Monthly Archives: August 2012

Like a bad rewind of a movie, once again, another place has been hit by a mass shootout care of a lone gunman ,this time at a Pathmark supermarket in Old Bridge,New Jersey, USA  which is 24 miles SW of Newark, New Jersey’s port city.

Before 4 am Eastern Time today,as employees of that supermarket were working inside restocking shelves in preparation for the supermarket’s opening in a few hours’ time, a mass shootout occurred which prompted a call to authorities. The aftermath produced 3 fatalities including a lone gunman believed to be a disgruntled employee. 2 supermarket windows were believed to be broken in for accessible entry.

Investigations are still ongoing but I couoldn’t help but think that exactly 1 week ago, a similar shooting by a disgruntled former employee gunned down his former employer near the Empire State Building in New York City.

Taking a tally now of the mass shootouts since July this year at the ff places: Aurora Colorado moviehouse,Sikh Temple in Oak Creek,Wisconsin; Texas A& M campus, Empire State Buiding and now this here in Old Bridge,New Jersey. The last time a mass shootout at a supermarket had happened was on Jan. 8, 2011 in Tucson,Arizona at the Safeway Supermarket where almost a dozen people had died and 1 congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford was gravely wounded but survived.

5 shootouts almost within 1-2 weeks’ interval  from each other? Life is really that expendable now? Makes one think that gun access and use has really been quite free and lax this time.

Advocates for gun reform? Don’t hold your breath! As long as some folks think that they can settle their problems directly by just using a gun to drive a point will be very hard to control.

If you strongly believe that changes will be made as far as use of  guns are concerned, then pigs can really fly this time.


They always  say that sometimes, the best laid-out plans just don’t turn out to be the way that we all expect it to be. Life can give us a curveball and we just have to adjust and make the most of the situation that’s presented to us. It’s like that popular quote: When life gives you lemons,make lemonade out of them.

If I were to quote what that character Forrest Gump said; “My Mama said that life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get until you open it.”

The one thing that’s consistent in life is change. It’ll always be there in all shapes,sizes,consistencies,colors,etc.

Perhaps,that’s why life is considered to be not boring and always full of surprises for us.

There is a reason for change to exist in our lives.The answer may not hit it right in our faces just yet but when we look back later on, it”ll all make sense. As they say, things happen for a reason.

Savor the moment and make the most of it. Enjoy the ride!



As the summer season continues to wind down, the heat wave is starting now to gradually dissipate. Before that, I had to buy a fan at my local Walmart and was faced with a lot of choices as to what kind of fan I should buy. It comes in all shapes and sizes but one thing’s obvious. I have to choose between a tower fan vs. a propeller fan.

We are all familiar with propeller fans since childhood.The plastic or metallic mesh cage that holds the body of the fan in place( with the propeller blades spreading out from that body like the petals of a flower) assumes either a circular,square or rectangular shape. If it’s the 2 latter shapes, it’s called a box fan. With 2 cages together side by side, it becomes known as a dual fan. If there’s a plastic or metallic clip below the base of the fan, it becomes known as a clip fan. A small-sized fan is loosely called a desk fan since it can just stand by itself on any desk’s or flat surface.

With all the  aforementioned fans, at some point of use, one has to remove the cage and manually remove the lint that accumulates among the propeller blades.Also depending on the size and shape of the fan, it would determine how much space it’ll take up in any part of your home.

Taking all of these into consideration as well as pricing(depending on the brand) , simplicity of use and less upkeep, I decided to buy a tower fan for the first time.

I got one at a very good price but I decided to try one at a small size(10 inches) which was a good portable size to carry around. Very simple to use by adjusting the fan strength from low to high by just sliding the power lever. Less upkeep needed since there’s no need to clean out any lint. The propellers are arranged in such a way face up and there’s no removable cage  to be seen. My guess is that the tower fan is structured this way so that less cleanup is involved. The tower fan is cylindrical in shape and can stand vertically by itself which results in taking up less room space, considering that it’s slim-looking too.

Fan strength is impressive and acts almost like an air conditioner in a way.

All these types of fans come with an electric cord and socket which is why of course, they’re called electric fans in the first place.

What can more can I say?

Keep cool literally, mon ami!

As I had always said, the heat is still on but slowly starting to wane as time goes on.


When I heard the news of the death of  Neil Armstrong, the US astronaut who first walked on the moon’s surface on July 20,1969, I felt that another era has passed before all of us. He was the original moonwalker. (My apologies to Michael Jackson).

Mr. Armstrong had just celebrated his 82nd birthday on August 5th this year and 2 days later, had undergone coronary-bypass surgery for blocked coronary arteries. Accdg. to a released family statement, he died from complications of that surgery. He died  on  August 25th.

He was very passionate about the continuance of the space missions to the moon and would be a public advocate of it from time to time. He was known to be a very humble and private man accdg. to those close to him  inspite of his world-wide fame. This was proven when he spoke those famous words: “That’s a small step for [a] man, one giant  leap for mankind”.

His trip to the moon was in a way, a watershed moment for all of us. Even though we’re now following up on Curiosity giving us live video feeds on the planet Mars’ surface, the moon voyage was still a big catalyst for all other space endeavors to come. His spacecraft called Apollo 11 will be forever linked  with that voyage.

It made us all believe that anything’s possible and attainable . Even the late US President John F. Kennedy had high hopes that the US can send a man to the moon someday. Sadly for him, he didn’t live long enough to see his dream come true but I have this hunch,mon ami, that he knew that it did happen after all, once he was already stationed in the afterlife.

To Mr. Neil Armstrong, R.I.P.Godspeed!

As you go to meet your Maker and to the heavenly skies,stars and galaxies above, I’ll be playing this Frank Sinatra classic just for you, Sir,….its title is “.Fly Me To The Moon”.

Au revoir!


Here we go again as usual, folks!  It’s beginning to sound like a broken record. Since  the last shootout in US soil(i.e. at Texas A & M campus) last week, this time, it’s at Gotham City, I mean New York City. In the Empire State known as New York, one of its  most famous tourist attractions  is in the borough of Manhattan which is part of New York City. We’re talking about the Empire State Building , located at 34th Street and 5th Avenue.

Security has always been tight there especially after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and so needed with the daily heavy influx of tourists trying to go into that building to get a good view of the entire city and neighboring New Jersey , Connecticut,Long Island,Staten Island and parts of upper New York State. That building has been the scene of so many tourist photos, movie film shootings and even marriage proposals, mon ami.

Initial reports stated that  outside the entrance of the Empire State Building at a  little past 9 am ET(rush hour)today, a lone gunman was seen  with  a 45 calibre hand gun, running down the street and in the process,  shooting passers-by..  2 security guards reportedly  confronted and chased the gunman away and the NYC police took on the chase and eventually shot  the gunman very shortly after. Total so far of 10 people were shot.From that, total of 2 including this gunman are dead which leaves 8 wounded as of this time. No links to terrorism were found so far. Among the 8 wounded, 6 were sent to nearby  Belleview Hospital which reported all 6 injuries as non-life threatening.

The body of the gunman is still at this time outside the entrance of the Empire State Building and cordoned off around it as a crime scene.

Upon today’s press conference with the NYC mayor and the NY state police chief, the backstory was that the gunman(53 y/o Jeffrey Johnson) earlier was at a fashion apparel store about a block away from the Empire State Buiding. At  that store, he shot someone on the head and fled. He reportedly was spotted by a nearby construction worker who then notified 2 security guards who were both stationed at the Empire State Builiding. From there, the whole subsequent shootout at the Empire State Building then ensued.

Mr. Johnson allegedly shot a 41 y/o former employer inside that fashion apparel store with a handgun hidden inside a black plastic bag that he was carrying into that store.Motive apparently could be related to the fact that he was laid-off from that store due to corporate downsizing in light of the current state of the US economy.

Investigation is still ongoing and some details could still change later on.

Essentially, the topic of gun violence can’t be changed nor denied again,folks.

Gun control ,gun use and 2nd Amendment rights will be discussed again, probably to no avail as usual. As I had said earlier, it sounds like a broken record.

I used to live in New York City some years back and I can tell you this. NYC will survive this. They already survived 9/11,mind you.

As the song goes, the city has an Empire state of mind.


As the high tech era continues to expand everyday, there are certain equipment that’s probably becoming more obsolete and  possibly, extinct by now.

Take first  the telegram. In the olden days, you had to send one with as less words as possible because it’s expensive.It also takes up to 3 days, I believe, to receive a telegram message. With the fax machine, email and text  messaging now at our disposal, I doubt very much that the telegram’s around anymore at all, considering the aforementioned modern gadgets are less expensive and less time-consuming to send messages.

The typewriter on the other hand, I believe has dwindled in number since we all can type on our computer keyboard. But I believe that there are still some purists who still are in possession of one and is willing to make copies of their typewritten reports by using  (gasp!)carbon paper. Is even carbon paper still around too? If there’s any typing mistakes, one usually uses either a typewriter eraser strip or Wite-Out(white correction liquid) to remove such mistakes. The Wite-Out nowadays is used for other non-typing purposes.  On a computer keyboard, we just rearrange the words and  “erase”  a mistake by punching the DELETE button before printing the manuscript out clean as a whistle. Less messy too! No white paste or liquid on either keyboard nor one’s fingers to be seen for that matter.

Yup. Things that were considered fancy and advanced before are now considered obsolete.

Credit that reality to the everchanging technology landscape which surely will still be around after we’re all long gone from this world.

As the saying goes,some things will remain consistent in its existence: death and taxes. I would like to add this word to the mix: change.

Food for thought,mon ami.

Au revoir!


I watched a  recent documentary about the role of Dawn dishwashing liquid–original scent–(known as Dawn Blue )specifically in cleaning up the animals ( that inhabit the Gulf coast) from the oil spill grease that polluted the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The oil spill leak was from its oil wells that were located within that Gulf. (c/o BP, also known as British Petroleum).

Accdg. to the environmentalists, only Dawn Blue is effective in cleaning up the grease  from those animals like those seagulls and pelicans for example.They say that the longer the grease sticks to their bodies, the quicker they’ll die. Probably because Dawn Blue was created in its purest form with the essential cleaning chemicals to effectively remove grease from dishes. The other varieties of Dawn dishwashing liquid come now in various scents and colors but are not as effective in cleaning up the grease from those animals. Perhaps because they made the chemical composition of such dishwashing liquid milder so that the various  fragrances could come out.

If I can, I’ll try to keep a bottle of Dawn Blue around. You never know.  A stray animal or even a pet may get  an oily ,greasy sheen and could use a good shampoo. Not only would they get cleaner but you also save their lives in the process.

I’ll never look at a bottle of Dawn Blue the same way again,that’s for sure.

Bon jour!


Just recently, I saw a very familiar face in my town’s  newspaper’s obituary section. It was quite a shock for me to see her face since I never had imagined that her life would end so quickly. She was only in her  mid-50’s. The obituary stated that no viewing will take place and in lieu of flowers, to donate to a charity in her memory. Her death was reported as sudden with no known given reason.

Since I never informed her family that I will be writing a blog about her, for privacy purposes, I’ll call her Rona in this blog.

I’m really at  a loss for  the exact words as to what to say but I guess, I’ll write from my heart instead.

Rona was a very funny,vivacious ,smart and kind lady who always sees the optimistic side of life. I used to work with her during my volunteer work in a downtown agency for the municipal government.

Having her as  a working colleague was a treasure and made the whole volunteer experience quite enjoyable for me.

Life can be fleeting at times like in this case. It’s so surreal. It seemed like only yesterday that  I was chatting with her and now today,she’s gone!

As I had always said time and time again, make the most of everyday ‘coz we don’t know when our life will exactly end.

She was also quite a tech whiz, always up -to-date with the latest technology news.

I’ll really miss her. Godspeed, Rona!

My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

Au revoir, mon ami!


Today, in my neck of the woods, we’re celebrating Acadian Day(August 15). It’s mainly celebrated for the past 400 years+  by the Acadians, (a group of French-Canadians here in Canada) as their day of national pride and identity. Some of their  French -Canadian counterparts left Canada centuries ago and have settled in Louisiana,becoming as we say now, Cajuns.

It’s a holiday like no other as if it’s their independence day in a way.

Their cuisine reflects centuries of  history as they struggled as new settlers in Canada. The way they made their dishes speaks of practicality yet charm as it exudes uniqueness  in character and flavor.

Regular Acadian dishes like Acadian pea soup,chicken fricot( a form of chicken stew), apple dumplings,headcheese( pork head/pork hocks cooked  in a way like ham),meat pie and poutine rapee(boiled  and peeled  potatoes made into a ball with pork stuffed within it) for example are usually highlighted today.

Lively celebrations are rampant today as well. French music abounds as well. Kite flying beckons and the Acadian flags are all around!

Bonne Fete Acadie!