Dream to dust…….

Front row: Adam Hardman, Michael, Trudi and Kaci Hardman.
Back row: Aaron Hardman, Dakota Watson, Andrew Harman, Hunter Watson

“We must lift each other up during this difficult time,” stated Terrell Independent School District Superintendent Michael French.

The Hardman family had always talked about taking their blended family to Disney World and on Nov 19 2014, they and their six children left their Terrell TX home sometime after 7 pm headed to Florida.  At approximately 10:45 pm their 2005 Chevy Tahoe crashed on Interstate 20 just west of Calhoun LA and five members of the family were dead.

The police report that they believe the driver, sixteen year old Andrew Hardman apparently fell asleep at the wheel and the Tahoe veered to the left.  He then overcorrected the vehicle to the right and the SUV rolled over, ejecting six people who were not wearing seatbelts.  Five of the Hardman family were pronounced dead at the scene.  The dead were identified as Michael and Trudi Hardman, Dakota Watson, 15, Adam Hardman, 7 and Kaci Hardman, 4.  Andrew was wearing a seatbelt and only suffered minor injuries while Aaron Hardman, 12 is in critical condition.  Hunter Watson also suffered only minor injuries and was released from the hospital the next day.

Michael and Trudi married five years ago and brought their children from previous marriages together.  Kaci was the youngest and the only child that they had together as a couple.  Michael taught second grade in the TISD and had been employed by them for two years.  He also coached Little League baseball and is said to never turn a kid away from participating.  Trudi was a kindergarten teacher at Willis Point Primary School and had worked for the WPISD for ten years.  The couple had been planning the trip for the past nine months and were excited to be able to take all six of their children there.

Andrew has been charged with reckless operation of a vehicle and the police do not believe that he was impaired even though they did take a sample for a toxicology test.  They have stated that they believe that he may have just fallen asleep while driving.  They did add that they believe that more of the family could have survived the accident if they had been wearing seat belts as required by law in both Texas and Louisiana.  I do believe that it probably was just an accident due to to inexperience but the damage it may have caused could last a lifetime.

There has been a go fund me site set up to help with expenses for the surviving children.  No funeral arrangements have been announced as of yet.

Related story on this blog:






Update Nov 22 2014:

The police have stated that Andrew had to be charged with a motor vehicle infraction as a point of law but he has only been charged with the misdemeanor of careless operation.  This charge means that he would only be facing a small fine and a mark on his newly acquired driver’s license.  They added that there is a very good chance that the charge will be dropped in the future since he has certainly suffered more than any punishment could do for what looks to be just an accident.

There has not been any announcement as to funeral arrangements but people in Wills Point have gathered to remember the five who died in the accident.



Update Nov 23 2014:

The only arrangements that have been planned as of this date is a memorial sometime after Thanksgiving.


Update Nov 24 2014:

The memorial service for the Hardman family has been set for Wednesday Nov 26 2014.  It will be held at the Lakeshore Church, 5575 Highway 205 in Rockwall.  The family will begin receiving friends at 10 am that morning.

The district attorney in Louisiana has stated that all charges against Andrew have been dismissed.  Aaron is still reported to be in critical condition but stable at Shreveport Hospital in LA at this time.


Can we keep it?

The three of them had spent Labor Day, September 3 2007, fishing without any luck. They were headed back to the boatlaunch near Mine Falls, on the Nashua River NH, when their luck suddenly changed.

Anthony Grauslys, 40 of Hudson NH, his 9 year-old son, Ash and Steve Summers, their neighbor hadn’t caught a thing all day until Graulys’s line snagged something. He initially had thought a pickerel had grabbed his hook and rubber worm and he fought it up to the boat. It only took one look he said, to realize he hadn’t caught a prize-winning fish.

“We’re city cops. We don’t know what to do with these things,” stated Lt Bruce Hansen.

Grauslys stated that he realized he had dragged in an alligator and he knew that he could just release it again, since no one would probably want an alligator hanging around. Him and his fishing crew headed for the dock with the alligator fighting the whole way. By the time they had made it to the dock, three Nashua police officers had arrived put the alligator in a large utility box, half filled with water.

The state Fish and Game conservation officer, David Eskeland, stated that the 18 inch, approximately 1 year-old, american alligator is now safe in a Massachusetts facility that handles reptiles. He stated that it would not have survived the winter months and temperatures if it had stayed in the river. They could only guess that it had possibly outgrown someone’s bathtub and that was why it was dumped in the river.

Grauslys didn’t have to turn the alligator over to Eskeland, it is legal for New Hampshire residents to own an alligator. I’m sure that his neighbors wouldn’t be that happy to see him taking it out for a “daily walk” though.






It began with the adoption of a 4 month old brussels griffon mixed puppy from the Mutts and Moms adoption agency. By October 16 2007, it became a national media story.

When a representitive from the adoption agency called Ellen DeGeneres to check on Iggy’s welfare, she found out that the pup had been given to Ellen’s hairdresser. That had been in violation of the contract that Portia de Rossi had signed when adopting the puppy, which stated that the dog had to be returned to the agency.

Iggy wasn’t dumped on the street but had been given to a family with two young girls, ages 10 & 12 and had been taken care of very well. This had happened after Ellen had paid approximately $3,000 in vet bills, neutering and training of the pup and he still didn’t get along well with her cats.

It seems that Ellen had been told to immediately return the dog to the agency or they would go and seize the dog. That is exactly what a representitive of Moms and Mutts did, with police presence, she removed the dog from the home and children because of a violation of the contract. Ellen pleaded for the return of Iggy to the children, the agency stated that they would make sure that the children didn’t receive the dog and the situation spun out of control.

Ellen was visably upset about the events, the owner of Moms and Mutts was as well. Marina Batkis, a co-owner of the rescue group, had stated that they “may” have considered the new placement if Ellen had asked them to do so before putting the puppy there. I think that is a very large “maybe” on their part, since they state the agency has a rule barring placement of small dogs with families with children under the age of 14.

Iggy it is now reported, has been placed with another family, which is rather nice that the agency could rush him out the door that quickly during this dispute. It has also been reported that Iggy would not be returned to Ellen because her name had not been added to the microchip he has. That seems a bit of a double standard, the agency states they have a contract and follow it to the letter but they use a technocality to claim Ellen can’t prove the puppy is hers?

My final thoughts……… if this agency has a policy of not adopting small dogs into families with children and they evidently monitor their placements militantly…… what happens when a couple adopts a small dog and two years later, has a baby? Does Moms and Mutts point to their policy in the contract and have police stand by as they yank the dog out of the home?

Of note:

Ellen and Portia may well have broken the contract that Portia signed with Mutts and Moms, a contract that it seems now, that many pet adoption agencies have, Marina Batkis’s sobbing on television has done little for me to believe that she had Iggy’s best interests at heart. She publically stated that there was no way that she would have placed Iggy back with Cheryl Mark’s family because of the publicity and the fact that there were “young” children in the home. That can be shown by how fast Mutts and Moms were to place Iggy with another family as soon as they had him back in their grasp.

What has been revealed though from “Iggy-gate” is that there are numerous pet adoption agencies out there, some with little more that the local governement’s approval to operate because their facilities meet certain standards. Those standards though often do not include how well trained they are in placing animals and most solicate donations for their “good” works.

The “Smoking Gun” posted several of the emails exchanged between both parties and while some may point to their relevance, I found little in them that excited me…….. Batkis evidently felt that not hearing an update for more than 30 days on the placement of one of their pups was excessive and I do wonder…….. does anyone who adopts a pet from Mutts and Moms have to send an update every two weeks or so for them to feel confident of the care their former charge is getting?

For a look at those emails, go here.

Update: November 13

“Iggy’s doing famously, very well and in a loving home,” stated Keith Fink.

It seems that Iggy is destined for some sort of fame at the moment, he is now being paraded on television to prove what a good job Moms and Mutts has done in placing Iggy after the tears and hate of last month. I had no doubt that they would find yet another family to care for the now 5 month-old pup and one that would allow them to exploit him as well.

What isn’t being addressed though is the policy that they have, one which many agencies it has been revealed has and specifically, their policy of not placing a dog in a house with small children. That alone would have most likely kept the agency from allowing Iggy to stay with Ellen’s friends, especially after it was publically stated that the would be no way that they would get the pup back.

I personally feel that the family who now has Iggy, who is doing famously and probably with the help of the couple thousand Ellen spent on training him, should be living quietly at home…. not paraded on “stage” by Fink, the lawyer for the agency.

Dumb, dumber and dumbest……….

“Everybody wants to work the night shift now,” stated Doc’s general manager/vice president Lou Bangert.

At 3:06 am, July 29 2014, three men broke into Doc’s Beach House in Bonita Springs FL.  Lou Bangert stated that there have been break-ins during the 27 years that the restaurant has been open but they usually amounted to someone breaking in a window to steal cash from the register.  He did not expect to see pictures of three men breaking into the kitchen area on his security cameras.

He first noticed that the man in frame was not wearing any clothes…….. then noticed that there were three guys, naked and robbing the kitchen.  Later on Monday, pictures of the naked bandits were posted on the Facebook page for Bonita Jetski & Parasail and by Wednesday, the local police had released some of the pictures.  Bangert stated that the men never went into the restaurant to steal money but they did make quite a mess in the back.

The three stole 60 hamburgers, three pounds of bacon, three red bell peppers and a paddleboard.  Don’t ask me what they needed the paddleboard for.  They can be seen on camera taking the food and spending about 5 minutes in the back, before heading outside.  Police say that it was a bit like following Hansel and Gretel……… they left a trail of food outside and into the parking lot, where the peppers were found.  Police surmise that the three may be staying at Barefoot Beach or parked the get-away vehicle in a nearby parking lot.

Two of the men are naked and the third was wearing underwear and they all look well built.  Bangert stated that his waitresses want the bandits to return and everyone seems to want to work the night shift now, just to catch a glimpse of them.  The security footage does show that they were aware of the cameras.  One is seen trying to change the direction of one camera but is not aware that they was a second camera still taking the pictures.  The two naked bandits do try to cover their faces and genitals when they spot the camera but it still is baffling as to why the three were naked for the robbery.  Were they concerned that they might be recognized from their clothing?

The theory is that they may have just been college aged kids who may have been drinking.  It is not known if they are tourists or locals but Bangert is fairly certain that they will be recognized and caught fairly soon.  Their choice of robbery outfits certainly was not the best choice.


Da Vinci and Other Famous Painters: Signifying the Love of Nature

What comes into your mind as you are exposed to magnificent works of arts? The famous painters like Da Vinci shall be the inspiration of the world. Basically, producing creative arts may not be easy as you don’t have the required talent. The production processes may range from one week up to a year depending on the complexity of the project. Hence, it is not surprising that many individual painters love to stay in isolation.

The representation of another famous artist is Michelangelo. The man has inspired many young artists in today’s civilization. You may analyze the works of the artist at national or international museums. Possibly, techniques and painting methods differentiate a painter to another. This can be one positive aspect to consider.

Worlds’ Famous and Influencing Painters

Every form of art may depict the deeper idea’s search and exploration. To present one of the famous painters, it is ideal to read Titian’s biography. You may understand the life of the painter, the influencing factors, and the works. The paintings may inspire others. Paintings may optimize the spirit of the viewers. You may see the life of a painter through their works of arts. On the same line, you may feel the misery of the painters also from the paintings.

Famous painters, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Titian may symbolize the era of great works of arts. Hence, the following ideas may be good to consider more about the painters, including:

  • Websites’ exploration can be one good way during the internet era.
  • Another ideal way is to visit local to national museums.
  • Visiting private galleries may be an option to get in touch with famous paintings.

As a matter of fact, there are artists to know well. Through Michelangelo or Titian, you may get the inspiration of the works. At minimum, famous painters signify the power of nature applied on the form of rubbed paints on canvasses.

We didn’t need that extra insulation?

“Now I know why my bill is so high,” stated Ed Arzooman.

It wasn’t Arzooman’s high electric bill that led to the recent discovery at a one story house on 269th St in Floral Park NY October 17 2007. It was the distinctive smell of marijuana that police officers on a routine patrol in Queens instead.

Arzooman stood by and watched as officers removed 300 live plants and 10 garbage bags of drying weed after the officers had noticed the smell the night before. Three men who lived at the home, ages 23, 28 and 43 have been charged with felony drug possession of the reportedly $500,000 street value pot.

Ed had finally found out that not only had there been a marijuana farm at the home next door but Con Edison informed him that their powerline had been split, so they had been paying for the cultivation for the past year. This explained how their power bill had gone from $300 a month to $800.

I can understand how out of control cost increases and a lack of conservation can lead to a higher bill but to go more than a year with a $500 increase without questioning it………that makes it a bit more understandable as to how they managed to run a pot farm next door.

007 meets R2D2, maybe….

Technology is racing forward faster than it seems we buy an”old” model. These days, 70 percent of the nation’s estimated $48 billion dollar intelligence budget is heading right into the pockets of private contractors along with a large part of the $58 billion set aside for homeland security.

The best money can be made still in landing government contracts and it still seems that it helps to have friends in high places for that to happen. It seems that a number of former Bush Administration officials and insiders are signing on as directors of obscure companies that are now competing with their old agencies for those dollars. Those companies don’t seem to be concerned that their “new” directors may have screwed up their former duties with taxpayers dollars, just so long as they are able to do a bit of nest feathering of their own.

Included in this bunch are George Tenet, ex-CIA director who stated that the Iraq WMDs are a “slam dunk”. His new job with QinetiQ has landed him $2.3 million in salary and stock since his retirement. L Paul Bremer who received a Medal of Freedom while somehow letting $9 billion in cash go free and missing in Iraq now works for BlastGard. Wayne Downing who is serving a second run on the board of Metal Storm after leaving his post as Deputy National Security Advisor, over seeing an electronic supershedder gun.

These and several others are certainly enjoying it seems, the spoils of their former jobs and of the war on terror, to the tune of millions os dollars in government contracts.

For a better view, go here.

The video saw what they “didn’t”

Police in St Paul MN. responded Tuesday, August 28 2007 to a call of drunken behavior and discovered far more than that. When they arrived, they found a woman lying unconscious in the hallway and the suspect claiming he was innocent.

Rage Ibrahim, 26, states that he is innocent and it was all a misunderstanding, according to Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center. The woman had been found unconscious in a hallway with her dress pulled up, fresh scratches on her face and blood on her thigh. Ibrahim states that he did not assualt the woman, adding that if he had wanted to do that, he could have done it in the apartment.

The woman was visiting the apartment of a friend where she met Ibrahim. They drank for several hours but when she went to leave, she stated that Ibrahim tried to stop her and began assaulting her. What happened to the woman in the hallway was caught on surveillance video.

“If you’re not comfortable, if you don’t feel capable of intervening, that’s fine. But not calling is not understandable,” stated police spokesman Tom Walsh.

Authories found more than a record of the woman’s attack on video, it captured at least 10 witnesses ignoring the woman’s cries for help during the aproximately 90 minutes Ibrahim beat and sexually assaulted her. It clearly showed men and women looking out of their apartment doors or starting to walk down the hallway before retreating during the attack. They stated that it clearly showed one woman looking out her door three times during the attack.

“It shows another person walking up, observing what was going on, then turning and putting up the hood of his sweatshirt,” stated Walsh.

At one point, the 26 year-old woman knocked on an apartment door and yelled to the residents to call police. A man inside that apartment claimed that he had not looked out but the video showed him looking out. He claimed that he had placed a call to 911, a call which police have no record of.

Minnesota has a Good Samaritan law that makes it a petty misdemeanor not to give reasonable help to a person who is in danger of “grave physical harm.” Authorities have stated that they were shocked by the behavior of the bystanders. They, as well as I feel, if you aren’t comfortable intervening in a situation, that is understandable….. but to not pick up the phone and call the police?

Jamal, who has spoken on Ibrahim’s behalf, stated that he had gone into the hallway because he felt the woman was too drunk to drive. Ibrahim and her struggled over the car keys and that the police report doesn’t state the true facts of what happened that evening. Jamal added that Ibrahim said that he did not rape the woman, it was all a huge misunderstanding.

Police identified Ibrahim from the surveillance video and he is charged with several counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. As for the 10 people who were shown to have observed the attack and did nothing, they probably won’t be prosecuted by police.

I don’t see any excuse they could have for not calling the police, not with the attack going on for some 90 minutes. Thye may not face any charges for their inaction but I do hope that they lose some sleep wondering….. if they are in the same situation or worse, will their neighbors be as “helpful.”