Thursday, November 30, 2006

Yesterday was a high stress day!

Rooty the Dog and I went to McDonald's about 11:30 last night. When it was my turn in the drive-thru, I ordered "two pickles and an extra-large Coke."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

There has to be a really simple explanation for this..

Perhaps they needed someone old enough to buy the beer???

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Just a guess on my part...

...but I would image that anyone who has to be reminded not to set himself on fire would probably not be avid readers of signs.

What do you call this thing: @

Germs don't stick to stainless steel and porcelain, that's why they are used to make sinks and toilets. This is called minimal bacterial adherence.

The first time a John Wayne movie was shown on TV, more people saw that movie than had seen all of John Wayne's pictures in theaters. This is called reach.

The Wizard of Oz was made in 1939 but did not make a profit until it was shown on TV in 1956. This is called creative accounting.

If you took all of the gold ever discovered throughout history and today it would fit into the bottom 1/3 of the Washington Monument (which is 555 feet/159m tall). This is called a good investment.
@ was originally the abbreviation for the word amphora, a unit of measurement, although it later became a symbol for the word "at" (as in two dozen @ 50 cents a dozen).

Monday, November 27, 2006

Clearly a decision made on a Monday morning!

Source: Anders & Christians Big Adventure in Aussieland (Some of you will remember Anders/Andy. He and another Swedish university student sent a cap to me a few years ago. The cap went on many adventures of its own but has been mostly resting lately. Maybe I'll bring it out for the dedication of the pool. Yes, I finally gave in and am putting in the pool. It's actually already in the ground. Now aren't you glad that you read this footnote. :)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

If you run the left-turn signal, while not using your blinker, and not wearing your seatbelt, they make the state bird!

My mother's neighbor, in Missouri, got a traffic ticket for not using her turn signal, in Missouri. Yes, in Missouri. I would have thought she'd had a better chance of getting a ticket for using her turn signal and, you know, scaring the other drivers.

Before anyone whines in a comment about how law-abiding Missouri drivers are, keep this in mind: Since installing their red-light cameras in May, the St. Louis suburb of Florissant has issued more than 6,660 tickets and collected more than $165,000 in fines (and that's 165K after the company that installed the red-light cams got their 1/3 off the top!). Sourse: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Friday, November 24, 2006

Well at least they weren't garish about it...

Subtle it's not!
The folks at Charmin have installed free toilets in New York's Times Square, just in time for the holidays.

Each of the 20 stalls is larger than most New York apartments, are cleaner, and have better plumbing.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hope you are having a great Thanksgiving Day!

Rooty likes to sleep late at Grandma's.
It's about 1:30 in the afternoon (13:30).
He'll get up when he smells the turkey cooking.
Yes, that's a fan blowing on him, he likes to have a fan when he sleeps.
(He's on a foam mattress on the floor -- he always sleeps with a pillow.)

Hope you are having a great Thanksgiving!
If you're in Canada, hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day in October (and will have a great News Years Day in July???)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

"Decoy, duck!"

Famous people have body-doubles, called political decoys for political officials. The political decoys for John and Jacky Kennedy were said to be in Dallas on November 22th. I've always wondered what happed to them.

How scary is this...

In Illinois, you have to be licensed to be a roofing contractor or a timber buyer, but no license is required to be an electrician or a plumber.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Took the trash out about an hour ago, Tuesday is trash day. Did not know that the workmen had dug a trench through the front yard, which is only about 6 feet wide to begin with. Being nighttime, it was dark. Dark. Trench. Jim carrying trash bag. Kerplunk. Jim crawling out of trench. My life has become a Laurel and Hardy movie.

I added a picture of the trench -- this is what I fell into/over last night in the dark. It was quite a surprise, I thought I was being sucked into the bowels of hell.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I say so little about IDOT

It does seem that I'm always picking on MODOT so I'd thought I'd do a post about IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation).

The image above is from IDOT's "real-time" traffic-camera system. It shows the Poplar Street Bridge that carries I-64, I-70, I-55, I-44, and US 40 across the Mississippi River. You can see the St. Louis Gateway Arch to the right in the picture (in front of downtown St. Louis). The time stamp is 3:55 AM -- I know it looks as if the sun is rising in the west but I think that's just the glow from the street lights.

No, I'm not up at 3:55 AM. Actually, it's 4:21 PM (16:21) in the afternoon. I don't know why the camera is showing a picture from this morning -- all of the cameras on the IDOT site are. It's probably some kind of IDOT joke, those wacky guys.

As I have mentioned before, there are no roadside signs anywhere that say "Popular Street Bridge" or "PSB" so, I guess, the "PSB" label on the picture is just more IDOT whimsy.

"West" also appear over the eastbound lanes. I'm certain that means the view is to the west. I'm pretty sure that's what it means.

The photo below is of the Chain of Rocks Canal Bridges on I-270 near where I live. Darn if it isn't still 3:55 AM. The legend on the picture says "I-270 at IL 3" -- but Route 3 is actually a little east of where the camera is pointed. The canal takes river traffic around a "chain of rocks" in the Mississippi. There actually was a naturally occurring rapid called the Chain of Rocks visible during very low water conditions but it has been piled high with big boulders to make a cascade (below) and damn up enough water to make the canal possible (give that a little thought).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Catch 22.1

I downloaded a password manager, to make it easier to enter passwords.

The password manager requires a password before you can get to your, you know, passwords.

Keep yourself busy...

There will probably be no new posts until after Thanksgiving.

Local Traffic Only

This will only interest the folks in the St. Louis area (and then probably only marginally).

The Missouri Highway Department (MODOT) is going to close the busiest freeway into St. Louis for up to three years while they rebuild it (from three lanes in each direction to three lanes in each direction (yes, you read that correctly).

Almost all of the area's major tourist attractions are located along the highway -- the Zoo, the Science Center, the Art Museum, plus Washington University and Barnes, Jewish, and Children's Hospitals.

The highway also connects the wealthy western suburbs with downtown St. Louis.

MODOT wants us all to call the road I-64 -- but almost everyone calls it Highway 40 -- a few call holdouts still call it "the Express Highway" -- and only one or two holdouts call it by its formal name: "The Redbird Expressway."

The St. Louis Post Dispatch website asked readers to submit Top Ten Lists: "The top 10 reasons to rebuild Highway 40" -- so I did. Mine was #51 and is below:
The top 10 reasons to rebuild Highway 40
10. Science Center will be forced to show Omnimax porn to attract enough visitors.
9. Zoo animals will get first good night’s sleep ever.
8. Unable to reach most of the City, Channel 2 can just make up the news.
7. MODOT finds missing World’s Fair Ferris Wheel buried under Clayton Ave. exit, mistakes it for a really big nickel.
6. To keep the ER busy, Barnes will sponsor naked hockey at Steinberg Rink.
5. Work on 40 justifies extending dead-end center lane on eastbound 44 so it dead ends closer to downtown.
4. Unable to reach Busch, Cardinal players can sign with River City Rascals. LaRussa will be happy to be closer to LA.
3. Vandeventer Overpass will make a fine place for a picnic.
2. One more excuse for not going to the Galleria now that the Famous is, you know, a Macy’s.
And, the Number One reason to rebuild Highway 40:
1. Worth a billion dollars just to get people to call it Interstate 64.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Blood-shot eyes bring traffic to a halt1"

There is a growing belief among traffic engineers that the best way to cut down on serious traffic injuries, and actually get you to your destination faster, is to get rid of traffic signs, traffic signals, lane markings, and even the distinction between sidewalks and pavements. Stop signs and crosswalks would be the first to go!

There is a theory for all of this: that government has assumed responsibility the safety for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians but that responsibility should be the individual's. I'm not sure if the explanation is blue-statish or red-statish.

The idea started with the Dutch, who love social experimentation, and spread to Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the US.

It practice what this means is build or rebuild roads that seem dangerous but thereby end up being safer. The technical terms is psychological traffic calming -- but a good analogy is a camp ground where cars, bikes, and people all mix freely in the same space with few if any accidents. In redoing existing intersections, traffic circles are usually installed, with no lane marking or signs telling anyone what to do. Vehicles, bicycles, and people all use the same circle -- drivers slow to gauge the intentions of crossing bicyclists and walkers. Negotiations over right-of-way are made through fleeting eye contact.

The pictures below are from the Dutch city of Drachten -- they are of the same intersection before and after the traffic stuff has been removed -- resulting in what are called naked streets. Oddly, cross-town travel in cities that have done this is quicker or about the same. Accidents still occur but they are less severe because of the slower speeds.To save time, please insert your own Missouri-driver joke here ______________

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I feel sooooooooo oooooold!

I copied the profile below from BEBO.COM, a UK social networking site. I have no idea what this says!

Alryt im adz n am 16! i lyk 2 av a laff wid me m8s n go out on weekends n get steamin! sound 2 all me bezzies u no hu ya r! n also all my m8s!! wich ain many cz im a norman lol! well dno wt else 2 say so js av a luk rnd init!! inabittt

Can anyone translate from English to English?

I might be overdoing this....

Remains of old seawall on left. Mud flat where lake used to be on right.

The new seawall will go on top of the white line of crushed rock.

I've cornered the brown concrete block market! Each block weighs 123 pounds (about 56 kg).

Sunday, November 12, 2006

You just know how this conversation started...

"Say Joe, what are we ever going to do with all that blue paint?"

Friday, November 10, 2006

oh! offers a free Personality Profile. It turns out I don't have one.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Perhaps the most inconsequential information ever, perhaps

This site calculates how old you would be on Mercury, Vensus, Mars, well, you get the idea.

It also tells you things like when you'll be 300,000,000 seconds old.

You also find out how many times you have blinked, how far light has traveled, how many people have been born, how long your uncut fingernails would be, and how far a human sperm could have swam since you were born!

Well, this is just fun...

Billionaire businessman Eli Broad and two other really rich guys have teamed up to submit a bid for the Chicago's Tribune Co., which owns 11 daily newspapers, 25 TV stations, and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Its newspapers include the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune, Newsday in New York, The Baltimore Sun, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel and The Hartford Courant.

Broad has an estimated net worth of around $5.8 billion and is ranked by Forbes as the 42-richest person in America.

And now for the fun part: In 1994, Broad purchased Roy Lichtenstein's painting I...I'm Sorry (above) for $2.5 million at a Sotheby's auction -- he used his American Express Card to pay for the painting (true), and earned 2.5 million frequent-flyer miles (also true)!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I voted early, I voted often, I fell good about myself.

My favorite thing about voting has always been seeing the Migratory Election-Day Ladies. Like their migratory farm-worker counterparts, the Migratory Election-Day Ladies move from city to city, state to state, wherever there are registration rolls to be checked and ballots to be handed out, and then they disappear into some distant horizon only to reemerge again whenever the next election day rolls around.

Perhaps there is a Migratory Election-Day Ladies winter circuit that parallels baseball's winter leagues. The Migratory Election-Day Ladies could work the polls in sunny places and still have time to let their arthritic limbs soak up the Caribbean sun.

Take care of yourselves Migratory Election-Day Ladies until the next school-bond special election, or the next recall drive, or the next high-school prom king vote. We'll keep the folding chairs ready for your safe return.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Best Headline of the Day

Poll Worker Allegedly Chokes Voter

and threw him out the door, twice!

Monday, November 06, 2006

If you see this man, don't call Fox

Vanished is a TV show that was on Fox following Prison Break. The show is a drama about the search for the wife of U.S. Senator who vanishes. Following the popular Prison Break, the show was doing quite well in its first season until, well, the star, sort of, and this is where it gets tricky, he seems to have vanished! What's left of the cast is above.

In one of the strangest moves in TV history, the show killed off its lead character played by actor Gale Harold after only five episodes. That's right, they snuffed the star of the show in a hail of bullets just before the World Series break. He's toast. He's history. He's supposedly a prima donna that no one could stand. So they got a new star, the writers were told to wrap up the central story line pronto, and Fox moved the show to a really bad time slot and cut the total number of new episodes ordered for this season from 22 to 13. This might be the ultimate in being unpopular with your co-workers!

[Before he vanished from Vanished, Gale Harold's only other starring role in a TV series was in Showtime's Queer as Folk. He is shown below with QAF co-star Randy Harrison (left).]

It must be nice to have actual talent

The drawings in the photo above, and those below, are sidewalk art by Julian Beever. While they look 3-D, they are "anamorphic illusions drawn in a special distortion in order to create an impression of 3 dimensions when seen from one particular viewpoint." There are more examples on his website.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

At least now we know why Vinnie was always climbing through the window...

Doogie Howser is gay!

The day after the publicist for Neil Patrick Harris issued a statement saying the actor was not gay, Harris told People Magazine that he is gay and proud of it and in love with fellow actor David Burtka (on left in photo above).

This tops that!

Police in El Cerritoa CA arrested 33-year-old John Sheehan near the BART mass transit station after passerbys complained that Sheehan was naked, exposing himself, and, well, dating himself. He was also charged with one felony count of possessing a concealed weapon after he told police he has a screwdriver up his, well, anal cavity. "Unsure about what to do, police called for a fire engine. Firefighters quickly decided that an emergency room would be better equipped to deal with the situation." [Contra Costa Times]

Friday, November 03, 2006

A mixed-metaphor perhaps?

Bumper sticker that I saw today:
Our Lady of Lourdes Warriors

First you wound them, then you heal them?
Lourdes, click Miracles)

My guess is that it's a grade-school basketball team,
but it didn't really say.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Call Nielsen, Tell Him I Don't Give A Damn

Tonight begins the Novemnber sweep weeks -- a TV ratings periods that determine how much local TV stations get for their ad time. That's why your local stations are probably running controversial or titillating investigative reports during their evening newscasts.

The award for the most blatant attempt to attract a larger audience during sweeps goes to the old Sally Jessy Raphael talk show when it originated in St. Louis. The St. Louis is usually considered to be the most Catholic city in the country -- it used to be called the "Rome of the West." Microfilms of the documents in the Vatican Library were buried on the campus of St. Louis University, just in case Italy went communist after WWII.

In such a city, Sally Jessy hosted an episode entitled: "Lesbian Nuns in Love." And, no, I didn't make that up!

Enjoy sweeps, expect nudity.