Duct Tape Bandages

Hey Honey remember the scissor incident??? they stole your idea...

The nice thing about 3M owning so many lines of products, is that they can cross the brands to make some interesting hybrids.

Nexcare 3M Duct Tape Bandages are bandages made to look and feel like real duct tape. The packaging says they provide "heavy-duty protection for minor cuts and scrapes", and are longer in length to accomodate the meatier fingers of a workin' man.

Teletubbies In Cocaine Bust

Why am I not surprised?

PBS darlings image adorns packages seized in drug cartel arrests

SEPTEMBER 29--While we knew that Tinky Winky was gay, TSG was unaware of the Teletubbies cocaine connection. When federal officials in New York yesterday announced the arrest of 22 members of an international drug cartel, they revealed that cocaine shipments seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were labeled with a sweet portrait of the colorful cartoon quartet. The below photos, snapped by ICE investigators, show the ring's distinctive branding of its product. Frankly, we always suspected that degenerate Laa-Laa was hoovering up its PBS residual checks. This, of course, is not the first time an iconic image has been appropriated by drug dealers.



We saw this on the news today, not good...great something else to worry about ,guess I'll have to make Coal and Bonk Space suits with their own air supply...

Claim: A virus deadly to dogs has been spreading in the canine population of the U.S.

Status: True.

Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2005]

The New Canine Influenza, Greyhound Disease, Race Flu, Equine Influenza, Avian Flu

The New Canine Flu, which has killed so many greyhounds is now in the domestic dog population. There is no treatment and no vaccine. It has jumped species, (by feeding greyhounds raw horse meat, which was infected with horse influenza), (horse influenza is avian flu, which jumped species from birds (avian flu), to horses (horse influenza). The avian flu has now moved to racing greyhounds and domestic dogs and the indications are that there may be a potential problem for humans. It is deadly and it is on the loose. It may just be a matter of time. The CDC is watching the disease.

There is no central tracking agency with report and stat capability for dogs that will get the word out to all vets in the US.

The domestic dog population is at present risk.

This week on my net groups I saw many anecdotal accounts of $100,000 show dogs dying while packed in ice and hooked up to IVs, with high temps. No one knows what is wrong with these dogs and the vets do not know what they are treating. I think it is Greyhound Influenza or Race Flu.

Show populations are now infected and the majority of veterinarians have never heard of the disease. Isolated individuals know this but the country as a whole does not. A few days after exposure at dog shows, dogs are traveling back to their home states and infecting the local populations. Many dogs are dying needlessly. It is not kennel cough.

The period of incubation is 2-5 days. It is airborne, can be transmitted by inanimate objects, and clothing. Virtually all exposed will contract. The morbidity is 80% with 20% being sub clinically affected and shedding the virus. The course of the disease is four weeks. There are two forms, milder and very extreme. Two weeks into the viral disease the dog looks like he is getting over the cough and then bacterial infections become an acute problem. Oft times the owner has reported the dog is well, only to find that a short time later an acute bacterial infection has taken over the dog, in a matter of hours. The owners think the disease has run its course only to learn it hasn't gotten started yet, so dogs are dying needlessly.

My vet thinks earlier rather than later treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics are the best way to treat the disease. With proper vet care perhaps there will only be a mortality of 1-5%.

The information needs to go out so that all vets will know this is not kennel cough, so they will not VAX for kennel cough while ill, and so they can monitor beyond the two week period.

It has been almost impossible for me to understand how in the last four days i have contacted state vets who have never heard of the new influenza, all the while, the people with the info on the disease, refuse to release it nationally.

The AVMA has info that will go out next month. How many will die prior to that? I have begged and cajoled them to do this, so perhaps we are making some headway, however, we need info to go out ASAP.

APHIS says it is not their job.

The people who are handling research on the initial outbreak in FLA., are contacting local, (FLA) BUT not national sources to disseminate information.

Below is a link to a photo album in which i placed the FLA Veterinary Alert and Advisory, which was put out by the FLA VET MED ASSOC., at the request of the State Vet. It is not on the state website.


In my conversations with the researchers at the U. of FLA. I was told, by the lead researcher, who owns greyhounds, that they have no responsibility to provide this info to other states or to other vets. (BTW, Is some of the research funded by the gaming organizations?) (My state, GA., the state of FLA., and three highly placed individuals at Pfizer, told me to call the researcher.) The researcher said to me that cultures do not need to be done on potential affecteds, and she denied that the illness is from horses, though she is quoted in articles as applauding the Cornell researcher who identified it as horse influenza. The FLA state vet said: "We know it came from horses."

The researcher is working to do a contracted vaccine with " a company." She is working on a paper. She did not want to discuss the influenza though her name, email and number appears as the contact source on the state of FLA Veterinary Alert and Advisory that went out to all FLA vets. I was told by some at Pfizer that Pfizer is not the company who is helping her develop the vaccine.

The researcher said the FLA VETERINARY ALERT AND ADVISORY should not be put on the net. However the FLA state Vet, Dr. Thomas Holt, told me, on Fri., Sept 16, 2005 to put it on the net..."Feel free to use it."

Many state vets who do not know anything at all about this illness even though the state of FLA. put out memos on the influenza in August 05 in the state of FLA., without notifying other states.

If the researchers are correct there will be a national epidemic. When a disease is in a mobile population an epidemic is possible. Large groupings of dogs, such as shows, kennels, rescues, etc., are at risk.

Most vets across the country have never heard of the disease. A treatment protocol has not been developed. They are treating it as if it is kennel cough. All vets need to be informed about it ASAP! Many of us concerned dog people would like to see state statistics compiled on the illness and the eventual treatment outcomes.

Folks, this is one of the many new problems we are seeing from feeding raw meat to dogs. Please do not do it.

Origins: In 2004, a virulent form of canine influenza surfaced at greyhound racing parks in Florida. In that outbreak, it infected 24 greyhounds and killed 8 more. The contagion has since been confirmed in seven states, having killed greyhounds at tracks in Florida, Massachusetts, Arizona, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas and Iowa. It is highly contagious, with the uninfected picking it up from the infected via shared items or human contact (kennel workers have carried the virus home with them), in addition to dog-to-dog encounters.

The virus that has been felling greyhounds is an H3N8 flu closely related to an equine flu strain. It is not related to typical human flus or to the H5N1 avian flu that has killed about 100 people in Asia.

Dr. Ruben Donis, chief of molecular genetics for the influenza branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirms the flu jumped from horses to dogs, "a very rare event of considerable scientific interest" and adds "at this point, there is no reason to panic." How that jump occurred is either not known at this point or is not being commented on, so the e-mail's assertion that the eating of raw meat was to blame should be regarded as speculation rather than as fact. While there is always the possibility the virus might again jump species, this time to humans, this strain of flu has been present in horses for more than 40 years yet there are no documented cases of humans catching it or the related canine flu.

A vaccine for the equine flu already exists, and a vaccine for the canine version is under development. The morbidity rate from canine flu has been greatly exaggerated in the article quoted above, which pegs it at 80 per cent. In fact, nearly 80 percent of dogs exposed to the virus contract only a mild form of the disease; the actual morbidity rate is in the much lower range of 5 to 8 per cent, according to Dr. Cynda Crawford, the veterinary immunologist who first isolated it:
The mortality rate is around 5 to 8 percent, says veterinarian Cynda Crawford at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville.

"I want to stress that despite the rumors that are out on the Internet and other such sources, this disease is not as deadly as people want to make it," Crawford said. She says she receives more than 30 calls a day from concerned veterinarians.
Dr. Crawford describes the contagion as producing in dogs "a moist, productive cough that ends in a gagging response, that will persist for one to four weeks, despite treatment with antibiotics or cough suppressants. Some dogs develop a thick, yellow discharge from the nose. A very few dogs will spike a high fever, between 105 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. They become lethargic and weak, with rapid, shallow breathing. This is likely to progress to pneumonia." Other veterinary experts have estimated the potential death rate as between 1 and 10 percent, with the higher percentage applying to very young, very old, or infirm dogs.

Presence of the virus in dogs can be confirmed only through blood tests performed at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Results of such blood screens take as long as two

Dr. Crawford recommends keeping dogs showing symptoms of respiratory disease at home and away from other dogs for up to two weeks. The CDC, which is tracking the disease, issued no official recommendations.

Because the symptoms of this as yet unnamed virus somewhat mimic bordetella, a less virulent illness commonly known as kennel cough, it is hard to ascertain how widespread the flu has become. On the flipside of that confusion, vets in various parts of the country have been thrown into a panic when encountering run-of-the-mill kennel cough in any of their clients, fearing they are instead confronting cases of the new flu.

The Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University inserted a caution against such hair trigger diagnosis within a larger advisory about the potential for the flu to have spread to the state of New York: "One should not lose sight of the fact that all respiratory infections in dogs are not due to canine influenza virus. Adhering to the 'band wagon' approach could result in the failure to appropriately treat dogs with infections previously known to cause respiratory problems in dogs."

We found this good advice for vets and dog owners in our inbox one day:

PLEASE DO NOT PANIC, and do NOT assume that every cough is Canine Influenza. Kennel Cough from parainfluenza and Bordetella is more common. However, the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell is interested in receiving samples from dogs that appear to have kennel cough.

Clinical Signs: Since this is a new pathogen in dogs, there is currently no natural immunity present in the unexposed canine population. Almost all exposed dogs will become infected, and nearly 80% have clinical signs. In the mild form the dogs will have a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days. The cough may be soft and moist or dry. Many dogs will have a nasal discharge from a secondary bacterial infection and low grade fever. The nasal discharge responds to broad spectrum antibiotics.

In the severe form with pneumonia there is a high fever (104-106 F) and respiratory difficulties. X-rays may show consolidation. These dogs often have secondary bacterial infections and have responded to broad-spectrum antibiotics and supportive care including intravenous hydration.

The incubation period is two to five days and dogs may shed virus for seven to 10 days. The disease can spread rapidly throughout a boarding kennel. Dogs that are coughing SHOULD NOT BE BROUGHT TO SHOWS or Performance EVENTS.

Additional information: Bronson Alerts Public to Newly Emerging Canine Flu
(Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services)
Last updated: 27 September 2005


Welsh university offers extraterrestrial degree

Hey Daff , thought of You:)lol....

LONDON (AFP) - A British university has launched a three-year degree course in the hunt for life beyond the planet Earth.

The University of Glamorgan this week launched what it said was Britain's first undergraduate course in astrobiology, the search for extraterrestrial life.

It cited the recent excitement over the possibility of finding life on Saturn's moon Titan as an example of how the search for life beyond Earth is a "major driving force" behind current space programs.

About half a dozen people enrolled this week in the degree course, which will encompass topics like "Exploring the Sky," "Vertebrate Zoology," "Science and the Media," and "Life in the Universe", the university said.

Course leader Professor Mark Brake said there was massive interest in the topic. About 100 people in the local community are studying aspects of the subject.

Though the course will examine popular culture, including films like "ET," students will also study obscure texts, work in laboratories and conduct stargazing.

"People's interest in quite serious and scientific sober issues is often sparked by popular culture," Brake said.

Our Weather for today

Clear 105°F
Humidity:19% Wind Speed:3 MPH Wind Direction:VRB Barometer:29.84 in. Dewpoint:55°F Heat Index:105°F Wind Chill:105°F Visibility:10 mi

Your Animal Personality

Your Power Animal: Eagle

Animal You Were in a Past Life: Whale

You are active, a challenger, and optimistic.
Hard-working, you are always working towards a set goal.



Crudités and toasted pita triangles are good dippers for this Greek mezede.

4 red bell peppers
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups crumbled feta cheese

Char peppers directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and quarter peppers. Puree peppers, oil, garlic, and cheese in processor. Season with salt and pepper. Chill at least 3 hours or overnight.

Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
Bon Appétit
September 2005
Molyvos, New York, NY



1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil
5 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nuoc nam or nam pla),* divided
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
2 tablespoons oyster sauce*
2 fresh lemongrass stalks,** tough outer leaves removed, 4 inches of thick end finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce*
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 3-pound chicken, quartered
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Whisk 1/4 cup oil, 3 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, and next 6 ingredients in large bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Marinate at room temperature 1 hour.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, to skillet (reserve marinade in bowl). Cook 4 minutes. Turn chicken, add reserved marinade to skillet, and transfer to oven. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, about 25 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate.

Add 1/2 cup water, lime juice, remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar to skillet. Bring to boil. Remove from heat, spoon fat from surface, and strain pan juices into small pitcher. Serve chicken with pan juices. *Available in the Asian foods section of many supermarkets and at Asian markets.
**Available in the produce section of many supermarkets and at Asian markets.

Makes 4 servings.
Bon Appétit
September 2005
Nam, New York, NY

Blitzen Blitz, Don't tell Santa.

HELSINKI, Finland - A reindeer injured an elderly couple in the wilds of Finnish Lapland, in a rare attack that caused injuries needing hospital treatment, officials said Monday.

A male reindeer suddenly appeared from a forest and attacked a man who was hiking Sunday with his partner near Kittila, about 620 miles north of Helsinki.

The buck butted the man to the ground and kicked him before turning on the woman who was talking to her son on a mobile phone, Kittila fire chief Jorma Ojala said. The son alerted rescue workers who arrived in helicopters and flew the couple to hospital.

The man and woman were not named, and officials declined to give further details.

A researcher at the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute said the attack came during the peak rutting season when up to 30 female reindeer may be on heat in the territory of one buck.

"Every year in the rutting season, buck reindeer are very possessive about their harems," said Mauri Nieminen, a reindeer expert at the institute. "If a person goes into an area between the reindeer and his females, the buck can easily turn on him or her."

"Normally, reindeer pose no danger at all," Nieminen added.

In Finland, unlike in neighboring Sweden and Norway, there are no wild reindeer. They are domesticated, but are allowed to roam the wilds of Lapland where herders seasonally track them down for branding and slaughter.

Heeey How YOOOU doing...Foggedda about it!!!

A TIDAL wave of imprisoned mobsters, including fero cious Mafia bosses champ ing at the bit to hit the streets, will soon be freed to reclaim the reins of the city's five crime families, The Post has learned.

In an extraordinary interagency memo, the FBI has been warned by the Bureau of Prisons to brace for the release of 80 goodfellas and their close associates, whose sentences behind bars will expire before January 2007, according law-enforcement sources.

The list of hardened hoods in the prisons bureau survey reads like a Who's Who of Mafioso whose exploits were splashed across the front pages during the past two decades:

* Venero "Bennie Eggs" Mangano, 84, legendary underboss to Vincent "Chin" Gigante of the Genovese crime family, is scheduled for release on Nov. 2, 2006, after serving 15 years for his role in rigging window-installation contracts at city projects in the infamous "Windows Case."

* Sal Avellino, 69, the Luchese crime family underboss and one-time chauffeur for family godfather Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, is slated to be released Oct. 10, 2006, after serving 11 years in prison for his role in various mob activities, including the murders of two waste carters who were cooperating with the feds.

* Joe "Joe the German" Watts, 63, former chauffeur and gunslinger for John Gotti, the late Gambino boss, will be freed May 5, after serving 11 years for convictions for murder conspiracy and for an elaborate money-laundering scheme.

* Steve "Stevie Wonder" Crea, 58, a powerful Luchese underboss, is expected to be free Aug. 24 after serving three years for fixing prices on three Manhattan construction projects and extorting money from a Long Island construction company.

* Andrew "Andy Mush" Russo, 71, the capo cousin of Colombo crime family godfather Carmine "The Snake" Persico, who was convicted as the muscle over private carters and is coming out June 6 after serving nine years for racketeering.

* Salvatore "Sammy Meatballs" Aparo, 75, a powerful Genovese capo, will be free May 25 after serving time for a 1991 labor-racketeering conviction in a case in which another mobster was caught on tape bragging, "Hurting people. That's what this is about."

* Charles Carneglia, 59, a trusted Gambino power whose brother, John, was a reputed hit man in the famed slaying of boss Paul "Big Paul" Castellano, will be free May 1 after serving five years for extortion.

* Richard G. Gotti, 37, nephew of the late John Gotti, and son of the Dapper Don's brother, Richard V. Gotti, will be free March 3 after serving three years in the same racketeering case that convicted his father and his uncle, Peter.

Experts say the survey, conducted in July, serves as additional proof that speculation about the demise of the Mafia is vastly premature — despite high-profile defections of mob bosses such as Salvatore "Sammy Bull" Gravano, a succession of celebrated convictions and the latest twist involving a mob lawyer entering the witness-protection program, as The Post reported last week.

"You only hear about the all the guys who flipped, but if you ever took a look at the list of guys who went into prison and how many rolled over, it is not even close," one longtime mob hunter observed.

In fact, there are about 1,100 members of organized crime, with each wiseguy connected to 10 associates, making for a separate rogues' gallery of about 11,000 businessmen, labor officials and others linked to the mob, the sources said.

In recent years, law-enforcement has broken the mob's stranglehold on certain unions and construction industries, but "the nucleus is still there" in those businesses as well as in the Mafia's bread-and-butter pursuit: gambling.

"There's too much money to be made and always people willing to take the shot," one source said, adding that the "same is true of the leadership."

For example, the Gambino power vacuum created by the death of John Gotti and the subsequent imprisonment of brother Peter has been quickly filled by the lower-profiled Nicholas "Little Nick" Corozzo and his brother, Joseph "JoJo."

"For each rat or guy we put in prison, there are 20 others willing to take their place," a mob watcher said. "And none of these guys are coming out to shine shoes."

A prisons bureau spokesperson declined to explain what prompted the mob-inmate survey, but sources say the analysis was handed over to FBI brass in Washington and was being used to update the inmates' connections to the mob and assess "their potential impact" on La Cosa Nostra when they get out.

James Margolin, the FBI spokesman in New York, said the advisory "is further indication of what we have always maintained, that there remains plenty of work to be done in fighting organized crime, and that is why it continues to be a priority for this office."

And as chilling as the recent survey is, it does not list hoods such as Oreste "Ernie Boy" Abbamonte, a major convicted heroin dealer and a member of both the Bonanno and Luchese families, who came out of prison in February.

It also does not mention a future wave of releases expected after 2007 including gangsters such as Liborio "Barney" Bellomo, 48, the former Genovese street boss who is due out in August 2008.

Queen's University Homecoming turns into a drunken street brawl

Shaking head...This is where My Dad went to University, it was a beautiful place , very Ivy Legue then...(late '50's and early '60's)...it is a Family traditiion to go to this place....Sigh....I was going to go there but ended up at UBC instead...

Yahoo! News Photo - Dogs At Work And Play on Yahoo! News Photos



um ...ok...NOT!!!

ok this is weird...

a Dose of Gene BOB:on "RITA"

Here ya go : Texas Big Hair...

This is the cool site of the day:)



Chef Sal Passalacqua of Dimaio Cucina in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, writes: "My father's family is from Sicily and I spent my teenage years there, so that's where a lot of my culinary influences come from. At first glance, Sicilian cooking seems very simple, but that simplicity depends on using the freshest ingredients and often the combination of sweet and tart flavors. The anchovy pasta is a perfect example."
This dish is a variation on the traditional Sicilian pasta made with sardines. Anchovies have replaced the sardines, but the flavors are still very authentic.

Click Link for picture

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 anchovy fillets
1 large onion, very thinly sliced
1 large fresh fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, very thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup dried currants
3/4 pound perciatelli (thick hollow spaghetti) or linguine

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, toasted

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add anchovies; mash with back of fork. Add onion, fennel, and red pepper. Sauté vegetables until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, pine nuts, and currants. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes to blend flavors; season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite.

Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Add saffron to reserved liquid and stir to dissolve. Return pasta and saffron water to pot. Add tomato mixture; toss over low heat until sauce coats pasta. Mix in breadcrumbs and transfer to bowl.

Test-kitchen tip: For fresh breadcrumbs, grind pieces of crustles French bread in processor to coarse crumbs. Then toast on rimmed baking sheet in 350°F oven until golden, about 10 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.
Bon Appétit
September 2005

Your Personality Profile

You are elegant, withdrawn, and brilliant.
Your mind is a weapon, able to solve any puzzle.
You are also great at poking holes in arguments and common beliefs.

For you, comfort and calm are very important.
You tend to thrive on your own and shrug off most affection.
You prefer to protect your emotions and stay strong.

You Are 50% Boyish and 50% Girlish

You are pretty evenly split down the middle - a total eunuch.
Okay, kidding about the eunuch part. But you do get along with both sexes.
You reject traditional gender roles. However, you don't actively fight them.
You're just you. You don't try to be what people expect you to be.

How You Are In Love

You take a while to fall in love with someone. Trust takes time.

You give and take equally in relationships.

You tend to get very attached when you're with someone. You want to see your love all the time.

You love your partner unconditionally and don't try to make them change.

You stay in love for a long time, even if you aren't loved back. When you fall, you fall hard.

Your Blog Should Be Purple

You're an expressive, offbeat blogger who tends to write about anything and everything.
You tend to set blogging trends, and you're the most likely to write your own meme or survey.
You are a bit distant though. Your blog is all about you - not what anyone else has to say.

You Are Somewhat Machiavellian

You're not going to mow over everyone to get ahead...
But you're also powerful enough to make things happen for yourself.
You understand how the world works, even when it's an ugly place.
You just don't get ugly yourself - unless you have to!

Your World View

You are a happy, well-balanced person who likes people and is liked by others.
You question whether many conventional views on morality are valid under all circumstances.
You are essentially a content person.

Sometimes, you consider yourself a little superior.
You are moral by your own standards.
You believe that morality is what best suits the occasion.

What Your Sleeping Position Says

You are calm and rational.
You are also giving and kind - a great friend.
You are easy going and trusting.
However, you are too sensible to fall for mind games.


Cool site of the day



NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hurricane Rita strengthened into a Category 5 storm on Wednesday as it headed for the Texas coast later this week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest update.

The storm, packing winds of 165 mph, was projected to make landfall on Saturday after threatening oil and natural gas facilities in the Gulf Coast region


Rita now Category 4 hurricane

MIAMI (Reuters) - After lashing the Florida Keys, Hurricane Rita was upgraded on Wednesday into a more powerful Category 4 storm as it headed across the Gulf of Mexico on a course that could take it to Texas and dump more rain on Katrina-battered Louisiana.

Rita's winds increased to 135 mph (193-kph) winds as it headed into the Gulf. The storm hit the Florida Keys but did not get close enough to reach the vulnerable chain of islands with its most destructive forces.

The upgrade put Rita in the same strength classification as Hurricane Katrina, which devastated parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama last month, and it sparked concern in financial markets that the new storm could wreak as much damage as Katrina's assault on the U.S. Gulf Coast last month.

U.S. crude-oil prices rose and the dollar weakened against the euro. U.S. stock futures also pointed to a lower market open.

Rita's most likely future track would take it to Texas by the end of the week, raising fears the sprawling storm could bring heavy rains to flooded New Orleans and threaten the recovery of oil production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

With Rita looming, Louisiana declared a state of emergency and New Orleans, 80 percent of which was flooded when Katrina shattered its protective levees, was taking no chances. Mayor Ray Nagin said two busloads of people had been evacuated already and 500 other buses were ready to roll.

"We're a lot smarter this time around," he said. "We've learned a lot of hard lessons."

With grim news footage of Katrina's assault still fresh in their minds, officials along the Texas Gulf Coast prepared for Rita. An evacuation was ordered for Galveston and several schools in the region planned to cancel classes.

About 1,100 Hurricane Katrina evacuees still in Houston's two mass shelters faced another evacuation as the city found itself in Rita's possible path. They were being sent to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.


Rita's center was about 195 miles west of Key West, Florida, at 8 a.m. EDT. The hurricane was headed west into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico at about 14 mph (22 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The hurricane center said Rita became a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale -- with sustained winds above 135 mph (217 kph) on Wednesday morning.

"The conditions over the central Gulf are much like they were for Katrina," hurricane center deputy director Ed Rappaport told CNN.

A major hurricane could send a 20-foot (6-meter) storm surge over the Texas coast by Saturday.

Oil companies just starting to recover from Katrina evacuated Gulf oil rigs as Rita moved toward major energy production areas.

The Navy began moving its remaining fleet of Katrina relief vessels, including the Iwo Jima, away from the Gulf Coast to ride out any potential battering from Rita.

U.S. light crude oil rose $1.80 per barrel to $68, its highest level in three weeks. The dollar lost 1 percent against the euro and Swiss franc, and some analysts cited concerns that damage caused by the hurricanes could prompt the Federal Reserve to scale back plans to raise interest rates.

President George W. Bush was briefed on Tuesday on the growing storm aboard the helicopter assault landing ship Iwo Jima, which is docked in New Orleans and has served as the military's Katrina relief headquarters.

Bush, who was criticized as being caught off guard by the severity of Katrina, said he had sent an admiral to Texas to coordinate any needed response to Rita.

Residents of the Florida Keys were grateful that Rita merely skirted their area.

"We did not have the flooding I thought we'd have," Key West Mayor Jimmy Weekley told reporters. "We were extremely lucky."

All 80,000 residents had been ordered out of the Keys island chain but many stayed behind in boarded-up homes. Rita's winds pushed seawater, sand and seaweed onto the Overseas Highway, the only road linking the islands to the mainland and flooded some buildings.

The storm swamped streets and knocked out power in Key West, the tourist playground at the western end of the island chain. But officials said the city fared well.

Bush signed an emergency declaration making federal assistance available to Florida, at the request of his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Rita was the seventh hurricane to hit Florida in 13 months.

(Additional reporting by Michael Peltier in Tallahassee, Jane Sutton and Michael Christie in Miami, Adam Entous in New Orleans, Mark Babineck in Houston and Marc Frank in Havana)


Smoked Salmon-Stuffed Eggs

Recipe Cookbook The Star Of Texas Cookbook

Prep Time 8 minutes

Cooking Time none

Serves 4 to 6



4 hard-cooked eggs
1/2 cup mashed smoked salmon
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
capers, for garnish
dill weed, for garnish


Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove and mash
yolks. Combine yolks with salmon and mayonnaise.
Fill egg whites with mounds of stuffing and
garnish with capers and dillweed.


Yes I'm Back...

LOL, that's funny, I feel like that a lot....

Ok we are somewhat settled, and Back online,,,YEAH!!!
The move was one giant headache, but aren't all moves?
oh yeah did I mention it is freaking HOT here I mean temp -wise..Like 98 with 90% humidity!!!!No shite, for real!
The house is awesome. We have a big lush backyard,with crepe myrtle trees, and a huge Oak, a garden of Birds of paradise plants , ornamental peppers, and a whole bunch I don't know yet.
The wild life is different as well, we have doves, and wrens, crows,bluejays, humming birds,kamikaze Squirrels and lizards>who hang out in OUR BATHROOM(still trying to figure out where they get in) and dart out at the weirdest times, but mostly hang on the sunscreen netting on the deck.there are neighbor dogs for Coal and Bonk to yell at..
oh yes Coal, my poor little poo, on Friday he suffered a Grand Mal fit and was very close to death, he really was in a bad way...By Sat afternoon he was doing much better and had some food and could walk again, today he is back to normal, and being a goof...Sunday was his 6th birthday(yes we celebrate the dog's birthdays)we are going to get him on some epilepsy meds, poor little guy .
Bianca is learning NOT to bark at the neighbor dogs, with a little water re enforcement>Bianca voice>"I will no bark or I GET THE HOSE AGAIN"...LOL...
It is weird here, good ,but weird.
I miss my friends ALOT! HUGS to Gina,Angie,Brienus,Daff,Don Mo,Sumer and Co., Til and Co.,Sainte Elize House Members.
Back to work for me, Now I have to UN-Pack!!! geeesh!


Hey It's our New House:)

I'll be back next friday ....
miss you Bloglings...

Hey Mondo HUGE thank you to My Best Friend The Gina-Rama!!!!
and she knows why:)
Xab and Bup are doing great and having fun,Coal and Bianca are ok too,they just had a bath...
G-man and I are ok too, glad the house hunt is over...here are some pics, it is way better in real life:)