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Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 11:35 AM PDT

Breaking: shots fired at Capitol

by lbl1162

Placed on lockdown. Shots appear to be on west front.

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Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:31 AM PDT

To G, for 24 meaningful years

by lbl1162

For my beloved friend, partner, lover, spouse, wife and confidant,

Thanks for leaving your car door unlocked, so many years ago.

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Wed Jul 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM PDT

Needing some medical records advice

by lbl1162

My partner/significant other/spouse, etc has a somewhat uncommon last name. Occasionally, it'll evoke some sort of harmless comment but that's been about it over her 50-something years. She's used to it and has a good sense of humor. Her two sisters share the same surname. They experience the same sort of thing.

A year or so ago, things began to change. She began to receive emails reminding her of medical appointments she didn't have, letters from our insurance provider denying coverage for illnesses she isn't afflicted with, and the random cancellation of flight reservations.

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Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 12:59 PM PST

Guns don’t kill, people do.

by lbl1162

How many times do we have to hear this defense of gun ownership?

This is bullshit

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Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 09:27 AM PST

The power of a dog.

by lbl1162

Lucy
Lucy. Action pics are hard to come by!
Today I took my girl up to the "park". The park is a huge cemetery a few miles away. We drive up there. Lucy hates to ride in most any vehicle but if I tell her we're going to the park, she'll jump right in the car. The park is her most favorite place of all. Wide open spaces with meandering roads to trot down. Mostly treeless, there is heavy vegetation along three sides. She'll flush out a rabbit on occasion, and once, chased a fox for a bit. But the Canada geese are the main attraction. Hundreds gather there and I'm not certain why as there is no water nearby. Lucy doesn't chase but watches them with great interest. She'll lay on the grass watching their every move while I wander about and read the grave markers.  

This isn't an old resting place. Per the sign, it opened in 1938. It is an African-American cemetery and doesn't allow headstones, so each grave is marked with a bronze plaque. My favorite marker honors Benjamin Harrison Taylor.

Mr. Taylor played in the Negro League from 1908-1929. He started out as a pitcher but primarily played at first base.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. According to the marker, he was a great player and manager, and a gentleman. He was born on my spouse's birth day, and died the day I was born.

Here's the bit about Dog Power:

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My service came about courtesy of the Selective Service. At the time, if your number was drawn in the lottery you were able to enlist in any branch of the services up until the day you were scheduled to report for induction into the army. The choice was a two year stint with the army, or a four year enlistment as a "volunteer" in one of the other services.

Other options included draft evasion by leaving the country, student deferments (think Dick Cheney), religious deferments (think the most recent political loser) or obtaining CO status. Or, if you were really well-connected, maybe a cushy stint with the National Guard.

My four years were spent in the USCG. I am proud of my service. I am not a flag waver. I don't wear lapel pins proclaiming my patriotism and I am not always proud to call myself an American.

But somewhere there is a man, who, if still alive, is close to 50 by now. He might have children or grandchildren too. He was pulled from Barnegat Inlet as a young boy, perhaps nine or ten. Blue in the face. Covered in a white foam. And not breathing. He'd fallen into the inlet. His parents were standing on the jetty waving frantically to us as we raced by enroute to another rescue. I was the coxswain and just happened to look over the rail of our boat and saw a body just under the surface. We turned around quickly and were able to find the boy again and in an instant he was pulled aboard. Once on deck one of the crew began trying to revive him. This was pre CPR days and none of us had much experience in resuscitation, but the efforts were successful and we returned to the station to a waiting ambulance.

The boy survived. His parents were grateful. As a crew, we were pretty damn proud. All our rescues didn't always have happy endings but I found comfort knowing that I wasn't shooting at an "enemy", probably around my age, simply because our governments had different political views. Instead of taking a life, I'd actually saved a few.

I think of this young boy, or man by now, every year on this day. I hope he's had a good life, but mostly I hope that he is serving his country in some small way. I'm hoping he's done the right thing.

He's kept my hope alive for forty years now.

Sure, today is Veteran's Day, but military service isn't all we should be honoring. I'll say thanks to all the others that might serve in a different way. I admire anyone that gave, or gives, to their country, no matter how, where, or why.

To the teacher helping prepare children for life beyond the cocoon, you have my thanks.

To the Peace Corp volunteer showing the world the real America, thank you!

In service to Americorps? I'm grateful to you for your sacrifices and want you to know that progress isn't always easy to measure. Your hard work does make a difference. It matters most to those that we'll never hear much about.

To the volunteer rescue squad that arrived minutes after I called, thank you!!  The gentleman I found laying in the street is alive and well now, all due to your efforts.

Political volunteers? A big thank you to you all. I might not agree with your candidate, your party, your convictions or your take on religion, but I admire your participation.

And of course, to the women and men choosing to serve in our military, I thank you too. I might not agree with our government's military decisions, but motivation to serve is different for everyone and you deserve the country's support and gratitude.

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This project was funded in part by the non-profit my partner works at and was a collaboration with their juvenile justice unit.

The book is the winner of the 2012 Best News and Documentary Photography Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors for a selection published in Harper’s Magazine.

Hopefully the photographs in Juvenile in Justice open our eyes to the world of the incarceration of American youth. The nearly 150 images in this book were made over 5 years of visiting more than 1,000 youth confined in juvenile detention institutions around the United States.

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All okay but I suspect the smoke was coming from her ears.

"Stop it. This is hard."
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/...
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Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 01:06 PM PDT

Mail from Mitt. Why me?

by lbl1162

Disclaimer: I'm a Dem. Voted for our President in 2008. Gave a grand total of $584 to his 2008 campaign. I voted in the Democratic primary. Support Mr. Obama this time around, too. Unemployed these past three years.

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Tue Sep 18, 2012 at 04:01 AM PDT

RIP Romney 2012

by lbl1162

There was no rose on my bedside table this morning.

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This isn't a review, simply a recommendation.

"Roger Williams and The Creation of the American Soul. Church, State and the Birth of Liberty."  John M. Barry.

Published by Viking earlier this year.
ISBN 978-0-670-02305-9

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Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 12:17 PM PDT

Sad news from the equestrian world

by lbl1162

At an unscheduled campaign stop this afternoon, Governor Mitt Romney spoke to the assembled group and press corps to share what he called “An important speech to take your mind off some of the really stupid things I’ve said this week.” Romney went on to describe the sudden passing of the family’s beloved horse, Rafalca.

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