands of an automobile texting behind the wheel. Dr. Frank Ryan, a plastic surgeon to the stars, gained even further celebrity status when he controversially performed ten procedures in one single day on the reality series star Heidi Montag.

Dr. Ryan was driving along the Pacific Coast Highway immediately following a scenic hike with his beloved dog, Jill. He snapped the below picture of sweet Jill lying in the sand atop a cliff, as she gazed longingly towards the sea.

Twitter has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and Dr. Ryan seemed to have become as fond of it as I. Personally, I feel it’s the one social network in which you can share your thoughts with the rest of the world… without people yacking back at you. Rather, it doesn’t appear on your own page if they do – it dirties up their own.

His tweet: “Border collie jill surveying the view from atop the sand dune”

The one thing I don’t understand is why he didn’t tweet the picture right upon taking it, instead of waiting until he was behind the wheel. His car veered off a PCH cliff, down a 20-foot embankment of rocks. Dr. Ryan was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash with the official cause of death being blunt head trauma. Amazingly enough, his dog Jill survived but she has serious injuries after being found in the ocean below. I can only imagine the heartbreak his poor Mother is feeling! Quoted as saying on his 50th birthday just last year, “Happy birthday dear.. birthday boy… our miracle baby. He’s been wonderful, and I hope he has a long life.”

Photo rights © http://www.tmz.com

I know this is a hard one to look at, but there could be worse. Some of us need to see the reality of our actions… because I know I did.

I’m ashamed to admit that texting while driving is something I myself used to do. Before all the hype and headlines about the dangers it brought, I did it. Trust me when I say I’m not proud of it, and have had a few very close calls resulting from this selfless and careless act. I can’t tell you exactly what it was that changed my whole outlook – maybe it was the close calls, maybe all the news headlines… or maybe it was that dreaded four-minute video that circulated around on facebook and elsewhere. Whatever the case is – I realize how very lucky I am.

Texting while driving can be life changing, and life taking. For yourself, and for others. We don’t need the celebrity status to deem ourselves invincible… we have the uncanny ability of feeling that all on our own!! Please don’t chance it.


Gone

It’s still heavy on my mind this morning. I was on the phone with my guy yesterday while he was on the way home from work. He mentioned a traffic backup and slews of firetrucks en route somewhere in the vicinity of our old high school, including choppers hovering above. We casually dismissed it, then I found out the news. A good friend of mine lost her house in a fire.

It’s a complete loss. Her daughter and mother were home at the time and got out okay, but the mother went back in for something and collapsed in the living room from smoke inhallation – she is now in the hospital in ICU. They lost three pets and two are still missing. Anyone who has ever suffered a complete loss of their home through a fire can understand what these folks are going through – but to the rest of us, it’s just unfathomable. This was also my friend’s childhood home. I simply cannot imagine.

The facebook community has really come together for her on this. You know, I just can’t say enough about the ole’ social networking thing, it still never ceases to amaze me. It’s truly heartwarming and comforting to see the outpouring of love and offers of help to her and her family. All of our friends are rushing to her aid – these are mostly people who we’ve all known since childhood and went to school with. That in itself is really something, isn’t it?

Please say a prayer for the Helms family. Read story here


Green eggs and ham, hurricane Bonnie I am

It’s basically what I feel like this morning, green and salty. I could think of no better title. I know my last few posts have ventured over to the darker side, and I need to brighten it up. There’s no better way to begin that brighter note than to say it is a Friday!

I’m not gonna have the chance to write about this again for a long time, as it’s already been twelve years since the last one. I doubt I’ll reach hurricane status this time, but we’ll see.

Photo courtesy ABC news

The last hurricane Bonnie was in 1998. Ironically enough, she made landfall on August 27th, my eleventh wedding anniversary. 1998 was to be an iconic year for me, just as 2008 was. Something about that number 8 has always come into play for me. In 1988, my beautiful daughter was born. In 1998, my dear stepfather left this earth to go to heaven. And in 2008, I walked away from a twenty-one year marriage. I have more fascinating stories… but that’s a whole other blog. 🙂

I don’t know where you guys are – but it’s supposed to reach 100 degrees here for at least the next three days. Guess this begins the old ‘dog days of summer’. Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend… and stay cool out there!!


Fear Factor

There was another shark attack on the SC coastline this past weekend involving a 13-yr old girl, and I just read of another incident yesterday with a 10-year old boy. Though both were injured, they’ll be okay. Are the attacks increasing, or is it just me?

I probably watched a total of several hours combined this weekend of Expedition Great White on Nat Geo channel. These presentations are obviously a very favorite of mine, and anytime one is on (any shark show, for that matter) it never ceases to capture my full attention. Aside from pursuing writing, it would’ve been a lifetime dream to have a career in marine biology. I simply cannot imagine the ability to do that for a living. I’d literally scrub the decks of the vessel just to be there for a couple weeks time, to have that experience. I hope to be able to go down in a cage someday… I know it’s gotta be expensive, but it’s on my bucket-list anyway.

©2010, National Geographic

This shark was successfully tagged and released on an episode of Expedition Great White. The scientists, doctors and crew are all super-intricately careful as to how this is accomplished – and the safety of the shark is of utmost importance. I felt the need to explain the purpose of this photo because it almost appears as a hunt-and-capture shot… but it’s not.

We are learning so much more about these magnificent creatures. The research being done on them now has intensified times ten. It amazes me every time I witness a twenty-foot great white be caught, exhausted, and captured temporarily on a custom platform designed specifically for it. This has enabled so many different procedures to be performed that were never before possible. The sharks are successfully released well within 20 minutes. These shows have really raised awareness of our marine life, for which I’m grateful.

My mother and I used to go way out into the ocean, floating sometimes for long periods. We never pondered the the thought of a shark, much less ever ‘worried’ about it. Now? Well, I still love and respect the ocean more than ever. But you would literally have to dope me up (very well) in order to get me to go out over my head and remain there for any length of time NOW. So what’s changed? I mean, we knew enough then – we’d even seen the movie Jaws. But we didn’t have that certain ‘fear factor’ then. I’m still not quite getting that.

There are several things you can do to help prevent a shark attack, most of which are common sense. Even with that said, sometimes common sense factors aren’t exercised. For one, don’t go out swimming around a pier. Swimming in water where all that bait is never smart, besides, you don’t want to be hooked yourself, right? Also, stay in groups whenever possible as sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual. Avoid being in the water around daybreak or twilight, because this is when sharks are most active. Never wade deep when you are bleeding. Avoid wearing shiny jewelry, since the reflected light resembles the sheen of fish scales. Lastly, avoid areas where you see diving seabirds – this generally signals a sign of bait fishes or other feeding activity.

If you are in the ocean and spot a shark, the international hand signal for ‘shark’ is a flat hand with thumb against forehead, as in a fin. Be sure to use it if you need to – your voice alone is not much help when you’re in the ocean.

For the latest information on shark attacks, this one’s a great tool. http://www.sharkattackinfo.com/


Soul Sucker

Ever since I cancelled my cable, I tend to stay behind on the Hollywood news. I’m well aware that some people think it’s silly to keep up with famous people anyway – but it’s more of a curiousity to me, the ability to see how the ‘other half’ lives.

The Mel Gibson telephone conversations with his wife – I just ran across a few of the audio recordings online. Oh. My. God.

To say this ‘man’ has serious, serious, serious problems would have to be the understatement of the decade. In my opinion, Ms. Grigorieva did the right thing by acquiring a restraining order before it was too late. Say what you will about her secretly taping him… I personally think she did the right thing. The whole situation, left as-is, surely would have resulted in tragedy. Given his fame and social status, she likely would’ve had problems proving that her very own life, and that of her child, was in danger.

It’s obvious there is no arguing with him – simply listening to the recordings is proof enough the rational is just not there. Something is so definitely amiss here… I’m no psych doctor, but I am able to recognize that little factoid all the way from Hollywood over to the east coast. Ranting and yelling until he’s hoarse; cursing, lewdness – he leaves no stone unturned. No area unchartered. Beats her right down to a pulp. Yells that she deserves a bat to the head, that he’ll bury her in the garden. On another audio, he admitted hitting her in the face with their baby on her lap, even breaking her teeth. You needn’t see any video to hear the sneer in his voice when he boldly yelled that she deserved it.

And guess who’s to blame? That’s right, folks. It’s all her fault. Amazing, isn’t it? From start to finish, she’s to blame – the fact that his career is over, that he has no friends, literally everything.

You cannot argue with a person who possesses that ‘something’ in their brain which causes them to act – and react – like this. I shuddered the entire time I listened to this, because it beared such a striking similarity of the many instances which occurred in my old life. Instances that up until recently I was embarrassed to even speak of. I haven’t had to witness this type of violent behavior in years, and hearing it again tonight brought it all back. I so despised the sinking wave of weakness it brought over me. For the entire eight minutes of audio, I felt as though I was inside her – sitting there with no voice, once again powerless. Beaten. Broken. Reduced to nothing, yet again.

Have a listen for yourself. This is only one of the releases, to date there are four – all equally as disturbing. Be forewarned – if you’re offended by ‘mature’ language you may want to skip this one. To be quite honest… it was his whole violent demeanor that got to me. Bad.

Link to Mel Gibson telephone “conversation”… one of four.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you or someone you know is in a situation of domestic violence, please get help.
There ARE people who CARE.
For the love of God, yourself, your children – DON’T stay and become a statistic…
these numbers are growing daily.

Click here for link to National Domestic Violence 24-hr Hotline.


I spy… an AlpspiX

Here I go with my dreams again. I had a dream last night about extreme heights. I was ‘dangling’ from some place high above I-don’t-know-where, and alongside me was my (don’t laugh) cat… (I heard that snicker). For some reason I was more concerned with Camille’s well-being than my own, as she was more terrified than I. I’m thinking the whole thing was a direct result from that muscle-relaxer I took last night before bed.

Employees work on the AlpspiX viewing platform at the southern Bavarian Alps mountain Alpspitze in Garmisch-Partenkirchen 29 June, 2010. Photo courtesy http://www.daylife.com

Ironically enough, I just heard about the new AlpspiX in Germany. It’s almost finished and set to open on 4 July. Suspended a whopping 1,000 meters (3300 feet) in the air high over the German Alps, the AlpspiX is a viewing platform consisting of two 24-meter long arms that cross each other to form the letter X. The ‘arms’ protrude more than 13 meters (43 feet) over an abyss at the base of the Alpspitze mountain. Each arm of the X is just 3 meters wide and formed of a grid, which will allow snow to pass through it during winter. For your enhanced viewing pleasure, each of these arms will end in a glass wall for an unobscured view. The structure was designed so that one platform slants toward ‘heaven’ while the other element descends toward the valley of ‘hell’, the Höllental.

Don’t forget to pack your nerves.

Sources: Zugspitze and DailyMail


Tragedy

I have lived and breathed this story since it broke. What a horrible, horrible nightmare…. I have no other words in me to describe it right now. My heart literally breaks for this family.

Saturday they decided to take the boat on a family outing. It will be a decision they’ll forever wish to reverse. On the beautiful river I live near and cross daily, Lake Wylie – a tragic boating accident has claimed yet another life.

It was the life of a child. One of an eight-year old boy who just completed his first football season at his elementary school. I simply cannot imagine the depth of agony and anguish this family is experiencing right now.

Read the story here.

RIP, Tanner Blake Goshen. I’m praying for God to wrap his loving arms tight around your family.


Just some observances, and a little rant

I know opinions are like assholes – we all have one. I didn’t make that little ditty up, and it’s very true. But blogging forces out the best in me, as well as the worst. I’d like to I must share my opinion on the spoiled brat little dutch psychopath killer.

Urine vander Shit. And I did make that little ditty up.

Based on the facts I’ve already heard, and presumptions on the ones I haven’t – here’s a quick Bon-take on what really happened.

After meeting Holloway in the casino in Aruba that night, he slipped her a date-rape pill. (The same or similar to the evidence recently found in Flores’ car.) From that time to her death I can only speculate, but I’m all but convinced some sort of date-rape drug was used on Holloway, since that same speculation has already all but been proven on Flores. Note the way she was walking with her head down behind him – and from the video I perceived her to be swaying from side to side a bit more than she should.

He’s already admitted to Flores’ death. Everyone knows his daddy got him off with the lawyers on the Holloway case in Aruba – add to that the fact the Aruban police and officials totally mutilated the case. They handled the whole thing like the amateurs they are. I wouldn’t doubt the stress of all his son put the family through is what killed his father anyway.

I also believe there’s a strong possibility that there are others he killed. Now it comes out that his mere presence in Peru that enabled him to kill Flores was most likely caused by our own Feds funding to vander Shit for him to tour the world. Twenty-five grand, in fact. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. The US was the Enabler. Plain and simple.

Once again I present to you – our government, at it’s best.