Monday, November 30, 2009

NH DMV - Now 21st Century Ready!

From the NH Gov't website:
"Gov. Lynch, DMV Unveil New Online Driver’s License Renewal System"

It seems that NH is finally entering the 21st century - 9 years after the fact. Most States already allow this and it only makes sense. No one likes to go to the DMV. They are always crowded and you have to wait hours just to do simple things.
One thing I liked about the DMV in Virginia is that they allowed you to do most things online and if you decided to go in person they added extra fees (unless you had to go there for your first Driver's License, etc."

Communists Out?

1. From the BBC:
"Georgia mulls banning ex-KGB members from public office"

It amazes me that the majority of people in power throughout the former Soviet Union and Iron Curtain were members of the KGB or other Secret Police and/or Communists. How can a country move away from it's terrible past if those that were once at the time during the bad times remain at the top today. I guess Georgia is really trying to become a Western country and in doing so wants to break from it's Soviet past. Not sure how Russia will like that or what they will do to stop it.

2. From Yahoo News:
"Poland clamps down on communist symbols"

Good for them! They already had laws banning Nazi symbols and so this is the next logical step. Many countries also ban communist symbols (ie the Baltics) but not Nazi symbols. Germany bans Nazi symbols, but not communist symbols - not sure why. You would think Germans - especially those from the eastern part -would be against both. The US should ban Nazi, communist and Confederate symbols.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

People In NH

I have lived in New Hampshire now for 9 months and have to say that I do not understand why the people in New Hampshire are not friendly or helpful. I know that is a generalization, but there have only been a handful that we have come into contact with that have been good, honest people (my mom's 2nd regular doctor, my advisor at PSU, the snow plow guy, one woman at the local Post Office, the guy at the Social Security Office and the guy who put hardpack on our driveway.) That is a total of 6 people in the whole state that haven't lied, tried to cheat us or weren't nasty to us. We have been up and down the state to many doctors, dentists, specialists, stores and have dealt with many contractors and all of these people have treated us badly in one way of another. To hear the locals here they blame all the bad things on the tourists from Massachusetts - they call them "Massholes" - but from what I can tell their (those from MA) only flaw is their bad driving habits. I went to college in Massachusetts and had no real issue with any of them (except when driving through Worcester.) I have also lived in New York and had no issues there. Due to those facts I know I am not completely to blame for the way we are being treated - I should say mistreated - in either Virginia or New Hampshire.
We thought that moving to New Hampshire we would get good old New England charm and hospitality, but instead we have gotten taken advantage of every step of the way. I guess we should have have learned our lesson last December when we were up here to look at the houses and got caught in the ice storm. The hotel had power and threw us out so they could get more money from others whose homes didn't. In the end we went to a better place in Massachusetts and had no problems afterwards.
I have stopped telling people that we aren't from NH even when they ask so that they won't automatically think they can pull one over us. Back in Virginia we had problems because we didn't have the Southern accent and then when they found out that my dad is in Iraq they did everything they could to rip us off or treat us badly. I guess here in New Hampshire we don't speak in their New England accent and don't look like mountain folk and so they think they can try to get one over us.
Unfortunately for both the people in Virginia and New Hampshire I catch on right away and will not stand to be treated badly or taken advantage of. I know the laws and my rights and also who to complain to. That along with this blog helps me get my message across - don't mess with me or my family because you may think you are smarter than us, but you aren't and 9 times out of 10 I get what I want.
I can only hope that they people up here will wake up and realize that we just want to live in the mountains and not have any trouble. We expect good, friendly service when we are paying for it and not to be taken advantage of. If they can accept that then living here in NH would be great - just like the views already are.

The Amazing Race

This week was a good week. The Harlem Globetrotters couldn't finish the one challenge and took a 4 hour penalty. That gave Ericka and her husband a chance to catch up. I would have chosen the beer carrying challenge - I like how all the drunk Czechs tried to take their beers.
Because the Globetrotters were kicked-off the final three are: the two brothers (Dan and Sam), the Ericka and her husband and Cheyne and Meghan. I think all three teams deserve to be there and so don't really care who wins next week.

Swiss Have It Right

From Yahoo News:
"Swiss ban mosque minarets in surprise vote"

I think this is a step in the right direction. I am sick and tired of all those people who say Islam is a peaceful religion and then you turn on the news to hear of another terrorist attack carried out by Muslims (this time on a Moscow-Saint Petersburg train in Russia.) If Muslims want to be treated like everyone else then THEY NEED TO STOP SUPPORTING TERRORISTS! I know that not every Muslim is a terrorist, but even the ones that don't fly planes into buildings or blow themselves up in cafes still attend mosques and are in Muslim Organizations that tend to give money in funding the terrorists. Helping terrorists (even only with money) still makes them a terrorist.
It is time for the PC stuff to be replaced with action otherwise we will get nothing but more bombs and more innocent people killed. The Swiss are making a statement, one that no longer makes them neutral, that the terrorist acts by Muslims need to stop. The rest of the world is doing similar things (France, Germany, etc) it is time the United States woke up and did the same.

Rwanda - Now British?

From The Commonwealth of Nations website:
"Commonwealth leaders agree to admit Rwanda"

Rwanda became the 54th member of the Commonwealth of Nations and the 2nd country (after Mozambique) to join that had no direct cultural or colonial ties to the United Kingdom. This takes new meaning for my family since my mom had her Canadian Citizenship restored recently and as such is now a citizen of the Commonwealth. I will be one too as soon as my paperwork goes through.


If you notice that the label from this entry is not under "Holidays/Anniversaries." I did that on purpose because Kwanzaa is not a holiday (federal or otherwise.) It was made in 1966 by a member of the Black Power Movement, Ron Karenga, and isn't based on any real American or African traditions.
I have no issue if people call Kwanzaa a week-long festival, but when they call it a holiday I take big issue. Even the Federal Government does not recognize it as a true holiday - as well they shouldn't - so I would appreciate it if people would stop saying "Happy Kwanzaa" to me. I prefer "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Our Generator

Strong winds knocked our power out early this morning and within a minute our new generator kicked in. It is weird since we have everything on the generator the only way we can tell if we are on regular electricity or on generator we try to turn on the dryer (which isn't on the generator.) If it works we are on regular electricity and if it doesn't we are on the generator. Right now we are back to normal.
So we are all set for the coming winter - which being in New England and in the mountains will be cold and snowy. We have a working, new generator, a full propane tank, a new snow blower, our wood stacked and a plow guy to get the snow from our driveway. The only thing we won't have is Internet since that is by satelite and always very unreliable even in good weather. At least we won't freeze.

Friday, November 27, 2009

VA Smoking Ban

From Yahoo News:
"In tobacco-loving Va., bars to quit cold-turkey"

Virginia is going to introduce a limited smoking ban in restaurants on December 1st. Unlike most of the States that simply ban all smoking indoors, VA will allow smoking in enclosed, ventilated rooms (also on outside patios.)I am shocked to say this but I am amazed at how smart Virginia is being. The majority of States are just lazy when they completely ban smoking. They claim it is going against non-smokers' rights (but aren't smokers people with rights too?)
I don't smoke, but still believe that those who do have the same right as everyone else does. It is the 21st Century and there are many places around the world that have done a good job of allowing smokers to smoke indoors while at the same time allowing non-smokers not to have to breathe it.
If and when smoking cigarettes is made illegal only then should complete smoking bans be allowed. As it stands now, cigarettes are not illegal and the States that have complete smoking bans are discriminating against lawful citizens.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


We have just had our holiday meal and made a lot even though it is just my mom and myself. We had a 12 lbs turkey, mashed sweet potatoes (from scratch), mashed potatoes (we tried a new kind that you buy, keep in the freezer, then microwave and mash them and they were pretty good), cranberry sauce (canned), brussel sprouts with bacon (from scratch), rolls, gravy and homemade pumpkin pie. It was all so good. My mom made everything - with my help. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (although it would have been nice to have the whole family here, but my dad is in Iraq, my brother and his family are in Texas and my sister in Virginia) and after having a great meal it still is for another year.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Katyn (2007)

This is the first movie I got from Netflix. I was really interested in watching it since there are so many movies about what the Germans did during the war, but not many on what the Soviets did. I have to say that it is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It is in Polish with English subtitles. The story is very good and so is the acting. It shows what happened from several viewpoints (ie the Polish officers and their wives) and includes real Nazi and Soviet propaganda films where each side blames the other for the massacre.
The movie is based on the true story of how the Soviets murdered around 20,000 Polish officers in 1940 in the Soviet town of Katyn. Then in 1943 the Nazis found the mass murder pits and had the International Red Cross come and examine everything. It is really strange that the Germans would really care what the world thought of murdered Poles especially when you think of all the evil things (ie the Holocaust) they did.
After the war, the Soviets took over Poland and said the Germans murdered the Poles and anyone who said otherwise was taken away by the secret police and never heard from again. It wasn't until 1989 that the Soviet Union (good old Gorby) admitted that the Polish officers were murdered by Soviet troops in 1940. On 13 April 1990, the 47th anniversary of the discovery of the mass graves, the USSR formally expressed "profound regret" and admitted Soviet secret police responsibility. That day is also an International Day of Katyn Victims Memorial (Światowy Dzień Pamięci Ofiar Katynia - in Polish).
It is almost 18 hears since the collapse of the Soviet Union and more great movies like this one need to be made to show people (especially those in the former USSR) what really happened. Most Soviets were brainwashed to learn only the "truth according to Communism" and even today most Russians refuse to believe what the rest of the world already knows and understands as truth.
This movie is so good that I want to get my own copy. Everyone should see it.

US Vs Canadian Travel

As previously mentioned my mom's Canadian Citizenship was retroactively restored to her (as of April 2009) and she got her Canadian Passport today. She now has both an American and Canadian Passport. We have all heard that Americans travelling overseas usually get treated badly because of Anti-Americanism and that no one ever harasses a Canadian. Only once when I was in Russia did I tell someone that I was Canadian - when I did it shut them up about everything they considered bad coming from the US. Every country has their good and their bad aspects, but it seems that people around the world only see the bad in the US - I think it makes them feel better knowing that a country as great as the United States has flaws.
Wikipedia says that US Passport holders can enter 155 countries without visas or by getting a free visa on arrival while Canadian Passport holders can enter 150 countries without visas.
The United States has an Embassy and/or a diplomatic presence in almost every country (except for North Korea and Iran) while Canada has many countries with no Embassy or direct diplomatic presence. The paper that came with the Canadian Passport says that certain countries are handled by the Australians and others with the British.
I'm curious to learn more about the differences in travelling with the two passports.

Canadian Passport

My mom finally received her Canadian Passport today in the mail. Once again she is a dual Canadian-American. I only hope that the Canadians do not strip her citizenship from her like they did in the 1950s-1960s.
Now my sister and myself are waiting for our Canadian Citizenship Card which we applied for last March and were told it would take 12-15 months to get. I'm not sure why it takes them so long, but until they do we can't apply for our own Canadian Passports.
The Canadian Passport is only valid for 5 years (well 4 years and 6 months since most countries require a Passport to have 6 months validity to enter.) I have heard that in 2011 they will have biometric passports valid 10 years (like the United States currently has.)
Now my mom just has to remember to enter Canada on her Canadian Passport and the United States on her American Passport.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New EU President

From the BBC:
"EU foreign head dismisses critics"

President of European Council

Elected by:
European Council leaders. Liable to select candidate by consensus. If vote held, each country has different number of votes. Winner must gain 258 out of 345 votes from at least 18 of the 27 countries.

- Term of two and half years - renewable once.
- Salary reported to be 350,000 euros ($521,374) a year

Position and key roles:

- Duty to "facilitate cohesion and consensus", without national bias. Head of state.
- Represents EU abroad on issues concerning its common foreign and security policy.
- Must report to European Parliament after each European Council meeting.
- No influence on military. EU Military staff receives "taskings" from EU Military Committee (which represents defence chiefs of all member states).

^ I have altered this article only by taking out the comparisons to the United States President.


I had my meeting with my advisor today at Plymouth State. She was very nice, patient and helpful. We went over my concerns and made a study program for me to follow. While talking to her I decided to not start my degree until the Spring 2010 semester (March to June.) I think this will be the best option for me since I don't have to worry about my Internet not working or driving in the snow to the college (mainly getting out of the dirt road that is the only way to get to my house.) I know it snows in March and April, but by then I will have gone through several months of winter and know what to expect. I was also going to take a CPR class in January since I know that teachers have to be certified, but after talking with my advisor I think it will be a waste of money. I can always go to a Continuing Education place and take.
So now I have a general idea of what classes I need to take to get my Master's in Education (Social Studies.) I also got my student id, ordered my parking permit (which is good from Dec.1-Feb. 28th.) I still have two things to do before Spring Semester starts in March: I have to get my NH residentency approved by the college - since the college says you have to live in the state for 1 year to get the resident rates and that will be in February 2010 for me - then I have to meet up with my advisor after Christmas to make my new schedule. I handed in my official acceptance of my Grad School Admission (ie saying that I was attending PSU in Spring 2010) and got a PSU Grad School messenger bag with a flashdrive in it.
So it seems that I am all set (for now) with PSU. I can now focus on other things that need to be done.

Airlines Given Notice!

From Yahoo News:
"3 airlines fined in Minnesota tarmac stranding"

I think it is only fitting that the day before the busiest travel day of the year in the US, 3 airlines were given huge fines for keeping passengers on a plane overnight when they were so close to the terminal and could have easily deplaned. I really hope the Federal Government sticks to this new policy and not only creates a Federal law on passengers' rights but also enforces them. All airlines around the world that go to or within the US have just been given a very strong message - treat your passengers like humans or else!! The ball is in the airlines' court - what will they do next?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Next Iron Chef

I just saw this season's finale and am very pleased that Chef Garces won. Chef Mehta did nothing but Indian food and ice cream throughout the whole contest. Garces tried new things and his food stuck with the theme whereas Mehta's did not.
I liked how the one judge (Jeff Steingarten)tried to make fun of the Iron Chef judges, but they stood up to him. It seems Steingarten just likes to hear himself talk regardless of what comes out. Most of what he says is nonsense, mumbling and it looks like he has dementia and doesn't always know where he is.
I am glad Garces won and hope the next season will have more twists.

The Amazing Race

This week they left Estonia and went to Prague. As usual the Globetrotters were trying to cause trouble. For people who play professional sports they do not have good sportsmanship. First they tried to go after the brothers (the last show) and then after Meghan and Cheyne.
Despite Meghan being very annoying (it seems this season all the women on the show have had a fear of water and have been very annoying) they made it through all the challenges and into first place. I'm glad the brothers made it second right before the Globetrotters. The beauty queen and her husband were their usual selves - stupid and complaining. I wish that they had been eliminated and not given another chance - although I don't hold out any hope that they will be able to do the extra task and beat at least one other team.
Next week is the last elimination before the final three teams race to first place. Right now I don't care who wins as long as it is not the Harlem Globetrotters.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


1. USPS: The Post Office has decided to allow the volunteers in Alaska to continue their "Dear Santa" letters to children.

2. Aspen Dental: I went to their new office in Concord twice last week. The first time was for my mom and the receptionist was nice and so was the dentist. They even saw my mom before her appointment time. I then made an appointment for myself for later that week. When I went in I had to wait 20 minutes in the waiting room, then had some x-rays done and had to wait 10 minutes there while the assistant did something else. The dental hygienist came by and asked if I wanted my teeth cleaned while I was there. I told her that I would have to ask my mom in the waiting room if she wanted to wait the extra 45 minutes. I never say the hygienist again and when the assistant came back and I told her she said I could schedule it for another time. Then I was brought to another room where they took my blood pressure. I have never had a dentist do that before and had to ask the assistant what mine was since she wouldn't tell me. I then had to wait another 15 minutes for the dentist. It was a different one that my mom had and this one made you feel as though you were in a drive-thru. She literally spent 5 minutes with me (including checking my teeth) and just said I had some cavities and needed one tooth pulled. Then she left. I then saw the office manager for my treatment options and had to ask for an itemized list and what options I had to replace the tooth that needed to be pulled. You would think that the dentist or the manager would tell me all my options but they didn't. I made an appointment to get my teeth cleaned, but after thinking of it I will call them tomorrow and cancel that and look for another dentist that will take the time to explain all my options and not make me feel as though I am sitting in my car for fast food.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Planet 51 (2009)

I saw this movie today. The theater was crowded with lots of people pushing to see "New Moon." Luckily, we got to the theater early and I bought our tickets so we didn't have to wait in the long lines. Then all the people left to go see their movie and things became quiet.
Our movie was very good. It is one of those movies that really is for everyone - from children to the elderly. There are jokes and funny things for everyone. There are many pop culture references from the 1950s through today. I liked how the aliens lived in the 1950s - it just added an additional innocence to them. I also liked how it took things from other movies (like "Back to the Future", "Star Wars", "Grease", "Rebel Without a Cause", etc.)
All-in-all it was a nice, funny, relaxing movie.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

USPS Dumps Christmas Joy

From Yahoo News:
"AK volunteers strive to save Santa letter service"

It is a really sad day when the Post Office decides to drop a volunteer program that has been making children smile for over 50 years. No matter what excuses the Post Office makes (ie security, etc) there is no good reason to do away with this program. I can understand there needing to be changes made - such as background checks on the volunteers, etc.
It seems that the Post Office continues to push itself (and others) away from what is right and creating more problems. From not allowing free mail to soldiers fighting and dying for their country to this. It is a disgrace that the USPS will have over its head for a very long time. I can only hope that the volunteers in Alaska can find a way to continue their great work despite the United States Post Office.

Survivor Samoa

This week's show was pretty good. I have to say that it is the best one so far this season. There is always back-stabbing on the show, but this week it seemed to go a step beyond what is normal. The one tribe was ready to throw John under the bus in order to save Laura and of course John didn't like that. Russel managed to find the hidden idol for a third time. For once Laura didn't win immunity and so her name was put on the short list.
In the end no one really knew if it would be Laura or John and then the first vote was between Laura and Natalie (the latter just seemed dumb-founded.) Then with the second vote it looked like it was going to be another tie, but in the end John sided with the other team and voted Laura off.
There are only two other people I would like voted off: Russel and Dave. Other than that I still don't care who wins.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Travels

My Travels

These are places I’ve visited in the last 10 years.

visited 20 Countries (8%)

visited 26 States (50%)

visited 15 states (29%)

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This is the latest book in the "House of Night" series. I have to say that I really didn't care for this book as I did for the other 5. It was the first book after the "major battle" and I thought it would sum things up, but it moved around so fast (from Tulsa to Venice.) It was a little hard to keep track of everyone and what was going on. I liked the first five (as I already mentioned) and can only hope that the next book that comes out - called "Burned" - will be just as good as the first five, but much better than the 6th book.

The Amazing Race

This week they took a ferry to Estonia. When they got there they had to look in a secret society (where the son on the father/son team kept saying he was looking for a "candle bra" and even asked a guy if he was one.)When they had to go on the sauna bus the son looked very uncomfortable next to the beautiful woman while the dad seemed drunk with his singing. Then they had to either play mud volleyball or shoot a picture of a moose with a small radish. I don't know if these are really traditional Estonian pastimes, but it's not what I would consider fun.
The brothers finished and were running to Phil when the Globetrotters chased after them. They (the Globetrotters) even tried to push one of the brothers and then blamed them at the finish line. The Globetrotters do not play fair. It is one thing to lie in a game and another to push and shove. I really hope they get sent home before the final 3.
This week the father and son team went home. I had hoped they would have at least been 2nd or third.

A Christmas Carol (2009)

I saw this movie today in 3-D and wasn't impressed with it at all. Of course I knew the story so that wasn't going to be a surprise, but I was expecting something extra with the 3-D and the only thing I got was an extra $3.50 per ticket for the glasses - and then they wanted the glasses back afterwards, but I kept ours.
I guess my favorite version of A Christmas Carol is the Mickey Mouse version. There are a few others that I like but this is my favorite.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Beatles In The USSR

Last night I watched a show on TV called "How the Beatles Beat the Kremlin." It is about the effect the Beatles had in the Soviet Union even though they were officially banned. The documentary uses both original footage of both the Beatles and the USSR - but never together - as well as interviews with former Soviet citizens who remember what they had to do when they were younger to hear the Beatles.
I am not a very big fan of the Beatles - they were before my time - but it was interesting to see how they influenced whole generations of young people in the Soviet Union from the 1960s til today even though the Beatles never toured there (although every young Soviet believed they had after the song "Back in the USSR" came out) and the Soviet Government did everything they could to ban them there.
The young Soviets had to be secretive and creative to get, copy and listen to Beatles' records. They were often harassed, kicked out of universities and sent to jail for these activities. Even having long hair made them a target in a society of "equality" where going against the Communist norms was a threat in itself.
Now that I think of it I remember two incidents when I was living in Russia dealing with the Beatles. The first was when the director of my language school wanted me to sing one of their songs on Karaoke (I think it was "Michelle Ma Belle.")She couldn't believe that I didn't already know the words by heart like she did. I tried to explain that they were several decades before my time, but that didn't do anything and in the end I sang the song very badly. The second time was seeing a plaque made of wood that had all the Beatles on it in my girlfriend's appartment that her dad had made when he was younger.
At the time I didn't think much about it especially since both the language director and my girlfriend's dad are my from my parents' generation and the Beatles were popular back then. Now, after seeing the documentary, it brings new meaning to those two events and makes me wonder what the langauge director, my girlfriend's dad and all the others had to do during the Soviet times just to listen to the Beatles and escape the Communist propaganda constantly being thrown at them.

Friday, November 13, 2009


I just got done watching an episode of "The Dragon's Den" on BBC America. It is the British version of "The Shark Tank" here in the US. They had a woman on that is a single mother of 4 who has an online furniture business and yet she still receives government benefits. I know the welfare/government benefits in the UK are different than here in the US, but the idea is the same.
Government/welfare benefits are supposed to temporarily help people who have fallen on hard times get back on their feet (of course there is also a component to help the disabled which isn't always temporary.)
This woman and millions of others use - I should say abuse - government benefits all the time all over the world. This not only is unmoral, but in many places is illegal. More background and random checks need to be carried out by each welfare office to ensure that those who need the help have it and that those who abuse the system are taken off it.
I have seen many people on welfare (especially here in the US) who cry and complain that they are struggling to survive and yet they have all the latest video/computer games, technology (ie cell phones, etc) and fashion. These are the people that need to be investigated first to see if they really deserve government assistance. I believe that in most of these cases, these people do not meet the requirements and are abusing the system instead.
Also it is one thing to already have children and then need some temporary government help and another to be on assistance and continue to have children. Welfare should not give any extra money to these people who can't take care of the children they have and yet have more and more. That is also an abuse of the system. Many of these people make being on welfare their job rather than finding a real one themselves.
I am 100% in favor of welfare/government assisting it's citizens in getting back on their feet or, if they are disabled, helping them live as much of a "normal" life as possible. I just believe that too many people abuse the system and there needs to be more, stricter enforcement of the regulations.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Survivor Samoa

It seems that Russel may be a big red-neck but he is pretty lucky in finding the idol. I really wish he would just get voted off, but as long as the idol is kept in the game he will continue to find it and mess up the votes. I wouldn't mind seeing Laura go as well, but first she has to stop winning immunity.
I still don't really care who wins this game. I just know that I don't want it to be Jason, Russel, Laura or Dave. Jason just tries to act so tough and smart and makes dumb and lying needlessly. Laura is just annoying and Dave is too arrogant.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day!

Today is Veteran's Day and we should remember all those (including my grandfather and father) who fought for our country as well as those (including my brother) who continue to fight for us. One of my pet peeves is when people get Veteran's Day and Memorial Day mixed up. Veteran's Day is for those who fought/fight and LIVED/LIVE while Memorial Day is for those who fought and DIED!
It doesn't matter if you are for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or not if you are a true American then you can be against war, but have to be for the US Military. Soldiers risk their lives all over the world so that we do not have to worry about our safety every minute of every day. We can live our lives and the media can waste time telling us about what the latest celebrity is doing because men and women are overseas protecting us. I am not sure why the media seems bored about reporting about the wars, but as long as an American soldier is still fighting for us then the media needs to report about it.
Today is also my parents' wedding anniversary. My dad is still in Iraq and so they aren't really celebrating it - I guess my mom doesn't want to celebrate her anniversary with her son - which makes sense.
The Military, Federal, State and Local Governments need to do more for ALL of our vets. Right now they use the soldiers as they see fit and when they are wounded or discharged then they get very little, if any help (financial or otherwise.) There are too many loop-holes that the Government uses so they can get out of aiding those who served/serve.

Aspen Dental

Last Monday my mom and I both had appointments at the dentist - called Aspen Dental, which has offices around the US, but ours was in West Lebanon - (my first one there, but my mom's 6th.) First they made me wait 20 minutes past my appointment time and then called me back to get X-rays. Every time we go there we have to wait 20-30 minutes and when I ask why they always tell me they are understaffed and I don't consider that a good excuse every time (maybe once or twice, but not 6 times.) I told the receptionist that I would need to help my mom (since she was in her wheelchair.) After my X-rays they told me to go back to the waiting room. It had been 45 minutes and my mom hadn't gone back. I told that to the receptionist and then 5 minutes later they called my mom into a room. I helped my mom into the dentist's chair and waited in the room - like I have done every time she goes there. I was then told to wait in a separate room to get my teeth checked by the dentist. I told the dental assistant that I needed to help my mom and she said "ok."
The dentist came into my room to get something and then left again. A few minutes later I saw my mom being wheeled, by the dentist, down the hall. I got very angry since I had told several people that I was the one to help my mom and they disregarded that completely. I then made a scene in their little office where I yelled at all of them (including the office manager) about their lack of concern and treatment of my mom. It wasn't until I told them that I was going to file an official complaint about the store that the office manager chased after us - as we were leaving - and started shouting my first name. As I am not his friend and expect him to address me as "Mr." I told him that we were leaving and wouldn't be back. When we got home we found a message from the office manager on our phone and he didn't even get my mom's name right.
I tried that afternoon and then Tuesday to get the main dentist's complaint line, but a recorded message said they were all home sick. I finally got a hold of someone today and she was horrified by what I told her about our experience. She promised me that no one from that office would ever contact me again. I had asked her to transfer all my mom's records to the Concord office. She then called the manager of the Concord office and told her everything and the Concord office called me and scheduled an appointment for my mom for next week.
I am very satisfied by how the woman dealt with my complaint. She took me seriously and did everything (ie transferring my mom's records, etc) without me having to say anything. I was also given the personal number to call her if anything else happened. That is all I expected when I called to make the complaint. It is nice to know some people can do their jobs. I didn't finish my free, new patient check-up and will have to find a new dentist. I will see how the Concord office is with my mom before I do anything for myself.

Follow-Up: AmeriGas

Finally, we got the extra billing from our propane company (AmeriGas) fixed and they are no longer charging us for the 1,200 gallons of propane they said they delivered to our 1,000 gallon tank. The regional manager wasn't very intelligent (he hadn't even looked up our account before he called us nor said he was sorry for everything his company put us through.) My mom did tell him that if we ever get yelled/screamed at from our local office again we will switch to another propane company.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Justice! The Death Penalty Works!

One of the DC snipers has just been put to death. This proves how effective the death penalty really is. A person who murdered many innocent people has finally received his punishment - instead of the "slap on the wrist" those that don't agree with the death penalty would have given him.
One thing that needs to be addressed - especially since the shootings at Fort Hood - is that the DC sniper was a practicing Muslim (with the Nation of Islam) and served in the US military. All those people who tell us that the shootings (either at Fort Hood or Metro DC) had nothing to do with the shooters being Muslim is just plain dumb. They may want to put their heads in the sand and not see the facts staring them in their faces, but I will not. If we don't wake up and start putting more focus on the important aspects of these killings than we may be politically correct, but it will lead to the murders of more innocent men, women and children and that is something we need to stop.
As for all of those people out there who are against the death penalty I only have this to say: I only hope that you never have to worry that your family will be shot while shopping, pumping gas or sitting outside as some of us had to for several weeks in 2002.

For information about the DC Sniper look at the following link:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Berlin Wall: 20 Years Since Its Fall

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. The Wall was the ultimate symbol of the East-West division during the Cold War. Many people do not realize that there was more than one Wall - the Berlin Wall surrounding West Berlin from East Germany and East Berlin and the Inner-German Wall between East Germany and West Germany. To understand the significance of the fall you must first understand what the Wall meant when it was up.
The Berlin Wall was built on August 13, 1961 by the Soviets and East Germans to keep the East Germans and other Eastern Bloc citizens from fleeing to the West. Prior to the Wall there was a huge "brain drain" that would have collapsed East Germany if it wasn't curbed - which wouldn't have been a bad thing in my mind.
There are those (me included) who believe the other Allies (the US, UK and France)were wrong when they stood-by and did nothing to prevent the Wall. On the one hand they (the other Allies) won in that the Soviets never took West Berlin, but they sold-out the ordinary East Germans (and those from the Eastern Bloc) in doing so. The Wall did avoid a battle that could have resulted in World War 3, but left hundreds of thousands of innocent people stuck behind in a prison for the next 28 years.
There were four different stages of the Wall. (1) the Wire Fence built in 1961, (2) the Improved Wire Fence from 1962-1965, (3) the Concrete Wall from 1965-1975 and (4) the Border Wall 75 from 1975-1989. The last stage was the final and most sophisticated version of the Wall. It was constructed from 45,000 separate sections of reinforced concrete, each 12 ft high and 3.9 ft wide, and cost 16,155,000 East German Marks or 3,638,000 United States Dollars. The top of the Wall was lined with a smooth pipe, intended to make it more difficult to scale. It was reinforced by mesh fencing, signal fencing, anti-vehicle trenches, barbed wire, dogs on long lines, "beds of nails" under balconies hanging over the "death strip", over 116 watchtowers and 20 bunkers.
Despite the major and deadly "defences" the Wall had around 5,000 people successfully escaped to West Berlin from 1961-1989. Each time the Wall was strengthened. It is estimated that 200 people died while trying to escape and hundreds, if not thousands, of people were arrested before they could attempt to.
On November 9, 1989 following numerous demonstrations the East German Government finally agreed to allow direct crossing into West Berlin from East Berlin and was supposed to start on November 17th, but a spokesman for the East German Politburo read the message wrong and within hours thousands of East Germans flocked to the border crossings demanding to be allowed to cross. The borders were opened and the celebrations began.
After 20 years more needs to be done within Germany to punish those that committed crimes against their own people. The border guards that shot people, the Stasi, the informers and those in the government. It seems that Germany doesn't like to deal with the evils of their past until it is too late to do anything about it. In the 1950s the German Government allowed former Nazis to hold office and did very little to punish the criminals. It seems that nowadays that the criminals are in their 90s-100s the Germans are starting to put them on trial knowing that nothing will really come out of it. I think the Germans are going to do the same with the East German criminals - wait 50-60 years and then start putting them on trial.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Amazing Race

This was a good week. They flew from Amsterdam to Sweden. I liked the explosion and hay challenges. The show made a point to say that Sweden is known for the Nobel Prize - if that is true then why do the Norwegians pick who gets the Nobel Peace Prize? Maybe if the Swedes did the choosing then they would have found someone more deserving then Obama.
I would have liked to see the brothers and the father/son teams get the first and second places. I think they both have worked very hard throughout the race and deserve to win.
The beauty queen and her husband are just always at each other. She does nothing but complain. The Globetrotters just don't seem to play fair. The other team is just there.
Next week they go to Estonia and it seems that the brothers and the Globetrotters go after each other. Hopefully, the brothers will succeed as will the father and son - who have to do one more challenge since they were last this time.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


       I recently re-saw all the old 1980s V shows/movies and then watched the new V show. I think (the new show) is pretty interesting. It is up-to date and comes at a time when people want answers  - ie about the economy, government, etc - and shows what could happen when desperate people find themselves with someone who gives them real answers to their problems.
        Both the old and the new shows/movies follow the same line that got the Nazis into power in the 1930s. Back then the Germans wanted a strong leader to: create jobs, find a scapegoat for their problems and show the world that they wouldn't be humiliated again like they were at the end of World War 1. We all know what happened next and in the end the Germans were left even more desperate and at the "bottom" than before and didn't have full say of their own country for 40+ years.
       This new show seems to both entertain and educate at the same time. It makes people stop and think of the world around them and wonder if a thing like the Nazis or aliens could happen. While I don't believe in the alien aspect the threat of a dictatorship like the Nazis coming back into power in the world  - especially now with so many people without jobs and, like I wrote above, looking for a strong leader to give us answers and actions seems more likely.The fact that the majority of people are "sheep" in that they don't want to think for themselves, but want others to tell them what to do just proves that something like this could happen again.
      People need to learn that they are the only ones who can help themselves. They need to stop acting like sheep and think about what their own personal actions will do for both themselves and their families as well as what those in power are doing. There is a reason why we have the "Checks and Balances" system, but there are also many loop-holes. I am not saying that our current government isn't trying to protect our rights and freedoms, but that as the old saying goes "give them an inch and they will take a yard." People just need to educate themselves about current events and stand-up (non-violently) for what they believe in.
     I am interested to see where this new series goes and just how far it will try to stay current. I have already seen many politcal statements that are current (ie universal health care, etc) and will look for others as I watch newer episodes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Shooting At Fort Hood

As every day goes by since the shootings we learn more and more about what a crazy person the shooter was (although we already knew he was sick to begin with.) This is a person who came from an immigrant family (his parents were Palestinians) and joined the US Military, received free medical training only to open fire and shoot his fellow soldiers. We should not overlook the fact that he is Muslim and was adamant about not wanting to be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan - where he would have to kills his "fellow Muslims."
He is a disgusting excuse for a human being and deserves to be deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan and given the task of clearing mines or going house to house on patrol. He opened fire on his fellow soldiers so he wouldn't go overseas, by sending him there it would be more of a punishment then jail. If he survived overseas then we could then give him the death penalty for the murders. He wouldn't get the 40 virgins in heaven or whatever it is they are supposed to get for killing innocent people.
We should not brush aside that he was Muslim because it is one of the main reasons - if not the only reason - for him wanting to leave the military and when he couldn't, for killing. I have said this many times and I will continue to say it. Why are we being so PC when the facts show that every major act of terrorism in the world since 2000 has been planned and carried out by Muslims (even if they are militants they are still Muslims?) Because we don't want to hurt the feelings of a few we are risking the lives of millions upon millions of innocent people by not focusing our anti-terrorist efforts on the group that is the highest-risk of creating terrorists - the followers of Islam. I am not calling for putting Muslims in concentration camps or anything like that, but more public efforts need to be moved to track mosques, Muslim groups/organizations to prevent more attacks and the deaths of more innocent people.
Muslim militants have carried out terrorist attacks in: the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Russia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Israel and other countries. To ignore the facts means that there will be more attacks carried out by the same types of people as before.
I hope the shooter gets everything he deserves to the fullest extent of the law. Hopefully, the US and other countries will learn from the mistakes that allowed the shooter to "fall through the cracks" even when the FBI and other groups knew about his websites and all the anti-American sayings he writes. We can not let something like this to happen again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Survivor Samoa

This week's show was alright. The tribes merged and not much really changed. The women are still very stupid - I would have to say that this season they are more-so. Jason is just a little cry-baby who always gets so emotional. I'm just surprised he didn't call Erik a racist when Erik said something against him. Erik was pretty dumb and sealed his fate when he opened his mouth at tribal. The look on his face was priceless. He had no idea he would be voted out and didn't use his idol. Russel, on the other hand, was just dumb to use his idol for no reason.
Next week it looks like the tribe goes after Russel and I hope he gets kicked out.

US Elections

(Since I was away I didn't get to write about this)

A quick summary from Wikipedia:

 - Michael Bloomberg (Democrat) wins a third term as Mayor of New York City.
- Chris Christie (Republican) wins the position of Governor of New Jersey, defeating incumbent Jon Corzine.
- Bob McDonnell (Republican) wins the position of Governor of Virginia.
 - Voters in the U.S. state of Maine reject a law allowing same-sex marriage to occur in their state.

It seems that people are starting to get fed-up of what little action the Democrats have been talking about for a while and so are starting to look towards the Republicans. I vote for the person and not the party, but it does seem people want ACTION and not WORDS. It will be interesting to see what happens next year. I do want to say that I think the people of Maine were wrong to reject gay marriage.

Iran 30 Years On

This is the 30th anniversary of the Iran Hostage Crisis which began on November 4, 1979 and lasted 444 days until it ended on January 20, 1981. Islamist militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran and took 52 hostages (13 women and blacks were released shortly after the stand-off became.)
Carter was President at the time and he was worthless in helping the hostages (even though nowadays he thinks he did so much and is constantly opening his mouth and causing trouble.) It wasn't until Reagan became President that the hostages were released.
We should never forget what Iran and the Islamists did or how useless Carter truly was throughout it all.

We Built The Wall?

From Yahoo News:
"Who built Berlin Wall? Most Russians don't know"

On the one hand I can not believe that 58% of Russians asked had no idea who built the Berlin Wall and on the other hand I know that certain historical facts seem to be forgotten or not taught in Russia - especially if it shows Russia/the USSR in a bad light,
The Berlin Wall was built by both the Soviet Union and East Germany in August 1961. The 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall is this month and as the Berlin Wall is a major symbol of the Cold War people (young and old) need to fully understand when it was built, who built it, why it was built, how many people died trying to flee over it, why it came down and when.

Communism Opens Up

From Yahoo News:
"Communist-era files still haunt the Old East Bloc"

I have written about this many times, but believe it deserves more attention. It has been 20 years since the fall of Communism throughout Eastern Europe and that is more than enough time to allow ALL files from the Communist-era to be FULLY disclosed to the public (especially those directly affected.) I have many friends from the former East Germany and the former Soviet Union and several of them I asked believe the same as I do - that the files need to be opened and the people who worked for the Communists need to be known. Only a handful of my friends think that opening the files will only lead to more problems since the majority of those who reported on people were friends or family members of that person.
  People throughout the former Eastern Bloc and former USSR need to know the full truth about what happened in order to understand, learn and more on. You can not completely move forward without knowing the past.

Virginia Trip

We are back home from the trip to Virginia. While it was basically an easy trip I am so glad to be back in New England.
Last Monday we drove to Manchester Airport. We checked-in (had no issues or wait)and then had some breakfast at Dunkin' Doughnuts. As usual the people there were pretty dumb, but we got our order and ate. After that we went outside to smoke. When we came back in and were going to use the elevators we saw that there was a Smoking Lounge right there - of course it's not on any airport map.
Then we started to go through Security. There were two lines open (usually there's only one and it's very packed.) We went to the one that had no one in it. The TSA guy was joking with my mom and the TSA woman who searched her did a thorough job. You could tell they were bored and just wanted to work. We had no problems with either the TSA or Security in general. They did their job and did so in a professional way.
While waiting for our flight we learned that there is another Smoking Lounge past Security - again it is not listened on any airport map. We had no issues boarding, during the flight (it was on-time taking off and early landing), being met by my sister, getting our bag or driving the two hours from Baltimore to our house. It all went pretty smoothly.
When we got to the house we met, Princess, our new Malamute. She is just under two years old and was rescued from a vet that abused her and many other dogs. When we first got her she was starved and in-out of comas. I don't know how anyone can do something like that to a dog (or any animal.) Princess was shy around my mom and I, but was very playful with my sister. Eventually, Princess warmed up to us  - for the most part - and things were fine.
Throughout the day and a half we were down in VA we were kept pretty busy. We went to some stores and bought a bunch of things (for both my sister and Christmas.) We ate out all the time - which is one of the only good things about going to Virginia they have all the food places, closer than we do in New Hampshire. We went to my mom's appointment  (which was the whole reason to go down there) and set something up for the beginning of January. My sister had to go to her class Tuesday night from 4:30 pm - 11 pm and so my mom and I stayed at the house with Princess - and no TV. We could watch shows on the computer, but it's not the same.
Wednesday we went out for breakfast and then headed to BWI Airport. There was some traffic - like there always is in the DC Metro Area - but we made it to the airport with plenty of time. We checked-in (the woman there was lazy and told us to get the wheelchair inspected at the gate - which you are not supposed to do. Then we saw my sister off and headed through Security. The last time we flew out of Baltimore (last summer) we had problems and so we tried going through a different Security Zone this time. At first it seemed like we would have problems again. The two TSA guys were very lazy and one was even standing there playing on his phone. Then a TSA woman came to search my mom. She (the TSA woman) told me to go through and get my stuff while she took my mom. I told her that my mom was more important than our stuff and I wanted to make sure she was taken care of and treated right. I watched very closely as my mom and the woman went into a glassed-in room. I got our stuff off the x-ray machine and headed to where they were. The lady opened the door and let me come in while she searched my mom. I explained to the woman that we have had many problems at BWI before and I just didn't want that to happen this time. She was nice and did her job well and everything was good.
After security we had lunch, went to our gate (where the airline woman got upset that no one had tagged the wheelchair and said she was going to find out who it was.) We had no problems boarding and the only thing on the flight was a very annoying, talking woman in front of us, a steward that was too busy being "funny" to do his job and a woman next to me trying to take my space - I won that one though!. We left on-time and arrived on-time. I got our bags and we headed to the parking garage and our car.
This is where I have to say that Manchester Airport is not as handicapped-friendly as they say they are. You have to pull the doors to get into the garage - there's no automatic, handicapped door and there are many large grates throughout the parking garage that you have to go through to get to your car - I had the wheelchair get stuck several times while cars were coming towards us. I will have to write the airport about those as they are very dangerous.
All-in-all the trip was easy. I still would have rather stayed home, but many things could have gone wrong - and with my luck, should have gone wrong, but for the most part they didn't. My sister is doing well on her own (she even took days off work to be with us which was nice) and Princess will slowly come around towards others.
I only hope our trip down this January will be like this, if not easier.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

On My Way To VA!

Tomorrow I'm going down to our house in Virginia for a few days. While I have no real desire to go back there at least I know that I will be leaving soon and that I am no longer a Virginian resident. The only good thing about going there is that the town has many restaurants whereas here in NH the closest food place is 30 minutes away and the even better places are an hour away.

The Amazing Race

Tonight's show was really good. They left Dubai (finally) and went to Amsterdam. I really liked that the beauty queen couldn't count bells. She is very annoying and is constantly complaining - as all of the woman this season seem to be doing.
I thought it was pretty odd how the brothers just randomly told everyone that they were gay. It's not as though straight people go around and tell everyone that they are heteros. If it wasn't a big deal to the brothers then they should have just not said anything.
I liked those that tried the Dutch dancing - especially the Globetrotters. They got really into it which makes sense since that is what they do for a living - entertain people on the basketball court.
The two poker players were funny trying to swing the hammer (or whatever it's called) and make the thing ring. The one girl could barely get it an inch while the other one was so close several times. They just gave up and so were sent home.
I'm glad the brothers are back in first place. I still want either them or the father/son team to win. Looks like the brothers will be the best choice though.
Next week they are in Sweden. Should be good.

It's Official: USSR Did Bad Things

From Yahoo News:
"Medvedev: Soviet-era terror cannot be justified"

It is about time a Russian President had the guts to stand-up and speak out against all the horrors and unjust things that happened in the Soviet Union. I am surprised that President Medvedev actually said the things he did especially since most just consider him Putin's puppet and Putin has said and done things to praise everything Soviet. It is not going to be popular for Medvedev (especially among other government officials since the majority of them held high positions in the USSR (ie Putin), but until you admit the wrongs of the past - which every country has - then you can't fully move forward and prosper. I am curious to see what happenings now since these are just words on a speech and I have seen other Presidents (ie Obama) be good at words, but not in actions.