Blogger returns and everyody has questions, questions, questions

Where were you? Working on a top-secret mission with undercover op Mark Kessler?
No. Mark Kessler was too busy getting arrested for harassment and making terroristic threats. As for any top-secret mission I may have been a part of, I can neither confirm nor deny.

Who will win the GOP presidential nomination?
Mitt Romney.

Seriously, there will be no Republican nominee. The primary vote will split among Trump, Cruz, and Generic Establishment Republican. There will be a brokered convention, and because there no longer are any party brokers, the delegates will never agree on a nominee and the clock will run out. Hillary will get the Democratic nod, and Bernie will beat her on a write-in to win the White House

What do you think about the new season of Kate Gosselin’'s reality show?
The episode where she and the kids stain her deck was literally as exciting as watching paint dry.

Will you be posting more entries in 2016?
Does the pope shit in the woods. Is a bear Catholic. Cryptic enough for you?

Working on anything else? A novel maybe?
Got one on the front burner.

What's it about?
Boxing, time travel, quantum physics, multiverses, and grief and longing.

Cryptic enough for me.

Last night I had the strangest dream


My adviser post for RACC's student newspaper, the Front Street Journal, was being turned into a salaried part-time position, instead of a per-credit stipend. The other applicant I had to compete against was Dick Cheney. The first test in the competition was preparing a dish for the college cafeteria. Cheney made some kind of fruit-flavored slushy concoction; I was planning a veggie grain salad with exotic mushrooms, although I didn't know the deadline because it was around a holiday. Oh, and the Eagle was administering the hire because the job involved a lot of design work, so my chances didn't look good. Then someone gave me a carafe of white wine, which I half-slugged before my 9:30 class.  Things were looking dicey before I woke up.

The Master [Blu-ray]
Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Jesse Plemons, Price Carson

Who is Robert Hoffman and why is he writing those terrible things about Kate Gosselin?

My professional diagnosis as a graphic designer and photographer is that Kate Gosselin is mentally ill and sick on several different levels and needs to get professional help before she seriously injures one or all of her children… or worse.
--Robert Hoffman, preface to "Kate Gosselin: How She Fooled the World"

Well, yes, and my professional diagnosis as a blogger is that Robert Hoffman couldn't tell a daguerreotype from a Dagwood sandwich as a photographer, but I am just being silly.

But as the author of the definitive book on the Jon and Kate meltdown from 2009, "The Secret World of Jon and Kate," I do feel qualified to comment on all things Gosselin and Robert Hoffman's role in this story.

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New look, same old snark

 Is that a starter pistol in your pocket or are you just happy to see this redesigned blog?

Is that a starter pistol in your pocket or are you just happy to see this redesigned blog?

Are my eyes playing tricks on me or does something about this blog look a wee bit  different?
No, faithful reader, your eyes are not deceiving you. This blog does indeed boast a fresh, more streamlined look, designed for 2012, not 2009. Gone are the side panels that added clutter and, for now, most of the Google ads, which few of you clicked on anyway. You can still support this site by clicking here and checking out our rotating roster of sponsors.  And, please, forgive us our hiccups while we get rolling.

What about some of my favorite items that are missing from the sidebars, such as the Reading Eagle Rants? Are they kaput.
Grow up. Poking fun at the morning newspaper is extremely childish. Besides, you don't want to contribute to its march toward bankruptcy. You don't want Dan Kelly to go hungry. Here is what Dan Kelly looks like when he is hungry:


But if you insist, you still can rant away by visiting our old site here.

Can I get my own nice, functional website that works just like yours?
Of course you can. I'm glad you asked. This site is powered by Squarespace 6, the easiest way for anyone to create an exceptional website without having to learn any messy coding. Choose from professionally designed templates to showcase your blog, galleries or portfolios, lickety-split. You can easily import your existing blog from WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, or other popular sites. Best of all, you can give Squarespace 6 a FREE 14-day test-drive without providing any credit card information. Click here to get started.

The typography looks a little funky on some entries.
That's probably from importing different font settings from my old Squarespace site. The new posts will show consistency.

Still no update on the death of Dr. Barrow

The John Jack docked in MontukThere's still no update in the local newspaper about what caused the death of Dr. Timothy Barrow, the Oley Valley veterinarian, in a diving incident off the coast of Long Island last week. No report from the autopsy, nothing about services, whether he was buried at sea and they'll be a memorial service locally, nothing.

Dr.Barrow treated our companion animals for 20 years and, by all accounts, was loved and respected by all he came in contact with.

Another diver, Michael LaPrade, had died earlier that week after descending  to the wreck of the Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria from the same diving boat, the John Jack.

The East Hampton Press did file this update yesterday:

The captain, Richard Benevento, said that a detective had told him not to talk while an investigation was still going on; a woman working at Sportsman’s Marina in Montauk, where the boat was docked on Saturday, also said that the captain wanted privacy.

“Here we have a boat that has an absolutely great captain, phenomenal,” said Bill Pfeiffer, president of the Long Island Diving Association, on Monday. “He’s very experienced. He’s got a wonderful boat. I give him the highest marks possible.”

According to Mr. Pfeiffer, the Norness dive trip was a private charter. Mr. Barrow was “a highly experienced deep wreck diver,” he said, who chartered regularly for overnights “to go out and do the deep stuff.”

Captain Benevento and Mr. Barrow dove together regularly and also had a business relationship, according to Mr. Pfeiffer. Mr. Pfeiffer said he was slightly acquainted with Mr. Barrow, probably from meeting him at trade shows. He did not know Mr. LaPrade, he said.

The East Hampton Town Police Department took statements from those who had been aboard each time the boat returned to the Montauk Coast Guard station with a diver’s body. Chief Ecker said Mr. LaPrade had been “the third in the line going down” and that when the other divers reached the bottom they could not find him. They had descended some 225 feet, he said. They returned to the surface, hoping to see him there; ultimately a second group of divers found him at the bottom, according to police.

The police said that Mr. Barrow, the other diver, had been seen ascending the vessel’s anchor line from a depth of approximately 200 feet.

“They were both going to surface and go to their decompression stops,” Chief Ecker said of Mr. Barrow and his diving companion.

Although an extremely experienced diver, Mr. Barrow did not make decompression stops, according to the chief. When he reached the surface “he was in distress and went unconscious as crew members of the John Jack were lifting him onto the vessel,” a press release from the Police Department said.

Both wreck dives were “technical dives,” meaning they were at depths beyond 130 feet, involving a higher level of training and precautionary measures, such as decompression stops during ascents to the surface.

“Recreational diving, virtually anybody can participate in,” Mr. Pfeiffer said. “It is very safe,” he said, and “not all that hard to do.”

“Recreational diving is driving to 7-Eleven to get milk,” he said, while technical diving “is 
racing in NASCAR. You’re pushing the limits, pushing the envelope.”