Thursday, June 30, 2005

JUNE 2005

The posts below are from the original it's jim blog in June, 2005.
The original comments were not included in the backup files.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Play, Not Display

I'm tired of baseball players wearing jewelry. We get it, you guys is rich, now give it a rest.

Do As I Say Not As I Do

For those people who have not figured out why the sun is bright red, there are readerboards along the freeways warning of a "Bad Air Day." The signs also flash helpful suggestions about how to reduce air pollution such as reduce driving, carpool, and fill-up after 7. Oddly enough, the readerboards are powered by gasoline motors. Putt, putt, putt!

Where Do They Store the Traffic Cones?

In the Road Closet of course. That's what I dyslexically thought the Road Closed sign said! It does raise the interesting question, however, where do they store the traffic cones?

Ask Not For Whom the Wind Blows

Before we have any hurricanes, I want to be on record as being tired of having them named after people. The names are either spelled funny or it’s a name that nobody you know actually has.

I vote we name them after rock groups. Hurricane U2. Hurricane Nine Inch Nails. Hurricane Los Temerarios. Hurricane Puff Daddy. Hurricane Foo Fighters. Hurricane Ying Yang Twins.

It's just an idea. I would really like Hurricane Smashing Pumpkins. Wouldn't that be fun! But then, we'd also have Hurricane Goo Goo Dolls. How would you like to be killed in Hurricane Goo Goo Dolls?

Maybe we could just name them after kitties instead.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Pretty Much Speaks For Itself

Missing, Answers to the Name of Henry Wadsworth, Reward

I accidentally threw away the cord to my computer, and that's not the stupidest thing that I've done today.

Big Bird As Civic Planner

What exactly is the point of hanging banners from light poles? Those in St. Louis invariably have a picture of the Arch on them. Hey, you can look up and see the big, fool thing so why do you need fifty pictures of it strung along ten blocks.

You also see a lot of them in historical areas -- and what could be more historically accurate that ugly galvanized poles with synthetic-fabric poster-art fluttering under stark mercury-vapor lamps?

My all time favorites are those that give the age or anniversary of some nearby attraction. How long has that been there? Why 25 years; 25 years; 25 years; 25 years; 25 years; 25 years; 25 years; 25 years; 25 years. Do you think maybe it’s been there 25 years? It's the Sesame Street approach to tourism.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Look a Gift House in Every Orifice

The guy who won in this year's Home and Garden Television Deam House Sweepstakes now owes $631,000 in federal income taxes and $32,000 in local property taxes.

On the other hand, the folks who get their house rebuilt or a free house on the various make-over TV shows (such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) do not have to pay federal incomes taxes on their windfalls. This is because of a quirk in the tax code that allows you to rent out your home for fewer than 15 days each years tax free. The TV shows merely sets the rental price that they pay for 15 days use of the property equal to the value of the improvements that they leave behind. That's why when they say they "have to finish in 10 days" it means they really do have to finish by a certain date. The home owner is still responsible for any increase in local property taxes, which probably doubles.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Armed Gunman Slipped on the Frozen Ice and Dropped His Free Gift

It's tuna, just tuna. Don't call it tuna fish! Tuna is fish. Saying "I took a tuna fish sandwich to work" is like saying you drove there in your "Chevrolet car." Stop it! It's annoying! It's the 8th Deadly Sin: redundancy. So let's all join together in a common consensus of opinion and observe the basic fundamentals of grammatical syntex and never at any time repeat again this erroneous mistake. By the way, I'm probably all alone by myself in liking my tuna with tomato ketchup.

ps. I think there are 15, but I sin so frequently it's hard for me to count the total number.

Sometimes All of the People Just Fool Themselves

Paul Winchell died today, Sunday. He was 82. In recent years he was most famous as the voice of Tigger in the Winnie the Pooh movies. Just like Edgar Bergen and his sidekick Charlie McCarthy, however, Winchell and his sidekick Jerry Mahoney rose to fame in the 1930's doing ventriloquism on the radio. Give that a thought for a second. They did ventriloquism on the radio. People sat in their home and listened to someone doing ventriloquism on the radio and, apparently, did not think that was really, really odd. This is where the expression "simpler times" comes from.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

In Case of Fire, Panic and Scream Hysterically

The picture above shows how well the stairwell is marked as an Exit on the third floor of a medical building that I visited recently. The medical building is attached to a hospital by a bridge. You can see the buttons for the elevator on the right. Above the buttons is a sign that says not to use the elevator in case of fire. Included on the side is the international symbol for "use stairs in case of fire." The insert picture is from the inside of the elevator and also contains this symbol and message. The picture below shows the same stairwell door, with the EXIT sign above it. Note the sign right next to the door.The insert in the photo is a close up of the sign next to the stairwell door. As you can see, it clearly indicates that the stairwell is "Not an exit." So, the door is an exit until you get close to it and then it's not an exit. Nothing confusing about that! So, as best I can tell, the procedure in case of an emergency is to proceed as quickly as possible to a stairwell door, sit on the floor next to it, place your head between your legs, and kiss your a** goodbye.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Hallelujah, I May Have Risen, And Got Cheap Phone Service

I'm not sure if this deal is good enough to return from the dead (see Wednesday, June 15th, below).

[Keep in mind through all this that I did not actually die, that I have phone service, and that I did cash their check.]

Thursday, June 23, 2005

They Made A Squeeze Play at Second and Succotash at Third

South Korea's baseball authority has banned players from hiding frozen cabbage under their hats during games. It seems the veggies were defrosting and slippery cabbage leaves were slipping out from under hats and dropping to the ground on live TV. No word on where players were hiding the corned beef.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What Goes On Behind That Frosted Glass?

DATE: Everyday
TO: Whoever Decides What Courses Want-a-be Doctors Take In Medical School
FROM: The Rest of Us
RE: Sitting for hours in waiting rooms, then in windowless examination rooms

Hey! There is a science called Queueing Theory. It's the mathematical study of waiting lines. Bankers have mastered it. The 18-year-olds at McDonald's know how to apply it. You need to make your guys and gals take a course in it before they graduate! How many patients are squeezed into a day should be based on something other than the cost of a new Lexus.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It's Just Not So

Someone accused me today of having the attention span of a pu

Monday, June 20, 2005

Minutes of the June Meeting of the Anti-Buttehead League

It is hereby resolved that you may smack in the head any buttehead who sits in a VIP seat behind the batter at a major league baseball game and talks on his cell phone throughout the entire game. Be it further resolved, that if said buttehead in the VIP seats not only talks on his cell phone but also waves at his friends at home every time he knows he is on camera, you may beat him senseless and also receive a complementary beverage.

ps. Tuesday is the first day of summer. Remember to get naked and kiss a squirrel.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

No Sweet Treat Goes Unpunished

Rooty the Dog and I stopped at McDonald's late last night and ordered a cone. Not something that I normally do. I guess they are not allowed to call whatever is in it "ice cream" or "frozen custard" -- but that part was pretty tasty. I thought the cone part was really, really stale, until about half-way through when I realized that I was eating the paper the cone was wrapped in. Yet once again, I licked before I looked!


Happy Father's Day to those who are! If you ain't, feel free to steal a present from one who is. And, remember our rule: any kid who gives you a tie is out of the will (unless it lights up, glows in the dark, or makes quack-quack sounds).

Turn On Turn Off

I missed the meeting when we decided it would be OFF, HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW. OFF, LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH makes much more sense, it's more logical, and it helps to prepare you for the SAT, GRE, and GMAT.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The A, AA, B, BB, C, and CC's of Traveling in Missouri

I’m planning a little trip to Missouri this weekend. I have already discussed the Missouri Highway Department’s odd convention of making the profile of the state fatter to accommodate 3-digit road numbers (see Thursday, May 26, 2005). Their main state highways do indeed have numbers, of one, two, or three digits. The secondary state highways, however, are assigned either one or two letters. What is unusual about their system is that the letters are not unique to a specific highway – there can be a Highway A in one county and a completely different Highway A in another county, with no connection whatsoever between the two.

For my little trip, I need to get from I-70 to Dutzow, a distance of about 20-some miles. Dutzow is a very picturesque little town. The streets in the half of it that sits up on the Missouri River bluff are named First Street, Second Street, Third Street, etc. The streets in the half that sit below the bluff are named One Street, Two Street, Three Street, etc. It’s a place you just have to love for that bit of insanity alone.

There are several routes that I can take from I-70 to reach Dutzow. I can take T to TT. Can you see where this is going? I could also go Z to D to T to TT. A third possibility, and my favorite, is DD to D to T to TT. Try saying that three times fast! I could just kiss the folks at MODOT all over! In the Fall, a terrific route south of the Missouri River to see the color of the leaves is KK to C to YY to Y to ZZ to CC. In Missouri, more than half the fun of getting there is giving the directions.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Une nourriture saine?

The batter-dipped, deep-fried, topped with powdered sugar, Hostess Twinkies fad is back! Please consume as close as possible to a place where they do by-pass surgery!

Top Ten Things Heard at the Mount Sterling Testicle Festival

STLtoday - News - Metro East: "Mount Sterling prepares for testicle festival"

Add your ideas to the list via a comment and I will edit the post -- Jim

Top Ten Things Heard at the Mount Sterling Testicle Festival
10. "I told Dave, 'Catch the bull by the horns, by the horns!'" [Jim]
9. "She got mine in the divorce." [Jim]
8. *******************************************
7. "Stop playing with your food!" [Jim]
6. *******************************************
5. "Envy has nothing to do with it Janet, I just think referring to your sandwich as "Antonio Banderas" is in bad taste." [submitted by Anonymous, edited by Jim]
4. *******************************************
3. *******************************************
2. "We're eating WHAT!" [Anonymous]
And, the Number One Thing heard at the Mount Sterling Testicle Festival:
1. "No wonder them cows were contented."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

There Will Be Cake Later

You have most likely never heard of Mildred and Patty Hill, but you probably owe them money. They wrote the song "Happy Birthday." A little scary that it took two people to write 14 words, but they did it and as a copyrighted song they are entitled to a royalty whenever it is sung publicly.

Mildred and Patty's heirs sold the rights, so the next time you sing their song at a birthday party you should make your check out to Time-Warner, Inc. By the time the copyright expires (2021), the royalties are expected to have totaled $80 million. That's right, 14 words, 80 mil! The actual royalties, of course, come from the song being sung on TV shows and in movies.

Since there are only six different words in the song, and the singer has to supply one of those, it comes out to $16 million per word. Way to go girls!

I bring this up because today is the birthday of one of this site's regular visitors. So...

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear,
Happy birthday to you.

And, Time-Warner, the check is in the mail!

How Conspicuously Unintelligent Would You Have to Be?

A tsunami warning was briefly in effect Tuesday of this week from the California-Mexico border north to Vancouver Island, British Columbia. In Crescent City, California, thousands of people obeyed an evacuation order and moved inland to higher ground. In 1964, a 20 foot tsunami killed 11 people in Cresent City and leveled 29 city blocks.

While most people were leavling Cresent City, others were actually headed in the opposite direction, to the beach, so they could observe a tsunami up close should one arrive. While it would have been a great tradegy if these folks had been swept out to sea, it would clearly have been otherwise beneficial to the overall gene pool.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

May I Rest in Peace

I originally posted this April 11 th: Well, the phone company officially thinks that I'm dead! A letter came today from their “Credit & Collections” department that, while acknowledging that there are sometimes delays “in settling an estate,” strongly suggests that I pay my final bill (as ,of course, we all must at some point in time, let us pray). The final bill is for $0.00. Yes, $0.00. If I weren't dead, I'd send them a check for $0.00.Perhaps a refund of my underpayment.

And you thought it could not get any stranger! You will note from the post above that the telephone company thinks that I'm dead and would like my estate to pay $0.00. Then, they sent a check for $16.58. I scanned it and posted it above. Maybe it's a memorial, in lieu of flowers or having a mass said, and may eternal rewards be mine!

The Top Ten Telephone Company Euphemisms for Death

10. He has been permanently disconnected
9. His ringer just gave out
8. He received his Final Notice
7. His number is really unlisted
6. He has no more use for Call Waiting
5. He reached out and touched someone once too often
4. His dial tone won’t be coming back
3. He’s where no operator can assist him now
2. Roaming charges, no longer an issue
And, the Number One telephone company euphemism for death:
1. His new Area Code is 666.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Dum-da-da-dum-da, dum-da-da-dum-da, Bonanza!

Yes, I'm that bored, I'm still trying to think of songs that you never hear the words to (see last post). One that we all know when we hear it is the theme from the TV show Bonanza, but only the music and not the lyrics. There are three versions: the official version below, the version used in the pilot episode, and (scary) a version that Lorne Greene recorded (which, oddly enough, never made the Top Ten). As far as I know, they did not change “four” to “three” when Adam (Pernell Roberts) graduated from medical school, moved to the big city, and changed his name to Trapper John.

We got a right to pick a little fight ... Bonanza!
If anyone fights anyone of us, he's gotta fight with me!

We're not a one to saddle up and run ... Bonanza!
Anyone of us who starts a little fuss, knows he can count on me!

One for four
Four for one,
This we guarantee.

We got a right to pick a little fight ... Bonanza!
If anyone fights anyone of us, he's gotta fight with me!

Monday, June 13, 2005

It's Got a Good Beat But It's Kinda Hard to Dance To.

Hail to the Chief is one of those songs with great music but lyrics that are, honestly, not what you would expect. This is probably why you so seldom or never hear the actual song sung

The music, played by the U.S. Marine Band, is preceded by four Ruffles and Flourishes (the highest number you can have). It was first played in 1815 in honor of George Washington (on his birthday, 16 years after he died). The first time it was used to introduce a living President was on July 4, 1828, when President John Quincy Adams dedicated the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. This is also the first time it was performed by the Marine Band.

I always thought the first line was “Hail to the Chief he's the man who leads our Nation!” I was wrong, here are the actual lyrics:

Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation
In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.

Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander,
This you will do, That's our strong, firm belief.
Hail to the one we selected as commander,
Hail to the President! Hail to the Chief!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

You'll Know It When You Get There

Both Illinois and Missouri have highway signs along I-270 that tell drivers which direction to go to reach St. Charles (MO). Oddly, there is no 'St. Charles' exit on I-270. Except for the occasional clairvoyant tourist, it is unclear how a driver unfamiliar with the area would know where to turn.

[Note: There is a "St. Charles Rock Road" exit on I-270, but the highway department blew up the bridge across the Missouri River so the St. Charles Rock Road no longer actually goes to St. Charles. The exit to get to St. Charles is I-70 West -- the signs say "Kansas City."]

And You Better Not Step on the Grass Either

I stopped for a burger in a nearby town yesterday. Across the street from where I got the burger is a church. On the church is a large sign that reads: "Church Parking Only - All Violators Will Be Towed At Their Own Expense." Doesn't that seem a tad harsh, especially for a church, for a parking lot that they only use once a week, in essentially a residential neighborhood. And, they probably mean that the car would be towed, not the person. It's all likely based on the lesser know Sermon on the Parking Lot -- "Blessed are them that tow, for they shall inherit the best spots."

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Right Lane Must Turn Left

It's that time of the week already, time for your Saturday late-night bar bet sure-thing:

Ships traveling through the Panama Canal from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic travel west. Yes, west!

Ships traveling through the canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific move east. That's correct, they move eastward.

This is all the result of a big curve in the Isthmus. Remember, if the top of a map is north, west is to the left and east is to the right.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Fraternization Between the Peas and Carrots Will Not Be Tolerated

I don't like my food to touch. I never have, so it seems quite normal to me. I've actually gotten much better and can now tolerate the idea of a sandwich. When I was younger, I would disassemble them and eat the parts separately. When I'm visiting relatives, they just put each entrees and side dishes on a separate plate. I know that it all touches eventually but that's not the point. As I said, I'm much better now, although I still live in fear of gravy.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Cliff Clavin Thought of the Day

Boned and deboned mean the same thing.

Murder on the WalMart Express

Just got back from the local Wal*Mart. The guy in front of me in the "Speedy Checkout 20 Items or Less Lane" decide to pay the 63 cents part of his bill by counting out pennies. Of course, he had to search in his pockets for more and more pennies. He could only find 59. Instead of waiting for the cashier to say "forget those few pennies" or for the rest of us in line throw pennies at him, he brushed all of the pennies into his hand and back into his pocket. He then had to start a new search in his pants for another dollar bill. I would tell you what the guy in back on me said but even I blushed.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Pavlov & Bits for Dinner

You cannot expain Daylight Saving Time to a dog. No matter how hard you try, the pooch will simply not grasp the concept.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Literally Stupid

"Good to the Last Drop" is the slogan for Maxwell House Coffee. When I was a little kid, I thought that meant that it was good up to the last drop, but that the actual last drop was poison and would kill you.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Blacktop to the Future

There is a highway sign on I-44, with a really nifty logo, just west of Six Flags, that reads "Lane Additions Fall 2006." What do they want me to do, slow down now? Maybe it's a fair warning to tourists: "Hey, if you are planning a trip across country next year, you should probably go via Iowa or Arkansas."

On a Clear Day You Can See Nada

Rend Lake is a 19,000 acre lake in Southern Illinois, in an area where there is really not too much to look at. Rend Lake College sits on property adjacent to the lake, although oddly enough none of it's buildings or campus were built to take advantage of the view. That's right, they named it Rend Lake College although you cannot actually see the lake from the college.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

This Bud's for You

Part of Fulton County, Kentucky, is the only non-contiguous part of any state. Yes, I know that Michigan has an Upper Peninsular, but you do not have to drive through or fly over another state to get there. A part of Fulton County is completely surrounded by Missouri or Tennessee (as a result of the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12). I bring this up because it's Saturday night and I thought you might be short of cash -- it makes a great bar bet.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Dumb Horse Candidate

I have been doing really dumb things lately. I put the milk in a cabinet instead of the refrigerator (and then went shopping). I put bleach in the washer instead of fabric softer (it made the clothes very, very soft, almost translucent). If this keeps up, I'm going to run for political office.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

There's a Waiter in My Soup

Went to Steak n' Shake today -- ordered a Double Steakburger with everything except onions -- also ordered Onion Rings -- they seemed confused.

Hock His Belt Loop and Get Him Out of Here

"Parking for Walgreen Customers Only -- Violators Will Be Towed at Vehicle Owners Expense." Maybe I'm just being too picky, but isn't the vehicle owner the violator? Can a thing break a law? To paraphrase: "Cars don't park illegally, people do"

Some Wacky Pooch This Way Cometh

Rooty the Dog is left-handed (left-pawed). He sleeps with his eyes open (spooky!). And he absolutely will not come when he is called. If I need him, I have to turn on a vacuum cleaner, DustBuster, or other noisy small appliance and he will respond at 100 miles per hour. He then tries to kill whatever I used to attract his attention. See photo. We have a sizeable graveyard of small appliances

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Congratulations - You Are The Winning Bidder on the Slotsky Tummy Tuck!

I did not make this up! You go to the site above, decide what surgery you need, and doctors bid on doing the work. What kind of zing-zang, you have to be asking yourself, selects a surgeon by using an online auction? And, would you really what a doctor who has to bid for work online cutting you open? Oh well, at least now we know what the staff of St. Elsewhere is doing.