Atlantis Alumni

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Eve Tradition

I spent the afternoon downtown as is my custom on New Year's Eve at the Macy's store. Today is the last day for the fantastic holiday light show, and the organ concert was really good today. After the concert I visited the Dickens Christmas Village display on the third floor. This historic display is made up of animated near life size figures that illustrate the story of "A Christmas Carol." The display was originally at one of the other deparment stores for years and years. Now Macy's is the only department store left in downtown Philadelphia.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Tough Loss For Our Friends

Our good friends Pete and Carole lost their beloved feline "Spanky" (brother of "Alfalfa") on Christmas day. It's never easy to lose a pet that you have grown to love, and it's especially tough when the pet dies at a young age, full of vigor. The only comfort we can take is that while they were with us they were well cared for and loved, and their life, however short, was at least a happy one. Carole writes:
We are doing much better. Actually we now are getting to know Alfalfa better, he was always the shy, reclusive one - the hunter, but always around as we have lots of little critters on our property. Not playful [with the children] nor adventurous [like climbing the Christmas tree, which big ol' Spanky had done the last morning that I saw him] so he had been more like Spanky's shadow. Note the Christmas card, Spanky is front and center. Typical. It was strange for a while, but we are slowly getting used to it.
Our sympathy and love goes out to you, dear Pete and Carole.

It Was My Favorite Tree In The Forest

Here is Bradley back in 2007 in front of my favorite tree in the park near our house. It used to be so beautiful in the Fall when the leaves truned a brilliant gold every year. This Fall the tree fell over and died.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Occupy The Phila. School District HQ

Demonstration Wednesday, December 28 at 440 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia In a public policy decision right out of of fictional Dickens, the Philadelphia School Board layed off 47 school nurses right before Christmas. As the Occupy movement pointed out, we have money to build sports arenas, engage in foreign misadventures, fix up public plazas, and give further tax breaks to the wealthy, but no money to insure the health of children in our schools.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Poor Democrats

Photo: A holiday display in the housewares department at macy's Philadelphia The poor Democrats are crying about conservative senate Democrat Ben Nelson's retirement. I'm glad he's going. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, Ben. Another multimillionaire senator retires. Big deal. Nelson was more on the side of the Republicans than he was Democrats, not that the Democrats are all that wonderful...they are not. Both majhor parties suck. They are two branches of the same crappy political party, actually...the party of, by, and for the wealthy and the corporations.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Shoulder Cat

Burmese cats like to hop up on your shoulder. Loki doesn't need much coaching at breakfast time if there is some buttery spread that he can lick off of your toast!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Fun Xmas!

This year for the first time we bought each other cards that say "husband" on them!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Busy Doing Fun Things

Making cookies, working on my antique toy trains, and listening to holiday music!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

By Train To New York

Leaving 30th Street Station in Philadelphia the Amtrak trains cross over the Schuylkill River enroute to Trenton, where the tracks cross the Delaware River near the famous "Trenton Makes..." bridge.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Trying To Enjoy The Holidays

Photos: the holiday tree and toy train layout at 30th Stret Station in Philadelphia This week I hope to try to enjoy the holidays and cast off some of the pressure to do things that one can feel at this time of the year. Thursday December 22 is the winter solstice, and Saturday is Christmas. It's a good time to not let stuff get in the way of a little joy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Obama Supports NDAA Unconstitutional Detentions

Photo: Occupy Philadelphia prepares for an action earlier this Fall The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will not be vetoed by Obama even though the detentions provision trashes the Bill of Rights. Obama supports this outrageous unconstitutional act of Congress. Here is the ACLU's take on Obama and the NDAA:
While the government has the right, under the laws of war, to detain prisoners captured on the battlefield until the end of hostilities, no president should have the power to declare the entire globe a war zone and then seize and detain civilian terrorism suspects anywhere in the world — including within the United States — and to hold them forever without charge or trial. But the Bush and Obama administrations have done just that, defining their powers too broadly, and claiming the authority to pick up and detain without charge or trial prisoners from around the globe who they deem engaged in the "war on terror." If there is reliable evidence against a detainee, he should be prosecuted in our federal courts, which are well-equipped to handle sensitive national security evidence while protecting fundamental rights. If there is not enough reliable evidence for prosecution, there is certainly not enough to justify locking them up – possibly forever.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

NYC Fifth Avenue Holiday Windows

Tiffany's has these fantastic exterior canopies that really call attention to their tiny windows. But this year's best windows are at Bergdorf-Goodman. The theme is Carnival of Animals. This is the underwater-themed window.

6th Ave. NYC Holiday Decorations

Fifth Avenue is fun, but Sixth Avenue is pretty good too!

Hot Chestnuts NYC Style

Why is it that the chestnuts sold by the street vendors in NYC always come right out of the shell with no bother and no mess? When I cook chestnuts at home I always have a tough time getting them out of the shell and removing the internal "skin."

An Arthur Christmas At Grand Central

Pennsylvania Station NYC At The Holidays

Yesterday we visited NYC for the holidays. These two photos were taken at Penn. Station.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Road Trip

Off to the Big Apple to soak up some of the holiday cheer New York City style!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday Light Show

This is the former John Wanamaker store in Philadelphia where for over five decades holiday shoppers have been treated to the fabulous light show in the grand court.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Death Penalty Defeat In PA.

Regardless of Mumia's guilt or innocense, it's good that he won't be put to death.
Almost 30 years after after being sentenced to die for the killing of a white police officer, former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal is getting a slight reprieve. According to the Associated Press, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced his decision Wednesday, with slain Officer Daniel Faulkner’s widow standing next to him as prosectors called off their case.

Obama's Words..But Where's The Beef?

Another blogger, Patricia, isn't buying Obama's new found concern about economic inequality:
"...the people I run into in everyday life, who voted for Obama, NONE of them will vote for him again. They are so deeply disappointed in him. I am in a state of utter disbelief, that he can "act" like he cares about what is happening to the 99%, and at the same time allow the brutality that shut down Occupy in so many cities. Does he really think all those students in debt and people foreclosed upon will vote for him, while he gives us the finger from Hawaii?"

Obama's Game

A friggin awesome analysis of Obama's game and his speech in Kansas yesterday by a blog commenter:
Obama loves to play basketball, oh yeah. His favorite move is to the right till he damn near runs out the clock, then a slight faint to the left (as in Kansas), followed by turning the ball over once again to the other team. Great moves, zero points for the 99%. Sometimes you have to wonder whether Star Obama isn't the sixth man for the opposing club. Anyone, except a Yellow Dog Democrat, eventually catches on.

Romney And Obama: More Alike Than Not

Blogger Karen Garcia of New Paltz, New York:
The inconvenient truth is that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are mirror images of each other. Each panders to his supposed base. Each is a right-of-center fiscal conservative. Their insurance company giveaway health plans are identical. No matter who is elected, each man would serve as apparatchik of Bush's Fourth Term.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Occupy The Future

Photo: At jail solidarity waiting for the release of arrestees outside the police administration building at 8th & Race Streets in Philadelphia A lot of people wonder about the future of the Occupy movement. I think the movement will better utilize the internet and social media to organize, recruit and do outreach. I'm already seeing this on a personal level. My emailbox is filling up daily with Occupy Philadelphia messages since the eviction from Dilworth Plaza.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Occupy Philadelphia Looks To The Future

Statement by Occupy Philadelphia December 2, 2011:
"The change we seek cannot be evicted. About two months ago, Philadelphia was one of the first cities to join what is now a global movement for economic equity. We were inspired by occupations around the world, from Tahrir Square to Wall Street, from London to Madison, Wisconsin. For 55 days, Occupy Philly transformed Dilworth Plaza into a vibrant, living community from which we launched protests, direct actions, and experimented with exciting forms of direct democracy. We also captured the imagination of the entire city. On November 30, with an overwhelming demonstration of excessive use of force and incidents of police violence against non-violent occupiers, the city destroyed our tents and physical resources. They retook the physical space, but they misunderstood the source of our strength. What propels this movement forward is the power of our ideas, including the ideas that political and economic structures should serve all of us. The change we seek cannot be evicted. This eviction has now given us double the drive, double the energy, to continue this movement. Our terrain has shifted from one public square to the entire city. Before their bulldozers moved in, we had already begun to move on. In the hours just before our eviction from Dilworth Plaza occupiers defended Florence Mason’s family home from a violent eviction. And we will only continue to expand our networks, and to organize more broadly throughout Philadelphia. The power of our ideas is unstoppable. We are stronger than ever. Occupy Everything!"

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gingerbread Goodies

Gingerbread houses that were recently on display at Liberty Place, in downtown Philadelphia. The large one is Strawberry Mansion, and the smaller one is the Water Works.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Occupy 2.0

Photo: Last night several hundred Occupy Philadelphia members marched from Rittenhouse Square to the Police Administration building to provide support to their 50 or more arrested comrades. Occupy 2.0 is not about a physical space. The movement is morphing into a strong, flexible and mobile force for justice. During the winter months expect to see many demonstrations and actions. In the Spring there may be more physical encampments. Look for large demonstrations at next year's political conventions - both major political parties. You can't evict an idea!