Yep, we saw whales, lots of them in fact! Stellwagen Bank has been having an amazing season and this was no exception. The weather was perfect, the sky was a bright blue with big puffy clouds and the visability was great for spotting whales. The problem the scientists from the Whale Center of New England
seemed to have was picking which whales to visit!
Connor alternated between really excited to see the whales and really annoyed that he wasn't allowed to roam the boat freely. He IS three and DOES have the attention span of a gnat sometimes, but all in all he had a great time.
Alanna pretty much hated it the first day, was better the second day though. By the end of the second trip she was waving to the whales that came near the ship.
Gloucester, MA is a really cute little town and we loved every minute of it. They had great italian food, fun places to visit and yummy ice cream.
Driving from MD to MA with a 1 year-old who hates being in the car was not so fun. We found out the Benydryl has the opposite effect on her that is does with Connor, and that having a baby with a poppy diaper in heavy traffic in New York City just sucks ass.
But she is still pretty danged cute though! Here is a picture of her at Fort Stage Park.
We visited Julee
and her family out in the middle of no where at Mcguire AFB in New Jersey, that gave us a nice break before getting home at 1:30 in the morning. We really like Julee and family and hope to see them again before we move from Andrews next year!
Sell baby items at our yard sale: $200
Sell more baby items at a flea market: $100
Sell even more baby items and stuff on Ebay: $600
Save money from birthday checks: $175
Save money from paychecks: $400
Cash in that jar of change on the dresser $40
= Just over $1,500 for whale watching
I am amazed. I really thought for a while that we would not be able to pull this off. See what one determined mother can do? Woohoo!
See you guys next week.
I really don't like coffee, I admit it. I LOVE a cold coke. I don't like the sugar in coke, but I have found that caffeine makes my life a better place to live. I have tried to wean myself onto coffee, to rid myself of my soda habit for good. I started with those little Starbucks frappachino drinks you can buy in any grocery store. Yes, still high sugar but with some protein and calcium at least. The caffeine buzz seems better than the soda buzz and without the sugar crash that comes a half hour later. I thought I was ready for a trip to Starbucks. I was wrong.
I tried some iced espresso AND some iced coffee. I think the problem was they made it with the bold sumatra coffee. It tasted like dirty cigar butts. I was about to hurl. Jason did his best to mix in splenda and cinnamon, but it was so gross. I guess it was the equivalent of someone trying to eat spicy food, getting used to mild Pace salsa, and then having freshly made habanero salsa. I held my nose closed and sipped it down. I am a coffee weanie.
Jason suggested that I should pop a vivrin or two, but the stigma of it just isn't cool. If you tell people you had a cup of black coffee, they don't bat an eyelash, but if you tell them you took a caffeine pill or two they look at you as if you have a problem, the irony is they could have the same amount of caffeine. Anyway, I am thinking that I am going about this all wrong. Maybe I never will like coffee and I should just chill some black coffee, gulp it down holding my nose and do a water chaser. No milk or sugar has to add calories to it, I get the caffeine I want, and my teeth get the least amount of staining from the putrid stuff.
Sounds silly I know, but here is why I am so determined: when I drink some caffeine right before I exercise, I get twice the workout. Kick Ass! Maybe my new caffeine habit will help me get rid of all this danged baby weight! Woohoo, life will be better and WORLD PEACE will somehow emerge! All the little children of the world will come together in peace and harmony, holding hands and chugging a coffee. Humans will transcend their violent ways and a new era of enlightenment will come to pass. That or I will have a rock hard butt. Either one.
So the game is over, people have found out that a liberal tree hugger is in the military. Boy, I can see the SPs coming to my door to take me away now. Oh crap!
I am now a target for the Fox News stay home moms! Cool. Come here and watch the flame wars that have started for no apparent reason. Hey what blog do I have to thank for directing all of this lovely hate mail?
It's ironic that I got attacked about my last post when just today I was thinking about how cool it is to live on an Air Force base. I took my hour long walk pushing the double stroller and passed the flight line. How cool is it that I get to walk past Air Force One or Air Force Two on my daily route? We wave to the helicopters that buzz past every few minutes, and sometimes walk past the lodging where important dignitaries stay overnight. You can tell when someone high-powered is staying there because they have these cool signs that say "restricted area, deadly force is authorized". Apparently women in jogging pants pushing strollers are no threat though. All sorts of high-powered people are within blocks of my house all the time. Tony Blair came through here, as did that Japanese leader a few weeks ago.
There are some aspects of military life that are really cool. People on base are for the most part very courteous and open doors for me, actually stop at crosswalks and smile when they go past me even if I don't know them. It is so 1950's compared to the ghetto right off base.
I think that the main point I was trying to get across in my last post was that having a military theme park would serve to trivialize what our men and women do. War is not a game. It is not a ride. It is not fun. I don't think about how cool all the high-tech gear might be when I go to Walter Reed for Connor's appointments, I am distraught by how these fresh-faced teenagers without legs or arms are going to make it in this world. I am haunted by the ID picture I saw when we were in the physical therapy room, it was taken when the man was in a coma and still had a breathing tube down his throat. I am worried for my two good friends on base whose husbands are going to Iraq for 6 months. I don't want them to be trivialized. That's not anti-military, that's patriotic. Don't make light of what is serious.
Moot point anyway. The Army has rejected the idea. End of story.
FORT BELVOIR, Virginia (AP)--The U.S. Army is considering a proposal to allow a private developer to build a military theme park that would include "4D" rides and bars including a "1st Division Lounge."
Military officials said a massive entertainment and hotel complex built next to a national Army museum could draw more than 1 million people a year. But authorities in Fairfax County, Virginia, are objecting because of already traffic-clogged roads surrounding the proposed site.
Universal City Property Management III, of Orlando, Florida, submitted the unsolicited proposal for the theme park last year.
"You can command the latest M-1 tank, feel the rush of a paratrooper freefall, fly a Cobra Gunship or defend your B-17 as a waist gunner," according to the proposal, which was obtained by The Washington Post.
County officials have no authority over the Army's decision because the site is federal property. County Supervisor T. Dana Kauffman said he thought the entertainment concept died last year and said he had no interest in turning a military museum into "Disney on Rolling Road."
But the Army notified the county last week it is planning to move the military museum from Fort Belvoir to a site a few miles away that would be large enough for the entertainment complex.
The Washington Post reported that the Army is considering the entertainment venue to help offset the cost of the $300 million museum, which a spokesman said is scheduled to open in 2013.
Ironically Jason's residency is being done away with in a few years and is moving to Ft. Belvoir. Um, so I know recruiting is WAY down and that you are now taking in complete pyschos who rape and kill little girls (and their families), so this is your new plan to make the Army look cool.
How about a ride where you get to be a spouse and not know if your husband is alive or dead over there? How about a ride where you get to see all of the teen solidiers with missing limbs at Walter Reed Hospital? How about a ride where YOU get to be blown up by insurgents. I'm just saying that the lives of those who serve, and the people that support them are not at all like Disney World. You know? It's just a wierd thought.
This is the funniest and coolest movie promotion ever! Warning, this is seriously addictive. Have Samuel L. Jackson call or send an e-mail voice thingy to your friends, and personalize it for the movie "Snakes on a Plane"SOOO Funny!
A dog lover's nightmare! I can't even find anything on Peta.com yet to protest this!
SHANGHAI, China - China slaughtered 50,000 dogs in a government-ordered crackdown after three people died of rabies, sparking unusually pointed criticism in state media Tuesday and an outcry from animal rights activists.
Health experts said the brutal policy pointed to deep weaknesses in the health care infrastructure in China, where only 3 percent of dogs are vaccinated against rabies and more than 2,000 people die of the disease each year.
The five-day slaughter in Mouding county in Yunnan province in southwestern China ended Sunday and spared only military guard dogs and police canine units, state media reported.
Dogs being walked were seized from their owners and beaten to death on the spot, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported. Led by the county police chief, killing teams entered villages at night creating noise to get dogs barking, then beat the animals to death, the reports said.
Owners were offered 63 cents per animal to kill their own dogs before the teams were sent in, they said.
The killings were widely discussed on the Internet, with both legal scholars and animal rights activists criticizing them as crude and cold-blooded. The World Health Organization said more emphasis needed to be placed on rabies prevention.
Mass killings condemned
The official newspaper Legal Daily blasted the killings as an “extraordinarily crude, cold-blooded and lazy way for the government to deal with epidemic disease.”
“Wiping out the dogs shows these government officials didn’t do their jobs right in protecting people from rabies in the first place,” the newspaper, published by the central government’s Politics and Law Committee, said in an editorial in its online edition.
In an editorial, the official Xinhua News Agency said the killings wouldn’t have been necessary if the local government had been more attentive, but called the slaughter “the only way out of a bad situation.”
“If they’d discovered this earlier, they could have vaccinated the dogs and ... controlled the outbreak,” the editorial said.
Pet activists call for boycott
The killings prompted calls for a boycott of Chinese products from the activist group People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“We are urging everyone to actively boycott — not a word we use lightly — anything from China given the bludgeoning killing of thousands of dogs,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said.
She said the group had canceled all orders of merchandise it sells that are made in China. Will Wright, at PETA’s European office in London, said the orders were worth about $300,000.
“We believe other groups will join us in expressing outrage over the blatant cruelty to animals the world is witnessing,” Wright said.
Mouding County officials defended the slaughter in a region where about 360 of the 200,000 residents suffered dog bites this year, with three people reportedly dying of rabies, including a 4-year-old girl.
“With the aim to keep this horrible disease from people, we decided to kill the dogs,” Li Haibo, a spokesman for the county government, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Calls to county government offices went unanswered Tuesday. Located in mountains about 1,240 miles southwest of Shanghai, Mouding is famed for its Buddhist shrines.
A dog's life for real
Unlike in the West, where dogs have long been cherished as companions or helpmates, dogs have rarely had an easy time in China. Dog meat is eaten throughout the country, revered as a tonic in winter and a restorer of virility in men.
Following the communist seizure of power in 1949, dog ownership was condemned as a bourgeois affectation and canines were hunted as pests. Attitudes have softened in recent years, although urban Chinese are still subject to strict rules on the size of their pets and must pay steep registration fees.
About 70 percent of rural households now keep dogs, according to the Chinese Center of Disease Control and Prevention, and increased rates of dog ownership have been tied to a surge in the number of rabies cases in recent years. It said there were 2,651 reported deaths from the disease in 2004, the last year for which data was available.
Access to rabies treatment is also highly limited, especially in the countryside, said Dr. Francette Dusan, a World Health Organization expert.
Effective rabies control requires coordinated efforts between human health, animal health and municipal agencies and authorities, Dusan said.
“This has not been pursued adequately to date in China, with most control efforts consisting of purely reactive dog culls,” she said.
Link to story with picture here
They say you can judge the ethics of a culture by how they treat their animals but holy fucking crap!
I don't want anyone in China to get rabies, but this is just brutal!
Imagine walking your dog outside and police come and beat her to death...legally. All of this could have prevented with rabies shots for Pete's sake. Ahhh. I am going to have nightmares!UPDATE: Make your objections known to
His Excellency Zhou Wenzhong
Ambassador of the People's Republic of China
Embassy of the People's Republic of China
2300 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008