Car Stripped of Wheels Right Near Councilman’s House in Astoria

Amid stunning blue weather and Japanese maple trees in full crimson glory, I stumbled across this scene on my morning walk.

It’s not my car, but damn, it pissed me off. WTF? The jerk-offs not only had to steal this Nissan Maxima’s wheels, but they also bent the car’s door panel using a plastic milk crate as a make-shift platform. Classy.

And the cherry on top? The crime was committed only a few feet away from Councilman Peter F. Vallone’s house — a symbolic reminder that all his chatter about crime increasing in the 114th Precinct is most definitely not over-blown.

“Precision and Patriotic Zeal” – Scenes from Corpus Christi’s Past

The Library of Congress is constantly uploading many archived photos to their Flickr account, and I couldn’t resist searching “Corpus Christi” to see what was on file. Turns out nearly all of the images are from the Naval Air Base during the second World War. Most are in color, which is pretty amazing considering the time. The photographer for these three, Howard Hollem, was obviously talented.

"Painting the American insignia on airplane wings is a job that Mrs. Irma Lee McElroy, a former office worker, does with precision and patriotic zeal. Mrs. McElroy is a civil service employee at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas. Her husband is a flight instructor."


"Jesse Rhodes Waller, A.O.M., third class, tries out a 30-calibre machine gun he has just installed on a Navy plane, Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas."

"Sailor at the Naval Air Base wears the new type protective clothing and gas mask designed for use in chemical warfare, Corpus Christi, Texas. These uniforms are lighter than the old type"



Introducing: Our New Home

A frosty sunrise at the cabin.

On Friday, after years of saving, planning, daydreaming and discussing, we took a huge leap into adulthood: We bought a weekend home — a cabin, a place we can escape to, a place to enjoy being surrounded by nature. The cabin sits on 10 acres of fairly pristine Catskills forest, on the side of a steep hill, bordered on one side by a little-used country road, and on the other side by a brook that cascades downhill across our acreage, so we can always hear rushing water.

After closing on the cabin, we immediately moved in, and spent the weekend there, clearing debris from the shed and exploring the property, which includes a waterfall, swimming holes and many granite and shale rock formations. And plenty o’ trees.

We’re planning to spend all of Thanksgiving week here, then we’ll shut the cabin down for the winter (maybe next year we’ll be more prepared to go up and enjoy the snow, but for now it’s more our spring/summer/fall home). Thankfully, our first weekend went pretty smoothly — the heat worked wonderfully, the hot water was toasty, and the views were every bit as amazing in November as they were when we first viewed the property back in the summer. Oh and stars! So many stars!

It's mid-November, but still warm enough to enjoy a hike.

Surrounded by green.

We spotted at least two "mega-trees" -- my new name for a cluster of pine trees that grow so close together they look like a humongous mega-tree. I have no idea if this is a special pine tree that does this. So much to learn! They reminded me of the Redwoods in California.

I can't wait to throw a party at the "campground" -- a cleared, private area along the river that's already furnished with patio tables, a fire pit and chairs.

The waterfall on the property, as it looks in summer.

The Longoria Affair: A Battle For Civil Rights

In my family, Dr. Hector P. Garcia is a household name. Here’s why.

The Longoria Affair: A Battle For Civil Rights SIXTY YEARS AGO IN THREE RIVERS, TEXAS, the body of Pvt. Felix Longoria, a Mexican-American soldier, was returned home after his death in the Pacific theater during WWII. But the only funeral home in town refused to hold a wake for Longoria. His family was told: “The whites wouldn’t like it.” "The Longoria Affair," directed by John J. Valdez and airing November 9 as part of PBS's "Independent Lens" series, explores the history of this incident. I … Read More


I’m on Fire

A gorgeous cover of the Springsteen song by Bat for Lashes. And I love it when a cover artist isn’t afraid to flip the gender so the song suddenly takes on a new edge it didn’t have before. “Tell me now baby is she good to you?”

I saw this band play earlier this year in Mexico City. Not sure why I suddenly had to Google them and listen to them, but I’m glad I did.

My New and Homemade Kindle Cover

I spent the last week at my parents’ house in Texas. My father, ever the engineer, and my mother, ever the creative, helped me construct a new-but-old cover for my Kindle.

I’ve had my Kindle for a couple months now, and the screen already has a couple of little scratches on it – yikes! But I thought paying $60 plus for an Amazon-approved cover was a little ridiculous. So, I Googled around and found a way to use an old book. I went to the awesome Half-Price Bookstores in Corpus Christi (one of the few progressive places in town) and deemed the $1 “Eyes of Texas Travel Guide: Panhandle & Plains Edition” the right size to protect my precious e-reader.

To make the cover, I used a $1.50 exacto knife to slice out the pages. Meanwhile, my Dad used the panel from another book to serve as support for the elastic straps that hold the Kindle in. He sawed in holes for two diagonal side strips across the top, and one wide strap across the middle. We then secured strips of $1.39 black elastic to the back of the support board with epoxy. And then epoxied the board to the cover. My Dad also woodcut two small pieces for the bottom, which support the Kindle and also keep the Kindle protected from getting squashed when the cover is closed. See the photos if this isn’t making much sense!

My Mom then found some old material I could use to cover the bare, ragged binding. I cut and hot glued the material down, making sure to keep it loose enough to open the cover all the way, folding it under itself like a magazine.

After letting the epoxy dry, my cover was ready for use. I’m now loving it as I leave my beloved Texas and fly home to NYC.

If I were to do this again, I would probably coordinate all the colors better and use less epoxy. And move the lower tabs to make it easier to access the on/off switch. The cover looks pretty homemade, but that’s OK with me, as it was a labor of love and teamwork. And it cost $5.

(P.S. – this entire post was created using my Droid phone and the terrific WordPress app while I waited for my plane.)


(See another blogger’s nifty duct tape Kindle cover idea, too!)

Introducing FoodPress (via News)

I’ve been working on this for the past few months, and I’m so happy to see it launch! Please read the announcement, then check out!

Introducing FoodPress "Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." Those wise words are from celebrity chef Julia Child, who was never shy about following her passions in life. Child was passionate about many things, but especially food — and she shares that in common with bloggers, who publ … Read More

via News