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try a random idea, whack #8

Could I create a new map for my self?  Definitely.  Would I?  Well…..

I want to believe I am a risk taker.  But I’m really not.

Creative Whack Pack: Roger von Oech, creator

Although I am very quick at recognizing good and random ideas … I just have trouble following through because of my full-time work schedule. Ah…. but is that merely an excuse?

That messes me up.

I have lot’s of random ideas and many dreams.  Creating this blog was a spur of the moment random process – a dream that was at first scary.    I sat down one Saturday and started a blog.  Never heard of WordPress until I Googled Blogging.   I had no idea what I was doing I just really wanted to do it – whatever “it” was.  I jumped in.

I do a lot of spur of the moment writing.  It’s like impetuous creativity born of passion versus logic with a lot of right-brain thinking.

Passion drives my impetuousness, when I let it.   I can kill it just as quickly and that’s what keeps me up at night.

All I really want to do, though this is not so random, is write.   There’s a book in my head, a play too.  I have the passion but not the nerve.

The universe keeps putting signs in front of me, as if trying to wake me up with tips and ideas.  It’s in my face at times, almost  screaming at me  GO FOR IT ANDREA!!!

Really. I’m not kidding, that happens every day.  Drives me nuts.

I keep seeing articles and messages everywhere about “going for it and taking that risk to follow your dreams….” So???  Why not?   Well…. (stand by, here come the buts).

I have student loans to pay, a mortgage and a car payment and well, you know, just a lot of bills.

I need to take a piece of leather and create a new map of my world.

I think it’s good to reinvent – I truly believe that it is.  The problem is, it takes courage and I feel like Dorothy’s lion.  I’ve got the heart and the brain….

Oh great and powerful OZ, hand me some courage – FAST!



raving dog dance

During Thanksgiving vacation, in Orlando, this was the constant dog dance:

Seven year old Jazz, on left, reacts as usual to 8 month old, Buster















My little 10 pound, sweet and docile bundle of love, Jazz, was not so sweet when it came to hanging around Buster.

Jazz had Mad-Cow disease – or something – because if Buster was in the vicinity of Jazz, or if he got too close, fa-get-a-bout-it!   Jazz became a wild growling  snapping machine, attacking Buster like a Great Dane might.

In all honesty, it was funny to see them running around, Buster begging for some play time, Jazz growling and snapping.

Buster would have loved to play with Jazz.  Poor Buster, he tried really hard to tame the wild music in Jazz.  Nothing worked.  Jazz only either ran away or turned and attacked.

This was somewhat of a good game to Buster – for a while anyway.  Eventually, as in this photo, Buster gave in and sat bemused and humbled – not understanding.

Just before taking this shot, they were moving in circles around the patio with Jazz as the aggressor.  They moved so darn fast it was difficult to capture them.  This is the only halfway decent photo I was able to get.

Doesn’t Jazz look like a little monster?!   But, in reality, Jazz is loving and docile, as is Buster.  Jazz just refused to entertain any playtime with Buster.

Oh, and for humans dealing with this dog war, it got somewhat dangerous.  When Jazz jumped up into one of our laps (which was often – he’s a lap dog), and if Buster was anywhere in the vicinity, Jazz would turn into a shaking, growling, snapping maniac.

Twice a human arm got in the way of Jazz’s teeth.  Well, pillows, blankets and newspapers got in the way of his teeth when he turned into the monster, too.  What ever got in the way of his snapping jaws got in the way of his rabid snapping jaws!   Of course, he’s so little his bites didn’t break skin, and he never hurt Buster, though he sure tried!

I felt badly for Buster – he’s a loving and gentle puppy and wanted so badly to befriend Jazz.  Well, Jazz only tolerated  Buster when he was in his crate.  That’s when Jazz did his happy dance.




so much for your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

I have written about the hedonistic immigration laws in Alabama in the recent past.  What prompted me to write about this again was the Op-Ed I read today in the New York Times titled The Price of Intolerance that examines the economic and social toll the immigration law has taken on the state.

Even though Alabama’s Immigration Law is fairly new – less than 6 months old – and is modeled after Arizona’s aggressive law, its problems are becoming increasing painful for Alabamians.  Whether or not Alabama will revoke the laws because of the economic issues, is another thing altogether.

Regardless, this law is doing damage to nearly all sectors of Alabama’s economic and social stratosphere.

Few words are more famous or more evocative than these from Emma Lazarus's "The New Colussus": "Give me your tired, your poor,/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, they have come to represent America's promise. Institution: American Jewish Historical Societquite a while to come.

Let’s hope the fallout in Alabama will be a critical warning sign to other states, like Florida and California, hoping to pass a similar law.  Florida, where I live, is one of the few states considering a similar law to Arizona and Alabama’s.   Florida is also building its own Immigration prison slash detention center.  They don’t like to call it a prison, though we all know that is precisely what it is.  It’s a prison for immigrants who are CAUGHT without papers.  SLAM goes the door to the cell that will hold mothers and fathers of children who did nothing to deserve having their life destroyed  other than being born in the USA.

Apparently illegal immigrants are being held in Florida’s criminal jails.  Maybe I’ve been under a rock, but I didn’t think this was happening.   I know that immigration facilities existed, but I was under that impression that people held there were also criminals.  WRONG, Ms. Ostrich.

In a recent article by Laura Wides-Munoz of the Associated Press, the plans are laid out:

The proposed facility is part of the federal government’s new plan to move immigrants from jails to detention centers it says are better for holding people with no criminal background. The centers are also supposed to be easier to reach for detainees’ relatives and lawyers  (Arizona Republic, Nov. 19, 2011).

I find it difficult to wrap my head around this.  It makes me sick to my stomach to think that the Immigration Detention center will jail people without any criminal record.  They will be criminals just as soon as they’re caught without paperwork.   I have also learned this Florida Detention center will be privately run – i.e. not run by the government. That is scary in itself.

As far as the impact to Alabamians, the damage is just now coming to light, according to the New York Times.   For instance, workers who’d normally work on farms are largely, if not all, immigrants. Americans don’t want these jobs.

In Alabama, workers are fleeing for fear of being jailed.  This means the farmer’s crops are dying on the vine, work is not getting done in other businesses supported by an immigrant population.

The New York Times Op Ed asks, how will Alabama deal with the extra police needed to handle the immigration dragnets?  Alabama is not exactly a wealthy state -far from it.

Who will step into the jobs held by the immigrant populations?

Undocumented immigrants make up about 4.2 percent of Alabama’s work force, or 95,000 people in a state of 4.8 million. For all the talk about clearing the way for unemployed Americans, there is no evidence that Alabamians in any significant numbers are rushing to fill the gap left by missing farm laborers and other low-wage immigrant workers (New York Times, The Price of Intolerance ).

Recently in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a manager from the Mercedes-Benz company was visiting the local work site.  The manager was found driving without a driver’s license or any legal identification documents and he was taken to jail since he was potentially an illegal immigrant.

Now, that’s a cautionary tale.   We are America, the land of the free?

“Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” wrote Emma Lazarus in her sonnet, The New Colossus, written at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

Not so much.  Not anymore.


when justice isn’t

When criminal trials are only about winning or losing like in a sporting event, the outcome will not always be justice.   The best team doesn’t always win.  The Police and State Attorneys are not always as honest as the fine men and women who worked in the Casey Anthony case, in Orlando.

Orlando had exceptional people working on the Casey Anthony case – with the exception of Deputy Cain, that is.  (In case you don’t recall, Cain was the Officer who responded to Roy Kronk’s August 2008 call to police about seeing, in the swamp off of Suburban Drive, what appeared to be a human skull.   Cain was summarily fired for not following through on the investigation of the area that Kronk identified.  Afterwards, to make matters worse, Cain told lie after lie.  His long lies did him in and he was fired from the Orlando sheriff’s Office.)

But, this whole idea of justice can be a slippery slope when one side or the other (Prosecution or Defense), throws their scruples out the window in favor of winning at any cost.  It begs the question then, what is justice anyway? Like in football, or any sport, the best team may not win. Flukes happen, people have bad days, we’re only human….  That’s why the bar is high when it comes to the Government proving its case “beyond and to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt.”   That’s a high burden.  It’s a high-stakes game in the courtroom.

The stakes couldn’t be higher when an innocent person is charged with a crime by a relentless prosecutor who refuses to admit a mistake.  That is the worst possible outcome because there is truly no justice.  I guess you could say it’s anti-justice.  Is there anything worse than an innocent person being jailed for a crime they did not commit?

Likewise, when all roads lead to the ultimate conclusion that one perpetrator of a crime is the one sitting at the defendant’s table but a jury, realizing they will be in the spotlight, wish to err on the side of caution and let a murderer go, there is no justice, either.   However, it is a far better thing that Casey Anthony walked free than for an innocent person to be convicted. 

Was there justice for Caylee Anthony?  Hardly.

I still do not believe the Casey Anthony Not Guilty verdict was the result of the Prosecution’s case being weak.  I cannot accept that.  I honestly believe the jurors cared more about themselves than they did holding Casey Anthony liable for murder.

Life is not fair but the justice system should always be.  And it usually is fair, but not always as you’ll see in the sad case of little Holly Staker who, in 1992 was raped and murdered as she baby-sat for neighborhood children.  Holly was only 11 years old, and the person charged with the crime was 19-year-old Juan Rivera.

This story in today’s New York Times Magazine, is about winning and losing and the fact that justice took a holiday for Rivera just as it had for the People of Orlando, Florida in the trial of Casey Anthony.

The facts in the Rivera case have to do with Rivera being arrested, tried, and convicted of the rape and murder of 11-year-old Holly despite there being scant evidence of such crime.  The only “evidence” is the four-day police interrogation of Rivera in which, on the fourth day, he confessed.  He finally confessed to the crime and that is what convicted him.    Despite overwhelming evidence that Rivera is innocent, a confession was beaten out of him and it was that evidence alone that nailed him to the cross.

Murder/rape victim Holly Staker. Photo credit: New York Times

As a result of DNA testing, Rivera was excluded as a source of the semen found in the victim.  It didn’t matter. The Prosecutors made up scenarios that the jury believed. Namely, that the victim was sexually active. A ludicrous suggestion that the jury bought.

There was no physical evidence connecting Rivera to the crime scene.  It didn’t matter.  Rivera confessed so he must be guilty.    The prosecution’s argument (one of them) said that 11-year-old victim was sexually active which explains why Rivera’s DNA was not present.

The outcome of this trial, the life sentence of Juan Rivera, is far more heinous than the not guilty verdict in the Anthony case.

The story is somewhat long, but very good.  The link is below for your reference.

The Prosecution’s Case Against DNA, by reporter Andrew Martin, New York Times.


busy, busy, busy!

When you drive down the main road and into the little historic town of Cassadega, you’ll notice a tiny post-office building on the left.  There are four parking spots for the post office and one of them is a Handicapped spot.  And you’ll see roads that dip and rise on little hills.  You’ll see small-ish homes that appear in various states of disrepair, but are very quaint nonetheless.

It’s a place where everyone knows everyone else and I found myself wondering what it would be like to live there, and strangely wanting to sell all my worldly possessions and live there, like a gypsy!  Of course I’d never do that, but I did think about it for about 42 seconds.

I can’t imagine a smaller post-office exists anywhere.  The Cassedega post office is an adorable little building that sits next to another little building.  The houses have all seen better days, and this one, with its pinkish cast, pales in comparison to the flouresent-purple little house that leans next to it.  The “Purple Rose” is a gift shop and serves as a place for psychic readings. I had my reading in the Purple Rose house.

The "Purple Rose" where I had my reading does not appear purple here - it's really a flourescent purple

I wasn’t going to visit a psychic yesterday, I decided.  At the Cassadega community center – another very old building – they list the names and phone numbers of available psychics – who they refer to as Mediums.  There’s a phone there, too because you have to call the Medium to find out when they can see you.  The Medium will provide their rate and any other pertinent info – like how to find the house where the Medium lives.   Most of the little neighborhood is populated with small house that are dedicated to readings. If there is a working Medium in residence, a sign or a shingle describes the name and specialty of the reader.

They tell you, in the Cassedega Community Center, to look on the board and if a name of a Medium appeals to you, that’s who you should choose for a reading.  Well, none of the names appealed to me – I was expecting one of the names to pop out at me, and I’d know who to choose.  None of the names meant anything and I’d decided not to see a Medium after all.  So, I poked in the gift shop, and sat in the meditation garden while my mom, aunt, and brother had their readings.

They really enjoyed their readings.  After hearing how much they’d enjoyed their experiences, I’d decided that I’d go ahead and do it.  We were in the Purple Rose house, and I noticed they had little rooms – about four of them- the size of a medium sized walk-in closet where readings were given.      The young woman at the counter told me a reader was available if I wanted a reading.

I said okay and asked, “How much?”   Thirty-five dollars for fifteen minutes, fifty-five for half an hour.  “Okay, half an hour,” I told her.

I sat down in front of the reader/medium whose name I’ve forgotten, and I was suddenly so nervous and felt like I couldn’t swallow.  But, she was very nice and put me at ease immediately.    After a second, she looked at me, took a long deep breath and said, “Wow, busy, busy, busy!”  I laughed, and said, “True.”

She was a very good reader I thought, though she told me things about myself that I already knew.  She told me I have to learn to say “No,” and mean it.  She told me I am leader, a teacher, a writer, and creative or artistic.  She told me my father was there and had a message of thanks for me.  My grandmother, she told me, is often around my mother and I.

She told me I’d be working on   project in addition to my job, and it would bring me a lot of happiness and fulfillment.   She laughed and told me that I will be juggling a few things soon.

Originally I’d thought my visit to Cassadega would provide an opportunity to ask people in that small community if the Anthony case impacted them, and if they got involved in the searches or the case itself.  But I’d completely forgotten all about it.  It wasn’t until I was driving home that I remembered.

Orlando visit

The highlight of my trip, however, was the opportunity to chat with Dave Knechnel.  Dave is the owner of the very successful blog “Marinade Dave,” and covered the Anthony case extensively from the very beginning of the case.  Dave had a seat at the trial each day and wrote wonderful articles for the Orlando Magazine.

Dave and I weren’t able to meet, but we had a long talk over the phone and will meet in December, when I return to Orlando.

Mom and I are already thinking we’d return in December, during the holidays.  We did have fun.


weekly photo challenge (from Orlando): family

I spent Thanksgiving in Orlando with my Mom and brother, Tim.  We’ve had a wonderful time but have to go home tomorrow…..

We decided not to cook Thanksgiving dinner and went out for a lovely dinner at the Radison,  Celebration close to Disney World.  We drove all around Disney to get to the Radison, and I have to tell you that Disney is mammoth.   It looks nothing like it did in the early 90’s when I was last there.

I can’t begin to describe the area around Disney except to say it’s beyond big; it spreads out everywhere – as far as you can see. It’s more than just great marketing, it’s more than a magical community.  It’s like a religion without spirituality.  It’s all idolatry and icons.  I’m not knocking it, but it’s so everywhere and so in your face.

Anyway, our dinner was very good.  It was a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the wonderful fixings.  And we left feeling full and happy!

Regarding this photo.  I found it on a bookshelf in my brother’s house and thought it would fit this week’s photo challenge.

My father took the picture in 1971, the year Disney opened.  It was our first visit; we were enthralled by everything!

1971 My Brothers at Disney World

The boy on the right, is Tom, my lawyer brother, when he was about six years old.  Tom seems to be consoling “Happy” of the Seven Dwarfs.  It’s like he’s saying, “Not to worry, Happy, just don’t talk and I’ll get ya out on bail, good buddy.

Tim, my law enforcement agent brother in his Miami Dolphins shirt – Paul Warfield was #42, seems to be saying “C’mon Happy, the gig’s up, I’m taking you in, bud.”  (We laugh about the fact that one brother arrests the bad guys, the other defends them.)

I love this picture and I remember when it was taken.  At the time I was being mauled by some tall guy in a Tigger suit.  I have those pictures somewhere at home.  My mom reminded me tonight about that very affectionate tiger.  His paws were wrapped tightly around me in a giant bear hug.  Disney World was all touchy-feely, love and happiness, then.  I wonder if it’s still like that?  I wonder if the characters wander around like that now?  It’s been years since I’ve been there.

So, although I didn’t take the original picture, I took a picture of it with my Iphone yesterday, so I guess that counts!

And, well….. I do love this little picture.  Don’t they look so cute in their little shorts and socks?

I like to take a stroll down memory lane, don’t you?


I feel sorry for the turkeys, but…









…. so grateful for the gift of love (to and from) friends, and family (thanks to WordPress too!).

Happy Thanksgiving, all…


random notes from orlando

We arrived in Orlando last night a few minutes past 6:00 pm.  My brother lives in Maitland, a suburb of Orlando.  His neighborhood is tree-lined with nice ranch-style homes.  There is a lot of room between homes and all have big front and back yards.

There is not a single street light in the neighborhood and so the stars are visible and bright.

Tim has a dog, Buster.  He’s an 8 month old black Lab mixed with a lot of other breeds, but mostly Lab. Buster is as fun and as affectionate as he is big.

Jazz (my dog) is completely beside himself and horrified that Buster would dare look at me when Jazz is anywhere in the room.  The fact that Buster would dare touch Jazz’s food, water, or toys turns Jazz into a monster-maniac snapping – growling machine.  I believe Jazz, who faces Buster like a boxer, thinks he’s a much bigger dog than he really is.  Buster is easily 10 times the size of Jazz, too.  No matter – Jazz is large and in charge.

Tim got a package from my niece with a “Flat Stanley” picture – it’s a cut-out figure that’s been laminated.  Her first grade class is doing one of those popular kid projects where people take the cut-out to different places and take pictures of Flat Stanley as they travel.

Buster and Flat Stanley

Here’s a picture of Buster in my car with Flat Stanley.  Buster apparently enjoys car rides – he jumped into my car the moment the door opened.  Doesn’t it seem  as if he wants the keys so he can go go go?

News from Orlando

I’ve looked at the news here and see that poor Zenaida Gonzalez went through a 12 hours deposition yesterday.

Charles Greene, the attorney for Casey Anthony in the civil suit, in a Baez-like weird manifestation of showiness, charged that the attorneys Morgan and Morgan, are paying Zenaida to continue the case!!  Oh really?  (Hah! I wouldn’t put it past them!)

WESH quotes Greene as saying:

I’m not going to get into specifics. I don’t think it will be appropriate, but I believe the video will be available to you after the deposition is complete.

So, that deposition tape will be available, but Casey Anthony’s deposition is sealed?

There will be a hearing December 8th to decide whether Morgan can depose Anthony, forcing her to answer questions versus taking the Fifth.
It was interesting driving in Orlando last night because I saw an “Amscot” on the Sameron highway – or maybe it was on Chickasaw, I’m not sure.  Anyway,  I don’t know it is “the” Amscot where Casey Anthony left her car.

It was funny to drive on roads and highways that were often referred to in the Casey Anthony case discovery.


On a separate note, I heard that J.R. Martinez won the Dancing with Stars competition!  I don’t know too much about him, other than seeing him once or twice on the show.  He does seem like a super-nice, very energetic, guy.

J.R. will be our guest for a  YMCA tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King.  He’s going to talk about his journey and his drive to get to where he is today.  I believe the date of that event is the Friday before the MLK holiday.

So, that’s it from Orlando!  Not sure yet what our day will look like as we’re still drinking coffee and relaxing.

I’ll keep you posted!


SRO for Jeff Ashton

awwww!  The Orlando Sentinel has a story about Jeff Ashton’s book signing appearance at the Orlando Public Library last evening.  It was Standing Room Only – SRO for the former Orlando Assistant State Attorney!

I like the fact that Ashton is receiving accolades.  It is well-deserved feedback for an interesting book and a great fight for justice for the little victim, Caylee Marie Anthony.

But, darn!  I just missed seeing him!  I’m heading to Orlando today.  Taking my mom and dog to spend Thanksgiving with my brother.

Mom and I plan to shop until we drop, visit a little town called Cassadega, which is a spiritual colony, I guess you could call it.  It’s a small community of people who offer metaphysical arts – a whole community of Physics!  It’s near Orlando.

Mom and I also plan to rest and relax and read – a lot!

And speaking of Cassedega….  I wonder if this community of people, since they were so close to Orlando, used their physic ability in the Anthony case?  I wonder if they get involved in any missing persons cases – there are a lot of them in Orlando!

We know there were psychics involved in the Anthony case.  I can’t remember the name of the woman who Dominic Casey supposedly spoke to on the phone while poking around in the swamp near the area where little Caylee was eventually found.   Perhaps they were from this little place called Cassadega that my mom and I want to visit?    I’ll look into that while I’m there.

I am not a 100 percent true believer in psychic power – but I enjoy speaking to Physics, when they are good.  The reason I am skeptical?  There are pretenders out there.   There are people with a true gifts who are able to reach a universe outside of the one we live on.  Maybe they have access to a higher intelligence and are able to see a community of people who have left our lives.  I have talked to total strangers (physics) who described to me what my dead relatives looked like, and even described words they’d commonly use in conversation.  I have to admit, it is a bit unnerving.

Getting back to my Orlando trip, I do hope to visit the Orlando Courthouse tomorrow, if there is time.

I don’t plan to visit the area off Suburban Drive where Caylee was found, or go anywhere near the Anthony home – I couldn’t bring myself to do that.

I’m sure I’ll travel on roads I’ll recognize from the Anthony case.   I trust my GPS will steer me well away from HopeSpring Drive.

Here’s the story by the Orlando Sentinel of Jeff Ashton visit to the Public Library: click here.


See the big picture, whack #7 as applied to Casey Anthony jurors

I like to talk about big pictures and today’s Creative Whack #7 is right on the money.

Jeff Ashton, one of the Prosecutors in the recent Casey Anthony case, makes a point that the Anthony jurors, in finding Casey Anthony not guilty of murder, totally missed the big picture.

I completely agree with Mr. Ashton’s assessment.  I would add, though, that the jurors also completely ignored the chain of evidence.  Those chain links should have come together very neatly for the jurors, that is if they even attempted to consider their solemn oath and the Golden Rule of jury service:  review the evidence!

Each each chain link of circumstantial and forensic evidence should have wound around Casey’s wrists and ankles for a very long time to come.  That’s even true in Fairy Tales, but not in this tale.

The fact that Casey Anthony got away with murder despite so much evidence is no Fairy Tale.  It’s unbelievable – incredible.  It certainly seemed like the perfect storm happened when these jurors were put together, as fate would have it, in Pinellas County.  How twelve completely like-minded people could come together without any dissenting  opinion is eerie.

Was it a matter of “GroupThink” where the threat of thinking differently from the group is too upsetting to an individual?  When in the throes of  GroupThink, it’s nearly impossible to stray from the one mind that has developed in a group.

Just like the Iowa farmer saw only tracks and trains, the simple jurors seemed to hang their not guilty verdict on the Medical Examiner’s inability to state a cause of death.  This is perfectly understandable since little Caylee Marie’s body was completely skeletonized.

Since there was no cause of death, did the jurors think a murder couldn’t be proven and therefore never happened?

Even though the manner of little Caylee Marie Anthony’s death was determined to be homicide, it also stated “by undetermined means.”   Did the jurors question whether a homicide even happened as a result of the “undetermined means” part?

So, had the jurors looked at each piece of the chain – like the train tracks and the locomotive follow a path – they would have known:

  • 100 percent of the time people cal 911 for help in drowning situations.
  • Only a mother guilty of a crime against a child fails to report their child missing.
  • Children are not double bagged and dumped in a swamp with duct tape around their face.  That is murder plain and simple.  Whether it was strangulation or drugging doesn’t really matter in the big picture, it’s still murder.
  • When forensic experts, multiple law enforcement personnel, cadaver dogs, and others familiar with the distinct smell of human decomposition and testify that death was in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car, that should be proof-positive that it was not the odor of a bag of garbage.
  • When it is proved that a strand of Caylee Anthony’s hair showing dark banding at the root because of decomposition, it should mean the child was in the trunk.
  • When NO evidence is produced linking George Anthony to Caylee’s death, it means he should not be considered as a murderer.
  • When NO evidence is provided that remotely suggests George Anthony molested his daughter, it means that is not a factor in deciding guilt.
  • When a mother whose daughter is missing for a very long time gets a tattoo that means “Beautiful Life” it would suggest things are better without the daughter.
  • High levels of chloroform found in air samples from the trunk of the mother’s car and mixed with the odor of decomposition, suggests it is reasonable to believe chloroform  was used to subdue little Caylee Marie.
  • When a Google search and page hit about “How to make chloroform” is found on the unallocated file space of the mother’s computer, chances are good that chloroform was used in the murder.

There are more factors that taken together, provide a clear picture AND a complete picture frame around this murder.  The jurors should have painted such a big picture for themselves and come to the only conclusion possible:  Murder.

This jury, rather than paint the big picture, inhaled the paint fumes and in the end couldn’t even paint by the numbers.


change viewpoints, whack #6

I think this Creative Whack, by Roger von Oech, works well as today’s post, and here’s why:  I’d been thinking about changing the look and feel of my bl;og (yes, again!), but I had to pay for this blog theme, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that.   But I really liked it.  So, after going back and forth for about two weeks, and because life is good to me, I changed my mind!

So, here it is, my new blog site! Tah Daaaaah!

I’m also working on a website, too, but that won’t be finished for a while.  I’m developing the site it in Joomla! which is the free, open-source software for building websites.  It’s not too difficult, but it’s very time intensive.  And, time and patience are exactly what it’s going to take me to build it.

To be honest, I am one of those people who loves change.

Art and life are always changing.  So should ideas and viewpoints.   I don’t think it’s wise to be stuck in a rut – immoveable to change.  Whether it’s views or beliefs, when the mind is open to new possibilities, it’s possible to change old belief systems.

For instance, the people who talk about “Obama Care” like it was a threat, usually have no idea what it even means!

When people say they don’t want Obama Care they are mouthing what Republican politicians want them to say – blindly and with distaste.

The truth, I believe, is that Republican politicians came up with the phrase “Obama Care” because they are on the side of insurance and drug companies who could lose some money as a result of the plan.

But, honestly…. The percentage of Americans who snarl about Obama Care are those who haven’t got a clue what it’s about!

It’s so easy to do a few minutes of homework on a topic before speaking about it.  Think of all the millions of American children and mothers and fathers without any healthcare.  That’s what I care about, and that’s one reason why I believe in helping people, not insurance companies.  And, it’s not “socialized” medicine.

Many people I know are like me, we have health insurance through work which means any changes will not impact us.  However, I wish people would do a bit of research on the topic before stepping on the idea.

The lesser than two evils

This Creative Whack is bizarre!  Imagine coming up with those two solutions?  One solution is certainly better than the other (putting food in the coffin versus a stake through the heart), but food in a coffin is obviously a wacko idea, too.

I know it happens when there is a critical decision to make about something important, we are sometimes faced with the lessor of two evils.  I think this Creative Whack is warning us that it’s easy to settle for a bad idea, especially if it’s easy.  It’s important to look at the outcome and the impact of decisions large and small because life is much too short.

Tainted viewpoints

It seems like every day I hear ignorant comments about Islam. It’s not a triangle:  Muslim/Islam/Terrorism.  They do not go hand in hand.  It’s simply not true.

It’s terrible to put people into a box based upon faith.  To think that Terrorism has anything at all to do with Islam, has no basis in truth.  Heck, there are Christian serial murderers, though we don’t call them Terrorists, that’s what they are.   It should go without saying that all the religions have their share of murderers and rapists – bad American people acting like terrorists.  There is no reason in the world to fear Muslim people in this country.  None!

It’s really about fear and fear closes so many doors; stops many opportunities for further research; kills creativity, too.

FDR’s words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” should continue to ring a bell between all our collective ears.

Change is good.

Yes, change is good, but I think I’ll keep this blog design for a while!


I love the YMCA!!

It was a day to remember.

I was up at 7:00 a.m., and out the door soon after for a YMCA Board member retreat, at the Westin Hotel, lasting all day today.

I’m a member of the Board of the YMCA Children’s Advocacy Center in Broward County, Florida.   In Broward County, there are seven or eight YMCA centers each with their own Boards.

Today was a great opportunity for all the YMCA Operation staff and Board members to get together and begin the process of strategically planning what the next five years will look like for our communities.

To say I’m excited would be an understatement!  What plans we have!  Our work will touch so many lives…. children, young adults, seniors – we’ll touch them all, improve their lives and the community.

It’s going to take me a couple of days of writing to put today’s ideas and plans down on paper.  And the work is too important to breeze over the details in haste.

Well, let me start by introducing you to Mark Fenton, our Keynote speaker today.

Mark took us through the why, how, and when of the enormous change that needs to happen, not just in Broward County, Florida, but all over the country.

The thrust of our work, the country’s work, is to change behavior in the community as it relates to public health, safety, wellness, healthy eating, and particularly obesity.

The data with regards to kids with Type 2 Diabetes is startling, numbers are off the chart.  We used to refer to this kind of Diabetes as “Adult Onset.”   We cannot really refer to it as Adult Onset any longer because it’s now a child’s disease and is referred to as Type 2 Diabetes.  (I am not familiar with Diabetes because it’s no one in my family is afflicted with it, fortunately, so I’ll have to do some research in the coming weeks.)

Anyway, back to Mark Fenton.  His website says:  Engineering physical activity back into American communities and lives.

He is an MIT Engineer and today is an Associate Professor/Researcher at Tufts University.

He is a sought after public speaker (he was wildly entertaining), a Public Health expert / community planner – an author, athlete, environmentalist, and so much more.

Here’s his website:

In a nutshell, his goal when working with government and communities is:

Build communities that support a healthier, more physically active population, and more sustainable and enjoyable lifestyles. The pathway there, however, is very challenging. Mark Fenton is a public health, planning, and transportation consultant who is trying to help America find its way to more active and more livable cities, towns, and neighborhoods. He works with organizations and communities around the country to build environments, policies, and programs that help to create places where more people walk, bicycle, and take transit more of the time. And its not just about healthier people. Done well, active community designs lead to economically, environmentally, and socially thriving cities, towns, and rural settings where people of all ages, abilities, and incomes lead long, vibrant lives.

Needless to say, our goals involve changes in transportation planning, government, and education…

I’ll be sharing a lot more about this journey that I’m going on with the YMCA in the coming days.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Breakfast

This week’s photo challenge is breakfast – which I rarely have time for, but love just the same.

Today’s breakfast was really yesterday’s breakfast – a big cup of Cheerios  – which I didn’t eat today either.

If I were not so stubborn about getting out of bed, I might have time for breakfast!

I need to leave my house by 7:45 to get to work by 8:30.  The problem is, I wait until the third snooze alarm before I get out of bed – at about 7:30, which leaves me 15 minutes to get ready……

Sometimes I wake up before the alarm, at about 6:30 or 7:00 which is amazing in itself.  If I didn’t have to sit comatose at the edge of my bed forcing my eyes to open then manually arranging my brain parts so they’ll fire, I’d probably have time for a leisurely breakfast.  It takes about a half an hour for my body and brain to recognize each other in the morning – many times my Corpus-callosum and Amygdala refuse to speak to each other – that’s what I call a hairy start of the day.

I’m not me in the morning.  Usually don’t recognize myself because I look like the Madwoman of Chaillot in a Halloween costume and still drunk with sleep.

I hate mornings….’nuff said?  🙂

Shot with iPhone camera


the drama triangle and toxic workplaces

At my ISPI meeting tonight (International Society for Performance Improvement), our guest speaker was Ed Muzio, CEO of Group Harmonics, and author of Four Secrets to Liking Your Work, and more recently, Make Work Great, both popular books offering great solutions to “stopping the drama” in the workplace.  The YouTube video below, called Stop the Drama and Do the Work, is only 4 minutes, or so, but it packs a good punch of common sense.

In the video Muzio discusses the Drama Triangle Avoidance model.  There are three roles in this model, Muzio explains them like this: 

1) Persecutor – someone who blames, criticizes, shames, snipes or back-stabs a victim.  The 2) Victim role then, is someone who follows orders, deflects blame, could be cynical, displays “poor me” attitudes, displays hopelessness. And finally, 3) the Rescuer Role – they are the Cheerleaders, they fight the power or plan a coup, they help the wounded one, tend to their hurt feelings, and they are the go-to person to fix problems.

In these three roles: Persecutor, Victim, and Rescuer are certain behaviors that inhibits work from getting done.  The trick is to reject the roles.  For instance, there are nasty and toxic people in my workplace who like nothing better than making others miserable – stealing your work, undermining your efforts, and basically trying to make you look bad so they look better.  They are everywhere in my workplace, especially prevalent in leadership roles which makes their influence worse.  (Why people who hate people are allowed to lead people I will never understand.)

Ed Muzio has a solution that will be helpful both inside and outside of the workplace.  The secret?  “Behave as if the role is not real.”  If we refuse to be the victim, the persecutor cannot be real….they may act as such to all outward appearances, but without a victim they’re just a lot of hot air!

Take a look at the video- it’s all explained – I think you’ll enjoy it, too!

And then there’s the all too common toxic workplace ….

Next month our ISPI guest will be Dr. Linnda Durre, her book Surviving the Toxic Workplace, is a huge success.

Do insulting screamers, incompetent assistants and outdated equipment drive you crazy?  Are you surrounded by vicious backstabbers, sneaky idea stealers, and lazy whiners?  Do the nitpicky control freaks, negative pessimists, and office gossips bring you down? Welcome to the Toxic Workplace, a not-so-rare condition that has reached epidemic proportions. In this ingenious step-by-step guide, renowned psychotherapist Linnda Durré shows you how to diagnose and treat these problems quickly and effectively to ensure the health of your company, your career, and your sanity.

This is a book I want to read!


dig deeper, whack # 5


I have so many things I want to talk about, but I don’t have much time because I’ve had my nose in the Nook reading Jeff Ashton’s book, which I am enjoying so much.  

I love his attitude toward the sickening defense and their inane theories, especially the George Anthony lie, which the State called the Nuclear Lie.

I am enjoying reading about the back story regarding the defense’s obnoxious Discovery violations, and all the excuses Baez made.  I love how Mr. Ashton describes the situation in which Baez stipulated about the Dr. Vass testimony, and then like a petulant child, said he was coerced into signing it  except it was Dorothy Sims who wrote it for Baez to sign!

And there are many other interesting stories and thoughts that are fascinating in retrospect.

Anyway, I have another Creative Whack to share!  This one is titled, Dig Deeper, and it’s one of my favorites, and absolutely true in every sense:

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have.  ~ Emile’ Chartier

I would like to make a button with those words and wear it on my lapel every day at work…. but that would be rude.

Better to tape it to my forehead!

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