Friday, July 06, 2012

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Quote | Unquote
George Michael

Please be stronger than your past 
The future may still give you a chance...

To the "non-Caucasian man" who slashed my new tire at Costco

Photo of the perp removed because someone in Oregon cared about my safety. And that was enough for me to think twice.

Still – the slicer is a turd.

And my friendship with Liz, and her note, were and are priceless. Thanks for making my day, Liz!

You, you dirty motherfucker. I know it was you. You were tailing me in the parking lot as well as in the store. I didn't notice because THE MANAGER and OTHER EMPLOYEES noticed. So you had to get someplace quicker than I was driving in front of you, so I, inadvertently, still had my right-hand turn signal on, although I was making a left (we've ALL made that mistake) and I was looking to see if the LEFT was clear, but no, you had to pull OUT OF THE LANE, go AROUND ME TO THE LEFT so you could make your RIGHT HAND TURN. 

First off: driving lessons. Second: etiquette.

I'm really tired of hearing "motherfuckingcocksuckingfaggotmotherfucker" hurled at me by some insane passerby who has no clue who I am (I could be your kid's teacher, but at the rate you're going, I doubt they'll MAKE IT to college)!

So you decide to tail me in the parking lot, and I did my best to ignore you (there were going to be no winners, and I don't hurl invectives at anyone...people could be carrying guns these days.

But, nope. It was a pretty decent knife, for you to slash my brand new $183 (+ $15 service fee) Michelin tire. Thanks. Much appreciated. I'm glad I was stalled in the store, because I could have been on the highway, and might possibly have had an accident and either killed someone, or have been killed. But, thankfully, my new tire was a puddle of black vulcanized rubber by the time I got to it. Really, thanks. Bravery untarnished on your part.

I know that was you (and I made it a point to say "non-Caucasian" but I'd like to add "of Hispanic descent" because of the hat you were sporting from some South American country.

What goes around comes around pal. And there's a big one waiting for you. I called the cops, but after two hours gave up. I know that's you in the photo above. You were too interested in me and "my activities" when I re-entered the store. What? Did you hide in the parking lot to see the look of shock on my face? I'm a little bully that you are. So motherfucker right back at you, and I hope a cop pulls you over because a tail light is out, and you get caught with your kid and dope in the car (referring to drugs, not your female passenger.)

I'm sorry I didn't face you off in the store. Then again, you might have whipped out a gun, and killed a few people, which wouldn't have  been right, but it wasn't worth it to me.

Thanks to all the guys in automotive and the store manager.

Costco. Waterbury. The best people work there. Including goofy Dave in Photo Finishing!

Monday, July 02, 2012

The Coop Came Out!

By Matt Pearce July 2, 2012, 1:08 p.m.

Anderson Cooper has declared that he's gay, and much of the Internet on Monday pretended to shrug. "Pretended" is the operative word. “Tell me something new this morning,” a commenter wrote on “I thought it was common knowledge that he was gay,” another added. Cooper’s sexual orientation has indeed been common knowledge — and for a long time, one of the media business’ open secrets: whispered about, never confirmed on-the-record, sometimes to the point of resentment. But Cooper’s coming out, even if it were no real surprise, still clearly matters to a lot of people. PHOTOS: Gay celebrities, who is out? The TV host and reporter came out to the Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan in an email posted to Sullivan’s Daily Dish blog, and within three hours, the post had 100,000 shares on Facebook. The post’s viral nature, and the wall of conversation that followed, is itself kind of ironic; Sullivan, who is also gay, had asked for Cooper’s comment on an Entertainment Weekly story about the increasing number of gay stars who reveal their sexual orientation as if it’s no big deal. “We're evolved enough not to be gob-smacked when we find out someone's gay,” Sullivan wrote before pasting Cooper’s email. The fact that no one was surprised that Cooper is gay, but that everyone was still fascinated by his acknowledgement, shows that the personal politics behind coming out have perhaps gotten less painful but certainly no less complicated. In this case, Cooper's outing has highlighted the politics behind acknowledging one's sexual identity and the people who pressure stars to do so. It also raises questions about how much the expectations of neutrality in journalism might collide with personal identity. Cooper’s comments on why he hasn’t talked about his sexual orientation focused more on his career as a journalist rather than his daily life as an American. “Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I've often found myself in some very dangerous places,” Cooper wrote in his email to Sullivan. “For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist.” Cooper did not explicitly state whether he was referring to being gay as a threat to his safety. Some countries maintain a death penalty for homosexuality. The Committee to Protect Journalists told the Los Angeles Times that it does not keep data on journalists who have been attacked for their sexual orientation. Cooper’s email to Sullivan suggests that changing attitudes and feedback from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the United States had forced his hand. “Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle,” he wrote. “It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something -- something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.” He added, “There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.” Comments and reports from those who know Cooper suggest that the stigma of hiding in the closet finally outweighed the benefits of having a veil of privacy while working as a nonpartisan journalist in a time when gay advocacy has become a mainstream topic of debate. In today’s mainstream media environment, which still maintains some expectations of neutrality, that balancing act is real. As soon as Cooper outed himself, Peter LaBarbera, founder of the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, tweeted, “OK, Anderson Cooper is *gay.* But he's also proved himself to be a homo'l activist (on air) so he should recuse himself from lgbt stories.” Pressure came from the other direction too. Gail Shister, a columnist for, told the New York Times that Cooper had been “under increasing attack from lots and lots of gay people by continuing the perception that he’s somehow ashamed.” Nick Denton, the boss over at Gawker — which is prone to outing journalists — said of course he’d been publicly “nagging” Cooper to come out of the closet. “You can call that bullying,” Denton, who is gay, wrote in a comment at Gawker. “But without some pressure, there wouldn't be nearly as many public homosexuals. Everybody agrees by now that visibility is essential if one is going to change attitudes. What they don't yet acknowledge is this: for visibility, you need a searing spotlight.” And a searing spotlight is what Cooper’s gotten, even if his outing as a gay journalist working in a gay-friendly media environment in New York has not come as a big stunner. Stigmas live on for public figures — especially for, say, professional gay athletes — which is why Sullivan goaded Anderson for a comment on gay celebrities, even if coming out is supposedly no longer a big deal. “The visibility of gay people is one of the core means for our equality,” Sullivan wrote in introducing Anderson’s comments. So while the Internet may pretend to think Cooper’s outing doesn’t matter, Cooper’s comments show he clearly disagrees. “I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space,” Cooper wrote in closing to Sullivan. “But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.”

Sunday, July 01, 2012

What to do with a dog in a hot car...

Most of us are all too familiar with the feeling of dread that comes upon us when we pass by the window of a car and realize that a dog has been left inside on a hot day.  What should I do?  Do I break the window?  Do I call the police?  Do I try to find the car owner? There’s no easy answer, unfortunately, and those decisions are ones that only you can make, but now you can be better prepared for your next encounter.
“My Dog is Cool” is a campaign designed by the RedRover animal protection charity to educate people about the dangers hot weather poses to dogs. Throught their “Don’t Leave Me in Here — It’s Hot!” fliers and posters, you can have what you need on hand to try and influence the behavior of dog guardians who need a reminder about the dangers of hot cars.  These are great to place on a windsheild of an offender’s vehicle or to hang on the door of a local business willing to notify their customers that leaving pets in the car is not okay during warm weather.
RedRover advises that if you see a dog in distress in a hot car, you should call the local animal control agency, police or 911 right away and, if possible, you can also try to find the dog’s owner by going into the adjacent business and making an announcement.
RedRover provides the following signs of an animal who is in danger of  death by heatstroke:
  • Excessive panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Increased heart rate
  • Trouble breathing
  • Disorientation
  • Collapse or loss of consciousness
  • Seizure
  • Respiratory arrest

According to RedRover, at least 14 states and many municipalities have laws that specifically address the problem of animals left in cars in extreme temperatures. And some states without these provisions may consider leaving an animal in an enclosed car to be animal cruelty.  However, many of us have hit a road block when calling the police to report these crimes as the dispatcher or the department itself often don’t consider these situations a priority.  Heat stroke can take hold in just 10 minutes or less, so sometimes the dog simply cannot wait for authorities who may or may not be on the way.
The last time I came upon a dog in a hot car, I waited by the vehicle for the owner to appear.  He approached slowly with his companion carrying their Starbucks coffees, in no hurry and with no awareness of the dog’s plight.  Truthfully, I found it hard to maintain my composure as I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, but I wasn’t the one who needed to be embarrassed. He needed to know that someone cared about the soul in his car. He needed to feel shame that a mother and daughter were standing by his sedan, looking after his dog, even though he had not.  He needed to know that I had called the police.  Though he left in a hurry reassuring me over and over again that his dog was fine, I do hope he’ll think twice about taking the dog along for the ride again on a summer day.
I’d love to hear from some of you have intervened for an animal in a hot car.  How did you handle it?  Were you successful?  Any helpful tips to share?
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