Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A few bulbs short of a full sign!

When I came back from Missouri last night on I-44, the big solar-power highway contruction sign said "RUCKS ENTER LANE" -- it too me a few seconds, but my guess is trucks must use center lane.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I have not written about second-cousin once-removed David...

...because I just have not seen him for a long time -- and then I've run into him the last two weekends.

I went to pick up carry out at an Italian restaurant two weeks ago, and there was David, working, part-time, just weekends. Being a blonde-Aryan creature, he did not exactly match the motif of the restaurant but it was good to see him. We said hello and that was about it.

This last weekend, I ran into him at a fruit stand. His Intended, her two kids, and the two German shepherds (Nitro and Glycerin, as know as Bamm-Bamm and Fluffy) were in the new van (which, I imagine explains the weekend job). Again, it was hello, how are you, and that was about it. (When I asked him how he was, he said "Redwood." My guess is that means "getting older" in Dave-speak.)

Through the family grapevine, I knew that the wedding is still on for early next year. The current rumble is that only his immediate family will be invited from his side. This means that the aunts will not be invited. The aunts are always invited, to everything. Since they are all widows that usually means cash as a noticeable gift. They also don't eat much, so it's almost all pure profit. Some of them are not even actually aunts -- I have an Aunt Catherine, an Aunt Mary, and an Aunt Agnes who are not related to anyone in the family, or to each other. It might be an Irish-thing.

Anyway, the aunts, including my mother, are fumed. In retaliation, mother is boycotting Italian food. (I know, but does evey thing your mother does make sense?)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Thunderstorm this morning

About 5:00 AM.

The kind that rattles the dishes in the cubbard.

The electric was out for about two hours.

Rooty hid on top of the sofa.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bought twine

Rooty found twine.

Note to self: Self, buy more twine.

Friday, August 25, 2006

the secret square

I was not going to write about this, but something caused me to change my mind.

There is a site that I visit everyday, it's not a blog and it's not porn -- it is just a site with information that I find useful.

About three months ago, the site owner posted a notice that he could not continue to support the site and asked if anyone had ideas about how to raise money.

In the course of responding to several people, the site owner indicated how much the site was costing him to operate each month. It was not a large amount.

So, feeling that I was getting value from the site, I sent an email to the site owner offering to contribute three months of his operating costs. I thought that would give him enough time to try some other ideas.

Again, we are talking nickels and dimes.

He sent a reply email, not thanking me for my offer, but saying that he wanted me to spend the amount that I was going to contribute on Google ads. As best I understood what he was suggesting, he wanted me to buy an ad from Google, which he would then add to his site and collect click-through payments (from me, via Google).

I do have some photographs from a trip to Nuevo Laredo that people might pay to see but I cannot image what else he thought I could advertise.

His thinking seemed to be that an ad of mine would be like a "seed" that would give rise to a Royalty-Payment Empire of some sort.

It all annoyed me at the time. It has continued to annoy me since. So I thought I would annoy all of you with it. There, and now I do feel better.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I can see clearly now, or not!

How would you like having to look at this guy every morning through your apartment window?

Some of the apartment tenants didn't and took matters, and knives, in their own hands. (Second photo.)

It's part of a growing phenomenon in Europe of taking back public spaces by cutting the pictures of models and celebrities out of giant posters and bilboards. It's call "visual kidnapping."

Some companies, of course, are not too happy having their bilboards costing up to six-figures vandalized. Others, like Coca-Cola, have turned the visual kidnappings of their posters into web-based contests.

In the most famous kidnapping, a culprit in Germany cut a 33-foot model out of a Lavazza coffee bilboard, and left a ransom note demanding about $640,000. To prove he had the cut-out of the model, he severed one of the model's fingers and mailed it to the company (think about that for a second, it's pretty funny). He also asked visitors of Berlin's New Society for the Visual Arts to vote about whether the model should be "executed." The company got the joke and when "she" was returned after a few years, it paid a token ransom.

(Der Spiegel)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Worth the trip

Usually just called "The Iwo Jima Statue," it's actually the Marine Corps War Memorial located near the Arlington National Cemetery.

The bronze statue depicts the raising of the American flag atop Mount Suribachi at the southern tip of the island of Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945 during the Battle of Iwo Jima. It is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima" by war photographer Joe Rosenthal. Felix W. de Weldon was the sculptor.

Joe Rosenthal died this week. He had been rejected for military service because of very poor eyesight, so he became a photographer for the Associated Press. There is live film of the raising of the flag proving that it was not staged.

I have never been very impressed by Washington, D.C. The Washington Monument is two different colors of stone, making the bottom part of it look dirty. The inside of the Supreme Court Building is nothing but a bunch of pillars. The public rooms in the White House are much smaller than you would expect, and mostly full of old furniture. The capitol is mostly full of old men in bad suits, and has been added onto many time seemingly without regard for what was there before.

The Iwo Jima Statue, however, just takes your breadth away.

The base is 10 feet high. The rock slope atop the base rises 6 feet. The 32-foot-high figures are erecting a 60-foot bronze flagpole. The M-1 rifle is 16 feet long. The carbine is 12 feet. The canteens would hold 32 quarts of water. At a total 78 feet, it is the largest bronze statue in the world.
It is believed that Joe Rosenthal's photograph (below) has been reproduced more than any other American photograph.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ok you women, you have to shut up...

Our Creep of the Day award goes to Rev. Timothy LaBouf of the First Baptist Church of Watertown, New York, for firing Mary Lambert as a Sunday School teacher.

Seems the preacher believes that a woman cannot teach boys and "must remain silent." Mary had taught Sunday School at the church for 54 years. Yes, 54 years!

Butthead didn't even have the balls to fire her face-to-face, he sent a letter to the 81 year-old woman (photo above).

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fun headlines from last night...

Emmys Burstyn with Controversy -- Ellen Burstyn is nominated this year for an Emmy for best supporting actress for a 15-second appearance in HBO's Mrs. Harris.

Pay up, or we break your ladyfingers ... -- The Akron, Ohio, Girls Scouts are pursuing 12 court claims totalling $9,000 in Akron, Ohio, for uncollected cookie money ranging from $54 to $3,500. The Scouts say the deadbeats, all adults, picked up cookies and signed for them but never paid up.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I'll have the Coke and Connubial Special, with fries.

One of yesterday's visitors to It's Jim got here by doing a Google search for "Amy and sonic getting married." You really have to wonder (1) what the hell that means, and (2) how that got the searcher to It's Jim?

I can partially answer the second question, but the answer raises even more questions. The Google search returned my post about Nicole and Stan pending nuptials, specifically the phrase in the post: "Stan's getting married so he'll have something to blog about."

So, I guess all we can do is wish Amy and Sonic, and Nicole and Stan, the best of good wishes. We can also hope that Amy's intended was so named Sonic because he's "extremely exciting and fast-paced" and not because of his career goals (see photo).

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Medical Matters

Heterochromia -- having eyes of two different colors. Gracie Allen had one green eye and one blue eye, which is why she retired when TV went color. Dan Aykroyd has one blue eye and one brown eye. Jane Seymour has a green left eye and brown right eye.

Diphallasparatus -- a medical condition in which a male infant is born with two penes, usually one that works and one that don't. There is a guy in India, however, who has two that work, but he wants one removed. "Two fully functional penes is unheard of even in medical literature. In the more common form of diphallus, one organ is rudimentary," the local newspaper quoted a surgeon as saying. (Reuters)

Delusional companions -- the belief that objects, such as my bathrobe, have feelings and experience emotions.

The way to lead

I watched The Miracle of Stairway B on the History Channel last night. It's a documentary of how 12 firefighters, three office workers, and a Port Authority cop survived the collapse of the North WTC Tower, trapped in a fifth-floor stairway landing. The re-enactments are good, and the interviews with the survivors are terrific.

If you recall, the WTC towers had this innovative design, using trusses instead of the heavy steel beam gridwork of a traditional skyscraper. Look up next time you are in a Wal*Mart, those lacey things holding up the roof are trusses. In the WTC, they held up the concrete floors for each of the 110 above-ground floors in the buildings. There was no redundancy in the structures, so when one floor fell, it started a collapse that pancaked upon each of the floors beneath . What you essentially had was a growing concrete block smashing everything on each floor below it, and then adding each floor to it's growing concrete mass. The total collapse of each building took about 13 seconds.

How amazing was it for people to have survived this? Both towers were office towers, yet not a single desk, chair, computer, copy machine, telephone, or filing cabinet either survived or even left recognizable rubble. Drop a concrete block on a Tic Tac and you get the idea. They found a single four-drawer filing cabinet from an office in one of the sub-basements, and it's mangled beyond recognition.

What I thought was especially interesting, and what may be a sign of great leadership, was how the senior fireman kept his sense of humor. After the collapse, he finally makes radio contact with rescuers on the surface of the rubble field. He tells them that he and the others are trapped in the North Tower. In the ensuring radio chatter, someone asks, "Where's the North Tower?" What follows is a great moment in the documentary.

In another instance, the survivors now believing that there is half-a-million tons of debris on top of them, a shaft of sunlight comes through. The head firefighters follows it up to the surface, just above where everyone is trapped. He comes back to the other on the fifth-floor stairwell landing and says "Well, we're now the top of the World Trade Center!." How cool is that!

[The documentary never really explains what had happened. The debris from the upper floor crashed through the multiple sub-basements and parking areas under the towers. In other words, it filled that big hole that later became so familiar to us. That's why the fifth-floor stairwell was the top of what had been the North Tower. There is no explanation, of course, as to how -- in all that absolute and total destruction -- that single stairwell stub could have survived.]

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Remember his guy?

His name is Lucky Vanous.

He was a question on a rerun of Millionaire that I watched this evening.

Don't remember him, neither did I, until Regis said what he's famous for: he was the guy in a widely-successful Diet Coke commercial where women were ogling him from their office window (circa 1994).

He's done a few show biz things since and has a workout video.

Why do a post about him? How about this: Lucky joined the Army at 18 and worked his way up to become a member of the elite First Airborne Ranger Battalion (the Army's elite anti-terrorist and anti-guerilla response team), earning the right to wear the black beret. He served on the demolition squad, learned how to seize hostile airstrips and military facilities, specializing in low level parachuting and attending military schools including Special Forces Underwater Diving.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

To do or not to do

There were long lines inside the Athens, Georgia, McDonald's last Saturday. When an additional register was opened, two women from the back of one long line jump to the front of the newly-opened line. Many harsh words were directed at the two women by the people who had been waiting in the existing long lines but they held their ground. When the two women left the restaurant, their food in hand, a women who had been in one of the long lines hit them with her car. She had left the restaurant and was patiently waiting for them in the parking lot! She only bumped one of the women with her front fender but did knock her to the ground. I would have cheered. The Athens police apparently feel the same -- they know who the driver was but "haven't figured out what to charge her with." I love the South. Source: KXIA Athens

Meanwhile, yesterday, the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey resigned amid charges of ethics violations. Seems she showed up, just by chance of course, as the police were writing her boyfriend a traffic ticket. Surprise, surprise, "the boyfriend was allowed to drive home in an improperly registered vehicle, and despite questions about whether his license was suspended. The officers later tried to void two tickets they wrote him." And now for the good part: the Attorney General of New Jersey had outstanding "a dozen speeding tickets, three license suspensions and four bench warrants for her arrest." They made a good couple, the boyfriend, a lawyer, had ten license suspensions. I love politicians. Source: KXLY/AP

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Don't cry for me David Beckham!

Am I the only one who cannot get caught up?

No, it's not because of my vacation. I was caught up before I left. I got quickly caught up after I returned.

But...starting about the middle of last week...what needs to be done is outpacing what gets done by 5 to 1!

The yard has become Jungle World, even with the drought.

The house, well, let's just say that I may have to go back to housecleaning with the leaf blower.

Rooty needs his hair trimmed. I need a haircut.

The mail is piled up in boxes, unopened, probably reverting to compost.

There is food in the frig that I don't remember buying, that is making it's own penicillin, and milk that has become yogurt.

The car won't fit in the garage because of the stuff that has somehow accumulated over the weekend.

I lost one of the cell phones. In the house. I can make it ring. But I still cannot find it.

Yesterday someone wanted to give me a puppy. I fear it may still be in here somewhere!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Only works with mint...

Plan A: Put mint-flavored Mentos candy in your mouth. Take a really, really big gulp of Diet Coke.

Plan B: Open a liter bottle of Diet Coke. Drop in mint-flavored Mentos candy.

Notes. With Plan A, Diet Coke will come squirting out of you nose, ears, and other orifices. For professional stunt idiots only. Do not attempt at home. With Plan B, you will have a Diet Coke geyser, or a Diet Coke rocket ship, or a Diet Coke thingy twirling around at the end of a rope. Both Plan A and B will work with Diet Pepsi but that's for wimps, you know, like using an iMac.

There are about 1500 Mentos and Diet Coke films on youtube -- click here -- proving yet once again that teenagers have way too much money and idle time!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

While I was away the Hardee's in town closed!

I guess I wasn't the only to gag every time I saw a Hardee's commercial.

NOTE: Here is a link to the Harhee's commericials.

Friday, August 11, 2006

been major crazy busy since we got back, major crazy, over the weekend I'll visit the sites of all of you who left comments, promise

Thursday, August 10, 2006

We're having a thunderstorm.

Rooty is afraid of thunder!
When it thunders, he hides on top of the sofa.
You can tell he don't look happy.
I have no idea why he thinks the sofa is a safe place.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I've fallen and I can't get up!

Do you suppose that it's waving for help?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I need a new carthage for my printer

Our long-time blogger friend Stan is getting married -- either that or he's gotten really good with PhotoShop!

Scott had always told me that Stan had been rejected by all of the women in the Pacific and Mountain time zones and, sure enough, he had to go all the way to the Central time zone, to southwest Missouri, to find a fiancee. Her name is Nicole and she is very pretty and is from Carthage, Missouri. If you are not familar with Carthage, it is a little off the beaten path, they still refer to the Clampetts as them city folks.

And don't feel bad, "Stan's getting married so he'll have something to blog about" is the first thing that I thought also. You just know Stan's going to start a batch of new blogs: the, the Iwentonmyhoneymoonandfound, the youcannot throwoutmycollection ofeverystrawthatI'

Well, it will definitely be a wedding that Carthage will remember. The wedding vows will surely contain references to mis-printed package labels and wacky billboards -- and you just know Stan will want to exchange bar codes rather that rings.

In all seriousness, what all of us want to say, from the bottoms of our respective hearts, is "Run Nicole run!!!!"

ps. Rooty says "the best to both of you!"

Monday, August 07, 2006

Rooty and I are back

While we were away, I had lights installed in two closets. The red arrow in the photo points at the switch in one of the closets. I'm 6-foot -- if I stand on my toes I can just barely touch the switch. The switch in the other closet is exactly the same Magic-Johnson heigth from the floor!

It's going to take a few days to get things organized now that we're back!!!!