Sunday, July 31, 2011

Here is the reason why my blog has the name it does, Spooky. Nicknames are Boo Boo, Spooky Baby, Boo Boo Kitty, Spooky Boo Boo and Spooky Boo Boo Kitty Baby Boy. Sometimes I think he should have been named Ivan,  for Ivan the Terrible for the way he'll go after some of the other cats. But there is a spray bottle filled with water that is for him most of the time.He showed up on Labor Day 5 years ago as this tiny, fuzzy ball of blue fur and according to him I've been his mama ever since. Of all my cats he is the one that is always following me and rubbing against my legs. I love him dearly, but one of these days Spooky is going to trip me.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guardian Angel

Prayer to your Guardian Angel

 Angel of God, my guardian dear
To whom God's love commits me here
 Ever this day, be at my side
 To light and guard, rule and guide.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amy Winehouse

  Yesterday the world lost a true musical talent in Amy Winehouse. Unfortunately like so many true musical we lost her too young talents to a possible drug overdose(no autopsy results yet), I'm just surmising the possibility of the cause of death. If that was the cause of death, yes it was stupid and a waste but it was also sad.Mainly for those that really knew her and loved her. So try and remember this and not judge Amy too harshly and keep her family and her in your prayers.

 September 14,1983- July 23, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


 Yes I know I'm relatively late with this subject matter but I really haven't felt like doing too much blogging of late. I have just been a bit worn out it seems. Anyway, the NFL seems close to ending their lockout. It is being said that if the players agree to the propositions on Wednesday and the owners agree to the propositions on Thursday, then everyone will be allowed to show up at the different teams NFL facilities and formal team practices can begin on Monday. So this marks day 125 or 126 of the NFL Lockout.

  Now for the NBA Lockout. This thing has been going on for about what, three weeks and already there are American players contemplating going overseas to play. Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets is going to Turkey to play, Amare Stoudemire has changed his mind and is said to be leaving his options open and Dwayne Wade is also a maybe. But right now the lockout is just too recent for American players to put too many plans into playing in Europe and possibly, China. Right now even foreign born players are taking a wait and see attitude with the lockout. Like the newest Maverick player  Rudy Fernandez , who recently turned down what is described by some as a  "historic offer" to play for Spain. I guess this means that some players actually do LOVE the game but the millions of dollars are a nice touch.

  With that being said here are the issues that are facing both sides:
  1. Salary Cap - This is the desire of the owners to bring the cost of players under control. With various descriptions of "hard", "soft" and "flex". The owners are adamant  about having a "hard" cap that teams can't exceed. As you can imagine the Player's Union wants no part of a "hard" cap. 
  2. Salary Cap Exceptions:  These are rules that let teams exceed the cap under certain circumstances. A new agreement could limit these, which would benefit the owners. Plus a new agreement could also bring a new exceptions such as a "franchise" tag on players.
  3. Split of Basketball Income: The players get 57% of the income right now. The owners want them to have less. 
  4. Revenue Sharing: The owners and players actually AGREE on increased revenue sharing among teams in order to make more teams profitable and competitive.
  5. Guaranteed  Contracts: Supposedly, owners favor a system that would let owners cut their losses on so-called "bad" contracts for players who are not playing as well as they should. A bad player in other words. This could mean shorter-termed contracts and less guaranteed money.
  6. Contraction: This simply means that there are teams who's heads are on the chopping block. This is supposed to enhance the league's bottom line and its on court product.   
  Now with that being said could there be damage done to the league to whatever gains have been made last season.  I read an article about how this maybe could happen. It also made a point about how this lockout could affect and is affecting the rookies, who can't play in the summer leagues because they have been canceled and the free agency, especially those who were not drafted on June 23, I believe it was. These two groups I feel sorry for because these are the ones that are going to have to go out there and EARN their jobs, not have it handed to them like Kyrie Irving. But if we get a season this year he could be a bust. I mean after all he only played 11 games.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bastille day

 Taking of the Bastille, July 14,1789

   Built as the Bastion de Saint-Antoine the Bastille was originally known as the Saint-Antoine gate. But during the Hundred Years' War, between the years of 1370-1383 during the reigns of Charles VI and Louis XIII, the gate was extended, creating a fortress to defend the east end of Paris and L' Hotel Saint-Pol Palace the Bastion de Saint-Antoine. It was used as a castle and safekeeping of the royal jewels. However, after the Hundred Years' War it became a state prison instead, reputedly in the 17th century, for the upper class. The prisoners were mainly political prisoners, those that had committed high treason or some other kind of offense against either the King or the state. But the Bastille also held religious prisoners (Hugenots), young rakes held at the request of their families, free thinkers and authors of seditious and sexual material. It wasn't until letters of the royal seal, lettre de cachet, that made the Bastille one of the darkest symbols of royal despotism, even though conditions of imprisonment were considered generally comfortable. Visitors were welcomed, servants were brought to them, books, clothes their furniture and a daily ration paid by the state gave them a luxury cuisine.

   But some of that began to change a bit with the reign of Louis XV when the prison began housing more and more common criminals, whose existence was  considerably less comfortable. The commoners were held within a 5-7 storied towers with each prisoner having a room about 15 feet (4.6 m) across with various, if not sparse, furniture. luckily at this time the cachots, rat infested and oozing dungeons, were no longer in use.

  As the result of gunpowder and arms being stored in the Bastille , days of disturbances and the people, whose fears were being raised by a number of rumors, demanded access to these not the freeing of prisoners, as I believe we were taught in school, because there were only a total of 7 prisoners in the Bastille on July 14,1789. The regular garrison consisted of 82 invalides ( veterans who were no longer capable of doing service in the field) with reinforcements of 142 grenadiers from one of the regiments of Swiss mercenary, summoned by the King shortly before July 14. under Governor Bernard-Rene de Luanay. Around mid morning a large crowd had gathered outside the Bastille demanding the gunpowder and the arms, the removal of the guns and the surrender of the prison. Slow negotiations began when two representatives of the mob were invited inside.

  Around 1pm the mob broke into the undefended outer courtyard and the chains on the drawbridge were cut. An exchange of gunfire broke out and in the mid-afternoon the mutinous Gardes Francaises ( the French Guard) of the Royal Army and two cannons, which were originally supposed to help the governor protect the prison. De Luanay ordered a ceasefire and   in spite of his surrender demands being refused, he surrendered. Then the mob swept in to take control of the fortress at around 5:30 pm.

   98 rioters and 1 defender were killed in the storming of the Bastille. De Luanay was dragged toward the Hotel de Ville, but was stabbed to death in the street by the mob and several of his officers were also killed. The Gardes Francaises intervened and protected the invalids of the garrison  and the Swiss soldiers. The leader of the Swiss mercenaries would later prepare a detailed report on the fall of the Bastille and laying the blame at de Luany's feet by reporting on his indecisiveness.

Regimental Flag flown over the Bastille at the time of the Revolution

Monday, July 11, 2011

Butter is for Barbarians?

 Yes I know that is a strange title for well... anything, but I am reading Harry Turtledove's "Give Me Back My Legions!" or at least trying to read, my cats usually have other ideas. Anyway the book is a slight fictional telling of the lead up to the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, in present day Germany, and the actual battle. The two main characters are Arminius, prince and eventual leader of the Cherusci tribe and Publis Quinctilius Varus, a Roman politician who's great-uncle in-law just happens to be Emperor Augustus Caesar. So far Augustus has sent Varus, who was stationed in Syria which was a real feather in his cap, if you will, to Germany to make it more Roman and civilized, less backwards more like Gaul. People seem to have the "better you than me" mentality and Varus wishes it was anybody else but him being sent to Germany. But what was he to do? It was not like he could say "No" to the Emperor. Varus makes it to Massilia,which it turns out is present day Marseille, where he is eventually met by the two town officials, one was a wine seller and the other one was an olive oil seller. The three have a discussion about Germany, at least in the book they do in real life...who knows. Anyway, this discussion  has them talking about "The Germans do buy wine, Not much of a market for oil, I'm afraid They use butter instead." Then a thought from Varus arises "If butter didn't mark a true barbarian, what did?" The answer "And they drink beer". So that is where the title of this post comes from to which I say "Excuse me just who the Hell do you think you are and I don't give a flying fig WHO you're related to, your butt is MINE!" The book implicates that the phrase "son of a whore" seems to a favorite.

  Now for a bit about Arminius. He was a German prince, who joined the Roman auxiliary to learn the methods of Roman warfare and bring them back to Germany. Because Arminius rose through the ranks to the equestrian rank, which was just below patrician , and achieved roman citizenship. So far in the book he has won  a battle, with some help from Roman legionaries, against Pannonian forces outside the town of P
oetovio and a friend of his has come to the Roman encampment to tell him that Arminius betrothed's father has just broken his promise of marriage between his daughter and Arminius, and promised her to someone else. Arminius was able to get permission from the senior officer Titus Minucius ( isn't that what A-Rod is having surgery for?) Basilus to go home and get things straighten out.

  So that folks is where I am in the book.  I must say I don't have a good feeling about Titus Minucsius Basilus. I know a Titus succeeded Augustus so I wonder if this is the one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pannonia    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equestrian_order  http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/35390/Arminius

Friday, July 8, 2011

  I hope everybody had a happy & safe Independence Day. I know I haven't done much posting lately but it seems to have been a case of having nothing to say and having 20 things I would want to say. Hopefully, I'm in the middle of the two cases, but right now I feel like I am leaning more on the side of not having much to say. But I will try and be a little chatty. Well now that could lead to me being a whole lot chatty.

  Any way,  I've been on a nostalgia trip of sorts. mainly remembering books that I have read or had read to me as a child and wondering if I was being to immature wanting to read them again. "Little Women" isn't all that bad and neither is it's sequel "Little Men". But I wonder if "Bayou Suzette" by Lois Lenski would be okay. I remember my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Heap,  would read this book and others by the same writer, to the class. One of the other books Mrs. Heap would read to us was "Strawberry Girl". This book was a little close to home for her because when and where she came from, strawberry growing and harvesting were, and I believe still are, the main source of income for the community. She said, and this was common through out all farming communities, that the children would get so many weeks off of school, well heck I guess you could say that the schools would shut down completely, to help bring in the strawberry harvest.

  Now that I think about it, I don't know if it's the books that I miss or her.  Both are really on my mind right now. Does this ever happen to you? Things or people that you haven't thought of in years are all of a sudden in your thoughts almost constantly. I hope she is all right.