Senator Rand Paul at The Reagan Library

Update.  Disregard everything in this post.  I’m a Rubio Girl!

I’m just linking to the video. I’ve watched the speech twice now and I was pleasantly startled several times. Mostly, I was caught off balance at how much he spoke to me, a native Californian and a conservative. Like many others I’ve had pre-conceived notions about self described libertarians. Imagine my surprise when I find myself nodding in the affirmative to many of the concepts Senator Paul discusses.

It’s not that I don’t understand the basic tenets of libertarianism; I do. It’s just that there seem to be 50 shades of libertarians. All that aside, his shade speaks to me. He calls himself a “Libertarian, Conservative, Republican.” I like that. He’s not shirking from the Republican bit. Nor do I. He talks about how to win in California. He’s spot on. I may not be a political pro but I am an expert on my native state.

Mostly though, he speaks to me when he talks of “passion.” I had it. I was even known for it. I lost it somewhere around 2010 when the conservative sweep came to a screeching halt right around the Rocky Mountains. Passion. Rand Paul sparked a bit of it during his infamous filibuster and he sparked it again last night during this speech.

I still have questions. It’s early days. We don’t even know (for sure) if he’s running but, this speech put the Senator from Kentucky on my radar. I hope you’ll take some time and watch it.

Scout and Zebulon!

I knew I had a great veterinarian when he looked Scout dead in the eye and asked him excitedly “have you ever seen a kitty cat?” Scout had seen a kitty cat and was fairly oblivious to it but the cat was on the fence and stayed out of Scout’s way. So, until yesterday, Scout’s temperament around cats was pretty much unknown! Fast forward a few months and I’m searching for someone to Scout Sit when we leave town for a few days in June. My friend and Scout’s trainer, Megan, offered to watch him while we are away. Her only concern was how he would get along with her cats.

I was a bit worried also as several prominent websites note that Vizslas notoriously do not get along with cats. Yesterday was the test! The Marine and I had plans and Megan “Scout Sat” for us. We were having a lovely time when I received a text from Megan. I thought “Uh Oh” but no! It was the BEST text. A picture of Scout and Zebulon the cat lounging like BFF’s!

Scout and Zebulon!

By the way, that is one of Megan’s Siberian Huskies, Kaytu, hanging out in the background. If you’ve followed my Scout tales you will know that it is tough to keep Scout calm long enough to obtain a good photo never mind one of him hanging out with a CAT! Scout is 20 months old and though he’s a grown dog he is a typical Vizsla and as one website states they are “slow to mature.” In other words, they are wild and crazy puppies until they are about 4 years old.

Megan has the “touch” though. In fact, until she offered to watch Scout when we go on our little vacay, I was quite worried about where I would leave him. Another benefit of leaving Scout with Megan is that he will likely get some good training. Megan just cannot help herself. She’s a natural with animals.

To that end, I am linking her website here and giving her a huge shout out and recommend. Megan is not only a great friend but she’s an excellent dog trainer. Megan offers services that I’ve never seen in San Diego such as urban mushing. This is where she teaches owners to harness the dogs and have them pull them on their bikes. Or, in my case: this is where Megan harnesses Scout and one of her Huskies and has them pull HER on HER bike! If you live in San Diego County please check out Megan and The Mannerly Mutt. I have no hesitation in giving her a FOUR PAWS UP recommendation! Scout has had 3 trainers since we got him at 7 months of age but only Megan has lasted. Only Megan can get him to lie with a kitty cat. Call her!

Oh, p.s… There is no truth to the Rumor that we named Scout after Demi Moore’s daughter (of the same name). We dubbed him “Scout” based on a recommendation by my friend Kathy on twitter and I thought it was perfect! “To Kill a Mockingbird” is one of my favorite books and movies and the character “Scout” embodies everything that I had hoped for my puppy. That he be curious, happy, get along well with people and animals and always “Scout” around the corner for the next adventure. He has certainly lived up to his namesake. Interestingly, Zebulon the cat was named for Zebulon Pike and more specifically for Pike’s Peak in Colorado (from where Megan and her husband hail).

Finally, please note that Megan is a true patriot who is married to a service member and offers Military Discounts on all services. Please do give her a call and tell her that Scout sent you!

The Californy Hillbillies!

Must be sung to the tune of “The Beverly Hillbillies Theme Song, and with a twang.”

Come and listen to a story bout a man named Red
A self made man who rarely went to bed,
He worked so much he was always in a mood
His wife told him that lately he was rude!

Mean and such. From working much…

Well, next thing you know old Red’s a millionaire
The wise folk said “ Red move away from there!”
Said, Californy is the place you wanna flee
So they loaded up the truck and they moved to Tennessee

To a farm you know. In an S.U.V.

The state of Californy does want to try to bilk,
Red and folks that are his working ilk,
The only question left if you make a lot of dough
is where in America should the cap it al ists go?

Florida, Texas, Tennessee. Sit a spell. Put your feet up, have a beer. Ya’ll come back for a visit, hear?

FTR Radio & Smart Girl Politics Operation Helping Hand To Benefit Sandy Victims.

My Marine grew up in an idyllic little town called Highlands, New Jersey.  It’s his home town.  Most of his family has left but one sister still lives there.  A lovely little home down by the seashore, or it was.  Like many others my sister in law and her husband were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.  The above video shows some of the havoc that was wreaked on Highlands. ( If you cannot tolerate the Springsteen music please mute it and just watch).  My focus is on Highlands since we have family there.  Obviously, there were many other areas in several states that were hit hard by this nasty hurricane.

The last update we had from sis was not great.  They still had no power and were waiting for their insurance company to get back to them.   They have done as much as they can on their own and the community has been pulling together to help but this is just an atrocious situation.  The insurers are either overwhelmed or not in any hurry (or both).  She and her husband have  “mudded” out their basement and lower floor and there was raw sewage which is an obvious health concern.  All appliances and anything that couldn’t be moved up are destroyed.  The interior of the home will have to be re-done as well.  They have pulled out the sheetrock and scrubbed as best they can.    Leaving their home is not an option as there have been incidences of looting on their Street.  They are seasoned in the way of Hurricanes and no one had to come to their aid but,  they will need help.  This is just a tiny bit of their account which is actually much worse.  The good news is they were not injured.  The bad news is that no help is coming any time soon.  Many that are employed missed much work and won’t be compensated for that time.  Even those with good insurance have significant deductibles and will likely see hefty premium increases.

I hope everyone will tune in today from 7-11 eastern for this radiothon.  As we know by now, these victims need help.  Government  help and/or insurance payments are  not coming quickly enough and we need to assist as much as we can.  It’s what we do!  I know the economy is bad but, please give what you can.  Those $10.00 donations add up quickly.  Thank you to everyone who is contributing to this effort and a special thank you to FTR Radio and Smart Girl Politics!  A super special thank you to Anna Little who went to check on my sister in law and was on the ground, helping victims right before the election. ( Highlands blew it on that one, but that’s for another day).   I hope you will tune in and take part in the radioathon but if you cannot,  please give what you can to the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund The United Way is waiving all administrative expenses for this effort and all donations are tax deductible.  Additionally, if you like,  you can designate which State you wish your monies to go to.

Finally, a word about some responses I have been seeing on social media.  Most of you have been great, spreading the word and positive messages.  Some have unfortunately been nasty.  “Why are we helping blue states.”  “Governor Cuomo said everything is fine.” etc.   This is not about politics folks, this is about helping victims of a horrendous natural disaster. I’m a huge fan of snark when appropriate; this is not one of those times.  Please, set aside the snarky comments for another day.  In other words, either help or get out of my way.  This one is personal.  Now, let’s get out there and walk the talk.  I thank you, The Marine thanks you and his sister thanks you.

A Deployed Army Nurse Needs a Foster Home For Her Dog. Please Help~!

UPDATE: 6/9/13 It is with great sadness that Megan was told that Diesel has died. He was struck by a car and underwent surgery but he did not survive. Rest In Peace Diesel.

UPDATE:  2/7/13  Diesel is home with his Army Nurse Owner!  Diesel’s owner came home early from her deployment and I am pleased to announce that Diesel is back at home with her.  He never did leave Megan’s good care and it was a bitter sweet parting. Here are Megan and Diesel on KUSI news in San Diego just prior to his departure. Everyone at the dog park miss Diesel but we are happy that he’s home.

KUSI.com – KUSI News – San Diego CA – News, Weather, PPR

To close this chapter I’d like to recommend Megan.  She’s helped train Scout and is a wonderful dog trainer.  Check her out at www.theMannerlyMutt.com Thank you to all that helped to try to find Diesel an interim home.

UPDATE:  A Producer from KUSI News in San Diego saw this blog post and invited Megan and Diesel on the local news this morning.  Diesel (and Megan) were on their best behavior.  Below is a clip of that interview.  As of now, Diesel still needs a home.  As you can see he is a sweet, well mannered dog.  There are also photos of the Army Nurse and her adorable baby.  Let’s get this done, for her:

Diesel is a male boxer and is a year and 8 months old, and weighs about 70 lbs. He has an owner who is a single mom and is a nurse in the Army. She is currently deployed in Afghanistan. Her toddler-aged son is with her parents but they could not take Diesel. The owner will be returning in about 10 months. Diesel is her baby and she really cares about him. He gets along great with cats and kids, and also gets along great with most dogs but can be a bit too bouncy and energetic for some. He is very people-oriented, loves to play fetch, and he is potty trained and knows basic commands. Overall he has good manners and does not jump up, get into trash, or grab food off counters.  He is neutered.   He is smart and learns new things quickly. Daily play and running will be needed as he has a lot of energy. He walks great on leash without pulling and has also been doing “urban mushing” pulling a bike. Diesel has been with my friend Megan for  over 6 months but she must find him a new foster home preferably in the  San Diego area for the remainder of his owner’s deployment.  (Preferably San Diego but will consider elsewhere in Southern California).  The foster organization will cover expenses. To fill out an application, visit https://www.netpets.org/netp/fosterhome.php.   The very last box says “Personal information and comments” and there you should indicate you are interested in  ” Diesel, D0190428*2a112 ”  Finally, please contact his current foster mom at : meg.lundberg@gmail.com so she can ensure the foster entity is aware.  As you can see, they have no social media and are not really helping Megan find a new foster for Diesel.

Diesel is currently being fostered by my friend and Scout’s trainer Megan.  Megan is a military wife and has just started her own business and can no longer take care of Diesel due to time constraints.  She has had him for about 6 months and has done a great job training him.   Scout and Diesel play together on a regular basis.  I can attest to the fact that he is a nice dog and Megan has done a wonderful job with him.

Please help me help Megan help this deployed service member.  Freedom is not free.  Thank you all!

If you have any questions or if I can facilitate this in any way please tweet me at @hipEchik

In Loving Memory Of Andrew Breitbart. From “Hippychick”

By now you’ve likely read many stories penned by great authors about their adventures  with Andrew Breitbart.  This one is mine.  I’m no great author and I’ve been trying to write this since the day Andrew died but I’ve had writer’s block since California lost in the elections of 2010.  It’s thanks to Andrew that I am once again writing, something I have always loved to do.

My husband and I were invited to attend Troopathon last year by our friend Nick Popaditch.  He was one of the honored speakers at this yearly event which is sponsored by Move America Forward and is, as the name implies, a marathon to benefit the troops.  I really had no expectations but was excited to be with friends, help support the troops and to see the Richard M. Nixon library.  I’d never been to a presidential library before.  It was to be a day of many “firsts”.  We set off early in the morning which was a good thing.  It was to be a whirlwind day.  The date was June 20, 2011.

The day was surreal.  I knew by then that when hanging out with the Popaditch’s anything can happen.  We were introduced to many famous people and I finally met a lot of folks I had previously only known via twitter.  My head spun with all of the activity and excitement.   I wasn’t shy about introducing myself to anyone but I just couldn’t bring myself to walk up to Andrew and say “hey, I’m Teri” or some such thing.   Still, I eyed him all day.  A couple of times he caught my glances and I almost had the gumption but then he would roller blade off or be called back on camera or he’d be tweeting or, something would come up.   My friends laughed at me.  They offered to introduce me but I demurred.   It was Andrew Breitbart!  Yes, we followed one another on twitter and had exchanged tweets and even done battle together one night but, I just couldn’t do it!

After a long, hot day of non stop festivities, fund raising and meeting and greeting it was time for dinner.  The dinner is a story of its own and I will write about it another day.  Suffice to say it was incredible.  At some point during or maybe after this meal I got up to grab another cocktail.  I was headed back to the table when I heard someone yelling loudly: “Hippychick!”  I turned around and lo and behold Andrew Breitbart was running and leaping across the lawn towards me yelling “Hi Hippychick”!  (Yes running and leaping!  I have witnesses).   No time to be shy, I ran towards him and lept into his arms.  We hugged as if we were old friends.  I suspected but didn’t know until today how he came to know who I was.  Actually, it’s still not entirely clear.  Near as I can tell April Popaditch and Beth Hazen said to Andrew “Hey, there is someone here who wants to meet you”.  Apparently he asked who it was and they answered “HipEchik”.  He said “Hippychick is here? Where is she?”   They pointed to me and he took off running and calling my name.   I am still astounded that he wanted to meet me.

Anyway, we hugged and maybe kissed on the cheek.  From then on the conversation was non-stop.  I don’t even remember all of what we talked about but we chatted for a long while.  It was as if we were instantly old friends.  We talked about the troops, I know that.  I may have mentioned some of his wild antics and the dares he took in order to bring in donations that day.  We talked about California.  We just talked. Finally, he had to run, or I did but I knew we were all going out afterwards to have some cocktails and I invited him along.  His phone was buzzing.  He said “Yes! I’d love to come with you.  I have to take this but I’ll be back”.  I think he missed that call because this I recall distinctly.  I thanked him for all he did to help the troops.  I mentioned that this was an aspect of Andrew that not many knew.  How much he did to support the troops. He brushed off my compliments and then, he thanked me.  Andrew Breitbart said “thank you for all you do.”  I shrugged.  Oh shucks, I do nothing compared to what you do.   He insisted I take the compliment.  “No hippychick, you do a lot and I want you to know it doesn’t go un-noticed.”  I gulped back a tear, gave him another hug and a kiss and made him promise he would come back.  He was walking backwards, punching a number into his phone but he promised he’d come back to join us.  I never saw him again in person.  He didn’t make it for the cocktails with us and I think I made the gang wait awhile for him.

I’ve long lamented my choice of twitter username “hipEchik” but after that day I knew I’d never change it.  I was branded.  Andrew called me “hippychick” pronouncing it as in the old SoHo club classic. To this day I am unsure as to whether he knew my name is “Teri”.  I wasn’t so star struck as to say I’d never wash the cheek he kissed but the name, it stuck.  This was all after I had become his online friend but the two melded together.  Meeting him just sealed the deal that we had struck on twitter many times.  We were friends.   Andrew was a friend of mine.  I am not going to quantify it or distort it.  I only met him the one time but I knew long before this that I had his six, and he had mine as friends do.

I had tweeted with Andrew a few times prior and a few times after we met.  Not many. He started following me on twitter before I really knew who he was.  He never unfollowed and always answered me if I sent him a tweet.  Unlike so many of the BIG people, Andrew always responded.  No ego. He was my friend.   I remember New Year ’s Eve 2010; we were all online.  He was talking to many people.  I wanted to wish him a happy new year at midnight but did not want to butt in.  Polite me, I waited.  It must have been about 3:00 a.m. on New Years Day 2011 when I caught a tweet from Andrew to the effect that he was about to go to bed.  I said to him “Happy New Year Andrew, thanks for all that you do”.  He wished me a happy new year and I shall never forget this. He said, “You think this  past year was big wait until next year!”  I didn’t ask what he had in mind, knowing that he wouldn’t advertise. I couldn’t wait to see what would transpire!  Of course we all now know what he accomplished in 2011 but whatever plans he had that New Year’s Day are unknown to me.

Many have said how fearless Andrew was and it’s true.  I will add that his fearlessness was contagious.  I am known for not liking to do battle online with leftists.  I joke that “If I want to fight with a lefty I will walk outside my California home.”    One night during the height of the Occupy protests I was up late tweeting.  I caught a tweet of Andrew’s that had a ustream link to their coordinated efforts in Oakland and Los Angeles.  I became fearless.  I took on the OWS crowd and did it fearlessly.  Andrew was there.  I generally steer clear of people such as Keith Olbermann but he had tweeted out something to the effect that “the Marines had joined with Occupy”.  As the wife of a Marine veteran I am especially protective of Marines.  I didn’t want their names being used in such a manner.  I retweeted Olbermann and asked “got proof of this Keith?”.  He was not online at the time but I stayed up all night, with Andrew and did get to call Olbermann out when he finally responded.

I was protective of Andrew too.  When the Occupy crowd saw his tweets on the #OWS tag they said “Breitbart is watching”.  I tweeted Andrew “They see you Andrew”.  He replied “good”.   Now I was really in the mix of things and in my mind I was slaying those Occupy anarchists with my words.  They took up a chant “Fuck Andrew Breitbart”.  I tweeted this:  “The Occupy crowd is chanting Fuck Andrew Breitbart.  I didn’t realize Andrew worked on Wall Street”.  Andrew caught my tweet and re-tweeted it.  My tweetdeck almost exploded.  I stopped counting at 76 retweets and made coffee.  I was fearless.  I went looking for trouble.   I saw that someone had started an “Occupy Marines” twitter feed and I pulled it up and dissected their tweets.  I noticed someone in Occupy had sent that account this: “FYI, the Marines say Semper Fidelis, it means Always Faithful”.  The Occupy Marines feed retweeted it.  I went into full attack mode.  “Why would a group of Marines need to be told what Semper Fidelis means?  This is learned on day one of basic training. “.  I got no response.  It was about this time that Olbermann woke up.  He answered me.  “Yes, I have proof.  So and so was on my show about two weeks ago”.  I said, “So, you have ONE rogue Marine”.  No response.  I was looking for one.  I was looking for a fight.  I was fearless.  It was dawn and I noticed Andrew was offline.  I was still throwing punches.  How long had he been gone?  How long had I been on my own?  How long had I been fearless without Andrew?  I don’t know.   It didn’t matter.  His presence had given me courage.  The fact that I had met him a couple of months prior made us “In real Life” friends.  He was proudly added to my “people I know IRL twitter list”.  I was exhausted but couldn’t sleep.  I was proud of myself for taking on the leftists that night.  It felt good to have done battle with Andrew Breitbart.  It still does.

When I awoke and logged on March 1st It was Michelle Malkin’s tweet that I caught.  Andrew had died.  I sobbed and sobbed.  My friend had died.  All the conservatives on twitter stopped fighting one another and were consoling and telling Andrew stories.  The blogposts went up. The countless tributes.  I read as many as I could.  We turned our avatars into our pictures of and with Andrew.  Sadly, I have no photos of me and Andrew.  I think some were shot but I will have to track them down.  I had meant to write a blogpost right after Troopathon but, as I said I’ve had writer’s block.  Someone mentioned that it will take an army of thousands to replace Andrew Breitbart.  We started tagging tweets with #IamAndrewBreitbart.  I know that I am no Andrew Breitbart but I promise to be all that I can be.  My online “thing” if you will is to help conservatives get elected.  I shall be all the more diligent in those efforts.  I am posting this tonight, with all of its likely grammatical errors because I once could write.  I shall again.  I am writing.  I’d rather have Andrew back and still have writer’s block but as I finish this, a thousand other posts are running through my head.  I have to start one for Nick and one for Elizabeth. I should write about my dream last night.  I need to talk about how people should not give up on California.  Andrew would have liked that.  He never gave up on California and neither have I.  We were both native Californian’s and both conservative and we were friends.  It is in honor of and because of Andrew Breitbart that I post this.  May you rest in Peace my friend.  We will take it from here.

In Loving Memory of Andrew Breitbart

February 1st, 1969 – March 1st, 2012

Signed,
“Hippychick”

Maui digs!

There is much I want to write about our recent Maui trip but it shall have to keep for another day.  I have been writing all day and cannot focus.  One thing I do want to get out there is the place we called home for all but 3 days of our trip.

Our friend Ken owns this homey and inexpensive condo on the  north west side of Maui.  It is steps away from Napili bay.  Napili is great for swimming, snorkeling and sometimes boogy boarding.  But, I digress.

The condo is not the Ritz Carlton but we aren’t that kind of travelers.  Not in this economy anyway.  That is not to say that I don’t want to stay a few days at the Ritz but generally we just want a place to plop down  after a long day in the sea.  Ken’s place is the perfect place to do this.

The condo has all you need to feel at home.  We went in September and it was hot and humid with on again, off again tradewinds.  Generally the trades are your natural air conditioning on Maui.  This year, mother nature had turned the A. C.  off and the unit has no actual air conditioner.  That said, Ken has many fans which would generally be enough but it isn’t during the hot September days.  This is the only short coming of Ken’s place.  It’s hot!  But, when traveling to Maui, especially in September, expect to be hot .

It is stocked with all that the traveler, seasoned or otherwise might want or need.  It is strategically placed just steps from one of the best beaches on Maui (not swarmed with tourists ) and is, generally a great place to stay.

My post does not do this condo justice so please, peruse Ken’s website.  I will update this later because I am tired and struggling for words.  I promised Ken I would put this out, so here it is!

http://www.mauialohacondo.com/about.htm

Please tweet me @hipEchik if you have any questions.

Aloha!

A Promise Kept. Gizmo has a home!

July 28,2011

I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while.  Many of you helped in the search for a home for Gizmo so you ought to know the outcome.  Sadly, the veteran died before a home was found for his beloved Gizmo but I know he knew how much interest there was in Gizmo.  Hopefully he passed with the knowledge that Gizmo would be placed suitably.  What are the odds that another veteran who had just lost his dog ALSO named Gizmo would hear of this story and step up?  I’m not an oddsmaker but as detailed below, this is exactly what happened.

Again, thank you to all that helped in the quest to find a home for Gizmo.  Thanks to Pets for Patriots for all you do.  Thanks to Mr. and Mr. Peterman for taking Gizmo.  Thanks to social media for getting this story far and wide and a special thanks for my friend Michelle who not only brought this to my attention but went the extra mile in her efforts to help “Mr. Smith”.  May he rest in peace and may Gizmo live a long and happy dog’s life!

Jul 05, 2011

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Lyman Peterman and Gizmo

By Beth Zimmerman, Pets for Patriots

A few weeks ago we were asked to help an elderly, dying Korean War veteran find a home for his dog, Gizmo. In spite of our efforts and those of many people across the country, this hero died before his wish could be fulfilled. But fate was about to play an unlikely hand in the tale of Gizmo, a pint–sized Shih Tzu with a Great Dane–sized spirit and a love for life.

Word spread like wildfire, fueled by the urgency of the veteran’s grave condition and the prospect of his pooch being suddenly without a home or anyone to care for him. Scores of people from across the country offered to give Gizmo a new life, each with a compelling story of their own. One was the daughter of another San Diego area veteran, whose appeal was so personal and touching — and so perfect — that we had a feeling that this was “it.”

We forwarded the information to Nick Winfrey at Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas, as we did with all potential adopters who contacted us. Nick is a Marine veteran who now dedicates himself to helping the countless homeless dogs and cats that find their way to Rancho Coastal; the organization is one of our charity’s outstanding shelter partners in California. Nick and I spoke about this one, very special adoption candidate. He agreed; this definitely felt like “the one.”

The woman who wrote to us is the daughter of Lyman “Tim” Peterman, a WWII veteran who will be 90 years young this month. Earlier in June, Tim lost his 15 year-old Shih Tzu dog whose name happened to be — Gizmo! Tim took daily walks with his Gizmo, and was completely bereft when the dog died after a long illness.

We wondered: was it possible that one veteran — who died, leaving his Gizmo unexpectedly homeless — could give renewed purpose to another veteran whose own Gizmo had just died?

Tim applied and was accepted as a member Patriot of our program, which entitles him to ongoing, reduced cost veterinary care and other benefits, such as direct financial support to make pet food and other basics more affordable. At nearly 90, Tim is the most senior member of our program, besting an 88 year-old Marine veteran who lives in Florida with her honorably adopted dog, Laddie. We’re proud to bring the unconditional love and joy of companion pet ownership to veterans and service members of any age, from all armed forces and from any stage of their military lives.

On June 30, Tim went to Rancho Coastal Humane Society, with his wife and daughter by his side, and honorably adopted his new Gizmo as three network television stations filmed the event. He met Chyba, a retired military K9 whose likeness graces Rancho Coastal’s Military Working Dog memorial — the first in San Diego and the only private such memorial west of the Mississippi. Speaking as one veteran to another, Tim thanked Chyba for her service.

And if all of this seems like just a sweet little pet tale, think again. Tim told his crowd of newfound admirers that this was the happiest day of his life since he was serving in the Army in Berlin, and the town crier announced that the war was over. We hear there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Today, a veteran is smiling from his heavenly perch, at peace in the knowledge that his beloved little Gizmo is bringing joy to a brother in arms.

Pets for Patriots

About Pets for Patriots
Pets for Patriots, Inc., is a registered 501(c)(3) charity that helps service and veteran members of the United States military honorably adopt adult and at-risk shelter pets. Its mission is to consistently give the gifts of fidelity, joy and companionship to both pet and person.  Pets for Patriots is one of the only organizations in the country dedicated to both homeless pets and military personnel at any stage of their careers and from all armed forces. The charity is a proud member of the Army AW2 Wounded Warrior Program national community support network, a national partner of the Real Warriors Campaign and is listed by the National Resource Directory for ill and wounded veterans. Visit Pets for Patriots online today and Be A Pet’s Hero(TM).

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©2011 Pets for Patriots, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Help! A Soldier Needs a Guardian Angel for her pets!

July 28th, 2011 update :  Shortly after this post and as a direct result of social media we found the kitty’s a home.  Thank you to all that assisted in this effort!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I will do most anything for our troops and veterans.  This though, I cannot do and am asking for your help.  I must admit, I never considered what happens when a single, deployed troop member has a pet or, in this case pets.   Enter Amelia, (or @gadsdenista on twitter) who has been tweeting about this incessantly for a while now.   Amelia is one of my newer twitter friends with a lot going on in her life but she took these kittens out of necessity when their owner’s plans fell through.  She can no longer keep them and, well, she’s a writer. I will let Amelia tell you the story:

When our service members are deployed, they’re frequently unable to find a temporary home for their pets and are forced to leave them with an animal shelter. Guardian Angel For Soldier’s Pet is a nonprofit organization created to help find foster homes for these pets so that service members may be reunited with them upon their return.

Right now, Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet is looking for a home for Abraham and Sarah, two young cats in the Denver area. Sarah and Abraham’s human is already deployed, and the arrangements she had made for the cats fell through. They are very sweet, well-behaved cats, who can usually be found purring in their temporary foster mom’s lap, napping, or playing with each other. If you or someone you know can give Abraham and Sarah a nice place to live for the next 9-12 months, please contact Amelia Hamilton at gasp.communications.co@gmail.com. We need to find them a new home by next Wednesday if at all possible.

This group places pets all around America for varying lengths of time. We need volunteers not only for foster homes, but also to help with administrative work, communications and many other roles.  If you cannot take these kitties but would like to help, please see www.guardianangelsforsoldierspet.org

If  you or someone you know can foster these adorable kittens, please email Amelia at the above address, or tweet or dm either Amelia @gadsdenista or me @hipEchik .  As Amelia says, time is of the essence. Thank you, God bless, and may He  watch over our brave men and women.   I am confident we can find a foster family for these adorable cats!  Let’s Do This!!

Sarah
Abraham




Don’t Get Jo Joe’d. A social media lesson.

So, I am the Twister that Brooks refers to in his post :

Fakes. What do we do when we suspect they’re among us?

I can attest to all he has written in this post and then some. Like Brooks though, I am not up for writing War and Peace tonight, so this is some of the rest of the story.

I too was duped by Jo Von Ho. This goes way back, and I honestly do not recall all the particulars of our involvement. I was on phone calls, internet chatrolls etc. with her. This was probably prior to the June primary as I was working with Anystreet to encourage help with the Chuck Devore campaign. One evening I was tweeting with Jo (aka @FemmePatriot) when Brooks dm’d me: “there is an imposter in our community”. He and I subsequently talked and it did not stop there. Without embarrassing anyone in the Anystreet organization, it would be impossible to tell you the depth of the cover up of the fraud, Jo Von Ho.  One would have thought I had learned my lesson!

As Brooks says, “fast forward” to a few weeks ago when tweets began flying requesting prayers for “Raquel” by her sister “Anamaris”.   I became emotionally invested in Raquel and tweeted a few things in the public timeline to Anamaris. I also began dm’ing with her regularly. Additionally, I DID pray for her sister.  It was not until Brooks contacted me and questioned the legitimacy of this that I stopped to think. Actually, at first, I assured him it was real. He persisted, and reminded me of Jo Von Ho so I went into action that very day. My phone records reflect that this was on 12/22.  I believe I first contacted my friend Michelle (@MichelleinCAL on twitter) in San Diego who I knew was very emotionally vested in the welfare of Raquel. (By the way, I have met Michelle in person.) I told Michelle that Brooks was skeptical of this as was I.  Michelle shared with me things that Anamaris had not told me. Notably that Raquel was at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. I immediately called UCSF and was informed that “There is no patient by the name of Raquel Esparragoza” in ANY unit at UCSF. How about a Raquel E? No, nobody by that name either. I was transferred to a supervisor who went to great lengths to search the database. There was no Raquel E at UCSF. I shared this with Michelle who also called the hospital. She got the same responses and the same careful service. We were not dismissed outright; they really looked for “our friend Raquel who is in ICU on life support”.  Michelle called to my attention that there is more than 1 UCSF phone number so; both she and I tried again. For the third time I was told that there was no Raquel E in the hospital. Michelle went into action and found a web form to email patients at UCSF.   She sent an email, it was bounced back.

Meanwhile, I checked out the dates of the twitter accounts and the facebook accounts and discovered them to be new. Raquel’s was created in mid November and Anamaris’ was created on December 14th, 2010. Additionally, Raquel had a Facebook page created in November. I know one person whose friend request was accepted during the time period that Raquel was in a coma. Hey, miracles happen. But not this time…

The details of this summation could actually fill a volume as large as War and Peace. Suffice to say; from that day forward, Michelle and I were trying to get as much information out of “Anamaris” as possible. Michelle was able to obtain Raquel’s Dr’s names: Dr’s Chen and Ueda : (see dm’s to Michelle  http://yfrog.com/h0o8np ) which are both common names at UCSF. No first names were given but Michelle did google those names and found them to be Dr’s on staff at UCSF. Yes, it was “googlable”.  So, as I discovered was the treatment that Anamaris was posting on her timeline. All, was very googlable. We were on high alert by this time and pretty sure this was a scam, but we were being ultra cautious.

Ok, this MAY turn into “War and Peace”; Michelle  and I also spent hours checking out A multitude of LIES that Anamaris had told Michelle. For example the one about being a bail bonds person in Texas. No go there either. We tried to give every opportunity for this story to be true. It was not to be.

I could go on with the BS dm’s Anamaris sent me, and Michelle but, I think we are finished here. Michelle emailed me her dm’s which has been terribly handy since Anamaris deleted them all. We have referred back to them many times. Oddly enough, she did not delete mine. I guess I was not on her radar as much as Michelle was. I don’t know. Who’s to know what is in the mind of , what I believe to be, a terribly ill person?

Oh, additionally, I asked a pal of mine, who is connected, to check this out.  He actually did not get back to me until after Brooks posted this but he has a Dr. Friend in San Francisco who checked the data base at UCSF and NO Raquel! None! She does not exist.

What is the moral of this story? I don’t know. “Trust but Verify” or “Verify then Trust”?   Brooks planted the seed with Jo Von Ho, and he planted the seed with this fraud. Truth is, Michelle and I knew this was likely a scam going back to 12/22/10 and I feel like a wuss for not stepping up sooner. It wasn’t until Michelle and Brooks started tweeting this out this morning that I stepped up. My instincts are good, they rarely fail me, and I won’t get VonHoed again!  Additionally, next time I will speak up sooner.  I did post a comment on Anthony Martin’s (@Welshman007 on twitter) first blog post imploring him to check into this. Since no money was apparently asked for, it was ignored. In true wuss fashion, I posted it as Kristen Noel. Wuss no more. These are the facts nothing but the facts and I do attest to them. Anyone want to see proof and I will post dm’s, though that would then truly make this War and Peace.

So, there you have it. War and Peace II plus an addendum. Any additional questions and you can contact me at @hipEchik on twitter. Thank you Brooks for posting this, and for reminding me, of what is right, the truth. Thank you Michelle for being my friend and fellow sleuth! The truth prevailed! Thank you all for your prayers. Whoever did this truly needs them