Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bergen County, New Jersey. Elections. 2011. District 38. Bob Gordon. Connie Wagner. Message from the League of Humane Voters of New Jersey.

Hello Fellow Animal Lovers,

I met many of you during our successful fight to help save the future of Bergen County geese and/or our battle to save the deer of Garret Mountain. It is a pleasure to know you all, who take the time out of your busy lives to help animals. Now, I'd like to ask you to do something important. I know it's easy to be cynical about politics, but, in this case, you CAN make a difference! There is less than 1 1/2 weeks until election day and it could mean something BIG for our animals!

Because of re-districting, the most competitive race in the state is right here! - District 38 - our LOCAL district....

District 38 includes Bergenfield, Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Hasbrouck Heights, Hawthorne (Passaic County), Lodi, Maywood, New Milford, Oradell, Paramus, River Edge, Rochelle Park and Saddle Brook.

League of Humane Voters of NJ (LOHVNJ) has endorsed State Senator Bob Gordon and Assemblywoman Connie Wagner because of their ON-RECORD VOTES to help NJ animals, including deer. (Details on bills they supported & opposed can be supplied.) At times, they went against their own party-leadership to help animals.
They need our help now. This year will be a low turn out election (which benefits their rivals) and EVERY VOTE will matter. Get your friends & family out to the polls & PLEASE, give a little volunteer time before Nov. 8th. (You don't have to live in district to volunteer.) The campaign office for the District 38 team is located at 338 President Street, Saddle Brook, NJ 07663. The campaign office phone number is 973-928-3545 website: Please speak to Adam, the volunteer coordinator. They need help in everything from dropping campaign literature in doors to making phone calls. Please give some time. ***Don't forget: When you volunteer, say you are voting in favor of animals and you are a proud member of the League of Humane Voters of NJ! Let them know that we helped :)

Don't forget to support Bergen County Freeholder David Ganz who wrote the Bergen County anti-bear hunt resolution, as well as the prohibition of geese gassing resolution, as well as fellow-Freeholder Candidate Joan Voss who, as an Assemblywoman, was a strident animal supporter.

We can start to turn the tide for NJ animals by keeping their friends in office. LOHVNJ is NON-PARTISAN. We are only supporting people who have a record of helping animals. Please act on this email. Animals can't vote, but we can - be their voice!

Julie O'Connor
Legislative District Director
League of Humane Voters of NJ

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spot the Cat in the Photo. Accidental Invisiblity. Look Hard and Be Rewarded.

I suspect that this photo has been circulating on the web for a while when it finally made it to my inbox. The challenge before us is to spot the cat in the photo. Yes, this is meant to develop a little frustration in you, but it isn't a fool's errand. There really is a cat in this photo. You need to find it.

I recall a documentary on television on how the American army was working hard on invisibility. If the enemy can't see you, then you have a definite, if not decisive, advantage. But the American army's concept of invisibility doesn't entail an actual disappearance from the scene. Their concept involved blending into the background so well that invisibility is achieved. They do this by electronically mapping the background against which a sniper is positioned and then projecting the same patterns on the front of the sniper's gear---rendering him indistinguishable from the background. Invisibility!

Good luck spotting the cat. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

France and Germany. A Wonderful Trip Concluded. October 2011.

I have just concluded a two-week trip to France and Germany, spending seven days outside Paris and six days in Berlin. The last time I was in Paris was 20 years ago. I went to see the same sights and I was struck at how places do not change as much as people do. Sacre Couer looked pretty much the same, but I certainly have lost a considerable amount of my energy and retentive powers since 1992. I do not know if I have another twenty years to live, quite frankly, but cities will live on.

Staying outside Paris, I had the chance to hit the roads. The French drive like crazy, and motorcyclists were even crazier with the way they weaved like daredevils through traffic. Many times, they cut you off with only a foot or two between your hood and their tail lights. But, everyone seemed to anticipate the other's bad driving quite well, resulting in no accidents. One can't see this sort of driving when touring Paris, but it becomes quite obvious once you go on and beyond the Peripherique (beltway) that surrounds Paris.

This time, I was able to visit Rheims, Fontainebleu, Mont St. Michel, and Chartres. These cities are all worth the effort. The drive to the Brittany coast took four hours from the Bailly-Romainvillers area, thirty minutes East of Paris. The last seven kilometers offered dramatic views of Mont St. Michel, jutting up from the horizon like a staircase to Heaven. I passed hamlets with clustered, stone houses; all seemed void of any inhabitants. It wasn't hard to imagine hoards of English invaders in the middle ages fanning out into the countryside, and ultimately making a beeline towards Mont St. Michel.

Berlin, because it has two overlapping train systems, is very easy to navigate. The Ubahn operates on schedule and so with the suburban S lines and the public buses. The Germans are efficient. Their main train station, the Hauptbahnhof, is a masterpiece of glass and stainless steel, an awesome multi-level train station that I believe is an impossibility in the United States. I pity the Berliner who happens to find himself at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. The PABT, in all honesty, is a pigsty compared to the Hauptbahnhof.

If you're not impressed by the smart trains and the swishing sounds they make, you might be glad to know that dogs are allowed on the trains. And they don't have to be seeing-eye dogs. In fact, dogs are allowed all over the city. About a third of the people walking their dogs in Berlin didn't have a leash on their dogs. Those dogs just faithfully followed in the footsteps of their guardians. No problem. In the outer fringes of Berlin, I saw a man command his unleashed dog to sit at the supermarket's entrance while he shopped, and the dog stayed put.

I took the 30-minute train ride to Potsdam to see Frederick the Great's Summer palace called, Sans Soucci. It is surround by cascading grounds that used to be orchards. Frederick the Great loved fruits and nature altogether. And what did I encounter on those hallowed grounds--- Potsdamers with their dogs in tow.

I was on the S-7 line when I snapped this photo of a dog. The dogs all seemed well-behaved, and their owners do their utmost to minimize the amount of space their dogs take up. It was an exemplary combination of good behaviour and responsible pet ownership.