Archive for: ‘August 2006’

For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield

August 30, 2006 Posted by fairviewsue

There’s something happening here

What it is ain’t exactly clear

There’s a man with a gun over there

Telling me I got to beware.

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down.

There’s battle lines being drawn

Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong

Young people speaking their minds

Getting so much resistance from behind.

I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down.

What a field-day for the heat

A thousand people in the street

Singing songs and carrying signs

Mostly say, hooray for our side.

It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down.

Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep

It starts when you’re always afraid

You step out of line, the man come and take you away.

We better stop, hey, what’s that sound

Everybody look what’s going down.

Stephen Stills wrote this song about a series of riots protesting the draft in late 1966 in Southern California’s Sunset Strip. Although there is no draft today, the song is still quite relevant as an anti war classic. You can listen to it here.

Jason Robards Helps Me Smuggle – Italy IV

August 29, 2006 Posted by fairviewsue

The next morning after my shower, I put on my long madras shorts and sleeveless blouse. I brought along a shirt with long sleeves so that I could get into the Vatican later in the day. I went across the street for the best cappuccino in the world and then was on my way to get those earrings.

Unfortunately, he was not for sale. Or was he?

The jewelry shop was near by and was open! Hurrah! So I went in and the lady proprietor was quite pleased to see me. She immediately fetched the earrings from the back and they were just as entrancing as I remembered them. But, I told her, “My big problem is that I can’t get these for myself and bring nothing home for my twin sister. I have already searched your entire store and have not seen any earrings my sister would like.”

She said, “No problem Signora. Uno momento, per favore. ” She went to the front of the store and locked the glass doors. Then she went to the back of the store and unlocked the wall safe. Once the big safe door was open she began removing the black velvet lined drawers. Each drawer was about 2 square feet (0.6 meters) and she took out three of them. Each was piled with glittering gold earrings. It was a veritable pirates’ treasure of jewelry and my dream come true! I had to paw through it all to find ones that my sister would like. Once my heart rate slowed to normal and I could take regular breaths again, I began to look seriously and methodically. I found them pretty quickly. What a disappointment; I was having so much fun. So, I bought both pairs to the delight of the lady proprietor. Then I wondered about getting them through US Customs. So I asked the lady if she knew what the duty would be. I mean, she must know, all she does all day is sell jewelry to foreigners.

She said, “Ah Signora, no problem. Just wear them home and tell the Customs agent that they are yours and you brought them with you on your trip to Rome.”

Oh yeah, I thought, they will believe that. Right. These are the biggest, most opulent earrings I own to date. They just scream, “Look at me; I was bought in Italy!!!” I am fair complexioned and petite and really have to dress up big time to carry these babies off. I don’t think so. So, I thanked her profusely, she put away the drawers, locked the safe and unlocked the door and I was on my way.

Some sights of Rome that I passed on my way to the Vatican

My next stop was the Vatican to get the Saint Theresa medal for my friend Terry. I decided to walk since it was sunny but it was also getting very hot. I crossed Saint Peter’s Square and was about to climb the steps, when two Vatican Guards blocked my path. I had donned my shirt, so I couldn’t understand what the problem was. They seemed to be trying to be somber and quiet, but I was confused and wondering what was wrong with my attire. After some gesturing, it seems that my madras shorts did not cover my knees enough.

You may be cute, but you ain’t getting into St. Pete’s dressed like that.

Fuck! I was so frustrated. I hunted through the souvenir shops for a flag or scarf to cover my knees, but there was none. I was not going all the way back to my hotel; too far to walk, too expensive to cab. So, I looked in the shops just outside Saint Peter’s Square. I found one right across the street from the entrance to the square that sold religious articles. I went in. The medallions there were nicer than in the Vatican, but were not blessed by the Pope. I felt that I had failed because I could not get one from the Vatican. But, I got a really nice silver Saint Theresa medallion for Terry. [She was very pleased with it and I admitted the whole shorts incident.] So, just remember if you go to the Vatican, that God does not want to see your arms or knees. He used to not want to see the top of a woman’s head either, but he’s over that now. See, how over the centuries God matures?

On my way home, I wandered into the Villa Borghese to see the views of Rome from the hill top. Of course the Vatican Dome is visible from every where in Rome.

From there I could also see the Piazza del Popolo, which I don’t recall visiting on my last trip, so went down to see it more closely. That is the thing with Rome. Everywhere you turn there is ancient history. I was fascinated by the Egyptian elements of the Piazza as described in Wikipedia:

“An Egyptian obelisk of Rameses II from Heliopolis stands in the centre of the Piazza. The obelisk, known as the obelisco Flaminio, is the second oldest and one of the tallest in Rome (some 24 m high, or 36 m including its plinth). The obelisk was brought to Rome in 10 BC by order of Augustus and originally set up in the Circus Maximus. It was re-erected here in the Piazza by the architect-engineer Domenico Fontana in 1589 as part of the urban plan of Sixtus V. The Piazza also formerly contained a central fountain, which was moved to the Piazza Nicosia in 1818, when fountains in the form of Egyptian-style lions were added around the base of the obelisk.”

I was in love with the Egyptian lions and wanted to take one home.

The heat was overwhelming me then. So I walked back to the hotel, window shopping all the way. Once I arrived, I took a very refreshing shower and nap. The whole week hit my like a train. The schedule itself, Dr. D and I had done so much work, touring, shopping, and socializing. I was truly overwhelmed. I just wanted to stay in and rest. So I ordered room service dinner; some pasta and proscuitto I think and it was fabulous. I watched Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in Italian and was able to understand it. Not a Saintly miracle dear readers, just a simplistic script and plot.

Then I began to pack my one carry on bag for my flight home tomorrow at noon. I decided that I would smuggle the gold earrings into the US to avoid paying duty. I was almost broke just from buying them in the first place and I had saved for just such an expenditure. I wrapped the bow earrings in tissue and stuffed them into a metal band aid box, and put my sister’s earrings into an overly large plastic floss box (the floss was almost all gone anyhow) and left a string of floss trailing out of the top of the box as if the spool was still in there. If the earrings were found there would be no doubt that I was smuggling them since attempts were made to hide them. Having never smuggled anything before in my life I was really nervous, but I decided that that was tomorrow’s problem. So I slept soundly that night.

Small Town News – Walgreens Pharmacy – Public Hearing Part 2

August 28, 2006 Posted by fairviewsue

The continuation of the public hearing was called to order at 7:12 pm by the P&Z Chair. The applicant, Turnpike Properties, presented some changes made in response to last week’s comments. These included removing parking from the town hall lawn, removing the four street parking spaces, widening the entrance from 15 feet to 25 feet to allow easier truck egress, and addition of handicap ramps.

Ten letters opposing the application for various reasons were read into the record. One of them was from the Town’s Merchants Association opposing the application.

Public Comments:

A professor from the University of Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis who had provided data for two major state projects made the following points:

1. A letter from the Merchants Association indicates that everything Walgreens will offer is already available in town except for prescription drugs. The new Walgreens will compete directly for sales with other stores in town, as well as with other towns. People often make a decision based of distance of travel.

2. Net impact needs to be calculated when bringing in new development. The need for government services, such as fire equipment will increase. If traffic on Elm Street is increased, it will reduce the property values of the residences there.

3. A decision would have long term implications if successful at the proposed scale. A 10,000 square foot building is a substantial size store. A pharmacy could be 7,000 square feet. The size would have a significant demand to the core area. Traffic controls may be increased. He noted that it was important for towns to have an updated plan of development.

A P&Z commissioner asked the professor if he was a resident of the town, if he was an expert, and if he was being paid and if so by whom. He responded that he was a resident of another town in the state; he was present as an expert witness on a pro bono basis by the request of one of the members of the citizens’ group.

The adjacent property owner on Elm Street mentioned some concerns along with saying that he thought that approval was in the best interest of the town. Specifically, his concern was for HVAC equipment noise and protection of property values.

Another town resident was in favor of a drug store, but did not feel that the design of the store as presented was a fit with our town or town hall.

One of the selectmen, and a former CVS pharmacist for 18 years, spoke in favor of the pharmacy and noted that it would be most profitable.

Another citizen spoke in favor of the pharmacy, but was concerned for the competition for the other mom and pop stores in town as well as the large parking lot.

Sean read a letter into the record and asked that the application be denied with prejudice.

One resident stood and commented that the streetscape as presented by the applicant did not represent the parking and was not to scale.

Another resident noted that he is in favor of the pharmacy, but questioned the legality of the land swap. The parking lot will be owned by the town and used by the pharmacy. A leasehold agreement should be in place for liability and taxes.

Bobby, a citizens’group member, stated that he is opposed to the plan presented. He read a letter to the commission asking that the application be denied and then submitted a Notice of Intervention (more on this in next week’s post) in connection with the application.

A resident who lives behind the grocery store plaza across from where the pharmacy is to built requested that the P&Z to require a sign regarding truck idling and also no dumpster pickup before 5 AM. He also asked that the P&Z reference state statute with regard to HVAC noise standards.

The architect member of the citizens’ group referenced his letter already read into the record and asked that the roof be lowered. [BTW – his letter was eloquent again, “dummy portals”, gotta love it.]

Another selectman, who is a member of the merchants association, said that he did not know about the letter opposing the permit and does not agree with the letter.

Another resident noted that he opposes the big box store/chain harming the flavor of the downtown. The local stores would be impacted negatively such as the hardware store and card shops.

One of the members of the citizens’ group presented slides showing various Walgreens Pharmacies throughout the state illustrating the variations of quality in each town. The point was that our town could get better quality design and building if we bargained for it. Sean showed a photoshopped image of the streetscape as it would look with the Walgreens next to town hall.

The P&Z asked the applicant if two drive thrus were needed.

The attorney for the applicant responded that that was what was specified by the client. He also noted that the HVAC design be reviewed by the Commission engineer to reduce noise and the applicant would agree to meet state noise standards. He noted that the application is a plus for the town and would provide parking at no cost to the town.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:41 pm.

Sunday Comics – More Oliver Frey

August 27, 2006 Posted by fairviewsue

Here are three more images from Oliver Frey (none of which are clean enough to show entirely on this blog). They are: Rome, Prey, and Roma, 126 AD. Thanks to Pete of Finland. You can click to enlarge images on Pete’s site. Please be an adult and enjoy.

Friday Fantasy – Got Me My Piece of Ash

August 25, 2006 Posted by fairviewsue

“Okay, Boy. This is the way it is going to be. You will be untied when you get it straight. Now, repeat after me, Demi Moore is a skank. You just want to be with Fair View Sue. Got it?”