Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tomorrow is a Historic for Snowflake Animal Rescue 10 years ago the organisation was founded. A wonderful lady called Cindy, who I am now honoured to consider a friend founded us in memory of a special cat called Mr Snowflake (below) that she rescued. A lot of special animals and people owe an awful lot to this special lady. Long may we continue in our mission as we move into our second decade. Thank you, Cindy!

I watched the Oscars Sunday. And got very irritated. I thought the show was pretty good and Ellen did a very good job hosting it.

The problem I had was Al Gore love fest. Yes, global warming is a big issue and is something we have to take seriously, but, the Oscar show is not and will never be the forum. Why?

First of all I am sick to death of Hollywood being holier than thou with the causes they make such a big deal over supporing and championing. The causes are important, but, they come across as they are the only people that (a) know what they are talking about and (b) doing anything about it. The fact is many times they are (a) wrong and (b) most ordinary folks do get involved in causes and community issues and their sacrifice is much greater than the millionaire Hollywood hypocrits.

Second, Al Gore. In many cases his Science is just plain wrong. He is creating a hysteria. How about all the homeless kids in, even this country. How about a health care system that is falling apart, how about out of control violence? Why does he fly around in his own personnel jet? Really helps the environment!! How about at least three homes he has? One had 20 rooms and 8 bathrooms and has an electricity bill that in one month is more than the average Americans annual bill? I had an excuse that it has a zero Carbon impact, well, ok, but this energy consumption has to come from somewhere so even if its does come from non-Carbon based sources the energy he pulls causes others to go the Carbon based sauces there certainly does not have a zero impact.

Again, I believe this issue is important, but, stop preaching until you get your own act together Al. You really are one of the regular "American People".


Sunday, February 25, 2007

I have done a lot of thinking recently about places I've been to and some of my favourite places. I guess the reason is that this year as a couple of key anniversaries. Jenn and I will celebrate out 10th wedding anniversary in May. Also, it will be 20 years since I left Hartlepool and went to Bradford University. This has made me think a lot about important places in my life. Over the next few weeks I will post some of these. It will not be everywhere as I do not have pictures from them all, but, certainly quite a lot. Also these are in no particular order or sequence as I do not have all photos in electronic form and it is impossible to put them in a particular order.

I will start today with Sri Lanka. I posted a while ago about this. I went to visit there in September 1993 at the end of a slightly confusing period of my life. It is a fantastic place, with fantastic people. The photo I am posting is a place called Sigiriya. It is a rock fortress which was a rotal citadal. Climbing to the top with my friend Lakmalee and her cousin was an awe inspiring experience. Other favourite places form that trip were Nuwara Eliya the heart of the tea growing company, Kandy and the Indian Ocean Cost. Great memories that I will never forget.

The next cat that we fostered was Reagan. We only had her for a week. She came into us on New Years Eve 2005. We are at Cindys, the main Snowflake Foster Home cleaning when a lady turns up at her house and dropped Reagan off. As we had space we agreed to take her. However, a week later there was a more urgent need for another cat, Sawyer (see next foster cat post) so Reagan moved to Cindys.

Score Update:

International Rugby: Ireland 43 England 13. The Six Nations Championship. England fall to 3rd place.

Rugby: Durham City 11 West Hartlepool 13. League 2 North East. West move up to 3rd place.

Football: Hartlepool United 3 Macclesfield Town 2. League 2.
Boston United 0 Hartlepool United 1. League 2. Hartlepool move to 1st place in the League Table.

Rugby League: Warrington Wolves 20 Bradford Bulls 36. Superleague.
Bradford Bulls 32 Wigan Warriers 28. Superleague. Bradford move into 1st place in the League.

Ice Hockey: Montreal Canadians 3 Carolina Hurricanes 5
Carolina Hurricanes 1 Atlanta Thrashers 3
Carolina Hurricanes 3 Philadelphia Flyers 2
Atlanta Thrashers 1 Carolina Hurricanes 4. The Canes stay in third place in the South-East Division with 71 points., closing the gap to new Division Leaders, The Tampa Bay Lightening to 2 points.

Basketball: Houston Rockets 112 Miami Heat 102
Atlanta Hawks 105 Houston Rockets 99. The Rockets are 34-20 and still in 3rd place in the South West Division 11 1/2 games behind the Division Leaders The Dallas Mavericks.

College Basketball: Boston College Eagles 72 North Carolina Tar Heels 77.
North Carolina Tar Heels 83 North Carolina State Wolfpack 64. UNC are 24-4 on the Season and 10-3 in the ACC. They are in 1st place in the ACC and ranked 5th in the Nation.
Duke Blue Devils 71 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 62
Clemson Tigers 66 Duke Blue Devils 71. Duke are 21-7 on the Season and 8-6 in the ACC. They are in 5th place in the ACC and ranked 18th in the Nation.
North Carolina State Wolfpack 81 Virginia Tech Hokies 56
Florida State Seminoles 78 North Carolina State Wolfpack 52. NC State are 14-13 on the Season and 4-10 in the ACC. They are in 10th place in the ACC.


It's all insane
All this grief and pain.
Children dying,
Children crying.
Father's fighting
Father's killing.
He fired the shell
That made his life Hell.
He returned the granade
So that he might be repaid.

25th August 1993 - Uxbridge, Middlesex, England.

I Finished Reading:

"Democracy, an American Novel" written by Henry Adams.

Snowflake lost another kitty on Friday. Glynis. She was a cat that came into us a couple of months ago. She never learnt to trust, but, was at least safe and warm. She was taken to the vets on Friday to be tested for Feline Leukemia. Unfortunately she was found positive. Due to the nature of the disease we had to make the very sad and difficult decision to Euthanise her. At least we now know that she is happy.

I listened to:

"Pieces of You" by Jewell.


Monday, February 19, 2007

I listened to:

"Symphony No. 6 in A minor, "Tragic"" composed by Gustav Mahler and performed by The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons.


One week queues.
The Next queues.
The first for food not there
The second waiting for a table.
The first prices beyond means,
The second ample to spare.
One people starving to death
Another eating for entertainment.

15th May 1993, Leicester Square, London, England.

Written the week after I got back from Russia.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

I finished reading:

"Stranger in Paris" by W. Somerset Maugham.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Score Update:

International Rugby: England 20 Italy 7. Six Nations. England are in 2nd place.

International Cricket: England beat Australia by 4 wickets. Internatinal Triangular One Day Final Tournament Game 1.
England beat Austrlia by 34 runs. International Triangular One Day Final Game 2. England win Final 2-0.

Rugby Union: Billingham 34 West Hartlepool 12. Durham County Cup.
West Hartlepool 50 Percy Park 14. League 2 North East. West stay in 5th place.

Football: Hartlepool United 3 Walsall 1. League 2
Torquay United 0 Hartlepool United 1. League 2. Pools move up to 2nd place.
Charlotte 24 Raleigh 6. Warm Up Game.

Rugby League: Bradford Bulls 18 Huddersfield Giants 14. Superleague. Bradford are in 5th place.

Ice Hockey: Boston Bruins 2 Carolina Hurricanes 5
Minnesota Wild 5 Carolina Hurricanes 4
Carolina Hurricanes 2 Los Angeles Kings 1
Carolina Hurricanes 1 New York Rangers 4. The Canes have 65 points and stay in 3rd place in the South East Division and are have closed the gap on Divsion Leaders, The Atlanta Thrashers to 4 points.

Basketball: Dallas Mavericks 95 Houston Rockets 74
Houston Rockets 104 Charlotte Bobcats 83
Houston Rockets 109 Sacramento Kings 104
Houston Rockets 77 Dallas Mavericks 80. The Rockets are 33-19. They stay in 3rd place in the South West Division, but, fall 10 1/2 games behind the Divsion Leader The Dallas Mavericks.

College Basketball: North Carolina Tar Heels 104 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 67
North Carolina Tar Heels 80 Virginia Tech Hokies 81. UNC are 22-4 on the Season and 8-3 in the ACC. They are in 2nd place in the ACC and ranked 4th in the Nation.
Maryland Terrapins 72 Duke Blue Devils 60
Boston College Eagles 70 Duke Blue Devils 78. Duke are 19-7 on the Season and 6-6 in the ACC. They are in 5th place in the ACC.
Miami Hurricanes 80 North Carolina State Wolfpack 65
North Carolina State Wolfpack 70 Maryland Terrapins 85. NC State are 13-11 on the Season and 3-8 in the ACC. They are in 10th place in the ACC.

I listened to:

"Peter Grimes" composed by Benjamin Britten and performed by the Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden conducted by Colin Davis.

"Symphony No.9 "Choral" composed by Ludwig van Beethoven performed by The London Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Chorus conducted by Bernard Haitink.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Finished Reading:

"The Bostonians" by Henry James.


Monday, February 12, 2007

I listened to:

"Piano Concerto No.1" composed by Bela Bartok and performed by Krystian Zimmerman and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pierre Boulez
"Piano Concerto No.2" composed by Bela Bartok and performed by Leif Ove Andsnes and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Pierre Boulez.
"Piano Concerto No.3" composed by Bela Bartok anbd performed by Helene Grimaud and the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pierre Boulez.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

The next, very short poem was written on a visit to St. Petersburg. This visit was more of a pligramage for me with my love for everything Russian. St. Petersburg certainly lived up to those expectations. Some spectacular visitas and architecture. I think the Winter Palace is the most amazing building that I have seen.

However, the spectacular was contrasted with the poverty and empty feeling and darkness that could be felt. This was 1993, just before the compete fall of communism, but, after the Berlin wall had fallen and during Gorbechevs Perestroika era.

Love III

You gave me love.
I gave you pain.
You gave me everything.
I gave you nothing.
You said You'd die for me.
I said "so what".
But, You did!

10th May 1993 - St. Petersburg, Russia.

The next three kittens we fostered were given the nickname "The Geography Kittens". This is because they were named after three important places in Jenn and my life. They came into us the week of November 23rd 2004.

The first to be adopted was Texas, (left with me) a little Black and White short haired boy. He was named after Texas, which is were Jenn was living when we first started dating and where we lived (Edna, Texas, 100 miles South-West of Houston) when we first moved to the States. Texas was adopted the week of December 28th 2004.

The next to go, the week of January 4th 2005 was Jersey (below). She was a sweet little "fluffy" black and white girl. She was adopted to a great family. Jersey was named after New Jersey. This where Jenn and I first met in the Summer of 1989 whilst we were both working at Camp Tecumseh.

The last to get adopted was a Tabby boy called London (left, taken just before he was adopted). He was
adopted the week of January 18th 2005. He was named after London, England where I was living when Jenn and I started dating and where we got engaged (well, in Uxbridge). We also spent the first year of our married life in High Wycombe, just outside London and I worked in London for that year.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

In Memorium:

Yesterday Snowflake lost another precious foster cat. Savvy, a very sweet, friendly boy very suddenly and unexpectatly died at a vets. He was originally a Snowflake kitten and was adopted out. He was returned to us after the couple who adopted him split up. He moved into his new foster home and was treated like a king. He loved attention and was a great foster home. In his far too short life he finished where he was happy and knew he was loved.

He will be missed.

Score Update:

International Rugby: England 42 Scotland 20. Six Nations Championship. England are in Second Place.

International Cricket: New Zealand beat England by 58 runs.
England beat Australia by 92 runs.
England beat New Zealand by 14 runs. All matches in the Triangular One Day Tournament. England qualify for the final against Australia.

International Football: England 0 Spain 1. International Friendly.
United States of America 2 Mexico 0. International Friendly.

Rugby Union: West Hartlepool 3 Hartlepool Rovers 16. NIGHTMARE. League 2 North East. West fall to 5th place.

Football: Swindon Town 0 Hartlepool United 1. League 2. Pools move up to 3rd place.

Ice Hockey: Carolina Hurricanes 1 Toronto Blue Jays 4
Carolina Hurricanes 0 Tampa Bay Lightning 4
Carolina Hurricanes 3 Boston Bruins 4 (after over time)
Montreal Canadians 1 Carolina Hurricanes 2. The 'Canes have 61 points and fall to 3rd place in the South-East Division but stay 6 points behind Division Leaders the Atlanta Thrashers.

Basketball: Houston Rockets 105 Philadelphia 76'ers 84
Houston Rockets 112 Seattle Supersonics 102
Houston Rockets 74 New Orleans / Oklahoma City Hornets 87
Houston Rockets 105 Minnesota Timberwolves 77
Memphis Grizzlies 90 Houston Rockets 98. The Rockets are 31-17, still in 3rd place in the South-West Division falling to 8 1/2 games behind Division Leaders, Dallas Mavericks.

College Basketball: North Carolina Tar Heels 105 Miami Hurricanes 64
North Carolina State Wolfpack 83 North Carolina Tar Heels 79
Duke Blue Devils 73 North Carolina Tar Heels 79. UNC are 21-3 on the Season and 7-2 in the ACC. They are in 3rd place in the ACC and ranked 5th in the Nation.
Duke Blue Devils 75 Boston College Eagles 61
Virginia Cavaliers 68 Duke Blue Devils 66
Duke Blue Devils 67 Florida State Seminoles 68. Duke are 18-6 on the Season and 5-5 in the ACC. They are in 6th place in the ACC and ranked 16th in the Nation.
Virginia Tech Hokies 59 North Carolina State Wolfpack 70
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 74 North Carolina State Wolfpack 65. NC State are 13-9 on the Season and 3-6 in the ACC. They are in 10th place in the ACC.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I Finished Reading:

"Lost in Translation - A life in a new Language" by Eva Hoffman.


Saturday, February 03, 2007


As night draws near
A rising fear
Encroaches all of her
Emotion. As year after year
The torture and pain
And hurt remain
Gnawing deeper into a soul -
A great, black hole
Causing a nightmare, a vision
With an uncanny precision
To linger on refusing to go.
She screams - "Daddy No!!"

23rd April, 1992 - Skegness, Lincolnshire, England.

I wrote this after hearing Josh MacDowell tell about some harrowing stories of child abuse at Spring Harvest in 1992.

I read Genesis as a part of reading a Chapter of the Bible before work every morning.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

I listened to:

"Rattle and Hum" by U2.