Thursday, October 26, 2006

One step forward, another back

A woman's body was found in her Delhi apartment in January 1999 after being raped and strangled (among other injuries). The purported killer was tried and acquitted. The trial judge criticized the investigation - accusing the police of fabricating and manipulating evidence to ensure that the defendant (whose father was a senior police officer at the time). After a public outcry and campaign to retry the defendant, he was indeed retried and convicted. He will be sentenced at the end of the month, but apparently faces natural life or the death penalty. This case is seen in India as a huge step forward in ending the "policy" of letting high profile suspects go free.

On the other hand, I can't believe people are still doing this:
When I was in Edinburgh (one of my all-time favorite cities) I went on the "City of the Dead" tour where they took you into the catacombs and told you scary stories about how scoundrels used to use them for such nefarious purposes as keeping the bodies they'd just robbed from the grave so that they could sell the parts / bodies to medical schools. I remember thinking, wow, I'm glad that's not done anymore. Or is it????
Apparently, 7 undertakers in NY have been busted removing body parts without consent and selling them to biomedical companies. They've also been supposedly falsifying death certificates to indicate that the deceased did not have a disease in order to be able to remove bones. In place of the bones, they inserted PVC pipes. One of the victims was Alistair Cooke

Monday, October 23, 2006

6 months

I've now been married over 6 months. Cowboy and I celebrated our semi-annual anniversary. It was cute because we never really celebrated too many of the 10 years we were together before we got married, but he was all about the 6 months. We went to Roy's, the Hawaiian Fusion restaurant. Even though there was one right down the street from where we stayed in Kauai, and the one here is not that far away from us, I have never been.
All I can say is Yummy!
Well, I guess I can also say - yikes, expensive - but I'd still have to come back to Yummy!

On our way out, we were surprised to see a big truck with 4 guys smashed inside the double cab being pulled over by 2 women cops. As the cops were ambling up to each side of the truck, we realized that the big truck had been pulled over by two bicycle cops. I would have loved to have seen that unravel. But then, my mocking comments were probably already loud enough.

Friday, October 13, 2006

My heroes

For some reason, the idea of visiting Mt. Rushmore pops into my head every once in a while. I've never been, and I would like to see the monument. Ideally I'd like to go when I have kids, so they can appreciate it too. Perhaps the monument to Crazy Horse will be finished by then too. As I searched the internet to find a picture of the Crazy Horse monument, I ran across some interesting fun facts. The area was a huge part of the Sioux reservation. Six years later, after rumors of gold in the area - illegal settlements started popping up - starting with Deadwood. The Lakota unsuccessfully fought for the land. A Supreme Court ruling ordered the government to pay the tribe $100 million for the loss of the land. The Lakota have refused to take the money, saying that the Black Hills are not for sale. Today, the money is worth almost $600 million and the Lakota is one of the poorest communities in the US.
President Calvin Coolidge believed Mount Rushmore was "decidedly American in its conception, magnitude and meaning. It is altogether worthy of our country," Coolidge proclaimed at the dedication of the project in 1927. The Lakota would like to blow it up.
Read the Lakota story here.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What do a whoopee cushion and toilet brush have in common?

Human size versions of them were both seen by me this morning on my way into work. They were just walking around - along with their friend - Whatamicallit. I'm not sure what he was. He looked like he was in a baby costume, with the hamburger helper guy coming out of his head. Oh, and he had a fake bare butt. I don't know. I just really wanted to see the kind of Halloween party that started at 10am.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

High priced high-rise tainted by crime spree

We were walking out of the building when 3 police cars came up the driveway - officers quickly hopping out of the car. At first we just thought that they were milking the possibility of a good call - after all, what could go wrong in a high priced high-rise? When we came back, an hour and a half later, the police were still there. We walked into the lobby and found the doorman busy with surveillance tapes. We also saw the stores at the base of our building were still open - way past usual closing time. We walked by and saw the police interviewing the employees of one of the stores. Apparently, a couple of guys came in with ski masks and tried to pull off an armed robbery! We went into one of the stores that was still open and tried to pump the attendants for information. They just looked at each other and one of them said, "yeah, I guess something happened over there." I said, "I heard the officer talking about ski masks. Was there an armed robbery?" The attendants looked at each other again. I asked if they were there when it happened (knowing full well they were - they are ALWAYS at the small store). Again, they just looked at each other. Finally, I managed to get them to confirm that no one was hurt, but I got the distinct impression that they were told not to discuss it with the building residents. Maybe management thought it was best to insulate us from it. That's pretty funny given what I hear and deal with everyday.

Monday, October 09, 2006

What night is Pagan night?

Yesterday Cowboy, Hello Kitty and I went out to Lake Geneva, one of our favorite towns in Wisconsin. We took the scenic route, and poked around in the antique shops in Richmond, tried some pumpkin fudge that was all raw un-spiced pumpkin and little fudge, then hit the wine and cheese shop for cheese curds. When we finally got to Lake Geneva, we expected to have the glistening water and cute shops all to ourselves. Whoa. Not quite. There was a harvest festival going on, and I've never seen the town so busy. We ate lunch and took a walk along the lake path to let people leave. Unfortunately, this also meant most of the shops were closed although we did manage to get some more fudge to make up for the earlier pumpkin disaster. The walk included a look at some of the mansions built when all the big names in Chicago - Field's and Wrigley to name two - used Lake Geneva as a vacation spot. The houses are amazing - even the ones not owned by a famous family. There's a gorgeous Queen Anne from early 1900's with 20 rooms and 4 stories, and an Italianate palace - as examples.

On our way home, we went passed Fairwyn Farms. It was about 7:30 at night, but the farm was hoppin'. We knew there was a good corn maze there, so I convinced Cowboy to pull in. We parked and got out, and I joked, "watch, it's not open - we're just crashing some kid's 16th birthday party." There were a lot of young people, but I thought maybe the farm was open a little late because of the holiday today. We went to the ticket counter and asked if the corn maze was open. They told us it closed at 5. Huh, I thought - that was a long time to keep other stuff open if the corn maze is closed. Nevertheless, we could hear a "band" off by the corn field so we wandered off in search of other activities. We checked out the corn maze - it looks nice, then watched the "band" for a while. Cowboy noted that he really felt like he was part of a Smallville episode. It was totally true except none of us was wearing flannel. The "band" was really one kid on top of some farm equipment singing. The kid was pretty good, and he kind of sounded like Damien Rice. We listened to him a bit and I watched the kids around him get all excited for each song. I couldn't understand how they knew the songs and I didn't. Then it hit me - he was playing all Christian rock. I said, "Uh...we didn't crash some kid's birthday party, we crashed a church retreat!" Cowboy jokingly took a step back and said, "I wonder if I'm going to burst into flames soon." We couldn't be sure of Cowboy's safety, so when the kid finished singing two songs later, we made our way out to the entrance. Not to be deterred by the fact that clearly this was a group outing, I went up to the ticket counter again. I asked if the tractor rides were still going on. The woman said, "Well, everything is running for THE GROUP." I should've been embarrassed, but really I was thinking of asking, "Uh-huh, I see. And for purposes of the tractor ride, how do I become part of this group?"

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Roadrunner, this one's "4" you

Congratulations to Roadrunner and Prince E! They got married this weekend - those crazy kids! After an afternoon of dicey weather, the sun came out just in time for the ceremony. The ceremony was very pretty and the reception was a lot of fun. They had a Hawaiian theme, and surprised us all with the Pacific Island Dancers who taught us how to hula. Cowboy's favorite part was the live music video Roadrunner and ShoreTurtle did for us. My favorite part was seeing my friend look so pretty and happy! The Inn we stayed at was very nice. The next day, we went on a dune buggy ride. Roadrunner wore her wedding dress. It was great fun. It was so nice finally meeting RR's family, too - although I missed saying good-bye to Shore Turtle because I thought I'd see them at the buggy ride.

Thanks for inviting us, RR! It was a fabulous wedding!

Here's the bride on the dunes, and Saugatuck's mascot.