Archives for the month of: May, 2011
It reads: Cats are Stupid!







Here are a few whimsical photos taken in Berlin. Unfortunately, I can’t take the credit. They are courtesy of the Der Tagesspiegel.

Pro Vegan Art
One of the many wild Foxes you seen in Berlin.
They are very cute. 
This Car Keeps tabs on its Road Kills
Hand Sculpture:  President Obama
holding the Head of
Osama Bin Laden

Eating vegan can be good. For a City of its size, Portland (pop. 64,000) has plenty to offer in the way of vegan restaurants. I’m familiar with three restaurants in Portland that all offer vegan dishes. Vegan is not only good for your health but environmentally friendly.

When we breed animals for food, it pollutes the environment by consuming large amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. Moreover, the way we raise our livestock is inhumane.  Animals on factory farms have anything but a “real life.”
I haven’t adopted a vegan lifestyle simply because I’m just too lazy. In any case, I do limit my consumption of animal protein, and I do go meatless one day a week. Every little bit helps. 

Last week, I discovered Little Lad’s Bakery. It’s a total vegan restaurant (that means they don’t even serve honey). They have an affordable lunch buffet for only $4.99, and while the food isn’t haute cuisine, it’s filling and nutritious. It sure beats a burger, and who can argue with the price.
For those in search of an upscale restaurant, try the Green Elephant. It specializes in Asian food and has some inventive vegan dishes. On the weekends and during the tourist season, reservations are highly recommended. Even meat eaters love this place!
Finally, for something causal, try Local Sprouts. It’s affordable with a pleasant kick-back atmosphere. It serves locally grown organic food. They have a number of vegan dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try it for a real Maine experience.

Eating vegan can be good. For a City of its size, Portland (pop. 64,000) has plenty to offer in the way of vegan restaurants. I’m familiar with three restaurants in Portland that all offer vegan dishes. Vegan is not only good for your health but environmentally friendly.

When we breed animals for food, it pollutes the environment by consuming large amounts of water, grain, petroleum, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. Moreover, the way we raise our livestock is inhumane.  Animals on factory farms have anything but a “real life.”
I haven’t adopted a vegan lifestyle simply because I’m just too lazy. In any case, I do limit my consumption of animal protein, and I do go meatless one day a week. Every little bit helps. 

Last week, I discovered Little Lad’s Bakery. It’s a total vegan restaurant (that means they don’t even serve honey). They have an affordable lunch buffet for only $4.99, and while the food isn’t haute cuisine, it’s filling and nutritious. It sure beats a burger, and who can argue with the price.
For those in search of an upscale restaurant, try the Green Elephant. It specializes in Asian food and has some inventive vegan dishes. On the weekends and during the tourist season, reservations are highly recommended. Even meat eaters love this place!
Finally, for something causal, try Local Sprouts. It’s affordable with a pleasant kick-back atmosphere. It serves locally grown organic food. They have a number of vegan dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try it for a real Maine experience.

The other day I was web surfing on YouTube and came across God Bless America sung by the amazing Kate Smith. It’s one of my favorite songs, and it became Ms. Smith’s signature song during her long career. It’s truly an inspiring song (watch the video and see if you can spot a future President doing a cameo role). The song was particularly popular in the 1940s, and was rediscovered in the 1970s when it became the Philadelphia Flyers good luck charm. Every time her version of the song was played at a game, the Flyers seemed to win. As a kid, I was a big Flyers fan.
What caught my eye after watching the video, was the accompanying advertisement that was displayed next to the YouTube video screen. YouTube like many websites tries to target its advertisements to the likely viewer of the video. In this case, the advertisement was “Repeal Obama,” from a right-wing organization called Newsmax.com.
I guess YouTube and Newsmax figured that people who watch a video of God Bless America are likely to be patriotic and anti-Obama. Whatever the case, I was insulted by this over generalization. Believe it or not, Democrats, Independents, and even people who support President Obama can be deeply patriotic. There seems to be a general presumption that the Republican Party is patriotic while the Democrats and President Obama are unpatriotic. All I can say is Hogwash! 

Another thing that drives me crazy is when people say the “Separation of Church and State” is a myth and that the United States was founded on Christianity.
Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it mention or refer to God. In fact, it says, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust.”
Moreover, the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Our founding fathers made it abundantly clear that the United States was to be a secular state. In fact, the U.S. Treaty with Tripoli in 1797 reaffirmed the Separation of Church and State. It was written while George Washington was President, passed with unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate, and signed by President John Adams. It states, in part, “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. . .” (US Treaty with Tripoli-Article 11.)
So next time someone tells you the United States was founded on Christian principles, you can politely tell them otherwise.

It’s worth remembering that nothing in life is easy, and that none of us are immune to life’s challenges. Tackling adversity is part of life. It sounds trite, but when life gives you lemons make lemonade. This short cartoon (The Rainbow) from a popular German television show (Die Sendung mit der Maus) illustrates this important life lesson: a lesson that needs repeating. 







 


The 54Th annual Eurovision Song Contest 2011 will be held this Saturday in Düsseldorf, Germany. For those of you unfamiliar with this spectacle, it’s a cross between the Academy Awards, the Super Bowl, and American Idol. The contest involves over 40 countries, with each country submitting a song to be performed on live television.
The television audience casts its vote for the most popular song in the competition. However, viewers are prohibited from voting for their country’s contestant. The most entertaining part of the show is when each country’s voting is revealed. The results invariably reflect national rivalries. Consequently, Germany will always rank Austria last, and Austria will do the same to its German neighbor. 
People gather in bars, homes, and other public venues to watch the show. It’s one of the most-watched events in the world with an audience of between 100 million and 600 million internationally. The songs range from mediocre to BAD. However, most people watch the show purely for the laughs. Quite frankly, most of the Eurovision songs are pop cheesy trash.


Last year’s winner, Satellite, performed by Germany’s Lena had the classic line: “I bought new underwear – they [sic] blue.” Luckily, most of the winners are quickly forgotten and fade into obscurity. However, every now and then, Eurovision surprises us with some true pop class (Olivia Newton-John, ABBA, and Celine Dion).


Why do people watch: to see schlock. And this year promises plenty of schlock thanks to Ireland’s Jedward and Estonia’s Getter Jaani. We can even look forward to controversy (Iceland’s Sjonni’s Friends has a boy-on-boy kiss as part of their performance).  
It’s Friday the Thirteenth!  I’m not usually superstitious, but today is the day to be extra careful! No walking under ladders, opening an umbrella inside the house, black cats, broken mirrors, etc. 

It’s Friday the Thirteenth!  I’m not usually superstitious, but today is the day to be extra careful! No walking under ladders, opening an umbrella inside the house, black cats, broken mirrors, etc. 

A native Mainer told me that there are two seasons in Maine: Winter and the Fourth of July. You might laugh, but there’s some truth in what he says.


Last year was unusual. We had a mild winter, a beautiful spring, and a very HOT summer. This year, I thought the winter would never end, but spring has now arrived. The daytime temperatures are in the lower 60s and the nights in the upper 30s!!


I still need to wear a sweater, and there’s a comforter on the bed, but, at least, I’m not constantly thinking about the COLD.
Like everyone else, I’m taking advantage of the long days and increasing warmth by taking walks. It’s wonderful!

Groundhogs have started rummaging, flowers have begun to bloom, and the trees have started to show signs of life. I’ve even spotted some Cardinals. Here are some images from around the neighborhood.


Unfortunately, my yard is still dormant, but it gives me something to wait for.  

A native Mainer told me that there are two seasons in Maine: Winter and the Fourth of July. You might laugh, but there’s some truth in what he says.


Last year was unusual. We had a mild winter, a beautiful spring, and a very HOT summer. This year, I thought the winter would never end, but spring has now arrived. The daytime temperatures are in the lower 60s and the nights in the upper 30s!!


I still need to wear a sweater, and there’s a comforter on the bed, but, at least, I’m not constantly thinking about the COLD.
Like everyone else, I’m taking advantage of the long days and increasing warmth by taking walks. It’s wonderful!

Groundhogs have started rummaging, flowers have begun to bloom, and the trees have started to show signs of life. I’ve even spotted some Cardinals. Here are some images from around the neighborhood.


Unfortunately, my yard is still dormant, but it gives me something to wait for.