Sunday, July 31, 2005

JULY 2005

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

Saturday, July 30, 2005

How Did The Chicken Cross The Road? She Read The Instructions!

Were they having a problem with people walking when it said "Don't Walk" or just standing there like big lumps when it said "Walk" or just frozen in the middle of the intersection like traffic cones when it was flashing? Perhaps if you don't grasp the concept of walk and don't walk you shouldn't be trying to cross the street in the first place. On the other hand, maybe they're on to something. We could put "Stop on Red" and "Go on Green" signs on all the traffic lights. How about "Pee Then Leave" signs on the urinals? "Turn On To Watch" signs on the TV's? "Turn Key To Start Car" signs on every dash? I don't know, there are just some things that should not need to be said.

Historic Path of the Strained-Peas Assault Campaign

On top, the hill the jars rolled down. In the middle, looking up the hill. Below that, the driveway just below the end of the parking lot. Note that someone has since wisely added roof in case of a second surpise attack! The grocery store has also added a fence at the end of the parking lot.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Baby Food Grenades

I worked in a grocery store in high school. It was and still is on the side of a big hill, as is its parking lot. My most famous adventure while helping a customer to her car was tilting the cart a little too much thereby sending about two dozen little jars of baby food rolling down the hill. Those that made it to the bottom of the hill took flight at the end of the parking lot and crashed onto the driveway about six feet below. Yes, it rained jars of baby food down onto someone's Chevy that day!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Do Gnats Gnarl or Merely Gnaw?

We have had gnats in the kitchen since early July. I think they hitchhiked in on a watermelon, and have stayed long past their welcome. Except for occasionally colliding with your face, they do not seem to being doing any specific harm, but I want them out! Tough to do in a kitchen. It's not like you can just use bug spray and nuke the little suckers. So tonight, I going to open the windows and the doors and use the leaf blower on them. They should be hitting downtwon St. Louis like meteors about midnight.

Mr. Winkie Has a Stunt Double, Go Figure

Actor Tom Sizemore was recently busted for faking a drug test. It seems he had a fake penis filled with someone else's urine in his trousers, and he was using that to fill the little cup. And that'’s not the oddest part. Fake penises for faking drug tests appear to be a growth industry. Here is the web site where they sell these little buddies, it is not for the easily shocked.

It's Not Easy To Take A Picture Of A License Plate

...the least bit of light make them glow! This is one of the plates that I had when I went to school in Austin. Had The University of Texas invested my parking fines wisely its endowment would finally be larger than Harvard's. "It's Jim" comes from what I hear when I call people on the phone: "Who is it?" "It's Jim." It has been suggested more than once that the plates should have read "It's Only Jim."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Over But Not Under

The word for today is tenacity. The chair in the picture floated up onto my dock about four years ago. After the water went down, I sat it upright and waited for its owner to fetch it from the dock. No one ever did, so there it has been. The wind blew it over but otherwise it has not moved. Violent thunderstorms in summer! Bitter north winds in winter! Oblivious to all forces of nature, there it clings! ITSJIM the blog has sort of been that way, clinging tenaciously to the web no matter what was happening in my little world around it or what outside forces were trying to assault it. The world finally caught up with it, however, and now “itsjim” belongs to someone else. The word for tomorrow will be audacity.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

JULY 2005

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

Friday, July 22, 2005

Suppose They Didn't Build It And Everybody Came

It was a great idea, it just didn't happen -- an Interstate loop around downtown St. Louis. It is where that deadend left-hand lane on I-44 was supposed to go. It was the justification for not making the I-70/I-55/I-44/I-64 interchange at the Poplar Street Bridge a complete interchange (you cannot get from I-70 East to I-64 West, or I-55 North to I-64 West, or I-64 Eest to I-70 West, etc.). It was supposed to be I-755!

The little bit of it that was actually built has to be the shortest of the Interstates (albeit unmarked) -- just those two little pieces of payment, with their extra unused lanes, running north and south under Market Street. In the satellite photo, the Union Station train shed is on the right, that oddly placed fountain is lower center where the ramp curves.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Handicapped - OK, Pregnant Women - OK

But why do the police need reserved spaces -- they're the police, they can park wherever they want!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

It's A Bird, It's a Plane...

No, it's Rooty taking a snooze on grandma's sofa. Yes, he sleeps with his eyes open. Yes, he sleeps with his legs straight out. Even when he sleeps on his side, he sleeps that way. He's one spooky doggie.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

There’s A Monkey On My Shoulder

Is it really a good idea to have folks with addictions picking up cigarette butts, empty beer cans, and discarded liquor bottles?

Monday, July 18, 2005

How To Keep Nine-Year-Olds With Law Degrees From Fishing In The Lake

Or, they could have just tacked a 99¢ 'Private Property' sign to a tree.

[And, yes, this town is so small that the P.O. Box number is a single digit.]

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Be Careful What You Wish For

I bought a bottle of something "for algae" for my little fountain in the yard. I could not be more pleased. As you can see, it worked great!

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Fruits (and Veggies) of Someone Else's Labor

The Rooty Dog and I went to our favorite fruit stand this afternoon! It's down in the river bottom, not on a highway, and there are no signs -- so no tourists. Store-bought corn is to home-grown corn what oleo is to butter.

You're Stupid, And It's My Fault

Rooty the Dog and I ran errands last night after the second thunderstorm of the day had departed. Of course, we stopped at McDonald's on the way back home. The woman in the car ahead of us in the drive-thru asked the order-taker guy 'What flavors are your vanilla shakes?' You should have seen the look on his teenage face! While I would have suggested to her that alcohol and ice cream are seldom a good mix, he was much more polite. He has two choices: he could assume that she was asking what flavors of shakes they have or he could assume she was asking what sizes of vanilla shakes they have. Unfortunately for him, he picked the former while she meant the latter. He started to tell her 'Vanilla, chocolate...' He didn't quite finish because she started screaming 'sizes, sizes, sizes!' As I said, he was much more polite than I would have been.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Hey, There's A Lake Full of Water Close By

There are no women in my household. I bring this up because the faucet in my kitchen is broken. That's right, no water in the kitchen. If you are a guy, you probably don't see a problem. If you are a woman reading this, you are probably stunned and appalled. It gets worse. The facet has been broken since before the 4th. That's right, no water in the kitchen since before the holiday weekend. The guys are still trying to figure out what the problem is. The gals have just fainted.

Buddy Can You Spare A Stamp

On the Contact Us page of the United States Postal Service website are phone numbers and even an e-mail address, but no mailing address. Don't they trust the mail?


Just saw on the news that Brad Pitt was rushed to the hospital with the flu. "Television is to news what bumper stickers are to philosophy." (Richard Nixon)

"Fetch the Rake, Fetch the Rake"

"Couldn't we just play 'fetch the ball' like normal people?"

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Cain't Get No More Historic Than This

The intersection of Historic Route 66 and Historic Route 66.
(Note added at 10:30 PM: The actual intersection is on the other side of that tall evergreen and the house. Historic Route 66 does not make a right turn up their driveway, although the sign does sort of make it look that way.)

The road on the left is now Illinois Route 4. In Missouri, they call their highways highways, as in Missouri Highway 100. In Illinois we call them routes, as in Illinois Route 100.

But, we generally still pronounce route as "rout" (rhymes with pig snout). Everyone used to, until Nat King Cole decided root 66 sounded better than rout 66 when he recorded the song.

So...the road that you see on the left in the picture is Illinois rout 4, which used to be US root 66. Below are the lyrics. Decide for yourself if Nat made the correct choice.

If you ever plan to motor west,
Travel my way, take the highway that is best.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.

It winds from chicago to la,
More than two thousand miles all the way.
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.

Now you go through saint looey
Joplin, missouri,
And oklahoma city is mighty pretty.
You see amarillo,
Gallup, new mexico,
Flagstaff, arizona.
Don’t forget winona,
Kingman, barstow, san bernandino.

Won’t you get hip to this timely tip:
When you make that california trip
Get your kicks on route sixty-six.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

"Where am I goin'? I don't know. Where am I headin'? I ain't certain. All I know, Is I am on my way!"

Oklahoma State Penitentiary is on US 69 between nowhere and the Texas border. It's the state's maximum-security prison. There are signs along the highway by the prison that say: "Warning. Hitchhikers May Be Escaping Convicts." Were they really having problems with escapees standing in front of the prison trying to hitch a ride? If the key element in your escape plan is your thumb, quite frankly, you are probably better off behind bars.

Monday, July 11, 2005

And Cops Are Starting to Look a Little Young

I moved a wall clock in the kitchen to a different location three years ago -- at least once each day I look at the spot where it used to be to be to find out what time it is.

I bought a new microwave about six month ago -- the START and OFF buttons are the reverse of the old one -- at least once a day, I hit OFF to start it and START to stop it.

WGN used to be Channel 22 on the cable. They moved it the last time they redid the cable lineup. I still hit 22 whenever I want to watch the Cubs.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Sorry, Size Does Matter

Once again, I seem to have draw the short straw!

Would a rose by any other name, you ask, still smell as sweet? Sure. If they had called it the Betty Lou instead of the Titantic, would it still have sunk? You Bet. You can lead a horse to water, but if you can get him you float on his back you got something. Off topic, but my favorite Henny Youngman joke.

The McMarketing McGeniuses at McDonald's have decided this McSummer to rebrand what last McSummer was the Supersize Coke. So, the Supersize Coke of yesteryear has been reborn as the Ex-large or 42-oz Coke of today.

I assume McPanic hit McHeadquarters because of the bad McPublicity generated by the movie Super Size Me, in which Morgan Spurlock documents his month of eating nothing but McDonald's food (he has to try everything on the menu at least once, and he must super-size his order if asked).

What the McFolks in McPurchasing at McDonald's apparently forgot in their McFrenzy, however, was to order the ex-large straws! That's a shiny penny behind what you can see of the straw sticking out of the cup in the insert. So, pucker up, and be prepared to get up close and personal with your McLid.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Open Your Hood And Say Ahhh!

The turn-signal in my car does not seem to be making any noise. I am either getting hard of hearing or the thing that makes the “tock-tunk” sound is broken. It was bound to happen, I have reached the age where I don't know if I need a doctor or a good mechanic.

You Deserve Some Z's Today

Well. We were right. They did mean "Fruit Buzz." (See photo and comments below.)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Fruit Bus Don't Stop Here No More

Do you think they mean fruit buzz, whatever that might be? Maybe it's drug slang, but I don't believe smoking an apple slice at McDonald's is going to give you that much of a high. Fruit buzz could mean gossip about fruit -- "Did you hear what the grapes did last night?" -- but even our little village is not that dull. Oh. You're right! I didn't read the whole sign. Of course. You get your fruit buzz by eating your Fruit & Walnut Salad while inhaling diesel fumes. Nothing quite says fine dining like simultaneously ingesting petrochemical vapors and grapes.

Penny Lane, and the Penny-Less Lane

Two trips to McDonald's on Wednesday, one to each of the two McDonald's in town. Same owner. Same prices. Same tax rate. Ordered the same thing that I always do: two plain cheeseburgers and a ex-large Coke. Two different totals! And yes, I know that I should be more concerned about eating four cheeseburgers and drinking two supersize Cokes each day than about the penny. Yes, that's right, and you could see this one coming, like a freight train coming up the freeway, I'm being penny wise, pound foolish.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Pizza Bones

pizza bones n. The part of the pizza the dog gets.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Water Water Everywhere Even In Them Hoses

It rained yesterday, for the first time in two months! So our water conservation order has been lifted. This means that we can once again water our lawns, now that they do not need to be watered because, you know, it rained!

Jessica Simpson could sing the National Anthem and do the play-by-play.

The All-Star Game is July 12th. It is usually so boring! We need to give it a little umph! Since it is pretty much a pretend made-up thing anyway, we could make it more like reality TV, be a part of the fad. How about letting the players on each team vote off one player each inning? That would be fun. Any player who strikes out would have to eat worms. I'm liking it much better already. Make an error, lose an ear. Okay, too far!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Be Careful What You Wish For

Rooty the Dog caught a chipmunk today. He has been watching and barking at them since he was a puppy. I guess he thought they were self-propelled squeaky toys since he seemed shocked that it was alive, and in his mouth, and wiggling. He spit it out, phew. It was the old problem of finally getting what you want, and then having it leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Except of course for the psychological trauma of being clutched in the teeth of this giant fuzzy thing, the chipmunk seemed none the worse for the experience. The chipmunk had his own Independence Day, I hope you can free yourself from the teeth of whatever monsters might have hold of you on this our collective Indedendence Day. Have a great 4th! Jim

Sunday, July 03, 2005

"Midget Goats For Sale" says a sign that we saw on our recent sojourn in the country.

Just before that yard sign is a road sign that says "Farm Implement Entrance."

This raises the interesting question of "What do the farm implements necessary for the raising of midget goats look like?"

The first image that I had was a child's wagon full of midget goats being pulled by a John Deere lawn tractor.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

I have a small mirror on a fence post at the top of my driveway, so I can see to the left before I pull out. Today, a little bird saw himself, thought he was another little bird, and went ballistic. He would fight and fuss with the little bird in the mirror, then go away tired, and then come back and fight some more. He pretty much did that all morning. Like many of us, the little bird is his own worst enemy, but I don't know how to tell him that.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Your Schwarz Feeling Lonely?

Then head on over to the intersection of Schwarz and Schwarz!