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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Leon County, Florida
Member since: Tue Feb 12, 2008, 09:18 PM
Number of posts: 16,567

Journal Archives

AlienGirl - Former Democratic state House candidate Shelly Leonard dies of cancer

Former Democratic state House candidate Shelly Leonard dies of cancer

By Mike Brassfield, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CLEARWATER — When she ran against incumbent state Rep. Ed Hooper in 2010, Shelly Leonard wasn't your typical candidate. She was a 37-year-old single mother and cancer survivor.

The feisty Democrat made her cancer history a part of her stump speech, talking about the need to make health insurance more accessible. More than 16,000 people voted for her in Clearwater-based House District 50. But nearly 24,000 voted to keep her opponent in office, so Leonard went back to her job as a social worker.

Last year, her oral cancer returned. On Saturday, she died due to complications from chemotherapy, just days before her 39th birthday. "She was fighting the cancer valiantly," said her friend and campaign treasurer, Van Farber. "She passed away peacefully, without pain, and surrounded by members of her immediate family."


Celebration of Shelly Leonard's life

What: Dinner, live music and dancing

When: 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Where: Fort Harrison Hotel, 210 S Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater

Admission: A $35 check made out to the Neighborhood Coalition to Preserve the MLK Center

Information: (727) 729-6887

More: http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/elections/former-democratic-state-house-candidate-shelly-leonard-dies-of-cancer/1215436

Tallahassee Mayor gets Leon Co. Democratic committee in hot water

Democratic Leader Points to Tallahassee Mayor in Campaign Probe

A local Democratic leader says Tallahassee Mayor John Marks and his campaign chair Sean Pittman were involved in a questionable campaign contribution days before the August, 2010 primary.

Watch video at link for a part of the story: http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/Democratic_Leader_Points_to_Tallahassee_Mayor_in_Campaign_Probe_139061609.html?storySection=comments

What I understand of the story: Jon Ausman, Tallahassee' long time Democratic "leader" and DNC member was told to pick up a check for a contribution from Mark Herron, head of Alliance for a Better Government, to the Leon County Democratic Executive Committee just before the election for Tallahassee mayor. Then the LCDEC gets a bill from a local printing company for a flyer for Tallahassee mayor John Marks - the bill totaled exactly $250 less than the contribution check. The flyers stated they were "approved and paid for" by the LCDEC, but the LCDEC never approved them.

It is illegal in Florida for political parties to give contributions to a candidate less than five days before an election. The LCDEC is negotiating with the state Department of Elections to pay a fine of $500.

The problem I have with this situation is that Jon Ausman has been a political operative for decades. He knows how things work and I'm sure he knew that a check for an odd amount, $4675.66, was not an ordinary contribution. I also want to know who in the LCDEC cut the check to actually pay a bill for an expense that had not been approved by the committee. That person seems to be complicit in this mess.

Whining thread - I got good news and bad news about my knees

The good news is that I am discharged from physical therapy.

The bad news is that I am discharged because the PT is not going to help my worn out knees.

The physical therapist says that the motion and strength are good and gave me exercises to try to maintain, but he thinks that the sooner I check into knee replacement, the better. Since I am bone on bone, the damage will just get worse. If I put it off too long, replacement may be much more difficult.

The three questions he asked me is if the knee pain:
Keeps me from doing what I need to do?
Keeps me from doing what I want to do?
And keeps me from sleeping?
The answer to all of those has been YES for well over two years.

So I guess I need to call my orthopedic surgeon and talk to him. I want to see if they will replace both knees at the same time. I only want to go through this once, at least in this decade. But I'm worried about cost - our insurance will only cover 70%. I don't know how much the 30% will be and how I will cover it.

Getting old sucks.

Excuse my whining. I've been in denial and hoped that the therapy would help delay things. That he gave up after only three sessions is NOT a good sign.

A new arrival _GRAPHIC WARNING

Yesterday morning we had a new arrival here:

This was the first picture I managed to take that turned out. When I first saw him, he was still in the birth sack and his mamma had her back leg over the top of his barrel. I had to pull the sack AND mamma's leg off so he could breath.

Even with that set back, he stood and nurse very fast - within an hour! Within two hours he was already cantering around, keeping Mama moving.

Here he is today, dried off and steady on his feet:

The White Lions of the Timbavati

In the greater Kruger National Park area of South Africa, there is no story more legendary than that of the white lions of the Timbavati.

Discovered in the mid-70s these snow white felines are not albino as one might think but simply carry a recessive gene that causes their coats to be white. Amazingly enough, every white lion world wide is ancestrally related to the white lions of the Timbavati.

After mysteriously disappearing for many years they were spotted again in 2006. A great place to see these cats in the wild today is the Motswari Private Game Reserve. They are known as the "Xakubasa Pride", "basa" means "white" in Shangaan. Photographer and field guide Chad Cocking has captured some truly breathtaking images of these rare cats which can be seen below.


Pretty amazing animals and some nice pictures. In the article is a link to a blog with more pictures.

A good birding site - Lakeland, Florida, Circle B Bar Reserve

There is a relatively new place, the Circle B Bar Reserve just south of Lakeland, off US 98 on SR 540.

From the county information about the reserve:
Named after a cattle ranch that once existed on this property, Circle B Bar Reserve was jointly acquired by the Polk County Environmental Lands Program and the District to protect the floodplain of the lake and to restore the Banana Creek marsh system. The property is maintained by Polk County. Much of the property had previously been converted to pasture, but in 2005 and 2006, restoration projects were completed to restore much of the original hydrologic function of the lands. As a result of the marsh system restoration project, Circle B is now home to some of the most impressive bird activity on District property. The tremendous bird population includes a variety of wading birds, waterfowl, ospreys and bald eagles. Alligators inhabit Lake Hancock and may be observed at a distance from shore or from a pier. Oak hammock, freshwater marsh, hardwood swamp and the lakeshore are among the unique characteristics of this property.


We've been a few times while visiting my parents who live in the area and the variety of birds is amazing. Osprey, wood stork, American egret, snowy egret, Great and little blue herons, limpkins, moorhen, purple gallinue, turkey, pelicans, blue wing teal ducks, wild turkeys, black ring neck duck, red shoulder hawks, coots, sora, glossy ibis, anhinga, cormorants - and that is just what we saw last Saturday in less than two hours!

Videos of the reserve:

Who Do You Think You Are? is back!

Fridays 8 PM ET

This friday night:
Award-winning actor and activist Martin Sheen embarks on an epic journey into both sides of his family history. It takes him to Dublin, Ireland and Madrid, Spain, where he discovers that a commitment to social justice runs deep in his roots.

what’s next on who do you think you are?

Marisa Tomei travels to Italy to reveal the truth about her great-grandfather’s murder.

February 10th, 8/7c

Tune in throughout the rest of the season to watch Blair Underwood, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe, Helen Hunt, Rita Wilson, Edie Falco, Rashida Jones, Jerome Bettis, Jason Sudeikis and Paula Deen.

More: http://www.nbc.com/who-do-you-think-you-are/

Some of the people I don't even recognize their names, but in the past watching people discover their past was interesting even if I didn't like the celebrity.

Goldfish Salvation

Amazing artist - Riusuke Fukahori

Remembering Mom's Clothesline

There is one thing that's left out. We had a long wooden pole (clothes pole) that was used to push the clotheslines up so that longer items (sheets/pants/etc.) didn't brush the ground and get dirty.

You have to be a "certain age" to appreciate this one.... (But you YOUNGER ones can read about "The GOOD ol' days"!!)

I can hear my mother now.....

(If you don't even know what clotheslines are, better skip this.)

1. You had to hang the socks by the toes... NOT the top.
2. You hung pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs... NOT the waistbands.
3. You had to WASH the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes - walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.
4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang "whites" with "whites," and hang them first.
5. You NEVER hung a shirt by the shoulders - always by the tail! What would the neighbors think?
6. Wash day on a Monday! NEVER hang clothes on the weekend, or on Sunday, for Heaven's sake!
7. Hang the sheets and towels on the OUTSIDE lines so you could hide your "unmentionables" in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y'know!)
8. It didn't matter if it was sub-zero weather... clothes would "freeze-dry."
9. ALWAYS gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were "tacky"!
10. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.
11. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.
12. IRONED???!! Well, that's a whole OTHER subject!

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