Saturday, July 15, 2006

Vacation Time!

Rooty the Dog and I are leaving later today for the beach, actually for several beaches, and a few bridges. I decided our destination this year had to be within two days drive, there had to be sandy beaches with crystal clear water, and locally grown watermellon.

Since someone besides David is housesitting, there will be no new posts until we return in August.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Are you color blind?

Click here or on the image above to test for Red-Green color blindness. Remember, colors vary from monitor to monitor.

Click here for an interesting reverse-color-blind test.

I'll explain later today (Friday)

The fire truck blocking my driveway was the least weird thing that happened on Thursday!

(There was no fire. The fireman were at another house, they just parked in front of my driveway. The engine was running -- I so wanted to take it for a spin!)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Could you become a citizen?

MSN has some of the questions asked on the citizenship test given by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). There are other sites that also offer online citizenship questions but all are very similar.

Thinking of fleeing to Canada to avoid the Draft or those ex-wives? Try the Canadian Citizenship Exam. (Click on "Take our Canadian Quiz.")

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

This should kill a few hours at work

Follow the link to find out how many points your name would be worth in Scrabble (ignoring the fact that proper names are not allowed in the game). My actual name is a 27!

Pholph's Scrabble Generator

My Scrabble© Score is: 15.
What is your score? Get it here.

The Generator is based on the official point value of each letter in the game:

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Monday, July 10, 2006

A dog is running for governor of Alaska!

Altogether not a bad idea!

If Rooty were governor:
Tummy-scratching would replace lobbying.
Chipmunk and squirrel would be served in public school cafeterias.
Vetoes would be replaced by a bite-in-the-ass.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

We need a new word... describe guys
who jog or run
on the shoulder of the roadway
facing traffic
with their shirts off
at rush hour
not more that 20 feet from a parallel hike & bike trail!

My thought is that we use a portmanteau -- a word combines part of one or both of two original words to form a new word -- for example, guesstimate ( guess + estimate).

Here are my candidate words:

ps. If he's wearing speedos, you're allowed to hit him with your car in three states.*

*I realize the sentence is grammatically incorrect, but I kind of like the incorrect meaning!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

I always had trouble just coloring inside the lines...

I know it looks as if the blue triangles are painted on top of the photo above, but they're not. Artist Felice Varini paints lines and circles on things that, only when viewed from a specific point, produce images that appear to float in space. Check out the two photos below -- the one on the left shows how the walls are painted, the one on the right shows the effect when viewed from that one magic point. Some additonal examples follow. It's just hard to believe!

Friday, July 07, 2006

We need to find the guy...

...who invented the universal combination gutter and curb!!!!

And beat him senseless!!!

Or, make him drive back and forth across those axle-breaking abominations for the rest of his cursed natural life!!

The gutter is the channel at the edge of a street or road that carries off rain water. The curb keeps the adjoining property higher than the roadway, helping to keep water out of yards and off sidewalks. Traditional perpendicular curbs also helped to protect pedestrians from traffic since tires will tend to following along a curb rather than climb it (that's why concrete barriers on freeways have a curb-like perpendicular area at roadway level).

Enter some fool who decided that we could have a universal gutter-curb combination that did not require special cutouts for driveways -- they could just build great lengths of these inverted speed bumps and people could add driveways wherever they wanted.

Nice plan.

It don't work!

Have you ever gone across one of these things and not have it felt like the wheels were going to fall off of your car?

In the picture above, you can see that the home owner on the right has filled the damn thing with asphalt. I've seen concrete. I've seen boards. What I want to see in that trough is some inventor's butt!!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What do you say when you order food?

Rooty and I went to the Sonic this evening (Wednesday). We don't go often because the carhops at the one here don't wear roller skates. They do at the one in Missouri near where we visit, so we go there often.

Sonics are meant to be like old-fashioned drive-ins, with neon, the carhops, and parking under a canopy. You can also use you debit card at each menu, which is really cool (although very un-1950-ish).

You can hear what everyone else orders since there are speakers on each illuminated menu, including those in the middle outdoor sit-and-eat area. The order-taker repeats the order -- the one tonight ended each time by enthusiastically saying "Your order will be out when's it's ready.!" After hearing this 20 or 30 times, I began to wonder "As opposed to what? Bringing it out before it's ready? Bringing it our a week from now?"

When ordering, some people say "I would like..."
Others say "I need..."
Still others say "Could I have..."

The last two, I think, are creepy!

I don't use a preface, I just say what I want.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

No good will come of this...

He's wearing 6-foot-wide carbon-fiber wings, weighing 600 pounds, designed for paratroopers so they can jump out of planes at 33,000 feet and glide as far as 120 miles behind enemy lines before popping their chutes and floating to earth.

Called the Gryphon, the wing-and-chute system was designed for Germany's special operations forces. The designers next hope to add compact turbo jets.

Don't you just know, that even as you are reading this, the extreme-sports crowd is drooling. You just know it will be an Olympic sport by 2012!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Mallory's history report on the American Revolution

Mallory: "They wore red, we dressed casual." Family Ties/NBC

Monday, July 03, 2006


The sign that said "For Sale 13 Acres on Snake Road" is gone. They finally found a buyer who was neither triskaidekaphobic nor ophidiophobic.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Two odd quotes from today's news

"He [David Beckham] looked on in disbelief when [fellow English player Wayne] Rooney was sent off in the 62nd minute for a straight red card* for stomping on the groin of Portugal's Ricardo Carvalho." (Emphasis added) [*The player is "sent off" for the rest of the match, and may not be replaced.] Source: The Associated Press

"The 53-year-old actor [David Hasselhoff], who played lifeguard Mitch Buchannon on the TV beach drama for 11 years, was shaving at a gym in the Sanderson Hotel on Thursday when he hit his head on a chandelier, showering his arm with broken glass, his publicist, Judy Katz, said.' (Emphasis added) Source: Yahoo News

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Sometimes I just need to vent!

St. Louis is an urban area split in two by a major river (the Mississippi). That means to get from one side to another you have to use a bridge.

There are seven bridges that were built to carry traffic from Illinois into metro St. Louis. The Poplar Street Bridge, of which I have so many times whined about before, carries I-70/64/55/44 and US40. It is being repaved, meaning two of the four lanes in each direction are closed most of the time (they open three lanes during rush hour). As I write this, it is after 1:00 AM. The image below is from -- you can see that the bridge is backed up even at this hour because of the construction.
Another bridge directly into downtown St. Louis is the M.L. King Bridge, which is open, but not directly tied into the Interstate Highways on the Missouri side. The Missouri end is a maze of traffic signals.

The MacArthur Bridge is a little south of downtown, but Union Pacific now owns it and is removing the traffic level.

The McKinnley Bridge is a little north of downtown, but it is closed for rebuilding (good idea, you could see the river below you as you drove across).

The Jefferson Barracks Bridge is far south of downtown, it carries I-255, part of the Interstate loop around St. Louis. They are repaving it, so one or two lanes (out of three) westbound are closed.

The Chain of Rocks Bridge (used for the escape from New York in the movie Escape from New York) is far north of downtown, it carries I-270, the other part of the Interstate loop around St. Louis. All three lanes in each direction are open, although Missouri is paving the highway west of the bridge.

That leaves historic Eads Bridge (pictured above) which connects downtown St. Louis with downtown East St. Louis. They spent years and years rebuilding it so it could draw some of the traffic from the overcrowded Poplar and King Bridges.

one bridge no longer carries vehicles;
one bridge is closed completely;
two bridges have major lanes closures.


It's St. Louis!

Let's do the stupidest thing possible!

Eads Bridges will be closed Saturday (today) through the 4th so people can eat on it.

That's right! Of the two bridges that are fully functional and lead directly to downtown St. Louis, they are going to close one. On purpose. Over a holiday weekend. With Fair St. Louis on the Arch Grounds and the Cardinals at Busch.

Traffic should be backed up to Tulsa and Indianapolis.