NIPPIES® online magazine
Issue #14: January 12 to February 6, 2004

Welcome to NIPPIES - since 1999!
We take little "nippies" out of every subject.

VIP = (Very Important Person).

NIP = (Not Important Person) - to some.

News about:
celebrities, entertainment, politics, business, finance, health insurance, society, pop culture & more - from a working class viewpoint! logo by Marion Weiscarger Roughsedge

February 6th, 2004

Schools Out For Winter...

Throughout the Northeast, schools are closed due to the sleet and snow. We at NIPPIES are located in the Northeast.

As we type (at 6:44 a.m.), we are watching the news. The local weatherman is showing a pan of what looks like rock salt that he's collected as it falls from the darkened sky. The white pellets in the pan looks like the stuff you throw on the icy sidewalk in front of your house so no one can fall and sue your pants off. But! what the out-on-location reporter is showing to the sleepy-eyed television audience is not actually "Quik Joe", as we call a local brand of rock salt. Rather, the stuff is hail, or icy pellets, which have been falling from the darkened heavens for the past few hours.

There is only about an inch or so of new snow on the ground. But schools - grade schools, high schools and colleges alike - are, with few exceptions, closed throughout the Northeast. Our son, who goes to a local college, and our daughter, who is in grade school, are both sleeping peacefully in their beds, secure in the knowledge that they don't have to spend the day in a classroom. I informed them of the school closings a few moments ago. We at NIPPIES then made a phone call to our sister to tell her that her college, where she is employed as a high-ranking secretary, is also closed for the day. (The closing of the colleges is very telling of just how bad the roads are around these parts. Normally, local colleges will go on "compressed" schedules, beginning classes at 10 a.m. rather than 8 a.m., when the weather is imclement.)

Mr. Nippies, who is self-employed, is also in dreamland.

In our household, all is well, thank God. We are all together and safe. Let it snow, and may God be with those of you who have to trudge or drive through the ice and snow to join the world.


Sad News...Little Carlie Brucia's Body Found in Sarasota, FL

There is a press conference scheduled momentarily, but it seems fairly certain that the body, reported to have been found behind a Florida church, is that of missing 11-year-old Carly Brucia.

Carlie Brucia, as you remember, was abducted at 6:20 p.m. Sunday evening from behind Evie's Car Wash in Sarasota, FL. A surveillance video clearly showed Carlie being taken by the arm and led away by a man in a mechanic's uniform. Carlie had taken the route behind the car wash as a short-cut home. The man thought to be guilty of the abduction, Joseph P. Smith, was identified by his neighbors from the car wash surveillance video tape. The owner of the car wash, Mike Evanoff, had reviewed on Monday after investigator's bloodhounds led them to Evanoff's car wash. On Tuesday, Smith was picked up on a parole violation charge and detained and questioned by police.

The press conference has just begun. It is very sad. Sarasota, FL. sheriff Bill Balkwell is choking back tears as he announces to the world that little Carlie's body has been found and positively identified. I have chills.

"Our prayers on behalf of everybody here in Sarasota go out to the family," the sheriff states before he walks away.

Another official, not identified on the television screen, is speaking now, and stating that the officials have found Carly, and also have "the person responsible for her" death. The official did NOT say allegedly responsible. He said "responsible". He is referring to Joseph P. Smith, the 37-year-old mechanic. Smith has been charged with Carlie's murder, after being held without bail since Tuesday on a probation violation.

Smith has been arrested at least 13 times in Florida since 1993, according to state records, and convicted of drug possession and other charges. He was arrested in 1997 in Manatee County on kidnapping and false imprisonment charges, but was acquitted a year later.

Carlie's photo, that of a sweet little eleven-year-old girl, is on the screen now. It's so horrible to think we, the world, actually witnessed this child- safe and sound one second on that video surveillance tape as she walked nonchalantly towards her home - amd then, within seconds, being approached by her murderer, taken by the arm, and being led away to whateter terrible fate awaited her. It's one of the most haunting pieces of tape that could ever exist. It makes us say "If only....if only".

Susan Schorpen, Carlie's mother, said, on Thursday, in a plea to Carlie's abductor: "I need my daughter home."

No one can turn back the clock on this one. How we wish we could. All we can do is warn our own children about dangers out there.

Our prayers go out to Carlie Brucia's family and friends.


"I felt I would be fired if I didn't lie": testimony of Douglas Faneuil in the Martha Steward trial.

The above is a quote from yesterday's testimony by star witness, Douglas Faneuil, in the Martha Stewart obstruction of justice trial. The contents of an e-mail by Faneuil was also revealed:

"I have never, ever been treated more rudely by a strander in my life...she actually hung up on me," Faneuil complained in an e-mail to a friend.

Another e-mail spoke of how "baby", which Douglas Faneuil referred to himself as in this particular e-mail, got back at Martha for her rude behavior.

Needless to say, Douglas Faneuil is being heavily grilled by Martha Stewart defense team of high-priced lawyers. His testimony will resume on Monday, February 9th.


Kurt Russell's Miracle: Siegel Loves IT!

We at NIPPIES watched GMA (Good Morning America) movie critic pan one movie and love another today.

Joes Siegel told us, basically, not to bother going to see the sequel to Barbershop, the hit 2002 film about a day in the life of a South Side Chicago barbershop. Barbershop 2: Back in Business is so bad, he hinted, that if they'd made Barber Shop 2 first, there would not, in his opinion, have been a sequel.

The first Barbershop starred Ice Cube, as does the second film. However, the original Barbershop was directed by Tim Story, who has been busy recently putting the post-production touches on his new film, Taxi, which is to be released in 2004. Taxi stars Queen Latifah, Jimmy Fallon, and Gisese Bundchen.

Barbershop 2: Back in Business was directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan. Both stories give writing credit to Mark Brown. Mo< Joel's negative review could be wrong. Hey, we at NIPPIES have seen many, MANY films which we've loved- and the critics have hated. And vice versa.

Siegel loved, on the other hand, the new Kurt Russell film called Miracle. This film stars Goldie Hawn's longtime love as "Herb Brooks", a 1980 Olympic hopeful hockey team coach. Much of the hockey team in this film, by the way, are NOT actors but are real hockey players, according to Joel Siegel!

I'm not a big hockey fan. I haven't seen this film, and may not go to see it, I must confess! However, I do like Kurt Russell (one of our favorite films to watch over and over is Overboard). And I know there are many, many hockey fans out there, and non-hockey fans, who would love to see this movie. So we at NIPPIES want to pass on the positive review of Miracle.

The film is directed by Gavin O'Connor, and writing credits go to Eric Guggenheim, as in the museum.


ZICAM Blamed for Loss of Smell Lawsuits are on the horizon in four states against the manufacturer of ZICAM, the zinc gluconicum (zinc gluconate) compound. The popular cold remedy, which is sprayed into nasal passages, is being blamed for the loss of smell, the permanent loss of smell, in several patients. Time will tell if this is true.

We at NIPPIES just thought we'd let you know what is being said about the popular OTC cold nasal mist. Is it true? Only time will tell.


Famous Females: Alice May Brock

"Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good." -Alice May Brock

Alice May Brock was born February 28th, 1941!

Madame C.J. Walker

"I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations....I have built my own factory on my own ground"
Madam Walker, National Negro Business League Convention, July 1912

Madam C.J. Walker, who lived from 1867-1919, was the first African-American female millionare. She made her fortune in the beauty industry, a field she got her start in when she moved to St. Louis to join her 4 brothers in their barber business. Madam made only $1.50 per day in those early days- and we at NIPPIES are willing to bet they were not 9-5 days!

Madam began to lose her hair while only in her early thirties. After trying many hair loss products made by others, she had a dream. The dream revealed to her, she later claimed, the secrets to creating a special product of her own which would promote hair growth. Sarah Walker called this product, which started her on the way to fame and fortune, Madam Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower. (Contrary to popular belief, Madam did NOT invent the straightening comb, according to her official web site.)

Madam C. J. Walker's web site,, is run by her great great granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles. A'Lelia Bundles is also, like her famous ancestor, a very accomplished woman. Ms. Bundles, a former Washington bureau chief for ABC News, and still very involved with ABC news in Washington, D.C. and New York, has penned a biography about Sarah Walker entitled: On Her Own Ground (Scribner / A Lisa-Drew Book 2001).

Madam C. J. Walker died at her estate, Villa Lewaro, in 1919. We honor, and remember, her today as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and social and political activist. Her accomplishments are many. Here is a paragraph from her official web site:

Madam Walker, who was inducted into the American Health and Beauty Aids Institute's Hall of Fame in 1999, is widely recognized as a pioneer of the modern hair care and cosmetics industries. As the founder of the Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company, she developed marketing and distribution strategies as innovative as any entrepreneur of her era.

On our very next trip to the library, we at NIPPIES are going to pick up a copy of On Her Own Ground and read it from cover to cover. We are always fascinated by strong people who rise from underprivileged backgrounds to greatness not only of fortune and fame, but of any sort of honorable accomplishment.

We at NIPPIES suggest that you learn much more about this amazing woman by visiting her web site at:
You can also write to her great great granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles, at an address found at the official site. (Although we are sure Ms. Bundles would be pleased to hear from you, please go through all the material on the site before sending any e-mails to Ms. Bundles. There is a wealth of information on the official web site.)

February 5th, 2004

Happy Birthday, Leo!
My brother-in-law, Leo, turns a significant number today. We at NIPPIES won't reveal his age, but it now ends in "0". :) There's snow on the roof, Leo, but still fire in the furnace.

This is the brother-in-law (everyone should have one) who knows how to fix anything and everything: furnaces, busted pipes, broken light fixtures, etc. And he comes and fixes whatever's broke, at any time of the day or night, for free.

Leo is also the one who you call when your car breaks down. He can always seem to get it started. And, if time allows, will work it in his spare time at his home garage.

My sister, who has been married to Leo for the past 35 years, and dated him for many years before that, is quite a few years older than I am. And Leo is older than Sis. So, Leo's got nearly a generation's worth of years on me. But even though I wasn't even a teen when they met, I have clear memories of the two of them dating. It was back in the years when Carol Burnett's show was top in the ratings and she seemed to be pregnant every year. I know this because they loved to watch that show together, alone - or so they thought. On more than one occasion, my baby brother and I sat on the steps, spying on the two of them, and watching The Carol Burnett Show way past our bedtime.

Leo spent a lot of time at our house when I was growing up.

One time, when I was about nine or ten, Leo and his cousin, Francois (who married my other older sister, making all their kids doubly-related) came waltzing into the house on a Sunday afternoon. Sunday afternoons were my cake-baking time. Even at this age, I was the only female in our household who liked to bake.

I had just gotten the cake, through various methods such as opening the window in 35 degree weather, to cool to the proper temperature for "icening", as we called frosting the cake in our predominantly Irish household. My best buttercream frosting, made with "10x" powered sugar, was sitting in its green ceramic bowl (yellow was for mixing the cake) all smooth, creamy, sweet and ivory-white. But before I could begin to frost the cake, Leo, with his sidekick Francois at his side, took over the operation. I reluctantly allowed them, for a quarter, to do the honors. Fifteen minutes later, amidst much laughter - mostly on their part - the cake was finished. In more ways than one. Even though the top layer had cracked down the middle and we had to use straws to hold the whole thing together, it still tasted just fine.

Leo was quite the trickster when he was young. We still laugh about how he promised me a dollar if I squeezed the juice of a whole lemon into a glass and swallowed it down in one gulp. How hard could that be, I reasoned? So I cut the lemon in half and squeezed, under his supervision, until the two halves of the fruit had been thoroughly wrung out. I then drank as specified by Leo - in one gulp. To this day I can still remember how my throat seemed to go into one large contraction. And how Leo laughed and laughed. I did get the dollar, though. Leo always keeps his word.

Today, the practical jokes are played less frequently. But Leo is still with us, thank God. And he's more than made up with all this little pranks.

My sister and "favorite brother-in-law", as Leo likes to jokingly call himself, now have four children: three grown daughters and a young son who just turned twelve. (Leo finally got his much wanted boy years after he'd given up hope- life is full of surprises). My sister and Leo are also the grandparents of five. Next month, the kids will be throwing a surprise birthday party for Leo. Relatives will be coming from near and far. And, with any luck, I'll have thought of a good practical joke to play on good "old" Leo- just for old times sake.

In the meantime, with this cold snap that we're having, I will be very nice to Leo. After all, the furnace might refuse to work some frigid night, or the car might refuse to start. And it wouldn't do to pull any practical jokes on Leo any sooner than necessary.

Even though I would never say this in person (it's one of our longest running jokes- I give him a kiss and call him a bit of a nasty name whenever I'm leaving a family party) - well, I love ya, Leo! Happy Birthday.


Chinese Plastic on the Horizon...Woe is They!

Citi Bank (CitiGroup) has introduced the first credit card to the people of China. God help the Chinese. They really don't know what they are getting into - debt!

It was announced on CNN a few minutes ago that the Citicard,with the help of partner Shanghai Dupong Bank, will premiere in the populous city of Shanghai. The smaller cities and towns throughout China do not, of course, take credit cards of any type- yet. Basically, the Chinese people tend to pay as they go.

We at NIPPIES can't help but shudder at the introduction of the credit card to China. Sure, it will be very lucrative business for Citi. There are, after all, several billion people in China. And we know that once the Chinese people get a taste of credit they will, like the rest of the world, get addicted very quickly. But it's a crying shame, we think. One of the worst things about our country is how most of us are working just to pay off our credit cards and other debts. I, for one, would have done without until I could pay cash if I could start over again...


What Justin Timberlake Says...

The truth, according to Justin Timberlake, is that even his own family was shocked and disappointed in his hehavior at the Superbowl this past Sunday, February 1st. However, Justin maintains that he had no idea just how much of Janet Jackson's breast would be revealed. He believed, he claims, that when he tugged at Janet's costume, only a red bra-like garment would be revealed.

We at NIPPIES don't know about you, but we never bought the "wardrobe malfunction" story. Sorry, Justin. We never thought any of this was an accident. We always thought it was a publicity stunt. In our opinion, it was simply meant to top the Madonna-Britney Spears incident. As a matter of fact, when we heard about the Jackson-Timberlake fiasco on Superbowl Sunday, the first thing we thought, and this is only our opinion, folks, was that the whole thing was probably thought out well in advance. We at NIPPIES also suspect that there might even have been a written legal agreement between Janet and Justin so that neither one could blame the other should the stunt backfire.

Well, backfire it did. The word in the media is that Janet Jackson is thinking of not going to the Grammy Awards show because of this whole Superbowl mess.

Perhaps society has finally reached the overflow point of all this tasteless behavior. Perhaps we will begin to go backwards towards a bit of common decency. Personally, and I'm no prude, I'm rather disgusted and fed up seeing those "Girls Gone Wild" commercials where every girl has her tongue hanging out as she lifts her tee shirt and exposes her breasts. Do these girls think they will be "discovered?" What exactly do these young girls hope to gain? Or are they so drunk (on spring break) that they don't know what they are doing- or signing.

My little daughter has seen these commericials on regular cable television, and I'm offended at their constant showing on TV.

And this in a country where the Ten Commandments are being taken down from government and public buildings because certain parties are "offended" by them and where children cannot pray in public schools. Sheesh.


Dougles Faneuil on the Hot Seat...Not a Good Thing!

Well, according to yesterday's news reports, Dougles Faneuil stuck to his story regarding Peter Bacanovic and Martha Stewart and what they said and didn't say. He testified at the Martha Stewart trial that when he informed Peter Bacanovic, his boss at Merrill Lynch, that Dr. Sam Waksal was frantically trying to dump all his family's shares of ImClone on December 27th, 2001, that Bacanovic informed him that he "must" inform Martha Stewart. The ImClone founder had just learned that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) had not approved ImClone's cancer drug. Dr. Sam Waksal knew that the news of the FDA's rejection would hit the main media the next day, and that there would be a huge sell-off of his companies shares and the stock value would plummet.

"Oh, my God, get her on the phone!" is what the New York Post reported Faneuil as saying that Bacanovic said during that fateful phone conversation that allegedly started the whole ball of wax. Bacanovic was in Florida. Stewart was on her way to Mexico. Faneuil was stuck in New York, holding down the fort at Merrill Lynch. ( Douglas's name is pronounced "FAN-you-will" according to the NYPost's Andrea Peyser).

Everyone knows that the first thing a lawyer does is to discredit the witness. The media is reporting every detail that Martha Stewart'ss lawyers have turned up about young Douglas Faneuil's life that might be seen in any sort of unfavorable light: his occasional use of illegal substances (pot and Ecstacy), his private e-mails to his "boyfriend" in which he refers to himself as "baby", the slight exaggeration of his GPA on a job application, etc.

Talk about being in the hot seat. And the newspapers reported that Martha Stewart, who has been scribbling a lot during the proceedings, didn't take her eyes off young Faneuil as he testified. Not a good thing, Douglas.

Other interesting news in the Martha Stewart trial: Rosie O'Donnell showed up to lend support. Turns out she's a big Martha fan, and thinks this wouldn't be happening to her if she wasn't a woman.

Rosie, perhaps it never occured to you, but, in our opinion, if this had happened to someone without Martha's wealth, they just might be in prison already- doing the maximum. Guilty or NOT guilty.


Hormone Replacement Boosts Cancer Return Risk- Docs

That is the headling in the New York Post article which ran on Tuesday, February 3, 2004.

According to the article, woman with a history of breast cancer should avoid HRT because of the high risk that the disease might return.

Researchers in Sweden were forced to abandon a study of the effect of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) on former breast-cancer patients after "an alarmingly high number suffered a recurrence of the disease," according to the New York Post article.

The study was supposed to run for five years but was halted after only two when nearly four times as many women (26) on the HRT had a recurrence of breast cancer compared to the group who were NOT on hormone replacement therapy. Only 7 on the non-HRT group had a breast cancer recurrence.

American and British scientists has previously stopped HRT studies after fears that it might raise the risk of breast cancer, strokes, and blood clots.

As we at NIPPIES always state, we are not medical professionals and are NOT giving medical advice. But please take this information as general information, and do research on your own before you undergo - or do not undergo - any medical treatment!

February 4th, 2004

graphic of smoking cigarette by Marion Weiscerger Roughsedge. All rights reserved $2.00 Tax on Cigarettes a Deterrent? Hahaha
On CNN this morning, the Judy and Thomas news team reports that the Surgeons General of the U.S. have proposed a law which would levy a $2.00 tax on cigarettes. The Surgeons General believe this new tax will cause millions of people to quit smoking.

We at NIPPIES say...hahaha. The tax will cause some people to quit smoking. But, we truly believe, the vast majority will just get poorer. Sadly, these will, most likely, be the poorest of the smokers.

What is our reasoning? We know people who smoke. And we know WHY they continue to smoke. Naturally, these people continue to smoke primarily because nicotine is more addictive than heroin. Ozzy Osbourne once said that, and, as a former smoker, we agree. Besides that reason, the smokers continue to smoke because they are poor. That poverty has made them feel that they are in a hopeless situation- so why not smoke? Hey, they reason, mo one in any position of power cares about me or I wouldn't be making only $5.15 per hour for all this work, now would I?

Many of these smokers have found themselves in the most boring and tedious of jobs. They live the minimum-wage lifestyle, complete with the dreary apartment. They must work over 15 hours per week just to pay their cable bill. Paying the rent takes 80 hours of pay or MORE. The heat and electric bill? Another week's pay. The rest of the bills are often paid for by the second dead-end job. Forget about decent health care or health insurance. They can't afford it. That little cigarette delivers a mini-vacation to them every half hour or so. it helps them to go on. It is the little stepping stone that takes them from one dreary moment to another- it gets them through.

Now, before we hear from everyone, let us finish. We KNOW that by continuing to smoke, these people are just being self-fulfilling prophets. They are continuing their seemingly hopeless situations, because not only are cigarettes robbing them of their health and at least $120.00 per month (or about $1400 per year even if they smoke the cheapest of the cheapest cigarettes), but the cigarettes, we believe, also contribute to depression. And it takes valuable time to smoke a cigarette. We figured it out...if you smoke a pack a day and each cigarette takes about 10 minutes- well, that's 200 minutes per day, isn't it? Or three hours and twenty minutes of your time. That's a LOT of time that could better be used elsewhere- like with your children.

All that said, let us say more. First of all, if the Surgeons General REALLY want everyone to stop smoking - and, more importantly, to keep our YOUMG people from smoking - they would push for a few things.

1. The legal age for buying cigarettes should be 21. Everywhere. Everyone knows that many 18-year-olds are still juniors and seniors in high schools. Some 18-year-olds might even be sophomores. These kids buy the cigarettes for the younger kids...add a little tax of their own on the sale of the cigarettes... and have themselves a little extra spending money.

2. Push for a NICOTINE ANONYMOUS in every little town. These 12-step programs are, as they say, anonymous and very supportive. They are more helpful to those trying to quit smoking than the expensive hospital programs which sometimes use scare tactics to try and get people to quit smoking. Also, the NA programs feature sponsors who are always available to offer support to those trying to quit smoking or using nicotine. These sponsors have been there and thoroughly understand the trials and tribulations of attempting to give up the nicotine habit.

3. Work towards making cigarettes totally illegal. Believe it or not, this suggestion came from a 19-year-old we love very much who is, he believes, nearly hopelessly addicted to smoking. He knows he would not have started smoking if cigarettes weren't given to him by the older kids in his school and would definitely not have started if they were illegal.

February 3rd, 2004

Watch Penny Serenade on TCM today at 10:30 a.m. EST

Years ago, on a lazy afternoon, I discovered the classic film Penny Serenade quite by accident while flipping through the channels. The sight of Cary Grant and Irene Dunne together immediately grabbed my attention. (I'd loved Ms. Dunne in Life With Father, which I'd seen on American Movie Classics a year or two before. And, of course, what female can resist Cary?). This film, like Life With Father, was on American Movie Classics.

As anyone who was an AMC fan knows, the station has changed its format to attract younger viewers. In doing so, the station has lost many of its older viewers. Enter Turner Classic Movies, which is now nearly a clone of the original American Movie Classics, and which, today, will broadcast Penny Serenade at 10:30 a.m.

If you are fortunate enough to be off today, to work at home, or to just have enough time to watch this film, do so. Penny Serenade a wonderful movie about a childless couple who adopt. True, it's a real tearjerker at times. But the happy scenes in this film, and there are many, make it well worth shedding a few tears. In addition to Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, who, of course, play the loving but childless couple, thre are a number of other wonderful actors. The film also features the Beulah Bondi (It's A Wonderful Life) as the warm and understanding social worker and Edgar Buchanan as Cary Grant's helper in the printing press just below the apartment where Cary and Irene live in semi-poverty.

Eva Lee Kuney plays the adopted child (at age 6). Eva Lee started acting at age 18 months (she was born in 1935) and retired from movies at the ripe old age of 9, in 1944. Her career included a recurring role in the Little Rascals films. She played Spanky's little sister.


President Bush's Fiscal Year 2005 Budget
Health & Human Services Tommy Thompson live on C-Span2

Health & Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson, is now live on C-Span2 talking about President Bush's budget for 2005. Increases go to the FDA, decreases go to the National Institute of Health. (The NIH has seen a doubling of their budget in the past few years and it was decided that the time had come to slow down on spending there.)

There is also money allocated for the education young people on the benefits of abstaining from sex. Good for you, President Bush.

Of course, there is a LOT more to this budget. But you can read about that in the newspapers, folks! It's far too long to fairly reproduce here at NIPPIES.


February 1st, 2004

The Prego Baby-Covered-With-Sauce Commercial Music?? A woman wrote to me and asked if we at NIPPIES could please find out the name of the music in the background of the above mentioned Prego commercial. The baby who gets covered in sauce, by the way, is in a high chair. This woman is curious about the music playing in the background.

Normally someone in my family, which has more than one musician, can name that tune. However. none of us have seen this particular commercial! Even my sister Annie, an avid television viewer who misses nothing, has never seen the commercial.

So, if you can possibly help out by writing to the with the name of the Prego commercial tune, I'll be sure to pass on the information to "Donna"!

And Donna, thank you for signing our NIPPIES guest book!


Cabin Fever: Why Do We Eat So Much in the Winter?

We at NIPPIES know it is NOT just us. Many people gain weight in the cold months of winter. Why is that? Does our metabolism slow down when the outside temperature drops below 32 degrees Farenheit? If so, why do we still eat a lot even when we don't go out doors and the temperature in the house is set at, say, a very nice and cozy 75 degrees? Is it the boredom that comes with cabin fever which makes us eat more than we should? Television commercials? What??

All I know is this: I've gained more than one or two pounds since Christmas, and I do this every winter. And I can't seem to lose it. Also, I am definitely hungrier every year between Christmas and Easter. Tonight, for example, I'm ashamed that I returned home from Sunday Mass, a meeting afterward, and a visit with a friend to eat two bowls of leftover spaghetti, three pieces of whole wheat breat, a can of tuna, a glass of orance juice, and another piece of bread smeared with peanut butter and jelly. Yes. Really. And believe me, I'm not normally prone to gluttony! But I was just like an empty pit which could not be filled.

This happens every winter, so it's not an imbalance, folks.

I would like to hear from others on this subject. Do you eat more in the coldest months of winter??

January 30th, 2004

Pennsylvania Personal Injury Liar- er- Lawyer

We at NIPPIES were watching a cable channel the other day when we saw a commercial which, quite frankly, almost made us toss our cookies. It was a commercial for a personal injury law firm which we'd LOVE to name, but the only time this law firm does any good work is in defending itself against legal malpractice AND, we'd bet, winning a libel case - even if what was written about them was true. So, sadly, we won't name the rotten boob who runs this firm.

The law firm, located in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania, but which also has offices in two other nearby states, showed the head of this particular personal injury law firm standing there telling us that he wanted to help us get what we deserved. Yeah, right.

This particular law firm is, in our opinion, a personal injury clearinghouse. Sometimes these type of firms are called personal injury mills. We do not make this assessment lightly.

This particular law firm had only non-lawyers (such as "assistant claims managers") handle the case of our friend for over a year. Their negligence made a fiasco of our friend's case.

When the friend's wife got smart enough to put a request for a lawyer to call in writing, a lawyer finally called. This lawyer was what my friend's wife called "the clean-up man". His job was, obviously, to belittle the case and make the friend think that no harm had been done by the year of neglect. He tried mightily to force a very small settlement on my friend.

When that didn't work, the lawyer tried to malign my friend AND his wife, who never was involved in the actual lawsuit...only in complaining about the law firm. He did this by sending letters to my friend confirming telephone conversations which had never occured.

Why would someone's own lawyer do this? Political connections is all we will say. Basically, the law firm threw the case, we suspect, as a favor to a very, very powerful political connection who should have been, but wasn't, named as a defendant.

There is much more to this case. But the essence of our warning is that personal injury mills take every case they can and basically have non-legal personnel handle the cases. The more cases they can grab,the merrier. Quick and CHEAP settlements, with a fast 1/3 take for the firm, is the order of the day.

Long story short: If you've been injured, PLEASE don't hire a law firm based on a television advertisement. Ask around. Get a personal recommendation from a friend. And ask for proof that they litigate a substantial number of their cases.


Martha Stewart's $12,000.00 Handbag... If you read some of the newspaper reports about the jury selection process and Martha's appearance in court, then surely you've read about how she showed up with a $12,000.00 Hermes handbag. Can you imagine having a handbag that expensive to dangle from your arm??

By the way, if you read the newspapers today, you might know that Martha's team is probably celebrating. Judge Miriam Cedarbaum has delayed the testimony of prosecution witness Douglas Faneuil. It seems that U.S. attorneys didn't share a certain F.B.I. document with the defense which could, according to reports, raise doubt about a key allegation against Stewart's stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic. Faneuil, a rookie broker who was only 26 years old at the time of the sale of Martha Stewart's 4,000 shares of ImClone stock, will now not be allowed to testify for the FEDS until next Thursday.

Martha Stewart, 62, and Peter Bacanovic, 41, are each charged with five feveral counts accusing them of lying and fabricating evidence to obstruct the feds' insider-trading investigation into Stewart's ImClone sale.

Listen, we at NIPPIES don't know if she's guilty of insider trading, covering up, or whatever. But we DO know that the Martha Stewart stuff we bought did NOT last. Coffee cups, which were very pretty to look at, had handles snap off before they were a year pillows de-tufted with one washing....feather pillows had the stiff part of the feathers still attached...and so on and so forth.

We much prefer JOE BOXER brand.


Cold Mountain - Cold Shoulder

As everyone knows by now, the Miramax film, Cold Mountain, was largely given the cold shoulder by the Academy of Motion Pictures. The ninety million dollar movie was given seven nominations. But the nominations mostly came in lesser categories (except for Renee Zellweger's Supporting Actress nomination.)

We haven't seen the movie, so we cannot comment on its merits. However, we at NIPPIES did get a chuckle out of one observation made by a longtime Oscar watcher, according to the New York Post: "People coming out of the Academy screenings were unenthusiastic, complaining about things like Nicole Kidman looking too glamorous after suffering through deprivation during the Civil War."

Perhaps Nicole should have watched Gone With The Wind and gotten a good look at the thin and pale Vivien Leigh/Scarlett O'Hara as she looked immediately post-Civil War...

Final Oscar News of the Day

We at NIPPIES must point out our personal Oscar® disappointment: Big Fish wasn't nominated for Best Picture. We have already gone on record stating how moved our entire family was by this Tim Burton masterpiece. Other people have been buzzing about the fact that this movie was left out in the cold, as well. The fact that it was released so late in the year (December) may have had something to do with its being passed over... ****************************************************************************

This News Might Give You a Migraine!

As though migraine sufferers didn't have enough to worry about...a new study, by Mark Kruit, a physician as Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and published in a recent Journal fo the American Medical Association (JAMA), reports that severe headaches are "a progressive brain-damaging disease in some cases", according to an article in the New York Post.

The study shows that for patients who suffered migrains with visual disturbances, there is a 13 times greater risk of cerebral infarction (brain tissue which dies due to lack of oxygen) when compared to the group which had no migraines at all. For those migraine sufferers who had no eye trouble, there was seven times the risk of cerebral infarction.

January 28th, 2004

Mulholland Dr.:Naomi Watts and Ann Miller

Last Thursday evening, we at NIPPIES were sitting in a car, outside a dance studio, when we heard the news of Ann Miller's passing. Actually, we figured out that she'd died before they announced it: she was being heavily discussed on and some of her friends were speaking about her in the past tense.

One friend spoke of an interesting claim that the late Ms. Miller was fond of making- that she was capable of tapping over 500 beats per minute. Ann Miller was, in case you didn't know, a very famous dancer.

This week, on American Movie Classics, they are showing many of Ann Miller's films. Robert Osbourne, AMC's new host, explained that some of AMC-TV's regular programming was being pre-empted to mark the dancing legend's passing.

Oddly, this week we picked up David Lynch's Mulholland Dr. We say "oddly" because, unbeknownst to us when we selected the film from the video store shelf, Ann Miller has a hefty supporting role as Cocoa, Naomi Watt's landlady in the film. Even more coincidental, we at NIPPIES had never heard of Naomi Watts until this morning, when we watched the live Academy Award nominations. Naomi Watts, along with Sean Penn, were nominated for their acting in 21 Grams.

By the way, Mulholland Dr. is a very riveting film. It pulled us in from the very beginning, even though we had no idea what was going on throughout most of this movie. There are so many seemingly unconnected plots and unrelated characters coming and going. But the surrealistic feeling of the film (you feel like a voyeur) kept our attention, and we are sure it will capture yours. This film is very, very entertaining. And very, very long- perfect for a snowbound evening such as the one the Northeast is experiencing tonight.

There are two words of warning about Mulholland Dr.: do NOT watch it with any minors around. And don't watch it if you are depressed or prone to depression. You'll understand and, most likely, appreciate this advice when you view this oddly brilliant cinematic offering.

January 27th, 2004

Academy Award SHOCKER!

We at NIPPIES just watched, LIVE, the announcements of the Academy Award nominations. There were some shockers...

First of all, a surprise inclusion was Marcia Gay Harden, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. We were also pleasantly surprised to see Holly Hunter, a personal favorite of ours, nominated in this category.

It wasn't a surprise to see Renee Zellweger's (she has one of the toughest names to spell correctly) nomination as best supporting actress for Cold Mountain.

Speaking of Cold Mountain...there was NO nomination for Nicold Kidman. Now, that was a SHOCKER. Everyone thought the beautiful Nicole was a shoe-in for her role in this hugely successful, and highly publicized, film. I guess you never know.

Lord of the Rings, directed by Peter Jackson (who appeared on Good Morning America immediately after the nominations), is thrilled about the record-breaking 11 (none for acting) nominations which Lord of the Rings: Return of the King received. Amazing!

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, also received no acting nominations, but received an astounding 10 Oscar nominations overall. Surely there must be some disappointment on the part of Russell Crowe.

We at NIPPIES were very pleased to see that Johnny Depp was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Way to go, Johnny. He's just so good. We at NIPPIES re-watched Donnie Brasco for the second or third time. And, by the way, other films that Johnny Depp is currently working on include:Pirates of the Caribbean 2; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (as Willy Wonka); The Rum Diary; The Libertine and, surprisingly, J.M. Barrie's Neverland which is NOT another Peter Pan remake but is, rather, a biographical film about the life of J.M. Barrie.

Alec Baldwin was nominated as Best Supporting Actor. So was Tim Robbins.

Best Actress nominations for an Oscar include: Naomi Watts, Diane Keaton and Charlize Theron. Again, no Nicole Kidman folks...

Other Best Actor Academy Award nominations include Jude Law, Bill Murray (yes! the loveable Bill Murray of Saturday Night Live fame), and Sean Penn.

More Oscar® news will follow.

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Need a Lift? Go Non-Surgical...

Wow. It seems that everyone everywhere is talking about plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery these days. And it also seems as though everyone's doing it!

Many people don't want to go "under the knife" to look better. There are, therefore, options out there: non-surgical face lifts! On "Living It Up With Ali & Jack" this morning, the focus was non-surgical plastic surgery, such as Thermage (or, as it is also called, "Thermacool"). There were also several products shown which can give a temporary "lift" to aging, sagging, and wrinkled skin.

Thermage, or Thermacool, is a procedure approved by the FDA in 2000. (Thermage is the company in California which received the approval by the FDA). Thermage involves, according to Dr. Jean Loftus, M.D., who is a board certified plastic surgeon, heating up the collagen in the skin. This results in firmer skin, without surgery. This procedure is not inexpensive (can cost up to $2500 per session), must be performed at a surgeon's office, and does hurt a bit.

Dr. Loftus also strongly suggested that the cosmetic surgeon who performs the surgery should be board-certified in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, have his or her office "fully accredited", and have hospital privileges to perform the procedure.

Later on, in a separate "Living It Up With Ali & Jack", there was another doctor who talked about topical treatments for giving your skin a more youthful appearance: Rest-A-Lin, Model's Secret, Ramy's and Insta-Tox were all featured. Models showed before and after results. Some results were impressive and others were hardly noticeable. We at NIPPIES also suspect this stuff isn't cheap, either. So you might want to ask around before you invest.

If you are trying to look younger- and most of us are- and you find a product that you want to share with NIPPIES' readers, please write to us. We'll look into it an perhaps feature it in a separate article.

For more information on board certified plastic surgeons, click below:

January 24th, 2004

"Hi, tried to reach you..." If you get an e-mail with the words "Hi, tried to reach you..." in the "subject" area (and sent from a Helen somebody), don't bother to open it. It's yet another sales pitch or "spam". We at NIPPIES rarely fall for spam, but this was a good one. We got it on two of our e-mail accounts.


Saying Good-bye to Friends We Never Knew

The final episode of Friends is currently being taped. We at NIPPIES may be one of the few people in the Western Hemisphere who has never seen a whole episode of this show. Once, just once, we tuned in and watch about half of one which had caught our interest during channel surfing.

At any rate, good luck to the cast and crew in their future endeavors. Obviously, with hits like Along Came Polly and last year's Bruce Almighty under her belt, Jennifer Aniston won't need much "luck"!


The Captain Sails for Home

We at NIPPIES were very sad- and shocked- to hear about the passing of Robert Keeshan, who was, as we all know, Captain Kangaroo on the very popular children's show which began running in 1955. What was really appalling was the fact that we didn't know he was still alive! I thought Bob Keeshan had died years ago, and, normally, I'm quite up on those things. Another shocker was that he was only 76 years old (he would have turned 77 in June).

Robert Keeshan was only in his late twenties and early thirties during Captain Kangaroo's early years...

We at NIPPIES loved this show when we were tots: Mr. Green Jeans, Dancing Bear, Grandfather Clock, Bunny Rabbit, etc., were wonderful characters. Who wouldn't love them and Bob Keeshen's soft voice and cozy house into which we were invited daily?

He was born Robert James Keeshan in Lynbrook, Long Island, New York on June 27, 1927. After a brief military stint, be began working as a page at the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and was the original ���Clarabell the Clown��� for the NBC mega-hit, ���Howdy Doody Show���. He co-created, co-produced and hosted "Tinker's Workshop" with Jack Miller on WJZ/WABC TV Ch. 7 in New York City from November 1954 to September 1955. His stint on Captain Kangaroo is, of course, legendary.

Our condolences and sympathy to Mr. Keeshen's family (he leaves behind three children) and friends. He was an American icon with a place in the hearts of every child who ever watched one of his shows.


Presidential Poverty

The presidential race is amusing. All these wealthy men telling us how concerned they are about the "little guy". I'm not for or against anyone at this point- it's too early. But I must admit I was shocked to hear that John Kerry is married to Teresa Heinz, the widow (and heiress) of the late John Heinz of the Heinz pickle fortune.

If we at NIPPIES made the rules, we'd make the first rule that if you won the race for president of the United States of America, you had to give up all your wealth and promise to live, for the rest of your life, on whatever the average American income, per capita, was. We wonder how many would bother running for president then?

Another little "if I were king" thought we at NIPPIES would like to share- this one on how to prevent Wal-Mart type monopolies from occuring...

What if any company that wanted to build a second location OR expand beyond a certain number of employees HAD to, by law, increase the pay of all their employees by at least 25 per cent? Not only would the employees be very happy, but that would severly curtail the unchecked growth of the 800 pound gorillas we now have in America where chains of stores have thousands of locations where everyone works at poverty level.


Mystery Man Gets Off Bus, Checks Into Hospital, and Dies

The Lackawanna County (PA) coronor's office is looking for help in finding the relatives of a man who apparently arrived in Scranton, PA just before Thanksgiving, checked into Mercy Hospital (Scranton), and died eight days later of leukemia, according to Coroner Joseph Brennan.

The man, identified only as "George Volk", claimed to have been born in 1932. He checked into the hospital on November 22nd and died on November 30th. He said on forms that he was from Boston, Massachusetts, but refused to verify or tell anything else, including his Social Security number or his former address. Hospital officials have been unable to turn up any further information, despite checks with officials in Massachusetts, said the coroner.

"George Volk", assuming that that is his real name, arrived by bus. He was 5 foot ll inches and weighed about 180 pounds. He had gray and a goatee and had on a gray coat.

Since this is the internet, and we know that folks from all over the globe read this column, please call the Scranton, Pennsylvania coroner's office at 570-963-6100.

January 20th, 2004

Health Secrets from Europe We at NIPPIES bought an orange, and very old, paperback book at a Catholic Church summer bazarr rummage sale last summer. The book sat, in a small pile, untouched for many months. Then, last week, I ran out of reading material, went digging in the pile, and pulled out this little book. I was, quite frankly, how many years ahead of its time that this book, by Paavo O. Airola, N.D., was...

First of all, this book talks about how Europeans focus much more on prevention of disease rather than treatment. Yes, there are many good doctors in Europe. However, this book, which was first published in 1970, talks about how American medicine focuses on surgery, drugs, and other means of treating disease after it occurs. How true, how true! Ever notice that every second commercial on television is for prescription medicine?

American medicine's idea of preventive medicine is "early detection" of a disease that is already in the body. The European idea of preventive medicine is eating well, fasting, and other tried and true methods of keeping the body healthy before disease sets in.

I will be passing on many of the little valuable tid bits from this book, which is most likely out of print, as I discover them! It's just a fascinating book- too good not to share.


LOOKALIKES on AMCTV American Movie Classics (The AMC Project) had a fascinating show on at 10 p.m. tonight. The documentary focused on lookalikes, as in celebrity lookalikes and impersonators.

Some of the impersonators were amazingly like the celebrities they impersonate. Joe Manuella as "Robert De Niro" was our favorite. Other great celebrity lookalikes and impersonators included a Neil Diamond, a Rodney Dangerfield, and one or two others.

If you get a chance to catch this show at another time, watch it. It's a lot of fun.

January 16th, 2004

Reminder: Watch Goodbye Girl Tonight at 8 p.m. on Turner Classic Movies

Last night, the original Goodbye Girl was on television. We at NIPPIES only caught the tail-end of the classic, which, as previously mentioned, we LOVE. But we are always open to new things, and tonight is the premiere of the remake of The Goodbye Girl on Turner Classic Movies.

Jeff Daniels and Patricia Heaton co-star. If you miss the premiere tonight, you can catch another showing tomorrow and again on Sunday.


graphic of fish on stage by Marion Weiscarger Roughsedge Big Fish! What a film...
We at NIPPIES went to see BIG FISH with not only Mr. Nippies, but our nineteen-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter. The fact that we were all gathered together in one place for to see a film was, in itself, unusual. Of course we eath dinner together often, yes we go to family gatherings together. But to go to a film together is, indeed, a rarity.

Our son is a big Tim Burton fan, and has been ever since Nightmare Before Christmas. He was excited about this movie. So was Mr. Nippies. So off to Cinemark we went. Bought the tickets, bought the popcorn, bought the over-priced candy for our little one. And got ready to enjoy the film.

And enjoy BIG FISH we did. I won't even bother to try to explain this movie to our readers. It cannot be explained and will, most likely, mean something different to everyone. It will mean to the most to those of us who have lost a parent- especially a father. But this movie is just so magical that it would be like trying to capture the feeling of Christmas to put in a bottle to try and explain how good this movie is- and why- on a page.

Of course, this movie is NOT for everyone. If you are a very concrete person, if you have a lack of sentimentality, if you are a very down-to-earth person who has little appreciation for fantasy...well, perhaps you won't love this film the way we did. There were two women behind us who exemplified how very different people will view this film: at the end of the film, one woman remarked how wonderful it was. Her companion simply said "it was bizarre.".

As for my family....let's just say that three out of four of us had the Kleenex out. The fourth one was too busy finishing up her $3.00 box of candy.

January 14th

"War must be a last resort- and this war never should have happened."
-Senator Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts - Armed Services Committee Member

Ted Kennedy is delivering a moving speech on the "U.S. Policy Towards Iraq" on C-SPAN, live, as we type. He is lambasting President Bush for taking our country to war with Iraq. While Senator Edward Kennedy acknowledges that the one thing all of us agree upon is that all of us, including Iraqiis, are better off with Saddam Hussein behind bars, he did point out several other important facts:

Our efforts in Iraq have taken away the advantages we gained over terrorism when we invaded Afghanistan

Over 3500 of our armed services members have been killed.

Anti-Americanism is stronger than ever, and we have NOT stopped Al Queda]

The morale of our armed services is so low that even $10.000.00 bonuses being offered for re-enlistment are, for the most part, being turned down.

There were many other little nuggets of wisdom that Sen. Ted Kennedy tied together in a compelling speech to explain why he thinks George W. Bush should not get a second term in the White House. Most the facts he mentioned have been in the news already. However, Kennedy is a master statesman who gathered all the facts and put them together in a bouquet whose aroma is overpowering.

We at NIPPIES. who were once supporters of George W. Bush, really do have our doubts about his re-election. Time will tell.

January 13th, 2003

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Martha Well, Mom, this is your twentieth birthday spent in Heaven. What a wonderful place to celebrate such a day, if, indeed, birthdays are celebrated up there. We all still love you, and always will. And miss you more every year. Until we meet again, please put in a good word for all of us down here. We could use all the help we can get.


BIG FISH! Everyone's talking about it...

We at NIPPIES have heard SO much hype about the movie Big Fish, and have been hearing about it since waay before the official release. The Tim Burton (Nightmare Before Christmas) film stars Ewan McGregor Moulin Rouge, Albert Finney Erin Brockovich, Jessica Lange Tootsie,Billy Crudup, Alison Lohman, Helena Bonham Carter and Robert Guillaume. Big Fish is based on a novel by Daniel Wallace. The screenplay is by John August. The tag line is "An adventure as big as life itself."

That said, here's a short synopsis: The story is about a William Bloom (Billy Crudup) trying to learn more about his dying father (Albert Finney) by reliving stories and myths his father told him about himself.

I asked my son, who is nineteen, why he and all his friends are so interested in seeing this movie. His reply? It's seems "magical", and is by Tim Burton.

That's all I can tell you for now, folks. None of us have seen it, but it won't be long before we go to our own locally owned and operated movie theatre - where they don't charge $3.00 for a bottle of Pasani purified (not spring) water like Cinemark does - to catch this Big Fish.

In the meantime, if you've seen the film, please let us know what you thought. Write to us at, and be sure to put "BIG FISH" in the subject column.


Paul Sorvino, the Sculptor!

Paul Sorvino, the well-known actor, singer and artist, frequently visits Scranton. Very frequently. As a matter of fact, the last time we at NIPPIES were there on business (which was only last year), the receptionist in our lawyer's office mentioned that she'd just seen Mr. Sorvino at the court house.

So, it was no surprise when we heard on the local news that Paul Sorvino, the sculptor, is working on a sculptor of one of his best friends and favorite actors/playwrights: Jason Miller. Jason Miller, as many of you may recall, did more than play the young priest in The Exorcist. He was a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright (That Championship Season), a fine actor, producer, and, last but not least, one-time son-in-law of Jackie Gleason and the father of Jason Patric. Jason Miller was also a Scranton native who returned to his hometown several years ago to care for his ailing mother. He never left, and died here over two years ago.

Scranton natives were all very fond of Jason Miller. They respected his privacy. Yet he was well known in the community, and active in many, many community playhouses. He was frequently seen around town and was one of "us" here in our little area, despite his persona as an international celebrity.

It was great to hear that the piece that Paul Sorvino is completing now will be placed in Scranton's Court House Square in June.

January 12th, 2004

Magnificent Obsession

We at NIPPIES haven't been sleeping at regular hours lately. The two weeks of irregular hours during the extended Christmas vacation, in addition to other factors, have really thrown off our schedule. Insomnia is not a good thing, but staying up all night can have it's benefits. You get to see some fascinating news reports, movies, and infomercials. No kidding.

An example, you ask? Magnificent Obsession, the 1954 movie with Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush and Agnes Moorehead, started a few minutes ago at 5:40 a.m.. We at NIPPIES have seen this classic film many times. We never tire of not only its altruistic message and wonderful love story, but of the film itself. For those of you who aren't familiar with Magnificent Obsession, let's just say it's rather like a forerunner of Pay It Forward, good deeds, love story, and all.

Before stumbling upon Magnificent Obsession, we watched Ron Popeil selling his latest offering: German stainless steel cutlery. This time, Ron is hawking his wares with Steve Bryant of QVC fame. We at NIPPIES have a lot of faith in Ron Popeil's products. These German-made knives, which are riveted and look like high-quality goods, cost "three easy payments of" $13.99 (plus shipping and handling). Hey, if we needed knives, we'd buy them. The fileting knife is especially enticing. Ron slices through that salmon like he's cutting through whipped cream.

Prior to all this Showtime showmanship was the CNN special on Al Queda, hosted by Aaron Brown. Now this was a really scary special report. Al Queda is much more prevalent in Southeast Asia than any of us realize. And there is a lot of hatred there, in the Muslim population, for Americans. According to the special, there are terrorist cells all over Southeast Asia just waiting to be activated. If you have the opportunity to see a replay of this special, do so. It will open your eyes to the prevalence of anti-Americanism which is sweeping the world, just in case you didn't already know about it.

Finally, the first thing we saw on television when we came downstairs from our fitful half-night's sleep was a short production on Mother Angelica's EWTN about choosing life over abortion. (In case you didn't know, we at NIPPIES are most definitely pro-lifers.). The short featured a young girl who had gone to an abortion clinic to, of course, have an abortion performed on her unborn baby. However, the unborn baby begins to speak to her while she is in the examining room. He asks only two things of her: that she choose to give him a birthday, and that she give him up (if she cannot care for him) so that another couple can have the opportunity to love a child. It is a very moving little documentary, and is well done.

There are so many, many couples who cannot have children who would love your unborn child. If you happen to find this web site while you are doing searches about abortion options, please choose to give your unborn baby a birthday. It's a decision you will never regret.

Yesterday afternoon we at NIPPIES attended a large family gathering- a first birthday party for one of my grand-nephews. There were lots and LOTS of babies and toddlers at the party. All have two things in common: innocence and beauty.

I had the privilege of holding the "birthday boy" for about an hour as he slept. He didn't know it was his birthday. As a matter of fact, Matthew had a look of total bewilderment on his cheruby little face during the entire "Happy Birthday" song. It made me realize that the party is not just to bring little Matthew pleasure- he would be just as happy sitting at home in front of the television set! No, it was a celebration of the continuation of life as one generation passes on life to the next. It is a celebration of family and of love.

It's time to wake our little one up for school. And, since we live in the frigid Northeast (where there is a fresh cover of snow on the ground), it's going to take more preparation - such as warming up the car - than it normally takes. See you all later.

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