Normita Fenn: “What journalism means to me”

Normita Fenn

When I took up journalism last fall, it was as though I died and went to heaven! After years of reflections and contemplations of what life would have been for me if I had the opportunity to take up journalism, finally I am here, with a successful education and a career behind me that many people would have liked to achieve.

In this reflective moment, how sad it was when after high school my parents honestly told me that there was no money to send me to journalism school – but I am sad no more.

Journalism to me is to be curious on why things happen and out of that curiosity, do something to let the public know and be their eyes against anomalies.

Journalism to me is to remain true to the human spirit by minimizing the harm and sufferings of the afflicted.

 Journalism to me is to not be swayed by those whose interests lie for themselves and not for the public good. Journalism to me is to be accountable to no one but the public.

In total, I am a journalist who will endeavor to the best of my ability to give voice to those who are silent, to those who are unable to express their feelings about what goes on in the four corners of the home, in the streets and in the world around them, done with the highest standards of ethics and integrity – fair and accurate.

The landscape of journalism has evolved into the embracing of a new media – online news driven by the fast and furious internet technology. News is all around us 24/7 – from newspapers, television, computers, smartphones, all delivered in the comfort of our homes, trains and coffee shops. Events that happen in Europe and Asia are readily known in New York and San Francisco within nanoseconds.

In this new cycle of news, Charles Hoyt said, “What ties them together is the acceleration of the news cycle,” Keller told me. “We’re always on, which increases the danger that things will not get checked as they should.” He said news organizations have always had times when they have had to work quickly on deadline, and they know there is more danger of mistakes on those occasions. “The difference now is the deadline is always.” (The Danger of Always Being On, NYT, April 10, 2010)

The decisions journalists make to perform their responsibilities are critically important to the public and expectations for speed and reliability are crucial for competing media. But the guiding principles for journalists must remain constant:

1. Seek the Truth and Report It. An example is the scenario in the article by Clark Hoyt, “A Private Room with a Narrow View,” (NYT, May 30, 2010) about the blog posted by Corey Kilgannon, a Times reporter, on a jazz pianist, Jones, who died in a hospice. After interviewing Jones’ landlord, Kilgannon posted on the City Room Blog about Jones, referring to him in a light that was found by family members and colleagues as a false picture of Jones and an invasion of privacy.

This issue falls under the premise of courage on the part of the journalist to seek and tell the truth, “That courage requires disrespect, and it results in the relentless search for truth, no matter what the consequences.” (Woo, 25) In spite of this, would it have helped to have the editor look at the article before it’s posted?

2. Minimize Harm.  Minimizing harm is a very important component of the principle of truth telling. Whether to report in full, in part or not to report at all – journalists are faced with the dilemma in handling cases that could further harm and sufferings. “Minimizing harm is connected to the values of humaneness: fairness, compassion, empathy, kindness, respect.” (BSB, 40)

The availability of online blogs enables the public to divulge harmful information and an invitation to incivility. “The trick is how to reconcile these ethical values when a situation in journalism arises where two or more of our ethical principles are in conflict.” (Woo, 76)

3. Act Independently. According to Black, Steele and Barney, “Pressures come from those who try to divert a journalist’s loyalty away from audiences and steer it toward narrower vested interests.” (BSB, 45) Journalists are bound by ethical principles to be independent in the pursuit of news and reporting it. No private interest or individual should influence him or her from reporting something that the public need to know or could become suspect to conflict of interest issues.

The availability of information online behooves that journalists remain conscious of their ethical obligation by staying away from situations that put their integrity in question.

4. Be Accountable.  “Journalists are in the business of being “accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.” (BSB, 48)  Every news piece that carries the journalist’s byline must be carefully crafted to show objectivity in reporting. This includes fairness, impartiality and balanced reporting.

“The idea of abandoning objectivity as journalism’s highest ideal resonates with many practitioners of new media.” (F&S, 12) If there are inaccuracies, they should be acknowledged, checked and corrected as quickly as possible.

 The impact of today’s fast and furious internet-driven technology leaves more ground open to ethical questions that require decisions in the preservation of the organization’s credibility and ethical standards.

“It’s trying to do the best journalism you can in a way that is respectful of ethical values.” (Woo, 76) A compelling issue on ethical decisions is brought up in Paul Farhi’s article, “Traffic Problems.”

 The scenario depicts editors of major news organizations faced with decisions that need to be made on a given hour, on a given day in the name of drawing traffic to their site: Whether to ignore the out-of- the-norm stuff shown in their websites or to embrace it as a sustainable source of revenue.  “Here lies the importance for editors to be willing to struggle with the gray area and competing principles.” (BSB, 60)

I humbly say that for the profession to flourish journalists must tackle the challenge on how they can mirror the ethical principles of yesterday. No matter where they are in their profession, journalists need to remain educated and be reminded on the ethical principles that guide them – to be truth-seekers and sense-seekers if they are to deserve to be called “gatekeepers.”

To abandon that is to let the public down and de-value the work of those who came before them.
Normita Fenn is a student at UMass-Amherst School of Journalism’s Certificate in Journalism Program.  She resides in San Ramon, California. Contact her at:


71 thoughts on “Normita Fenn: “What journalism means to me”

  1. Thanks for sharing Normita. Another element of journalism that the 24/7 news struggles with is over-reporting. A story worthy of 2 minutes ends up being reported on for two days. Do you think this is an ethical question? Slow news days result in an events being picked to death.

    Also most MSM suffer from selective reporting — they choose the angle of the story to report and omit key facts. My favorite example is the DC paper that had the headline that declared “Obama Wins Two More Delegates”. It was not until you reached the inside page did it mention that Clinton also won two delegates that day. We saw this unethical style of reporting frequently.

    It use to be that to be “current” you read one or two papers a day and maybe a nightly 30-60 news program. Now there are those who rely on news sources during most of their waking hours. What has this done to our economy, our family lives, our communities?

    One of our tour guides durinng our trip compared the Digital Age to the Industrial Revolution.

    We returned home last night so I still need to read previous comments and to share our adventure. Will be back later.

  2. Good Morning, Villagers…plenty of sunshine, just a cloud or two, highs slipping into the mid 80’s, with a bit of a breeze late in the day!

    Normita…thanks so much for the article you wrote, it is enlightening…I’m particularly in agreement with the “challenge on how they can mirror the ethical principles of yesterday” being the issue of our time. Our current gatekeepers have sold out to their idealogy in a lot of cases…both left and right. We desperately need news seen through an impartial lens…let the reader or listener get the facts and form their own opinion! Thanks again for a glimpse at your assignments!!

    Taylor….yea, you’re back….I’ve missed you! I hope when you’re rested you’ll give us a rundown on your adventure…I’m looking forward to it!

    Off to walk early…enjoy your day…

  3. Nice post. Nice explanation of the field and it’s importance to you.
    I for one, am glad you are an up and coming journalist. We desperately need journalists with scruples!

    Kodos to you!

  4. Thanks to everyone for liking my post. My ethics professor was a classroom-type teacher who was good but very ‘controlling.’ She wanted us to send our posts to her prior to posting in the discussion board – well, at first I did but then I decided to go out of her norm. I appreciate the learning but think students need to be encouraged to explore ethics in a much deeper sense than be in a controlled mode.

  5. Here’s an article in our local paper about the town hall that Pelosi and her fellow dems held:

    Residents vent their ire over economy at Pelosi, Lee in Oakland town hall

    When you read the article you’ll feel the frustration and anger directed mostly at Pelosi who left after only a half hour:

    “She stayed for only about half of the testimony offered Tuesday. “We waited to talk to you; where are you going?” a woman shouted from the audience.”

    Ha, most of them are probably the same people who voted and expected the change, circa 2008. 😦

    • I saw part of that clip last night. I am sorry for these people who are hurting so bad.

      Pelosi ought to be ashamed. I doubt she is though.

  6. Before Amercan Idol, there was the Ted Mack Amateur Hour. An old high school friend posted this link on Facebook today. The two singers lived on a farm near ours and went to the same country church of 20 families and belonged to my 4-H Club. It is quite amazing the footprints we leave in the sand.

    An article I was reading was pressing for the high school curricullum to change. The author thought that Leadership should be required. I think it is a good idea.

  7. Republicans Ridicule Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard Vacation
    By Paul Bedard

    Posted: August 18, 2011

    Seizing on suggestions by critics, even liberals, that the president should work on his jobs agenda in Washington instead of jetting off to Martha’s Vineyard for an extended holiday, the Republican Party with a vacation-themed way to hit President Obama as the Jimmy Carter and Bill Buckner of the economy.

    Read full article:

    I can’t understand why they have to go on vacation away from the White House – that’s a beautiful place. At least show some empathy to the millions of unemployeds.

  8. Hi everybody… Taylor your back, Welcome home…..

    Normita. you write beautifully. Our own village journalist. Yipppee…

    What do you mean ethics may/may not be taught at schools? If not there, then where?
    When I worked, we had a mandatory ethics training yearly. We could be fired for using bad judgment in regards to our relationship with customers, and other corporations.

    I read the articles about the Pelosi Townhall exchange. Well, the anger is coming out, people are losing their jobs, and not finding new ones. Desperation is setting in, a dangerous precedent. They are correct when they state that if more people were employed, there would be less crime. So, Pelosi came to hear testimony of actual hardships, and she heard enough after half an hour? That says it all… A true leader whould show some spine and listen to all the comments. Show some respect to the people who put her where she is… I guess this is a rude awakening for her, no more throne now that she is no longer Speaker…

    • Mary, many high schools no longer have journalism curriculum, and many college of journalism do not have ethics as a required course.

    • Taylor, as part of my recent journalism course, I interviewed a young Chinese woman. During my research, I discovered many issues especially on the one-child policy, etc. That country is in a crossroad of human rights questions that the U.S. can no longer speak about because of the debt. The passionate words of Hillary Clinton in 1995 at a Beijing conference are buried beneath the promissory notes that may not be redeemed by the U.S.

  9. Good Morning, Villagers…gray to start the day, partly sunny later on, highs only about 80 degrees, with that breeze!

    Taylor…I don’t remember watching Amateur Hour, however, I have heard of it…those boys were really something…do you know what they’re doing now? Thanks for the walk down memory lane…I do remember the clothes and haircuts. Also, the Chinese pushed and shoved our press right out of the room while Biden was talking…loosing face to the Chinese is not something we should be doing via our borrowing and debt to them…it is a serious issue!

    Normita…Pelosi should be retired, if she can attend those meetings and asks for the communities input, she can at least hang around to listen to their concerns…not that she’s going to do anything about it…there’s no money. Did you see where CA is borrowing money just to pay unemployment benefits?

    It’s friday…enjoy your day…

    • I think Pelosi saw the anger in the faces of the people so she decided to leave – she had no answers and if she had, they are no longer hearing and believing.

  10. These days are more somber as we hear about our economic crisis that no one in Washington wants to own up. The self-proclaimed leader of the free world is off on another family vacation in a fancy place away from the reach of the unemployed. So sad.

  11. It is a time for self-reliance. Rather than blame those responsible we should ignore them. Work with those whose heart and motives are in the right place. I think it is h orrible that BO is going to spend 1 T on his campaign. (Villagers, I should have typed 1 B not 1 T–thanks Mary Puma for catching my mistake.) He could use his campaign coffers for the next stimulus.

  12. Taylor – how did you hear he will spend 1T, I thought it was 1B?

    In watching the basketball brawl video, the guy stomping on the American on the floor is not in Chinese uniform. Who is he? Is he a guy out of the stands? Did you see that?

    I have no comments on the economy and this president. It is tanking big time. I keep reading that economists are predicting a dreadful 2012, the next great depression.

    • It is 1 B — my mistake. I mistyped.

      I did not watch the Georgerown video but now I will. I just read about it. In the still pictures I did not notice a non-player in the fray.

      We had bad storms last night and lost our power a couple times but not for long. I’m still feeling like we are on UK time so my sleep patterns are off.

  13. Good Morning, Villagers…fog blanket clears to mostly sunny skies, it’s a mild day though, highs in the mid to upper 70’s…great weather for low fire danger and good air quality!!

    I think that Chinese man in street clothes kicking the basketball player is probably someone on the coaching staff…he’s wearing a white polo shirt! Tempers are flaring in just about every venue worldwide…people are restless, scared and uncertain about what the future holds.

    Interesting article about what’s happening in Europe: “The Deflationary M2 Explosion” by Larry Kudlow

    “Some people believe Europeans are withdrawing from their own banking system and parking their money in the U.S. banking system, guaranteed by Uncle Sam. ”

    In the news a week ago or so was a story about U.S. banks thinking about charging fees to people putting their cash in their banks…that above article explains why and shows how precarious the EU is!

    Taylor…I hope your jet lag is waning…I bet Lucky has been sticking to you like glue since you got back!

    Enjoy your day…

    • Karel – good read on that article. Was not aware of the flight of dollars from Europe to U.S. That is scary. No doubt.

  14. O’Donnell Accuses CNN Host of “Borderline Sexual Harassment”
    Tea Party favorite denies she walked out of interview over questions about gay rights issues.
    By Josh Voorhees | Posted Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, at 10:07 AM EDT

    UPDATE: Christine O’Donnell was back on TV Friday morning, less than two days after she walked off the set of an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan.

    The Delaware Republican told NBC’s Today that the reason she walked out on Morgan was not because of the repeated questions about gay rights issues that proceeded her exit, but instead because of the questions about masturbation, sexual abstinence and other “personal” questions that came during the first 20 minutes of the interview.

    “He throws it in there in the middle of these sex questions that he would not ask with a man,” O’Donnell said.

    On Wednesday during the taping of the Morgan interview, O’Donnell complained Morgan was being “borderline rude” with his line of questioning. But by Friday she had ratcheted things up a notch, saying that she walked off because “I wanted to stop that borderline sexual harassment that was going on.”

    I don’t blame O’Donnell for walking out from the interview. She was smart enough to know the double standards placed in interviewing men and women.

    • Well good for her, someone is finally starting the conversation about double standards.
      That video was hard to watch, because it was so awkward, but that is exactly how it feels to be around some sexist pig that insists on blaming you for his bs.

      It was abusive and the guy just does not understand the word “NO”, like a lot of men who verbally, sexually and physically abuse their wives and girlfriends.

  15. One billion dollars is a lot of enough to spend on a campaign. Most of that will be for TV commercials with CNN and NBC. The jet fuel for Air Force One and the staff – who pays for that?

  16. When you are in Europe I hated relyinng on CNN for our news. BBC was an alternative but they were concentrating on the riots in England, the phone hacking, etc. They had very little on the US which was refreshing.

    Lucky is adjusting to the schedule change. It always takes a few day before he looks comfortable again. They were using a beagle for sniffing out drugs when we went through Customs at Dulles. That was a first for us.

  17. Taylor glad to hear Lucky is adjusting. Pooe babies they do not know when you leave whether they will ever see you again, and that is pretty stressful for them.

    I would have been a lot more forceful with this guy Pierce Morgan that Christine was. I would not have waited 20 minutes to do something about this. Most women react like Christine, smiling and trying to talk their way around inappropriate questions. Wrong!!That just makes the idiots more aggressive. What you do it is very promptly say, without smiling or being nice, in a stern voice, “move on to the next question, do you have any, or are we finished with the interview?” Do not respond to the question. I think you will recall that other politicians have handled it in that manner. Men just simply say ” I choose not to get into that topic, move on”… Recently I heard Sanford handle Hannity in that manner. It was effective. Hannity moved on.

    • O’Donnell was probably doing everything she can to move on, but with inexperience unable to direct the conversation herself. Morgan took advantage of that situation. Like you and me, I will give him the big talk of how idiotic the line of questioning was and refuse to waste anymore of my time.

  18. Good Morning, Villagers…fog slipped in, then out, blue skies for the most part, highs in the mid 80’s!

    Looks like Libya is going to join the neverending list of countries that have overturned their governments and have no idea where they’re headed now…I hope for the sake of the people they get a shot at having a secular government. In Egypt the people have been suffering enormously since the overthrow…just getting food is a huge challenge and expensive…l hope these are just growing pains and will end with more freedom and less oppression for all their citizens.

    This back door amnesty for illegal immigrants makes me crazy…two months ago Obama says he can’t do that, our laws don’t allow for him to dictate the laws…then, he changes his mind and overules the Congress allowing it! The rule of law is being trampled on by this adminstration…let alone the President acting as a dictator with total disregard for what the Congress already decided…what’s going on?

    Good to see the Dow up a bit this morning…Enjoy your day…

  19. Good Morning – Yea, looks like Libya is free. At least, I heard one comment thanking the U.S. and Nato for their liberation., It has cost the U.S. upwards of 1B to help them. We provided surveillance and the UAVs loaded with arsenal. I heard a general address our involvement this morning. He said we were in the background, but we gots all sorts of calls for our support, and we provided it. I guess in the end I am pleased that Gaddafi is gone, but I am tired of the U.S. getting into these battles all the time. They are saying his ouster will bring down gasoline prices, once the rebel government resumes pumping oil. We shall see.

    Karel, all of my family is really upset about the backdoor amnesty. My brother was so upset, his wife called me to talk with him to calm him down, because he was really livid. He is just one more American in an America that is exceedingly angry, more angry that any I have seen in the past. I have given up on this administration. They are ruthless, corrupt in every way imagineable. I pray that we can somehow get our country back on track. Therre are days when I lose all hope that we will prevail.

    We are headed out for another week of camping at the Lake. Weather will be just perfect again this week, and it is time to go again. Time to get away from all this garbage, and sit by the lake and read. We will leave Wednesday.

    The last days of August are upon us. I am always glad to see these days come and go. It signals the beginning of Fall, and I just love Fall. Sometimes September here is scorching, but I can always just think that in a few days the heat is gone, and the air will turn cool and crisp. I live for those days.

    Have a good day everybody.

  20. New York City prosecutors reportedly plan to ask a judge to dismiss the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, possibly as soon as later Monday.

    Unnamed sources tell the New York Times and the New York Post that Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance will file a motion known as a dismissal on recommendation, likely clearing the way for a judge to dismiss the charges outright at a Tuesday court hearing.

    While there has been widespread speculation that the sexual assault and attempted rape case was unraveling, the move is nonetheless an “extraordinary turn of events” and will bring an end to one of “the most closely watched prosecutions in New York in decades,” the Times reports.

    One law enforcement official told the paper there was no single detail in the background of DSK’s accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, that had undermined the prosecutor’s faith in its ability to proceed. Instead, the official said, the problem was that Diallo appeared unwilling to take responsibility for telling the truth even after she was caught telling lies.

    “We deal with witnesses with these kinds of problems every day,” the official said. “With her, we had to drag the details of the lies out of her over weeks. It might have been different if she had let all the air out in a day or two. Every time she was confronted with her lies, she would blame someone else — someone told her to say this for asylum, someone else took advantage of her bank accounts, someone else did the taxes.”

    The Post, meanwhile, reports that Vance’s filing will also include damning new accusations that further call into question Diallo’s credibility. “There are going to be bombshells,” one source told the paper.

    If this guy is really guilty it will be sad to let him get away with it, but then the accuser may not have passed the credibility test.

  21. Time for some reminiscing. I was researching old movies shown in old neighborhood theaters in 1960s and found “The Sound of Music,” with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer singing “Edelweiss.” Great slideshow of their photos, then and in the later years. Enjoy!

  22. Karel and Mary.

    I have not read or seen too much about the immigration change. do you have a good source?

    I did read this:

    NBC has yet to cover a major shift by the Obama administration that would halt deportation of illegal immigrants who have not committed a crime. According to the Washington Times, up to 300,000 cases could be impacted by this decision.

    Despite ignoring the development, NBC did find time to cover the story of Boris, the 550 pound pig. Natalie Morales explained, “His owners have him on a diet and he’s dropped an impressive 75 pounds

    Normita, I like all of the SOM songs but My Favorite Things is near the top. SOM was the first record I can remember buying.

  23. Biden did it again!

    Biden to China: I fully understand your one-child policy
    posted at 5:28 pm on August 22, 2011 by Allahpundit
    Via the Standard, isn’t this guy supposed to be pro-choice? He does understand that the one-child policy is an actual policy, not a matter of Chinese couples cheerily “choosing” to keep their families small for the good of the motherland, yes?
    I ask because, per Timothy Carney, you never know when Biden’s saying something outrageous out of bad intent or simply because he’s a moron.
    What we ended up doing is setting up a system whereby we did cut by $1.2 trillion upfront, the deficit over the next 10 years. And we set up a group of senators that have to come up with another $1.2 to $1.7 trillion in savings or automatically there will be cuts that go into effect in January to get those savings. So the savings will be accomplished. But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.
    So hopefully we can act in a way on a problem that’s much less severe than yours, and maybe we can learn together from how we can do that.
    The manifest unsustainability of that 1:4 ratio is reason enough to second-guess it, but if math doesn’t float your boat, how about the fact that Chinese authorities forcibly sterilized 10,000 people in Guangdong Province just last year? No? How about forced abortions, then?
    The officials gave Wei three injections in the lower abdomen. Contractions started the next afternoon, and continued for almost 16 hours. Her child was stillborn.
    “I asked the doctor if it was a boy or girl,” Wei said. “The doctor said it was a boy. My friends who were beside me said the baby’s body was completely black. I felt desolate, so I didn’t look up to see the baby.”
    Medical sources say fetuses aborted in this manner would have been dead for some time, so the tissue is necrotic and thus dark in color.
    “The nurses dealt with the body like it was rubbish,” Wei said. “They wrapped it up in a black plastic bag and threw it in the trash.”
    On the upside, at least it helped reduce carbon emissions. The grim punchline here is that, because of Chinese cultural preferences for boys over girls, the one-child policy has produced a male/female ratio so skewed that the only limit to how much mischief those lonely bachelors will end up causing is your imagination. If we’re lucky, most of that mischief will be directed internally. If not, then the U.S. military will be “second-guessing” this policy for decades. But such is the protocol of a “goodwill tour” that the VP would rather smile benignly at this barbarism than stay neutral. That’s what happens when your banker’s angry at you, I guess.

    The young woman I interviewed for my assignment was born at the start of the one-child policy and so is her husband. She wished that her parents had her before so at least she had a better chance of having siblings.

  24. So what did you think of Maxine Waters outburst telling the tea party to go to hell and she would help get them there? I understand the passion but there is no excuse for the double standard. If just one GOP or tea party person had this outburst they would be screaming for blood. Imagine what they would be saying if Michelle or Sarah had gone this far? Hypocrits thwe lot of them.

    I think the best defense is to continue showing people their lies and double standard with actual clips.

  25. Good Morning, Villagers….straight to sunshine with a smattering of high clouds on the cruise, a hot one on tap, highs in the mid 90’s!

    Taylor…on the change in immigration: “Obama To Deport Illegals By Priority”
    I think you’re on target with the best defense being let them speak for themselves and we continue to expose them.

    Maxine Waters continues to live in her own world…I don’t know how she looks in the mirror…that’s some of the most hateful language I’ve heard! She’s not part of the solution, she’s part of the problem…past time for her to retire. What I don’t understand is why members of the Tea Party aren’t considered Americans…they have just as much a right to their opinions as anyone else and there are millions of them…the train left that station quite some time ago!!

    Overall, I think the Congress has a problem with many members being past their prime…many in need of retirement…their duty is long past done…go home, enjoy your grandkids! Did you know that Ron Paul is 76 years old, if elected he’ll be sworn in at 77?

    MaryPuma…anger is out of control in the Bay Area, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Americans so out of control…I, too, fear we’ve only just begun to experience this problem! Our Village is a good place to express our feelings…we can “blow a gasket” and still be civil…that’s a nice environment to have! Everyone should be careful in this current climate and I don’t think things are going to change anytime soon!

    Enjoy your day…

  26. Central Virginia was hit with a 5.9 earthquake. Everything shook in our house but we are okay. Everyone is okay in our neighborhood. My husband had been on a laddder earlier so we are lucky.

      • Taylor, I just called you though I knew phones are probably down. Take care, don’t panic. Get Lucky close to you in case there are aftershocks and you need to leave. Have radio with batteries, water, snacks, etc. More important, tell your kids you’re okay, and your parents too.

        I know you probably did all the above, but it helps me to tell you.

  27. Normita., Lucky was at Doggie Day Camp because Scott was doing some painting. When we picked him up they sad the dogs did not react at all but the staff did not know whether they should evacuate. My neighbor said her cats went crazy.

    We have both a land and cell and the land line was usuable throughout but the cell lines were busy. The house shook hard for 30-60 seconds and we made our way outdoors. One of my ngles fell and broke but nothing major.

    I would hate to live with these shocks all the time.

    Go, you haven’t shared any update about Six Toes lately. How are things going?

    • Being a native Californian, I grew up with moving ground! LOL!
      It is unnerving if you are not used to it. Take care.

      Six Toes has taken his freedom along with Buddy. After all that time spent training him to stay in the yard too. He loves roaming in the neighbor’s yards, and comes back, along with Buddy to get crunchies and see where I am. Too cute!

      So, the boys are growing up and steppin’ out. 😀

  28. An extended family of ours is building a house in Maryland and I told him to make sure it’s inspected before the contractors proceed.

  29. I went to the Village Calendar and here’s what Teri and the Village Kids had posted:

    Aug. 4 – Shandy’s 16th Birthday
    Aug. 9 – GO’s birthday
    Aug. 19 – Lanz’s birthday
    Aug. 30 – Tanya’s birthday


    Where are Teri and the Village Kids? Send the search party. Hello, come home now.

  30. Yes happy birthday to all villagers and happy unbirthday to everyone as well. Don’t you just love Alice in Wonderland?

  31. Happy Birthday to everybody…..

    Taylor, glad you survived the Earthquake okay, and that Scott was on the ground. Here we just don’t know when one will hit , so we go about things normally, you have to.

    Go, Six Toes and Buddy, awwwww, they are big cats now, roaming the neighbor,hood, but come home to eat and sleep. That’s cute. Yea, be careful of the coyotes, here no one has cats because coyotes are all around us. People protect their dogs when they walk them.

    Don;t know too much about Huntsman, just that he and Romney are at odss with eath other on global warming. I think he does that to get press time. The next debate should be interesting. We shall see who is in, and who is out.

    I love everything about the Sound of Music. When I get depressed, I watch the movie, and then just like they say, I don’t feel so bad…

    Go, yes, I will watch my back. We have to be careful what we say, and who we say it to.
    But, Karel, even here at the village, when we rant, we get old villagers coming back at us with comments about what we rant about. I just wish those people would post more frequently, not just when they read something they disagree about. The more the merrier..

    Going to the lake tomorrow, be back Monday. I don’t know if I will be an internet, but maybe I will make another effort to post using my IPad, the roundabout way.

    Have a good week everybody. Getting hot here, like August usually is…

  32. My favorite movie when I need a pick-me-up is Anne of Green Gables. Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst were the perfect Anne and Marilla. I love it when Marilla tells Anne ” I think you may be a kindred spirit after all”.

  33. Good Morning, Villagers…”nothin’ but blue skies” all around, slightly cooler, about 90 degrees…it’s hot!

    Taylor…good to hear that you and Scott weathered the earthquake rather well…I’m surprised that Lucky and those other dogs didn’t signal the impending earth shaking…usually at least some dogs are forewarned because of their heightened sense of hearing and exhibit unusual behavior, like barking or running around. I was startled awake late last night…thought it was a small quake, I wandered around the condo a bit, went back to bed and found out in the news this morning that there was a quake just over the hills from us. Mostly though, we don’t really live on earthquake alert all the time.

    Happy Birthday to all those Villagers…Tanya check in once in awhile, I hope all is well with you!

    GO…you pamper them, train them, give them a little freedom and then they’re gone most of the day…oh, well, they always come home…you must have done something right!!

    MaryPuma…enjoy your visit to the lake. Your point about the ranting is valid, however, don’t let that stop you from ranting in the Village…no one should feel intimidated in this environment…we all need a place to let our hair down!

    Enjoy your day…

    • Oh, they come back and forth through out the day to say hi, and eat crunches.
      And Buddy usually takes a late morning nap. 😀

    • Merkel is an admirable leader, very visible and seems to have a good hold of the issues. She and Hillary deserve to be #1 and #2.

  34. Oh Lordy, Lordy!
    One of the boys caught a bird and snuck it upstairs, bird feathers all over the bedroom floor! Poof little bird. 😦

    Those boys…

  35. Most Virginia schools do not start until after Labor Day but DC Schools started on Monday. They were closed today to inspect eartquake damage and now we have Irene to worry about. I think this is the first time we had a school closing due to an earthquake.

  36. Good Morning, Villagers…ye old fog is back, clearing to mostly blue, highs in the mid to upper 80’s!

    GO….YIKES!! Did you hear about the lady that saved a woodpecker from a cat, nursed it back to health and for her trouble was fined hundreds of dollars…I wish I could remember more of the details. You better keep that bird feather story to yourself…you never know…LOL!!!

    Taylor…I hope Irene is all talk and no action…I’m sure since you’re so efficient you and Scott will be ready though!

    Enjoy your day…

  37. Taylor, CT, Tanya and all the rest of the villagers in the East Coast – we hope you will ride Irene safely. The media are saying to have water, flashlight, battery-operated radio, cooked food, snacks.

    My nieces moved to South Carolina last year and we are very worried about them.

  38. UPDATE: A rebel claim that they had Muammar Qaddafi surrounded in an apartment complex in Tripoli has still not been independently confirmed and it’s beginning to appear as though it may be the latest example of optimism-fueled exaggeration by the group, Reuters reports.

    Meanwhile, loyalist TV channels broadcast a short audio speech by the Libyan strongman Thursday in which he called on his supporters to march on Tripoli and “purify” it of the “rats, crusaders and unbelievers.”

    “Libya is for the Libyan people and not for the agents, not for imperialism, not for France, not for Sarkozy, not for Italy,” he said. “Tripoli is for you, not for those who rely on NATO.”

    The rebels located what they thought was Qaddafi’s van – it’s stacked with food for the ages. I pray that this be over for the Libyan people.

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