Saturday, March 29, 2008

The day off work from Government

This morning in today's paper was this letter to the editor

"Why close offices on Good Friday?"
"Why were state and municipal office and public schools closed on Good Friday, when prayer in public school is viewed as an almost criminal act?
Most of the private sector and federal functions, such as the post office, are open on this day.
Once again, the double standard prevails. I find it even more insulting that taxpayers fund this paid day off." Jeff Holzer, Middle Township

There was this controversy for Black Friday, when our governor said that all State employee's must work or take a vacation or personal day if you want the day off. This was supposed to save the taxpayers money.

As most know, I work for local government. And yes, I had Good Friday off. As well as the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday). My problem is I don't understand why there is so much controversy. Most Federal, State and Local government employee's are salaried. So whether we work or not is irrelevant. We still get the same pay check. My thinking, and I could be wrong, is having some days off does not cost the taxpayers more money. My opinion is it saves some money. Not much, but it saves. How? Well first there is the saving on electricity. Also on heating and cooling. How about fuel. Our inspectors must drive in Township vehicles, using up very expensive gas. Then there is our Road Department with the trash and recycle trucks. How much diesel do you think they burn in a given day. I'll agree that it is a pain in the ass when the Township is closed a day during the week especially if this was your recycle week. Our recycling is picked up every other week in the winter. So if your day falls on a day the Township is closed, you must hold your recycle for three weeks. Our trash is picked up the next day. I could go on with how I think a day off from Government during the week saves taxpayers.

I have another problem that really raises my hackles. When people say to me "I am a taxpayer." Well guess what, "So am I." People who work for Government are not exempt from paying taxes. We do not get a reduced rate, we do not get special services because we work for government, so get off that high horse. Your not alone in paying high taxes.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy having a day off. And I will be the first to say that some of our days off are stupid. Example: Election Day.

I am not trying to defend government offices having off. I am just having a hard time trying to figure out why there are some who feel it costs the taxpayers money. So if anyone could please shed some light on this, I would appreciate it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pictures from Jake's Landing

This is for Cliff. Here are the pictures and your assessment of me is correct. I am a bird brain at times and I do think about birds.

I added the pictures small in the hopes that if they do enlarge when clicked upon, the entire picture is in the screen and you don't have to scroll this way and that way.


I didn't feel like cooking tonight so I got take-out cheese steak. When I pulled into the parking lot I parked in front of a reader board sign. This is what was on it:
"As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way."
On that note, I am going to leave all you good people. I hope everyone enjoys their night.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jake's Landing Road

This was the last owl watch that the Cape May Bird Observatory was having until January 2009. I thought that there would be a lot of people. I was wrong. There were three of us. We saw a lot of Bald Eagles. Mostly juveniles and one adult. A pair of juveniles were, I guess playing. That was a pretty awesome site to see. They would fly around one another and sometimes lock talons.

The wind was picking up and honestly it was quite cold. One of the guys from the Observatory said he thought there was a duck in the meadow. Next thing I hear Karen saying "What was that. Did anyone see a fin?" We started looking a sure enough up came a fin. It turned out to be a very-very small dolphin. Karen said, "I just want you folks to know how bizarre this is." This was the first time they saw a dolphin in the meadows. Luckily the little guy was headed back to the bay. I am going to have to try and look up what breed of dolphin. He was small and black with a white or light colored dot on his dorsal fin.

We were all pretty cold and had just about given up see a Short-Eared Owl, when he finally decided to show up. He was in the distance and flying around so it was hard to get a good look at him, but it was awesome to see.

Karen asked if anyone wanted to see the Woodcocks. The fee was $6.00. That last time I past because I was too cheap to pay that. Also, I didn't have any money with me. For some reason tonight I decided to go. We seen and heard the Woodcock. That was pretty interesting to see and hear. As the Woodcock was flying back down, the guy and me said, "what is that?" Karen said it was the Great-Horned Owl. Good grief are they big. It was getting pretty dark and he flew back over head. Another awesome experience. I am glad tonight I decided not be cheap.

I did get some nice pictures of the sun rays through the clouds and the sunset. I will post them in a couple of days. I think I was annoying some of the people by taking pictures while they were trying to bird watch. The nice person I am, I stopped.

All in all, tonight was worth having numb feet, a running nose and paying $6.00.


Today is my good friend Barb's birthday.

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday and many more. Love Lisa

Saturday, March 15, 2008

All over the place

Just like the title, I am all over the place today. I woke up this morning with a migraine. I get the ocular migraines. You know, the ones with the light show. When I see one coming on, if I take Tylenol, I usually don't get that bad of a headache. But if I wake up with one, I have the headache all day. The only thing that seems to help is caffeine and time. I started with migraines a couple of years ago. This is something that I apparently inherited from my mom. Thanks a lot mom. Another, I call it side effect, with my migraines is I get scatter brained. I have a hard time concentrating on one thing. Like typing this. I can't tell you how many times I have gotten up to do something or just totally forgot what I was going to type. What really sucks with this one is, today is a gorgeous day. The weather is sunny and in the 60's. This is the kind of day when I want to be outside working in the yard or just roaming around looking for a new place to take pictures. Oh well. Spring will be here soon enough and I will be able to play then.

My neighbor pissed me off royally this week. I came home for lunch and she came out to ask a question. I work in Planning and Zoning in the Township I live. People love me when I tell them that there isn't a problem with the addition or whatever it is they want to do. They hate me when I tell them they need a variance, site plan, etc. because it doesn't meet the zoning requirements. The latter was with my neighbor. She wants to do an addition to the side of her house. She would not meet her side yard setback. I told her she could come out six foot. She said that six foot bedroom's isn't big enough. I said she could move some interior walls around. She said she liked her living room the way it was and was not going to move walls. Fine. Then go for a variance. She said no neighbor would complain. I said one may. She doesn't get along with her next door neighbor. I have to go back in time here. Her next door neighbor put a rather large shed in the back yard. No permit. My neighbor complains to me about it. I personally didn't care. I told her to complain to Code Enforcement. She asked me if I would for her. I did. I didn't tell him who, but said one of the neighbor's asked me to tell you. Well between the Code Enforcement guy and the neighbor's son, my blood pressure went through the roof. I actually got into a fight with the son in the office. What did my neighbor who complained do. NOTHING. She thought it was funny. Back to present. She brought that up about how that guy doesn't know what's wrong with me and so on. I lost it. Mind you I am PMS'ing and really don't give a shit. I said I am so tired of the cowardly people around here. Tell him next time he starts talking about me to come to me and said it to my face. I said he wouldn't because no one around here has the balls. They rather talk about someone behind their back. And another thing, you were the one would complained about the shed. Did you tell them that. I DON'T THINK SO. So if they start on me, which I am sure they won't, I will make sure they know who complained. She started about other things also, but I think she realized she better back off. People like this I do not help again, ever.

Last weekend I tried to do an entry, but blogger was giving me a hard time adding pictures. So I just decided to give up and try again another time. So the time is now.

I was outside having a smoke and just looking at the kittens and decided to do a kitten update. I cannot believe how big they have gotten. They are almost one year old. I am not sure when they were born so I decided we would celebrate our birthday's together. So the big day will be April 2. They will be the big 1 and I will be the bigger 41.

This first picture is of Tyger Lily. She is about six months old in this picture. Poor thing is so geeking looking with those big ears. As with all my furry little friends I give them nicknames. Hers are Tyg, little yip or yipper because she doesn't meow she yips, and you nasty little bitch, because all of a sudden she attacks. For the most part I have gotten her out of using her claws on me and biting me. Sometimes she regresses. What I find amusing about her is she loves her stomach rubbed. When I am outside she will come over for some petting. Next thing she on her back with me rubbing her tummy with a cute little smile on her face. She also has one black whisker. All the others are white.

As you can see, she is starting to grow into those ears.

Isn't she pretty.

This is Tiger and my baby. This is the closest the two have ever been to one another. My baby didn't or still doesn't like her. She would chase Tiger whenever she came near. I guess there is hope that they will become friends.
This one is Ralph Month, who lives up to his name. He is a talker. In this picture it looks like he has this big head on a little body. That has changed big time. He is really a very handsome cat. In a previous entry I said that I thought he was gay and the only manly thing about him was his stomach. That really hasn't changed too much. I find him the most amusing. He tries to catch his tail. It is funny to watch. He has this manly size belly and a short tail. Most of the time he ends up on his butt. Even on his butt he has a hard time getting his tail. He has more nicknames then Tiger. His are Ralphy boy, handsome, whimpy, the mouth, pesty and so on.

This isn't one of the best pictures I have of him, but you can really see his marking. He is different shades of orange, he has stripes, has some white dots and has tortoise shell markings. When I first discovered these two in the shed ,my first reaction was to call animal control. Then I said they could stay and I would try and tame them and find them good homes. Well I never knew how hard it was to find homes for kittens. Everybody would say "oh aren't they cute". I would ask if they wanted them. They would say "no. They grow into cats". Well duh. Yeah they do. Guess what you were a baby once and grow into an adult. What's your point? Well I have become too attached now to even think about giving them to anyone. So now if someone asked if I have children I say yes. I have three.

This is my baby and Ralph. My baby likes Ralph. She is about 15 or 16 years old and weighs about six or seven pounds. He isn't even one yet and weighs about 14 pounds. I think he senses that she is old and frail and is very gentle with her.

Onto another topic. A couple of weekends ago before an owl watch. I went outside for yes another smoke. When I went out it was odd because no birds were chirping. I started to look around and I saw this bird in the tree.

I think my pictures enlarge now when you click on them, so if you click on the one below you will see him/her in the center of the picture. I had no idea what type of bird this was. When I went to the owl watch, I described the bird and asked her what she thought it was. She is pretty sure it is juvenile Cooper's Hawk. Apparently they prey on small birds and this is why it was so quiet.

While I was trying to get pictures of the Hawk, I saw this pretty cool rainbow.

Last Saturday was a rainy-nasty day. I grab the camera and went out for some pictures. This isn't a very good picture, but I like it because of the fog.

This was taken at the Cape May Harbor.

The name of this sailboat is Reflection. It is a J-24. I know all of this because I used to sail on it. I sailed for three or four years. That was a lot of fun. We used to race other J-24's. We weren't very good, but we always had a good time. However, in one of the races we did manage to come in first place. We were whooping and hollering. All the other boats clapped for us. Another time it was Leukaemia Cup races. They had this two day event every year and people from all over would participate. Saturday was a good day for sailing. Sunday wasn't. The winds were strong and the water rough. I said to Dave, who was driving the boat, "You know what I'm reading Dave. The Perfect Storm. That is not the best book in the world to be reading right now with weather like this". Several boats went over on their sides. We only had one race that day. Luckily everyone got back safe and sound. I do say, excluding that, I miss sailing very much.

This was last Sunday. It was very windy and chilling. This seagull keep flapping it's wings, but got no where.

This was at Pierce's Point. There were all these birds flying over the meadows. I didn't have my binoculars with so I don't know what they are.

This is the meadow's at Pierce's Point

I love this sign. This is at Pierce's Point.

This is at the end High's Road.

The crocus in my mom's yard.

Well tonight I am going to a friend's house for ham and cabbage dinner. There will be several of us there and should be a good time.
Tomorrow is the last owl watch for the spring. The bummer part is it is supposed to be very windy so I don't think we will get to see any owls. Maybe there will be some Bald Eagles.
Well I think I have taken up enough of everyone time. Until next time I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Jake's Landing, Short-eared owl & the sunset




Bird sitting on a post
(I don't remember the name of this bird)

Short-eared owl
(I took this through a scope. The owl is sitting on the tree branch)

Short-eared owl in flight
(I took this through a scope. He or She is on the right just below the reeds)

The sunset

The sunset

The sunset

The sunset

The sunset

Sunday, March 2, 2008

"Don't Judge"

The following was a poem from the Dear Abby column. The author of this poem is a 12 year old named Lealia Xiong, Guilford, Conn.

"Don't judge people you hardly know.
You don't know what their day has been like.
You don't know what their life has been like.

Don't judge.
Don't judge someone who seems as if she's overreacting.
You don't know if she's lost someone she loved dearly
Or if her parents are getting a divorce
Or fighting over nothing.

Don't judge.
Don't judge someone who's different.
He's probably one of the nicest people you'll know.
Or the funniest.
Or the smartest.
Take the time to get to know people.
Walk with them.
Share their triumphs and their sorrows.
Maybe they don't dance through life as you thought.

Don't judge."

Reminiscing - Part 2

When I was in grade school, my parents and I went to Bermuda. My dad belonged to a club that offered this trip. Danny of course didn't go because he would not get on an airplane. We went several times and once my Gram came with us.

Our hotel was pink and on top of a hill. Our rooms overlooked the ocean. What an ocean with shades of blues and greens.

(My dad and I)

My dad and his friend, Dave, would rent mopeds and go exploring. I remember one time they came back to the hotel and my dad's leg was bloody. Here a dump truck had ran them off the road. My dad being a good natured guy, just cleaned it up and enjoyed the rest of the trip.

I remember we went to a dolphin show, an area that had exotic birds and a horse and buggy ride. On this ride we past an Esso gas station. We had to get a picture of this because my dad had an Esso station which of course had a name change to Exxon.

At the hotel, they had a room where you could play Bingo and horse racing. The best part about this, no age requirement. What fun. One time I walked up to get my ticket. I didn't know what horse I wanted to bet on so I said "Number 8 please." Well Number 8 came in. The guy across the aisle said, "I am going to kill the person that got that." I tried to pass the ticket off to my mom, who promptly said "No. You won. You take it up." I took the ticket up to the desk. I was the only one who won. I remember there was a bunch of chuckling and laughing in the room. The guy who was going to kill the person who won laughed himself silly and congratulated me on my win. Whew. I actually came home with more money than I went with.

Another thing I remember is one of the guys, who was part of the group fished. He actually fished the entire trip. When we were getting ready to leave, he called the desk and asked if someone could pack his fish for him. Here he put his catch in the bathtub and just kept covering it with ice. I guess fishing was more important to him then a bath. Luckily we did not have to sit near him on the plane.

We always went to Bermuda in November and when we came home it was snowing. The weather was so bad once we were diverted to another airport. There was a big hubbub happening in the terminal. It was a former vice-president, but I cannot remember which one.

(My Mom)

(My Gram)

I know I have more pictures of the trips to Bermuda, but I haven't came across them yet.

Well anyway, return to Bermuda one day is added to my bucket list.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Post Office

Yesterday I took a much needed day off from work to get some chores down. One of my chores was mailing in a rebate. I recently purchased a laptop with two rebates. The first could fit into a regular sized envelope. The other I had to borrow a 6 x 8 envelope from work. I filled out and made copies of the forms. I took the 6 x 8 envelope to the post office because I figured added postage would be needed. The girl weighed the envelope and said postage was 41 cent. I apologized for taking up her time. She then turned the envelope over and said "Oh wait. There will be an extra charge because the envelope has a clasp on it and it cannot fit through the machine." I asked her how much? She said "17 cents." I said you have got to be freaking kidding me. I have to pay 17 cents more because there is a clasp on the envelope? She said "yes." I started to laugh. I couldn't help myself. I mean how stupid is this. 17 cents because the envelope has a clasp. I asked her if the clasp was not through the hole and I just taped it, would it still cost me 17 cents? She said "it probably would." I walked out of the post office laughing. What originally would cost the standard 41 cent now cost me 58 cents because of a clasp. I had to call my friend Barb and tell her this. She said "I would have taken the clasp off." Well just call me dumb. I didn't even think about doing this. Now I am not a cheap person. I consider myself frugal, but this was too much. I think I am going to start doing what I do best and asked questions to see if I got ripped off.

I have a history with the post office. There was a girl who worked there who is now retired (thank god) who I would get into a fight with just about every time I went into the post office. I would go with a package or clasped envelope and she would do her thing. Next thing you know she would say "It will cost x amount to mail standard and an additional 10 cents to mail next day. I will mail next day." I would say "no." She would say "but it is only 10 cents." I would say, "yes, but it is my 10 cents." We would go back and forth about this and I would finally say, "Fine. If you want my package to get there the next day, you pay the 10 cents." Needlessness to say my package would be sent regular mail. Another time I had a bill for an MRI I had on my hand. I called the insurance company about it and they told me to mail it to them. I sent it certified return receipt. After about a week and a half of not getting the green card, I went to the post office. I explained to the girl, who was defending the post office vehemently that this isn't their fault, that I haven't received the green card. She was saying that by sending CRR it is not guaranteed delivery. I said you mean to tell me that I paid over $5.00 and the post office cannot guarantee delivery? she said yes. I wouldn't let up and said that there was a bill for $5,000.00 inside that envelope that must get to the insurance company. She finally said that she could be a track on it. I said thank you. This is all I am asking is for you to look into this. And now my favorite. My mom and I lived next door to one another. We both had received a card saying we had a package to pick up. The next morning they delivered my mom's, but not mine. I went to the office to pick up mine. The girl who delivered my mom's was there and said she didn't deliver mine because the dog was in my yard and when the dog saw her in my mom's yard she ran around and tried to viciously attack her. I wanted to make sure I heard her correctly. I said my dog was in my yard. She saw you in my mom's yard and ran around to attack you? She said yes. I said "well that can't be true. You see she is blind and didn't see you. Nor did she try to attack you." The expression was priceless. I could go on about my experiences with the post office, but I have rambled and ranted enough. I hope everyone has a good weekend.