Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Last Day of National Poetry Month

I was somewhat disappointed this year with the poetry awareness being so scarce locally. I guess that's what makes today's find in the Courier Post's South Jersey living section a real treat. Therese Halscheid is Haddon Township poet who's just released a new collection, Uncommon Geography. I'm impressed. My only concern was there were far too few articles like this in the local papers.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New Photos

These are the new Bengals that came into the Shoppe today.

A collection of Himmies...

.... One of the two Puggles we got in today :)

A. Einstein demonstrates How Its Done after replacing Chris Canetti as Red Bulls assistant GM.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Break, Blow, Burn

As National Poetry Month winds down in its final week, I find a review on the new book by Camille Paglia, Break, Blow, Burn. Which, while I still haven't read it, has made a major impression on friends who have. Paglia takes a collection of 43 of what she considers to be the best poems of all time andblends commentary with the actual history of each chosen poem. According to one reader, it changed the way he interprets a poem, how he approaches it. Another wishes Paglia would publish a second volume of favorites.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Soccer Saturday

Excuse me while I rant:

Now that the MLS season is well underway, I have a few bones to pick with some of the new team names this year. The New York/New Jersey Metrostars
have now become this: The New York Red Bulls.
What happened to New Jersey? Why were they dropped from the namesake? Did anyone bother to ask the fans? Who thought up the concept for this logo, Red Bulls? It sounds like an energy drink, the one that's supposed to give you wings. Is it just me, or does the image on the T-shirt looks like it represents two members of the same team on a collision course. Is that the idea they want to impart? Or is that what happened to the Jersey part of the team, they got caught between two bullish clones on a simulateous path to destruction. Were they in the wrong place at the wrong time? I ask you, am I the only one who's wondering all this?

The MLS is now into its 11th year as a league... why mess with the strong familiar MetroStars? New name, and a pretty lame logo to go with it...
I guess its for the same reason major sports arenas are now named after huge corporations and banks... some executive who could probably care less for the game itself sees a way to make a little extra money he doesn't even need by doing so.
I just wanted to know why... I went through the team's entire timeline and only found this at the very end:
The team is purchased and renamed as Red Bull New York.

It doesn't say who purchased them or for what reason they changed the name.

By the way, I watched yesterday as Meola was not having a very good night... I still say Meola and Johnston are the only good things this team has left.

You Were an Eagle

You are able to rise above the details of life and see the big picture.

A spiritual being, you tend to go beyond material concerns.

What?! I wasn't some kind of cat?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I'm as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore...

Local response to what happened to Keecha that was in the Inquirer and on CBS3 out of Philadelphia.

Viewer Blog: Kitty Killed

(CBS 3) PHILADELPHIA Chris Taylor, Wilmington, DE:
I think this is outrageous, especially considering this SPCA office acknowledged fault the first time they mistakenly euthanised a lost cat.
The owner of the murdered cat should file a lawsuit against these idiots at that particular SPCA. Clearly, they don't follow their own rules and do not have any compassion for lost pets (or their owners). To say "Sorry", just doesn't cut it!

A declawed kitty would hardly be considered a stray. Is it possible the people they hire just can't or won't follow procedures? Or is it more likely they really don't care. I should hope they would hire people who have pets of their own but the total disregard for the animals they are supposed to protect and the owners to whom they belong is shameful. We entrust our pets to them in hopes they will be returned to us should they lost. I really do believe they treat cats as more expendable than they do dogs.
It was with hope that they would implement positive changes after the articles that were written earlier last year in the Daily Times about that very facility but EVIDENTLY NOT.
My heart goes out to the family who lost their beloved pet in such a manner.

ER, Mount Laurel, NJ:
With so many stray cats out there, I do not blame the SPCA for euthanizing the cat so quickly. I do blame the pet's owner, who had irresponsibly let his cat outside with no identification. He could have had a collar on the cat, or even had it micro chipped.

Beth Rogers, Cherry Hill, NJ
Its bad enough that this kind of thing happened the first time. I'm extremely disappointed in this particular ASPCA shelter, almost to the point of being ashamed at having been a longtime supporter of the entire organization. I can only hope the victims take harsh legal action as a result of this "mistake." I also wonder how much longer other ASPCA supporters will put up with this, before they call for extreme changes there, ones that will actually be put in effect... For instance, a waiting period of at least a week instead of the minimum 3 days before euthanizing an animal, and having a staff who will actually follow procedure rather than arbitrarily taking action with or without the required signatures. It just sounds to me like there's no effective communication at that branch of the shelter. Rest assured, I will be following updates on this story as they become available.

JoAnne, Robbinsville, NJ:
I was angry and upset when I saw the story on your news station about yet another pet being destroyed without the owners knowledge. I think there is someone employed at that shelter that arbitrarily kills any stray cat that comes into it's facility. They never seem to give a good reason for killing the animal, and especially when the cat is declawed. It usually means it's someone pet. They say they investigate BUT I DON'T BELIEVE IT. The person who made the decision to put the cat down should be punished. I have two cats and keep a close eye on them.

How could they make another mistake??? I know the SPCA is helping animals but this is just not right. I got my cat from our local SPCA and would be heartbroken if my cat was lost and the SPCA found him and killed him. Someone needs to explain this terrible incident to the people of the community. This family needs answers and the person that did this should not work with animals.

Diane A. of Paoli:
This is another disgusting result of irresponsible people running that SPCA. It should be closed down and the animals distributed to other shelters. Everyone should be fired and the Board members removed. And that endowment taken away from them, too.. What happened to the so called new director that President Riley thought so much of? What does she think of him now?? He hasn't done one thing to improve anything.. The same words were said last time as this time. How many times is this going to happen before some drastic measures are taken??

Gary Johnson:
I just wanted to express how sad this news is. It is ASTONISHING to hear that a place where animals/pets are to be safe, it shows they are not & that is very very sad. I hope an investigation will ensue not only from the ASPCA, but also Channel 3. I have noticed whenever Channel 3 investigates a story deeper, things get DONE!! I do express my deepest sympathy for the families that have lost their cats. I have a cat myself & I can only imagine how they must feel. I would feel sadness & anger, but nothing will bring back the pet unfortunately. Thanks for reading
Signed: and avid 3 Watcher

There is no excuse for executing any Animal that fast unless it is certified by a Vetenarian or a Law Enforcement Agent. I urge the State Legislature to do the right thing and enact Legislation requiring all Shelters to Hold all Animals for 72-96 hours. What is the hurry, the little food they consume costs to much. The Legislation should also make it a Felony to falsify a Signature or to fail to obtain one before Euthanizing Err, EXECUTING a Pet.

I think its time to clean house. The Delaware County SPCA has been in the news several times over the past few years. They have plenty of funds to upgrade the very outdated facility and to provide better care for the animals yet, the board of directors do absolutely nothing to create a better environment and hire more qualified personnel. Where are all the funds going, into their pockets. I believe it is time for someone to step in and start a full investigation of the goings on there. I hope the families of the two deceased animals press charges, maybe this will get the ball rolling to clean up the mess.

Cindy McElroy, Newtown Square, PA:
I think that it is now time that the Director Bill Vernon is fired. This SPCA needs a clean sweep. For years we have all know what they are like there, everyone talks about how kill happy they are, it is disgusting. Their needs to be a meeting open to the public, so we can all be heard, no longer leaving it up to the SPCA to decide to keep their dirty little secrets, it seems like everyone there hates animals rather then cares about them. If my pets get lost, I would hope that this is the last place they end up, they have a better chance running back and forth across a major highway then they do being dropped off at our local SPCA. SHAME ON YOU.

Samuel Miller:
If the story about Keecha is true that means the same problem has occurred twice in about two months in spite of the fact that SPCA employees were discharged after the first occurrence. If that is so I believe that this indicates a double problem – incompetent and uncaring employees and lack of leadership at the top. Sounds like it’s time for a complete housecleaning at the Delco SPCA.

Debra Lowy, Bordentown, NJ:
I do not understand. SPCA stands for Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Of all the organizations that receive animals picked up from the streets (be them strays or lost pets) how could an organization that exists to protect these animals be euthanizing them? Even holding these animals for only a mere 72 hours is a crime for an organization such as them. I have received requests for donations from various SPCA organizations as well as the ASPCA. In all of the literature they send with the requests, they ask for donations so that they can take in strays, treat the hurt and sick, and then try to find homes for these poor creatures that depend on us - so what are they doing euthanizing these animals? One might expect this from a county pound, although I would hope that even they would hold all animals for at least a week, let alone 72 hours.
The News Letters with the SPCA requests for donation even tell strories of starving dogs that the have brought back from the brink of death to then be adopted to a wonderful family. The also ask for donations to stop the abuse of animal testing by large companies. What they have done to these two lost cats and to the families who loved them, is nothing short of two of the worst cases of animal abuse, and they should face the same penalty as anyone else who abuses (and in this case murders) an animal.
In closing, I am sick at what has happened, and to top it off, I feel betrayed, because I am one of those people who have donated regularly to these organizations in response to their literature, and because of my love for animals, including the many I personally saved, rescured and adopted over the years. They should be closed down or forced to remove the name SPCA from their organization.

I am in tears having just seen this on the news. This is disgusting to me that an agency that supposedly exists for the welfare of our animal companions would show such egregious neglect for procedure.
Animal shelters should ALL be no-kill shelters, period. Collars can and do come off on pets. 48 hours isn't enough time to locate the owners. And, what gives anyone the right to destroy a loving creature, stray OR domesticated...is it.to save space?to save money? Was it fun to put these cats to death?It tells a lot about a society, the way we treat the animals.
And all that happened to those employees was firing? Why do we have a slap on the wrist for cruelty? When will it stop? Why not put THEM to death! My prayers are for the humans who miss these kitties.

Kathy from NJ:
When I was listening to your 11:00 news tonite and heard
about another cat, a family's pet being euthanized by the SPCA in Delaware Co. I felt outraged. Something is terribly wrong at that shelter. I think someone needs to find out what it is before this happens again. I feel really bad for the families.

Allan & Theresa Eberly, Sinking Spring, Pa
We feel that the SPCA is supposed to PROTECT the lives of animals! And their INCOMPETENCE for the second time is appalling! Apparently the leadership of this facility is SEVERELY lacking?
We feel the staff from the top to the bottom should be replaced with CARING PROFESSIONALS who would MAKE sure an animal is truly not wanted before inserting that needle to kill them!!!!!!
We feel very bad for the owners of those animals killed!! Also this is a good example why cats like dogs SHOULD BE LICENSED! It may save their lives.

Barbara J.Torrens, Delaware County resident
The Delaware county SPCA should be permanently closed down and the pets remaining there now should be placed in no-kill pet shelters.
I have never had my dog picked up by the SPCA, but after the last cat was euthanized I spent the money to have my dog microchipped just in case. Why can't something be done about this?
It is obvious that the welfare of the animals is not a priority out there. Are they not there to serve animals and their owners?
I realize a lot of pets are abandoned and must be put down, however, in both these cases these animals were very much loved and wanted.
Thank you for the story and I hope maybe a channel with your clout will be able to follow-up on this.

George Gollub
I am extremely thankful to you for your excellent reporting on this issue. I have lived with companion animals for over twenty years, and have donated to the local SPCA on a regular basis.
It is disquieting to get an inside view that exposes the lack of organization and proper adherence to protocol at this SPCA.
Hopefully it is only a problem at this facility, and people will not be disinclined to contribute to their local SPCA, most of which are probably run with genuine care for the animals whom they are supposed to help.
I feel that the administrator of the SPCA in question should immediately resign. The staff should be held legally liable for the deaths of both kittens.
It is not sufficient to just fire them from their jobs. Imagine the public outcry if a couple of children had been intentionally put to death because their parents didn't claim them immediately.
People in all facets of animal care and control, whether they be volunteers or professionals, need to understand that many if not most pet owners in today's society consider their animals to be true members of their families.
I realize that current laws treat pets as "personal property," but they are much more than that to those of us who love them as much as we love our human children.

Elaine Galante
There was no excuse the first time with Whiskers...now another inexcusable, sickening "mistake???"!!!

Diane Davison
This is in reference to the story on tonight’s news regarding the killing of the cat at the SPCA.
As president of the Northampton County SPCA, I suggest that the Delaware Co. SPCA become a no kill shelter as quickly as possible. The killing of healthy animals is always unacceptable and unethical.
This is not what an SPCA should be doing. As long as these animals are considered disposable, these tragedies will continue to happen. Becoming no kill is hard work, but we can all sleep better at night.
It is time for the archaic practice of convenience killing to stop.

Daniel Wehner
Dear News Media: I strongly feel these two cases warrant an investigation by an outside agency instead of internally.
The board of directors whom serve for the better interest in the care of the animals need to have provisions set when hiring individuals who will be caring for these animals that are at their mercy.
I know they have high standards for the public prior to adoption which is in the animal (s) best interest, after all we wouldn't want to see the animal (s) go into an abusive situation or a lab.
The strays, they are helpless too, i can talk from experience i'll rescue kittens prior to them going into the ferral stage to get them off the streets and take them out to the Delco Spca for help.
The local municipalities don't want to help, they will provide a cage to trap a groundhog, pick them up and take them elsewhere to release them to satisify a neighbor from his garden from growing.
Yes, I know some strays make it and some don't however this is a terrible event that has happened not once but twice and who knows how many thousands more?
One of the state agencies that oversees the humane society needs to step in and perform a full investigation including the accounting end of it, after all people leave the spca their funds to help out with the care of the animals.
I'm considering leaving the Spca my assets and would want the money allocated towards the proper care of all the animals, not taking the easy way out by putting the animals to sleep.
My question is really where is the money going if the animals are being put down?
Thanks and hope you can help the animals god has created and to help prevent any cruelty that may be going on at any of the spca's.
Please consider contacting the proper state agency for further assistance in this matter.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Sure Sign

Weekday spring and the living is
cool and easy in the morning
the dirt just right for planting
sunflowers to join the coming warmth
of today.

While on your rounds
whenever you pass these stalks
and opened cups don't it make you
remember ukeleles and tiptoes and
high falsettos from decades hence?

Look up and around
the homeless are carrying signs,
"will work for money."
There's a post on the streetlamp
ahead that says someone is

desparately seeking a white pit
named Elvis and that if one
approached for your offer of
bananas and peanut butter on two
slices of honey-glazed bread,
then its probably him.

Sighs and signs of the times,
I have bizarre visions of a
fat bald guy walking to his
car late at night with a can
of Bud in one hand, a case of
empties in the other

and when he puts the key into
the ignition and revs the motor
continuously so that it blows the
engine beyond repair, the white hot
range of events that follow would
prove positive or negative
an ionic riot of one.

Easter Sunday Photos

On my way back from work yesterday I passed a homeless woman standing on an intersection island, facing traffic and holding a makeshift sign for oncoming drivers to read. I didn't read the sign, had no idea what it said... and I didn't get a pic, even though I was due for a photo-taking mission. Maybe I should have gotten a shot of that... but you never know, she might have taken offense.

A little further on, I passed a new apartment complex where they have several bursts of color planted at the entrance...

A little further down the road there is a home set back a ways from the street, where they have a statue in the wooded area at the front of the house...

I first saw it out of the corner of my eye about a year ago. To me it looked like some kind of big dog standing there, maybe a Great Dane. I had to stop and see why it wasn't moving, then realized it was a decorative lawn deer.

Then on to a small creek bed near my building...

Boring I know... but these pics will get better...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter, everybody! Hope everyone is enjoying the day. Spring is in full force it seems lately, with the weather being warm and sunny in the afternoons, trees spreading their dress up threads, flowers in bloom, birds singing... In fact, that's what woke me up this morning - the birds.
I'm working today, but I'll be going in a bit later, and making a short day of it... I'm doing the morning feeding for all the puppies and kittens. I don't mind at all, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Last night I stayed up to watch my Wizards beat New England 1-0. Then I caught the last of the Metrostars game against Real Salt Lake,ending with a 1-1 draw. And by then I was too sleepy to catch the rest of the Galaxy match-up, so I missed that one. Realize there's three hours difference between here and there, so I assume all Galaxy games are going to be on very late as a general rule. Well I'm off to the poop factory... so until next time, here's wishing all a very Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I'm still celebrating National Poetry Month, and found some good advice. Keep in mind though, not everything on the list may work for everybody. A couple of new book releases, Kool Logic and Behind The Cane. And finally for today a nuts and bolts view of many, if not all things poetic. So until next time, thanks for stopping by to visit my blog. I hope these links will inspire you... God Bless!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Meet Pablo, my holy terror of a "Russian Blue/Domestic American Shorthair mix"
I picked up a cheapie digital camera at Target this morning and couldn't wait to get everything uploaded, pictures taken and what-not, I know the photo's a little blurry, I'll have to work on that... But this is my exciting event of the day - now being able to upload and post my own photos on my web pages. Ummm... does this make me a techno geek? Who knows?

Meet Sock, Bob's Turkish Van/Norweigian Forest cat... and all this time we'd thought he was part Himalayan, part squirrel (because of the bushy tail)...

Note the different color eyes, one green, one blue. It's a common trait among Turkish Vans. I've noticed in certain low light situations, and at just the right angle, one reflects red, the other a pure amber color. Now... if I can just get a shot of that for a photo...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Journey Through

Move with me under the stark
half form of an early moon.

Although the air is chilled
meet me there
to find a new spring.

Move fingers and tongue
alive as birds.

Can you hear them now
awaken as you walk

while my thoughts are
perched in trees,
rooftops and singing
to you.

Your Summer Ride is a Beetle Convertible

Fun, funky, and a little bit euro.

You love your summers to be full of style and sun!

Monday, April 03, 2006

In honor of National Poetry Month, I'll be posting some links and articles of interst to writers and poets. I know that in the past, our somewhat local paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer has featured several new poetry books, events, readings, and the like around the area... I'll be posting those too as they come up.

~ So for today, here's something from
Buffalo, NY.

~ A new collection by veteran journalist David Tucker, Late For Work was featured in yesterday's Inquirer.

And a little something of my own...

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, April 02, 2006

"Merry Christmas" a day late

Some of you may have read recently that we've have to schedule an rush surgery on our youngest cat Pablo... a fix on the problem of his sudden aggression toward the other two cats, Sock and Taz. That was last Tuesday. He's been back home for nearly a week, with some residual aggression, but otherwise fine. Taz has a hard time believing it though, since he got the full force of the attack last weekend.By the way, Taz is twice Pablo's size and he's scared to death of the little bugger now. Ive been keeping him separated from the others quite a bit since the surgery in case he still has any lingering attack hormones. He's in the bathroom at night and during the day he can sit in his favorite spot at the sliding glass door (while harnessed). Sock has made peace with him though and this brings me to their little April Fool's prank they hatched up for me yesterday morning before work. I was getting ready for work when I heard a noise, so I went to the living room to investigate. There was Pablo sitting on the balcony with the screen door wide open... but where was Sock? After a quick run-through of the apartment, it was obvious he wasn't inside. So I peeked around to the neighbor's balcony that adjoins ours. Sure enough, there was Sock at the far end, thoroughly enjoying his freedom. After much cajoling and bribery with treats he finally slipped back under the bars to where I could pick him up and set him back inside. I just knew I was going to be late for work! As I closed the door, I noticed Pablo immediately stuck his paw through the space between the glass and the screen. So he actually opened this door by himself. I just know Sock put him up to it, probably promising to undo the harness if he'd open the door. Lol.

Yesterday was the season opener for the MLS. I was excited until I found out that they weren't showing my Wizards home game at Arrowhead on ESPN2... but then at 8:00, possibly due to some wishful thinking, I scanned the channels for "soccer" and I found a free preview on the pay channel. Really lucky there, to watch the Wizards beat Columbus Crew 3-1. Oh happy day, I finally get to see a KC play after all last season with no access to anything Wizards related. :)

So Spring is actually nice here in South Jersey right about now, with the weather warm and (although partly cloudy) birds singing, the trees are sprouting a little green already. I know back in Kansas City, it's tornado season. They've had quite a few in the area already. And here... well it's still "Goose Season," it seems they've declared war on any individual who inadvertently wanders too close to their prospective nest. I've had to change my route in to work over it... Hope that makes them happy now.. Bleh!

Finally... Back in the day when my creative idols were drowning in soup cans, assasinating personalities with a chew-'em-up-spit-'em-out sensibility, but always generously unmean, in a place where work was more fun than fun, and everything magic was ultimately at the surface...
A Little bit of Andy Warhol and a Podcast

Anyway, this concludes my update for now. Hope everyone's enjoying the weekend where you are.