Wednesday, June 30, 2010

QUOTE OF THE DAY ... "Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, June 28, 2010

“Hands Across the Sand” Protest at Local Beaches

Coney Island Joins Protest Against Offshore Oil Drilling
[Duchess Note: I am about 1.48 minutes into this video wearing white tank top, cap and jeans.]

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Monday, June 21, 2010


Duchess is a member
of the Hufflepuff
House at Hogwarts

Deborah, Hedwig and Linda
grace my humble abode

Duchess in her
Renaissance gown
and Hedwig in her cap

[Duchess Note: The "afternoon tea" consisted of assorted sandwiches, two kinds of cookies, fairy cakes, fresh fruit parfait, trail mix, hummus, crackers, white wine and of course tea. The whole delicious repast was totally Vegan.]

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wednesday, June 2nd, I attended the NYC LOST meetup at the Irish Rogue pub. We watched the last two episodes “What They Died For” and “The End” from season six. Not many of the regulars showed up at this meetup. Those I sat with in our usual spot were Greg, Shannon, Erin and Jax.

Thursday, June 3rd, jumped on the “World Can’t Wait” conference call as a “lurker” at 10pm. The topic was mostly on the Israeli attacks on the May 31st flotilla to the Palestinians in Gaza.

Friday, June 4th, I volunteered with City Harvest at Union Square’s farmers market.

Saturday afternoon, June 5th, I participated in “Stitch ‘n’ Pitch” at METS CitiField, along with 400+ other folk crocheting for the Guinness Book of World Records [2pm]. Afterwards I joined Deborah, Deanna, Jenna, Thom and Tanu at our seats for the Mets/Marlin game which started at 4pm.

Our seats were out in the left field section looking down at 3rd base. Despite the heat and humidity, I enjoyed the game and atmosphere at the stadium. It was a great game and the METS won 6-1. Hurray!

Sunday afternoon, June 6th, I joined Mary, Tim and Dennis in visiting our fellow Tolkien friend Kathy at Mt Sinai rehabilitation, were she is recovering from a mild stroke. Kathy really enjoyed the visit and we caught up on news. Afterwards Tim, Dennis and I had a lite repast at “One Fish Two Fish” on Madison Avenue near East 97th Street.

Tuesday, June 8th, I had a foot doctor appt for therapy on my left foot. My doctor tells me that the nerves in the foot take a good year to “recover” from the surgery. July 31st will mark the one year anniversary since my foot surgery. Afterwards, I headed back up to midtown for the “City Harvest Volunteer Appreciation Party” at HB Burger. Very nice turnout and mostly hung out with Joe, Daniel and Angela. Upon arriving at home I jumped on the monthly “Peace Alliance” conference call at 9pm. The guest speaker was Chic Dambach, and he mostly talked about “peace building”.

Wednesday, June 9th, I participated in the NYdoPeace CCR team conference call.

June 10-13, was ill with stomach and intestinal issues. Took sick days from work and had to cancel several commitments. I caught up on some reading, watching LOST and a few Harry Potter DVDs.

Early Monday evening, June 14th, I attended the John Granger lecture down in Greenwich Village on “Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows”. Many TGTSNBN members attended the event, and as with PotterPundits, John Granger really digs deeply into the “meaning” of Deathly Hallows. Check out for more on the Harry Potter books and John Granger.

Tuesday, June 15th, I participated in the NydoPeace “creative” meeting. Our focus was on creating “Independence Day” cards that we’ll mail to NY City Council members. The focus is geared towards Dept of Peace [HR808], NYC Resolution 14 and working towards non-violent communication/action in our communities. Check out NydoPeace website at OR go to the national site at

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Now serving NYC for more than 25 years, City Harvest is the world’s first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women, and children. This year, City Harvest will collect more than 25 million pounds of excess food from all segments of the food industry, including restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers, and farms. This food is then delivered free of charge to nearly 600 community food programs throughout NYC using a fleet of trucks and bikes as well as volunteers on foot. Each week, City Harvest helps over 260,000 hungry New Yorkers find their next meal.

1] City Harvest will rescue and deliver more than 25 million pounds of food this year.
2] City Harvest delivers food to nearly 600 community food programs that feed hungry New Yorkers.
3] More than one million New Yorkers rely on emergency food at some point during the year, including 350,000 children and more than 140,000 seniors
4] City Harvest operates a kosher initiative to support emergency feeding programs that provide food to those who observe Kashrut dietary laws.
5] City Harvest was founded in 1982, when ordinary people began to transport excess food from local restaurants to programs that served meals to hungry New Yorkers.
6] City Harvest rescues food using a fleet of 17 trucks, cargo bikes and volunteers on foot.
7] City Harvest delivers food nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
8] Fresh produce makes up more than half of the food that City Harvest rescues.
9] City Harvest helps feed more than 260,000 hungry men, women and children each week.
10] Through the course of the year each of the City Harvest trucks will travel 14,000 miles. More than half the distance of the equator.

NOTE: I’ve been a volunteer with City Harvest since the autumn of 2006. Join me and others in helping to feed the hungry by giving a donation or become a volunteer. Thank you!


Laura Flanders, AlterNet

[Duchess Note: When the day comes that we don't have an opinion, we're dead. News Reporters who sit in a chair and take dictation are not News Reporters, they're secretaries to the most corrupt politicians in America, and they’re responsible for the deteriating condition of America, and for lying to the American people. I love and support Helen Thomas. She is my hero and absolutely right! Too bad that now there will be no one in the White House Press Corps to "speak truth to power”. A major loss for "we the people".]

Fred Branfman, AlterNet
As America’s economy and politics continue to unravel, it is clear that the elite mentality and the system it has created will produce more and more victims in the years to come.

Victor Thorn,

Monday, June 07, 2010

Tuesday evening, May 18th, I attended the LOST meetup at the Irish Rogue pub. I got to hang out with Jax, Deborah, Elena, Shannon, Erik, Sarah and Jenni.

Friday morning, May 21st, Lisa and I hosted the BSC CPE Cross Training session at work. I wish I could say it went smoothly, but sadly it didn’t. I’m just glad it is over and done with, as doing “cross-training” can be stressful. That evening I joined other Losties at “The Philosophy of Lost” event at 49 Grove in Greenwich Village. This event was so much fun, interesting and informative. Many who attended I know from the NYC LOST meetup. Three sets of “panel discussions” on philosophy and its connection with regards to LOST. I really enjoyed this event, and a terrific way to round out a long, hectic work week.

Sunday evening, May 23rd, I attended the season finale of LOST at “Down the Hatch” in Greenwich Village. This was the unofficial final NYC LOST meetup and the turnout at the pub was quite large. Throughout the evening I mostly hung out with Deborah, Jax, Elena, Erin, Adam, Daniel, Kevin, Greg, Shannon and Erik. We had drinks, ate pub food, socialized, won LOST door prizes, digital cameras caught “candid” moments, and we watched our fav tv show. [I even won a door prize, plus a "Down the Hatch" t-shirt.] Many were in tears and feeling emotional during the season finale. Those at “Down the Hatch” had mixed feelings regarding the ending of LOST, but overall I was pleased with it. I had a feeling not all of our questions would be answered. Deborah and I hung out after the season finale to watch the Jimmy Kimmel Show, which featured several of the actors from LOST. I got home around 2am ... exhausted and with visions of LOST whirling around my noggin. Good thing I took that Monday off from work. I spent a portion of the day reading the blogs on LOST, chatting on FB and catching up on emails.

Tuesday evening, May 25th, I participated in the NYdoPeace CCR team conference call.

Friday morning, May 28th, I had an appointment with my eye doctor for specific tests to see if my lung meds are affecting the eyes. There seems to be a slight issue regarding my right eye. My doctor will be monitoring it over next month or so. After my appointment I headed uptown to the office for abit before meeting my friend Sheila at Port Authority. She was coming into the city from NJ for the day and I was taking her on a “walking tour” of Brooklyn Heights. While walking around we ran into an acquaintance of mine [Marjorie] and chatted for abit. Sheila and I also checked out Plymouth Church and received a personal tour from Lois. It was a very enjoyable tour, which usually takes place at 12pm on Sundays. Afterwards we had a delicious lunch at Siggy’s on Henry Street. Did more of the tour with a brief rest stop on the promenade, continued the tour and ended up on Montague Street to partake of dessert at Heights Cafe. Then a leisurely stroll back to the A/C subway to head back into Manhattan to take Sheila back to Port Authority. [Duchess Note – Stay tuned for photos from the “walking tour”.]

May 29th through June 1st ... visit my family in upstate NY for the long Memorial Day holiday weekend. Had a nice, relaxing weekend ... helped out around the yard, rode my bike, farmers market, tag sales, cable tv, hair salon, toast vegan marshmallows at the firepit, relax on the screened in porch, sleep late, Memorial Day parade, picnic, etc, etc.

Quote by Henry Ford
Coming together is a beginning
Keeping together is progress
Working together is success


Deborah, Tanu,
Thom and Jenna
after "Stitch 'n'
Pitch" at

Deanna &
with their

Weather was
hot and humid
on June 5th -
trying to stay


Dad riding in a 1929 Ford
Model A during Memorial
Day parade in Cambridge, NY

Chillin by the
firepit over
the holiday

Duchess &
her Mom at
the Memorial
Day Parade
in downtown
Cambridge, NY

Views of my
parents gardens

Poster of the
2010 Cambridge
Valley Annual
Balloon Festival
June 4-6

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Broomsticks up! NYC's Central Park Hosts Muggle Quidditch Games for College, High School Teams
New York, May 31st

In J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, Quidditch is a game like soccer played by wizards and witches on flying broomsticks. The real-life version played by non-magical people known as Muggles stays earthbound, but the matches can be exciting nonetheless. The International Quidditch Association staged an exhibition on Sunday in New York's Central Park, with high school and college teams from around the Northeastern U.S. competing.

Youngsters then got to play, with coaching from Quidditch veterans. Nine-year-old Jivan Galper said he came to watch but thought it was pretty cool that he got to play Quidditch himself. Muggle Quidditch started in 2005 at Vermont's Middlebury College. The commissioner is Alex Benepe, the 23-year-old son of New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

[Duchess Note - Many thanks to Josee in Canada who shared this article.]