• The 2006 Weblog Awards

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Rachael Ray at the Daytime Emmys

While she didn’t win for best service show, she was a presenter and looked like she was having fun. Here’s some photos of her at the big event:

This is her with Elmo and Oscar. Nice sidekicks, Rachael!

Another on the red carpet!

Presenting with what’s-her-name from daytime soaps!

Rachael - I think you look great! Congrats on your nomination!

Vinnie Has Blogged for One-Fifth of Our Marriage

Go help him celebrate!

Yay for him!

“The DaVinci Code”

Okay, so why is this the hottest story ever? Why are people drooling until this movie comes to theatres? I don’t think it’s because they think Tom Hanks is hot, so there’s got to be something else. I, for one, can’t figure it out. I’d rather watch paint dry or count raindrops or something.

This Is Me Breathing linked with So Dark the Con of Rotten Tomatoes
A Survivor’s Letter

How does one write a letter to the families of those men who died beside him? I can’t even fathom it. There’s some speculation, though…

Mr. McCloy was comatose when he was rescued and spent months in a hospital with extensive brain damage, originally described as remembering nothing about the disaster.

His letter, however, is a cogent and moving account of what happened, and it was not immediately clear how he came to compose it or why he chose to send it.

I personally don’t know that the first point is all that relevant and think the second point is pretty broad in scope. I imagine when one faces the trauma Mr. McCloy went through, and had the substantial recovery time that he does, remembering such events right away has got to be daunting and freightening. I can only imagine the weight that was lifted off his heart by writing that letter. I can’t even imagine the heaviness of his heart as he pulled those thoughts out of the recesses of his mind. It’s clear, though, when you read the letter that he was a compassionate and giving man, even at a time when things looked bleak. To share an item that sustains life in that way is so incredibly giving and unselfish. Would I have done the same thing? I like to say and think so, but thank God I’ve never been placed into a situation such as that. I’m in awe of the bravery of all of these men.

I firmly believe that McCloy survived for a very special purpose - one that he’s beginning to fulfill. I’m certain we have a lot to learn from him and his story.

Kansas and the Marriage Age

For anyone who has been following the story of Matthew Koso, here’s some closure on the question of “can it happen again?”

TOPEKA, Kan. – Motivated by the controversial Matthew Koso case in Nebraska, Kansas is raising its minimum age for marriage.

Under legislation worked out by Kansas House and Senate negotiators on Wednesday, nobody under age 16 could marry in Kansas.

Not everyone agreed that Jon Bruning, Nebraska’s Attorney General, should “go after” Matthew Koso, but he did break the law in Nebraska. He had sex with a minor. I find this bit of news a relief.

Tony Snow, NEW Press Secretary

I’m always one to wait until I hear the announcement, but this is a rather exciting development:

WASHINGTON — Tony Snow will be named new White House press secretary on Wednesday morning, FOX News has learned. Snow is expected to be at the White House for the announcement. He has been mulling the offer for the last several days.

I truly like Tony Snow - when Rush had guest hosts, I was always happy to hear it was Tony. This is a gentleman who has won a fight with colon cancer and it will be interesting seeing him behind that podium!

Update: Yep - he’s the new press secretary. AWESOME! He’s gonna put ole Helen “Gertrude” Thomas in her place (or is that Crypkeeper, Diva?). Heh.

“Dad” Pleads Not Guilty of Killing Daughter

I appreciate that there are mental illnesses in the world. I appreciate, at times, that mental illness will make you believe things that aren’t necessarily true and may make you do things you normally wouldn’t do. I don’t have a popular view on this - either that or there are a lot of vocal people that have to comment against my views on this - but I get virtually sickened when I see another murderer who is trying to get off on a “not guilty by reason of insanity” plea.

Clarendon Hills resident Neil Lofquist pleaded not guilty (requires subscription) Monday to charges he raped and killed his 8-year-old daughter last month.

DuPage Judge Michael Burke ordered the continuation of psychiatric tests that will be provided to the prosecution and defense.

Lofquist, 41, is accused of sexually assaulting his daughter, Lauren, two days before her death and again the night he allegedly choked, stabbed and dunked her head in a toilet.
He appeared briefly Monday morning in DuPage County Courthouse, where he pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of first-degree murder and two counts of predatory sexual abuse.

At the hearing, Lofquist, wearing a yellow jumpsuit that indicates he is on a mental health watch, was assigned a public defense attorney after Terry Ekl, his private attorney, dropped out of the case.

Human beings typically do not have a tendency to want to murder other human beings. These are things that come about either due to a lack of conscious, a life-time of conditioning within an enviornment (i.e. heavy abuse, etc.), or due to what is commonly known as “mental illness.” In my opinion, and again this is my opinion, there isn’t a murderer out there who could be classified in any definition of “sane.” It takes an extraordinary departure from conscious, from knowing right and wrong to decide to kill - especially your own child. It doesn’t make a person any less guilty of committing the act, and it doesn’t make the person any less dangerous. Which is why I firmly believe we need to protect society against those who are deemed “insane” murderers and those who are deemed “sane” murderers. Both committed murder. Both brought death to another human being. Maybe I’m just hung up on the term. If a person pleaded “GUILTY by reason of insanity” I would feel a bit better about it (as long as the punishment fit the crime).

I think it’s shameful to use mental illness as a way to gain a level of innocence when there’s no doubt a person committed the act. It’s infrequent that a person with bipolar or depression kills another person. To me there’s something else. A person who is able to kill another human (war and self-defense aside) is wired differently. Layering mental illness makes the issue more complex but it truly doesn’t change the guilt of the act. They did it, they are dangerous and they should not walk side-by-side with your child, my child, me or you.

24 Nite

It’s Bauer nite. And I can’t wait - only 3 more minutes until Tivo is done and I can watch. Um, no, I’m not addicted. Not at all. Nope. Not me. :-)

My Mini-Hiatus is Mostly Done

Hi all!

The great Sadie has been working hard to convert Merri Musings to Word Press and I’m now able to post! It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Timing couldn’t have been better. We’ve been bitten with spring fever, we’ve been getting a billion things done in our yard (landscaping, new patios, fence, etc.) and dealing with that has been pretty time consuming.

I love this time of year…all the trees getting their leaves, the new grass and flowers/plants, and outdoor grilling! On top of everything else, we’ve put in an order for a really nice grill, too. We’ll pick it up on Tuesday! By then, we should have sod. The only thing left may be the fence panels, but maybe they’ll all get it done Monday. Heh. Right….

Anyway, I’ll probably put up a post that might be worth reading later tonight. Today will be dedicated to laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning and all other things unholy. :-)

Never Forget 9/11

My husband has a great post up on the 9/11 attacks. I must warn you the photos, from the Moussauoi trial, are extremely graphic. You should view them, however, as they serve as a solid reminder of why we are at war and why our brave women and men in the military risk their lives each and every day. Each of these victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have family and friends who mourn their horrific deaths every waking hour and to allow this to fade from our memories would truly be a tragedy.

An Open Letter to a Dumb Ass

Dear Dumb Ass,

If you think for a moment that your comments have done anything to hurt my feelings or cause any kind of anguish, you are wrong. You are nothing more than a 2 second “click-delete” in the blogosphere.

Do you really believe you are a waste of *my* time? Fuck no. If you weren’t such a waste of a human being, I might actually feel sorry for you. Yeah, you…a person who is such a loser they spend half their life writing meaningless comments on someone’s website every day. Talk about a person with a “broken brain.” It sure sucks to be you.

And for those who come to my site and see your comments prior to deletion, well, the only one that looks like a fool is you.

It Takes a Village, People!

Oh, a day in the post-famous life of a person not so famous, really:

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The “cop” from the original Village People has been arrested again.

Victor Edward Willis was back in court Monday in California. The judge decided there’s enough evidence for him to stand trial on drug charges.

He’s got three cases pending, all of which involve drugs. He failed to show up twice for a sentencing hearing last December.

Disposable Children?

I always look around the various news sites to see what the headlines are. Today there were a number of headlines that just screamed out to me.

Man Convicted for Drowning Children in Lake

Woman: I Slashed Baby’s Throat for Revenge

Entwistle Pleads Not Guilty to Killing Wife, Baby

Babysitter with AIDS Appears in Court on New Charge

Ricky Holland’s Parents to Stand Trial

Woman Charged in Newborn’s Death Held on $3M Bond

Summarizing these articles: A man kills his girlfriend’s three children by drowning them in a lake, a woman puts a baby face down in a snowdrift and slashes its throat to retaliate against its mother, a man pleads not guilty for killing his wife and less than one year old child, a babysitter with AIDS sexually molests the kids he babysits and possibly infects one of them with the disease, a baby’s parents are charged with his murder and a woman is charged with killing her healthy newborn and dumping the body in a 55 gallon trash can.

…and it doesn’t stop there. There are *dozens* of stories out there about parents killing their children, people killing other people’s kids, babysitters harming the kids they are responsible for taking care of, and the reasons don’t add up. Nor do the pleas. “I’m not guilty for killing those kids…I’m insane.” “…this story about me sexually molesting these kids is b.s. (and so is the possibility that I may have infected them with AIDS)” “…I didn’t do it…I found their bodies and decided to fly back to England because I’m sooo alone.”

I know there have been stories like this for some time, but it seems as though we have been overwhelmed with one case after another where adults make the decision to harm or kill young kids. Do they think their lives are that meaningless and disposable? How does one get to point A to point B…like the decision to slice a baby’s throat as revenge for getting kicked out (um, because the killer wasn’t paying rent and was causing problems)?

I know that throughout the history of this blog I’ve raised all of these questions independent of one another. I can’t help but see a very ugly trend here - kids seem to be expendable to these parents…to these babysitters and these “boyfriends” or “stepparents.” Where the hell do they get the idea? How in the hell would they rationalize acting on it?

I’m sure it’s because they are wired differently. There are many people in this world who are faced with almost cruel fate - unexpected deaths of family members, mental illness, poverty, abuse. But the majority choose to rise above it and, while struggling, still understand the sanctity of life. When I read these articles, the decisions these criminals made are a direct slap in the face of those who walked away versus acting on their heated emotions.

I may never fully understand the mindset of these murderers and life destroyers, but I do understand one thing. Regardless of their path to make the decision to murder, the punishment should fit the crime. A child murderer should never freely walk the streets again.

Jack’s Back for Three More!


Oh Yeah! Three More Seasons!

NEW YORK — Jack will be back — despite all the firepower the bad guys rain down on him. Kiefer Sutherland has signed on for three more seasons as superhero agent Jack Bauer on FOX’s “24.”

…and just as I’m drooling for the Tivo’d episode tonight!


A few random thoughts are going through my head and thought I’d throw them in a post.

Spring is here! We spent a nice part of the day raking (4 lawn bags just from the front yard!) and getting ready for the “big improvement.” Our back yard has sucked for quite some time. We recently had a tree removed and now we’re taking the plunge….new front deck and patio, new big patio in the back, actual *landscaping* and a new privacy fence. Needless to say our back yard looks like the badlands at the moment, but the improvements commence this week! And other than some scratches and burning nose (damn allergies), we had a nice outdoor day!

Easter is coming. Got the required eggs and dye. Woot! We’re ready to go!

The Sopranos is on tonight…and 24 is on tomorrow night. That likely means I won’t be blogging until Tuesday. Heh.

The man and I went out and had some adult time Saturday night. A great meal, and a couple of drinks. We didn’t know what this whole “dating” thing was all about so we picked up the kids and went home. ;-)

Hubby’s evil boss comes back tomorrow and my new boss is supposed to get us all in a room and tell us about the “great secret” he has been working on all week. I brace myself. Between wiping away my hubby’s tears (and hiding his guns) and spending hours and hours trying to figure out this new boss, I may not blog until *next* week. Between all of that and my extreme lack of creativity lately.

Saddam is bad, Osama is bad, murders, child abusers and molesters are all bad, too. The weather is good, except for those tornadoes in Tennessee, I was basically told today that I’m evil (along with a few of my friends) and I need to cook dinner. Wow….that was a bit streamy, wasn’t it?

Take care and see you all around!

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