Archive for October, 2007

Hartford Vets Day Parade Sunday Nov 4

October 31, 2007

Vets for Freedom (VFF) will be a new addition to this year’s parade. The details:

Parade 2007 – Hartford, CT’s 2007 Veterans Day Parade is orchestrated by the Greater Hartford Arts Council. Each year their work brings the response of attendees and participants from across Connecticut and throughout Massachusetts. An estimated 25,000 – 40, 000 viewers line the parade route and this year will be entertained and have their spirit of national pride lifted by some 40 Veterans groups, 25 marching bands, and 96 marching units made up of 3,5000 people from almost 50 Connecticut towns and cities.

The Veterans Day Parade this year will be held a full week ahead of the official National Veterans Day . The Veterans’ Day Parade in Hartford, CT, 2007 will beheld on Sunday, November 4 beginning at 1 p.m. in the downtown area. This year’s parade will feature government figures like Hartford Mayor Perez , small units from the CT. Sons of the American Revolution and more sizable marching bands from the University of Connecticut and University of New Haven Marching Band and Color Guard.

Drum and Fife and Pipe and Drum divisions will add variety to the musical offerings. Civic and business representatives will also provide some local interest and color .

Special Features. In addition to the large number of marching units and participants the Veterans’ Day Parade in Hartford, CT 2007 offers several special features . The crowd will have the opportunity to view parade participants who are also inductees into the CT Veterans’ Hall of Fame. Those attending will find the parade all the more memorable for as everyone comes to attention for a shared moment of silence, the tolling of the Center Church Bell, the singing of the national anthem and a climactic A-10 flyover.

The Veterans’ Day Parade in Hartford, CT in 2007 may well resemble other parades of other years, but this year there are a number of Connecticut units home from overseas duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. The opportunity to honor those newest veterans is likely to be sufficient to swell the customarily large crowds and to raise everyone’s consciousness of how much we truly owe to those who take up the uniform and the flag in the name of peace and democracy.

Pic: 2006 parade with Governor’s Horse Guards in the vanguard.

Lets say “THANKS” To Our Military Men and Women! Select a free card here.

Tags: ct governor’s horse guards,vets for freedom,hartford ct, veterans day parade,veterans

Our Changing Funeral and Burial Practices

October 29, 2007


"In a narrow grave, just six by three

We buried him there on the lone prairie"

American funeral practices are undergoing rapid changes with so called “natural” and “green” options becoming more common methods of dealing with the deceased. lists several increasingly popular practices including “Celebrations”, “Cremation”, “Going Green”, and “Do-it-Yourself Funerals”. The Portland Press-Herald (ME) reported yesterday about “green” cemeteries:



(an) alternative that is just emerging in Maine is natural burial in a green cemetery: wooded graveyards that ban chemicals and caskets that won’t easily decompose.

Two such cemeteries are now preparing to do natural burials in Maine, in Limington and in Orrington. There are only about six operating green cemeteries in the United States, but many more are planned, according to those tracking the trend.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Some organizations and companies active in “natural burial” are Native Woodland, operating in the U.K., the Natural Burial Association (Canada), and Kinkaraco, a San Francisco (U.S.) dealer in “Green Burial Shrouds”(see photograph).
Green Burials (U.S.) (motto: “Return Naturally”} has much information regarding newer burial practices.


What is Green Burial?

Simple and natural. Green burial, or natural burial, ensure the burial site remains as natural as possible in all respects. Interment of the bodies is done in a bio-degradable casket, shroud, or a favorite blanket. No embalming fluid, no concrete vaults.


The Natural Burial Company (U.S.A.) sells biodegradable caskets made of recycled paper, sea grass or bamboo. Their willow casket illustrated:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


On Caring for Your Own Dead web site we find much information about the old American tradition of home burial and the laws of various states regarding this practice today.


The laws in Connecticut are in conflict with each other, begging for a law suit. The laws specifically provide that the custody and contol of remains . . . shall belong to the surviving spouse . . . or . . . next of kin . . . [Sec. 45-253]. On the other hand, a funeral director’s signature is required on the death certificate, and only a funeral director or embalmer may “remove the body of a deceased person from one town to another” when a person dies in Connecticut, but towns and ecclesiastical societies may provide a hearse and pall for burial of the dead. Go figure. A licensed embalmer must be in charge when death is from a communicable disease. Because the laws are conflicting in this state, a family wishing to care for its own dead may wish to seek the help of legal counsel. The FCA office may be able to help by filing a friend of the court brief.


While in Massachusetts:


In 1996, the Memorial Society here convinced the State Board of Health that Commonwealth laws permitted families to care for their own dead. It was left to the discretion of the individual boards of health whether or not to comply with the state’s opinion. Although many towns have agreed to do so, a court case will be pursued if difficulty arises. Personnel in the Department of Health have been very helpful with recalcitrant local officers.


In Michigan:


A 1995 court decision affirmed a family’s right to possess a body “for the purpose of preparation, mourning and burial.” This state also has one of the best home burial statutes. Families wishing to care for their own dead in this state may run into officials who are not aware of the court case.


Returning to the Portland Herald Press story:



Klara Tammany’s mother didn’t want a typical American funeral. No embalming, no metal casket, not even a funeral home.


When she died after a long illness a couple of years ago, family members and friends washed and dressed her body and put it in a homemade wooden casket, which was laid across two sawhorses in the dining room of her condo in Brunswick.


Then, for two days, friends and family visited, brought cut flowers, wrote messages on the casket’s lid and said goodbye.


“We had this wake, and it was wonderful,” Tammany said.


The home funeral is part of an emerging trend that some believe will change the way Americans deal with death. Send-offs like the one Tammany planned with her mother are called “green” funerals because they avoid preservative chemicals and steel and concrete tombs, all designed to keep a body from decomposing naturally.


After the wake, Tammany’s mother was cremated and her ashes buried near the family’s camp in Monmouth.

"It makes no difference, so I've been told

Where the body lies when life grows cold

But grant, I pray, one wish to me

O bury me not on the lone prairie"

I say, “Do bury me on the lone prairie, or better yet, in the warm green woods!
To hear a very folksy version of this traditional song click here
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Originally published on Habits Not Peculiar…. (10/29/07)

Tags: green funeral,green burial,simple burial

CT Dept Public Utility Control Denies AT&T’s IPTV

October 24, 2007

In a surprising anti-consumer action the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control has denied the application of AT&T to continue with it’s roll out of IPTV fiber optical services in Connecticut. This can affect some 7000 customers already enrolled in the program which represents a major advance in television technology and utilization. Also hundreds of jobs for technicians trained in the new application may be in jeopardy. The new application named AT&T U-verse was the subject of the following news release from the company (10/01/07):

Beginning today, Connecticut consumers will benefit from a new law that enables more choices for video entertainment. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today submitted an application to the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control to become a Certified Competitive Video Provider. Further demonstrating its commitment to bringing the benefits of video choice to more consumers in the state, the company also announced that AT&T U-verseSM TV and Internet services are now available to more than 135,000 homes in Connecticut in parts of 40 cities and towns.

However, now various sources including TVovernet and FreedomWorks, have announced the CT DPUC denial of the franchise:

In a surprising anti-consumer decision, the Connecticut Department of Public Utility rejected AT&T’s application to expand its U-verse IPTV service further across Connecticut. This is surprising because AT&T was granted a statewide video franchise, but the CDPU shockingly classified IPTV as a cable offering. By forcing IPTV to conform to 1970’s era regulatory standards designed for cable monopolies, the CDPU and state attorney general have sided against competition and the free market.

Connecticut is the only state to consider IPTV a cable system, and therefore it is not covered under video franchise law. Unfortunately for Connecticut’s consumers, this decision will prompt AT&T to stop investing in Connecticut’s telecom sector, terminating 1300 jobs and ending service to over 7000 consumers rather than attempt to comply with recalcitrant bureaucratic regulators.

Complaints to the CT DPUC may be addressed here.

An interesting video about this emerging technology from Tellabs is here.

Whom Would You Not Vote For?

October 22, 2007

Not surprisingly the answer is Mrs. Clinton!  A new Zogby poll finds that half of Americans would never vote for Mrs. Clinton for U.S. President.

While she is winning wide support in nationwide samples among Democrats in the race for their party�s presidential nomination, half of likely voters nationwide said they would never vote for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.

The question posed was:

Whom would you NEVER vote for for President of the U.S.?

Obama, Huckabee, and Richardson fared somewhat better at 37%, 35%, and 34% respectively. An odd question indeed but it does expose the national dissatisfaction with Mrs. Clinton, especially among older voters.

Source: NewsMax

Tags: Zogby poll,mrs clinton,hillary,campaign 08,presidential candidates,polling

Senate/Harry Reid Smear Letter Tops $2 Mil

October 19, 2007

In the largest charity auction ever on Ebay, the “Limbaugh smear” letter signed by Harry Reid and 41 other senators is now at $2,100,100.00 with 3 hours to go. All proceeds go to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, and Rush Limbaugh has pledged to match the hammer price.

Since 1995, the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation has distributed scholarship assistance valued over $25,000,000.00.

 Scholarships from the organization have primarily been awarded to children of the following supported organizations:
United States Marine Corps
Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States Secret Service
Drug Enforcement Administration
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms
United States Marshals Service
Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Federal Air Marshal Service

Tags: us marine corps law enforcement foundation,us senate,rush limbaugh,harry reid,ebaycharity auction,limbaugh smear letter

High Antiques on the Low Seas

October 10, 2007

Michael James of Silver Fund Antiques (U.K.) was one of 28 antique dealers aboard the motor yacht Grand Luxe, pictured above, which visited Greenwich last week. According to Greenwich Time newspaper:

James is one of 28 art and antiques dealers aboard the SeaFair Grand Luxe, a 228-foot floating art and antiques emporium docked in Greenwich Harbor this week. After visits to New York and Long Island, the ship will return to Connecticut Oct. 17 for a five-day stay in Norwalk Harbor.

Although as a book and antiques dealer myself I am in awe of the grandiosity of this project I am most amazed by the  vessel.  At 228 feet the SeaFair Grand Luxe draws only 6.5 feet and can navigate the entire U.S. East coast intra-coastal waterway. The SeaFair principal owners, David and Lee Ann Lester, describe their yacht:

The Grand Luxe, designed by the internationally-acclaimed designer Luis de Basto, is an entirely new type of shallow draft ship, specifically designed as a mobile exhibition venue. The 3,200 ton ship, with an air draft of 57 feet, requires a draft of only 6.5 feet, allowing navigation of the entire Intracoastal Waterway. In addition to 26 individual galleries, SeaFair also offers two gourmet restaurants, a champagne and caviar sky lounge, and an international coffee bar. On its 44-week tour, SeaFair will visit over 36 affluent coastal communities along the United State’s Eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine.

The photos below are from the company’s website showing the various galleries and accommodations aboard. the Grand Luxe.

greenwich ct,seafair,grand luxe,antiques,yachts,

Giuliani and His Cell Phone Manners

October 3, 2007

John Fund in the Wall Street Journal online yesterday presented a most disconcerting and disturbing account of Rudy Giuliani’s pattern of discourtesy by taking cell phone calls from his wife in the middle of speeches and campaign donor events. Giuliani’s explanations to his audiences when this occurs are very lame and cast doubt, I hate to say this, on the candidate’s mental soundness.

The fact is that people inside the Giuliani campaign are appalled at the number of times their candidate has felt compelled to interrupt public appearances to take calls from his wife. The estimate from those in a position to know is that he has taken such calls more than 40 times in the middle of speeches, conferences and presentations to large donors.“If it’s a stunt, it’s not one coming from him,” says one Giuliani staffer. “It’s an ongoing problem that he won’t take advice on.”

And in trying to explain his odd behavior, Mr. Giuliani has only dug himself in deeper. On Friday he told David Brody of CBN News that since 9/11, when he and Mrs. Giuliani get on a plane, “most of the time . . . we talk to each other and just reaffirm the fact that we love each other.” He admitted he had taken calls from his wife “before in engagements, and I didn’t realize it would create any kind of controversy.” That’s hardly possible. Giuliani staffers say he has been warned over and over again that the phone calls are rude and inappropriate and have alienated everyone from local officials to top donors to close friends. (emphasis added)

Source: Wall Street Journal

While we’re on the subject of cell phone manners, Peggy Noonan, also in the Wall Street Journal, had this to say about the wave of rudeness surrounding cell phones and other mobile devices:

Technology has not helped in this area. Cellphones are wonderful, but they empower the obnoxious and amplify the ignorant. Once they kept their thoughts to themselves. They had no choice. Now they have cellphones, into which they bark, “I’m on line at Duane Reade. Yeah. Ex-Lax.” Oh, thank you for sharing. How much less my life would be if I didn’t know.
BlackBerrys empower the obsessed.

Tags: Rudy Giuliani,campaign ’08,cell phone manners,Peggy Noonan,Wall Street Journhal

Burma Turns Very Ugly….

October 1, 2007

I received this email Saturday from a friend who received it from a friend in Nepal. It concerns the reported murder of monks in Myanmar (Burma). The horrible events reported in this email seem to have been confirmed by today’s report in the Daily Mail (U.K.), see below:

From: Tashi Wangchuk <>
Date: 28 Sep 2007 10:44
Subject: Some Fact from Yangoon

We just got phone call with our sister living in Yangon about a few hours ago.

We saw on BBC world, saying that 200 monks were arrested. The true picture is far worse!!!!!!!!!

For one instance, the monastery at an obscure neighborhood of Yangon, called Ngwe Kyar Yan (on Wei-za-yan-tar Road, Yangon) had been raided early this morning.

A troop of lone-tein (riot police comprised of paid thugs) protected by the military trucks, raided the monastery with 200 studying monks. They systematically ordered all the monks to line up and banged and crushed each one’s head against the brick wall of the monastery. One by one, the peaceful, non resisting monks, fell to the ground, screaming in pain. Then, they tore off the red robes and threw them all in the military trucks (like rice bags) and took the bodies away.

The head monk of the monastery, was tied up in the middle of the monastery, tortured , bludgeoned, and later died the same day, today. Tens of thousands of people gathered outside the monastery, warded off by troops with bayoneted rifles, unable to help their helpless monks being slaughtered inside the monastery. Their every try to forge ahead was met with the bayonets.

When all is done, only 10 out of 200 remained alive, hiding in the monastery. Blood stained everywhere on the walls and floors of the monastery.

Please tell your audience of the full extent of the fate of the monks please please !!!!!!!!!!!!

‘Arrested’ is not enough expression. They have been bludgeoned to death !!!!!!

Aye Aye
Hong Kong

Tashi Wangchuk
P.o Box 1287
Kathmandu. NEPAL

…..And from today’s reports referenced above:

Thousands of protesters are dead and the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle, a former intelligence officer for Burma’s ruling junta has revealed.

The most senior official to defect so far, Hla Win, said: “Many more people have been killed in recent days than you’ve heard about. The bodies can be counted in several thousand.”

Mr Win, who spoke out as a Swedish diplomat predicted that the revolt has failed, said he fled when he was ordered to take part in a massacre of holy men. He has now reached the border with Thailand.

Tensions: People gather outside a temple after a police raid

Photos: Daily Mail

Tags: burma,myanmar,monks massacre,democracy struggles