Fractured Facade

"A fathers death...a daughter's life...a sociopath's vendetta...FRACTURED FACADE ...a novel written as memoir. Only $4.99 and available exclusively on Amazon. Kindle Unlimited members read for free! Click here for direct link.


THE VALENTINE'S DAY CURSE -- A Short Story, Free everywhere...except on Amazon (boo! hiss!) where it's $.99 to buy! Click here for direct link! Let them know it's free at these stores and they may price match it! Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books...more to come.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

NYC's Snow Job

I had stated on Facebook a couple of days ago that the word on New York City streets regarding the abysmal snow removal efforts was a concerted effort on the part of the Sanitation Department to send a message. According to this article, "Sanitation Dept's slow down was a budget protest" it was...

"They sent a message to the rest of the city that these particular labor issues are more important," said City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), who was visited yesterday by a group of guilt-ridden sanitation workers who confessed the shameless plot.

Halloran said he met with three plow workers from the Sanitation Department -- and two Department of Transportation supervisors who were on loan -- at his office after he was flooded with irate calls from constituents.

The snitches "didn't want to be identified because they were afraid of retaliation," Halloran said. "They were told [by supervisors] to take off routes [and] not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner. They were told to make the mayor pay for the layoffs, the reductions in rank for the supervisors, shrinking the rolls of the rank-and-file."

New York's Strongest used a variety of tactics to drag out the plowing process -- and pad overtime checks -- which included keeping plows slightly higher than the roadways and skipping over streets along their routes, the sources said.

The snow-removal snitches said they were told to keep their plows off most streets and to wait for orders before attacking the accumulating piles of snow."

"Multiple Sanitation Department sources told The Post yesterday that angry plow drivers have only been clearing streets assigned to them even if that means they have to drive through snowed-in roads with their plows raised.

And they are keeping their plow blades unusually high, making it necessary for them to have to run extra passes, adding time and extra pay.

One mechanic said some drivers are purposely smashing plows and salt spreaders to further stall the cleanup effort."

They're also smashing cars...By now you've all seen this video, but it's worth showing again...mute it, the "narrator" is annoying as hell.

I'm apt to believe this article. Anyone who has ever lived in New York City and experienced snow knows how the city "normally" deals with snow, and this was not it. This was not the worst blizzard New York ever experienced nor was it unexpected, yet pre-salting never occurred and the snow plows were nowhere to be found.

Mayor Bloomberg, clearly out of touch with the working man, pooh-poohed the cries of New Yorkers and criticized them for complaining, telling them to take in a Broadway show and go shopping. Maybe they would have if they were able to leave their streets. Instead of clearing the outer boroughs, which pay enormously high taxes, Bloomberg focused on clearing the upper East Side of Manhattan, Times Square and the bike lanes!

Meanwhile, people in parts of Brooklyn whose streets weren't cleared and where the train wasn't running, were stranded and unable to get to work for over three days. As of yesterday this street in Brooklyn, was still not plowed. Of course, the head of Sanitation's street in Staten Island was plowed while the surrounding ones went untouched.

Not everyone is upset by this storm. A good friend of mine said he didn't "know what the big deal was." Of course he's on unemployment (for two years), doesn't own a car and can walk down the corner to stores and restaurants. My other friends and relatives who have to earn a living dispute his comment.

Besides grinding the city (and a couple of SUV's) to a halt this "protest" also resulted in the death of three citizens because amubulances were unable to get to them in time. The actions of this powerful union did as much harm to New York City as a "terrorist" could. About the only "good" thing to come out of this blizzard is that maybe more people will realize the power and harm of any union that could strangle a city, and Mayor "let em eat cake, no, cake has sugar in it" Bloomberg should squash any of his plans to run for president. Maybe he should start worrying more about running a city than installing unused bike lanes, screwing up midtown by putting "sitting areas" in the heart of busy streets, and telling people how much fat, salt and sugar they should be eating.

Hey New Yorkers, why did you voter this idiot in for a third term anyway???

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Defiled deer

When I went to pick up my mail I noticed this...

Some morons defiled our deer. What's wrong with people?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

White Christmas Night in Roanoke

Finally I have a camera that allows me to take decent night time shots. I am loving my Samsung!

Christmas night in Roanoke, VA...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

White Christmas in Roanoke

The snow is falling in Roanoke, and my dream of a White Christmas came true. The Yule Log is playing in the background, the smells of sausage and braciole simmering in the pot of gravy fills the air, cookie crumbles dot the table. Tattered wrappings and ribbons cover the floor. Max loves his new baby. Yes, Santa brought me a new camera. I am so thankful for my family.

Peace and joy from our family to yours...


Some folks have asked for the Strouffler recipe, so here it is...

6 eggs
4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbs Crisco

Mix flour, baking powder and sugar. Add Crisco. Make a well in the middle and put eggs into it. Mix together until smooth. Make long snakes, cut into pieces, then roll by hand into balls. Make them small -- they expand!

Fry them in tall pot in Crisco. Place cooked balls on a brown paper bag.

In a large pot heat a jar of honey with a 1/4 cup sugar. Stir until thin. Throw balls into them, mix with wooden spoon to cover all of the balls. Then plate and sprinkle with nonpareils.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas in Brooklyn

Meanwhile back in Brooklyn, all over the radio and internet people were buzzing about the live nativity being held at an old church built in 1828.

Living now in Roanoke, we're no strangers to live nativities but apparently it's a big deal to a lot of Brooklynites. After we saw what was being heralded as a "must see" we laughed. It was pretty pathetic. The wise Mexicans were about ten years old and freezing their butts off. The poor baby Jesus looked like he was bought at the 99cent store.

Later that evening we witnessed a more spectacular nativity that wasn't "live" but on someone's lawn...

as we ventured into the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn where the Christmas lights burst from the trees.

If you watch The Travel Channel you might recognize this house as the "Sausage Queen's."

Dyker Heights is about five avenues and might as well be a lifetime away from my modest Brooklyn home. Big money and a lot of Italians are up in those thar hills and they can afford to hire professional Christmas decorators.

I'm assuming this blow-up house didn't splurge on a decorator...

But this one definitely did...

I'd hate to live on one of these blocks during Christmas because the cars come from all over to view these homes and traffic is at a standstill. Being a "native" I knew to go early before the crowds came so we missed Santa giving out candy canes and Frosty shaking the kiddies hands and the Christmas carols blaring through the speakers on some homes. Some people think the whole thing is tacky, but I don't. This is what I grew up with and why we decorate our house like The Griswolds, although we pale next to these lights. At least the folks in Roanoke aren't as jaded as we are and they appreciate all our efforts as many people pull into out driveway, stop us by the mailbox or at the store and thank us.

My daughter, the photographer, loved Dyker Heights as well..."If I can't afford a place in Manhattan, I'm going to live here." Yeah, good luck with both of those choices!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and everything just looks more beautiful this time of the year...

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in Manhattan

There's no city that does Christmas better than New York City so this year we decided to head up before Christmas instead of after. If you're not in the Christmas spirit when you arrive, after spending even just one day in Manhattan, you probably will be. On this trip my daughter got to see neighborhoods of Manhattan she hasn't before (more on that in another post another day). I actually found a parking space in Soho after only fifteen minutes...quite a feat I assure you! We started walking through Little Italy on our way to Chinatown (more on that later too).

After lunch we headed up to Macy's. It was a zoo.

Too many people in midtown caused us to head uptown where we encountered beautiful lit trees and even more people.

Like every other "tourist" in the world we simply had to go to Rockefeller Center. This time my daughter was able to see the tree in the dark. It was quite spectacular.

As I wrote in yesterday's post, as we were standing there music filled the air. We all turned to see where it was coming from...

and were treated to a 3D light show on Saks Fifth Avenue's wall, entitled "The Snowflake and the Bubble"...if you haven't watched it you should.

Afterwards we went into St. Patrick's Cathedral which was as beautiful as always. Unfortunately there were so many people I couldn't get near the gift shop.

After St. Pat's we headed to Sephora where the girl stocked up on more cosmetics. As we were shopping I heard someone call my name. When I turned to see who it was I was surprised to see it was someone I knew from Roanoke! How wild is that??? In a city of millions I run into someone from little ole Roanoke. I was surprised she recognized me as I was sporting a new haircut which my cousin said was a "little Chinese boy's haircut." Funny thing is that a cool Chinese boy cut it for me! From there we headed back home to Brooklyn, where the next day we experienced Christmas in Dyker Heights. If Manhattan couldn't put one in a Christmas mood, Brooklyn certainly could! Pics to come tomorrow....