Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My Name is Jimbob

I have seen part of one episode of My Name is Earl. It seems to be about some guy who won the lottery and travels around trying to undo "wrongs" in his past. He does this in lieu of spending some of the money on a day at Barneys and a decent haircut.

My short exposure to Earl and his tribulations caused me to wonder about what wrongs I should correct if I won the lottery, then I decided 'screw'em if they can't take a joke,' and I'd spend then money on myself.

"And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek, stun-guneth that sucker."

A church in Missouri bought Tasers for a local police department. It is unclear why the police department could not buy its own Tasers. It is also probably a good idea for police to carry Tasers. If you have never seen a Taser in operation, there is a police video below. Oddly, most of the discussion in the local press has been about separation of church and state. I would have thought that the more pertinent discussion would have been what the hell would Jesus have to say? If you don't understand the question, watch the video and then read the quotes below the video screen.

In the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says:

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." (Matthew 5:38-42, NIV)

A parallel version is offered in the Sermon on the Plain in the Gospel of Luke:

"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,"

"Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." (Luke 6:28-31. King James Version)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'm getting spam from myself.

I spam.
Therefore I am.

I'm not sure how this is even possible since these email accounts do not exist. but I wish I would stop it!

dog's life

If you turn on a fan, a dog will sit in front of it, as close to it as he can!

The AC is on. The ceiling fan is on. He could not possibly be hot!

Could he be any closer?

Lazy Ramadi, Crazy Rap

Music videos from combat zones -- my favorite thing!

Here are some previous videos.

This one is self-made, music and all.

The participants in this one ask for donations to be made to Disabled American Veterans, so I did, on Memorial Day, in memory of my father, who was a veteran.
Donations can also be made to
The U.S. Wounded Soldiers Foundation.

It's two white guys doing rap, so brace yourself.
Here a story about the video from ABC News.

Good luck to Josh and Matt -- Hope you guys get home safe!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend 2006

I'm feeling a little blue.

But, as soon as the music starts, I'll feel better.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

In the news Thursday

The picture above is from our friend Carnealian in Pennsylvania -- she has many terrific photo's on her Flickr site. Do you know what it is?

Some Pictures from Sunday's Trip to Missouri

Photo above: Why would they paint "no passing in either direction" yellow stripes all the way to the end of a deadend street? Is there a lot of traffic that continues up and down that hill?

There are no signs that say "Street Ends" or "Dead End," which would seem to have been a much wiser use of the paint!

The photo below is the side-street that you see to the left in the first photo. It also has "no passing in either direction" yellow stripes.

The yellow stripes literally go all the way to the end of the pavement (next photo)! Why? To prevent cars from passing before they crash into the woods? To prevent cars coming out of the buck-brush from passing even slower moving cars coming out of the buck-brush? I have absolutely no explanation for this one.

And, yes, the object at the bottom of the first photo is a body part!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Next they're going to pick on pilots and surgeons!

According to USA Today, a citizen panel says Oregon legislators and staff members should not be drunk while performing their official duties.

Aren't there some things that you just should not have to say?

Crime Victims United suggested the radical policy after its members smelled alcohol on the breath of at least one legislator who was advocating tougher drunken-driving penalties.

This might explain why Oregon has a State Dirt (Jory).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

To Heck with Newspeak

In a recent post or comment, I mentioned that Southerners call all soft drinks "Coke," including Dr. Pepper. Much to the relief of the Coca-Cola Company, that's the kind of regionalism that is dying out as more Northerners move south.

In yesterday's post, I called MO-94 "Highway 94." This is consistent with how Missourians usually refer to their highways: Highway 30, Highway 100, Highway 47, etc. Before the yuppie colonization of St. Charles County, however, it was not unusual to hear MO-94 called "94 Highway." I have no idea why.

Likewise, MODOT has been trying very hard to get people in the St. Louis area to refer to Highway 40 as Interstate 64. Most people that I know still say "Highway 40," if for no other reason than to be obstinate. The highway actually has a name, sort of. It's officially "The Daniel Boone Expressway" in St. Louis County and "The Red Feather Expressway" in St. Louis City. Really old folks call the portion in the City the "Express Highway," the name it apparently had when it was planned and built.

Another colloquialism that seems to have disappeared is to refer to all of Missouri outside of St. Louis as "Out State," as in "Nixon carried out state heavily." In it's day, St. Louis was "The City" and all the rest of the state was "Out State."

The last one that can think of, that I have not heard for years, is to call a six-pack of beer a "handy-six," as in "Pick up a handy-six on your way home."

So, let's take the Express Highway to get out of The City, and when we get Out State we'll take 94 Highway and pick up a handy-six. By the way, This Busch's For You!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Yummy in my Tummy

We had chicken fried steak for dinner! A real treat for me! Very Texas!

Someone please send a Mr. Gatti's pizza and a Whataburger!!!!

On the road again. Just can't wait to get on the road again.

Rooty and I took a road trip on Sunday, into St. Charles County and Warren County (west of St. Louis). We took I-270 west from our house and then turned onto MO-364, known locally as the Page Ave. Extension. This was my first trip on 364 and it is a terrific freeway -- I kept saying "I can't believe MODOT built this!"

364 does have two funny signs. First, there's an exit for "Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park." Is the park really a memorial to the lake? Second, once 364 crosses the Missouri River there is an exit for the "Upper Bottom Road." There was no corresponding exit for a "Lower Bottom Road" so I guess just screw those people.

Once 364 joins MO-94, it stays divided but becomes a long series of traffic signals until you reach I-64 where 364 ends and 94 continues. It is difficult to describe Highway 94. Most of the very old highways in Missouri follow older Indian trails, so they meander along the tops of ridges, going up or down a hill only to reach a good place to ford a stream or river. Highway 94 clearly follows the path of a chicken with it head cut off, weaving this way and that, going up and down hills at random, and featuring sharp right-turns and sharp left-turns for no discernible reason. It's mostly two lanes with no shoulders.

But the countryside am beautiful. The highway serpentines it's way through the hills and valleys on the north side of the Missouri River. This is roughly as far south as the glaciers came and they left behind some fabulous terrain. There are also these wonderfully spooky building left over from the WWII uranium processing plant at Weldon Springs (above photo). [While we tend to think of the Manhattan Project as being at Los Alamos, New Mexico, there were actually facilities all over the country providing materials and other support for Los Alamos. The Manhattan Project was larger in scope than the entire automobile industry.] Really spooky buildings!

Highway 94 also goes through the little town of Defiance, now a lot of tourist things, but originally the home of Daniel Boone (he died nearby). His stone house was moved on its foundation in 1811 by the New Madrid, Missouri, earthquake 180 miles away -- how scary is that?

From Highway 94, I cut down to the Missouri River bottom to the Augusta Bottom Road. Calling this abomination a "road" is like calling Roseanne charming or Carrot Top handsome. The road was damaged in the great flood of 1993 and they clearly have not done a damn thing to it since. Think "What would Ma and Pa Kettles's driveway be like?" and that's pretty much the Augusta Bottom Road. It is supposed to be maintained by Warren County so I decided not to spend any money there.

We came back on I-44 -- this is what it is like going east: two lane with shoulder; two lanes narrow no shoulder; two lanes shoulder; two lanes narrow detour no shoulder; three lanes with shoulder; two lanes narrow detour no shoulder; three lanes with shoulder (but lots of traffic cones sitting so they must close one or more lanes on weekdays). Krispy-Kreme at Fenton. If you are driving cross country, try Iowa!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Yummy, Crow

In a recent post I related my dislike of word verification and praised Blogger for the good job they were doing blocking spam.

This morning I got hit by 296 spam message spread over all of my posts.

I will be having tartar sauce with my crow.

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time

Police arrested a 32 year-old man in St. Louis County over the weekend. They found him naked, tied to a tree. He had paid two boys to fire "bottle rockets toward his buttocks." (A neighbor is quoted as saying "It hits real close to home" but I don't think she specifically meant the bottle rockets.) The ages of the two boys were not given but police did say this type of activity had been going on for two years. He was charged with statutory sodomy and sexual misconduct involving a child.

The photo above is James Dean, not the bottle rocket guy. Dean liked to have older men put out cigarettes on his chest (750-degrees F to 1,300-degrees F when drawing), that's why there are so few photographs of him without his shirt. The picture above is one of the few exceptions. I have alwasy thought Dean and those cigarettes were the strangest sexual thing that I had ever heard, but I do believe bottle rocket guy wins, pants down.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Introspection and Self-Confession

I realized today that I am both a minimalist and a pack rat. The danger of my self-imploding and bursting at the same time is probably very high.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday afternoon in the hot tub?

Which of these Spring Break animals is you, or most like you. or most like you were?

I have a mental image of the regular visitors, both them that leave comments and them that don't.

The same picture is below with letters for each partier.

"The sky is falling, the sky is falling." Thump.

The new Big Brother house in England will feature a woman who claims to have the largest breast implants in the country, and whoever finds a "golden ticket" in a KitKat bar. Guardian Unlimited

Some schools were forced to close in Portugal because so many children came down with a mysterious illness with rashes, breathing difficulties and dizziness. At some point, someone realized that the symptoms were similar to those suffered by characters in a television soap opera! "The outbreak came a few days after the popular "Strawberries with Sugar" teenage television show aired an episode about a life-threatening virus descending on a school." Reuters

It turns out that a church organ found at the top of the highest mountain in Britain was carried there 35 year ago by a Scots woodcutter. It took him four days and he mostly carried it on his back. "When I got there, I played Scotland the Brave," said Mr. Kenny Campbell, now 64. He admitted he has also carried a beer barrel and a plough up the mountain. There was no explanation why he had not carried them back down. Guardian Unlimited

In Germany, a woman left a friend as a deposit at a gas station because she did not have enough cash. She never returned. Reuters

A man robbed a bank in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby on Wednesday. As part of his get-away plan, he took off all of his clothes and then hailed a cab. The cab driver refused to let him in the cab. He then tried public transit but was spotted by police and tackled. Yahoo News

And finally, closer to home, we have Theresa Schmidt who has earned four years of straight A's in rigorous, college-preparatory classes at Mascoutah High School. (Mascoutah is south of where Rooty and I lived but still in the St. Louis metro area.) But, she won't be a class valedictorian because she didn't take a chemistry class required of valedictorians. She tried to add the class at the beginning of this semester but it was the 14th day of classes and the school district does not allow classes to be added after the 10th day. She suffers from narcolepsy and that has caused her some difficulty in scheduling classes. If nothing else, this gives me yet another chance to quote Mark Twain: 'First God created idiots. That was for practice. Then he created school boards." Theresa's story is from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Did your school have a 'Twinkie Day'?

Twinkie Day was the day friends dress exactly alike (in the case of the two guys above, that would be to dress a little creepy).

Twinkie Day was part of Spirit Week or Spring Madness Week (maybe both). The theme for each day varied a little from year to year. Besides Twinkie Day, these are some that I remember:

There was Sports Day, when you had to wear a sports uniform.
And, Super Hero Day, when you could be anyone but Superman or Superwoman.
And, Cool Shades Day, when everyone had to wear sunglasses.

My favorite was Boxers Day, but you have to wear tidy whities under them.

Most lame was School Colors Day, since we ordinarily wore uniforms, we looked pretty much like we did any other day.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Now this is just odd...

I have another pun headline:

Critics crucify 'Da Vinci Code'

from todays KUWAIT TIMES (not kidding)

Poseidon puns headlines are below.]

Them that can do. Them that can't are put in charge of security.

I receive a letter yesterday from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. It was a nice chatty letter. From the Dean. Also so polite. And, it added, by the way, we disclosed your name, social security number, address and birthday to "an unauthorized and unknown person." But, how the heck am I doing otherwise.

"The Management Information Systems (MIS) BBA Program...has been recognized for many years by U.S. News and World Report as the #1 public U.S. MIS Program (and #3 among all programs)." So, if you want to learn how to setup an information system prone to a "security breach" you be sure to apply for admission today.

And, my favorite part: Once you go through all the steps on the McCombs School of Business "Data Theft Information Page" and have spent the entire evening dealing the credit bureaus and paying for theft protection services, you come to the following step, which is, in my opinion, the ultimate in adding insult to injury. Having let a hacker steal my personal data, they want me to update it? Why? In case he comes back?

How can I update my contact information with the University?

If you are concerned that the University may not have your current contact information, you may use our online form at to provide your current information.

If you would like to update your current contact information by phone, please contact us at 475-9020 (local Austin number) or 866-657-9400 (toll-free). Our help desk is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Note: Updated contact information will take several business days to process and may not be available for the data theft notifications now being sent out. Returned mail will be resent using the updated contact information.

You see, he's trying to guess other people's secrets...

Picture on Left: Billy Bean played major league baseball from 1987 through 1995.
Picture on the Right: Billy is a panelist on GSN's game show I've Got A Secret.

Picture on Left: Billy was married and one of the guys.
Picture on the Right: Billy is out of the closet and one of the gays.

Whoever did the casting for I've Got a Secret has a really terrific sense of irony!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Your Inner-State

Business Week reports that a British insurance company suggests using Feng Shui to improve driver safety. One of the suggestions is to sprinkle sea salt crystals on the car floor to help "alleviate the negative feelings which can lead to road rage." Drivers of Hummers, of course, should sprinkle Viagra.


Big wave of Poseidon puns rolls over the web:

Poseidon Founders on Its 1st Weekend (LA Times)
Mission: Impossible Sinks Poseidon (
Poseidon disaster film remake capsizes at US box office (Radio New Zealand)
Poseidon sinks at US box office (Guardian Unlimited)
Poseidon goes belly-up (

and my favorite, with three movie titles:
Poseidon Sets Sail, Meets Perfect Storm Mission: Impossible 3 (

but the classic is:
Despite cast, loose script sinks ship (Portland [OR] Tribune)

The only punned good review I could find:
Poseidon avoids that sinking feeling (The Christian Science Monitor)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Delicious and absolutely useless...

Dumb and Addendum

The lyrics were the work of Seattle DJ Bob Rivers (go to Audio Vault and then Twisted Tunes). The original intent of the song was to question American involvement in Kosovo. That meaning pretty much gets lost when the song is sung by Norwegians.

It's unclear how the Norwegian troops knew about the song.

Norway's ambassador to Serbia had to issue an apology, calling the video "highly regrettable" and promised an investigation. [Kosovo is technically part of Serbia. Three of the lines in the song are "Air strikes and firefights. And we'll be dropping our bombs, Wherever Serbian bad guys hide." The Serbs also found the dancing and open shirts to be offensive.]

The version that I have posted does not include the last few seconds of the video. If you have watched the video, you know that it is primarily a parody of boy bands. The original version has one of the soldiers being violently hit by a truck at the very end. The version embedded in my post is from Google Video. If you would like to see the original version it is HERE.

Rupert Murdoch
In a recent post, I mentioned that Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch, whose New York Post once ranked Hillary Clinton just behind Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) in its list of the most evil people of the past 1,000 years, is going to host a $1,000 a plate fundraiser for her reelection.

In the same topsy-turvy world, Senator John McCain, who once called Jerry Falwell "an agent of intolerance," delivered the commencement address over the weekend at Falwell's Liberty University in Lynchburg in Virginia.

George Bush's appointment of Jane Fonda as Secretary of Defense is expected soon.

And, The Topper
HBO is developing Hotel Palestine, a half-hour comedy about a group of wartime journalists living in a Baghdad hotel. Over 93 journalists have been killed in Iraq since 2003. Many others, including ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff and camera operator Doug Vogt have been seriously injured. Sure does say comedy to me!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Baseball goes pink for Mother's Day

All major leaguers will wear pick wristbands and pink ribbons on Mother's Day. A pink ribbon logo will appear on the bases and on commemorative the home plates, and the lineups will be written on pink cards.

Why? To raise awareness of breast cancer and provide money for research.

As many as 100 MLB players might use pink bats on Mother's Day. Each player that wants to participate receives two of the bats and each of the 30 teams will receive half-a-dozen "generic" bats available to any player on the team. Players that already use Louisville Slugger bats will have their signature on the bat, along with their mother's name underneath in block letters, if they wish. Players using another brand of bat can, however, have their name (and mother's name) in block letters.

After Sunday's games, players will sign bats and MLB will then collect and auction them on, with the proceeds going to the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. In addition, each MLB team will sign a team-logo Louisville Slugger bat and those also will be auctioned on

Players will be allowed to keep one of the two bats if they wish, with many intending to give them to their mothers for Mother's Day. Each bat is also likely to be used in only one inning, to minimize damage to the bat or the chance that it might be broken.

St. Louis Cardinals David Eckstein and Jim Edmonds will be using the pink bats.

Zelda would have saved me!

Maynard G. Krebs was in Walgreen's this evening (Saturday). In fact he and I were pretty much the only ones there.

As I went to the front to check out, I could see him standing at the check-out counter. Oddly, he didn't seem to be buying anything. Oddy, he mostly seemed to be flirting with the check-out girl. It was actually more than flirting, it was clear that they were boy friend and girl friend.

Did I mention the scruffy beard?

As I got closer, he did not move.

Did I mention the scruffy hair?

Only as I put my items on the counter did he move slightly to the left.

Did I mention the scruffy attitude?

He finally had to move a little more to let me get to the debit machine.

He didn't move far enough as far I was concerned. There is such a thing as personal space when you're entering your PIN number.

Maynard was actually Ivy League compared to this guy!

I look pretty scruffy myself most of the time.

Fortunately, however, someone taught me some manners.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Inquiring minds want to sleep...

I watched two shows this evening that the TIVO had recorded earlier in the week. The first was the final episode of 7th Heaven. I always like to watch the final episodes of TV shows, to see how they end. Since I had not watched any of the previous episodes of 7th Heaven, however, this was a little challenging but I think I figured most of it out.

The series was about a father, who is a minister, and a mother, who appears to have popped out kids on a regular basis for about 30 years.

The story line of the final episode was that the gay son was supposed to get married that day, to a girl who was in love with some other guy. Much of the show consisted of people telling the gay son and each other why he should not get married. I kept yelling "because he's gay" at the TV but all of them appeared to be in total denial about that. At the very end of the episode, a woman who had not been seen before in the episode shows up with a baby and intimates that the gay son is the father. The infant looks nothing like him so a paternity test should pretty well resolve that issue. They also did incessant flashbacks to show that this guy had the same haircut when he was five years old as he does today. I'm not sure why that was important to the plot. Like many other things in the episode, the woman with the baby seemed like a set-up for a follow-up made-for-TV reunion movie.

There was also a young, hunky Scottish waiter at the wedding reception, which they held in spite of the fact that there was no wedding. His accent was so thick that Sean Connery would have had trouble understanding him. He was the only one who knew that fingernail-polish remover would remove the moustaches that the two youngest sons had drawn on each other -- oddly, he had fingernail-polish remover with him. I thought maybe he was going to be the love interest for the gay son in the reunion movie but they quickly paired him with one of the daughters.

In a scene that truly tested the limits of credibility, an older daughter reveals that she is going to be having twins, quickly followed by an older son saying his wife is going to be having twins, which led to the husband or boyfriend of yet another older daughter to reveal that they also were going to be having twins. The husband or boyfriend had clearly just gotten out of rehab where, oddly enough, they had confiscated his tie. The daughter was spliced into a couple scenes but I had the feeling she was no longer actually associated with the show. The birth of three sets of twins should fill at least one hour of a two-hour reunion special!

The one person that I did recognize in all this was George Stults, who played the husband of one of the daughters. He and his brother (Geoff) where on an episode of Trading Spaces at the very height of its popularity. They lived in a cheap apartment with no beds (mattresses on the floor). I remember it because Geoff jumped off the roof of the apartment building into the swimming pool. Kewl, very LA!

The other show that I watched was Gilmore Girls, which I have to admit that I have been watching since its first episode. It would not be tolerable without the TIVO since you can fast forward whenever one of the Gilmore girls is talking, rambling, babbling, whatever you want to call what they do. I believe the appropriate term is logorrhea -- "pathologically excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness that is characteristic especially of the manic phase of manic-depressive disorders" (also know as "diarrhea of the mouth"). I started watching because Edward Herrmann is in it, as Richard Gilmore, and also Kelly Bishop, as Emily Gilmore. They are both terrific, classy actors! It also has the guy whom Elaine decided was "sponge worthy" in a famous episode of Seinfeld. It was the last episode of the season so it was pretty much the Gilmore-Girl equivalent of "Who shot JR?"

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hell Freezes Over

Rupert Murdoch is Chairman and Managing Director of News Corporation, which means he controls Twentieth Century Fox Studio, Fox Network, DirecTV, and 35 TV station in the U.S. On cable, he control the various Fox Sports channels and the fiercely conservative Fox News Channel. Among many other properties, he controls The Weekly Standard, usually described as a neoconservative journal, and the The New York Post.

The New York Post once ranked Hillary Clinton just behind Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) in its list of the most evil people of the past 1,000 years.

On May 9, 2006, The Financial Times reported that Murdoch would be hosting a $1,000 per plate breakfast fundraiser for Senator Clinton's Senate reelection campaign.

Brrrrr! The glaciers comest!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Naked and The Wed

The wonderful monster of a building in the photo postcard above is St. Louis Union Station. Trains don't stop there anymore, it's now a mall and hotel. The building still looks pretty much the same as in the 1912 postcard. The street was never that wide and the main entrance has been altered but everything else on the outside is remarkably intact. The original roof tiles matched the color of the building's stone, but someone decided to replace them with those Spanish Provincial red tiles. It was not a good decision.

The area in front of the station was a slum for a long time. A bad slum, it extended about 15 blocks to the west. This was not good since the street in front of the station (Market Street, originally Manchester Road) was the main entry way into St. Louis from the west, southwest, and northwest parts of the country. It was not impressive -- a real civic disgrace that such an incredible building should be surrounded on two sides by a slum.

So, the city cleared the slum dwellings across from the station and widened Market Street. Just across Market Street from the station was to be a great public plaza, named in honor of Louis P. Aloe (a leading citizen). In the middle of the Depression his wife wrote a check for $12,500 for a fountain to be the centerpiece of the Aloe Plaza.

She hired a Swedish sculptor (Carl Milles). Some of you will now realize where this is going!

Milles' fountain group "The Wedding of the Waters" symbolized the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers merging just north of St. Louis. Milles had conceived the fountain as a wedding party with a male figure representing the Mississippi River and a female figure representing the Missouri River. There are also 17 water spirits, symbolic of the smaller streams that empty into the two major rivers.

Remember, he was Swedish!

So, of course, everyone in the "wedding party" was nude.

The year was 1936! [Text continues following photos.]

So a great civic debate about "The Wedding of the Waters" ensured. The conservative, Republican, Globe-Democrat was against the whole thing. The liberal, Democratic, Post-Dispatch was for it. They reached perhaps the stupidest solution in the history of all moral, civic, artistic debates: the sculpture would be erected as planned but (are you ready) renamed "The Meeting of the Waters." That's all it took. Them statues could be butt-naked and the male figure could have a winkie, but you could not suggest they were going to do anything by using the word marriage. [I know, it was a solution which ignored the obvious fact that they are, dah, statues and were therefore never likely to actually consummate their marriage right there on Market Street in front of bewildered train travelers from Duluth.]

I bring this all up because after years of driving past the fool thing, I finally crossed the street and had a close-up look. As I gazed at their bronzeness, I wondered what the arguments would be like today -- would conservatives argue that two naked figures would have to be married; would liberals argue that suggesting a quickie or one-night-stand would be just fine; would gays argue that they should be the same sex? What fine fodder it would all make for talk radio.

I added a couple close-up and personal pictures. They are on my server. If they were people and not statues, I would call them a soft R.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

This is the Taco Bell that became a bank...

I have mentioned it in several posts.
The Taco Bell moved to a larger building on a larger lot across the street.
The drive-thru window is still in the same place.
The guardrail by the drive-thru is the edge of the bank property (the white truck is at an auto repair place).
The building with the red and white stripes is the car wash.
The blue thing is part of the car wash.
The van below it in the photo is in the bank parking lot.
Notice the classy painted signs on the front windows of the bank.
Denaro BellGrande!

Monday, May 08, 2006

It probably seemed like a good idea at the time...

Dondi Bowles (50), Vermilion, Ohio, received his third DUI ticket -- for the first he was driving a van, for the second he was driving a car, and for the third he was driving his lawnmower (photo above). He was driving it on a sidewalk, with his blood alcohol at almost twice the legal limit, on his way to the store. He won't make his court date on Tuesday, however, because he'll be in the hospital for alcohol addiction. You can see the video at KSDK-TV.

I'll have this one, I'll have this one...

Just got back from picking strawberries.
Yes, Rooty got to go.
He is always a big help!
This is my share.
Wish you were here since I don't like strawberries!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The absolutely stupidest sport ever....

But actually fun to watch! (Video below)
Norwegian Ski Tree Jumping

"This sport is gaining popularity in Norway; ski tree jumping. It's all about getting as high as possible in the tree, as well as having a smooth landing."

That's right, the sport consists of skiing into trees!

I be the one facing the ocean....

I am the least creatures of habit of anyone that I know. I have no favorite chair or usual place to sit. I have no favorite side of the bed, and am just as likely to sleep on a sofa or the floor as bother going to bed at all. I get up at a different time each day, and go to bed at a different time. I eat when I’m hungry, whenever that might happen to be. Rooty eats when he sticks his head around the corner of my desk and gives me his “feed me or sell me look.”

Unlike most men, I don’t shave in exactly the same way everyday. Sometimes I start on the left, sometimes I start on the right. Most days I use a blade, but some days I use the electric. When I use a blade, sometimes it‘s a Gillette, sometimes it’s a Schick.

We do go to McDonald’s everyday, but sometimes to the one on the east side of town, and sometimes to the one on the west side of town. We go primarily because Rooty likes to go, although there are fewer employees all the time that know that he’s the Rooty, so we don’t go as often.

I have no favorite plate or glass, pot or pan,

There is no section of the newspaper that I always read first. There is no particular order to the buttons on my car radio, and there is no station that I listen to all the time. I have no favorite brands of toothpaste, bath soap, deodorant, or clothing. I have no idea what brands my shoes are and I simply don’t care.

I have never bought the same brand of automobile twice and when I go someplace (even to town to run errands) I always come back a different way.

I would be a really bad person to have work on an assembly line.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Actually two ducks.
Mamma and Pappa.
Gertrude and Henry.
See closeup below.
She has been sitting on the nest for about 2 1/2 weeks.
So she has about 1 1/2 weeks to go.
Maybe the eggs will hatch on Mother's Day!

Friday, May 05, 2006

This is kinda fun...

What ever happened to Punky Brewster and Alf?
Bet you were asking yourself just that question earlier today?

What happened to 80's TV stars from NBC?
from the NBC station in San Diego

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A steal at half the price

I did a previous post about the house in the photo above. The house is still for sale but I still do not know the asking price. That's my finger in the lower right -- a problem with having such a long ring finger. :)

Below is a photo showing how close the house is to the street, with the one corner actually hanging over the curb. The second photo below shows how close the railroad tracks were to the back of the house. The gravel that you see was the roadbed (called "ballast"). There were parallel tracks here, with the one just off the photo to the left now being used as a hike and bike trail. That red thing sticking up between the rr tracks and the house is a marker for the buried natural gas pipeline.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

All the news that's bits

1. Blogger has done a lot of work to eliminate spam comments. I have not had any for many months. Those of you still using word verification for comments might want to try it without a net.

2. You can now download SketchUp for free, which is a super program for quickly and easily creating, viewing and modifying 3D drawings. Google bought the company and offers both a free and paid version. The free version is terrific if you are planning a new room or deck. The 3D functions are major easy to use. No registration is required.

3. I have had several inquiries about David. I do not see him very often since he is engaged and working full time. He is also a little out of sorts that I hired a new Rooty/house sitter. I did see him briefly over the weekend, however. I had forgotten that he calls everything than is served in a bowl "soup" -- ice cream, Jello, chili, cereal, it does not matter -- if it's in a bowl, it's "soup" to Dave. [Odd I know, but remember southerners call all softdrinks "Coke." The first time someone asks if you want a "Coke" and serves you a Dr. Pepper you think you've been poisoned.]

4. The post and comments about Toast's online radio station and Fuzz's complaining in a post about having to listen to AM radio reminded of this bit of oddness: WFAA (Dallas) and WBAP (Fort Worth) used to switch frequencies twice a day. You would be listening to WFAA and the announcer would say "WFAA 820 Dallas" -- then there was a cowbell sound -- then another announcer would say "WBAP 820 Fort Worth." They did this because they shared a clear channel (50,000 watts) frequency -- WFAA had it during the day, WBAP had it at night. (The station not broadcasting on 820 was heard at 570, where the same type of announcement simultaneously took place.) The "shared time" arrangement, begun in 1947, was ended in 1970. WBAP got the 820 clear channel frequency.

5. And just when you thought it was safe to go outdoors again: A Philippine judge who claimed he could see into the future and admitted consulting imaginary mystic dwarfs has asked for his job back after being fired by the country's Supreme Court. He told investigators that three mystic dwarfs -- Armand, Luis and Angel -- helped him carry out healing sessions during breaks in trials. [Reuters]

A stamp is a terrible thing to paste

The Post Office wants to raise the cost of a stamp from 39¢ to 42¢ to cover increased costs.

Yes, you're correct, they just raise it from 37¢ to 39¢ in January. That increase will generate $3 billion.

So, why the new increase? Simple, the $3 billion is being held in an "escrow account" rather than being used to cover costs. Why? To make the federal deficit look smaller. Don't you just love politicians?

Along with our rate increase to cover the costs that the last rate increase was supposed to cover, we are going to get "forever stamps" -- the forever stamps will sell for the current first-class rate but will be usable in the future regardless of any future rate increases. A kind of hedge fund for stamps! (And, you're probably right, as people buy forever stamps to hoard, it's a way to quickly generate enough money to cover the $2 billion the Post Office will lose this year because they didn't actually get the money from the last rate increase.)

The other proposed change is to charge by shape -- not your shape, the shape of whatever you are mailing. It currently costs 63
¢ to mail a two-ounce first-class item whether it's a letter, large flat envelope or package. But the post office makes more than 30¢ on the letter, 10¢ on the flat and loses money on the package.

Meanwhile, I have been trying to figure out how many forever stamps to buy. My first calculation was to take my life
expectancy times the number of Christmas cards that I send. Then I realized that if someone I know died, I would be stuck with extra stamps. So, I'm going to have to take into account the life expectancy of everyone that I send Christmas cards to -- this could take the rest of the afternoon.

Source: The Associated Press

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

More Platter Less Chatter

Our friend Mr. Toast in Texas has a new online radio station -- he plays songs off of the albums that he collected (freebies from record companies) during his years as a dj. Below is what he was playing as I wrote this. He also gives a fun explanation of what being a dj was like.

• DJ Tiesto - Magik Vol. 5 (Heaven Beyond) (01:13:57)
• The Trance Mix - Part 1 (01:48:25)
• Rod Stewart - Some Guys Have All The Luck (04:31)
• Devo - Whip It (with pad) (02:44)
• Depeche Mode - I Feel Loved (04:09)

Of course, it all reminded me of an Austin story (almost everything does). When I lived in Austin, one of the dj's on one of the radio stations lived under a picnic table in Pease Park (photo). It being Austin, no one thought that was especially unusual.

Does anyone know the answer to this...

I was watching C-Span the other night. I tuned in in the middle of a Congressional Hearing about benefits for wounded veterans.

The point of the hearing seemed to be that we have been slightly overpaying some wounded veterans because of bookkeeping errors and have been requesting that the wounded veterans pay us back. My guess is that we have been a little over aggressive at this, and that even small amounts are a big deal to someone disabled. My reaction, which also seemed to be the chairman's of the committee, was to back off and let them keep the money.

One very large exhibit that was presented to the committee was an example of the long numerical computer entry that determines how much a veteran gets. It had the usual info that you would expect: ID, rank, branch of service. Was struck me, however, was that the two dates in the data entry -- I assume for enlistment date and date of discharge -- were entered using the Julian calendar.

Why would the military use a calendar system that the rest of us abandoned in 1582 -- are we expecting to be attacked by the Holy Roman Empire?

Does anyone know why?

"The alien is approaching me. Repeat, the alien is approaching me!"

Call Phoenix, the aliens is here, the aliens is here, and they already got a shoe deal!

Reuters: Repsol Honda Team MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa of Spain walks away from the race track after he fell off during a training session at Istanbul Park, venue of MotoGP Grand Prix of Turkey, in Istanbul April 29, 2006.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Something new to worry about when shaking hands...

Researchers in Belgium divided 44 male college students into two groups: high-testosterone and low-testosterone. Just wait to you hear how they did this.

They were testing to see if exposure to sexy stimuli would make the high-testosterone group make bad business decisions -- and sure enough they made good business decisions when there was no sexy stimulus -- but let them touch a bra, however, and they gave away the farm. So, far, pretty typical "publish or perish" academic research.

Whether you were considered a Belgium stud, or a Belgium dud, was based on the ratio of your ring finger to your index finger. No, I'm not making that up! They assumed that if you are a naturally high-testosterone kind of guy, your ring finger would be longer your index finger. You may insert your own size joke here. If your ring finger is a shrimp, you should apparently plan to adopt.

Many researchers appear to believe that much can be told about a person based on the ratio between the ring and index fingers. This site provides a general explanation for both men and women and a calculator for you to determine your own ratio. We had fun with it but it might put some false ideas in your head -- treat it a silly game. Also, you cannot tell by just looking, you have to measure (and, yes, once again, insert your own joke here).

Hit with 2 x 4 to get attention

Jillian is a college student in Normal, Illinois (yes, Normal Illinois might be an oxymoron).

Jillian's site is called A Day in the Life of a College Student

Jillian is a regular visitor to it's Jim.

Jillian has been reading It's Jim longer than almost anyone else.

I am very bad at visiting Jillian's site on a regular basis, or at leaving comments on her site.

She is such a fine person that I feel that my very presence will somehow corrupt her.

I had promised that I would visit more frequently, but I haven't.

Jillian left seven comments today on seven different posts.

She has the attention of the mule!