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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Decked 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.”
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.
Back 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
“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.)
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”.
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.
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!