Skeeter In The House

We have a new dog in the house.

Her name is Skeeter, and she is a seven-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  In a few days Skeeter will be going to live with Kish’s Mom, who was heartbroken when her longtime canine companion, Effie, died a few months ago.  Our hope is that Skeeter will be good company and help Faith get over her loss.

Skeeter seems like an ideal choice for this important assignment.  She weighs less than 20 pounds, likes people, enjoys sitting on laps, and has a sweet and gentle disposition.  I make the latter observation based on the fact that Penny impolitely gobbled up Skeeter’s food, and Skeeter didn’t really seem to mind.

The President’s Name Plate

President Obama visited FEMA headquarters over the weekend to check out how preparations for Hurricane Irene were going.

Oddly, somebody at FEMA thought it would be a good idea to make a name plate for the President and to place it in front of him as he sat at a conference table.  You see it in the photos that were taken during the President’s visit.  It says “Barack Obama President of the United States.”  I assume it was made by somebody at FEMA because it looks just like the name plates that were made for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FEMA’s administrator.

Doesn’t it seem weird that somebody at FEMA made a name plate for the President of the United States?  President Obama is one of the most well-known figures in the world.  Is it even conceivable that somebody in that room wouldn’t have known who he was if the name plate wasn’t there?

It seems demeaning to put a name plate in front of the President of the United States, like he is just a random guy in  a blue shirt who needs to be identified.  I guess we’re just lucky that someone didn’t stick a “Hi!  My name is Barack” name tag on his shirt pocket.

Oh What a Night

No ordinary Sunday night for some members of the Webner clan which included special guest BJ. We all went by limousine to Cap City diner compliments of Agnes then off to the Ohio Theatre to see the Jersey Boys.

Jersey Boys is the wonderful story of blue collar kids – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their personal struggles as seen through the eyes of the four original members of the band. We had seats in the Orchestra Pit second row so we were no more than a few feet from the actors/musicians which made the show all the more interesting.

We lucked out and got to see understudy Courter Simmons who the people I talked to said was better than the “regular Frankie”. He really had an amazing voice and when he sang his solos you could really feel his passion. I noticed tears in his eyes a few times. Of course the shows includes all of the Four Seasons hit songs.

Here’s a clip from the Jersey Boys show in London – check it out if your a music lover, but if you had a couple of the Four Seasons albums like I did in the seventies this show is a must !

Goodnight, Irene, Goodnight

Hurricane Irene has come and gone.  The storm hit the Carolinas, then weakened by the time it moved north to New Jersey and New York.  Still, it likely produced billions of dollars in damage, due to flooding and high winds, left millions of people without power, and is being blamed for more than a dozen deaths.

With cities along the East Coast still wet from Irene’s rain and storm surge, the post mortems have begun.  The main topic for debate seems to be whether politicians like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie overreacted when they ordered evacuations, closed roads and transit systems, and issued blunt warnings about the potential harm to people who tried to ride out the storm.

Because the storm was not as devastating as some feared it might be, it’s easy to second-guess the decision-makers.  In my view, however, it’s better to err on the side of caution under such circumstances.  No major hurricane had targeted New York and New Jersey for decades.  Storms are, by definition, unpredictable.  And no one wanted to see a repeat of those memorable post-Katrina images of people huddled on rooftops or wading through hip-deep water.  I think the mayors and government along the east coast made the right decisions.

Can’t we just be happy that we avoided the catastrophic consequences that would have occurred if a major hurricane had hit our east coast population centers head on and at full force?