Posts Tagged ‘fish pond’

Random Friday Thoughts — July 1, 2016

The Fourth of July weekend is upon us and that means the first half of the year is already behind us.  Time flies when you’re having fun or so they say.

Have a safe holiday weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts.  As always, feel free to let me know your thoughts.

NO DOG IN MY FUTURE — MAYBE EVER!

ABBAAnthonyLD2009

It’s been almost four-and-a-half years since Miss ABBA went to puppy heaven and people understandably ask, “When are you getting another dog?”.  I always thought that we would one day.

However, over the past week, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t think I need one!

As you know, Ray and I built our first fish pond a few years back and last summer, we expanded it from a mere 200 gallons to 1,000 gallons.

Fish Pond

It’s so much fun to watch the 50-plus fish at feeding time and the sound of the waterfall is so relaxing.

Sadly, it’s likely that Blizzard, the largest and most recent fish we acquired, or one of the small koi we just bought was sick.

Without warning, Blizzard died early last week.  It came as a total shock and then the real trauma hit me.

Last Friday, my favorite fish, Pumpkin Pie, the one I saved from the mink last summer, died.

Pumpkin Pie is the orange one with black spots and Snowflake is the yellowish/white one.

Snowflake Pumpkie Pie

I held her (or him) as it died.  It was heartbreaking and I cried.  At that point, I realized that I’ll not ready for the heartbreak of losing another pet.

After Blizzard and Pumpkin Pie, two days later, Strong, a koi that we adopted from our friends Nathan and Amanda died, followed by one more large fish, Norma Bates, the next day.  (Yes, we name the big ones and a few of the small ones.)

As hard as we work to keep the fish pond clean and happy, the fear quickly set in that this wasn’t just a coincidence and that a fish bacteria or virus was raging through the pond.

The pond is now being treated by a strong anti-virus treatment and we hope that the last of the five or so large fish survive.  So far, none of the 40-plus small fish (mostly goldfish) have been affected.

In memory of the four fish, we planted ornamental grasses around the pond.

Here’s a another look at a happier day not too long ago when Pumpkin Pie, Strong, and Norma Bates were alive and well!  (All three are in this video — the largest ones!)

PEOPLE NEED SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN

Many people choose the Bible when they need something to believe in.  However, others put their faith and money, money, money into self-help books and motivational speakers.

Look at 56-year-old infomercial star Tony Robbins.  He’s made so much money convincing people that they can do almost anything they set their minds to.

That trust and faith sent dozens to the hospital late last week in Texas.

About thirty people were burned and had to be treated after walking on hot coals in a fire walking event at a seminar in Dallas.  Several were hospitalized and others were transported to medical facilities that treat burns.

Coal Fire Burns

Jennifer Connelly, a spokesperson for Robbins says, “The fire walk portion of the event has been celebrated for 35 years.”

She adds that the goal of the exercise is to have guests to feel no discomfort afterwards, but it’s “not uncommon to have fewer than one percent of participants experience ‘hot spots’, which is similar to a sunburn, which can be treated with aloe.”

Um, I think she has this terribly wrong.  Burn treatment at a hospital sounds much different than hot spots and a sunburn.

Seriously people, believe in yourself and not some person that wants your money because they know you’re weak!

PRIDE HIGHLIGHTS

Pride parades were held all across the world this past weekend and earlier in June.

Years & Years, the English dance band, with openly gay lead singer Olly Alexander played the annual Glastonbury Festival in England last weekend.

IFDecked out in a rainbow flag outfit, he told the crowd, “As you might be able to tell by the way that I’m dressed, I’m gay. And in fact, I’m really, really, super gay.

And, then he got more serious about the recent tragedies like the Pulse massacre in Orlando, Florida earlier this month.

“But what I keep thinking about in the last year, some crappy and messed up stuff has happened.  As a queer person, as queer people, we know what it’s like to be scared and we know what’s it like to live with fear as part of our every day. But tonight, at Glastonbury, I would like to ask you to join me on Pride weekend and say, ‘no thank you fear. Bye fear bye.  Shove a rainbow in fear’s face.  All I have to say to finish is, I am here and queer and sometimes I am afraid but I am never ashamed of who I am.”

Jessie-Eisenberg-London-Pride

Meanwhile, on Pride weekend in London, “Now You See Me 2” actor Jesse Eisenberg left a West End stage rehearsal of “The Spoils” and walked by an anti-Pride Christian group.

He was asked “Is your mind closed?” by a man offering a brochure.  Eisenberg responded, “That’s so f*cking sad.”

The man asked the same question again and Jesse scoffed and laughed adding, “Is my mind closed?  That’s so f*cked up” and walked away.

Hillary PrideBack in the the United States, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit and walked in New York City’s Pride parade.

NO PRIDE HERE, JUST SHAME!

As many of you know, Pride parades and celebrations started 46 years ago when the gay community took a stand and said we’re not hiding away in the shadows of society any longer.

We’ve made so much progress and there’s still so much more room for advancement.

Sadly, in the LGBT community as it is in society in general, there are those that do things that shine a really bad light on others.

Tennessee Violent Crimes

YouTuber Calum McSwiggan claims that three men attacked him outside a West Hollywood, California gay bar earlier this week.

But, police now say that he faked the report and actually injured himself inside the cell with a pay phone to cover up his arrest on vandalism charges!

I’m not sharing McSwiggan’s picture because if he lied (and police and a witness say he did), he’s just desperate for fame and attention and I’m not giving him face time.  Pulling a stunt like this makes him scum of the earth.

Pulse

As we saw at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and from all the hate talk that comes from politicians, the Westboro Baptist Church, and other haters, the LGBT community has to be vigilant enough already without having some media whore desperate for attention lying about an anti-gay attack!

McSwiggan is now being charged with filing a false police report.

THIS WEEK, THE POPE SAYS…

While I’m not Catholic, much of my family is.

I believe that Pope Francis, who began his papacy in March 2013, is good for Catholicism and is working to bridge the religious and real world divide between the Church and LGBT people.  However, he’s really hard to figure out.

This is what he said in the summer of 2013.

Pope Francis

While he opposes marriage equality and he thinks being a practicing homosexual is intrinsically immoral, he believes gay people should be treated with respect and love.

He’s making headlines again.  On a trip to Armenia last weekend, Pope Francis declared on the flight, “I think that the church not only should apologize to the person who is gay whom it offended, but it must also apologize to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by (being forced to) work. It must apologize for having blessed so many weapons.”

He’s not the first Pope to apologize for Catholics and Christians, but he’s the first to ask for an apology to the LGBT people.  In 2000, Pope Saint John Paul II apologized to several groups including Jewish people, immigrants, women, and indigenous peoples.

It’s a step forward if he doesn’t contradict his statement the next time he speaks on the matter!

CLUELESS CAITLYN

I applauded Caitlyn Jenner for coming out as transgender, but I never had any faith in her advancing the cause for my transgender brothers and sisters.  So far, I’d say I’m correct.

Caitlyn

The more I see her name in the press and the more she opens her mouth, the more I cringe. Okay, that’s a polite way of expressing how I really feel about her views.

Jenner’s latest ignorant and misinformed statement:  “Trump seems to be very much for women.  He seems very much behind the LGBT community because of what happened in North Carolina with the bathroom issue. He backed the LGBT community. But in Trump’s case, there’s a lot more unknowns. With Hillary, you pretty much know what you’re gonna get with the LGBT community.”

Maybe she meant to say that Trump is “very much behind” on issues regarding the LGBT community!

I agree with the Huffington Post calling it a “WTF of the week”!

NATE SILVER PREDICTS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT

American statistician and writer Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com has spoken and he predicts that Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States.

HIllary Flag

If you don’t know him, you definitely don’t follow politics as closely as I do.

The baseball and politics analyst successfully predicted the outcomes in 49 of the 50 states in the 2008’s U.S. Presidential Election.

In the next election cycle, in 2012, Silver successfully called all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Earlier this week, he made his first prediction for the 2016 presidential race and gave a big edge to Clinton.  Here’s how he made his prediction.

538 Predicts

PICK HIT

“Worth It” by Fifth Harmony was one of my favorite songs of last year.

Earlier this year, the band released the first single, “Work From Home”, from their new album “7/27”, that came out in late May.  It topped the airplay charts at Top 40 radio.

It’s an incredibly catchy song with a super hot, sexy video.  (I featured it last week, so just glance back one week to watch it.)

Their new song, “All In My Head (Flex)” is already racing up the charts and it’s catchy, too.  It features the hot ladies of Fifth Harmony, more sexy men, and rapper Fetty Wap.

By the way, what the hell is Fetty Wap singing?

ANOTHER PICK HIT

Michael Ray topped the country radio airplay chart last year with “Kiss You In the Morning”.  It ended being one of my favorite songs of last year and his self-titled album was my #9 album of 2015.

He’s back with a new video for the third single from the album, “Think A Little Less”.

If you’d like to know more about Michael Ray and his incredible album, here’s my blog review.  (It’ll open in a new window.)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/michael-ray-could-bring-me-back-to-country-music/

FIRST LADIES

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been sharing little known (or well known) tidbits about the wives of the presidents of the United States from the book I read by Betty Boyd Caroli called “First Ladies”.

I’ve covered Martha Washington to Frances Cleveland.  Here’s more trivia that may help you in “Jeopardy” or “Trivial Pursuit”.

First Ladies

Caroline Harrison:  She became ill in the last year of her husband’s presidency and died a few weeks before the 1892 election becoming only the second First Lady to die while in the White House.  She’s best remembered for having electricity added to the White House during 1891’s spring renovations and for starting the White House china collection.

Frances Cleveland:  She served two non-consecutive terms in the White House as First Lady.  In my last blog, here’s what I wrote about her:  “She was 21-years-old when she married the president, who was 28 years older than her!  Frances was the daughter of a former law partner to President Cleveland and he had known her since she was born.  He also bought her her first baby carriage!  Okay, that’s just downright creepy”.

Ida McKinley:  She was very sick and frail as First Lady.  In public, she was prone to seizures.  President McKinley would have a white handkerchief on hand and he’d place it over her face when she had a seizure and would remove it when it was over.  They would continue on in conversation as if nothing had happened.

Edith Roosevelt:  She controlled the information going out to social reporters very carefully and handle criticism well.  Once a famous woman was quoted in a national magazine that the First Lady “dresses on 300 dollars a year and looks it.”  She happily clipped the column and placed it in her scrapbook.

Helen Taft:  She was known to push her husband into positions that would align him to become president one day.  She was influenced by the years she spent in the Orient and as First Lady, she had thousands of Japanese cherry trees planted and the spring blossoms are now a major tourist attraction in Washington D.C.

Ellen Wilson:  She became the first First Lady to address Congress to improve housing conditions in Washington D.C., especially the slums, with “Ellen Wilson’s Bill”.

Edith Wilson:  President Woodrow Wilson’s second wife was highly criticized for “petticoat government” after he suffered a stroke in the fall of 1919.  She kept people away from him until he recovered enough to carry out his presidential responsibilities.  That’s why people didn’t really know who was running the government.  Meanwhile, she set a good example during World War I by having “meatless days” at the White House and she even brought in sheep to graze the lawn to save money and would auction off the wool to raise cash for the American Red Cross.

Florence Harding:  She was known to manipulate the White House press corp.  Because of that, the public never knew how sick she and the president really were and thus their deaths came as more of a shock.  Publicly, she blamed their extended illnesses on food poisoning and other things.

Grace Coolidge:  Her husband, President Calvin Coolidge, was very strict and never allowed her to give interviews.  While he often demeaned her, he spent a lot of money to buy her a lavish wardrobe.

Lou Hoover:  She was a geologist who moved to China with husband and then added Mandarin to the languages she spoke.  She embraced radio and gave many speeches with a feminist slant.

I’ll have the final installment next week.

THAT’S IT

I hope you found something interesting this week in my many random thoughts.  As always, feel free to share your thoughts with me, even if we disagree.  Just do it diplomatically.

Have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend.  Happy 240th Birthday America!

Anthony

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Random Friday Thoughts — June 17, 2016

I want to wish all the dads out there a “Happy Father’s Day”.  We’re spending it with Ray’s dad, Papa Ray, who’s also turning 80 years old.

There are so many thoughts going through my head almost a week after last Sunday’s horrific massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  I’ll get the heartbreaking ones and the ones that anger me out of the way first.

ORLANDO NIGHTCLUB MASSACRE

It’s been a sad week for the LGBT community.

The nightmare is still settling in for the families of the 49 victims, the 53 people who were hurt, and the rest of the people inside the popular gay nightclub last Sunday morning when a 29-year-old terrorist opened fire with a semi-automatic assault weapon and a gun (a third gun was found in his car) after taking hostages.  He was killed by police.

Pulse

I’ve gone back and changed this part of the blog several times as more details are released.

First, I wrote that the killer’s father said it happened because his son didn’t like gay people.  But, it seems the more his father talks, the more he sounds like a lunatic himself!

Now there are reports that the shooter may actually have been gay, or at least, a regular at Pulse and on gay hook-up sites and apps.

If that’s true, it’s very sad that he was such a self-loathing, closeted gay man.  He wouldn’t be the first person forced into a sad life of hiding the fact that he was gay.  Most of the time, that fear is perpetuated by the views of family, religion, or society in general. This has to change!  However, people in those situations normally don’t resort to such a heinous crime of murder!

CALL IT WHAT IT IS — A HATE CRIME

The shooting in Orlando is now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.  This surpasses the Virginia Tech (April 2007) and Sandy Hook shootings (December 2012).

After I started processing the shock and sadness I felt, I was angered by Republican politicians addressing the shooting while ignoring the fact that nightclub and the victims were targeted for being (or suspected of being) LGBT.

hate

Failed Republican presidential wannabees Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee shared these tweets:

Rubio: “Our prayers are with those injured and killed early this morning in horrifying act of terror in Orlando.”

Huckabee: “Please join Janet and me in praying for the victims of the Orlando attack and their families.”

Notice that there’s no mention of where this senseless tragedy took place or why they were slaughtered.  It was because of who they were!

Rubio and Huckabee are just two of the politicians who demonize the LGBT community on a regular basis — except when it gives them face time in front of cameras with empty sympathetic apologies.  The LGBT community needs love and support every day, not when it’s convenient.

Disgusting!

“THESE PEOPLE”

When I shared my blog about the shootings and who the LGBT community is on Facebook last weekend, someone commented, “these people are in our country to harm us and are just sitting back waiting for that call.”

In this case, I know “these people” was referring to Muslims or Middle Easterners.  The shooter’s parents are from Afghanistan.

Still, I was taken aback by the comment and replied, “There are “these people” in every walk of life — they may have different color skin, religions, upbringings, ideologies, etc. The white kid who (allegedly) murdered the innocent black church goers in South Carolina last year is one of “these people”.

Church Fire

In the weeks following the Charleston, South Carolina shootings one year ago today, there were suspicious fires at seven black, or predominantly black, churches in South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida.

Trust me people, hate is very much alive in this country.  We have a major problem and we’ve got to work together to find a solution.  This means all of us.

GUN CONTROL

There’s a lot of debate about guns and gun control.  Some think that when you ask for tougher regulations, you want to take their guns away.

Gun Control

I want people to be checked thoroughly before they legally own a gun.  I want to know if these people have criminal records, if they’re on the “no fly list”, have mental issues, etc.

I don’t care if people own guns for protection or hunting.  But, there is NO reason for the general public to own an assault-style weapon like the AR-15!  None!!!

But, legally, it’s considered the same as other rifles and there are anywhere between 2.5 million and 3.7 million guns in the AR-15 family in civilian use today in the United States.

AR-15

Now, for the first time ever, the family of the gun’s inventor is speaking out.

They told NBC News, “Our father, Eugene Stoner, designed the AR-15 and subsequent M-16 as a military weapon to give our soldiers an advantage over the AK-47.  He died long before any mass shootings occurred. But, we do think he would have been horrified and sickened as anyone, if not more by these events.”

My final thought on the matter is that when the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1791 allowing us to “keep and bear arms”, I know that our founding fathers never imagined a weapon of that caliber — a weapon that would be responsible for cutting so many lives short here in America!

The Second Amendment would be worded much differently today and bearing arms would mean something else.

LET ME TELL ABOUT THE LGBT COMMUNITY

In case you didn’t get to read my blog last Sunday that expressed how devastating this massacre is to the LGBT community and who were are, here it is again.  (This will open in a new window.)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/deadly-gay-nightclub-attack-were-all-one/

A SAD ENDING TO THIS LOVE STORY 

There have been many stories coming out from family members grieving over the loss of their loved ones.  This one really breaks my heart.

32-year-old Christopher “Drew” Leinonen and his 22-year-old boyfriend Juan Guerrero were two of the victims inside the Pulse nightclub.

Juan’s sister, Aryam, says, “They were honestly so in love. They were soul mates. You can tell by how they looked at each other.  It’s a little comforting that they died together.”

Christmas Was Perfect

Look at the caption taken from this Instagram photo of the men with their families, “Christmas was perfect”.  This Christmas won’t be perfect for the grieving families.

As much as I love the holidays, I’m going to make sure that Christopher and Juan are not forgotten this Christmas.

The two men had planned on getting married and their families have decided that they’ll be buried together.

LOVE IS LOVE

Before I married almost five years ago, I found this video and it still makes me smile.  I even borrowed the “sparkler toast” for our reception.

Today, I dedicate it to the memory of Christopher and Juan, the love they shared, and the wedding they never experienced.

Make sure the person you love knows it everyday!  Life is too short.

Ray, I love you!

GAGA HONORS THOSE MURDERED

Lady Gaga addressed thousands earlier this week at Los Angeles’s City Hall at a vigil to remember those killed at the Pulse nightclub.  Gaga read off the names of the 49 people murdered.

The pop star told the tearful crowd, “I can’t help but feel that this level of hatred, like all prejudicial crimes, this is an attack on humanity itself.”

She added, “This is an attack on everyone.”

ON A LIGHTER NOTE….

Offending People

JUST ONE DONALD TRUMP COMMENT (BUT, I HAVE SEVERAL)

If anyone ever says he doesn’t have a sense of humor, I’ll always have this tweet of his to remember.  I’m still laughing out loud over his ignorance.

We might have been born at night, but not last night!

Donald LGBT.jpg

Please let him become a footnote in American history November 8, 2016.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE FISH

As you know from reading my blog and following me on social media that we love our expanded koi and goldfish pond.

Fish Pond

Now, I have scientific proof that the fish know me, they really know me!

Culum Brown, an Australian biologist studies fish intelligence and he says, “Most fish species are social and have the capacity for individual recognition.”

He adds, “We have known that for more than 20 years. We also know that fish can use facial features to categorize predator and non predators. Fish are much smarter than people think.”

Snowflake Pumpkie Pie

Now I know that Pumpkin Pie, the orange koi with the black spots featured above and at the beginning and end of this feeding frenzy video, recognizes me for more than just being the “food man”!

So, she’s not just a Pavlov fish! 🙂

By the way, she’s the one that I rescued from the mouth of a mink late last summer.  You can read about that harrowing experience here.  (Again, the link below will open in a new window.)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/my-first-hand-encounter-with-a-predator/

NEW LADY GAGA MUSIC

People waiting for Gaga’s first new album of pop material since 2013’s “Artpop” (not counting 2014’s “Cheek to Cheek” with Tony Bennett) may have to wait until later this year or early 2017!

Sir Elton John reveals that he’s heard two or three of the new songs and they are “absolutely brilliant”.

Until the new music arrives, this is still one of my favorite Lady Gaga songs.

FIRST LADIES

As you know and you can’t escape, it’s an election year.  I’ve been reading mostly autobiographies, biographies, and books about political figures.

I just finished “First Ladies” by Betty Boyd Caroli.  It was an easy read because it spent just a few pages or so on each of our president’s wives.

Here are a few tidbits I learned that you may already know. If not, they may come in handy while watching “Jeopardy” one day.

First Ladies.jpg

Martha Washington:  A multi-millionaire (adjusted to today’s dollar) left to her after her first husband’s death.

Abigail Adams:  Very hands-on in helping to shape her husband’s, John Adams, policies.

Martha Jefferson: Died almost two decades before Thomas Jefferson became president, so she was never First Lady, but future First Lady Dolley Madison stood in to entertain at the White House for President Jefferson.

Dolley Madison:  Before being forced to evacuate the White House in August 1814 before British soldiers burned it down, she saved the painting of General Washington.

Elizabeth Monroe:  Ordered her dresses from France at reportedly $1,500 each and wasn’t regarded as too social in her role as First Lady.

Louisa Adams:  Only First Lady born outside of the United States (London, England) and she was the daughter-in-law to second president, John Adams.

Rachel Jackson:  She died days after her husband, Andrew, was elected president, so she was never officially First Lady.

Hannah Van Buren:  She also died before her husband, Martin, became president.

Anna Harrison:  She was the wife of the ninth U.S. President and grandmother of the 23rd president, Benjamin Harrison.  While she was First Lady, she never actually lived in the White House because her husband, William Henry Harrison, died on his 32nd day as president, and she hadn’t moved in yet.

Letitia Tyler:  She was the first First Lady to die while living in the White House (stroke).

I hope you learned something there and I’ll share more First Lady tidbits in the next “Random Friday Thoughts”.

ONE MORE “PULSE” TRIBUTE

Back in 2013, I shared an interview and blog about Eli Lieb, an Iowa singer and songwriter working to make it to the big time.

Eli Lieb Facebook

Since he grew up not far from the Quad Cities, I’ll post the blog again after the video.

His self-titled album was one of my twenty favorites of 2013.

He and Brandon Skeie, both out and proud singers and songwriters released “Pulse” earlier this week to honor the gay nightclub victims.

Here’s that blog about Eli from 2013.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/finding-young-love-a-world-away-from-iowa/

THAT’S IT

Typically, I have less serious material in my “Random Friday Thoughts”, but there is so much to process this week.

Take care of yourself and those around you.

Thank you for checking out my thoughts this week and, as always, feel free to share your thoughts with me.  If we disagree, do it diplomatically.  More gets resolved that way.

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — September 25, 2015

Fall is here and I hope it’s off to a great start for you.  In the Midwest, it’s starting out very warm and dry — just as summer ended.

I feel inspired to write about a few things that crossed my mind, so here’s a guest appearance of Random Friday Thoughts!

HOLY STAMPEDE

I’m really baffled by the stampede at the annual Hajj pilgrimage outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.  It’s reported that at least 700 were crushed to death and about 900 were hurt!

I know that about two million people take part in this, but what happened to orderly fashion?

Hundreds were also killed in stampedes in the past and in 1990, 1,426 people died in Mina, which leads to the holy sites.

While I love attending Christmas mass, I’m not going to trample over people to get there!

“FEAR THE WALKING DEAD”

I’m guilty of it and I bet you are, too.  How many times have you started snacking while waiting for dinner just because you’re hungry?

Pastries

I’m doing that with “Fear The Walking Dead”.  While I’m enjoying the show, it’s so slow and the fourth episode was so uneventful until the very end of the hour.

I actually got excited when the previews of the next show came on at the end and it said something like “only two episodes left”.

I know the final two shows will likely be great and move faster, but I’m really ready for dinner to be served — the season six premiere of “The Walking Dead” on October 11th.

The-Walking-Dead-Season-1

SUMMER IS OVER

While we enjoyed the pool this summer, we took it down last weekend.

Pool

But, that doesn’t mean we’re ready for winter and snow.  We dived into the biggest project ever and it turned out fantastic.

MOVING UP TO THE EAST SIDE!

You’ve heard me talk many times about the fish pond we built back in May 2012.  It held about 250 gallons of water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Recently, some of our friends gave us three of their goldfish and koi and this fall, we were going to acquire a dozen more that our friends decided not to keep.

So, we expanded the pond last weekend.  It’s now three feet deep and holds almost a thousand gallons of water!

Fish Pond

We now have 33 gorgeous fish and because of my recent mink encounter, the pond has added security!  (If you missed that mink predator ordeal, click here).

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/my-first-hand-encounter-with-a-predator/

SINCE WE’RE TALKING FISH….

Fish Be You

DAMNED IF YOU DO, DAMNED IF YOU DON’T

Whether it’s pizza, wedding cakes, or marriage licenses, controversy arises when two sides see things differently when God (or one’s perception of God being judgmental) is involved.

I’ve always been a strong advocate of equal rights for everyone, especially the LGBT community since I’m part of that subculture of humanity.

But, when we advocates raise awareness about people who deny others equal rights, there’s also a backlash.

MarriageEquality-711906

When marriage equality became the law of the land in the United States, there were many reports of gay bashings the weekend after the Supreme Court of the United States made its ruling.

When a small Indiana pizza joint spoke out against marriage equality and when bakeries refused to make wedding cakes for gay ceremonies, the LGBT community spoke out and the media extensively covered the stories.

Rainbow Cake

The restaurant and some of the cake makers started getting donations in the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars for taking a stand against the LGBT community.

And, when a county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, refused to do her job and issue marriage licenses to gay couples, she became a martyr for standing up for her religious rights.  (No, I’m not posting a picture of her or saying her name.  She’s had enough celebrity and hopefully her fifteen minutes are up soon!)

Now, just in time for Christmas, I read that she’s penning a religious book with an advance of seven figures.  Becoming a millionaire for refusing rights to the LGBT community and standing on the wrong side of history?

A Christmas Carol

I sure hope that when she is confronted with the ghost of Christmas past, it’s less haunting for her than for Scrooge!

gays_in_church

But, I’ll still raise awareness for LGBT equality.  I just wish the price wasn’t making celebrities out of people who use God and religion to hate!

AM I A “BELIEBER”?

Love him or hate him, Justin Bieber is a superstar.

Justin

While I’ve never declared myself a member of either camp, I have to admit he is a beautiful (and slightly troubled) young man.

Now, I’m beginning to think I may be a psuedo-Belieber (defined as a HUGE Justin Bieber fan)!

I loved his last song, “Where Are U Now” with Skrillex and Diplo, which hit the Top Ten in America (and #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart).

And, “What Do You Mean?”, the lead single from his upcoming album has already topped the charts and is one of the biggest songs of the year just weeks after its release.

COUNTRY RADIO, SEXISM OR CUMULUS MEDIA?

I’ve written several times before that I think that country music radio is ageist and sexist.

There are many women’s new music in country that I’d love to hear in heavy rotation on the radio other than Reba, but she ignites that fire for me.

Now, I think it’s more than just sexism and ageism.  I seriously think those elements are still there.  But, I’m now convinced it’s Reba’s affiliation with Cumulus Media, which is a part of her new label, Nash Icon, that is the major problem.

Reba Until They Don't Love You

Case in point is the second single from her #1 country album, “Love Somebody”, “Until They Don’t Love You”.  It’s an incredible song and sounds great live.

It was released to country radio August 7, 2015, and now seven weeks later, it only being played on 61 stations (out of more than 260 reporting country stations) with 879 plays.  (To put that into perspective, the #1 song on the chart was played 13,901 times.)

George Strait

Earlier this week, country legend George Strait released “Cold Beer Conversation”.  It’s now being played on 163 stations and got 830 plays in just two days!.

Yes, George is country music’s “king” to Reba’s “queen”, but obviously royalty isn’t being treated equal.

So, yes, there’s still the sexism thing.  But, moreso, I think Reba made a big mistake by allowing Cumulus Media to play and promote her music, thus shutting out the larger radio groups.

I guess we can listen to “Until They Don’t Love You” and her new music at home because we won’t find a home at country radio or high on the country music charts.

PICK HIT

“Communion” by the English trio, Years & Years, is one of my favorite albums of the year.

“Desire” is the new release here in the U.S. and I hope it gets more airplay than their first American hit, “King”.

The band will be in San Francisco at the Fillmore Monday night.  I’ll be there, too, but sadly the concert is sold out and I don’t have tickets. 😦

If you missed my album review of “Communion” and you want to know more about the album, here it is again.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/years-years-communion-is-definitely-king/

“THE AGE OF ADALINE”

One of the best movies I seen lately is out on DVD.  I mention DVD only because it’s late September and I still have not been to the theater this year to see a movie.

Blake Lively (“Gossip Girl” and “Savages”) and Michiel Huisman (“The Game of Thrones” and “Nashville”) star as a couple that falls in love.

The problem is that Adaline is 107 years old, but doesn’t age due to a freak accident.  So, while everyone else in her life, including her daughter, played by Oscar-winning actress Ellen Burstyn, ages and dies, she stays the same.

GRADE:  A

“GOODNIGHT MOMMY”

A movie I’m really looking forward to seeing is the Austrian psychological thriller, “Goodnight Mommy”.  The trailer definitely creeps me out.

“DEXTER”

Although it’s been a couple of years now since my favorite sexy serial killer signed off Showtime after eight seasons, he’s still alive for me through books.

dexter-season-6

I’m reading Jeff Lindsay’s eight-book series that the television show was originally based on.  I’m on book six now.

I’ve decided in January, in the heart of winter, that I’m going back and watching all 96 episodes again!

It so interesting to see how much different the television show and the books are with characters that died in one format and are still alive in the other.  Also, the differences in the cases between the book and the show.

THAT’S IT

Thank you for checking out my Friday Random Thoughts.  Feel free to share your thoughts with me — what you agree with and what you don’t.

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Our Back Yard Massacre

It’s Thanksgiving, a day for giving thanks and I find myself very saddened, mad, and agitated.  Tragedy has struck at the “Forthepeople” estate.  And, it’s nothing like “The Moldavian Massacre”, the “Dynasty” cliffhanger from May 1985.

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When that shooting was over, it was revealed that only two minor characters were among the casualties at Amanda and Prince Michael’s royal wedding.

Our body count is much higher.  There is only one survivor!

Ray and I dug into the ground and made this beautiful fish pond in the spring of 2012.

Happier Day Fish Pond

We stocked it with several colors of “goldfish” and six made it through last winter and this year.  They were getting bigger.

From June 2013

That is a picture from June 2013.

While we live in a ravine, we’ve never had a problem with raccoons bothering our little fish community.

Last month, on my birthday, we were given five large goldfish — two white ones with what looked like diamonds on their side that we named “Razzle” and “Dazzle” and three large orange ones, including “Floater”.

If you recall, he or she is the one that had the swim bladder problem.  Rather than swimming around like the others, it just lied around on the bottom on its side.

Floater

This is me feeding “Floater” peas to try to correct the problem.

A couple of days ago, Ray and I were out at the pond.  He was cleaning the filter and I was clearing out leaves.  I made the comment that it was odd that I didn’t see the fish and he was convinced that they were deep in the pond under the oak leaves and I bought it.

Today, there was no denying reality when I found this.

Fish Carcass

Yes, that’s a graphic picture.  But, really, most of us are eating a turkey carcass today!  The only difference is that the turkey is cooked.

Upon closer inspection, I confirmed that all of our fish are gone, except one.  Here is the survivor in a picture from June 2013.

Lone Survivor From June 2013

As I mentioned before, we’ve never had a raccoon problem and our fish were never threatened.  Now, I know that with “Floater” being a very big, bright, handicapped beacon of vulnerability, it attracted unwanted attention.

There’s a part of me that wishes that someone came into our yard and stole our fish.  Or, what if they were abducted by aliens for experiments?

flying_saucer

It happened on “The X-Files” and “American Horror Story: Asylum”!

Joking aside, I’m very ticked off and sad.  Raccoons are now at the top of my enemy list!

Rest in Peace, my fish, all 12 of you!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — November 1, 2013

I survived my first week back at work after visiting Europe for the first time.  I met some really great people on the cruise and Ray and I got to spend some quality time together.  As much fun as it was, I’m happy to be in my own house this weekend and spend time with the family.

I hope you all survived trick-or-treating and that you weren’t too scared of the costumes this year or that you don’t have too much of a tummy ache from eating all that candy!

Here are my random thoughts this week.

GRETEL’S LAST HALLOWEEN?

Boo!

Gretel Halloween

That’s Gretel dressed as a zombie rock star last night.

Now that she’s 12-years-old, she was thinking about skipping out on trick-or-treating this year.  I convinced her to go begging in the neighborhood with her “hoodies” one more time to have fun and, for a selfish reason, to bring me back some good candy that I really didn’t need.  (I took one mini-Payday bar, so far!)

We ended up having about two dozen or so candy beggers, which means we still have some of our big bag of Tootsie Roll mix left to eat this month!

EUROPE IS NOW JUST MEMORIES

By following my blog, you know that we spent eight days recently in Europe visiting parts of Switzerland, Hungary (a technicality), Slovakia, Austria, and Germany to celebrate Ray’s 50th birthday, which was back in late August.

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My favorite city was definitely Zurich, Switzerland, and my second favorite was Bratislava, Slovakia, and luckily we spent almost 24 hours in each of those cities.

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It was interesting going on the local tour of villages and hearing the history and seeing all the castles and brightly colored buildings.

The food was amazing on the “MS Sound of Music” cruise and the staff was incredible.

My final thoughts are that we need to brightly paint all of our houses in the U.S. to add some color and fun and that, for the most part, the people in Zurich are very fit and healthy.  We rarely saw anyone out of shape and if we did, it was mostly likely a tourist.  And, boy, there were some beautiful Europeans.  Okay, to be fair, we did see some really ugly ones, too. 🙂

CALORIE COUNTING UNTIL THANKSGIVING

With breakfast and lunch buffets daily, cake and coffee each afternoon, free-flowing wine at the amazing four and five-course dinners, along with a cheese spread buffet after dessert each night, I’m happy to report that Ray and I only gained about three pounds each on the cruise!

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Nevertheless, I want to eat right and exercise over the next four weeks to shed some weight to prepare myself for all of the tasteful downfalls of Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

“ENDER’S GAME” BOYCOTT

I first blogged about “Ender’s Game” back in mid-July when anti-marriage and anti-gay comments surfaced that the author of the book that the movie is based on made in the past.  There was even talk of boycotting the movie.

enders-game-boycott

The science fiction/action movie hits theaters today.  It stars Asa Butterfield (“Hugo”), Academy Award nominees Harrison Ford (“Witness”), Viola Davis (“Doubt” and “The Help”), Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”), and Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”), along with Oscar winner Ben Kingsley (“Gandhi”).

Earlier this week, I watched the trailer for the first time and it actually looks pretty good.  However, I’m really torn about telling people to go see it or avoid it because of what the author, Orson Scott Card, said in the past.

If you don’t recall, he said that “marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.”

Orson Scott Card

And, he’s called same-sex attraction, “reproductive dysfunction” and that “normalizing a dysfunction will only make ours into a society that corrodes any loyalty to it, as parents see that our laws and institutions now work against the reproductive success (not to mention happiness) of the next generation.”

Lionsgate, the company behind the movie, has distanced themselves from Card saying, “As proud longtime supporters of the LGBT community […] we obviously do not agree with the personal views of Orson Scott Card and those of the National Organization for Marriage”.

My problem is that if the movie is a success, people who haven’t read the book might buy it and that means more money for the hater.

HumanRightsCampaign

I have a solution if you choose to see “Ender’s Game” and you have friends or family that are LGBT and have been affected by Card and people like him, think about making a small monetary donation to the Human Right Campaign, which is the “largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.”

Here’s the link:  http://www.hrc.org/

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Gay marriageBehind MeMyFavoriteDecoratingCartoon

“THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN”

While on vacation last week, I read my third book recently and I can’t believe how much I’ve been missing out on by just reading magazines!

The Art of Racing in the Rain

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein is a must read if you’re a pet owner.

Yes, I was tearing up at the end of the first chapter and I cried during the last two chapters of the book.  However, over the course of the rest of the book, I laughed many times and smiled many others.

It’s a very reflective book narrated by Enzo, the family dog, as he awaits his own death and welcomes it.  There’s a reason he’s ready to die after living a happy, fulfilling life with Denny, a race car driver that excelled in driving on wet tracks, his wife, Eve, and their daughter, Zoe.

Enzo’s stories of Zoe’s mean stuffed animal zebra, Eve’s parents (who he nicknames “the evil twins”), and dogs in Mongolia will you make laugh and cry.

04012011 ABBA Anthony

Miss ABBA, if Enzo is right, I can’t wait to see you again and say hello.  No, this doesn’t mean I’m ready to die and join ABBA.  You’ll have to read the book to figure it out! 🙂

Vickie, thank you for sharing it with me.

Now, I’m on to my fourth book of the fall!

“DALLAS BUYERS CLUB”

While it may be some time before “12 Years A Slave” and “Kill Your Darlings” make it to the Quad Cities, another movie opens this today in New York and California that is at the top of my list of movies I want to see this fall.  And, I just found out that it starts in Davenport, Iowa, on November 22nd.

Dallas Buyers Club

As I blogged in early October, “[Matthew] McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a drug using, womanizing, homophobic man who was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 1986 and given only thirty days to live.  It tells the story of how he began smuggling non-toxic, alternative medicines from all over the world, thus forming the “Dallas Buyers Club”.

For his part, McConaughey lost around 40-50 pounds and his co-star, [Jared] Leto lost 30-40 pounds to play Rayon, an HIV-positive transgendered woman, who became business partners with Woodroof.

Awards buzz is already building for both actors.

PICK HIT OF THE WEEK

Sometimes, I choose songs that I think will be big radio hits and sometimes, I just like the song and I want to share.  Today’s song fits in the latter category.

French house music DJ Cedric Gervais now lives in Miami, Florida.  He recently made his acting debut in the Mark Wahlberg movie, “Pain & Gain” (which I have no desire to see) and he remixed Lana Del Ray’s big summer hit, “Summertime Sadness”, which reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Gervais also remixed Howard Jones’ 1980s hit, “Things Can Only Get Better”, and it’s incredible.

PEEPS’ FRIDAY ’80s FLASHBACK

And, since you’re already thinking about Howard Jones, I’m featuring the original song for you to compare.

During his U.S. Hot 100 chart run that started in 1983 when he reached #27 with “New Song”, Jones scored nine Top 40 hits.  His last hit, “Lift Me Up” reached #32 in 1992.

Of those nine Top 40 hits, two reached the Top Ten, “No One Is To Blame” (#4, 1986) and “Things Can Only Get Better” (#5, 1985).

HAPPY NOVEMBER!

That’s it for this week.  Can you believe that November is here already?

Anthony

I’m Having More Random December Thoughts

There are times when I find several things that I want to share, but I don’t want to devote an entire blog entry to the topic.  That’s when I do my random blogs, which is like a buffet with a little of this and a little of that.  This is my tenth one this year.  At the end of the year, I’ll make it easy for you to check them out in case you missed them earlier in the year.

CHRISTMAS IS JUST TEN DAYS AWAY

I hope you’re making progress on your shopping and getting those Christmas cookies, cakes, and breads baked.  I did some baking earlier this week and that will be the topic of tomorrow’s blog.  Are you curious now what it is?  All I’ll say is that it might just be fit for a king!  (Hint!  Hint!)

Two of my dear friends, Jim & Sue Williams, dropped by Thursday and brought us some delicious baked goodies and an antique Christmas ornament that belonged to her grandmother!

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Sue did this last year, too, and treated Miss ABBA to her own homemade puppy cookies.

ABBA Treats From Sue

Sue & Jim, thank you.  It was a pleasure finally meeting you!  The treats were just icing on the cookies! 🙂

CHRISTMAS HUMOR

When you’re on Facebook, you see some really crazy things and some of them are really funny.  Here are some that made me smile or laugh.  And, with Sue’s treats and the cruise coming up, I’ll pretend that this first one is true. 🙂

I WishSanta FacebookMaxine Wise Men

CHEERS TO THE HAPPY COUPLES

Voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington made marriage equality a reality in the November elections.  Now, their states are the seventh, eighth, and ninth (along with the District of Columbia) in the country to allow same-sex marriage.  Those are the first three states to actually vote marriage equality into law.  The tide is turning!

Jane Pete-e

Pete-e Peterson, 85, and Jane Abbott Lighty, 77, became the first couple in Washington state to pick up marriage licenses December 6, 2012.  They were married three days later (there is a three-day waiting period).  The couple have been together for 35 years after meeting on a blind date back in 1977.

Washington Couple

56-year-old Larry Duncan (left) and 48-year-old Randy Shepherd, who have been together for 11 years, also got married last Sunday in Washington.

Congratulations!  I wish you many more years of  happiness.

Same-sex couples in Maine will be able to get married on December 29th and in Maryland on January 1, 2013.

While marriage equality is not recognized federally, more and more people now oppose the “Defense of Marriage Act” and hopefully that will go the way of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and be history soon!

WHY CAN’T HUMANS LOVE SO FREELY?

Dogs Love Freely

WHO NEEDS A FLASH MOB WHEN YOU HAVE THIS YOUNG MAN?

IF YOU MISSED THE CHRISTMAS EPISODE OF “THE NEW NORMAL”

David New Normal

I agree with the networks for altering programming around Halloween because of  Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast.  However, I really want NBC to air the Halloween episode of “The New Normal” that was preempted.  I don’t care if it’s in January.  The images I’ve seen look funny.

THIS REALLY TICKS ME OFF

CAMEL

I came across this picture in an October 2011 “Time” magazine.

I admit that I don’t understand or know a lot about some customs around the world.  But, this picture shows Tripoli residents gathering around a camel that will be slaughtered to honor Libyan rebels who died in the struggle against former leader Muammar Gaddafi.  Seriously, that poor creature had to die as a form of celebration?

I know we sacrifice turkeys at Thanksgiving, but we eat them!

Why can’t they just have a service or a wake????

A “WHITE CHRISTMAS” THIS YEAR  SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!

White Red Christmas

YOU THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO TALK WEATHER… OKAY, I WILL

I hope you’re enjoying the rainy weather today.  We’re expecting about .50″ -.75″ of rain.  If you used the 10:1 ratio, if it had been cold enough today for this to be snow, we’d be talking about 5-8″ of snow!  But, that isn’t the case.

As of yesterday, we’ve gone 285 days with no measurable snow in the Quad Cities.  Our last measurable snow (0.9″) was March 4, 2012.  This marks the second longest stretch between measurable snows on record.  The record in the Quad Cities is 290 days and that was back in 1908!

Additionally, the winter of 2012-2013 is now in the Top Ten for the latest first measurable snow of the season.   Right now, we’re in eighth place.  This means that there have only been seven other winters since records have been kept (beginning in the 1870s) that it was later in winter before we saw the first measurable snow.  The record is January 7, 1940.

December 21-27

This is the Climate Prediction Center’s temperature forecast for December 21-27, 2012.  It shows much of the central United States experiencing above average temperatures.  Remember, this is just a forecast and sometimes it changes.

If you’re really wanting snow, there is an interesting storm coming in late Wednesday and Thursday that, depending on the track and intensity, could bring an accumulating snow to the Midwest, including the Quad Cities.  This is the forecast map for 9 a.m. Thursday, 12/20/12, and this would be snow if it happens this way!

THURSDAY 122012 9AM

If this doesn’t pan out, the long term computer models do show the potential for another big snowstorm AFTER Christmas.

COLD WEATHER & OUR FISH POND

Back on November 27th, it dropped to 13° in the Quad Cities and Tuesday morning, we were down to 19° for the low temperature.  So far, it appears the de-icer that we bought for the fish pond appears to be working.

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While there was a little ice on the water lettuce, the fountain was still pumping water and the water temperatures was around 47°.  Below the de-icer (the black circular device), you could see the fish close to the bottom of the pond.

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So, I guess they can handle the frosty mornings.

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“DEXTER” CHRISTMAS HUMOR

Dexter Elf

HUMOR FOR THOSE WITH A DIRTY MIND — CHRISTMAS SHOPPING MADE EASY

Bottom Top

A DIFFERENT “12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS”

Janice Dickinson’s take on the holiday classics is a must-see for me each holiday season!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Who needs five golden rings when you can have her version???

SANTA BABIES!

And, finally “Twas The Night Before Christmas” needs to be rewritten!  I know there are more obese people in the U.S. than even before, but after seeing this, the whole thing about Santa being “chubby and plump” doesn’t exactly work for me! 🙂

Santa Clauses

Merry Christmas!

Anthony