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Posts tagged ‘Orlando Florida’

1
Mar

the path of happiness is measured by human kindness

So the Academy Awards are decided.  I enjoyed the show and agree with the outcomes.  I don’t care about the fashion or the best or worst dressed – everyone was beautiful as far as I’m concerned.

But, I’m so sorry that a wonderful, wonderful film was not on the award list. The wonderful movie, Happy, (thehappymovie.com), may not be Academy Award material, but it’s material that says a great deal about the meaning of life.

Happy is a documentary about the meaning and the search for happiness. When I saw the film recently, it reaffirmed for me that the path toward happiness is measured in human kindness.

To be happy, to find happiness is what we all want as human beings.  The filmmakers – psychologists and other professionals, tell us that the pursuit of happiness requires us to live a life in which performing acts of kindness is so ingrained in us it comes naturally and happens often.

When artists create, or writers write, they enter what’s best described as “the zone.”  That zone is where happiness happens and is measurable.

Depression, as we know, is an illness that is talked about, and talked about, and talked about. Depression is measured, diagnosed and medicated.  Acts of human kindness result in elevating the brain chemicals and systems that produce “happy endorphins and serotonin messages.”  When the brain is stressed-out and the happy chemicals in our brains go haywire on us, leaving us low, sad – depressed, medicine can turn it around.

Scientists and psychiatrists measure the level of depression and attempt to cure it with medicine that stimulates happy brain chemicals once again.   Granted, there’s much, much more to mental health – it’s serious and important and I don’t mean to make light of the topic… Instead, I wish to illustrate what the filmmakers of Happy tell us about how to create happiness, and that it can be measured and improved, too.

The main message of this film (for me) revealed a truth that simple human kindness, being grateful, sharing and giving to others, is a critical reality for living a life of happiness.  It’s all wrapped up in empathy, compassion for others; giving of ourselves, serving others, being passionate givers and knowing the return on that investment is our happiness.

In our daily lives we hear and read about hate and ugliness constantly.   Sadly we don’t hear about happy things such as examples of giving and compassion often enough. Rather, we hear and read news reports filled with politicians and criminals spewing hate.  They seem to embrace negativity and hate with a real passion.

Nearly every day this blog is used for people to talk about the Casey Anthony case.  Remember the Casey Anthony trial?  It was about determining who senselessly murdered a beautiful little child – Caylee Anthony.

In this Orlando, Florida case about the death of little Caylee Anthony, it was pretty clear that the toddler’s mother, Casey Anthony, single-highhandedly murdered her own daughter.

But, Casey Anthony was found not guilty by a jury of twelve people.  Granted, that was not a verdict anyone expected, least of all me, the reality of the trial’s outcome is something I’ve completely accepted.

Casey Anthony is not guilty of murder in the eyes of the law.

No one can punish or try her with this crime ever again.  No one…. That includes Federal entities, too, for those who are petitioning the government to try Casey Anthony in Federal Court.  It will not happen. And we need to thank our lucky stars that our justice system gives Casey Anthony that protection.

There are too many cases of truly innocent people punished by our system, and that is wrong, too, clearly.  The facts are these: The application of our state laws and our constitutional rights are often abused by over=zealous lawmakers.  There are prosecutors and law enforcement agencies out there who don’t always care about the innocent, they want to solve cases by any means possible.  It is up to us to VOTE for lawmakers who RESPECT the HUMAN Rights of all people, who apply the LAW evenly to ALL people.  That includes immigrants AND all ARAB human beings, by the way.

There are people in this country who believe in an eye-for-an-eye justice, like in Biblical times.  There are lawmakers who feel this way, too.  In fact, there are people with political power in this country who are so twisted, they’d like to give angry mobs the ability to hold be-headings, or hangings.  There is one GOP lawmaker in North Carolina who’d very much like that to happen. Republican Representative Larry Pittman says, “Let’s round up the (so-called), abortionists, rapists, kidnappers and murders and hang-em high.”  More specifically, Pittman said:

We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner,” Pittman wrote in the email. “If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.  via North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls For Bringing Back Public Hangings, Starting With Abortion Providers.

As America gets dumber it’s reflected in the people WE VOTE into office.

There are Americans who feel just as Representative Pittman does about forms of punishment.  There are people who want Casey Anthony dead. These angry and sick people would like nothing better than to see Casey Anthony face the ultimate punishment, and no doubt they’d like it to happen publicly.

God help them.

God help us all if haters, in the name of religion, seek justice their way.

18
Jan

Go with God?

Brian Scheuble’s Port St. Lucie, Florida travel agency, hypocritically called “Go With God,” would like a little publicity, thank you very much, but not in a very “Godly” fashion.

Let me back up a moment.

We recently learned that Casey Anthony, acquitted of murder for the 2008 death of her daughter Caylee, is living in Port Saint Lucie.  A city south of Orlando.  Because of death-threats from maniacal haters, Anthony had moved to that previously undisclosed area of Florida, upon her release from jail.

That previously undisclosed Anthony hide-away, is no secret anymore.

And, Brian Scheuble would rather Casey Anthony not live in Port St. Lucie.  You see, Brian Scheuble, co-owner of “Go with God” would like to have Casey Anthony Giddy-Up with God and git right out-of-town. Amen. 

And, as a gift from “Go With God,” Scheuble has made a public offering to hand Anthony a one-way ticket out-of-town.

And, a Strip Bar in Port St. Lucie, although not claiming any alliance with God, would like to have Anthony dance in their strip club, “Body Talk.”

The strip club also got their 15 seconds of fame when they said to a West Palm Beach television station, “Hey Casey, we’re hiring.” Actually it sounded like this:  “Well, (guffaw-guffaw) hey there Casey (guffaw-guffaw) Anthony, (guffaw-guffaw), why don’t you git on down here and (guffaw-guffaw) dance (guffaw-guffaw-guffaw-guffaw-guffaw) with us here?

Oh yes, when you got a gimmick and you can attach a Casey Anthony story to it, you got yourself some free publicity.  (Guffaw-guffaw-guffaw-guffaw-guffaw.)

To both these neanderthal-men, Brian Scheuble of “Go With God” travel agency, and to the nameless goon who would offer to hire Casey Anthony as a stripper, I would say: You are no better than Casey Anthony.  Kicking a person who is already down is a low and horrible thing to do.

Some people are so hateful, and stupid.  It’s mind-boggling that this “Go With God” travel agency could be twisted enough to publicize their hate while maintaining “God” as Captain of their ship.  Maybe the God in the title of the “Go with God” travel agency, would prefer a public stoning if running Anthony out-of-town doesn’t work?

Amen?

30
Dec

Weekly Photo Challenge: Winter

Oh my!  Old Man Winter hardly stops in South Florida – my neck of the woods.

When South Florida’s temps reach 60 degrees during the day, that’s cold!  (And beautiful!)

There are rare South Florida days when the High-Temperature will get down to the 40’s or the 50’s.  Alas, they are few and far between, but memorable.  It’s pretty common to catch a whiff of moth balls on those very cold South Florida days.  You’ll smell them well before you see them – furs are the usual suspects.  When the furs come out, with the fine scent of moth-balls, you know it’s got to be below 60 degrees outside.

Anyway, this photo challenge is going to be a challenge, I thought at first.  Then I remembered that I’d taken pictures of trees in Orlando that lost their leaves and seemed so brittle and old without them.  Those pictures were a bit depressing and cold in the wrong way.  Winter isn’t necessarily barren – there’s a lot of life happening in the winter, right?

Then, I looked at my bird photographs and saw this!  It felt and looked like it could be winter, if you didn’t know it wasn’t!  Well, I shot it during the winter months in Florida, anyway!

Can you feel the winter in it, too?

A Jamaican Streamertail Hummingbird; Shot in Ft Lauderdale FL at Butterfly World by Andrea O’Connell
29
Nov

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.

 

 

25
Nov

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?

27
Sep

random vacation stuff

Vacation feels like what heaven must be made of.

I enjoy doing nothing so much as spreading out on the couch with my dog under one arm, and my Nook cradled in the other. That’s what I plan to do most of the day tomorrow, too.

I’m not one to spend much time in shopping malls, though some of them are fun to visit, malls are not my thing.  But, I do love to find bargains.  I have a friend who knows every thrift and consignment shop in Broward County, Florida, and I love tagging along with her to find treasures.

We have a Talbot’s clearance store nearby that has amazing bargains.  My Mom and I went there today, after I took her to the eye doctor and to Sears to get a new battery for her watch, we tackled Talbots.

And what bargains we got!  I purchased a lovely salmon colored light sweater that was originally $55.00, marked down twice, and then the cashier took 60 percent off, and the final price was $7.98!  I purchased two lovely sweaters and a blouse for less than forty dollars!

Mom did even better than me.  She got six items for less than fifty dollars!

Shopping is exhausting…. The best part of shopping is when it’s over.

I’m thinking of taking a little trip to Naples, which is on the other coast, or I may just enjoy my vacation at home!

Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane-Burdick Photo credit: WESH.com

I finally caught up with the Casey Anthony case this evening.  I was curious to see what the news of late happened to be, and I saw some interesting tidbits that I will write about tomorrow, but there is one quick story to tell you…  Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton, it is rumored, is running for Orlando State Attorney!  Well, it’s still a rumor, but I kinda think it’s true.  And, what a great idea!  I hope he makes Linda Drane-Burdick his right hand person, what ever that role would be…. What a pair they’d be!

I would surely vote for him!

I found this picture on the WESH website – click on the picture above to read the accompanying story.

24
Aug

wondering about probation requirements

Just a quick post about Casey Anthony’s probation, as ordered by Judge Stan Strickland, blessed by Judge Belvin Perry, and sealed with a kiss by the Fifth District Court of Appeals, Florida.

I looked again at the original order, curious as to what is required, and interested in seeing what a probation order actually looked like and said.  There are 13 points at the end of Judge Strickland’s probation order that sum up the requirements of probation.

The 13 points are:

  1. Not later than the fifth day of each month, you will make a full and truthful report to your Probation Officer on the form provided for that purpose
  2. You will pay the state of Florida $20 per month toward the cost of supervision, plus a 4% surcharge per month by the fifth day of each month unless otherwise waived in compliance with Florida Statutes.
  3. You will not change your residence or employment or leave the country of your residence without first procuring the consent of your Probation Officer.
  4. You will neither possess, carry, or own any weapons or firearms without first securing the consent of your Probation Officer.
  5. You will live and remain at liberty without violating any law.  A conviction in a court of law shall not be necessary in order for such violation to constitute a violation of our probation.
  6. You will not use intoxicants to excess; nor will you visit places where intoxicants, drugs or other dangerous substances are unlawfully sold, dispensed or used.
  7. You will work diligently at a lawful occupation and support any dependants to the best of your ability as directed by your Probation Officer.
  8. You will promptly and truthfully answer all inquiries directed to you by the Court or the Probation Officer, and allow the Officer to visit you in your home, at your employment site, or elsewhere, and you will comply with all instructions he may give you.
  9. You will not possess or use any marijuana or other controlled substance except upon prescription of a duly licensed medical or osteopathic doctor and then only in accordance with the prescribed dosage. You will not possess any controlled substance, paraphernalia or forged or blank prescription forms.
  10. Unless prohibited from consuming alcoholic beverages by a special condition in this order, you will not consume alcoholic beverages, to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired.
  11. You will submit to a reasonable search without a warrant by the Probation Office of your person, effects, residence or business premises or vehicle for alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, weapons or firearms.  You will submit to chemical tests (breath, urine and blood) upon request of your Probation Officer to determine the presence and quantity of alcohol or controlled substance in your blood.
  12. The Court retains jurisdiction to place you in the Probation and Restitution Center upon recommendation of your Probation Office without finding of violation of probation.
  13. You will not knowingly associate with any persons engaged in criminal activity.

These requirements, it seems, sound fairly general with application to most any person serving probation.

I’d think that for Casey Anthony, the big question and the greasy fly in the ointment will be the work requirement.  Is writing your memoirs considered work?  I bet so.  Heck, she’s not likely to be working for Kodak Color Vision  again.

 

23
Aug

what if….

We found out today that Casey Anthony’s appeal to stop her year-long probation, was denied.  The Higher Court said, no way Jose!

There was never a question in my mind that she would be able to get out of serving probation.   There was never a defense argument that made sense.  Her lawyers tried, but failed in their efforts to get the High Court to overturn the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court decision.

Judge Belvin Perry wrote a wonderfully researched decision when he denied Casey Anthony’s request to Quash Judge Strickland’s amended order for the one year of probation.   Here is a link to the document, if you haven’t read it. 

Probation will be a bumpy ride for Casey Anthony.

This will be an unpopular thing for me to say, but I am going to say it anyway!   I hope that Casey Anthony can be left alone to rehabilitate herself and find her way in the world. 

What if, with all the therapy and guidance that Jose Baez says she will need, in the future she does something great, contributing in a meaningful way to society?  Could we forgive her then?   It’s difficult to say for sure, but I would hope so.

We just don’t know what the future will hold.  What if Casey Anthony is someday in a position to save a child?

OJ Simpson never amounted to anything after his trial and verdict.  His spots never changed, and now he’s in prison where he was meant to be all along.  He never contributed to society one whit!   And, he was given the greatest gift of all, his freedom – he did nothing with it.  His crime was cold blooded and maniacal. It was blood sport to him.  It’s good to know he is out of society.

And then there is Casey Anthony. Granted, no one else could have possibly killed her daughter and toss her in the woods like yesterday’s garbage.  She was responsible, I have no doubt.  However, she had her moment in court was found Not Guilty.

Unfortunately for Casey, the real and hard core jury: Society, will make things very difficult for Casey when she is serving probation.   (Can we say a little prayer that no one gets hurt, not even Casey?)

Maybe, if she gets the help she needs, she will do something in her life that will make a positive impact on society.  She’s very bright. Maybe one day things will turn around for the better for her.

Granted, nothing is ever as rosy as I like to imagine, or dream them to be.  Casey could end up like OJ, right back in jail.  If that happens, so be it, it will be all the more deserved.  But, I hope that is not the case.  One more criminal is one more too many.

For once, I agree with Jose Baez, who recently said, “It’s time for everyone to move on and let everyone who is involved in this case move on and live their life.”

I won’t try to kid myself, or kid you into believing that the media will all of a sudden stop following every morsel of news about Casey Anthony!  That’s not going to happen!  This is big business for the media now.  If the audience wants news, the media will deliver – no doubt about it.

Maybe the news will slow down a bit?  Hah!  Not very likely!

18
Aug

giving grace, even to the anthony’s

They’re missing, murdered, abducted and sold.  Children all over the planet are victimized day in and day out.   Few victims are recovered alive, and that’s what is so desperately upsetting, unbearable for the families, and loved ones waiting and hoping for what must seem like forever.

Often it is forever.

Jennifer Kesse, missing since 1/24/06

Caylee Anthony was also a victim, but of murder.

Recently, Drew Kesse, father of the beautiful Jennifer Kesse, missing from Orlando Florida since January 24, 2006, lambasted George and Cindy Anthony in the press for their actions.

Kesse, responding to Hal Boedeker’s Orlando Sentinel Blog regarding the Anthony’s upcoming appearance on the Dr. Phil show, calling Dr. Phil “a pimp for this garbage,” referring to the Anthony’s.

Kesse was uber critical, writing that Caylee was never a missing child, she was a murdered child.  The Anthony’s, he said, should “Go away, go far away, please.”  He also wrote:

Let’s get one thing straight right now, Dr. Phil, you are a pimp for this garbage.  The Anthonys and this new foundation are the biggest insults to every missing person in America today. Dr. Phil, after the show airs and you make a donation to their new scam, have on real families of the missing.

Of course, it’s true that Caylee was never missing, and the Anthony’s are not, and have never been the picture of propriety or trust.  However, I don’t think it was necessary for Drew Kesse to so publicly beat on the Anthony’s.  The fact is, the Anthony’s lost the love of their life – Caylee was probably the only joy in their life.

And so, I think it is cruel to knock the Anthony’s down further than they already are.  What’s the point?  Who are the Anthony’s hurting?  Will our sympathy be less for missing children if George and Cindy bring attention to their plight?

It’s as if people think missing children will be thought of with some kind of disregard if the Anthony’s are involved in helping this cause.  How does that make sense?  What ever happened to the sentiment of “live and let live?”   What about “turn the other cheek?”  Or, do we only respect the sentiment of “an eye for an eye?”   God help us if we do.

It is never good, in my humble opinion, to attack another person, especially to make them suffer!  Why extend cruelty?  It’s one thing to criticize, quite another thing to attack and hate. The Anthony’s were always their own worst enemies, why make it worse?  They’ve done a pretty good job screwing up their own lives and don’t need our help.

The Anthony’s want to work for the cause of missing children.  And that is because, they wanted to believe Caylee was missing, they did not want to face the truth, even though I am certain they always knew the truth, of course they didn’t want to face it.

People do funny things when overtaken by the kind of grief they were faced with.   How would you react if your granddaughter was murdered by your only daughter? Granted, most of us are law-abiding and trusting that law enforcement will act with good faith, but the Anthony’s never trusted – they seemed to think they were above the law, which was tragic for them, in the end.

If I were in their shoes, I would surely be out of my mind with grief and would probably make many mistakes, too.  Many would.  Especially in the glare of the camera.

Isn’t it time to leave this family alone?  Sure, they are not honest; sure they lied on the witness stand; sure, they tampered with evidence, and yes, they did so many things that were on the verge of scandalous.    You know what their real crime is, in my opinion?  They are only human.

I have been terribly critical of the Anthony’s leading up to the trial of their daughter, Casey Anthony.  It is time to forgive and forget – time for me, anyway.

The Anthony’s undoing resulted because they put the spot light on themselves, and we saw an intense dysfunction that we couldn’t turn away from.  Seeing the Anthony’s mistakes and misdeeds reminded many of us that our lives were pretty sane in comparison.

That makes me think, there but for the grace of God go I.

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