Saturday, January 30, 2010

Want to Know?

All of us here at the Swamp share at least one important thing and that is, we deeply care about our world, the one we live in and the one beyond. We want the one we live in to be better. We have created a nice little retreat here at the Swamp where we can come together to share our interests and concerns. We discuss depressing things but we try to balance that by exploring the really beautiful things that life has to offer.

What we all realize here is that we can't trust the MSM to inform us. They only tell us what they think we need to know and as has been humorously pointed out by the comedy news programs, they use much of the same talking points to drill certain information into our heads. Even people who only catch a few minutes of the news a week seem to have gotten those points. It really is a form of brainwashing and it is quite effective.

Our only salvation is that we have the Internet, at least for now, to help us learn things that we all need to know. With our busy lives, we only have a certain amount of time each day to search for important stories that we really need to know. I depend on you guys to help keep me informed. I learn new things every day when I visit the Swamp.

For a while now, I have wondered why we don't see any real investigative reporting anymore. It still exists but most of those stories don't make it into the MSM news. If we want to find those stories we will have to work a little harder to find them and then share them ourselves. My older sister sent me a link to a website that I think we all need to explore. I've added it to my bookmarks and you might want to also.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Annie Leibovitz: The woman behind the camera

"To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to achieve."
(James Allen)

I woke up this morning thinking about Annie Leibovitz, probably because we've been talking about strong women the last few days, and not all of them are in politics. It's especially nice when these women came from the baby boomer generation, because we all know how hard it was to break the glass ceiling (concrete ceiling?).

After much reading, and extensive viewing of her work, which is amazing, I finally decided that I can't possibly say anything about Annie, that wouldn't be better in her own words (so that's what you're getting:

"I wish that all of nature’s magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of place could be photographed. Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy—your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.

I love to spend time in the woods near my home in upstate New York. They never fail to evoke an emotional response in me. The lines of the horizon, the gentle curve of the trees. I feel a responsibility to my backyard, I want it to be taken care of and protected.

My hope is that we continue to nurture the places that we love, but that we also look outside our immediate worlds, to the foreign and the far away. There are still so many places on our planet for me that remain unexplored. I’d love to one day peel back the mystery and understand them.

I know I’ll never be able to experience them all, but I’d like to think that the actions we take today will allow others in the future to discover the wonders of landscapes we helped protect but never had the chance to enjoy ourselves." Annie Leibovitz

.. for more info. on Annie: Wiki/Leibovitz

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Carol's getting me excited about Elizabeth Warren, so I spent this morning getting acquainted with her: where she comes from; what she stands for and has accomplished; her beliefs and the reasoning behind them -- and I like everything I found out.

In December '09, she wrote this: "Can you imagine an America without a strong middle class? If you can, would it still be America as we know it?

Today, one in five Americans is unemployed, underemployed or just plain out of work. One in nine families can't make the minimum payment on their credit cards. One in eight mortgages is in default or foreclosure. One in eight Americans is on food stamps. More than 120,000 families are filing for bankruptcy every month. The economic crisis has wiped more than $5 trillion from pensions and savings, has left family balance sheets upside down, and threatens to put ten million homeowners out on the street."

..... and more recently:
On Tuesday night's Daily Show, Elizabeth told Jon Stewart that "this is really the moment that will determine the future of America's middle class -- the system must be fixed or the game really is over."

..... from the linked article:
"Warren, who chairs the Congressional Oversight Panel created to monitor TARP, said: It is simple. This is America's middle class. We've hacked at it and chipped at it and pulled on it for 30 years now. And now there's no more to do. Either we fix this problem going forward or the game really is over." ....Stewart asked her why the system hasn't been fixed yet: "Well, these guys really do get it." Warren told Stewart -- the CEOs, bankers, and people in power -- "They get it. And they work best behind closed doors." If the decisions are in their hands, she said, "Nothing, nothing will change. You know, I want to turn to these guys sometimes, and I want to say: what part of 'we bailed you out' do you not get? These are people who would not have their jobs because they would not have their companies." Elizabeth Warren On The Daily Show: If We Don't Act 'The Game Really Is Over' (VIDEO)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Do you feel lucky?

Do you feel lucky?

I believe that in life there is a significant amount of luck and/or karma involved. I see it everywhere. Even in sports. Because of you guys and my Saints, I have watched more football this year. There are good teams, they have the good players and the skills but something else seems to have an influence.

This last weekend I think the Saints were damn lucky. I watched that game carefully. Maybe it was the power of universal desire. I think the Saints definitely have that going for them. We have a lot of people out there pulling for us. Did you hear that the field goal kicker dreamed about that outcome? He woke up his dad that morning telling him that it would come down to him and a 42 yard field goal. His dream was off by only a couple of yards.

What about gambling? I see people and hear about those who seem to always win and those who always don't. That is certainly a game where luck is involved. I try to only go to the casino when I'm feeling lucky. Works about half the time.

In my jail. There are those who every time they drink too many, they end up in jail. Now you know there are a lot of people out there who drive when they have had too many and they never get caught. The people I work with don't have any luck and they continue to be surprised about that. I tell them that they need to get it through their thick skulls that they can't get away with anything so quit trying.

And what influences luck??? Does prayer? Does carrying your lucky charm?? Does believing your lucky?? I don't know. Do you have any ideas??

Monday, January 25, 2010


The New Orleans Saints are the NFC Champions and they are going to Miami for the Super Bowl....


Carol said...
Well Mary and I are proud also to have our Saints in the Super Bowl. Like I've mentioned before, we have some friendly, happy people down here, some great food, even though it's a little high in fat and salt, some interesting scenery if you like our swamps, but we don't have much else we can brag about. Now we have our Saints and I do think the Universe wanted us to have that win. I want to say that that Favre really impressed me. Not being a avid football fan, I've never watched him before. That man has a lot of heart. I think if he lost a leg, he would have still hopped back into that game and given it his all.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's AFC and NFC Championship Sunday...So Are You Ready For Some Football....

I'm In a NEW YORK JETS State of Mind....

First up today, the AFC Championship and if you are anywhere in the New York area, JETS RULE! tribute to Gang Green, the Empire State Building is illuminated in green and white....

And will those upstart, underdogs become Wonderdogs and bring the AFC Championship to the Big Apple....The call has gone out and it will be heard all the way to Lucas Oil Stadium....

J-E-T-S!, Jets!, Jets!, Jets!.... Yes they will.....


Win and they are in and off to Miami for Super Bowl XLIV.

Later today, the NFC Championship will be decided, and


to the Superdome....along with the Who Dat Nation, who have been waiting for this day, ready for the Duel in the Dome, they will be screaming 'WHO DAT SAY DEY GONNA BEAT DEM SAINTS!' and dancing 'GET CRUNK'....while their beloved New Orleans Saints bring the first NFC Championship to the City of New Orleans....and then a trip to Miami and Super Bowl XLIV.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Know where you are, to see where you’re going

.... this is just a lead-up to Solar's up-coming 'Excercise Post':

Various studies show that it is never too late to get fit. The human body responds to exercise, no matter what its age, and there are many health benefits.

"About half of the physical decline associated with ageing may be due to a lack of physical activity. Without regular exercise, people over the age of 50 years can experience a range of health problems including:

* Reduced muscle mass, strength and physical endurance
* Reduced coordination and balance
* Reduced joint flexibility and mobility
* Reduced cardiovascular and respiratory function
* Reduced bone strength
* Increased body fat levels
* Increased blood pressure
* Increased susceptibility to mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression
* Increased risk of various diseases including cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Some of the many benefits of regular exercise include:

* Muscle – the amount and size of muscle fibres decreases with age. Some studies suggest that the average body loses around 3kg of lean muscle every decade from middle age. The muscle fibres that seem to be most affected are those of the ‘fast twitch’ (phasic) variety, which govern strength and speedy contraction. There is evidence to suggest that these changes are related to a sedentary lifestyle, rather than age. Muscle mass can increase in the older person after regularly exercising for a relatively short period of time.

* Bone – bone density begins to decline after the age of 40, but this loss accelerates around the age of 50 years. As a result of this bone loss, older people are more prone to bone fractures. Exercise can reduce the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise, in particular, helps to keep bones healthy and strong.
* Heart and lungs – moderate intensity exercise is most favourable: for example, exercising at about 70 per cent of the individual’s maximum heart rate (220 beats per minute minus your age). Studies show that cardiorespiratory fitness takes longer to achieve in an older person than a young person, but the physical benefits are similar. Regardless of age, people are able to improve their cardiorespiratory fitness through regular exercise.
* Joints – the joints of the body require regular movement to remain supple and healthy. In particular, people with arthritis can benefit from aerobic and strengthening exercise programs.
* Body fat levels – carrying too much body fat has been associated with a range of diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Regular exercise burns calories, increases muscle mass and speeds the metabolism. Together, these physiological changes help maintain an appropriate weight for their height and build."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Why can't we all
just get along?

The failure to understand how anti-establishment the country has become is a big part of the problem.... A Year Later, Voters Send a Different Message

For lack of an original (better) thought, am quoting someone elses:
"Republican Scott Brown’s eye-opening victory in Massachusetts Tuesday has unmistakably framed the problem for President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party: The same forces of disgust with establishment politicians and hunger for change in Washington that vaulted Obama to power 14 months ago can be harnessed with equal success by people who want to stop his agenda in its tracks.

"When there's trouble in Massachusetts, rest assured , there's trouble everywhere..... "One thing is very, very clear......People do not want the trillion-dollar health care plan that is being forced on the American people, and this bill is not being debated openly and fairly. It will raise taxes, it will hurt Medicare, it will destroy jobs and run our nation deeper in to debt."

"Anyone who's been out on the campaign trail, particularly in this race, has seen the anger of folks who are frustrated, concerned..... They are angry about health care issues, and they're angry about our two wars.."

.... some top Republicans acknowledge that the cantankerous electorate isn’t exactly running into the GOP’s arms, but rather projecting on Washington's ruling party their disgust with the political status quo."

Monday, January 18, 2010

One Down, and many more to go!

Emma had great fun at her little Birthday Party, and she was plenty tired by the time it was over. It turned out that there were only 5 other children there (two too young to realize what was happening), but more adults. I've read that some 1 yr. olds have an attention span of two to five minutes (that's the lucky ones). This gives you an idea how much work it is to keep them happy and occupied.

Actually, Emma will often play in her room for an hour or so by herself at a time, on a normal day (so I'd say I'm the lucky one).
At 1 year, they think it's fun to push, throw, and knock everything down. They supposedly like to put things in containers and dump them out again. Well in our case, Emma dumps them out and I put them back in. She's shown no interest in the clean up part of the process.

She can really trash that room of her's in that hour (or much less time, if necessary) of play. . I often call her a one girl 'demolition' crew. Taking that into consideration, I decided not to try to figure out where it would lead (as far as her future 'calling'), this early in the game. I'll need a lot more time to observe (and clean - Ha!).

I'll tell you one thing, she's getting a very cute and funny personality -- as a matter of fact , I often call her 'Ms. Personality'. We make each other laugh every day, and I see her practicing making faces like the rest of us. It's so funny to watch. In the pictures I'm posting from her Saturday party, I didn't capture many of those funny faces of hers, because we were around so many people, and so many new things were happening,. She was in a very cautious mood -- that's typical at her age.

The little blond boy in the picture with her is only 4 days younger than she is, and surprisingly, he was close to the same size (but about 5 or 6 lbs. heavier than her). Everyone is always tells me how petite Emma is, so I guess he is too. :)

So you think you have problems, it could be worse.

How many times have you complained to a friend or stranger, because your friends were tired of listening to you, and heard that response? "It could be worse." I really hate that response but with all the problems going on here, and no one seems to be immune to at least one or two, it could be worse.

I think this time God gave the world that response with the Haiti disaster. We think our health care system is broken, just try laying on a rag out in the heat with a bone sticking out of one of your extremities. We think we have a housing problem, just try laying out on a rag outside in the heat. We think the banks and Wallstreet took all our money, just go to a place where money has no value, all you need is a sip of water and a bite of food and that would be worth a million dollars.

Maybe we all need to wake up because it could be even worse than it is.

And BTW, happy Martin Luther King Day. "We will overcome" if we work together and love one another.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Showdown in San Diego

New York, New York....If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere...Well, the time has come for the upstart most improbable team to be in the NFL playoffs to keep believing...and now Jets...It's up to you, New York, New York!

Tonight the New York Jets take on the San Diego Chargers, as the biggest underdog in the playoffs...but diehard Jets fans really believe....They Will Beat the Bolts!......

It's been more than forty years since the best Super Bowl ever was played in Miami on January 12, 1969, when Broadway Joe Namath 'guaranteed' a win and backed it up and beat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts 16 to 7.......

The quintessential Jets fan is 'Fireman Ed' Anzalone, who leads the hometown fans at every
New York Jets' home game with this famous chant, "J-E-T-S, Jets!, Jets!, Jets!.....

It's been a long time and lots of dashed dreams along the way, so maybe just maybe tonight is the night for 'Gang Green' to bring back the here's to you

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's Showtime at the Dome...The Who Dat Nation is ready....

Today's the day, no more talking....time to are you ready for some football.

All roads lead to New Orleans Superdome and the pride of Louisiana, the New Orleans Saints are ready to take on the Arizona Cardinals..
The Who Dat Nation is so very proud of their team and in honor and support of our very own citizens of the Who Dat we are all members of the Who Dat Nation & ready to cheer the team on to victory...

So let the good times roll...

How good is this....Drew Brees ready to let one fly....

And who could not love a mascot named Gumbo.....

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Emma!

January 15, 2010

This is just here to warm a spot until Gramma gets your pictures up.

We are so proud our little Swamp turtle's turning one today. We hope your first birthday is filled with wonderful surprises and lots of love.

You are already blessed with having the best Gramma ever. There is not much more you can ask for.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fat Butts May Be Healthy

I really hope I don't accidentally turn this place into a porn site, but will have to take my chances, since we are getting dangerously close to reaching our roll over limit of comments (I consider this an emergency!). Besides, we're here to ponder 'all' things, and maybe it's time to 'broaden' our horizons. Just remember, necessity made me do it!

All fat is not created equal.

"Having junk in your trunk is healthier than a spare tire around the gut, new research suggests. The extra padding on the backside and thighs could even help to protect against disease.

"The fact that body fat's distribution is quite important for your health has been known for some time now .......hip and thigh fat can help to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease."

....... there you have it folks! If you want more, you'll need to go to the link.