Welcome to Issue 9 of Nippies magazine !

Here you can read articles which were previously posted from June 7th to March 11th, 2003 in Nippies


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June 7th, 2003

ER Blues

Have you ever gone to the Emergency Room on a week-end night and found it NOT packed to the rafters?

We at Nippies had to make one of those horrendous and frightening trips to the ER last night. Our little one fell while engaged in a game of chase with several companions at a family gathering. Yes, we at Nippies had warned her, and the assorted nephews, nieces, and children of friends, that running indoors in stocking feet on a slippery, concrete-based tile floor was verboten because it is dangerous, but you know how that goes. Kids just don't listen. Neither did we when we were their age. Hey, what do parents know, anyway??

Anyway, we at Nippies had nearly wrapped up the high school graduation party for our eldest child with no mishaps when It happened. Our little girl slipped and went down full-force on her knee. Everyone in the room heard the resounding CRACK. Oh no, I thought, as I ran for the ice. Please, God, don't let this be a fracture. As I passed my brother, he asked what that terrible noise was. We at Nippies told him, "It was my daughter's knee", and proceeded to the kitchen area to make an ice pack.

Within minutes the assortment of family nurses (we have many), paramedics, and other members trained in medical care came running. Her pants were cutup to the knee to reveal the injured area. (We at Nippies think that upset her more than the injury - these were her favorite khakis). Ut-oh. Swelling. And is that discoloration we see? The ice was applied and Nippies immediately made the decision to go right to the ER. We had been through the whole broken bone scenario twice before with our son, and what was the use of waiting?

So off we went with our Nippies nurse-sister navigating the car through the rainy, dark night as I comforted my little girl in the back seat. The tears and wails were heart-breaking as were the cries of "Please, help me, Mommy." She and I hugged and I whispered the usual words of encouragement. Finally, the large community hospital loomed on the dark horizon.

We at Nippies rushed under the ominous red "Emergency Room Entrance" sign, through the electronic doors and went directly to the receptionist's window. No one was there to receive us. We at Nippies glanced to our right and our heart nearly stopped. There had to be at least 30 people of various ages and physical conditions sitting in silence, and not a one was smiling. All glared at me to see what my particular malady was and if I was going to get preferential treatment. We at Nippies quickly averted our eyes and pressed the red "Press Here for Attendant" button, told the person who finally admitted us to the secured area what the problem was, and returned to the car, which our sister had parked alongside the door.

"Someone will be right out," we reported with assurance.

And then we at Nippies and family waited for 20 minutes.

We at Nippies will cut to the chase for the rest of the story. The tears subsided within an hour as we waited in the curtained treatment cubicle. The very nice nurse-practicianer took the medical history, and someone else took the health insurance card. Our little one was wheeled, with Mom in tow at all times, into X-ray. Then out. Then back to the cubicle to wait for another hour or so until the film was developed and read. All this time my sister, the nurse, waited, as directed by the emergency personnel, in the waiting room. She is, God bless her, extremely devoted and patient.

The nurse-practicianer and the doctor on duty both looked at the X-ray and both "thought there might be a fracture, but neither of us are sure". That is because in growing children, Nippies was told, the patella sometimes has overlapping plates which could, to a non-radiologist, look like a fracture. But based on the lack of substantial swelling, lack of discoloration, and relatively fast residence of pain, it was entirely possible that the patella was not, in fact, broken.

"You need to see a bone specialist on Monday," whispered the nurse-practicianer.

"How long will she be in a cast if it's broken?" we at Nippies.com whispered.

"About six weeks," she whispered back.

"Oh no. There goes the summer."

This announcement quickly brought on a new onslaught of tears and wails. Our little one has great ears. Monday, the day of the suggested appointment with the orthopedic specialist, is the day of her much anticipated class trip to an amusement park.

While the nurse-practicianer placed an immobilizer on our little one's knee and gave us directions about bathing, pain medidcation, etc., she told me that I might want to call the radiologist in the morning to see what he had to say. If there was marked improvement, and if the radiologist found no evidence of a fracture, it would not be necessary to see the "bone doctor". Our little one smiled with hope. Her 10 minute "class" in how to use the crutches ("Don't put any pressure on the underarm area!") went very well, and off we went to find our worried sister.

We hadn't been home more than an hour, with no evidence of pain in the knee, when our little one undid the immobilizer and started running around the house. She did, appear to be miraculously recovered. Still, Nippies.com cautioned her to please remain off the knee. Of course, she didn't listen.

There was little sleep for we at Nippies last night. Three hours, tops. The little patient and the rest of the family slept soundly. Finally, at 10 AM we called the hospital and asked to be put through to the radiology department. The news was good. "This is a film of an absolutely normal patella." Thank you, Dr. B, we at Nippies thought. And thank you, God.

Today there is no evidence of pain or swelling at all. Still, the little patient wants to take the crutches with her when she goes to see "Little Nemo" at the movies tonight.

As the saying goes, "All's well that ends well."

We at Nippies hope, rather naively, we admit, that all ended just as well for those 30 other poor souls in the ER waiting room.


June 5th, 2003

Bruce Almighty...Wow - what a movie! We at Nippies went to see Bruce Almighty, the surprise blockbuster starring Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston, nearly two weeks ago. Well, we at Nippies.com tried to go to see Bruce Almighty. The film was SOLD OUT. Completely sold out. So, we went to see Daddy Daycare instead. Daddy Daycare was a nice film, very entertaining, and starred that wonderful Eddie Murphy.

This past week-end, we at Nippies made another attempt to see Bruce Almighty and finally succeeded. However, we went on a Monday and we went early. And still the Nippies family had to take front row seats after waiting in line for nearly 20 minutes! By the way, we at Nippies simply abhor front row seats. They give us a headache because the screen, seen from that vantage point, is simply too large to take all in at once. And sitting with your neck bend backwards for 101 minutes, which is the length of this film, is not good for the neck.

The film was simply wonderful. We at Nippies found it hilariously funny for the first half, and lightly humorous AND poignant for the second half. Like a cup of Maxwell House coffee, it was good to the last drop. (Nippies will explain that analogy later.)

Why is this film so well-liked, despite the fact that it was panned by many critics? (We at Nippies hardly ever listen to the critics). Well, we at Nippies.com have a theory, and nearly everyone we spoke to about the film agreed: first of all, and you can count us among them, Americans are hungry for an affirmation that God is watching over us. Some of us, and we at Nippies are not included in the "us", simply need an affirmation that there is, indeed, a God.

The second reason for the success of this film is that it is just so very, very funny. We at Nippies rarely laugh out loud at a movie, and we did laugh loudly along with the rest of the packed theatre.

Of course, you can't discount the fact that Jim Carrey has a solid fan base, and deservedly so. He transformed from being a funny young actor to being a more mature actor who can play comedy and drama at the same time.

Jim Carrey is the only one who could have pulled off this role, as we at Nippies whispered knowingly to Mr. Nippies during a short lull in the film. Jim Carrey is a comedic genius, no doubt. But to play the role of God and to make your character come across as funny, serious, angry, foolish, and very human all at the same time is something that only an genius of Carrey's caliber can pull off.

Bruce Almighty is a film for just about everyone. The film is rated PG-13, but it is the opinion of the editor at Nippies that younger kids can go. Let's be realistic, unless your child is terribly sheltered, if he or she is in the double-digit age category, he or she hears the word "boobs" ten times a day on television, on the school bus, or even from their teen-aged siblings, anyway.

Now, back to Nippies "good to the last" remark. After the credits begin to roll on a movie, the audience, especially in a packed theatre, normally begins an organized stampede for the exits. That happened in this case, as well. However, when we all heard Jim Carrey's voice booming out from the big screen in the bloopers, or out-takes, nearly everyone either stood in the aisles or returned to their seats. Now, that is a first!

One final word of advice from Nippies go early. Not only will going early assure you the seat of your choice, but you don't want to miss the first 10 minutes of this film. They are priceless.


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Richard Chamberlain and Shattered Loves:

Richard Chamberlain, looking none the worse for his sixty-nine years, (the tightly-pulled face - supposedly the result of an over-enthusiastic plastic surgeron - has loosened up a bit) was interviewed by Katie Couric this morning.

Katie and Richard spoke about his new book, Shattered Loves, which Richard wrote to give an honest perspective on his live and homosexuality. A lot of female hearts were broken when he came out of the closet! He was terribly dashing and handsome in the 60s television series Dr. Kildare as as the passionate priest in The Thorn Birds. We at Nippies were never terribly taken with his looks simply because he was a bit too perfect for our tastes, but we know of several friends who thought he was simply gorgeous.

Richard told Katie that his father was an alcoholic and that his family all tried to be "perfect". Trying to be perfect, we at Nippies, can certainly put a strain on relationships. It leads to a lot of hidden emotions, hidden behavior, and disaster.

At any rate, it was interesting to see Richard Chamberlain on the small screen again. It's been a long time. The staff of Nippies him success with the publication of his new book.

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Hillary Duff's new solo album will be out this fall.

Hillary just turned 16 in April, has her driver's permit (although not her driver's license), and seems as unaffected as she could possibly be for a teenaged girl who is enjoying phenomenal success in television, movies, and music.

Hillary Duff looked genuinely hurt when she talked about the criticism aimed at her mother. Hillary says that many people criticize her mother for taking too big an interest in Hillary's career. Hillary made a good point when she answered detractors by saying that she (Hillary) is a teenager, who else should be looking out for her career?

Look for Hillary Duff on the cover of "Hot Teen" magazine's July issue.

Finally, with all the success she's enjoying, we at Nippies.com thought you might like to know that the one thing in her life that she's most excited about is - getting her driver's permit! Sounds like Hillary Duff (Lizzie McGuire) is just a normal teenager, after all.

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Dream Catcher by Margaret A. Salinger

Yes, we at Nippies are referring to that Salinger.

Margaret, or "Peggy", as she is known to those close to her, is the daughter of the one and only J.D. Salinger who wrote, as we at Nippies and everyone else in the world knows, Catcher in the Rye. Nippies was surprised to discover, during a recent visit to the biography section of our local library, that Salinger's daughter had penned a book, as well.

We at Nippies have always been a big fan of his work and, in our younger years, read not only Catcher in the Rye but his other novels as well. And so we knew it is a well-documented fact that J.D. Salinger is extremely reclusive and private. He lived in New Hampshire for many years and, in addition to his three wives, also had an affair with the writer Joyce Maynard that commenced when she was 18 and he 53. For most of his life, Salinger has rarely been seen in public, never grants interviews, and he stopped publishing his writings long, long ago.

So it was surprising to see that his daughter had written a book about her life and her life as J.D. Salinger's daughter. It turns out that Margaret is a lot like many other women who were born in the 50s, considering who she is. She has been married twice (her current marriage is very happy and she had one son, now aged about 10, at the time the book was published in 2000). She's had an abortion, been bulimic, and had a few affairs. There is nothing earth-shattering or shocking there. But what makes Dream Catcher so fascinating is that we at Nippies, and all the other curious fans of Salinger, by reading the book, get a very intimate look at the famous author as father, husband, and writer.

Is he really like Holden Caufield in real life? Margaret A. Salinger, who is , by the way, a very good writer, as well as a very warm-hearted human being, doesn't seem to think so. But you'll have to read Dream Catchers and decide for yourself.


June 1st, 2003

We had planned on updating Nippies the other night, as you may observed by the "be right back" note we'd left under the notation for May 30th. We'd planned on an upbeat entry. However, in the meantime, we got two phone calls that so deeply disturbed us that all thoughts of an update were lost.

The first call we at Nippies received was from our sister. Annie called to ask that I please pray for little Therese, the nearly 4 year old daughter of a dear friend and associate of hers. Therese was born with a congenital heart defect which had been detected while she was still in her mother's womb. She'd beaten incredible odds by surviving the nine months with a heart that was less than perfect and then, immediately after birth, the little girl survived delicate and risky heart surgery to correct the defect.

Therese was the recipient of tremendous love and many, many prayers during the entire medical ordeal which largely dominated first year of her life. Her parents were courage personified: they took one day at a time and left the fate of their beloved baby in God's hands. And when all turned out well and Therese survived and thrived, every one of the many co-workers, friends, family members and even caring strangers who had prayed for her were full of joy and renewed faith in God.

And so, when Annie called the other night and told me that little Therese, who had been named after her parents' favorite saint, Saint Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, had suddenly taken quite ill and needed many prayers, I prayed. And so did my family. And we hoped.

The second call from my sobbing sister came within an hour. Therese's father had called a few minutes earlier from the hospital and, through choking tears, told my sister that "we've lost her."

I feel unworthty to even be writing about the death of this little angel, which I'm sure that Therese now is, if that is what babies become when they get to Heaven. Yet I feel the need to write about this tragedy. The death of a child, any child, is so difficult to understand the "why" of that none of us should even dare to try to explain it. Only God can possibly have the answer to the question of why children die. And only the parents' can experience the intolerable grief that must engulf them in the first moments, hours, days, and months after such a loss. And yet, even though they are overwhelmed in grief, they must go on.

There is a long forgotten verse, written about 1867 by Henry Ward Beecher, that came to mind during the past two days as I wondered over and over about why this child was taken from such loving parents. Of course, I came up with no answer. The verse provides no answer, but it does offer some solace that, perhaps, Therese was not so unwilling to go to her heavenly home...

THE ANXIOUS LEAF
Henry Ward Beecher

Once upon a time a little leaf was heard to sigh and cry, as leaves often do when a gentle wind is about.

And the twig said, "What is the matter, little leaf?"

And the leaf said, "The wind just told me that one day it would pull me off and throw me down to die on the ground!"

The twig told it to the branch on which it grew, and the branch told it to the tree. And when the tree heard it, it rustled all over, and sent back word to the leaf, "Do not be afraid; hold on tightly, and you shall not go till you want to." And so the leaf stopped sighing, but went on nestling and singing.

Every time the tree shook itself and stirred up all its leaves, the branches shook themselves, and the little twig shook itself, and the little leaf danced up and down merrily, as if nothing could ever pull it off.

And so it grew all summer long till October. And when the bright days of autumn came, the little leaf saw all the leaves around becoming very beautiful. Some were yellow, and some scarlet, and some striped with both colors.

Then it asked the tree what it meant. And the tree said, "All these leaves are getting ready to fly away, and they have put on these beautiful colors, because of joy."

Then the little leaf began to want to go, and grew very beautiful in thinking of it, and when it was very gay in color, it saw that the branches of the tree had no color in them, and so the leaf said, "Oh, branches! why are you lead color and we golden?"

"We must keep on our work clothes, for our life is not done' but your clothes are for holiday, because your tasks are over."

Just then, a little puff of wind came, and the leaf let go without thinking of it, and the wind took it up, and turned it over and over, and whirled it like a spark of fire in the air and then it fell gently down under the edge of the fence among hundreds of leaves, and fell into a dream and never waked up to tell what it dreamed about!


May 22nd, 2003

The "Sad" Cat Story Turns Happy...

Nippies had been feeling a bit overwhelmed on Monday night. The bills were piled up and waiting to be done, clothes-baskets were overflowing, the cupboard was bare, and there was a list of "To Do" things longer than Pinnochio's nose. We decided to take a break from the mounting chores and went to the back window, threw open the shutters and drew up the sash when what to our wondering eyes should appear but a little white cat! and THREE kittens, my dears.

Yes, the sad cat story we at Nippies told you earlier in the week has turned happy. "Baby", the deaf white cat which the Nippies.com has been nurturing throughout the winter and spring, returned with two adorable black kittens (including the one we'd thought had been eaten by something in the wild), and a grey one identical to our Angel, which we'd rescued earlier in the month.

To say I was exuberient is putting in mildly.

I'd just sauntered to the back room and opened the window and looked out when a white streak shot through the darkened yard. The meow let me know it was Baby. She was waiting for a midnight snack, so I threw on the light and was shocked to see three little grey and black heads huddled together. It took a few seconds for the shock to wear off, as I was sure that poor Baby was now kittenless. But when I came around, I remember saying something like "will wonders ever cease??"

Quickly, I called Mr. Nippies to deliver the happy, upbeat news (we'd all been downtrodden over the disappearance of the kitten the previous week), but he was already on his way home from his mother's, where he'd gone to visit, taking our little one along. I didn't share the exciting news with the mother-in-law...she is definiteld NOT a cat lover...

I grabbed a robe from the hook in the bathroom and ran outside to get a closer look at the kittens, taking care to not let Baby see me peeking around from the corner of the house. They were, quite simply, adorable as they scampered after around and under their mother as she tried to eat.

Within a minute or so the car with Mr. Nippies and our little one pulled up. Mr. Nippies was the first on out of the car, and I told him the news. I could hear the excited scream as he passed the news of the kitten(s) return onto our little girl. We'd all given the one kitten up for dead by this time, I'm ashamed to say. To have not only him return alive and will with two more littermates was such uplifting news.

The kittens and their mother now visit regularly. The mother cat stills run out of the yard when one of us enters, but, amazingly, she trusts us to handle her kittens and watches from near the brush at the edge of our property. At night, the whole family can often be found sleeping cozily in the makeshift but cozy (and waterproof!) next we've constructed in the yard. For the first time ever, I've seen Baby actually in a contented sleep, instead of dozing off in a sitting position.

What made the mother trust us so completely with her babies that she now leaves them in our care as she goes out hunting (despite the food we provide?) Nippies.com can think on only one possible reason.

This past Monday morning, very early on the day she returned with her kittens later on in the night, we'd taken the adopted kitten, Angel, out into the backyard to be fed him his morning allotment of kitten-milk. Baby had been in the yard but, as usual, ran out when we entered. With the kitten cradled against my furry coat, I began to feed Angel with the eye-dropper as Baby watched intently from the greenery about 50 feet away. Baby rarely took her eyes off the baby kitten and me. Then she suddenly disappeared down the incline to a vacant lot.

I expected her to crawl around and back up the other side of the hill to continue her watch, and I kept looking over my shoulder and checking, Baby didn't return. This made me feel bad, as I thought perhaps I'd made her sad instead of cheering her up as I thougth I would by showing her that her kitten was well taken care of. (I know, cat haters out there are now saying "how stupid, cats don't get sad", but they do, of course.

We at Nippies to find good homes for the kittens. There is already some interest. And, perhaps, we will be fortunate enough to offer Baby, if she will have us, her first home - with us and Angel.

We'll keep you posted on the continuing sage of Baby.

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The hand life deals us...

It was just an ordinary morning this morning. Well, as ordinary as any morning can be our household, that is.

We'd buckled up, said our going-to-school prayers, and were well on our way when something made me go decide to take the alternate route to the school. This decision necessitated a turn-around, which I accomplished by going through an alley near a cemetery not too-very-far from our home.

As I passed the cemetery, I caught a glimpse of a man sitting on the stoop of the caretaker's building at the edge of the cemetary property. The man appeared to be homeless: his jeans were baggy, a bit dirty, and rolled up over scuffed, tired looking brown boots; his shirt was a faded, non-descript plaid, and his complexion, which appeared to be prematurely wrinkled, was a bit grey beneath the sunburned/windburned skin and grey, untrimmed beard. Yet his eyes, bright blue and tinged with sadness as he quickly glanced up to see what my reaction would be to see someone sitting in the cemetary so early in the morning, were alert and younger than the rest of his face. I felt a twinge of pity, smiled quickly, then quickly averted my eyes as I drove on. I didn't want to make him hurry away from his resting place since I had the impression, perhaps incorrect, that he had nowhere better to go.

At the end of the alley, another car was approaching. The man driving was probably the same age - somewhere in his fifties - as the man I'd just seen in the cemetary. This man, however, definitely seemed to have somewhere to go. His car was white, bright, clean, and of a late model. I could tell he was well-dressed, as well, just by the starched white shirt and dark tie he wore. Probably the suit-jacket was carefully folded on the leather passenger seat. The man's eyes met mine and he nodded courteously as I allowed him leeway.

I couldn't help but think about how life deals us all cards, and we must play them out. Some of us end up playing our poker hand in the lap of luxury at a plush casino for the house limit, and others shuffling dog-earred cards for a few quarters in the back-rooms of pool halls. You never know.

"What was that man doing in the cemetary, Mommy?" my daughter asked. I really didn't know what to say...so I told her he was waiting for someone.

That was probably the truth.


May 20th, 2003

We at Nippies.com receive a lot of inquiries on a variety of interesting topics. A recent inquiry was about how Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis felt about the divorce of her parents, Janet Lee Auchincloss and John Vernon (Black Jack) Bouvier. So, we did a little Nippies research and found a great, encapsulated biography - complete with photos - on Jackie Kennedy, Jackie O, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, or however you prefer to refer to this dignified, beautiful, intelligent woman who (believe it or not) passed away nine years ago this month in May of 1994.

The answer to the Nippies readers question is that seven-year-old Jacqueline Bouvier was very unhappy over her parents divorce. She adored her handsome father, "Black Jack" Bouvier, from whom she inherited her famous, wide-set eyes, and the divorce turned her life upside down.

Here is the link for you to copy and paste which will tell you a lot of interesting facts about Jackie:

http://www.jfkin61.com/biographies/jackie_biography.html


May 16th, 2003

A Nippies Justice/Injustice File:

A Personal Injury Horror Story

Read this harrowing story of what happened to a client of a Philadelphia personal injury law firm whose lawyers, after destroying his case, chose to discredit their client and any evidence which would reveal the firm's misconduct, as well... it should make you very careful about which law firm you choose to represent you in a personal injury case.

Nippies has placed this true story on a separate page for your convenience.

Why should you care?

Nippies.com believes you should care because, if you are a personal injury lawyer with ethics who is reading this, and you are from Pennsylvania, you might want to help these folks and ad a tad of respectability to the profession you chose as your life's work. That's the editor of Nippies opinion.

If you are NOT a personal injury lawyer from Pennsylvania, you might want to read this personal injury horror story because Nippies wants you to know that you, too, could also find yourself in the same situation with a personal injury liar, er, lawyer, and, as the saying goes, those who do not study history are bound to repeat it...


May 14th, 2003

Chilling new trend: The Black Market for Childrens' Organs.

This horrific trend, where the organs of the poor and of orphaned children are harvested and sold for the wealthy in need of an organ transplant, is growing.

Yesterday we glanced at a very small article in a New York newspaper which told of a black market ring for the selling of childrens' organs (for transplant) which was busted in Rome. The children were from Uraguay. Before we could finish the article, the paper was "borrowed" from us (while we were at the beauty salon with Mr. Nippies)and we haven't been able to find the article again.

So today, we at Nippies put a few relevant keywords on this subject into the Google search to see what we could find on the selling of childrens organs for transplantation into the wealthy. What we found was shocking.

There is a web site where there are many articles on the atrocities of the black market for childrens' organs listed. The subject is too heartrending to go into here, but if you want to read more, here is a resource with a list of articles on the subject:

http://www.vachss.com/help_text/organ_trafficking.html

It seems that the selling of organs is common in many poor countries, although still, Thank God, illegal in the United States. China and the Soviet Union is high on the list of country where live donors are smuggled into the country by an "international transplant Mafia based in the former Soviet Union". (article by Brian Kates, Daily News Staff Writer, Daily News Staff Writer, August 25, 2002).

Copy and paste to read the whole article:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_report/v-pfriendly/story/13582p-12889c.html

The article goes on to say that organ donors form Moldova, the poorest country in the former Soviet Union, come into the U.S., mainly through Kennedy Airport (New York has one of the largest waiting lists for organ donors). The illicit donors are then "whisked to hospitals where their organs are removed or sold".

The Kates article then goes on to state that "more and more patients are traveling to China" where there are many crimes which are punished by death. Dr. Mark Hardy, director of the renal transplantation at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, stated in the article that "We take care of them (the patients) even if they abuse the system."

The Daily News article tells the story of a wealthy 70-year-old New York dialysis patient who should have had to wait as long as 12 years by conventional standards for a kidney to be donated to him for transplantation. Instead, "he found a doctor who arranged for an African donor to come to the United States for an illicit operation that cost more than $100,000.00, a family member told The News on teh condition of anonymity.

The man's nephrologist, according to the family member, "knew what was going on".

Unfortunately, we at Nippies have been hearing noises about the AMA considering putting their stamp of approval on payment for organs. The AMA is considering a system of "modest financial incentives", according to the Daily News article, "to bolster donations."

The practice of allowing organs to be harvested from all deceased unless they have previously signed papers prohibiting it is already in place in Belgium, Austria and Spain. The practice is called "presumed consent". This is, in our opinion, a very, very dangerous practice. How long will the paper preventing the involuntary donation of one's organs be searched for before the organs are harvested to be transplanted into another, wealthy patient? Not very long, we suspect.

Thankfully, Dr. Frank Riddick, former chariman of the AMA's ethics committee, sees the problem with legalizing a payment for organ program in the United States. He is quoted as saying, "The basic concern is creating a system where only the rich can afford organs." And that concern is very well founded.

We at Nippies understand that many very ill people are in need of organ donations. We greatly sympathize with them, and certainly we, or one of our loved ones, could find ourselves on one of those waiting lists for a life-saving, freely donated organ. But we stand firm that in the belief that our bodies are the one thing that we can still hold onto no matter how poor we may become on this earth. To think that the wealthy may benefit in any way from our demise (and let's not even pretend that U.S. doctors, entrepreneurs, and hospitals are too ethical to be tempted by a payment for organ program...the organ black market is active now even though it's illegal) without our informed consent ahead of time, is truly appalling.

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A sad story for kitten lovers...

We at Nippies told our readers a story about the kitten/cat, Baby, last January 23rd (Archives 6 of Nippies). To refresh your memory, we'd been taking care of Baby's mother, Teeny, and then when Teeny disappeared, Baby herself. Throughout the cold weather this past winter we at Nippies tried to lure Baby, a white cat with blue eyes and the burden of being deaf (a common trait in blue-eyed, white-haired cats) into our home to keep her warm and safe. She was too wily and evaded every attempt to entice - and even catch - her.

Baby passed through the long sub-zero nights by pushing a yellow basketball (Nippies couldn't help but compare this surrogate companion to "Wilson" in Tom Hanks' movie, Castaway) with a smiley face back and forth across our basketball court. Even leaving the rear window wide-opened for an hour at a time failed to cause her to make the leap to comfort and security. But somehow this fragile-looking cat named Baby survived record cold temperatures and constant snowfall. Finally, spring arrived.

While we at Nippies didn't actually have proof that she was pregnant, we knew that Baby's substantial weight gain, which our family noticed throughout March and early April, meant kittens were on the way. Two days before Easter Sunday, on a calm and pleasant Friday, Baby didn't show up for her evening meal.

The next day, Baby was back - and so was her girlish (kittenish?) figure. She ate ravenously and then disappeared until the next mealtime. The cat's furtive behavior confirmed to we at Nippies that she was returning to her nest to feed her kittens after she herself had eaten her allotment of Friskies dry and canned food.

Baby's pattern of hurried meals and quick departures continued for eleven days. Then, early on a Tuesday morning, we at Nippies.com looked out the window to see Baby eating her breakfast with a tiny, tiny black kitten perched only a few feet away on a basket we keep in the yard. The kitten didn't move. It just sat still and waited for her/his mother to finish eating. Then, with a quick leap, the mother cat joined her baby. Baby then looked up at me as if to introduce me to her new kitten.

Naturally, we at Nippies alerted everyone in the house to the newest member of our backyard menagerie. Photos were taken. We didn't try to approach Baby or the kitten because past experience had taught us that such bold behavior would only result in Baby darting from the yard and disappearing for hours or even days.

Oddly, and much to our surprise, Baby left the kitten behind and disappeared over the steep embankment behind our home. We at Nippies were still getting over our shock at this uncharacteristic behavior when our son yelled from the upstairs window that Baby was returning with yet another kitten. Sure enough, a moment or two later, Baby appeared on the horizon with a grey ball of fur suspended from her mouth.

The kittens were placed in the grass beneath our window by their mother. Within a few moments, the rumbling of the heavy dump trucks which, last fall and now again this spring, have been working several hundred yards behind our house were heard. Baby had sensed the vibrations of the trucks and had taken her kittens to safety in our yard! The kittens and their mother remained for many hours until the rumbling stopped. Only then did Baby pick up the grey cat and prepare to return it and its littermate to the nest. Unfortunately, Baby dropped the grey kitten into an overturned wading pool which had about 4 inches of water in a canal too narrow for her to jump into to rescue it. Her cried for help resounded throughout the neighborhood.

Mr. Nippies was at the scene within seconds and rescued the grey kitten, which had tried to swim (unbelievably for a kitten who could barely move) to the side. However, upon seeing Mr. Nippies in the yard, Baby fled to the border of our property and was watching from that vantage point. The other kitten, the black one, was still sitting on the basket where Baby had left him.

It wasn't a cold day, so we took the two kittens (after dawning rubber gloves so as not to leave a human smell on their fur) and placed them in a small cat basketlined with towels and kept them in the house to warm up. We then waited for Baby to return. Eventually, we saw her coming back and we at Nippies.com hurriedly took the basket and placed it back into our yard. And after sniffing at the sleeping grey kitten which had fallen into the pool, Baby turned away from it slowly and sadly and, after picking up the black kitten, walked away. When she didn't return for over an hour, and because we noticed the grey kitten had begun to shiver and meow weakly, the Nippies.com family made the decision to take the newly abandoned kitten into our home. Evidently the odd smell (from the stagnant pool water) and the stillness of the kitten had caused Baby to decide that her kitten was dead.

We at Nippies did research on taking care of an "orphaned" kitten. We found an emergency formula (which was quickly replaced with the proper formula from our veterinarian's office) on the internet: one egg, some corn oil, milk, liquid infant vitamins. An eyedropper was dug out from the medicine chest. And we began the routine of caring for our adopted kitten, which our little one named "Angel".

In two weeks, Angel has matured and grown. Her ears now stand up, she walks and she can see. She's adorable.

A few days ago, Baby, who has continually returned for meals, brought the black kitten with her on one of her visits. She left the kitten in our care and departed. A few minutes later, a thunderstorm erupted. We at Nippies made a temporary nest for the kitten from a wicker hamper with a plastic tablecloth covering it and towels lining the interior and placed the kitten into it, where he/she/it slept soundly for several hours until the storm had passed and her mother returned. Baby ate the food we placed out for her and then led her kitten away from our property to parts unknown. (The kitten had now begun to walk on its own, as had our Angel.)

This pattern of returning to our yard with her kitten in tow and leaving it in our care while she went and took a nap, a walk, and/or hunted or whatever it is she does out there in the wild, continued for the past few days. Until yesterday.

Yesterday, Baby brought her little black kitten to us once again and, seeing that it was safely nestled in it's little basket-shelter, departed. We at Nippies checked 30 minutes or so on the still unnamed kitten and were happy to see it sleeping contentedly on it's little pile of towels. (We'd rigged a string from the hamper's lid to our window and would pull on the string occasionally to peek at the sleeping kitten inside). However, the last time we checked on the kitten it was gone.

Still, we at Nippies tried to think positively. We convinced ourselves that the kitten had found its way back to Baby. But when Baby returned later in the afternoon without the kitten, we had to admit to ourselves that the outlook was not good.

Sure enough, the kitten hasn't been seen since yesterday. Baby has returned to our yard several times and it is obvious to us that she is looking for her kitten. She walks the perimeter of our property and is sniffing everywhere(remember, she cannot hear). The Nippies family has searched with binoculars and has stood and listened in the dark and again in the quiet of the morning for sounds of the kittens cries, but none are heard. We still have hope, but it looks as though this story is going to have a sad ending.

Baby is, as we type, outside our window. She looks sadly at me every few moments and then continues to walk around the property, obviously hoping to find her kitten hidden behind a stone or under an object. We at Nippies hope to be able to add, at a later date, a happy ending to this story. For now, we can only hope for the best...


May 10th, 2003

Why do people who want to scr*w you (as in rip-you-off, not the other meaning, and get your mind out of the gutter, thank you very much) always make it seem like they are doing it for your own good?

We at Nippies really should be in bed. We have to be somewhere in just a few hours. But we had to get this off our chest.

We had just called Register.com and inquired about the new $200.00 transfer fee, which we'd written about just yesterday. We are very angry not just at the outrageous fee, but at the way that Register.com has wrapped this treacherous act in a blanket of "concern" for their customer.

It got we at Nippies to thinking about how often this "concern" tact is used whenever you are about to get scr*wed. For example....

Whenever teachers want more money, they don't talk about how much money they are going to get from the taxpayers with their new raise (meaning we get to pay more taxes), but rather they speak about their great concern for "the children". The teachers' logic is that more money attracts the "best and the brightest". We know many teachers are underpaid, for example in New York City, but they most certainly are NOT underpaid where we live. Teachers here (in Pennsylvania) make a substantial salary, and when one considers the summers off, the salary is even more attractive.

Perhaps the teachers forget that the parents and grandparents of these children are the ones paying the taxes and that means less money for the kids food, healthcare, and other needs.

Then we have the doctors doing their walk-outs everywhere. They are walking out to protest the high malpractice premiums they claim they can't afford. The physicians claim they are concerned that they might be forced to move out of state to be able to continue their practice if something isn't done, as in placing caps of $250,000.00 on jury rewards. Or they may be "forced to retire early'. Must be nice to have such an option. Or, the doctors lament, they may be forced to stop taking new patients or doing risky procedures.

They are, dear readers, only concerned that they might not be there for their patients. The money is secondary...

Well, when is the last time you saw a doctor driving a 15-year-old car like many of their patients drive because they cannot afford anything better after they get through paying for health insurance?

The fact is that most of the medical malpractice claims are legitimate and the fact is that most medical malpractice incidents do NOT end up in a lawsuit. It is very difficult to get prove medical malpractice, and most lawyers do not take cases unless they have a good deal of merit. In addition, most people don't want to go through the horrific experience of preparing to go through a malpractice experience when they are already hurting - or grieving.

And speaking of personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers...they aren't off the hook here either. As a matter of fact, there are few personal injury lawyers that we at Nippies have for which we fell anything but contempt.

Have you ever seen how concerned personal injury lawyers look in those telephone-book, yellow-pages ads or on those television ads?

"We want to get you the compensation you deserve!".

Sure they do. But they don't want to go to court, and unless you've lost complete motor function or some suffered some other grevious injury or a death has resulted from the medical malpractice (or injury), they will take your case but try to make you settle for far less than your injury is worth. Then the law firm will take a third (or more) of that money "you deserve", plus deduct their expenses, which will include every stamp, envelope, telephone call and little expense. But don't they just drip with concern in those ads??

If you believe the vast majority of those personal injury lawyers are truly concerned about your loss, we have a green square we want you to rub.

In Pennsylvania, lawyers are self-ruling. Even the Attorney General of Pennsylvania has no control over a lawyer's breach of the Professional Rules of Conduct, as long as an actual crime hasn't been committed.

If a Pennsylvania attorney commits legal malpractice, a client's only recourse is to contact the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and/or to sue his lawyer for legal malpractice. Unfortunately, many of these contemptible personal injury lawyers contribute the maximum allowed by law to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania judges during their campaigns. This could, just possibly, make the Supreme Court judge who is the recipient of such a donation, have a bit of a warm feeling for the lawyer who is being complained about. Regarding a legal malpractice suit: on top of this, to prove an attorney guilty of legal malpractice in Pennsylvania, one must present "clear and concise" evidence to the panel of judges AND overcome other obstacles to win the case. No legal malpractice lawyer - and there are not many legal malpractice lawyers as very few attorneys are willing to rat on other attorneys - will take your case if it is not both very strong and is worth a minimum of $200,000.00 dollars. But this is another top for another day...

How about GlaxoSmithKline and how very concerned GSK is about the safety of prescription drugs currently being exported back from Canada to the United States at discounts of up to 80 per cent less than what we Americans pay? GSK is threatening to embargo Canadian pharmaceutical wholesalers if the Canadian interests do not stop selling the prescription medications to Americans at the discounts which we Americans have been denied but which Canadian residents enjoy? (Canada has laws which protect their citizens from price gouging on prescription medications and the same medications sell at very deep discounts compared to what residents of the U.S. pay).

Does anyone really believe that the huge profit loss that GSK will realize (if the practice of Americans buying from Canadian pharmacies isn't stopped) is NOT the number one reason that GSK is threatening to cut drug supplies?

Oh, there are so many, many examples of expressions of deep concern we hear every day. Look closer and you will see one hand on the wallet. But you probably have your own pet peeves about these expressions of concern where money, ahem, isn't the real issue. Write to us below and vent, vent, vent. Please follow our e-mail policy at Nippies!


May 8th, 2003

Nippies Quick News:

Did you watch the Diane Sawyer special about the British version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

The special aired last night. It seems that the million dollar winner won with the help of a cheating wife and professor. The trio had a nearly-fool proof system of prompting worked out. A strategically placed cough, clearing of the throat or blowing of the nose signaled the contestant about which answer to choose. Once caught and taken to trial, and after forfeiting the money, the cheating trio were told to go home to their children and teach them not to lie, cheat and steal.

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Ebay wins again!

The man who sued Ebay for libel after they allowed disparaging - and allegedly untrue - feedback about him on the Ebay web site has lost his case. A judge dismissed the charges. Somehow we at Nippies are not surprised. Wrestling with Ebay is like wrestling with a gorilla, from what we've heard.

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A 100th victim of the fire which swept through the Rhode Island nightclub , The Station, has died.

Pamela Gruttadauria, 33, passed away Sunday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after being severely burned in the February 20th fire in Warwick, Rhode Island. 5 victims are still hospitalized, 1 is still in critical condition. In addition to the 100 who have perished from their burns, 200 more were injured.

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The Latin Grammys will be held in Miami. New York was a contender, but they dropped the ball.

Latin music has exploded in popularity, for those of you who do not know. 14 years ago, the first Latin Music Conference was held with about 100 people in attendance. It has not turned into a multi-media, star studded event.

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Frasier will say good-bye in 2004. Oprah will stay on the air until 2008.

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William Shatner has been voted as the singer? who performs the "worst Beatles' cover ever" by the British TV Channel Music Choice

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Register.com now charges a whopping $200.00 for the transfer of a domain name!

Beware of this fact if you are considering buying a domain name with the intent of selling it later, as do many domain name resellers.

It seems that Register.com, who used to charge only $35.00 for a transfer, attributes the nearly 600% increase to, and this is a quote from their customer service when we at Nippies, even though we've personally NEVER sold a domain name, even when offered, wrote to ask them why the HUGE increase in transfer fees and if the $200 is for EACH name if you transfer more than one:

"Thank you for contacting Register.com.

We understand your concern would like to inform you that only the current registrant has contractual rights to the registration, it's very important to properly document and verify each transfer request. The added security of manually processing each request is reflected in this new fee.

Notice that it is a form letter? The company didn't answer Nippies.com question about whether this $200 transfer fee is for each name.*(see update at end of this article).

Register.com must be getting TONS of complaints about the gargantuan rise in fees. By doing this, they can virtually put many domain name resellers (of lesser quality names) out of business. This is another example of a large corporation making a fortune from their customers, then turning around and taking more, because they CAN. Corporate greed, corporate greed, corporate greed...

Nicole Kidman has been seen in the company of Jude Law. Is there an affair going on? We sure hope not. Say it isn't so, Nicole.

********************************************************************************* Gwyneth Paltrow is currently working on a movie based on the life of Sylvia Plath, the young writer who wrote The Bell Jar and, after suffering from clinical depression for years, took her own life. We at Nippies read The Bell Jar many years ago, loved it, and intend to see the movie when it comes out.


May 6th, 2003

Depending on who you listen to, a SARS vaccine may be either:
MONTHS AWAY
or
YEARS AWAY

Nippies was watching CNN this morning when it was announced that a Swiss research company, with a name we at Nippies did not catch but which we will fill in at a later time, is hot on the trail of a SARS vaccine. The Swiss research company predicts results within as little as six months.

Nippies decided to do a little research on the SARS vaccine subject to see what is what. And what we found were a lot of conflicting reports about the probability that a SARS vaccine will soon be found.

Reuters Health: this report was somewhat optimistic. It stated that "GlaxoSmithKline reported it is collaborating with other companies and France's Institut Pasteur to accelerate development of a possible vaccine against SARS."

But the Reuters article was, as Alan Greenspan would say, cautiously optimistic. GSK chief Chief Executive Jean-Pierre Garnier told reporters, "This is not a matter of weeks or months, it is a matter of years."

ABCNEWS.com: "The first hump, the first roadblock, the first obstacle in development of a vaccine has already been overcome, because the virus itself is readily available," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in a statement referring to the fact that the scientists at the National Institute of Health are already growing the virus in the lab. The article then went on to caution that Fauci "hopes to have a possible vaccine ready for human testing in just over a year."

Chinese experts believe that a SARS vaccine is likely in months. Yuan Zhenghong, director of a Shanghai-based national key laboratory under the Ministry of Health (China), said that local research bodies are now cooperating with other health groups in the study of the SARS vaccine.

Ding Jian, deputy director of Shanghai Institute of Medicine under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has claimed that prescripton for medicines that could be used for healing SARS patients could be available in two or three months.

Finally, we have a more pessimistic view from Dr. Anne Brigden, a University of Ulster virus expert. Dr. Brigden believes the long testing and administrative processes involved in bringing a new drug from the laboratory to the surgery will slow down the time it takes to get (any new SARS vaccine) to the patient.

"Corona viruses are very common in animals," Dr. Brigden explains. "Poultry, cats, dogs, pigs and cattle can all be attacked by viruses of this type. But, as in humans, there is as yet no drug treatment that canprevent or cure a corona virus infection."

The corona virus, the cause of the common cold, is also thought to be the cause of SARS.

So, dear readers, there you have it. No one in the research field seems to know precisely when we will have a SARS vaccine, if ever. Since in all these years, a vaccine has never been invented to prevent the common cold, and since SARS seems to be caused by the same corona virus, we at Nippies have to wonder how all these scientists plan to find a SARS vaccine at all, much less in a few months.


May 5th, 2003

Nippies and family were in a restaurant not long ago and we noticed that the condiment packets, once heaped in bowls and readily accessible for customer convenience, had been removed. In their place was a sign asking that any sauces or condiments that were needed could be gotten at the service counter.

A trip to the service counter for a sauce was made by Nippies. We also inquired about why the change in policy. The clerk told Nippies that the condiments had been removed because some customers were stealing tons of the packets for use at home. Management decided that the best way to stop this was to remove the "take what you need" privilege.

Nippies rejoined our family at our table. As we sat there and munched on our sandwich, it got us to thinking about how many privileges the rest of us have lost because of the greediness of those who take advantage of generosity and trust. This led us to remember the many days spent sitting in our college cafeteria.

The canteen at the college had a sea of white tables, each with six to eight chairs grouped around it, in the vast, plaid-carpeted room. Most of us had a table which we - ourselves and our closest friends - sat at on a regular basis between classes and referred to as "our table".

At our table, we'd sip coffee, or tea, or Cokes, and chat away our free time between classes. Or, if our friends were in class and we found ourselves alone, we at Nippies would pass the time by doing homework or reading a book, always, of course, looking up each time someone entered the room.

On each table, every day, were placed a fresh supply of sugar, salt, sugar substitute, assorted jellies and a bowl of honey packets. The implication was clear: buy the beverage or toast or whatever, and feel free to use the condiments at your discretion.

The honey packets were very ample. Each one had approximately a quarter cup - hard to believe, but true - of honey in a clear plastic rectangle, and the rectangle was sealed with peel-off aluminum. We at Nippies never ate even one of these honey packets. But some of our friends did. And we don't remember even one of our friends ever taking one from the table to bring home with them.

We at Nippies are sure that, if we went back to visit that canteen today, those honey containers would no longer be there. Most likely the college found out in subsequent years that their supply of honey-cups were being consumed at a far greater rate than were their cups of tea being sold.

Do you know anyone who never buys Sweet 'N Low because they take the every packet in the bowl home with them every time they go out for a cup of coffee somewhere? We do.

The sugar substitute thieves who Nippies have been in the company of are real pros. We have an old aunt, a rich but thrifty old aunt - probably rich because she never buys salt, pepper, sugar, or substitute sugar - who's been stealing sugar and sugar-sub packets for decades. But Auntie is not the only sugar-salt-pepper, etc., thief we've known: the Nippies editor has known many such petty thieves throughout the years.

Their modus operandi is always quite similar.

After being served coffee, the sugar-sub thief will pick up the whole bowl of pink packets - usually when they think you aren't looking, but often when you are - and bring it over to the edge of the table. Quickly, after taking a packet or two and setting it on the table for immediate use, the pro will surrepticiously dump, very quickly, most of the rest into a large purse, which is waiting - wide opened - on their lap. The purse is then daintily zipped up or snapped closed and set aside, the coffee is stirred, and the sugar substitute thief carries on their conversation as if she (it's almost always a she when it comes to Sweet 'N Low thievery) has done nothing wrong.

Why do these people, who consider, most often, themselves model citizens and, on occasion, even sinless, do what they do? They do it because they can, of course!

After all, it's so easy! Waitresses and restaurant managers aren't likely to keep a running tally of sugar substitute packets placed at each table and them count them again before you pay your bill, now are they?

Some of these same people progress to stealing rolls of toilet paper from restrooms when the owners are naive enough to stock them under that cute little vanity in the ladies'or mens' room. Or they take who standard-sized salt-and-pepper shakers off tables, as well as those little stainless steel cream pots that you see everywhere. Sometimes attractive beverage glasses, knives, forks or spoons (after being wiped out or off with a napkin) are smuggled out in coat pockets or or very large purses.

The trend towards performing little dishonest acts - because we can - has caused a great deal of inconvenience for the rest of us. Restaurants now make it nearly impossible to get an adequate amount of toilet paper off a roll because of the toilet-paper thieves. Not only are toilet paper rolls in many restaurants covered with stainless steel hoods with locks, but the rolls don't spin like they used to do. Yes, Nippies has noticed, even toilet paper is now portion-controlled.

So, we at Nippies have given you, dear reader, something to think about and notice the next time you are in a restaurant that still has those little bowls of sugar and sugar-substitute packets. If you are bored with your date, companion, business associate, etc., you can always spend your time glancing around to see if you can spot the Sweet 'N Low thieves among us!


May 2nd, 2003

As we've all heard by now, Saddam Hussein employed an assortment of lookalikes. Some say the Butcher of Baghdad had up to a dozen doubles on hand so that it would be their butts who got shot at instead of his own. But Saddam lookalikes are not, for the most part, funny, we at Nippies.com think.

On the other hand, celebrity impersonators who can look like - and lie like - Iraq's Information Minister, Mohammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, just might be hilarious.

Nippies.com found a recent Associated Press article about the web site that pokes fun at Saddam Hussein's minister of information. The site, called www.WeLovetheIraqiInformationMinister.com, became such a hit within hours of going on line that not only did the Pentagon find out about it, but it was getting 4000 hits per second and had to shut down and until it could be upgraded.

Outrageous statements made by Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, such as "Don't believe these invaders and these liars...there are none of their troops in Baghdad" and "We have imprisoned them inside their tanks" were, thank God, just so much hot air and helped to make this supreme liar a cult figure around the world.

While we at Nippies don't necessarily think that liars are funny, there is something very funny about such a cock-sure, smirking and consistent liar who was proven totally wrong when the stakes were very high. And the stakes were, indeed, as high as they could get.

The site's webmasters claim their only advertisement was via emails to their friends! Talk about creating a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.

And so, with the current popularity of the Misinformation Minister, we at Nippies.com are certain there will be as many al-Sahhaf lookalikes descending upon The Imperial Palace in Las Vegas at the Annual Celebrity Impersonators Convention as there are Flying Elvii in the gambling capital of the world.

The 3rd Annual Celebrity Impersonators Convention (CIC) will be held from Sunday, May 25th to Wednesday, May 28th, 2003 at the Imperial Palace. Along with a bevy of faux Iraqi Information Ministers, Nippies.com expects there will also be an assortment of the usual perennially popular celebrity impersonators: Elvis lookalikes, Cher lookalikes, Neil Diamond lookalikes, Frank Sinatra lookalikes, Rod Stewart lookalikes, Wayne Newton lookalikes, etc. Some even sound like the real thing, which ups their asking price quite a few notches.

However, the demand for hot-celebrity-of-the-moment celebrity impersonators changes from year to year. Impersonators of Ricky Martin, Austin Powers, Tiger Woods, Britney Spears, Leonardo DiCaprio and Bill and Hillary Clinton have all had their day in the sun and their faces on daytime and primetime shows and in the tabloids. However, "it" doesn't last forever, and when the ride is over, the celebrity impersonators who were once invited to top Hollywood parties and premieres and interviewed in USA Today and the National Enquirer soon find themselves begging for their day job back...especially if their talent is not comparable to the real thing.

We at Nippies have a feeling that the ardor for Iraqi's Information Minister will diminish rather quickly. So, if you do bear a resemblance to the world's most famous liar, get out that beret and that black eyebrow pencil and make the most of it while you can.


May 1st, 2003

Plastic surgery comes to prime time...

A new show on F/X, Nip/Tucks, is scheduled to debut this summer. July 2003 will be the premiere date for the show, which revolves around the lives of two Miami plastic surgeons.

Early reports on the show look promising. The plot centers on two South Florida plastic surgeons, portrayed by Julian McMahon ( Ian Rain on Another World) and Dylan Walsh (Mel Gibson's We Were Soldiers). The team of successful plastic surgeons are just about to expand their Miami plastic surgery practice when McMahon's character, after a period of marital problems, decides to go out on his own to perform pro bono work on burn victims.

With all the attention to vanity and personal appearance these days, this show should be a solid hit. It seems that plastic surgeons are cosmetic surgeons are popping up everywhere of late: on infomercials, on talk shows, in print and now, on primetime television.

Michael Jackson's recent special surely lit the fires of interest on plastic surgery and plastic and cosmetic surgery.

Nip/Tuck is written and directed by Ryan Murphy.

By the way, looking for a plastic surgeon or cosmetic surgeon in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, or South Florida? Try here:

Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeons and Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in New York, Los Angeles, Miami


April 28th, 2003

Nippies recently heard on the radio that Pennsylvania physicians are - once again - threatening to not report to work - for other than emergency situations - as a way of protesting their malpractice premiums.

In an effort to appease physicians who have become quite adept at leaning heavily on politicians to spring to action on their behalf, Governor Rendell recently asked Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of Pennsylvania to cough up $220 MILLION dollars to help physicians out with their malpractice premiums. As someone who pays more than 25% of their gross income for health insurance (Blue Cross/Blue Shield), we at Nippies were outraged at this proposal by Governor Ed Rendell.

Why doesn't Governor Ed Rendell make Blue Cross/Blue Shield use their reserves to lower premiums for those of us, like Nippies.com, who struggle each month to pay the outrageous premiums that Blue Cross/Blue Shield charges for non-group members? Certainly a working class family has far less expendible income than a physician and is in greater need of a break.

Physicians are also demanding that before any medical malpractice legal action can be commenced against a physician, another physician who is board certified in the same specialty as the defendant physician must issue a "certificate of merit". What this means is that if you are operated on and the surgeon botches the surgery, thus causing you great pain, loss of income, and perhaps permanent disability, another board certified physician must review the case and grant you permission to sue your surgeon.

Will this ever happen? Will physicians give you permission to sue one of their colleagues? If you read the article we found on the internet, written by a plastic surgeon who was recently - and unsuccessfully - sued for medical malpractice, and if you carefully read between the lines, you will, most likele, see the implication that Nippies saw. The doctor may have just as well said:


"Hey, let's stick together guys, like the lawyers do."

The author/ plastic surgeon acknowledges in the article that it's mighty difficult (really, it's nearly impossible, unless the value of the case is at least $200,000.00 and the evidence of legal malpractice is clear and concise) to find a lawyer who will sue another lawyer...and Nippies is of the opinion that this doctor is suggesting that his fellow physicians should do the same. It's our opinion, and we are entitled to it.

To read the article for yourself, Copy and paste:
http://www.physiciansnews.com

Once you get to PhysiciansNews.com, click on "Commentary" near the bottom of the page.
The article is entitled "'Dirty little secret' of the malpractice crisis"

Nippies acknowledges that some people file frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits. The emphasis is on the word "some". And we at Nippies are definitely of the opinion that many, many personal injury lawyers out there are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to decency, honesty, and integrity. However, for every frivolous medical malpractice lawsuit, we at Nippies.com believe that there are, perhaps, three or four - perhaps many, many more - which are NOT filed.

We at Nippies know this because we've known of several cases of medical malpractice in our own circle of family and friends where there was no lawsuit filed even though a physician clearly was negligent. These cases include:

*an operation on the wrong side of a family member's body. He spent two weeks extra recuperating and many years of pain followed.

*a family member who nearly bled to death because an ENT physician would not come into the hospital in the middle of the night when his patient - operated on a few days before for nasal polyps - nearly bled to death. He spent a week in the hospital recovering.

*another loved one who died after a drainage tube was removed too quickly after abdominal surgery

*a board certified neurologist who diagnosed "post concussion syndrome" after a head injury and concussion, but failed to inform the patient of the depression and other emotional damages that could - and did - happen...then tried to cover-up his mistake by saying the patient never complained of mood swings.

*a child who was given the wrong eyeglass prescription for amblyopia and thus lost a valuable year in helping the "lazy eye" regain its vision (thank God that mistake was rectified when the parents took the child to another opthalmologist for a second opinion. This good doctor prescribed atropine drops and vision improved.)

etc.

No lawsuits were filed, and no official complaints lodged. However, in at least three of the cases, the physician took steps to cover his "butt" so that the evidence of the medical malpractice was covered-up...

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader was outraged over physicians' claims that rising medical malpractice premiums are the solely the result of frivolous lawsuits, and that placing caps on jury awards will fix the problem. It will fix the physicians' problem, but it certainly won't be fair to victims of medical malpractice.

Ralph Nader wrote a very interesting response to President Bush's address given to a group of physicians in Scranton, PA after he (President Bush) took time from his very busy schedule (and war plans) to appease the group of doctors who were threatening walk-outs over their medical malpractice premiums.

Ralph Nader, in his January 16, 2003 response to President Bush's speech to physicians, states:


"He (President Bush) ignores how difficult it is to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. Because of obstacles to filing, ninety percent of patient-victims do not even file a claim for compensation, much less a lawsuit."

Finally, we at Nippies were very amused to see a page somewhere out there on the internet listing physicians in Pennsylvania who are curtailing their practice, not taking new patients, are moving out of state, or are taking early retirement because of the medical malpractice "crisis".

One physician on the list is the very same orthopedic surgeon who operated on the wrong side of the patient in Nippies list of medical malpractice victims.

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Who is the Dentyne Ice gum subway commercial girl (phew) who writes her phone number, with icy-fresh breath, backwards on the frosted subway window?

Nippies.com constantly has its finger on the pulse of the internet. And it appears that everyone wants to know the nameof the actress who appears in the the Dentyne Ice subway commercial. Alas, Nippies does not yet know the name of the Dentyne Ice subway girl. We will find out! (read more about this commercial on our March 6th entry found in archives 8).

However, there are other questions being asked about the Dentyne Ice commercial besides the actress's name. Net newsies also want to know who cuts the girl's hair and what is the name of the song being played in the Dentyne Ice gum subway commercial.

Nippies will get back to you with this information asap! We've already sent our net detectives out to discover the facts.

In the meantime....

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Guess who is celebrating a birthday today? Or perhaps not!

Today, April 28th, 2003, is the 66th anniversary of the birth of the Butcher of Baghdad, also known as Saddam Hussein. Is he alive to mark his birthday? And if he is, does he feel like celebrating? Only Saddam knows for sure.

Saddam, if you are reading this, will you email us with your address so that Nippies can send you a card? (Wouldn't that be the scoop of the century if he actually wrote back?)

Also born on this day: April 28, 1479 - Lucrezia Borgia

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Hillary Duff (and Lizzie McGuire)fans will be happy to know that the Lizzie McGuire star will appear on CNN this Friday, May 1st, at 1:30 PM. Hillary/Lizzie will be interviewed about her new hit movies, Agent Cody Banks, which also stars Frankie Muniz, and The Lizzie McGuire Movie.

Nippies watches Lizzie McGuire with their little one. It's a really cute show, even if Lizzie's hair accessories cost more than our house is worth!

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A dumb, cheal, easy and cute way to get famous....

Scott Ginsberg, better known as "Hello, My Name is Scott", is marking, today, his 908th day of wearing his now famous "Hello" name tag.

Since he began wearing his nametag way back when, Scott Ginsberg has been interviewed on numerous radio shows as well as in print. He's also been featured on CNN at least twice. Today Nippies heard about him yet again on CNN.

Scott, naturally, has a new book out which is available for purchase from his web site, www.HelloMyNameIsScott.com, and through Barnes & Noble bookstores.

Who is this ingenious fellow? Well, you'll have to go to his web site to find out. There is a lot of information there. But can tell you this much: Scott Ginsberg is no dummy! He has a marketing degree from the University of Miami and has hop-skipped-and-jumped way ahead of those seeking the limelight just by purchasing a little nametag and wearing it for 908 days.

Why didn't you think of that, you who are seeking fame?

There are a lot of links and other information on Scott's web site. One feature we at


April 25th, 2003

The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams by Donald Spoto

Of course, we all know that Tennessee Williams wrote A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat of a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer, The Yellow Tattoo, The Glass Menagerie and many other plays - two which earned him Pulitzer Prizes.

But did you know that just two years before his death, a gala that was scheduled to be held in his honor at the Lincoln Center (in New York) had to be cancelled due to lack of ticket sales? How fickle are we Americans.

We at Nippies are now reading the biography (published by Little, Brown and Company in 1985) of this best known, and, in our opinion, finest of all American playwrights. It is a fascinating book about an enormously talented, but tortured, American genius.

We at Nippies have long been a huge fan of Tennessee Williams. We watch The Yellow Tattoo, which starred the great Italian actress, Anna Magnani, and Burt Lancaster, whenever it is on American Movie Classics. (Unfortunately, this classic movie is not very often shown now that AMC has updated it's format to reach younger audiences). We at Nippies.com never miss a telecast of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, nor any opportunity to enjoy the works of Tennessee Williams. But we never knew anything personal about "Tom Williams", as he was called by his family and circle of friends, other than the fact that he was a one of the few celebrities who had been open about his homosexuality in an era when such openness was uncommon and even risky.

Thomas Lanier Williams was born on March 26, 1911 (Palm Sunday) in Columbus, Mississippi, to Edwina Dakin Williams and Cornelius Williams. He had one sibling - a sister named Rose - whom he adored. His grandfather was the well-known and respected pastor of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Columbus, and it was with he and his wife that the Williams family made their home. Tennessee Williams adored his grandfather and remained close to him until Rev. Dakin died at age 97.

In 1913, the Williams/Dakin family moved to Nashville, Tennessee and, shortly thereafter, to Clarksdale, Tennessee, where he had several happy years.

Tennessee Williams was extraordinarily close to his elder sister, Rose. His father, Cornelius, often returned to the rectory drunk after a night spent in bawdy, gambling houses. He was a shoe salesman and a promotion in 1918, shortly before the birth of Edwina and Cornelius's third child (Dakin, a boy), necessitated a move away from Tom and Rose's beloved grandparents to faraway St. Louis.

The move, and subsequent loss of the security and warmth of his grandparent's home, had a tremendously negative effect on young Tom Williams and his sister, Rose. (Rose was never the same and, some years later, her mother allowed a lobotomy to be performed on her.)

Tom turned to writing poetry at a very young age to ward off some of his lonliness. This was the beginning of his interest in writing which, as we all know, led to the great plays which we now enjoy.

The name "Tennessee Williams" was adopted as a nom de plume by Tom Williams in 1939.

Like so many celebrated actors, artists, and writers who struggle to cope with the nearly impossible task of staying on "top", Tennessee Williams turned to alcohol and prescription drugs to both numb his pain and energize his creative talents. His habits remained with him throughout his adult life and he died, alone, at the San Domenico Palace Hotel on February 11, 1983 after ingesting a variety of drugs - "cocaine among them", according to author Donald Spoto - along with wine.

It would be impossible to write a summary of Tennessee William's life on this page and do it any sort of justice. The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams, by Donald Spoto, chronicles the rise of Williams' star, his personal and professional relationships, and, of course, the eventual erosion of his talent and celebrity. Go to your public library, get the book, and read it cover to cover. We at Nippies have...

Here are two little bits of information from the book to further entice you to make that trip to the library:

The movie, The Rose Tattoo, was filmed next door to the Key West, Florida house that Tennessee Williams shared with his long-time, devoted, but, sadly, not exclusive, lover, Frank Merlo.

Pat Kennedy Lawford threw a party for Tennessee Williams to offset the disappointment of the failed Lincoln Center gala that never happened because "virtually no tickets" were sold.

Tennessee Williams got the name for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof from an old saying his father, Cornelius, used to epouse on a regular basis.

There really was a Stanley Kowalski.

Kowalski was a dark, strapping, easy-going guy who worked with Tennessee Williams at International Shoe during the Great Depression (when young Tom Williams had been pulled from academia by his father). He, Stanley Kowalski, may have been the object of Tennessee's unrequited love, according to the author of the biography, but he was a hetersexual married man who died ten years after his friendship with Williams.

Author Donald Spoto speculates that the character, Blanche Dubois, from A Streetcar Named Desire, may have actually been based on Tennessee Williams himself.


April 23rd, 2003

The Central Park Jogger: Trisha Meili

We at Nippies think Trisha Meili is the living personification of the word "survivor".

Trish has no memory of what happened to her - she was beaten, raped and left for dead - on that mild spring evening of April 19, 1989. Her last memory was of answering the phone when a friend called to confirm a dinner date. We at Nippies.com learned, from her interview on Larry King Live, that she had to turn him down because she had some work to do that evening.

Apparently, she then went out for her jog through Central Park, as was her custom. In her own words, she was a careful but "compulsive" jogger.

Trisha's next memory was of waking up in her hospital bed five and a half weeks later. Her boyfriend (at that time) was standing there, in her room, speaking with her nurse. Her head felt heavy, her whole body felt heavy. But she had no memory of the horrific beating, rape, and violence that one policeman, the man who found her, called "the worst beating" he'd ever seen.

Trisha had lost a great deal of blood, she had near-fatal neurological damage, and her body temperature when she first arrived in the ER was only 85 degrees. She should have died, according to all medical logic. But she did not die. We at Nippies think she looks wonderful.

Trisha Meili told Larry King tonight that she attributes her survival to the millions of prayers offered up for her recovery. She has written a book and has dedicated a chapter to those who prayed for her recovery.

Trisha is a walking miracle.

We at Nippies.com remember very well reading daily about the Central Park Jogger. Nippies understands her compulsion to run: at one time we would venture out in the dark for a daily 3-6 or more miles. What we at Nippies.com didn't know was that the teenagers who originally confessed to raping and beating Trisha were later found to be NOT guilty - after they had served time.

How did this happen? Was a confession forced out of these young, black teens? It's too horrible to think about. A man came forward years after the crime and confessed. His name was not revealed on Larry King, but we at Nippies intend to do a little research on this subject. DNA tests revealed he was telling the truth. All this came out while Trisha Meili was halfway through writing her book: I Am The Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility. We at Nippies will put it on our reading list.

Trishs Meili is now married. Not to the boyfriend who was with her in the hospital room when she regained consciousness (but he is still a friend). Her husband of seven years is a man named Jim Schwartz. He did not know she was the Central Park Jogger when they met on a blind date.

We at Nippies wish her well with her future!

By the way, she is jogging again...but not in Central Park, and not at night, alone.

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Nippies Health News:
Your grandmother was right: a nice cup of tea does fix things!

The New York Post, Nippies is happy to report, recently (April 22, page 3) featured a small article on the benefits of drinking tea vs. coffee after researchers at the National Academy of Sciences released a report based on their two-part study.

In the first phase of the experiment, researchers worked out the molecular aspects of black tea. They specifically isolated and studied the component called L-theanine, which "primes the response of an immune system element called the gamma-delta T cell. The T cells prompt the secretion of interferon, a key part of the body's chemical defense against infection",according to Dr. Jack Bukowski, a researcher at Brigham and Woman's Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School.

After isolating the L-theanine, the researchers had 11 volunteers drink five cups a day of tea, and 10 others drenk coffee. Blood was drawn from all 21 test subjects prior to the start of the experiment. After a month of the coffee and tea drinking, the coffee and tea test subjects again had blood drawn. The blood was exposed to E-coli bacteria, and the immune cells in the tea drinker's specimens had "five times more interferon than did the blood cells from the same test subjects before the weeks of tea drinking", according to Dr. Bukowski.

There was no change in the interferon levels of the coffee drinkers.

So, drink up! Your old Irish grandmother knew what she was doing when she consumed all those cups of tea.

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AstraZeneca to limit orders sent to Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers:

Following the trend begun by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca has sent a letter to Canadian pharmaceurical suppliers informing them "orders would be cut due to a new allotment program initiated because of unexpected sales increases."

AstraZeneca is the second pharmaceutical house to limit sales of pharmaceuticals to Canadian wholesalers and pharmacies: GlaxoSmithKline also sent a letter to Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers in January.

According to an April 22nd Reuters article, "AstraZeneca has told Canadian distributors that its allotment program will trigger audits for orders of Nexium and Losec, as well as the prostate cancer drug Casodex and the breast cancer treatment Arimidex".

The Reuters article continues:"Senior advocacy groups say AstraZeneca's move, like Glaxo's, removes another lifeline for older Americans for whom prescription medications are too expensive.

"Clearly, Canadian drugs are not the answer to this national emergency, but hundreds of thousands of Americans are able to afford medicines that doctors prescribe thanks to Canadian sales," said Robert Hayes, president of the Medicare Rights Center, a national consumer-advocacy group based in New York City." (end of Reuters article)

The actions were precipitated by the growning numbers of Americans who are either crossing the Canadian border or using mail-order to have their prescription drug needs met far more cheaply than they can in the United States. Canadian law limits the amount of profit that can be made on the sale of prescription medication. The difference in price of many popular medications can run as much as 60%, and in some cases, the savings of buying through Canadian pharmacies can be even greater.

It is illegal to import drugs from Canada but the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Customs officials have largely ignored drugs mailed from Canadian Internet pharmacies. Now, possibly under pressure from the large pharmaceutical companies, who have seen their profits in the U.S. erode as a result of this practice, the FDA and local health officials have taken actions against the practice.


April 21st, 2003

Scott Peterson:

Everyone's buzzing about the arrest of Scott Peterson. Nippies included.

On January 24th, we made an entry about our Amber Frye, his mysterious girlfriend and young single mother (who thought Scott Peterson was available). Nippies.com also made an entry at that time about our theory of just what we thought happened to Laci Peterson. In fairness, and as an afterthought, we deleted the entry after a short time because we do believe in the saying "innocent until proven guilty". Of course, Nippies thought he was guilty, but one never knows.

Now that Scott Peterson has been arrested and the DNA of both Laci Peterson and her unborn baby, Connor, has been identified, Nippies can re-enter on our theory of what we think may have happened on December 23rd or very early on the morning of Christmas Eve in the Scott Peterson household.

On December 23rd, 2002, at 8:30 PM, Laci spoke to her mother on the telephone. Mother's sense things, as Nippies and everyone else knows. Laci's mother sensed nothing. All was well with Laci. That is a fact.

The next day, Laci is reported missing.

Nippies has thought from the beginning that Laci died on December 23rd or during the early hours of Christmas Eve morning, and not during the time that Scott was "fishing". That is Nippies theory and it is shared by many.

What does everyone do, including we at Nippies, during the days before Christmas? We get ready. We root out the gift wrapping, the hidden gifts. Then we wrap, we write, etc. Most likely, Laci was doing the same thing as the rest of us on December 23rd. Only, perhaps, she found something she wasn't supposed to find. Perhaps she found a gift, a card, or some other evidence of Scott's infidelity with Amber Frye.

Or perhaps Laci overheard a phone call that Scott secretly placed to Amber Frye, knowing he would not be able to share the holidays with her. Perhaps Scott called to wish his "girlfriend" a Merry Christmas. It could very well have happened.

Either way, we at Nippies think Laci stumbled upon some evidence of infidelity. Had she done so, she would probably have confronted Scott. There would have been an argument. She could have been killed during the confrontation, perhaps accidentally, perhaps not. But we at Nippies think that Laci, and her baby, died that night and Scott had to come up with a plan - and fast. Our theory about the rest is obvious. Scott could have thought of what, in his state of mind, was the perfect alibi. He was known to be an avid fisherman. He would give himself an alibi and dispose of the bodies his wife and unborn baby boy, Connor, at the same time.

We all know what happened after that, based on the media accounts: the fishing trip, the ticket from the pier launch, etc.

How sad for Laci's family. How they must be suffering for the loss of their beautiful Laci and their innocent little Connor. May God bless them and help them to deal, somehow, with their pain. It must be very nearly unbearable. Surely they held out hope even when it seemed apparent to everyone else that Laci was not going to be found alive.

And we also hope that the Peterson family - Scott's parents and relatives, are also blessed with the strength to deal with their own terrible pain. Nippies.com has just watched a CNN interview with Jackie and Lee Peterson, which was recorded in front of their home. The Peterson's pain is so very apparent. Jackie Peterson, Scott's mother, had to use her oxygen to make it through the interview.

The Petersons believe in their son's innocence, as would we all. They are angry, they are frustrated. They are especially upset at the prosecution's claim that the case against Scott Peterson is a "slam dunk".

We at Nippies think this was a very unwise statement to make.

Now we at Nippies, like the rest of the world, must wait for the trial.

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Ebay or GREEDbay?!

Have you auctioned anything on Ebay lately? We at Nippies got a phone call the other day from a friend who does and what she told us is unbelievable, but true.

We at Nippies have learned that Ebay has raised the price of their reserve auctions!! For items being sold with a reserve price set at over $100.00, you must now pay, on top of the other fees, 1% (up to $100) of the reserve price. So, if you LIST an item for $10,000.00, you must not only pay the insertion fee but, now, an additional $100.00 just for listing the auction as a "RESERVE PRICE" auction.

For those of you who are not familiar with the term "reserve price", let Nippies.com try to explain it through example. Let's say you want to sell that ugly clock that Aunt Matilda gave you when she had you clean out her attic. You don't know how much the thing is worth, but you don't want to risk angering Aunt Matilda for less than, hmmm, $500.00. (After all, she will pop in during the next few weeks to make sure her clock is properly displayed. But for $500.00 you'll put up with her disapproval). So, you begin the auction at $1.00 and set a "reserve price", which is hidden from all bidders, at $500.00. The bidding will then begin at $1.00 and you are under no obligation to sell until the hidden "reserve price" of $500.00 is reached.

The reserve price fee (1%) is charged to your charge card at the beginning of the Ebay auction and is only refunded if you sell your item and pay the commission.

The reserve price feature on Ebay is a great tool because it gives bidders an incentive to keep upping their bids in the hope of reaching the mysterious "reserve price" before anyone else. Once the reserve price is reached, the auction automatically closes and the item is theirs!

Ebay now has placed themselves in a win-win situation. If you actually sell your reserve price item, you get your reserve price refunded. BUT you will have to pay a "final value fee", which is a significant commission. And if you do NOT sell your reserve priced item, you must pay the new 1% fee on the total reserve price.

Anyway, the last time Nippies actually sold something on Ebay, in 1999, it costs us only $1.00. Yes, hard to believe, it cost only $1.00 to sell a $70.00 juicer that Mr. Nippies had purchased for us but which we'd never actually used. Mr. Nippies never even noticed that the juicer was gone. Best of all, there was no "Final value fee" or any other fee on Ebay at that time. Just one good old American dollar, period, was all Nippies paid to unload the juicer.

Let us know about your Ebay experiences.

How is it that Ebay, with it's fabulous profits and soaring stock, finds it necessary to continually raise prices? We at Nippies call it g-r-e-e-d.


April, 2003

Darling Street:

Many years ago, we at Nippies attended a small, private 4 year college. The college, run by an order of priests but staffed by mostly non-religious professors, was several towns away from our home, but not so far away that there wasn't bus service available. Each and every morning, rain or snow, I would walk out the front door of my parents' home and trudge down the hill in my platform shoes and glossy, smooth black fake-fur hooded jacket (which I kept until it fell apart) and wait for the bus in front of the "unemployment bureau" alongside the other poor souls who were lacking their own four wheels.

Click here for the rest of the story:DARLING STREET


March 25th, 2003

A Nippies Injustice Story

Personal injury hell: What happens if your personal injury lawyer mades a "mistake" and wants to save himself from a malpractice suit? Or is the person or entity you are suing has connections in high places and wants the lawsuit squashed? Read the following Nippies horror story...PERSONAL INJURY HORROR STORY


March 23rd, 2003

Nippies remembers....

Nineteen years ago today, my mother passed away.

I don't need to explain how much of a loss it is for anyone to lose one of their parents. The death of a parent is truly one of life's saddest experiences.

The anniversary of my mother's death will not be remembered by many. She wasn't famous, she didn't have a "career", she wasn't socially prominent nor was she wealthy. She didn't even have a lot of friends because of her shyness.

Click below to continue reading:

REMEMBERING MARTHA


March 20th, 2003

Just like the rest of our fellow Americans, we at Nippies are constantly glued to our television sets for the latest news on our current state of war. And we pray daily for the welfare of our troops, fellow citizens, and innocent victims of war everywhere.

On the radio a few days ago (public radio), we heard stories about how desperate Iraqi citizens were to get out of the country and across the border to Kuwait before the air strikes by the U.S. began. Nippies was shocked to hear tgat the cost of a taxi ride? Public radio reported that the average price for an Iraqi citizen to cross the border out of Iraq in a taxi was $1250 American dollars.

This is quite a chunk of change for the average Iraqi citizen, whose income hovers around the $100 per month level.

Saddam's income, however, and his canniness for survival, as well as his supreme ability to instill fear in those around him, should pose no problem for any efforts he might make to reach the border and a safe harbor.

On TV today, a joundalist for Al-Hayat said that she believes that most Arabs have no concern about the welfare of the Butcher of Baghdad. Most Arabs are, however, concerned about the innocent and poor Iraqi civilians who will be left behind to face tho air assaults.

It's heartbreaking to think about the potential loss of lives. We at Nippies.com have noted that many of our troops still have the baby fat on their faces Only last year they were probably still sleeping under their parents' roof and in the single bed they slept in since childhood, and now, far from that safe place, they face the very real threat of a horrible death.

Nippies was touched by an interview of three Iraqi teens on television yesterday. The boys, about age 14-16, talked about their fears and how the (then) threat of war has changed their lives. Most hearbreaking was when the interviewer asked the most outspoken of the boys if they ever listened to music besides Iraqi music. He responded by standing up and offering a rendition of one of The Back Street Boys most famous songs. And he looked like he really meant it.


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No part may be quoted, reproduced or copied without the express written permission of the owner/editor.