Saturday, October 31, 2009

Libya's Treasures All Gone ?

Iason Athanasiadis wrote the following articul for The Christian Science Monitor all about how Leptius Magna and other Libyan  treasures are being looted red handed . Libyan bloggers have made note of this tragedy happening in Libya for years now , and yet it still occurs today , sad to say .

AL KHUMS, LIBYA – Libya has some of the world’s most extraordinary Roman antiquities, yet negligence and understaffed antiquities boards have resulted in ancient cities choked with rubbish and plagued by looting.
“The museums are in wretched shape,” said Donald White, an archaeologist who has excavated in Libya’s Cyrenaica region since the 1960s. “The sites need lots of remedial work to get them up and running.”
When Mr. White last visited a site, he came across a local man smoking a cigarette with one hand and hacking a marble head off with the other. Bystanders were unruffled by White’s outrage. They informed him that the man was a regular who maintained parallel amateur excavations on several holes around the site.
“All the statues we had excavated from the sanctuary of Demeter and Persephone were on the field unguarded, being looted regularly, or in poorly secured storerooms,” another archaeologist added.
Deep in the Sahara, the prehistoric rock carvings of Wadi Metkhandoush are under threat by the vibrations pulsing out from nearby oil drilling. That is when entrepreneurial locals are not removing them haphazardly to sell them to tourists.
Stolen treasures are spirited across the Egyptian border to Cairo or across the Mediterranean in small boats used to ferry Africans illegally to Italy.
Once in Europe, they find their way to the secretive chain of luxury dealers and high-end auction houses stretching from Basel to London and New York. Dealers forge source documents and sell them to museums and private collectors.

Scary Coffin Story !




Walking faster, he looks back and through the fog he makes out the image of an upright casket banging its way down the middle of the street toward him.




Terrified, the man begins to run toward his home, the casket bouncing quickly behind him.






He runs up to his door, fumbles with his keys, opens the door, rushes in, slams and locks the door behind him. However, the casket crashes through his door, with the lid of the casket clapping.




on his heels, as the terrified man runs.

Rushing upstairs to the bathroom, he locks himself in. His heart is pounding; his head is reeling; his breath is coming in sobbing gasps.

With a loud CRASH the casket breaks down the door.

Bumping and clapping toward him.

The man screams and reaches for something, anything, but all he can find is a bottle of cough syrup
! Desperate, he throws the cough syrup at the casket...



(hopefully you're ready for this!!!)


The coffin stops.

Happy Halloween Babycakes !

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Art Going To The Dogs

Some years when a holiday comes around , you might think to yourself , " Wow ! , This year things have gone to the dogs !' You would be correct in thinking this , lol , this time !Check out this jack o lantern art .

Friday, October 23, 2009

Jokes From The Land Of The Flu

Things here are still basically the same in the Land Of The Flu . Moe and I are struggling to keep things up around the Condo . We had to call in reinforcements this week to help us out with the shopping , our son . That turned into a wonderful bonus because not only did he do the shopping for me , but then he cook a huge pot of chicken soup with all sorts if yummy veggies in it . I haven't had to cook for several days now and it sure was a big help.

Our son has always enjoyed cooking . He had his own cook book when he was just a little guy . He would always want to help out in the kitchen when I cooked ,as a little boy . The rule was , when you were tall enough to be able to look into the tallest pot sitting on the stove , then you could do some actual cooking over the fire ... with supervision of course .

Moe used to take the kids with him to work, to one of our restaurants in Houston, once in a while . They would come home with all sorts of adventures to share with me . They had learned how to peel garlic , or almost got locked up in the wine cellar, or the chief threatened to cut their ears off if they didn't stop nagging him for shrimp ,or in our youngest ones case , lime sherbet ! They were spoiled rotten by all the staff . 

The best part was they learned to enjoy all sorts of new foods that most childern their ages never tasted . They LOVED escargot , frog leggs , and Beef Wellinton . They had to be on their best behavior and were taught wonderful table manners so we could take them into any resturante and not annoy the other patrons dinnig there also . They loved these experences and it has helped them later in other life situations .

Now to change the conversation ...... I got this in a email today and liked it . Thought you might like it too . Have a great day !

If you're not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he's the famously erudite scientist and comic who once said: "I woke up one morning and all of my stuff had been stolen and replaced by exact duplicates."

Here are some of his gems:

Borrow money from pessimists -- They don't expect it back.

99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.

All those who believe in psycho-kinetics, raise my hand.

The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

I almost had a psychic girlfriend.....but she left me before we met.

OK, so what's the speed of dark?

How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

Hard work pays off in the future, but laziness pays off now.

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.."

Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

The colder the X-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.

Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have film.

If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?

And there were thes3e gems too !

Last night I played a blank tape at full blast. The mime next door went nuts.

If a person with multiple personalities threatens suicide, is that considered a hostage situation?

How come abbreviated is such a long word?

I went for a walk last night and my kids asked me how long I'd be gone. I said, "The whole time."

Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?

Why do you press harder on a remote-control when you know the battery's dead?

Why do banks charge you a "non-sufficient funds fee" on money they already know you don't have?
If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?

Why is it, when a door is open it's ajar, but when a jar is open, it's not a door?

Do married people live longer than single people or does it just SEEM longer?

Every so often, I like to go to the window, look up, and smile for a satellite picture.

I bought a self learning record to learn Spanish, I turned it on and went to sleep, the record got stuck, the next day I could only stutter in Spanish.

Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?

I filled out an application that said, "In Case Of Emergency Notify". I wrote "Doctor"... I mean .... What's my mother going to do?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Breast Cancer Month Click For Life

This month is  Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is also Internation Breast Cancer Month world wide .In the spirit of helping more women become aware of breast cancer I am posting a link to the Breast Cancer Site .Please click so that a woman can receive a free mammogram .Spread the word to others as well . 
Every Year , more than 40,000 women die from breast cancer in the US alone . You have the power to save lives .Click daily to help. Every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Although mammograms are among the best methods of early detection, 13 million US women 40 years old or older have never had a mammogram in their lives .With a simple daily click on the pink button below you can help fund a free mammogram for a woman in need. It cost you nothing ! Site sponsors fund the mammograms your clicks provide 100% of sponsor funding is given to te non profit National Breast Cancer Foundation . Founded by a 25-year breast cancer survivor ,NBAF seeks to increase awareness through education and provide mammograms to homeless, working poor ,and uninsured women who would not otherwise have access to this lifesaving screening . Early detection is our best protection ! When breast cancer is found early, the 5 year survival rate is 96% . Click today and every day to save a life .

The Breast Cancer Site

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Adventures Of Having The Flu

I think I mentioned in a previous post recently that Moe and I had the flu . We still have the flu . I am getting pretty sick and tired of being sick and tired with this flu !!! All I do is cough , blow my nose ,moan and groan .

I now have laryngitis and can't talk . I have been reduced to talking in sign language with Moe and that is pretty funny sometimes ! Like when my friends call to talk to me , instead of telling them I can't talk because I have lost my voice , he simply tells them I can't talk . Well , to him it is all the same thing , but to them , they probably think I don't WANT to talk to them . Do you see the difference ? 

Anyway ..... now that he has come down with a much milder form of the flu than me , he seems to think he has cornered the market on dieing !I never knew a man could moan and groan so much!
All last week when I was sicker than he is now , he wanted me to take him into town and when I begged off because I was running a fever and couldn't stand up , he would get mad at me . Now he is suffering from a sore throat , he thinks he is dieing ! When I reminded him of last week and the way he treated me when I was so sick , he looks at me like I've lost my mind .

We both are on antibiotics and they are helping a lot . When I 1st came down with this flu , I would try to sleep and couldn't no matter how badly I wanted to . Just the last few days have I been able to sleep more than an hour or two at a time . How nice it is to sleep restfully or as restfully as it is possible when you are coughing all the time . We are drinking lots of fluids and just take things as they come . One good thing about this flu for me is nothing taste good , not even chocolate , so am losing weight . And of course Moe is thrilled over the sound of silence in the house .Now that you are thoroughly bored out of your minds by this terrible blow by blow detailed account of our flu adventures , I will say bye for now . Stay well , OTE

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's Going On At The Condo

Wow ! I can't believe this week is almost over . Time is just flying by . Last week our son's family stayed with us so I could help out with the new baby Yousef, and our other grandson Haroun. It was a busy week filled with all sorts of new adventures .

Yousef is a good baby and really doesn't require much attention but he definitely gets more than his share , lol . Haroun wasn't too sure if he liked his new baby or not . He certainly didn't like Yousef when he cried at night . I think it was the 2nd or the 3rd night they were staying with us , around about 3 a.m. , when Yousef woke up wanting to be feed. He started to cry. He sounds a lot like a kitten when he cry's .That woke Haroun up and he wasn't too happy about being woke up by that Baby ! He started to cry as well . Very loudly too , I might add .So , there they were both crying , when I heard my daughter in law say with near madness in her voice , " Oh My GOD what do I do"? I know it was mean but I couldn't help but laugh to myself . I remember those times with my kids when they were little. 

Having them with us meant we had visitors coming over to see the new baby .That's good but what I disliked and still marvel at, was the stupidity of the people that came over with the flu . Can you believe that ? What Were They Thinking ??? Exposing a new born baby to the flu ? Now Moe and I both have the flu . Thankfully the babies are all ok .

Speaking of the flu ... it seems everyone here has some form of this cold/ flu. Either it is a head cold with the sniffles or a chest cold with the congestion and a hacking cough . Some people have fever and some don't . It is probably NOT the FLU but just a cold making the rounds .Anyway you look at it , if you have it , you are miserable !Hopefully it will only last a few days .

One of my friends is throwing a get together in a couple of weeks for the American women here in Tripoli. We haven't  had a chance to see one another before the summer . Many went home this past summer and started right back to work when they  returned to Tripoli . A few of us have talked or seen one another briefly but not all of us together  in one place at the same time . I am really looking forward to this party . My friend is too , since this will be her 1st get together for all of us at her home . Actually she is very excited  . She is insisting on making this a dual party ; a get together / baby shower for our new grandson . I keep telling her that she doesn't need to do this but it is like talking to a brick wall , lol .

While I am rambling on here ( it's the meds ! LOL !) .... our Condo needs painting .GROAN !!!!!! I would rather just pack up and move to a new place than have painters in to paint .1st you have to find some one you want in your home around your things that you can trust .2nd you have to remove ALL furniture , carpets , drapes , and anything else you don't want paint all over when they finish . The painters come in your home and make a horrible mess , paint all over everthing even a little on the walls , but mostly on the doors , windows , and the floors .You pay them a arm and a leg, or two. Afterwards YOU have the priveldge of cleaning up their mess when they leave your home .THEN you have to put everything BACK where it was before you deconstructed your home for painting .It would just be easier to move ! I hate it when we have to paint . I am hoping we can put off painting until the next decade , lol .I gota go now and blow my nose before it drips all over the keyboard . Bye , OTE

Monday, October 12, 2009

Presenting ... Yousef !

After much anticipation , Haroun's little brother Yousef ( Yousef means Joseph in English ) made his appearance October 1, 2009 ; in Tripoli , Libya . He weighs in at 9 pounds or a little over 4 1/2 kilos . He is so cute ! As you can see he is already smiling for the camera !
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October Calendar

October is one of my favorite months . There are tons of things to do , see, and celebrate in October . I am leaving a list of special days you might want to check out for yourself , below . If you know of any other holidays in October NOT listed , please feel free to send them in to the comments section . 

Several of my personal favorites are: Bald and Free Day Oct. 7th and 14th. Then there is the Mad Hatter Day on the 6th .  World Smile Day is also on the 7th . Now that is a very important day!Curious Events Day is a very curious day don't you think ? What happens on that day ? We will have to wait until Oct. 9th to find out I guess. But maybe the most important day is the Moment Of Frustration Day on Oct.12 , which is also Columbus Day in the USA . I am pretty sure I won't be celebrating Moldy Cheese Day on Oct. the 9th.and I think I will pass on World Egg Day too. But on the other hand , Count Your Buttons Day might be a good day if you are worried about your buttons .  Babbling Day has a very special place in my heart just because I love to babble on and on so much . Have you ever noticed that ? LOL !! Which is your favorite day ?


October, 2009 Bizarre and Unique Holidays

  • Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
  • American Pharmacist Month
  • Apple Jack Month
  • Awareness Month
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Clergy Appreciation Month
  • Computer Learning Month
  • Cookie Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Eat Country Ham Month
  • International Drum Month
  • Lupus Awareness Month
  • National Diabetes Month
  • National Pizza Month
  • National Vegetarian Month
  • National Popcorn Popping Month
  • Sarcastic Month
  • Seafood Month
Weekly Celebrations:
  • Week 1 Get Organized Week
  • Week 1 Customer Service Week
  • Week 2 Fire Prevention Week
  • Week 2 Pet Peeve Week
  • Week 3 Pastoral Care Week

Each Day:
1 World Vegetarian Day
2 National Custodial Worker Day
2 Name Your Car Day
3 International Frugal Fun Day - first Saturday of the month
3 Techies Day
3 Virus Appreciation Day
4 National Golf Day
4 National Frappe Day
4 Oktoberfest in Germany ends, date varies
5 Do Something Nice Day
5 World Teacher's Day
6 Come and Take it Day
6 Mad Hatter Day
6 Physician Assistant Day
7 Bald and Free Day
7 World Smile Day
8 American Touch Tag Day
9 Curious Events Day
9 Fire Prevention Day
Leif Erikson Day
9 Moldy Cheese Day
9 World Egg Day -  second Friday of the month
10 International Newspaper Carrier Day -date varies each year
10 National Angel Food Cake Day
11 It's My Party Day
11 Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day
12 Columbus Day - second Monday of month
12 Cookbook Launch Day
12 Old Farmer's Day
12 Moment of Frustration Day
13 International Skeptics Day
14 Be Bald and Free Day
14 Emergency Nurses Day- date varies
14 National Dessert Day - take an extra helping, or two
15 White Cane Safety Day
16 Bosses Day
16 Dictionary Day
17  Sweetest Day Third Saturday of month
17 Wear Something Gaudy Day
18 No Beard Day  
19 Evaluate Your Life Day
20 Brandied Fruit Day    
21 Babbling Day
21 Count Your Buttons Day
21 National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day find a recipe, too.
22 National Nut Day
23 National Mole Day
23 Tv Talk Show Host Day
24 United Nations Day    
24 Make a Difference Day-  fourth Saturday of the month, an opportunity for neighbors to help neighbors.
24 National Bologna Day
25  Mother-In-Law Day - fourth Sunday in October
25 Punk for a Day Day
25 World Pasta Day
26 National Mincemeat Day
27 National Tell a Story Day - in Scotland and the U.K.
27 Navy Day
28 Plush Animal Lover's Day    
29 Hermit Day
29 National Frankenstein Day
30 Frankenstein Friday - last Friday in October
30 National Candy Corn Day
30 Mischief Night
31 Carve a Pumpkin Day - no surprise here
31 Halloween
31 Increase Your Psychic Powers Day

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Didn't Know My Own Strength

I dedicate this Whitney Houston song to you. Know that you are strong and can make it. You won't crumble. Hold your head high. You aren't broken.
Blessings , OTE

Friday, October 2, 2009

Do You Know Anyone ....

I am upset right now , when I should be happy . Our newest grandson was born this afternoon at Jallal hospital , here in Tripoli . This is the main government maternity hospital . Our daughter in law went into labor last night . Our son took her there to be admitted since this is where she was registered . Evidently if you are registered with one hospital , you will not be admitted to another . I am not sure if this is true or not but this is what we were told at the other government hospitals that accept maternity patients .

She was taken in , examined , found to be in labor . Other obvious signs of eminent birth were evident,then she was told to go home. They told her to come back," when she was in too much pain ".It was 3 a.m. in the morning . Luckily our son was still in the lobby downstairs and even luckier , he was able to find a taxi at that hour of the morning .

BUT WHAT IF ... he hadn't been there ? What IF she had been there all alone? Would they have thrown her out onto the street ? In Labor ? Sounds preposterous doesn't it ? Do you know the reason WHY they sent her home without first doing an ultra sound to check if the baby was ok and not in trouble ? Actually , in the entire nine months , she never received one ultra sound and she was sent to private clinics ( pay clinics) for basic blood work that should have been done in the hospital  for free. They didn't have enough beds. Enough beds. In THE maternity hospital . Half the population of Libya are women . More than 75% of THEM are of child bearing age . Again , I ask you , NO BEDS ?

Why didn't they send her to one of the other hospitals that take maternity patients ? They know the other hospitals will not accept her with out a paper from them. This they were unwilling to supply. A extremely upsetting LONG story short ... it took some one, that knew some one, to get her admitted( what they call here WHASTA or INFLUENCE ) in time to have her baby today . Thank Allah our daughter in law and baby are both well . Thank Allah we knew some one , that knew some one . And people this is not an isolated occurrence , sad to say . The horror stories you hear about really do happen . IN OTHER PLACES IN THE WORLD AS WELL , I AM SURE !!!

There are many specialized hospitals owned and run by the government here in Libya, most of them located in Tripoli . There is the tuberculosis hospital that no one in the West would even think of putting their sick dog in for any reason . I am not too sure when it was built, but quite awhile ago by the looks of it .When my son was there as a patient in 2003 there were open sewers running through the hospital even though the patients had no water in the toilet area .One can only hope things have improved since then.

The Sugar hospital for those with diabetes, has been gutted and supposedly under reconstruction . I haven't seen much of that happening this last year or so . I am not too sure where the majority of people here in Libya with diabetes go now for treatment and/or counciling ( ha, ha ) but probably to one of the main hospitals . I am unsure about that , but consider this, 1 in 3 people in Libya have diabetes. That is 1 in 3 . Most of the population . That is a lot of sick people.  Most patients are ill and hospitalized due to lack of education as to how they should manage their disease . 

Diabetes many times goes hand in hand with heart disease . That leads us to the Heart hospital in Tagura that in the last few years was given a face lift and revamped, so I am told . I have even been told that they have specialist come in from Italy now and then to consult or do difficult heart surgery's . Not too sure if that is true or not .Originally attached to it was a maternity/ pediatric hospital  .That may or may not still be there . I haven't heard anyone mention any babies being born there in years .I think they are referred to Jallal , the maternity hospital in Tripoli , maybe not? 

The two main all purpose general hospitals in Tripoli that provide comprehensive health care are both over crowed, as are all of the government hospitals. One of the main hospitals is so old , it was built by the Italians as a charity hospital way back when . It too has been renovated recently . I have been a guest there several times ; a long time ago when it still looked like something  from WW1, and recently very briefly before being transferred to TMC . It is a little better now , but not much, unless you have some sort of influence to grease the wheels, if not .... . 

The other main general hospital is Tripoli Medical Center ( Tuby) ,or as it is also known, TMC. It is a hugh hospital spread out over many acres of land . It is newer than the other hospital. They have all departments, as dose the other hospital I mentioned above. Both are teaching hospitals and provide general care to all  FOR FREE , which all government hospitals here in Libya do. 

This is a godsend , even if the care is lacking in many cases, since most people here in Libya can not afford the many private hospitals that are scattered around. And by the way , just because you can afford to pay an arm and/or a leg for care in these PRIVATE hospitals , it doesn't mean you are guarantied QUALITY CARE . They can be equally as bad as the alternative government hospitals. Many times if the disease or illness is too dangerous or difficult for them to treat , they will send you to a government hospital anyway .

A emergency triage hospital was built in the slum area . It is used mainly for the many horrible traffic accident victims , but other things as well . It is newish , so might still be nice . Not too much has been said about this hospital , it's services , or it's facility's . There are probably more specialized hospitals I haven't heard about . I think there is one or two facilities for rehabilitation .I have also heard of a burn hospital.

All these hospitals are state run and provided for . That is good . What isn't good is the general management,  the half trained doctors , NOT ALL OF THEM , JUST ENOUGH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. The lack of supplies , the " I don't care because I am A DOCTOR" superior attitude that many of the doctors have toward their patients ,here again ... NOT ALL DOCTORS BUT ENOUGH  to insult the intelligence of their patients or treat them as babies. 

I have to say this , when I was last a guest of TMC in May,  I over heard one professor telling his students to listen to what the patient has to say , to observe their face for signs of pain . I remember thinking now here is a intuitive doctor . Sad to say, many of his students were not paying attention to this valuable lesson. 

Last but NOT LEAST ... the horribly ill equipped and non existent trained nursing staff . The foreign trained nurses and a handful of Libyan nurses know their stuff. Once I watched as a Libyan nurse took my blood pressure . She wrapped the blood pressure cuff around my arm , pumped it up , listened to it with her stethoscope in her ears , as the other end that SHOULD have been tucked under the cuff dangled down in front of her , unattached . She smile confidently at me as she told me my blood pressure was normal when  I asked her for chuckles and grins what it was . I have high blood pressure . Can you believe that ?

OK , HERE IS THE DISCLAIMER ........  Sh-t happens everywhere, in all parts of the world, in ALL hospitals , WITH ALL DOCTORS . I know that . I have been in enough of  hospitals around the world to be a expert witness, trust me . You can always tell a good doctor , nurse , hospital , or staff , THEY LISTEN TO WHAT YOU SAY!!! They pay attention and most importantly .... THEY CARE !!! God bless the ones that do care !!!