Ok, I swore I wasn’t going to watch TV today, but the husband DOES football (as in, as soon as we’d bought the house he was calling Direct TV to get the NFL ticket package NOW), so the TV was on whether I was watching or not.  Thankfully other than an extra remembrance at the beginning of each game the overt references weren’t there. 

Till just a few minutes ago.

Some of you may remember, the Superbowl after 9/11/01 Budweiser put out a 1minute spot.  Now I don’t drink, and most beer commercials suck, but I’ve a soft spot for the Budweiser Clydesdales so the commercial caught my eye.  They only played it that one time. 

They redid it for this 10yr anniversary.  The two are essentially identical, minor changes.  And it still put tears in my eyes.

Took some searching, but I found a link to the new version:


I have to agree with Tam that its totally being overdone this year (not to mention this).  You can’t turn on the TV, to pretty much any channel, without SOMETHING doing 9/11 stuff.  I agree with need to remember, remember that the US isn’t invulnerable, and that we need to be ready to fight back.  Because of that reason I am going to share where I was that morning, to help ME remember.  But I’ll be avoiding the TV, and radio like a plague today.

Where I was, the morning of 9/11/01

I’d graduated from college that spring.  Was working at my new job, we’d been out of training all of a couple weeks.  I was working for John Hancock Signature Services.  JHSS was a subsidiary of John Hancock Mutual Funds.  All owned by the same folks, just the part of the company that handled customer service (that may have changed, I know they were doing some reorganizing about the same time I left).  Basically I took phone calls from people who wanted assistance with their mutual funds.  Opening accounts, adding money, withdrawing money, panicking over the stock market, that sorta thing.  I got into work that morning a bit early, which I usually did since I rode public transport into Boston (like any other sane person would do).

So by 8am I was logged into my computer and ready to take calls.  It was a slow morning, I’d only taken a few calls when just before 9am one of the guys who worked the 9am shift came running out of the elevator and yelled “A plane just hit one of the Twin Towers!!”

Not everyone heard him, but I wasn’t on a call at the time so I did.  Logged into CNN to see if there were any details, and there wasn’t much.  Not even what type of plane it was.  I figured it was some idiot with a beginners license who’d been showing off, and went back to reading my book while waiting for calls.  One of the supervisors also heard him though, and turned on his radio at his desk.  He had it quiet, but I was only a couple desks away, so I heard the announcer say “oh my god, a second plane has just hit the other tower…..”  I headed back for CNN, but had trouble getting the page to load, once it did, the image of the passenger jet just before it hit the tower was front and center.

The news spread like hot gossip around the building, the incoming calls simply stopped as the public realized what had happened and sat glued to their TVs and radios.  The supervisor with the radio turned it up.    When we heard about the plane hitting the Pentagon it was followed by the news that they were evacuating the Hancock Tower in Boston.  Everyone out, its considered a potential target.  Terrorists.  We weren’t in the Tower, we were located in a smaller building toward the outskirts of the city.  They weren’t, yet, going to evacuate us.

By this time the only incoming calls were from family of people who worked there, checking to make sure we were all ok.  I don’t remember when exactly we heard about flight 93, the Internet was overloaded with people trying to find out what happened, so likely it was somebodies radio that gave us the news.  We sat around doing basically nothing except staring out the window at the fuel carrier in the river right next door to us, and scanning the sky for planes headed our way.  The guy who worked one cubical over from me was supposed to have been into work at 11am, it was 11:45 before he showed up, he said traffic was horrendous as everyone tried to get home.  We informed him that he shouldn’t  have bothered to come in, they’d just announced they were sending us home at noon.  There was no point to keeping us there, the stock market hadn’t opened that morning, and no one was calling anyway.  Plus there was our safety to keep in mind.

My mother called me and told me not to bother with public transport, it was beyond overloaded, she’d meet me at the parking lot halfway between work and the T and drive me to my car.  As we were walking out the door, we were informed that at this time we were expected to show up for work the next day, and to expect to be asked  to work overtime, they expected a massive influx of calls from people panicking over their money.  If that changed due to a security problem they’d let us know.

I did NOT spend the rest of the day glued to the TV, though my parents did.  I caught the image of the towers collapsing though.  At that point I headed for my computer and started sending out emails to everyone I knew who was in the NY/DC area, and for the few who I didn’t know emails, to mutual friends asking for information.  Spent the rest of the day in shock I think.

Work the next few days was dead.  No overtime, cause hardly anyone called us.  The few who did were angry though because they were supposed to have received money from their account and didn’t.  Because the stock market wasn’t opening we couldn’t remove the funds from the accounts on schedule (its a rules/legal thing, I remember enough to explain if you really need me to, but not going to bother right now), and people were pissed.  It was close to a week before call volume picked up.  THEN we got overtime.

No one I knew personally was on the planes, or killed in the towers or Pentagon.  John Hancock as a company lost a VP who’d been on a plane though.  And my coworkers who worked directly with the brokers rather than the general public, were very familiar with many of the people who never made it out of the towers.  Thankfully none were actually on the phone with them at the time.

I don’t have any awesome words, or speeches, but it did teach me that the USA, as a country is not invulnerable, that we can be hit, and targeted, and that we need to be ready to fight back whenever necessary.


First off, (found via Fark.com) An Economics Lesson even a Liberal can Understand.  Now economics isn’t my forte, but this guy’s making sense….and the line:

I’ll be damned before I start hiring people now, just in time to send the unemployment rate plunging so it re-elects the president next year.  In a second term, this guy’ll kill my business.

just makes the article.

And found in my reading the news today: Governor Cuomo wants to spend millions to improve NY’s image as a place to do business.  As in, 10 to 50 million dollars.  Honey, its not NY state’s IMAGE thats driving away the businesses, its the political and financial environment and even I know that.  And an advertising campaign isn’t going to change ANY of that.


I love my folks, I really do.  But there’s a reason why I moved 6hrs away from them.

My parents have been out visiting this week.  The plans almost got canceled by Irene, then almost canceled by Irene’s aftermath (my folks got stuck in a jam from hell when flooding shut down part of I90 a bit unexpectedly), but they made it here a several hours late but fine.  Brought out with them the last of the odds and ends of mine that had been left at their house, along with the canning tools they’re not using.

Usually it takes my mother a good week to piss me off to the point of wanting to scream at her.  She did it in 3 days this time.

Background:  I’ve mentioned before that Janie has some health problems, specifically thyroid and kidney issues.  Since even before she got sick she was VERY PICKY about her litter box I’ve always spent extra on the powered ones that clean themselves.  After she got sick even that wasn’t enough for her, so at some point last fall I added a 3rd (small, regular) litter box, the kind that requires manual scooping.  And I have been OCD about scooping it ever other day to make sure it stays clean.  Well now that she’s finally getting better (she put on a full pound in less than 6 months) I’ve been attempting to wean her off the 3rd litter box.  I’ve been doing this by not cleaning it as regularly so that if she wants a clean box she has to go to the powered ones again (I’m down to cleaning it once a week).  And it seems to be working, at some point shortly I’ll be pulling the 3rd box permanently.

So Tuesday my folks arrive on my doorstep, and my mom spots the un-clean litterbox.  And doesn’t say anything.  Wednesday at some point she apparently went out of her way to check it again (and yes I’d not cleaned it yet).  During conversation Wednesday we ended up in a discussion of Janie’s health problems.

Thursday morning I have an email from my mother (wtf? they’re 20 minutes down the road in a hotel, why is she emailing me??), informing me that “if the cat is having kidney issues a not clean litter box isn’t going to help that and if I was having problems keeping it clean I ought to try a different litter, here’s a link to a great one try this”.  And I think: wtf is she talking about “having trouble keeping the litter boxes clean” I have two powered ones that clean themselves and I KNOW they work cause they make noise when they go off??  But regardless I’ve already spent quite a bit of time and money narrowing down the types of litter my two cats will use and prefer and as a result have to go out of my way to buy it, and the litter she was suggesting was one I’d tried that they didn’t like.  So I emailed back stating I’d tried it and they didn’t like it.  Her response “well you have to change over to the different litter gradually or of course they’ll not use it” to which I again responded (all over email mind you) that I HAD changed it over gradually.  She responded back with yet another link to a different litter to try instead.  At that point I got peeved and sent her an email which basically stated that I didn’t appreciate my mother insulting my intelligence by implying that I was to stupid to figure out that the litter box and litter type might be effecting my cats so drop it.  And I didn’t get an email back.  And it never came up in conversation that day, so I figured that was the end of it.  Except that since I don’t do the litter box till Saturday, it was, of course, still dirty when my parents arrived at the house on Thursday.

Friday morning I have ANOTHER email from my mother:

If you really mean that then why are the cat boxes uncleaned for days

Your poor cats are having to used an un-flushed toilet for days on end
I feel for the poor ladies.

So basically I’m A: to stupid to figure out that how clean the litter box is might affect my cat’s health, B: to stupid to figure out that changing the type litter might help, C: to stupid to figure out HOW to go about changing which litter they’re using (cause obviously that’s the ONLY reason they’d not like the litter she’s suggesting), and now D: I’m horribly neglecting my cats by not changing their litter box….except I AM cause there’s two powered litter boxes in the other room that keep themselves clean so WTF is she talking about??  So I take a deep breath and respond asking WHAT litter box is she talking about.  Sure enough, the one (the 3rd temporary one) in the office “that you’ve not bothered to do ANYTHING with since we got there.”

Now my mother KNOWS we have the two powered litter boxes, I went out of my way to SHOW them to her last time we were up cause she was interested in buying one similar to one of them.  She knows I’ve BEEN using powered litter boxes for a while cause I regularly gripe about the cost vs how long they last.  And yet she didn’t bother to even LOOK at those boxes before going off in her own little world where her daughter is stupid and unable to care for her animals properly.  Never mind that if she said something of the sort in-front of the wrong person I could loose all 3 animals and end up having to prove in court that I wasn’t neglecting them to get them back.  Never mind that if she had bothered to ask the simple question FIRST “how often to you clean your boxes” we could have cleared the whole thing up with no fuss or bother.  ARG!!!!

I emailed back stating that the litter box in the office hadn’t been cleaned because I’d added it temporarily while Janie was sickest and was now attempting to wean her off using it, because I have TWO POWERED BOXES THAT SHE DIDN’T BOTHER TO EVEN LOOK AT before informing me how horrid I was. 

No response then or since, and yes I cleaned the litter box yesterday morning on schedule, at the same time that I emptied the containers on the two powered ones.  Yes I’m still peeved.  And now my folks apparently noticed that the housing market out here is ever so much cheaper than Boston so maybe they’ll move out here when she retires…..!  (My husband turned to me after they left and asked where we were going to move to in that case and should he start looking for a job there?)

Stupid ideas

I was following links a round yesterday and ended up on a blog by John Sibley.  He was pointing out this product by Art Lebedov.  Considering the political climate most places I wonder how long it would take, after you left the house using that leash, before the cops came screaming up….. (a large majority of trainers and dog people don’t even like retractable leashes in the first place!)

The stupidity of the Federal Gov.

Over an AnarchAngel Mel gives us some background on a news story I saw recently.  Now I saw this on the news and rolled my eyes at the stupidity of the .GOV prosecuting some poor father for protecting his family from a bear.  But either I didn’t read the whole article or they didnt print all the info, (coulda been either), because its alot worse than just “roll the eyes” worthy.  Seems the STATE government decided the guy was in the right, and cleared him of all charges.  So the Feds decided THEY were going to.  Add in the fact that this is the state of Idaho, which isn’t all that thrilled with the Feds in the first place, and then drop in the fact that this little incident happened in a county called Boundary……which became infamous for the Ruby Ridge incident, which ALSO just so happened to involve the Feds……Can you say STUPID??