Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stay Tuned for the Kurt Haskell Radio Show in Early 2011

by Kurt Haskell

In case anyone hasn't noticed, I am fed up with the fraud and corruption of the U.S. Government. I am also very fed up with the complicity of the mainstream media in the corruption. Therefore, I have decided to host a bi-weekly radio show to discuss various topics of government corruption and fraud. I will ask the hard questions and not hold back or be intimidated from discussing anything. The show will be entirely non-profit and paid for entirely by myself. As I've stated on many occasions, I seek only to expose the truth and nothing else. Fame and fortune can be had by others who are more desirous of obtaining them than I am. Stay tuned for details in the very near future.

Prosecutor's Trying To Block Use Of Evidence By Umar's Standby Attorney

by Kurt Haskell

Ho-hum, just another story that supports my version of Flight 253 with Umar as a patsy:

http://www.freep.com/article/20101122/NEWS05/101122060/Feud-rages-over-underwear-bombing-evidence#ixzz17kENrZf0

This story just keeps getting better and better. First of all, what the heck is a standby attorney? You either have an attorney or you don't. Having an attorney allows you to have the attorney client privilege apply to all of your communications between the client and attorney. Under no circumstances can those communications be discovered by anyone or held against you in court. Does that apply to a standby attorney? Does that mean that Umar has an attorney or he doesn't? Why do I ask? A few weeks ago I went to visit Umar in prison to discuss his case. I was denied access because Umar had a "standby attorney" listed on his visitor sheet. Without that listing, I (allegedly) could have met with Umar and discussed his case.

Now to a discussion of this article. Judge Edmunds previously ordered that Umar's standby attorney, Anthony Chambers, could have access to all of the discovery materials for the case. For non-lawyers, discovery is the pre-trial process in which both sides obtain all of the evidence that might be used at trial. Logically, if an attorney is getting ready for a trial, his staff will help him with that preparation, and consequently, will have access to all of the discovery materials. The prosecutors are now attempting to block the request of Attorney Chambers to give his staff and various experts (who may testify for Umar) access to such materials. A denial of such a request would greatly damage any help Attorney Chambers may be able to provide Umar.

A question I have is, why try and block such a request if you have nothing to hide? Wasn't that the excuse the U.S. Government used when it started using illegal wiretaps? If you have nothing to hide, then don't worry about it. Again, this is just another tell to the truth that I've been repeating over the last year. I caught the U.S. Government with their hand in the cookie jar and it knows it. Now it must take every unjustified step to ensure that Umar doesn't receive a fair trial. For those of you that ask if it really matters, yes it does. A person can commit a crime and still be found not guilty. Umar could be found not guilty based on a defense of entrapment. Umar could also get off on the Outrageous Government Conduct Defense. Such a defense came into existence in the 1971 case of Greene v. United State, 454 F.2d 783. In ruling for the Defendant in that case, the court stated that "we do not believe that the Government may involve itself so directly and continuously over such a long period of time in the creation and maintenance of criminal operations, and yet prosecute its collaborators".

Hidden in this article is also this gem: Anthony Chambers needs to discuss the evidence with experts. Hmmm, I have to wonder what kind of experts? Anthony Chambers is apparently an expert in criminal law with 25 years experience. Thus, I don't see that he would have a need to consult with other attorneys to discuss the issues. The only other possibility, is that he needs to discuss evidence with experts in chemical composition, explosives and plane construction. Each being tied to the question of whether Umar's bomb was viable. As I stated in my post on 12-25-10, this question is the only question that matters. Apparently, after looking at the evidence and/or discussing the matter with Umar, Anthony Chambers questions exactly what I do about the bomb. He apparently feels the viability of the bomb is the entire case. Obviously, he must be questioning some sort of shady government evidence as to its viability. I am almost feeling sorry for the man that nearly killed me (via fire from a fake bomb). On deck for me this week will be a personal visit to the office of Attorney Anthony Chambers.

Back to Reality

Wanted to let everyone know that we made it back, safe and sound, from our adventures in Thailand. Thankful that there was nothing on our flight that caused us to be on the news again, LOL.

Anyway, we had an amazing time. I started to put some pics up on Facebook (click here), but there are about 900 more to go through. I tried to put up a lot of them with us in there so you could see those first.

Hope everyone is having a nice holiday season. When I am not exhausted and have time, I will work on a trip report to post.

Hugs, Lori



Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day One Year Later-The Underwear Bomber-Case Closed

by Kurt Haskell from Thailand

I've been attempting to write this article for the last 36 hours but the internet has been out at our hotel...............

It has been one year since the Underwear Bomber incident that changed my life. I'm not going to rehash the entire story of my account, as that is available here in my past postings on this blog. I just have a few things to say that I've been thinking about as I hike through the jungles of Thailand.

On January 28, 2010 I first posted that the Sharp Dressed Man was a U.S. Government Agent.

http://haskellfamily.blogspot.com/2010/01/truth-about-flight-253-has-been.html

I am now nearly 100% certain that I am correct.

Three days after I wrote the above blog post, I wrote the following post, which discusses what I considered to be the most important remaining questions regarding flight 253.

The third question that I asked, "Was the bomb intended to explode?", to me, is the entire key to the story. I believe it has been answered.

On January 31, 2010 I never would have dreamt of a scenario in which the U.S. Government would ADMIT that it was handing out fake bombs to terrorists, but that has now happened on two occasions that I'm aware of in 2010:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=11684350

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/27/mohamed-osman-mohamud-portland-car-bomb_n_788695.html

Also, if you take a look at this interview with the college kid that sat next to Umar (I refuse to call him a terrorist as he is a mere patsy), you can see that the U.S. Government seized all of his clothes:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123821351

The above three articles when taken together definitively solve the entire underwear bomber episode. The first two represent the modus operandi of the FBI/CIA, which is, if nobody get hurt, fake bombs are o.k. I will discuss that aspect in a minute. When you look deeply at the third article you have to ask the question, why were all of his clothes seized? The bombing substance, allegedly PETN was all over the airplane cabin near Umar's seat. It is not like there was a lack of material to be tested. The truth is that the government seized it all so that nobody could test the real chemical composition to determine that the bomb was indeed a dud. If I would have known that I would be writing this article one year ago, I would have picked up some of the substance as I walked within inches of it.

If you accept that the Underwear Bomber had an intentionally defective bomb /fake bomb, then you need not answer any of the other questions that I posed on January 31, 2010. The answers are either unnecessay or have only one possible explanation.

Before I get into that discussion, let me state that even if you accept that the bomb was fake, it does not mean that the plot didn't have victims. The last 10 minutes on flight 253 were the most terrifying moments of my life. For months I did not sleep, and my doctor diagnosed me with post traumatic stress disorder. It is also likely that without the fast acting efforts of a flight attendant equipped with a fire extinguisher, our plane would have blown up from the fire that resulted from the fake bomb.

Back to why the fake bomb is so important to this story...........

Since it can be almost certainly accepted that the FBI/CIA planted Umar with a fake bomb, we must ask a few more questions. Who was the Sharp Dressed Man? The answer is now certain that it was a U.S. Government agent sent to ensure that Umar boarded the plane. Obviously, the entire fraudulent plot fails if Umar fails to board the plane. Who was the Man in Orage? The answer is not really important anymore. It is likely that he supplied Umar with the dud bomb at Schipol Airport and was taken into custody after the bomb residue was found in his carry on bag. The scenario that he lugged it in his undies from Yemen is simply not plausible. One also has to wonder why the U.S. Government changed its story so many times in relation to this guy. Obviously, he is also a U.S. Government agent. Now we must dig a little deeper and ask how did someone get enough of Umar's trust to set up the plot and give him a fake bomb. One would have to have a deep involvement in a "terrorist group" in Yemen in order to do so. One person likely wouldn't be able to accomplish winning his trust. Two or three would also be unlikely. We must accept that the U.S. Government has planted numerous "Al Qaeda" plants, perhaps even entire terrorist cells, in order to win the trust of someone like Umar. When we accept this fact, one must ask if, without such a large encouraging environment, Umar would have been a "fake terrorist" at all. It has been reported that Umar is not very intelligent. I don't doubt that at all. Is it reasonable to believe that he could have set up this plot, created a bomb (I sure don't know how to) and attacked an airline without the help of the U.S. Government? No it is not. Without the U.S. Government, Umar would remain an unknown Nigerian.

If we accept what I have stated so far, we must dig a little deeper. The U.S. Government has now been shown to be staging "terrorist" plots with individuals who likely would be unknown without its help. We now must go a little further and question whether there have been any legitimate terrorist attacks ever. I am not well informed enough to answer that question, but in pondering that question you must consider, as uncomfortable as it may be, that the U.S. Government also staged the attacks on September 11, 2001. I will not discuss that further in this post other than to say that the only difference between the attacks on September 11, 2001 and flight 253 is a fast acting flight attendant equipped with a fire extinguisher. Without that flight attendant, flight 253 burns to the ground due to a "deranged terrorist from Nigeria."

Next, I would like to address why the U.S. Government would continue to stage such plots. There may be numerous answers to this question. The answer regarding flight 253, was that the Patriot Act needed to be renewed and body scanners needed to be placed in the airports. What a perfect way to bring body scanners to the airports: stage a fake terrorist bombing when the bomb is in the bomber's clothes. You see, if the plot was merely to catch Umar in the act, then he could have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, which could have resulted in a life sentence. There was no need to allow Umar to light the fake bomb on the plane, unless a propaganda campaign was being staged. Not surprisingly, Umar lit the bomb in full view of everyone and not in the bathroom where it would have fizzled, as duds do, and not caused any kind of stir. Allowing Umar to light the dud bomb on the plane served the ultimate plot of the U.S. Government, which was to renew the Patriot Act and get body scanners in the airports. It is too obvious. Why the U.S. Government is attempting to raid the treasury of funds and take away our Constitutional rights is unclear. There are many possibilities and I will not discuss them here. What can't be argued is that the U.S. Government is in fact engaging in such a propaganda campaign. I suspect in 2011 we will see more fake terrorist attacks targeted to take away specific rights of U.S. citizens. Fake plots that come to mind are: bombings of malls, trains, boats, universities and sporting events (Likely by U.S. citizens this time). Of course, each plot will be followed by a security solution that will involve the loss of rights and drain the treasury further. Stay tuned.

It is unfortunate that the USA has become what it has, which is the true global terrorist. This is no longer your grandmother's red, white and blue U.S.A. My support for my government due to this incident has become nil. When I tried to help in the investigation, the government lied. It put out false propaganda stating: "We've seen nothing in 200 hours of video", "No man in orange", "No sharp dressed man" and even stooped so low as to have another passenger call me to try and tell me I didn't see what I did. Unbelievable. Further, I watched as pictures of Umar's underwear and passport were shown on t.v. I have figured out that with the U.S. Government, what's up is down and what's down is up. The release of those photos told me that they were fake. Meanwhile, the Schipol Airport video that would reveal the truth remains hidden. Call me what you will, but my beliefs are entirely justified.

What also is entirely disturbing to me, is that the media does not do any investigative journalism. My claims have not been followed up on. I have discoverd that the media is nothing but a mouthpiece for the U.S Government. I saw a "documentary" put out by the BBC that showed Umar walking through security and showing his passport. Come on. When it is said that a picture speaks a thousand words it certainly does. That reinforcement made many more people believe in the official story.

Lastly, I must comment on the recent conspiracy charges that have been brought against Umar:

http://detnews.com/article/20101217/METRO/12170394/Suspected-%E2%80%98underwear-bomber%E2%80%99-arraigned-on-terror-conspiracy-charges


I have to ask why these charges have been brought so late in the game. To me the answer is clear. Only when negotiations on a plea deal broke down were these charges brought. Why? They are being used as a hammer to force a plea deal. The U.S. Government DOES NOT WANT to go to trial with Umar(who now knows that he was duped), representing himself. I blogged previously on why I thought that this scenario would be one of the greatest events in the history of the U.S. More importantly, the new charge is one of conspiracy. A conspiracy requires an agreement between at least two individuals. It is obvious that the failure to bring this charge until one year later shows that the U.S. Government did not want to admit that a conspiracy occurred. The indictment reads that Umar conspired with "persons known and unknown". We have to ask that if conspirators are known, why are their names not in the indictment? Why are they not being charged? Why are they not on the FBI's 10 most wanted list? The answer could not be more clear: The conspirators are agents of the U.S .Government. Hence, the reluctancy to bring this charge. I remain sceptical that this matter will ever proceed to trial. The trial would be too damaging to the propaganda campaign of the U.S. Government. If somehow it does happen, I will be there everyday, front row center and I will make a victim impact statement.

As I indicated on January 28, 2010, the Sharp Dressed Man was indeed a U.S. Government agent. To those of you that supported me over the last year, I thank you. God knows that there were times when I needed it. To those of you who doubted me, it's time for your Christmas dinner and crow is being served.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

updates

I suppose I should post before we leave on Saturday.......

Vegas was an awesome getaway. Flights were both good, no being felt up by TSA or being put through the body scanners. I was a little nervous Kurt would be selected and would cause some kind of scene. Instead, we got right through, and Kurt forced me to stand there and watch an elderly woman get felt up, and a 50-something year old man. The woman--I could not even watch. It was pretty horrible where they were touching her, and they pulled out her pants and kinda looked down them (she was wearing black, stretchy yoga-like pants), which disgusted me and made me turn away. The guy seemed to be respected more by his TSA employee. I was happy to see that some people were choosing to NOT go through the body scanners. I am really annoyed that so many people have the opinion that we should just "deal" with the scanners as "flying is not a right" and "we need to be safe." I wish everyone saying that would look at the details a bit more. The guy that tried to kill me? Yea......he did not have to go through any security at all. So, these body scanners that make us all super safe? The patdowns? Yep, would have done NOTHING on my flight because if the US wants terrorists here to track? They'll get them here. These scanners are a complete violation of my constitutional rights, but everyone in the US is so scared by the US government, they just say whatever and go through. It's sad. Pretty soon, the US government is going to be completely controlling everyone and their money, and everyone will be convinced it's "for our own good." Scary.

And since this is my blog? Please do not post to try and talk me into the scanners, or talk about how you are OK with them. Until you can say you were on a plane, on fire, with a terrorist, who did NOT go through any security because our government chose that, you don't really have the right to disagree with me.

Vent over. Back to Vegas.

Got there, and got the rental car. Did not like the new Vegas setup with getting to the rental car place. They have all rental car companies on one bus. It was maybe busy cuz of the holiday, but we had to wait about 20 minutes for a bus to get to our car. Once we got there, we got the car pretty quickly, it was some kinda Hyundai, cant remember exactly. Drove to Treasure Island, and there was a line there to check in too, LOL. But, once checked in, our room was incredible. We had reserved a tower Suite, and it was HUGE with two bathrooms, a jacuzzi tub, awesome shower, view of the Strip. Really comfy bed. I used the gym three of the mornings and they had awesome equipment. While in Vegas, we ate at Garduno's, a Thai place (went there with a local radio host whom Kurt knows and his family), the Mirage Buffet, Treasure Island buffet. Also saw Love at the Mirage, and a topless show called X Burlesque at the Flamingo. Played a bunch of poker, some slots, Kurt played sports stuff of course, and I did a bunch of outlet and other shopping (although I did not buy much). I was super psyched to see a White House Black Market outlet, a Kate Spade outlet, a Puma outlet.......Got two massages........Really nice trip. Really needed too.....

Weighed myself after Vegas on Monday (one day later than usual), and because I ate morein Vegas than usual, I expected to gain, but I stayed exactly the same, which was thrilling to me. This week, stayed totally on track with The Daily Plate again, so we will see in the morning what the scale says.

Went last night to the downriver bar association holiday party. It was an awesome time, got to hang out with some of my fav lawyers, there was a band, food, open bar.

I got new glasses a new weekends ago, which rocks, so I dont have to wear my contacts every night. America's Best has great deals, I got two pairs for $129! Could have gotten cheaper, but of course, I always favor the higher end stuff. Bad me!

Cannot believe we leave for Thailand on Saturday, it's so crazy! Looking at where to go for Kurt's 40th bday in February. I was thinking Mexico, but i know he really wants to go look at property in costa rica, so we may end up there in the jaco area again. Either one would be great to me.

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Visit to See Umar

By Kurt Haskell

As I posted about a month or so ago, I have been attempting to meet Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab (AKA- The Underwear Bomber) in prison. I initially contacted the Milan Prison holding Umar by phone. I was given an extension to a Ms. Rodriguez and left her several messages. She did not return any of my calls. I put this on the back burner for awhile as I have been busy at the office. While on vacation in Las Vegas this weekend, I decided that I would try again when I got back to Michigan. Today was that day. After my trial this morning, Shannon (An attorney in my office) and I drove to the Milan Prison. We met a guard who said he would attempt to have us meet Umar on the spot since we were there. I thought "sweet" as I wasn't expecting much from this visit. We were told that we would have to talk to Ms. Rodriguez after her meeting ended in approximately 5 minutes. So we waited. When Ms. Rodriguez finished her meeting, the guard talked to her and showed her our I.D.'s and bar cards. The guard then came into our waiting room and told us that we would have to call to schedule a meeting with Umar. O.K., this is more of what I expected. When we returned to the office, Shannon called the prison and was told that we could never meet with Umar unless he put us on his visitor list. She was further told that we could not meet with him as his potential attorneys either as he had a court appointed attorney listed on his visitor sheet. We were told this in spite of the fact that it is well known that Umar does not have an attorney. As I have stated all along, the government will have to kill me to stop me from my relentless pursuit of the truth. Until I am successful, the government's deceit of the American public concerning the Underwear Bomber will continue.

.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Figures

It kinda figures that kurt and i are flying out again on a weird day, when a nationwide protest is scheduled regarding the body scanners, which were put into place after Flight 253. Click here to read about it. I will post about anything interesting at the airports once we arrive tomorrow! I am really, really hoping that neither Kurty or I are chosen for the scan or being felt up, as I don't want to have to make the decision. It's like asking me "In which way would you like your constitutional rights violated? Pick the best option, you have no choice." My guess is Kurt is selected, LOL, and I walk right though.

Can't wait to get to Vegas, and simply do whatever I want for 4 days straight. We booked one show, and that is as far as I am going with planning. I do however plan on eating one fabulous dinner at my fav Mexican place, Garduno's. I have been dreaming about their shrimp fajitas and salsa bar. Yum. I am bringing workout clothes and plan on using the hotel gym while we are there, and probably hiking at Red Rock with Kurt at some point. Perfect weather for it, we are usually about dying walking around in 100+ degree weather while there. Also, packed my granola bars, so I can attempt to eat as healthy as possible while there.

Cannot wait to do some random walking around and shopping as well. I desperately need some work pants that fit. Hopefully, I can find something designer and cheap at the outlets. Heart Vegas shopping.

Hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving, with lots of family time, good food, and Black Friday shopping!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Death Threats

Got our first death threat at the office. I'm actually shocked it has taken this long, considering family law is so emotional and the opposing party in our cases does not generally "like us". We represent the wife in a case, and her husband told her that he has hired a motorcycle gang to kill Kurt. Kurt says he takes that as a compliment, as it means he did a good job during her hearing, but stuff like that still makes me nervous. We may go get PPOs against this guy, but what does that really do to help us if there is really a "hit" out on us? Nothing. So, prob won't waste my time getting one. Makes for interesting talk at the office though. I swear, we could have a TV show with all the drama that goes on, LOL.


**Me and Gretel Olivia, at the vet, waiting.

This weekend was pretty low key, which I needed. Took gretel to the vet for a shot on Saturday that she was overdue for, and got a massage at Blu Water with a discount they were having, whoot. We were supposed to have dinner with a friend of mine who was in town, but she ended up having to cancel, so we stayed in (last minute) on Saturday. I was looking forward to spicy botan shrimp from Crave, but The Daily Plate was happy I stayed in and tracked my food, LOL. Worked part of the day today, and grocery shopped after work. Made an awesome dinner and have been trying to ward off this headache I have had all day. Also, met Megan's new German Shepard puppy, Mya, and OMG, way too cute. Only 6 weeks old, and such a little sweetie. Makes me want a puppy (but not really). I wanted to take Megan's puppy, but she seemed pretty attached to it. ;).

Weighed in again today and am down another 1.6 pounds, which takes my total up to 24.2 pounds. Super psyched about that. Thank you, The Daily Plate! Best site ever.

Had a board meeting earlier this week, dinner out with Mel and Tammy on Thursday night. We ended up at Panera....I think I am driving my friends nutty with my strange eating habits. haha. Applebee's was having a special for Veteran's Day, so we did not want to wait for a table.

Ordered some new shoes this week as well, cuz I totally needed them, LOL. Really though, I have been wanting purple heels as I have quite a few things I wear that purple heels would love fab with, and I have been having issues finding the perfect pair. We will see when they come if I like them though, as I ordered some purple heels a montha ago I had to send back. Anyway, the purple ones are Michael Kors, and I also ordered a grey pair of Juicy Couture. If you like high end shoes and HATE the prices, check out 6pm.com. Great site. On just these two pairs of shoes, I saved like $400+ using this site. Not that I ever would have paid that much for the shoes, but it sounds good! haha. The black shoe below I actually got in grey, but it's sold out now so I could only post the pic of the black. I really like the black as well, but I have enough pairs of black heels. Never even knew Juicy sold shoes until I saw them on this site.

Saw Rock of Ages at the Fisher with my Aunt on Tuesday night and loved it!! The music was all 80s rock and awesome. Really fun, upbeat show. I wish I could take my Mom to it because she would love it. I think even Kurt would have liked it, and he hates the theatre and musicals.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Fast

This week went by so insanely fast....I seriously have no clue where it went. So busy at work. Which is the norm, and I sound like a broken record, I totally realize this, LOL. I had a lot of hearings this week, topped off by a hearing on Friday that both annoyed me (because of the snotty attorney who I was arguing against), but made me feel proud of myself at the same time because I kinda gave a good speech at the end that made the other atty look stupid. Which he totally deserved. I will write about it in the secret blog when I get a sec.

This weekend, we relaxed a lot. Saturday, we stayed home. I did grocery shop, but that was my only leaving of the house. Today, we worked a couple hours this morning, then I ran some errands at Kohl's and Meijer's. I decided it was time for some new frying pans. Mine are really old and really worn out, and I think have been put in the dishwasher a few too many times. Anyway, I bought a new 12 inch, 10 inch and 8 inch frying pans with lids. I have been wanting clear lids, as I like how you can "see" what you are cooking. My old lids were chrome. My old stuff I loved, it was cobalt blue and Circulon, a gift from my Grama and Aunt. New stuff is boring grey, but hard anodized Caphalon. Used one tonight and I love it so far. My goal for this stuff is to clean it immediately after use, so I am not forever scrubbing pots and pans. Did that tonight after grilling tuna. :). Also, while at Kohl's, bought two new work skirts (here and here) and a work variation on the blazer (in purple, I liked red as well, but they did not have my size), as well as two new pairs of black tights. I was super psyched when trying on clothes, as my skirt size went down 4 sizes, which is insane to me, as I don't feel like my size changed that much. Weigh in again today was down 3.6 pounds, which makes my total thus far 22.6 pounds since the start. Have been tracking religiously with The Daily Plate every single day, and that site is a God send. It really makes me accountable for what I eat, and I don't cheat, almost ever.

Anyway, off to bed, busy morning ahead! :). Hope everyone had a nice weekend full of rest and relaxation.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Week Update

Had a nice rest of my week! :). Rebecca and I met up for facials and dinner in Royal Oak on Thursday night. Caught up at dinner at Mezza Grille, which was aMAZing. I had lentil soup and spicy hummus, and their bread was to die for. Service was perfect and the food was super yummy, and not horrible for you. Well, I guess depending on what was ordered, but I tried to be good! :). Headed next to use our Groupon certs at Michigan Advanced Aesthetics in Royal Oak. Really liked the place as well.

Rest of the weekend, we did not work, which is somewhat crazy these days! :). Saturday, I had a massage appointment, then ran to Sams Club and then to Farmington Hills. My Mom and Ronnie got back from driving my grandparents to Florida, and I spent most of the night there hanging out with family, watching football/baseball and playing Euchre. Which my Mom and I rock at, BTW. Won every game! Sunday, I mostly ran errands. Went to Macy's to the MAC counter, where I bought some foundation I read about, powder and lip gloss. Tried on some suits, but the one I really liked was missing a button and I do not sew and was not going to buy a nice suit, then have to figure out how to sew a button on or pay someone else to do it. I should have asked if they would give me a discount, but I did not see any employees around. Tried on another cute suit at NY and Co, but since I keep losing weight, I dont want to buy clothes I only wear for a short period of time and I was just not feeling it. Went grocery shopping after that, then spent the rest of the day at home, relaxing with Kurty.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend as well!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Flights Booked!

Flights booked for the Christmas trip, so I guess it's for sure now! :). Sending in the money for the tour tomorrow. Yay. Cannot wait. I am hoping this is our best trip yet! :). Def some new things that we have not done yet on ANY trip.

Had dinner last night at LaPita with my friend, Nancy, which was really nice. Got to catch up, and have awesome food. Lentil soup, hummus and naan.....yum.

Today at the office was pure insanity. We ended up working until after 8 PM, but, I got a ton of stuff drafted at the end of the day. I am going to be filing a lot of new cases tomorrow at family court, and have three early hearings, ugh on the early, but yay on getting paperwork done.

Off to bed, another busy day tomorrow! :). Night everyone.

Trip Itinerary

So, here is the copied and pasted version of our trip. I think I am most excited about the baby Tigers experience, the elephant interaction, and the gibbon treehouse thing.

Extreme Wildlife TourSpecially Prepared for Haskell, 2 pax

DAY 1 Arrive in Bangkok
Meet our guide at Suvarnnabhum airport and transfer to The Bhuthorn. Free at leisure.

DAY 2 Kaeng Krachan National Park ( B,L,D )
08.00 Depart the hotel to Floating Market, an incredibly colorful market. Enjoy lunch before continuing to Kaeng Krachan National Park, Phetchburi province.

14.00 Visit Kaeng Krachan‘s visitor center and continue to Baan Krang station inside the park. Enjoy wildlife watching along the road until sunset. We will use 4WD vehicle while we are in the park. Visit several salt licks enroute to see wild animals and tracks. Regular animal sightings include dusky leaf monkey (langur), Hornbills, gibbons, barking deer, elephants, civet, giant porcupine, and occasionally black leopard, flying fox, sun bear and more. Deep Jungle Camping option or lodging option.

DAY 3 Kaeng Krachan National Park (B,L,D)
Enjoy wildlife and bird watching on Pha-nean Thung route to see 6 species of Hornbills, Gibbons, Giant squirrels and beautiful waterfall in the deep jungle. Go for nocturnal animals after dinner. Camping.

DAY 4 Kaeng Krachan – Pa La U (B,L,D)
Enjoy wildlife and bird watching at Kaeng Krachan in the morning. After lunch transfer to Pa La-U which is a remote part of Keang Krachan National Park where we will track wild elephants to their sleeping place until dark. Overnight at Park’s house (rustic).

DAY 5 Pa La-U – Sam Roi Yod - Chiewlan Dam (B,L,D)
Leave Pa La U in the morning and transfer to the Praya Nakorn Cave at Sam Roi Yod National Park. After lunch transfer to Chiew Lan Dam which is in Khao Sok National Park, Surathani province. Take a boat to the remote Klong Seang Reserved Area. Stay on the rafthouse in Klong Seang which is the Park’s house (Rustic accommodations that are the only option in the area, so they offer the best way to see wildlife.). Free at leisure. After dinner go for an exciting night-time excursion spotlighting for wild animals by boat.

Day 6 Klong Seang (B,L,D)
Early morning take a boat to see animals in the morning. Back for breakfast and then enjoy trekking, canoeing and swimming. After dinner go for another nighttime spotlighting excursion to see nocturnal animals.

Day 7 Klong Seang - Khao Sok (B,L,D)
Leave Chiewlan Dam in the morning and transfer back to Khao Sok. Then enjoy hiking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing along Sok river. Wildlife includes snakes, birds and small animals along the way. Overnight at The Cliff & River Jungle Resort.

Day 8 Khao Sok National Park (B,L,D)
Hiking and wildlife viewing on the trail to the 11 Tiers waterfall until late afternoon. Return to the Cliff & River Jungle Resort for a second night. (Local guide)


Day 9 Surathanee - BKK - Chiangmai. (B)
A day for traveling. Transfer to Surathanee airport. Fly to BKK and continue to Chiangmai. Transfer to Lanna Mantra Ping River Hotel. (No guide)

DAY 10 Chiangmai – Elephant Nature Park - Rafting (B,L,D)
Spend an amazing day feeding, bathing and learning about elephants at an eco-responsible elephant camp. Play with them in the river, then float downstream on a bamboo raft. You will not believe how much fun this experience is, and how much it will open your heart to learn about these incredibly social animals! This evening explore Chiangmai Night Bazaar, famous for hand made items and Thai silks.

DAY 11 Chiangmai – Doi Inthanon – Tiger Kingdom ( B,L,D)
Early morning wildlife viewing and birdwatching at Doi Inthanon National Park, home to the largest number of bird species in Thailand, including the endemic Green-tailed Sunbird. Beautiful Asian orchids adorn its cloudforest ad Gibbons, deer and Siamese Hares are sometimes seen. Visit nearby waterfalls. Then visit Tiger Kingdom, and learn how to safely intertact with baby tiger cubs! Transfer to Chiang Rai and overnight at Pholwadon Spa

Day 12 Gibbon Experience: Treehouses, Ziplines & Gibbons
Very early this morning your Thai naturalist guide will transfer with you to the Thai border town of Chiang Khong, in time to be first in line to cross the border to Houxay, Laos, at the famous Me Kong river when the border opens at 8:00am. Once across, you'll meet with the staff of the Gibbon Experience at their office and begin your 4WD journey to Bokeo Nature Preserve. This is a very poor road, but a long stretch is in the process of being paved. After a break for lunch in a small Laotian village, you'll continue your journey through rivers and over dirt roads to a small native village. Here you'll leave your 4WD behind and walk about an hour or more with your bag, up to the Gibbon Experience (pack light!) (Note that in the event of heavy rain, the 4WD truck may not be able to make it all the way to the village, and additional walking may be required.)

Upon arrival, you'll meet your local Laotian guides, who will provide a short orientation and safety instructions, . They will fit a rock-climbing harness to you, show you how it works, (including an innovative rudimentary cable breaking system) and help you zip to the first tree house. From there your guide will accompany you on a series of zip lines and short hikes to the tree house where you'll be spending the night. The guides will bring your hot , delicious Lao meals, prepared with incredible taste and packed ingeniously to travel with them on the zip lines. Overnight in one of the magnificent rustic treehouses.

Highlights: Traverse a unique system of zip line cables that end in magnificent rustic treehouses, affording panoramic views of the rainforest. With luck, you'll have front row seats to see the gibbons, a small ape that sings duets with its mate each morning as the mist burns off the rainforest. Wildlife: Gibbons, macaques, asiatic bear, barking deer, giant squirrels, and over 300 species of exotic tropical birds. Overnight: Spectacular rustic Treehouse in the rainforest canopy, accessed by ziplines! Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 Gibbon Experience: Treehouses, Ziplines & Gibbons
Early this morning your Laotian guide will guide you as you explore the network of ziplines and treehouses. For groups of 6 or more, Wild Planet may also include a second naturalist wildlife guide, who will be both serving you and training the local Laotian guides to spot and identify
wildlife. You'll have all day to explore the rainforest with your guides. One of the great benefits of the treehouse/zipline network is that it allows wildlife lovers to be up in the canopy at dawn, dusk, and at night...the best times for wildlife observation. We know of no other ecotourism effort that caters so specifically to wildlife observation, especially with such conscious attention on serving the local community and conserving the rainforest and wildlife. Overnight in one of the magnificent rustic treehouses. Overnight: Spectacular rustic Treehouse in the rainforest canopy, accessed by ziplines! Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 Gibbon Experience/Chiang Rai
Around mid morning you will begin the hike back to the last village and wait for your 4WD transportation back to Houxay. The border closes at 5:00pm, and usually we make it in time. Once you've crossed the Me Kong again, you'll check in at the Thai border crossing to get your passport stamped, meet your Thai guide, then transfer by vehicle back to the spa in Chiang Rai, ready for a relaxing afternoon of pampering yourself after your adventure. Note: if the 4WD vehicle doesn't reach Houxay by 4:20pm, you will not get across the border to Thailand and will have to spend the night in Houxay at a minimal extra charge. Do not make any urgent travel plans for the rest of this day. Overnight: Pholwadon Resort & Spa Meals: Breakfast

Day 15 Chiang Rai / Bangkok
Transfer to the Chiang Rai airport for your flight to Bangkok, in time to make your international flight. Meals: Breakfast

Monday, October 25, 2010

Trip

I am feeling kinda exhausted tonight and am hoping I am not catching the sickness the entire office has had. Downed an Airborne when I got home so hopefully it helps some. I will take another in the morning and attempt to ward off the evil, haha.

So, we are booking Thailand/Laos tomorrow! Cannot wait. I have to send a check to California, since paying with a credit card means an extra 3% I dont want to pay. So many travel places do this, which annoys me because I hate going to the bank and getting a cashiers check, etc. But, will send that out tomorrow and book our flights. My agent's vendor found this flight I have not even seen online, with only one layover both there and back and not really long layovers, which rocks. I am also excited about the trip they put together for us, which is a personalized one, diff than the one on the website. It is just us (as I hate travelling with tour groups) and takes out the cooking lesson and beach days, adds in some more animal experiences. I will try to post later this week, as it is only saved on the work computer.

Today was crazy busy. One positive note, I got to have dinner with my friend, Nancy, at LaPita, after work. Super yummy lentil soup and hummus there. I did not even have an actual ordered meal, as I was craving lentil and hummus. Yum.

Off to bed, Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Week In Review

The Firm went to Erebus on Thursday night for the Annual Haunted House Law Firm Adventure. It was a lot of fun, and we ended up, via Kory meeting some random guy at the bar, getting in VIP and before the line of people who had been waiting there in line. Gotta love that. Megan and Alana were interviewed for the news afterwards as well (the rest of us were hiding from the cameras).

Saturday was my first day off in forever. I was thrilled. :). Had lunch at PF Chang's with Hollie, Tammy and Becca, and then went to Farmington Hills to see my Mom and Ronnie and other family. My Mom and Ronnie were there to drive my grandparents to Florida, leaving on Sunday. Had dinner and hung out. Super fun and good to see everyone.

My new briefcase came and I love it! It's perfect and fits files well, which is really the only requirement besides looks on a briefcase.

Weighed in today, only down .3 of a pound (making my total 17.8 pounds). I am just happy to not gain anything though. Eating was really good this week. Even yesterday, with eating out and at family's, I still stayed below my calorie intake, although I did eat more yesterday than I do in a normal day. Eating at home is so much easier though than making good choices eating out. There are not many good choices eating out, LOL. I actually had to try something new at Chang's since my normal meal there is fried and horrible for you. I had the shrimp with lobster sauce lunch bowl and it was VERY good. Not as good as the other meal, but I felt better about eating it, ;).

Oh, I almost forgot! My office was painted purple this week and I love it! Love. Looks amazing and makes me happier to be in there.

Worked part of today, but I finally feel like we are catching up some. Actually had some time today to research law on some areas we have been needing to, and filed some bankruptcies to catch all those up. Whoot.

Anyway, another busy week ahead, starting with court bright and early! Some fun stuff mixed in this week though, so hopefully, I maintain my sanity! :). Happy weekend!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stolen From Candace

1. Who is the better cook, you or your spouse?

Def me. Kurt has not cooked himself a meal in 14 years. Not sure he even knows how, LOL. But, I am OK with this as I actually like to cook. :).

2. How often do you talk to your mom?

Prob at least every other day or so. I usually call her when I am driving to and from court, or home from work when Kurt is not in the car.

3. Are you adventurous in the kitchen or stick to the recipe?

I mostly stick to the recipe, but with modifications. Like I will use spices to make things hot. Or change things around to make the recipe more healthy.

4. Is your second toe longer than your big toe?
Nope.

5. Do you dress up for Halloween? (Bonus question: What will you be this year?)

I have not in a long time. I am not really a fan of the holiday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Beginnings

Lots of stuff going on at the office.

Shannon started work on Monday and has been following us around for hearings. Kurt decided today that he is no longer doing most family law cases. There are a few he has going on that he is going to finish up, but other than that, Holly and I are going to do all the cases. He is psyched about that decision, as family law has never really excited him. He would much rather focus on our other areas, which is fine, because Holly and I both like family court.

I finally found a new briefcase online this weekend! I have had the same one for over 5 years, which is crazy to me since I get at least one new purse a year and a briefcase should be the same in replacement and time, I think! :). My current briefcase is actually still in great condition, considering it's been 5 years, so I will save it as a backup. The new one I got for a great discount on Gilt, and it is made by Furla. Hopefully, I like it when it comes.



Oh, weighed in on Sunday and I am down another 1.5 pounds. Total of 17.5, which is crazy to me, since I have been so busy at work and not had time to work out every night like I would like to. Still following The Daily Plate religiously, and loving it because it holds me so accountable. I guess I never realized before how much crap we eat by eating out, ordering in, etc. I am discovering so many different food options and stuff too which allow me to have stuff I crave like salty and sugary snacks, but still follow the rules of TDP. Great, great site. So many of my clothes are getting huge as well (mostly pants and skirts), so I think a Birch Run shopping trip may be on the table in November! :).

Off topic, but I really want to buy one of those chest freezers. Now that I am eating at home more, it would be nice to have since my freezer is always totally stuffed. I went to look at one at Sears, but the delivery charge was stupid compared to the product cost. I just could not pay it. I may need to borrow a truck or something.

We are having some minor work done at the office as well, hired a guy to paint most of the office, i.e. the front lobby, hallway, Kory's office, my office. The other three offices have been painted recently so they will stay the same. I am painting my office purple, so I am excited about that. I wanted pink, but decided that would be too girly, so a deep kinda plum it is. :). Hopefully I like it, because it's pretty out there, but I am guessing I will. I like old there colors.

Anyway, exhausted, off to bed. Hope everyone had a great weekend! :).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mid-Weekend

Had an aMAZing day on Friday. Holly got her bar results (passing) on Thursday evening, and we of course wanted her sworn in ASAP so she can start doing lawyerly things at the office.

Since Judge Halloran was out of town, I picked Judge Elder to swear her in, and it was awesome. Judge Elder videotaped it, and the courtroom was packed with people waiting for hearings, so they all clapped for her (and her boyfriend, who was there as well being sworn in). Her parents came as well, and I was so beyond happy for her. I know how it feels, all the work you put in, and finally getting to see the results of it all. It's overwhelming really, the feeling you get being sworn in, it's almost like getting married, LOL.

So, starting next week, Holly can appear in court for us! Whoot. Our other new attorney is starting Monday as well. :).

I am so happy with all the positive energy at the office these days.

I can't even remember what else happened this week, I have been so busy. Worked all day today as well, and have to go in tomororrow. BOOOO. Been still doing great with The Daily Plate. Weigh in tomorrow!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weekend Randomness

This weekend was too short.

Worked part of each day, again. At least we are getting some things off our desks, but until the new attorneys are trained all the way, I think this is going to be what my life looks like, unfortunately. That's OK though, I can see my life getting back to normal in the next month or so, hopefully! :).

Did get a massage yesterday, which was nice and really needed.

Made some awesome salsa tonight for Kurty. New recipe and I think my best yet. Click here to see it. I used jarred lime juice, canned diced tomatoes and the food processor, but other than that, exactly as the recipe lists. Super yummy, although, I am a fan of chipotle. Also made a cream of broccoli soup which came out ok, but kinda bland. Need new recipe for that I think.

So, my procrastination on the December trip is not good. I really started researching hardcore again this weekend, and I think I may have found the perfect trip, with flight prices that are not insanely high. Found a wildlife tour in Thailand that looks incredible. Might want to tweak the tour and take out the cooking lesson and the beach days and either cut the trip short or add on something else nature related, but other than that, it's perfect. Sent the place an email asking for more information and a tailored itinerary. Click here to see it. I know most of you will think I am crazy to cut out the cooking lesson and the beach, but Kurt is not into cooking and I dont want to bore him, LOL.

I cannot believe the Lions won today! It was a miracle! haha. And, I was super psyched State won over Michigan. Whoot!

Bought a piece of artwork for above my bed and it came in the mail and I love it. Kurt hung it and it goes perfectly above our headboard and with the colors in my bedroom. I would take a pic, but none of my cameras are at home right now!

Speaking of cameras, I went to turn my new one on, the 50d, and it would not turn on! So, I had to send it in under warranty. Hopefully, it arrives back home soon, I miss it already! :).

Friday, October 08, 2010

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Update

Secret Update

Update

Another crazy busy week, shocker there, hun? :).

Some highlights of the week though......

Saw West Side Story (for the second time) at the Fisher with my Aunt. It was awesome. Love that show and the music. I have been walking around all day singing "I feel pretty, oh so pretty...." and "tonight, tonight...." Fabulous show.

Went to a meeting last night with Holly for the Downriver Bar Association and had a great time! It's mostly socializing with speakers thown in there. I normally hate stuff like this, but this is all local lawyers and actually was a good time! They let me sub Holly in for Stacey (who I had signed up initially), so I was happy they did not make me pay again. I think Holly had fun too, and it's good for her to start meeting local lawyers outside of the courtroom, and everyone loves her.

Been doing great still with the eating and The Daily Plate, so much so it's like second nature now, which is totally what I was striving for. It is also getting me to cook recipes more, which is awesome. I made these awesome bean mix for burritos that I have eaten for three nights straight for dinner. Super yummy. Also, weighed in with Week Three of using the program on Sunday, and I have lost 13 pounds to date, which rocks since I have not had a ton of time to work out.

Lots of changes happening at the office lately, but I will post more about that once decisions are made and set in stone. Our Monroe office opened on Friday, and i already have an appointment booked there for Monday, which rocks!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Changes

Changes....

BUSY

I. Am. Exhausted.

OMG, this week has been insanely busy every single night until tonight. And even tonight, when I almost always leave the office at 5, I was there until like 520. AARGH.

Each night worked late for different reasons, and was trying to get all ready for our Monroe office opening this past Friday, which we did for the most part. Still need to order one more thing, but it's ready for meeting with clients, which is great. I think I did not get home until 800 PM or after Monday-Thursday. BLAH.

Started the interview process at the office, and thus far, have interviewed two people. We plan on interviewing about 8 or so, then making a decision next week. cannot wait for some normalcy at the office again, and having the feeling again of knowing that I have staff around that are not leaving soon! :). Training people takes a lot of time and energy, which is worth it in the end, but exhausting at the start.

Court has been crazy for me as well, which makes things even more hectic in the office.

Am thrilled to be going to finally get my hair done tomorrow. Its like at least a month past due, and I generally only get my hair done every 3-4 months. Yep, I think it's been like 5. How sad is that, LOL. I am planning on NO office stuff tomorrow, but will prob go in on Sunday to catch up on some paperwork. I have a case I want to hurry up and file on Monday, so I want to get it done.

Wore new heels to work today and they did not hurt my feet all day long! Whoot, love that. Especially when said heels are a little bit higher than I generally wear. the little things make me happy........;).

Ordered a really cute pic for the office breakroom, which arrived from Art.com this week. I also ordered from amazing candles on Etsy, which arrived and smell AMAZING.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ramblings

Finished watching Season 2 of the 90s show Popular (which I never watched ever until my recent finding of it on Netflix). Anyway, I loved the show but cannot believe it ended that way! I am wondering if they did not plan it being the end, and then the show got cut or something. I want to demand a movie or something! I want to know what happens next! Bastards! :). Started on season 2 of 90210 (the new series). I watched this horrible, horrible movie from Netflix too called The Invention of Lying. If you have not seen it, DO NOT WATCH IT. I kept waiting for it to get better, and it never did. I liked the ending. I think because it ended. Jennifer Garner looks adorable in it and has great clothes. That is about all I can say positive.

So, I decided this weekend I needed to bite the bullet and buy a larger food processor. I have a small one that I use mainly to chop up veggies, but it is hard to use to make larger recipes like hummus and salsa, and since we have not been eating out at all lately, I need better kitchen tools. So, I grabbed some 20% off coupons and headed to Bed Bath and Beyond. Bought a new food processor and a new blender. Out blended was like 17 years old (Kurt owned it prior to meeting me), and when I last got it out to use, it totally was not chopping anything. I love how Bed Bath and Beyond allows you to use expired coupons. I save all of them I get in the mail and just take them when I actually shop there. It rocks. I saved like $42.00 today with coupons.

Decided to try two new recipes tonight. I wanted to make more salsa, as Kurt finished the last batch I made with the tomatoes Stacy gave me. I used a recipe off Food Network this time. I listened to advice from a friend, and took the seeds out of the jalapenos and banana peppers before adding to the salsa this time and it made it much better (not as crazy hot). I also made a dinner that was super yummy, from Vegetarian Times, which is starting to be my main site for obtaining recipes. I can always add ahi tuna or whatever, but at least I know the recipe to begin has no meat at all. Anyway, tonight, I made Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas, which were sooooo great and easy to make. The avocado garnish was Kurt's fav part, and was so different and yummy. I think this was the first time in my life I have bought an avocado, which is so weird since I love Mexican food. Anyway, this meal is going to become a staple in this house, since it is low cal and easy to make. I added Mexi cheese and low fat sour cream to Kurt's plate. Next time, I might use like one half can more of black beans, but other than that, PERFECT recipe.

Worked part of the day today, trying to catch up on paperwork. I love working in the office in silence, it is so crazy during the week with the phone and people stopping in. Got a bunch done, then left to run errands.

So, last weekend, I had some great coupons that were expiring soon at NY and Co and Kohls, so I got a few things for fall, which I love. I could not find pics of everything online though, so I will post links to what I could find.

This shirt, in burnt orange

This shirt, (in purple savvy)

This shirt, (in black)

Necklace. I so love the jewelry from NY and Co. I prob get complimented more on it than any other jewelry I wear, and it is the cheapest by far!

Necklace: (in black)

Shoes from Macy's. Got another really cute pair of red heels from Macy's, but can't find them online.

Shoes: These are SOOOO different and cute on. Love.

Shoes. These are gonna require nylons or something, as they totally ripped my heel when I wore them. Boo. but, they are super cute and easy to walk around in. Strange how flats hurt my feet, but heels rarely do.

Sweater, (in ivory tower). This is perfect for the office when I dont have court.

Sweater, (in mystic teal). The sleeve detail is way cuter in person.
I got another great deal on a cute pair of sandals on eBay as well. I have been eyeing this pair of Born heels all summer, but they never seemed to be on sale and were pricey. I have limits on what I will pay for shoes since I have a slight addiction. Anyway, found them on eBay for $30! Insanity. And, they are super comfy.

Still doing great with The Daily Plate. Week two was actually much easier than week one. It is almost becoming second nature not to snack or overeat now, and I am not hungry like I used to be, which is awesome.

Anyway, off to bed and to work again tomorrow for a bit. Goooo Lions! Hope everyone is having a nice weekend.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Way

On September 12, 2010, I made a decision to start eating better. I don't really eat horribly, but don't always make the best choices, and, I love to snack and graze on random food while hanging around the house. Also, we love to leave the office for lunch, and do not generally eat overly healthy while eating out anywhere.

Enter The Daily Plate. Rebecca was talking about it a while back, and at that time, I did not look at it because it sounded like a lot of work. Opened the program and discovered how kewl it is. You can pretty much record ANYTHING you eat, and it will pop up how many calories are in that, fat, sodium, carbs, protein, etc. Also, you can put in how much you weigh, how tall you are, how much weight you want to gain, lose, or if you want to maintain, and it tells you how many calories you should eat per week in order to make that happen. You can also record your workouts, which are subtracted from your calories. I am not using the workout feature since I have no idea how many calories i burn while working out. Am thinking of investing in a heart rate monitor to start tracking that as well, but have not had time. Any suggestions on one to get that is simple, easy to use, but accurate?

Anyway, the site ROCKS. You really don't realize how many pointless calories you put in your mouth until you record them on a site like this. I have started shopping for food entirely differently, and even though I have always loved food in the past, I am trying to change my relationship with it, and look at it as a necessity, and not as a want. This will be a slow process, but I think I am doing really well so far. I am actually pretty good at something when I am held accountable (this time, by a computer program, haha). I am loridz on the program to anyone that would like to be friends on there!

In this almost two week journey thus far, I have discovered some new recipes and new food at the store that I love. I plan on posting those things as they become known to me.

Here's some to start off with:

Snacks. I still crave a snack at night, but am making better choices, other than grabbing a bag of chips and eating them:

Quaker Rice Snacks Cheddar Cheese Quakes. SOOOO good.

Any of the Weight Watchers frozen snacks. Every one I tried is good.

Stacey's Simply Naked Pita Chips (these are amazing with hummus).

Special K Blueberry Flavored Bar (these are awesome). Also bought Nature's Valley Peanut Butter bars, an old Lori fav that I have not had in forever.

Any of the Skinny Cow frozen treats. All good as well.

Now that we have a breakroom at the office with a full size freezer and frig, eating healthy at the office and being able to get away from my desk is EASY. I have been bringing all sorts of options to the office.

I am loving all of the Smart Ones meals I eat. My fav is the Fiesta Quesadilla. But, I have had a couple of their pizzas, a tuna casserole, a five cheese ziti. All good.

Have also been snacking on baby carrots, apples and bananas. I am realizing that having healthy snacks around makes thing really easy as well.

Another goal of mine has to been to work more veggies into my diet. Not perfect yet, but am eating way more than I did previously. Green beans and corn mostly with dinner. Have eaten some form of fish for protein each night since this started as well.

Been looking thru my vegetarian times magazines for recipes and have made two thus far. First was a Tex Mex Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn. Had never had quinoa before, but the meal was super good! I added cheese to Kurt's, he thinks everything is better with cheese. :). Then, I attempted hummus for the first time and it came out pretty good for a first attempt. The only issue I had with it was it's consistency, but I have some ideas for next time. It's still super tasty, I made a spicy version. I would love to find a low fat version since I think hummus has too much fat in the normal versions. With this recipe, I did add two TBSP of water and used one cup of tahini (slightly diff from recipe, from suggested by recipe).

Also, weighed myself one week in and I had lost 7 pounds, which is insane to me! Hopefully, I can continue at this rate! :).

I have bought some new shoes, and totally owe you a shoe post, however, gotta get to bed. Going to fight my own speeding ticket in the morning, LOL. Fingers crossed.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Colombia Trip Report and Pics

So, I am way behind with this trip report. But, I have completed it, just the same! :)

Trip Report--Colombia 09/2010

Friday

Early morning flight via Spirit Airlines to Ft Lauderdale then Bogota (speaking of which, we only paid $242.50 RT PP for this flight, which is insanely cheap, WHOOT). Both flights were great, on time. Loved flying through the Ft Lauderdale airport, no running around to connecting flights, they were all in one small area. Got to Bogota, and getting through customs was easy, no line. Luggage took a little bit of time, then found the driver the hotel sent to pick us up, which was nice. Took about 35 minutes to get to the hotel. Hotel Charleston. Super nice hotel in the northern part of Bogota. Our room was really nice--bedroom, living room, dining area, bathroom, etc. View of the city. Kurt had a massage at the hotel and we had a quick snack at the hotel restaurant. We then decided to walk aimlessly around the area by our hotel. Stopped in a really nice store that sold ties and bought Kurt two for work. Had dinner at a place called Thai and Sushi Express, then headed back to the hotel. We were both wiped from flying all day and walking around all afternoon.

Saturday

Got up and decided to head to La Candelaria to explore the older part of the city. This area has a lot of really old coloniel buildings, including churches, government buildings, statues, etc., and lower end shopping. Anyway, really kewl part of town to walk around and explore. We saw the President’s Mansion, the Mayor’s House, Congress, Supreme Court, the church the first mass was held at in Colombia and many other buildings and statues. Ate lunch at a quick pizza place, where they made personal thin pizzas for you. Walked around a bunch more than headed back to the hotel area. Walked around a couple shopping areas, and ended up getting massages and I got a manicure at a local place. Headed to dinner at a local Mexican place, El Carnal, that was SUPER yummy and chilled in the hotel.

Sunday

Got up for early morning flight to Cartagena. Flight was great, and grabbed a taxi to our hotel, the Hotel Caribe, in the Boca Grande beach area of Cartagena. Checked in at hotel, room very nice. Then, went and had a massage, used the Jacuzzi and sauna some, chilled by the pool and took a swim, which was great--and had lunch at the hotel. Shrimp and cheese pizza, YUM. Went and walked around the Boca Grande area and beach. Did some shopping, and had smoothies from Juan Valdez Cafe. Had dinner at a local Mexican place, Guadalupe Mexicana, walked some more in the downtown Boca Grande area. Played at a couple casinos (one was called Atlantic Casino) and won a little bit.

Monday

Got up and after breakfast, ventured out to the Old Town area where the walled in City is. Really awesome old buildings, the fort walls were incredible to walk around, shopping was fun. The people there were REALLY pushy though, to the point where I did not even want to look at jewelry and the like, because they were pushing it on me SO badly. Telling them you were just looking was not helpful. Spent several hours there, then headed back to Boca Grande and walked the downtown some more where people were less pushy, LOL. Got a massage, then had lunch at a place called La Olla Cartagena where I had shrimp and rice as well as lobster bisque. Headed back to the hotel so I could take a quick nap and cool down and take a quick shower (soooo hot out). Relaxed, then headed to dinner at another Mexican place called Mexico Taqueria (can you sense a trend here??). Played some at the casino and won a little bit.

Tuesday

Came back to Bogota today via Avianca airlines. 15 minute delay on flight, no biggie. Great flight again. Really nice plane. Got here, transferred to the hotel, Hotel Habitel (near the airport this time since we are flying home tomorrow). Checked into hotel, super nice. Decided, since it was raining, to head to some of the local malls for some shopping. I have to say, of all the Central and South American countries Kurt and I have been to thus far, Colombia has AWESOME shopping, especially for men. SO many stores with men’s dress clothes. Bought Kurt 4 dress shirts and 11 more ties. We went to two major malls, Unicentro, which may be the biggest mall I have ever been in, and Andimo, which was super nice as well. Had dinner at the same Mexican place we ate at previously in Bogota. Relaxed at the hotel after dinner, using the Jacuzzi and sauna and scheduled morning massages.

Wednesday

Got up, had breakfast at the hotel and massages. Then, left for airport. The airport was SOOO disorganized for our departure. We were there 2 hours early and BARELY made our flight. Then, the plane took off late, and we got to Ft Lauderdale and they were insanely disorganized there (opposite of when we arrived). We had about an hour, and with literally racing to our gate after going through like 6 check points, we barely made that flight. Literally one minute after we boarded, they closed the gate. Not sure if I ever want to fly Spirit internationally again after that mess, but the flight was super cheap, so I guess sometimes you get what you pay for? Anyway, got safely back to Detroit, home around 1215 PM.

Overall, awesome and relaxing trip. Love exploring new cities and new countries. Was not our “typical” vacation with hiking and animals, but I had a really nice time just the same, and really, this trip was just what I needed. Work was getting really overwhelming and stressful, and I know that is when I need to get away for a few days.

Another thing about Colombia though, you really should know more than "some" Spanish. We barely got by, and Kurt is actually pretty good with his Spanish. They have heavy accents there, so they could not even understand some of our Americanized Spanish. It’s not like Costa Rica, Panama, etc., where you can generally find people who know both languages. This is fine with us, but others might have a hard time.

Hope everyone had a nice Labor Day weekend, however you got to spend it! :).

Oh, the pics from the trip are found by clicking here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

WHY AN UNDERWEAR BOMBER TRIAL WITH AN ENTRAPMENT DEFENSE WOULD BE ONE OF THE GREATEST EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

by KURT HASKELL

It has been nearly nine months since Lori and I were almost killed by the Underwear Bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. For the first few months, Lori and I were very vocal over the media blackout and corresponding cover up to the real story of the Christmas Day events. If anyone is not familiar with our experience, our story can be read here in this blog. For the past few months, we have chosen to sit back and watch as the trial, or lack thereof, plays out in the courthouse we regularly practice in. While the media blackout to the true events continues, the failed attack on our credibility has been replaced with deafening silence as to our eyewitness account. To us, this matter has never been about seeking vengeance against the Underwear Bomber. When taking our eyewitness account and adding it to the small amount of honest facts that have come out, one can only recognize the Underwear Bomber as a mere patsy. It is quite shocking that, thus far, the Underwear Bomber hasn't been forever silenced as other patsies that have come before him. What has led me to write this update is the following article:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100913/NEWS01/100913036/1318/Terror-suspect-fires-his-lawyers

It seems as though the Underwear Bomber has now decided to fire his attorneys and represent himself. I am actually not too surprised by this event. Being an attorney myself, I can see his attorneys trying to stuff a settlement down his throat while he argues in opposition that he was set up. Further, I must consider the following in realizing why this happened:

My nephew recently started law school. In August he had an orientation with a guest speaker. That speaker just happened to be none other than the Underwear Bomber prosecutor, Barbara McQuade. During such orientation, Attorney McQuade indicated that she has a case in which certain information can only be given to the judge and not released elsewhere due to "National Security". Since Attorney McQuade was only appointed as a federal prosecutor in the summer of 2009, it is not too difficult to determine what case she is referring to. I am sure that this information could only lead to further frustration on the part of the Underwear Bomber and continued conflict with his attorneys.

When I read the Free Press article today, the attorney in myself came out and I had to ask how I would like to see the defense of this case handled.

It seems to me, that now that the Underwear Bomber is representing himself, or possibly using new attorneys, that the use of an entrapment defense is not out of the question. The use of such a defense could be one of the greatest moments in the history of the United States of America. Only through a defense such as this, could the full involvement of the U.S. Government be fully discovered and divulged. Please consider the following:

1. The Underwear Bomber was escorted through security without a passport by the Sharp Dressed Man who by all accounts, appears to be a government agent.
2. Congressional hearings have confirmed that the Underwear Bomber was likely let on flight 253 intentionally.
3. The bomb failed to detonate, and by many accounts, was designed so that it would not detonate.
4. The entire terrorist attack was filmed from before it started until after it ended.
5. The bomb was obtained in Yemen where the CIA has been known to have agents interacting with Al Qaeda.

Once you accept the above, it is not so far fetched to believe that the U.S. Government planted a defective bomb on the Underwear Bomber to:

1. Renew the Patriot Act
2. Get body scanners in the airports
3. Further the U.S. involvement in strategically located Yemen
4. Further the fraudulent war on terror
5. Provide further profit to the military industrial complex

Only through an entrapment defense that is fully litigated in open court could the American citizens get what they deserve, an open honest investigation into the Christmas Day events of 2009. Such a trial could possibly wake up the millions of American citizens that fail to even consider that its government is corrupt, dishonest, and working for those who only seek to consolidate their power and wealth.

I am not holding my breath that a trial with an entrapment defense will occur. Nor could I (under the rules of the State bar), or would I, want to be involved in the representation of a man that almost killed me. I encourage my fellow members of the bar to consider representing the Underwear Bomber pro bono and using such a defense to help not only your potential client, but also your fellow American citizens. It is not the prosecution of the Underwear bomber that will help fight the fraudulent war on terror. It is the prosecution of the U.S. Government officials responsible for the Underwear Bomber attack that will put an end to the U.S.S.A. (United Socialist States of America) and restore the U.S.A.



Sunday, August 29, 2010

Time Flies.......

Another crazy busy week. We hired a new associate. Well, kinda. She has not yet passed the bar exam (just took it for the first time in july), but once she does, she will be an associate with us. For now, she is a law clerk in training to be an attorney at the office. She starts on Sept 9, and her name is Holly. She went to U of Detroit Mercy, and she was an intern for one of our fav judges! :). Glad to be done with that selection process. Called her on Wednesday, and sent letters out to the others to let them know, which I always hate doing. Jessica's last day is Tuesday, which is kinda crazy! She is the first person ever to quit working for us. But, I totally understand why since it's to live with her man. People are more important than jobs, for sure. :).

Had dinner last night with my Grama, two Aunts and Dad, in Westland. We ate at Max and Erma's, then stopped at Value City Furniture to show Grama a dining set. She haas been wanting one. She may be the most indecisive person I know, thank GOD I did not get the indecisive gene. While there, I saw this really kewl wood decorative piece I wanted to buy for the office, so I did. Then grama decided she wanted to buy it for my bday (she had not bought me anything for my bday last May), so she wrote me a check for it. Also, got some kewl bday gifts from my Aunt, one is this kewl scales of justice lady in silver and copper for my office, a pretty glass and cobalt blue bowl, a new necklace, some kitchen stuff in cobalt and a pug ornament. Weird getting bday gifts in May, haha.

We worked all day today. Got so much done, it was kinda crazy. I have a TON of filing to do tomorrow. Prob more than I have ever done in one trip. Will do it between hearings tomorrow.

The Suite across the hall construction started this weekend. The walls are all up, drywall was being done when we left tonight. The place is a mess though, LOL, cannot wait for it all to be done. Hopefully the tenant over there does not throw a fit about the mess if he is in tomorrow although none of the mess is in his office.

Had dinner on Friday night with two of Kurt's friends from high school and their husbands. We ate at Mongilian BBQ in Ann Arbor, then had drinks afterwards at Ann Arbor Brewing Company. It was fun, and I learned all about Kurt's forced marriage in 5th grade to a girl named Tammy on the playground, haha. What a pain Ann Arbor is on Friday night though! Finding parking and everything took forever! Ugh. I am so spoiled by Monroe County where I live. No waits anywhere ever. Gotta love rural farm towns in MI! :).

Still researching December travel, and am still leaning towards India, but I keep looking up other places as well. Have been looking at other countries in Africa. Basically, anywhere I can get a good flight deal to will win, most likely. Which is hard in mid-December.

Still loving all these designer discount sites. Bought my stepDad an awesome gift I cannot disclose for his bday. Whoot. And I bought it EARLY which is rare for me with how busy I am.

Anyway, hope everyone had a really nice weekend. Only four more work days until we leave for Colombia! Cannot wait for a few days off and to use my camera!

Monday, August 23, 2010

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Crazy Busy

Oh, the things I have done since last blogging on August 9...Or really, what things I have NOT done. My life is pure insanity.

Found out on Monday that Jessica is leaving the firm to move to Chicago and live with her boyfriend. Thus, I need to hire a new associate, which is always a draining process with the reviewing resumes, interviewing, then training. Jessica has now been with us for 1 year, 7 months, so all the experience she has gotten will now need to be taught to someone new. And, she is the one that does primarily what I do, so I will be running for a while covering two jobs really! :). We listed the job in a few different places (free), and have gotten a ton of resumes. Interviewed Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon, and have some more set for this week. Hopefully, we can make a decision by next weekend or sooner. We have not had a *bad* interview yet, and have had several who would fit in well, so that's promising.

Also hired a new assistant. Kory is going down to part-time with law school and Megan has class two mornings a week, so we need someone to cover their hours. Hired a friend of Megan's, named Alana, who just graduated with an associates in paralegal studies. She has only worked two part days so far, but she seems super positive and drama free, which are the two things I am looking for in employees now. I think she likes it so far too, which is great. Kurt let her sit in on a deposition on her first day.

We decided we are renting the Suite across the hall from ours. Since I finished the main part of my Mediation training, if I start taking Mediations soon, we really don't have room or the right set up in our current Suite, since all offices are occupied by attorneys and staff. So, the Suite across the hall is being redone to meet our needs. We are having a wall built and some doors put in. But, basically, it is going to be a kitchen area (frig, storage, TV, microwave, coffee pot, couch, table and chairs), waiting area (with couch and love seat), conference room (with table and chairs), office (desk and chairs) and storage areas for our supplies and closed filing cabinets. Everything has been delivered now with the exception of the waiting room furniture, which had to be returned since it would not fit thru the front door of the office. We went and picked out smaller stuff and it comes next week. Can't wait until it's done over there. It is already looking fab and it is really quiet and relaxing over there, which I love.

Went to a training this week which was the last in class thing I have to do for my Mediation stuff, which this was for Domestic Violence Protocol in Mediation. It was all day in Lansing, so I spent the night there on Wednesday night. Class was really good and I learned a lot of helpful things. Stopped on my way there at the outlet mall in Howell and bought some new jeans at the Gap, as well as some green carpenter pants for Kurt.

Also, a lot of work is finally getting done at our house as well. The drywall has been up for ages in the basement, but Kurt finally hired someone to mud, tape and paint the walls. Also, we got the roof tiles fixed where they were coming off and the ceiling fixed in my gym. Kurt's brother, Scott, is coming up soon to finish the tile in our bathrooms in the basement, which are about half done by Kurt, and, he is going to put in a tile floor in our basement, which is a HUGE project. cannot wait until all of that is done.

Have continued to research India for our December trip, and I really think that is where I am leaning at going to. It would kinda be like the Uganda safari, but different animals and scenery. About half the flight cost that it is to Malaysia, which is another place I really was looking into.

Anyway, gotta run, just wanted to post while I was thinking about it. I will prob do a secret blog about some other stuff, but will post here if I do so ya'll know! Happy Weekend!

Monday, August 09, 2010

So Little Time.........

I have so many little things that need to be done, and seem to have so little time to get it all done! Ugh.

We literally need work done on ALL our cars.

Just took the Saab in. Can't recall if I posted about this or not, but when Rebecca and I drove to Manistee a few weekends back, two deer jumped in front of my car, my car that was going 75 MPH. Yep, I did not even have time to swerve. Hit one and did some damage to the front of the car, but was thankful that Rebecca and I were OK and the car was driveable. It was pretty incredible there was not more damage, really. I was pretty sad about it though, I felt horrible that I killed an innocent creature. So, Saab is being fixed. Should be done by the end of the week and most of it covered by insurance (except part of the deductible, the shop covered some of that too).

Kurt's Porsche's top will not go back up, it is stuck down. Which is OK if it never rains, LOL. We are going to try and take that in tomorrow morning to the guy we use in Monroe. Jeep's AC is not working. And the poor Saturn is on it's last legs. Kurt thinks the transmission is going, and if he is correct, we will prob donate it to charity or trade it in for something new if I can get anything for it. Have had that car for almost 10 years, how crazy is that. I will be kinda sad to see it go though, it was a GREAT reliable car. And, my Grampa helped me with it getting me the GM discount and the loan since I had no established credit at that time. My Grampa has since passed away, so it reminds me of him. :(. I think I may need to replace it with another GM to honor him! :).

I am getting a much needed pedicure tomorrow night. Yay.

We are hiring people to finish up some projects in the house, which thrills me. kurt loves working on the house and is great at it, but he just does not have the time to finish stuff. Our house is huge, so each project takes 10 times longer than it would have at our old house. He hired my friend Hollie's husband (who has his own contracting business) to finish the drywall and paint the basement, as well as fix some tiles on the roof that have fallen, and fix the drop ceiling in my gym. Someone is coming tomorrow night to look at the tile work that Kurt started in the two bathrooms in the basement. He got about half way on both and did not finish because of time. So, that will be nice to have that done.

I need to make the pugs a vet appointment, all three are due for some shots. Bad Mom.

OK, all this talk about things I need to do is exhausting me.........Off to do some laundry.